Berhampore School - 03/11/2016

1 Context

Berhampore School caters for students in Years 1 to 6 in nine mainstream classes, and Years 1 to 8 in three Montessori classes. Students are from many ethnic and cultural groups, and some from nonEnglish speaking backgrounds.

At the time of this ERO review, the school had 290 students, including 11% who identify as Maori. A significant number have additional learning needs. Trustees and leaders respond positively to roll growth and the increasingly diverse needs of students.

There is a focus on inclusion, community partnership and improvement. Trustees have developed strategic goals to align with these key priorities. The leaders, staff and trustees value the contribution of parents and the wider community to supporting the culture of the school and outcomes for students.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be part of an effective and inclusive learning community through:

  • being a school for everyone
  • fostering citizenship through learning
  • providing a fun, welcoming, happy and stable environment
  • being a community asset and hub.

The school seeks to nurture learners who will self-manage, use creativity, display curiosity and solve problems.

The vision and school priorities are promoted by the principal, senior leaders and trustees. Fostering wellbeing and raising achievement within an inclusive community underpin processes and practices.

The school’s achievement information shows that at the end of 2015 two thirds of students were at or above the National Standards in writing, and approximately three quarters in reading and mathematics. Overall results in each National Standard area improved from 2014 to 2015. Reading and writing achievement is higher for girls. Improving these outcomes for boys as a group should be a continuing priority.

The significant number of students with additional learning needs and relatively small numbers of Māori and Pacific students provide a challenge for the school to consider patterns and trends in the achievement data for some groups of students. The school focuses on considering the progress of individual students as they move through school.

A wide range of assessment information contributes to the picture of achievement for individual students in relation to National Standards. Appropriate guidelines and collaborative discussion contribute to the overall judgements that teachers make about students' achievement.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, the school has continued to build its capacity to accelerate progress for those children at risk of not achieving appropriate outcomes. Specific areas of involvement have included:

  • professional learning and development in writing
  • involvement in Ministry of Education Teacher Lead Innovation Fund projects about: collaborative practice amongst teachers in mathematics; and, inclusive communities and practices for students with special education needs
  • extended participation in the mathematics specialist teacher programme
  • increasing the use of data by classroom teachers to inform teaching and to consider the impact of strategies on student outcomes
  • extendingexpectations and guidelines that support in-depthreflective practice by teachers.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Systematic processes identify Māori students who require additional support, decide and implement actions to promote their learning, and use data to consider their progress. Additional resourcing is provided to assist those who need the most support to accelerate their learning.

At class and whole-school level the progress of individual Māori students and the impact of planned actions are monitored, reflected upon and reviewed. Leaders create opportunities for collaborative inquiry and developing shared understandings of teacher practice to meet the needs of a range of learners.

Although many Māori students achieving below expectation make progress, for most it is not sufficient for them to meet National Standards. Teachers and leaders are continuing to extend the use of measures to show the extent of improvement for students who have not accelerated their National Standards' achievement. This should assist better evaluation of the impact of actions and contribute to further improving outcomes for Māori students at risk of not making sufficient progress.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Well-considered processes support teachers and leaders to identify the needs of students at risk of underachievement. These become a focus for teachers as they support individuals and groups to accelerate their learning. The school's data indicates some of these students progress more rapidly towards or reach National Standards.

Systems and actions provide for students requiring additional learning support. Students' needs, strengths and interests are identified, for some in well-documented individual education plans. Parents' knowledge of their child's development and learning is valued and contributes to planning. Students are expected to achieve.

Additional resourcing and programmes support learners with specific learning challenges, including those who are English second language learners. Partnerships are developed with families to support inclusion of students. Students with additional needs learn alongside their peers for much of the time.

Learning support reviews tend to focus on how the school provides for students with additional needs, rather than on how well actions have promoted positive learning outcomes for them. Progress and achievement information for these students should be used more for internal evaluation. This should assist the school to better identify effective teaching practice and whether resources are being allocated to programmes in the most appropriate way.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The curriculum and other organisational processes and practices effectively support the school's goal of achieving positive outcomes for all students.

Trustees have a strong focus on supporting equity within the school community. The board and principal are committed to building an inclusive school through their policies, processes, resourcing and planning.

Annual achievement targets identify the groups of learners and curriculum areas that require most focus. Identifying the number of students involved in board targets should provide a better basis for evaluation, so that the effectiveness of actions to support acceleration can be considered and strengthened where necessary.

The board uses achievement information to make well-considered resourcing decisions. It is focused on ensuring sufficient support for those learners who may be at risk of poor educational outcomes. For more effective monitoring of the impact of the board's decisions, trustees should receive regular reporting during the year about progress toward strategic priorities and annual achievement targets.

The curriculum provides students with purposeful learning experiences linked to their interests and needs, with a strong emphasis on literacy and mathematics. Guidelines for teaching and learning include explicit processes for identifying, planning and ongoing review of outcomes for the students who are most in need of support and acceleration. Growing students' ownership and leadership of their own learning is a priority identified by the school.

Teachers know students' wellbeing and learning strengths and needs well. Collaborative, learningcentred relationships are evident. Teachers adapt their practice to respond to needs, especially for those identified as target students. Teacher assistants support identified students to participate in learning. There is a focus on including all students within meaningful classroom programmes.

Opportunities to access te ao Māori and te reo Māori as part of the daily curriculum are growing. Teachers are extending their knowledge and understanding to more effectively respond to Māori learners' language, culture and identity. Building cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners should continue to consolidate relationship-based learning.

Personalised strategies support families and whānau to be involved in learning-centred relationships. Meaningful engagement with parents and whānau is a priority. The school has identified it should continue to build the quality of practices for children's transition into the junior school. A useful next step would be for leaders and teachers to systematically collect information from parents about their experiences of, and satisfaction with what the school provides for their children during their total school experience.

Written and face-to-face reporting to parents enables them to contribute to their child's learning. Leaders should review current written reporting to ensure students' achievement and progress in relation to National Standards is conveyed clearly to parents twice a year.

Reflective practices involving teachers, leaders and trustees assist evaluation of how well programmes bring about positive changes for learners. Including consideration of outcomes for Year 6 leavers should contribute to better evaluation of the impact on learners of transitions, teaching and interventions.

The school's approach to building teacher capability in sustainable ways provides a platform for ongoing improvement. Professional learning and development (PLD) includes participation in initiatives that involve the wider education community. PLD for teachers and teacher assistants supports their ability to teach students with diverse needs effectively.

Teacher appraisal has been strengthened in 2016. Teachers set goals aligned to school priorities for raising student achievement and growing teacher practice. The process includes improvementfocused observations and an expectation for teachers to inquire into aspects of their practice. There is a shared understanding of evidence-based teacher inquiry, and how it helps improve practice. Appraisal encourages and prompts teacher reflection and evaluative thinking that should contribute to improved outcomes for students.

Leaders and teachers are building their collective capacity for evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement. Teachers regularly share and inquire into practice, to consider how well actions for individual students are promoting engagement and progress. Collaborative practice includes involvement with teachers from other schools. Research and identified good practice inform programmes and teaching.

Understanding and use of evaluation should continue to be developed schoolwide. This should further help to identify the impact of teaching and programmes on accelerating students' progress.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

A focus on responding to the individual strengths and needs of students and regular monitoring of progress enables teachers and leaders to promote positive student outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and Self Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

To improve current practice the board of trustees should ensure:

  • it receives regular analysis of student attendance information
  • written reports to parents about students' achievement in relation to National Standards are clear
  • systems enable police vets of non-teaching staff to be kept current
  • documented policy and procedures align with current good practice and recent changes in legislative requirements

7 Recommendations

Further strengthening of the school's performance should result from:

  • an increased focus on improving literacy outcomes for boys as a group
  • schoolwide review of provision for students with additional learning needs including greater consideration of learning outcomes for them
  • trustees receiving regular reports of progress towards the school's strategic priorities and annual achievement targets
  • including review of outcomes for Year 6 leavers as part of internal evaluation
  • continued development of capability in internal evaluation for improvement.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

3 November 2016 

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2808

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

290

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

European

African

Middle Eastern

11%

44%

3%

18%

11%

9%

4%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

3 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2013

August 2010

June 2007