Brightwater School - 28/07/2014

Findings

The school’s values and attitudes strongly promote a positive school culture. Students achieve well in reading and mathematics. Positive relationships enhance learning and teaching. Students’ learning is greatly supported by the range of stimulating experiences they have in the classroom and in the community. The school is very well led and governed.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

The school’s values strongly promote the positive and inclusive school culture. This culture also effectively supports students’ engagement, achievement and wellbeing. The high levels of student achievement overall, reflects the school’s focus on learning and behaviour.

Since the January 2010 ERO review, the school has put programmes in place to specifically meet the needs of high achieving students and students with special abilities. Programmes, resources and learning experiences beyond the school are also well supported by the board.

The school continues to have strong links with its local community. The waterwheel in the school grounds was provided by the community. It symbolises the school’s values and focus on learning. The board and staff make good use of school events, newsletters, emails, consultation and reports to regularly engage with the community.

The board and staff have maintained the many strengths outlined in the school’s previous ERO report. Leaders and staff have made significant progress in improving those areas needing review and development. The staff continue to effectively work together to enhance the quality of education for all students.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders and teachers effectively use achievement information to identify the learning strengths and needs of students.

Student achievement continues to be at high levels. Many students are achieving at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. A significant number of students are achieving above expectations in reading. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels to their peers. Programmes for students with high ability are effectively meeting individual needs. Students who are not achieving at expected levels in writing are well supported by good quality learning support. Positive relationships between the school and early childhood services help children’s smooth transition to school.

Area for review and development

Students with high abilities have opportunities to extend their own learning through the class topic. To further enhance the capabilities of these students, teachers should provide opportunities for them to take a greater role in leading their own learning by:

  • selecting topics of personal interest to study
  • planning and developing their own learning approaches
  • preparing and share their learning with others
  • reflecting and evaluating the quality of their learning
  • identifying their own next steps in learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum strongly promotes student learning. Senior leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of what effective teaching is in this school. Class programmes reflect the school’s high expectations for learning and behaviour. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has positive benefits for students and teachers.

Teachers provide stimulating class environments and use a range of strategies that effectively engage students in learning. Students’ learning is greatly enhanced by the range of experiences they have beyond the classroom. High achieving students are well motivated and challenged in their thinking, by the programmes provided for them.

Area for review and development

Teachers provide good information for parents about how well their children are achieving against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The next step is for teachers to report to parents on how well their children are achieving in each of the other learning areas of the curriculum.

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

The board and staff actively promote opportunities for Māori students to achieve success, as Māori. The teacher in charge of the Māori programmes effectively uses his Māori cultural background to support the school’s programmes. Students and staff experiences include:

  • building cultural knowledge through participation in pōwhiri and visits to the marae
  • learning te reo Māori through waiata and class lessons.

Area for review and development

Teachers should consider ways to purposefully include Māori perspectives in their topic studies. They should also actively build their confidence in using te reo Māori where appropriate, in their class programmes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal and senior leaders provide strong, professional leadership. They have high expectations for teaching that lead to high levels of student learning and achievement. The school’s management structures ensure the sustainability of effective practices. A variety of opportunities enable staff to use their strengths, follow their interests and undertake leadership roles.

There is a strong focus on school-wide professional learning and development for teachers. This approach effectively builds collegiality and consistency in what teachers do. Teachers are highly reflective about their work. They identify the strategies that positively impact on student learning, engagement and achievement, and share these with their peers. Teacher appraisals are robust and reflect the school’s focus on ongoing improvement.

The board and principal work closely together. Trustees have a range of skills and experiences that help them to effectively carry out their role. Board roles and responsibilities are efficiently carried out. Self-review practices provide the board with useful information to inform their decisions.

Strong relationships between the school and the community result in high levels of support for student learning, engagement, achievement and wellbeing.

Area for review and development

To further enhance the quality of their self review, the board could regularly evaluate its own performance in governing the school.

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

The school’s values and attitudes strongly promote a positive school culture. Students achieve well in reading and mathematics. Positive relationships enhance learning and teaching. Students’ learning is greatly supported by the range of stimulating experiences they have in the classroom and in the community. The school is very well led and governed.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

28 July 2014

About the School

Location

Brightwater, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3183

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

283

Gender composition

Boys 58% Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

NZ European Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Asian

Other Ethnicities

86%

8%

1%

1%

4%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

28 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2010

April 2007

August 2004