Brooklyn School (Wellington) - 20/05/2014

1 Context

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

Brooklyn School is a Wellington suburban primary school with access to city amenities such as Te Papa. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The curriculum is enriched by a variety of trips, outings and competitions.

The wide range of culturally diverse groups is valued and celebrated. Māori students make up 5% of the roll. Trustees employ a teacher to support in-class programmes in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

All items identified for improvement in the 2011 ERO report have been actioned or are continuing to be addressed. The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

High levels of parent support and participation in school activities are evident. Transition of students from early childhood education, into and through the school, then on to secondary school is well managed.

2 Learning

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

Brooklyn School makes good use of achievement information for positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers use achievement information to:

  • identify and promote accelerated learning for students needing additional support and extra challenge
  • group students in classes for differentiated teaching according to need
  • inform planning, learning intentions and success criteria
  • report student progress to parents.

Collated and clearly analysed student achievement data is reported to trustees, including information about five-year-old and six-year-old attainment. The board uses this to set appropriate charter goals, student achievement targets and to resource identified professional development.

Achievement data shows that a majority of students achieve significantly higher against the National Standards than local and national levels. Achievement of girls is higher than boys in reading, writing and mathematics.

Senior staff are aware that they have yet to raise Māori student achievement to that of their peers.

3 Curriculum

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

This school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

A sound framework guides teacher planning and assessment. Features include:

  • clear expectations for teaching and learning
  • suitable emphasis on literacy and numeracy
  • high use of thinking tools to assist students develop skills for ongoing learning, inquiry and problem solving
  • Māori contexts for learning that are becoming increasingly integrated into the curriculum.

Programmes are cohesive across syndicates in mathematics, literacy and thinking skills. Senior leaders are aware they need to develop learning progressions in other areas such as science and te reo Māori.

Well-presented classroom environments support learning and promote student belonging and wellbeing. Most reflect the cultural backgrounds of the students.

Students are supported to learn through the use of effective teaching strategies. They are purposefully and actively engaged in their learning. Interactions are positive and caring. Learners treat each other respectfully. Students spoken with state that they enjoy being at school. They frequently refer to immediate learning goals and can discuss these with adults and each other.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. A variety of interventions are in place, including access to external agencies and personalised learning plans. Inclusive practice is evident. Staff take collective responsibility for each student.

Student leaders are trained for their roles. Mentors and buddy classes provide opportunities for Year 8 leaders. They actively participate in roles such as house captains and peer mediators.

Parents actively support their children’s learning by providing in-class additional help. This is to the benefit of children, parents and teachers particularly in the two junior syndicates.

Professional development is targeted to improve teaching and learning. Integrated use of information and communications technology is developing across all syndicates.

Brooklyn School has developed and is embedding a rigorous process for identifying gifted and talented students. This focus benefits improvements in teaching through providing teachers with new and innovative strategies to promote depth and complexity for student learning.

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

Māori students are fully engaged in the wide range of learning opportunities across the school.

Since 2011, school leadership has given te reo Māori an increasing curriculum focus. In 2014, all students receive tuition in te reo Māori. In 2013, two senior syndicates visited the Tapu Ta Rangi marae in Island Bay to experience authentic opportunities in Māori tikanga and kawa. Staff are aware of the need to develop schoolwide learning progressions.

Senior staff and the board chair have participated in recent professional development focused on Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 -2017.

The leadership team is exploring activities to extend staff knowledge of te ao Māori. These include:

  • re-introduction of whānau hui to provide opportunities to share aspirations and develop an understanding of what success for Māori at Brooklyn School looks like
  • developing staff and students appreciation of tikanga Māori through their te reo Māori language learning
  • planned professional development in Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori Learners
  • planning a structured self-review process through which to evaluate the impact of school wide initiatives in te reo me nga tikanga Māori, on Māori students' learning outcomes.

ERO’s evaluation supports these findings. A similar approach should be considered for engaging Pacific students and their families.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The senior leadership team is a collaborative group. A climate of student-centred professional discussion is evident. The team is improvement focused and responsive to new ideas from students, parents and recent research.

Self review is well understood and the process used by the senior leadership team has led to improvement. While staff contribute to the process, their level of understanding about self review is not clear. A next step is to develop a shared understanding of self review for all staff.

A sound appraisal system is well implemented. Staff set suitable personal goals. Outcomes of observations promote consistency of practice through well-documented feedback and identification of next steps.

Trustees are well informed. Regular reporting assists decision making. The board plans strategically for investment of resources and staffing. Individual trustees are building capacity for and knowledge of their roles. Good communication with school personnel has led to improved understandings of their respective roles and stronger connections between trustees and management. Board newsletters inform the wider community about the board’s planning and achievements.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

20 May 2014

About the School

Location

Brooklyn, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2816

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

431

Gender composition

Female 50%

Male 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnicities

65%

17%

5%

4%

9%

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

20 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

February 2008

June 2002