Brockville School - 01/04/2019

School Context

Brockville School is an urban school in Dunedin. It is a full primary school providing education for 142 students, 39 of whom are Māori. The school has a class (Te Rei O Whakaari) of 15 Māori students who learn in te reo Māori for 50% of the time (Māori medium level 2). A large group of Middle Eastern students has enrolled at the school in the last three years. These students are learning English as a second language. The inclusive culture of this school values cultural diversity, and celebrates it well.

Since the 2015 ERO review, circumstances beyond the school’s control led to an unsettled period of staffing which has now stabilised. The school has had changes in leadership and other staffing. This has included a new principal, deputy principal and some teachers and trustees.

The school’s vision is for students to discover a life of learning. The values of respect (Kia whakaute), excellence (Kia rawe) and determination (Kia manawanui) underpin the focus for students to be engaged, strive to do their best and not to give up. The school’s target is for students who have not reached the school’s achievement expectations to make accelerated progress.

Leaders and teachers regularly report, schoolwide information to the board about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in all learning areas with a clear focus on reading, writing and mathematics

  • standardised testing

  • behaviour and wellbeing

  • education outside the classroom

  • Te Rei O Whakaari.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for all groups of students within the school. The school recognises there is work to be done to achieve excellent outcomes for all students in relation to national expectations.

The school’s data shows no in-school disparity in the core subjects for ethnicities and gender. This information shows that over recent years student achievement levels are trending upwards with the greatest shifts evident in reading. End of 2018 data shows most students achieved at or above school expectations in reading and the majority in writing and mathematics.

The school has information to show that improvement in students’ engagement and behaviour is making significant impact on students’ attitudes to learning.

Students with diverse learning needs such as English Language Learners (ELL) and students with identified additional needs are well supported to make good progress in their learning.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Most students, including Māori, whose learning needed to accelerate in reading, writing and mathematics made significant accelerated progress in 2018.

The school has historically had high numbers of students whose achievement was well below expectations on enrolment. Leaders and teachers have successfully enabled most of these students to make more than one year’s progress in their learning in 2018.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Trustees’ and the principal’s top priority is to raise student achievement levels and give every child the best opportunity to succeed. There is a strong culture of ongoing improvement evident in the school. The principal effectively provides professional leadership and, with the staff, has prioritised:

  • building collective capability of teachers and lifting expectations for teaching and learning

  • improving appraisal processes

  • providing professional learning relevant to raising achievement in literacy

  • the deliberate focus on changing the school culture to enable greater student engagement and wellbeing of all.

These initiatives are new but already have resulted in staff taking a coordinated approach. This has led to increased student engagement and positive social behaviours.

The principal and teachers have undertaken a thorough process to redevelop the curriculum. There are improved guidelines and clear expectations for learning across the curriculum. Detailed milestones for student achievement are contributing to more reliable judgements about student progress and achievement.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The principal acknowledges the need to continue to build the collective capability of teachers by embedding teaching strategies and approaches that best support students’ learning. This includes students knowing more about their learning and what their next steps might be to improve.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to continue to consolidate, embed and extend practices that have recently been developed. These include:

  • developing and implementing a framework to support robust internal evaluation

  • refocusing the strategic plan to better reflect current priorities, such as retaining Years 7 and 8 students and supporting them to be ready for secondary school, and accelerating student achievement

  • refining the way school-wide learning information is collated, analysed and reported to better support strategic decision-making.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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

  • finance

  • 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Brockville School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the development of the positive learning culture and caring relationships within the school that is improving engagement and learning

  • the high expectations and professional leadership provided by the principal and supported by the board to help all students to succeed

  • the way it embraces and reflects the diversity of the community so that students know their language, culture and identity are valued.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • continuing to build teacher capability to raise and accelerate student achievement

  • developing and implementing a framework to support robust internal evaluation to know what is working well and where improvements are needed

  • refining the strategic plan to better reflect current priorities

  • strengthening the collation, analysis and reporting of student achievement information to assist the board in making informed strategic decisions.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 April 2019

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3719

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

142

Gender composition

Boys: 56%

Girls: 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 27%

Pākehā 49%

Middle Eastern 20%

Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of students in Level 2 MME

15

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

1 April 2019

Most recent ERO reports

November 2015

August 2012

November 2008