Bridge Pa School - 05/11/2015

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Years 1 to 8 students learn in the semi-rural environment of Bridge Pa, located 10 minutes south of Hastings. Students are drawn from the community’s two marae, with some travelling a small distance from Flaxmere and Hastings in a board-funded van.

The 100% Māori roll comprises students of mainly Ngāti Kahungunu descent. The school has liaised with the iwi to incorporate aspirations from the iwi education plan within its localised curriculum.

The school currently operates three classrooms. A long-standing principal and deputy principal are supported by two newly-appointed staff in 2015. The board intends to initiate discussion with the community about future school make-up and direction, as the roll is predicted to fall in 2016.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

A key strategic priority for the school is to raise student achievement. About half of all students are not achieving in relation to National Standards in mathematics and writing. Processes for assessment and moderation are in place and useful individual records of progress are kept.

Teachers seek professional advice and training to support their assessment practice. Providing clearer schoolwide guidelines about assessment and moderation should help support consistency and reliability of overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards.

Students at risk of poor outcomes are well identified through standardised testing. Teachers use their knowledge of students’ strengths and learning needs to match their teaching approach.

Teachers are beginning to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. They adapt teaching for groups of students at risk of not achieving. They are starting to share ideas and strategies to support accelerated progress. Ongoing professional development and teacher reflection take place.

Mid year 2015 assessment data, shows that as a result of targeted action, student achievement is improving.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

There is a clear focus within the curriculum on representing students’ language, culture and identity as Māori. A vision for students to know themselves and make links to their past is supported by programmes that are responsive, inclusive and centred on the local environment. Students have opportunities to learn through authentic world contexts.

Teachers actively work to build and maintain positive and orderly learning environments. The school intends to adopt a behavioural approach in 2016 aimed at strengthening understanding of the school’s values and goals for a collaborative learning community.

Many initiatives support individual students’ wellbeing, health and safety as a platform for achievement and success.

The school has developed its systems to support students with special needs. A newly established special education needs coordinator role has been established and appropriate professional development resourced. External agency advice and guidance is valued and acted on.

New entrants who enrol with oral language difficulties are well supported through focused teaching. An inquiry-based, responsive curriculum approach is used to develop their capabilities. Individual Year 1 and 2 students at risk have their progress in language development closely monitored. An agreed next step is to more deliberately plan to regularly evaluate the outcomes of the programme for all learners.

Aspects of teacher practice foster development of ‘learning to learn’ capabilities. Practice is not yet consistent schoolwide. Students vary in their ability to recognise the kind and quality of work required to achieve success.

Providing clearer expectations about expected and effective teaching practice in all curriculum areas is an important next step.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are highly valued and promoted within the school. Students have many opportunities to increase their understanding of te ao Māori.

A graduate profile has been developed to define what success looks like for students as they transition to secondary education. Leaders have identified the need to engage with whānau and community, to share the graduate profile and adapt it in response to community aspirations. ERO's evaluation affirms this as a useful next step. 

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is developing its capability to sustain and improve its performance.

Data is being collated more regularly to look at the progress made by targeted groups of students. The next step is to more thoroughly analyse this data, and more regularly evaluate and report to the board about the effectiveness of the targeted actions.

Self review is developing. A useful template for emergent review helps guide practice in this area. The charter outlines important student outcomes, which should help frame evaluation of school effectiveness.

The school should consider a more in-depth evaluation of how effective writing programmes are across the school. To strengthen evaluative practice, more depth and time should be spent on the investigative phase of review. Information from parents, students’ feedback and writing samples, classroom observation, documentation, teachers and research findings should be gathered to inform emergent judgements about quality, prior to decision making and action planning.

The appraisal process is a useful model that affirms teachers’ strengths and provides constructive suggestions to improve future professional practice. Teachers are beginning to collect digital evidence in relation to meeting Practising Teacher Criteria for registration.

The school has embarked on a collaborative initiative to strengthen community partnership and raise student achievement. Whānau are actively involved in providing ideas and setting action plans for change. Empowering all parents to be fully involved in partnerships for learning is an important area for development.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Students learn in a supportive learning environment that affirms their Māori language, culture and identity. Raising student achievement remains a key priority. Teachers are beginning to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice and adapt their teaching to accelerate the progress of students at risk of poor outcomes.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 November 2015

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2547

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

54

Gender composition

Male 31, Female 23

Ethnic composition

Māori 100%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

5 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2012

Education Review November 2009