Clayton Park School - 15/02/2013

1 Context

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

Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou o te kura o Clayton Park, tēnā rā koutou katoa.

Clayton Park School, in Manurewa, caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The board, principal and staff have ensured that the school provides for the interests and cultural backgrounds of its students and their families. The different ethnicities of students and their families, whānau and aiga are reflected in the composition of the members of staff and board. The school’s commitment to bi-culturalism is evident in the interactions between teachers and students, in the provision of Māori language enrichment classes, and in the operations of the board of trustees.

Students respond well to the inclusive environment that staff provide. They are considerate of others and show pride in their work. Students support each other well in their learning. Senior students provide models of responsible behaviour.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. Since the 2009 ERO review, several school-wide initiatives have enhanced reflective teaching practice. Staff are well supported by relevant professional learning development programmes that are focused on improving outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

Students engage in their learning and respond well to teacher-led programmes. Teachers have a very good understanding of the learning requirements of diverse learners. They target their teaching to individual students by referring to ongoing assessment information and students’ feedback. Students who are underachieving are provided with targeted programmes that cater for their learning needs. School leaders report that students make good progress and, in reading, writing and numeracy, achieve at levels similar to those of students across the country.

Students’ ability to talk confidently about what they are learning and how they achieve their goals is evidence of good quality practices in teaching and learning. Teachers could now support students to more consistently identify what they need to learn next and to plan how they will achieve their goals. Developing students’ awareness of their own learning needs would help them to understand the purpose of independent learning activities. This development would be consistent with the board’s longer-term strategic aim of increasing student-led learning and would build on the school’s recent successful initiatives that have focused on raising student achievement levels.

A particular strength of the school is the way in which families, whānau and aiga are informed about, and are included in, school programmes that are focused on improving learning. Events focused on student learning are well attended by parents. Most parents have joined a home/school partnership programme that is designed to support them to help students maintain their levels of progress and achievement over school holiday periods. Relevant, ongoing achievement information provided by senior leaders and staff assures parents that this programme is successful.

The school’s student achievement tracking system enables senior leaders and teachers to identify trends and patterns and to respond quickly to emerging gaps in students’ learning. Increasingly, teachers are using these innovative visual records of individual student progress and achievement to identify areas for development in their teaching practice.

Trustees use analysed achievement information to identify school priorities. The board reports to the Ministry of Education on students’ progress towards achievement targets in relation to the National Standards.

Senior leaders are supporting teachers to write reports to parents that inform them more accurately about how well their children are progressing and achieving in relation to the National Standards. Teachers’ involvement in the school’s comprehensive moderation processes for mathematics and writing means that they are well positioned for this development.

3 Curriculum

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

Senior leaders and staff have aligned the school’s curriculum with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers have implemented a variety of teaching and learning strategies to accelerate students’ progress. Teachers reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching and modify programmes and practices to cater for students’ emerging learning requirements. This responsive approach is having a positive impact on students’ achievement levels.

Staff appraisal processes are well considered and provide opportunities for teachers to outline what they do to improve outcomes for students. Senior leaders monitor teachers’ planning and assessment to ensure that good quality teaching practices are used consistently across the school. Teachers work collegially and are receptive to new ideas and ways of working.

The principal takes an active role in promoting effective school-wide teaching and learning practice. He has introduced a distributed leadership structure to provide opportunities for team leaders and teachers with specialist knowledge to help ensure that curriculum initiatives are embedded in practice. This development is consistent with the school’s focus on enhancing reflective teaching practice. The theories and practices of student-led learning are increasingly understood by teachers.

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

Very good progress is being made to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Currently fifty-one percent of the school roll identify as Māori. Māori students have positive attitudes to school and learning. They take pride in their culture and have various opportunities to express themselves as Māori and to take leadership roles in the school.

Māori students value the increasing inclusion of aspects of Māori culture and language in the environment, learning programmes and school practices. These opportunities celebrate the bicultural backgrounds of the school’s Māori students and contribute to all students’ knowledge.

The principal and staff have made good use of the Ministry of Education’s Māori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success, as a tool for reviewing how well school policies and practices develop the potential of all Māori students. Staff have taken part in professional learning that has enhanced their cultural awareness of te ao Māori.

The viewpoints of Māori students and their families/whānau and staff professional learning have underpinned the establishment of five Māori language enrichment classrooms for Year 1 to 8 students. Approximately fifty percent of Māori students are enrolled in these classrooms.

Māori teachers and school leaders, many of whom are teachers in the enrichment classes, are well supported in their roles. While the school is poised to increase levels of instruction in te reo Māori, it is timely that the board coordinates the formation of a strategic vision for bi-lingual education in the school. It is important that the views and aspirations of all parents of Māori students are considered in a review of the school’s provision for success for Māori students.

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.

  • Trustees are committed to enhancing positive outcomes for all students.
  • The principal and the senior leaders provide strategic leadership.
  • Pastoral care and learning support systems promote an inclusive school culture and support student wellbeing.
  • Parents, whānau and aiga actively support school initiatives that are focused on raising student achievement levels.
  • Self review is used to improve teaching practice and school operations.

The board governs the school successfully and supports the principal and teachers in their work. Trustees value parent feedback and are responsive to parents’ aspirations. Trustees have supported initiatives to provide Pacific students with opportunities to experience success as Samoan, Niue, Cook Island Māori, Fijian and Tongan students. Senior leaders have led the development of teaching strategies to meet the learning requirements of students from different Pacific cultures.

The board is currently involved in planning building redevelopment because of the unsatisfactory condition of many of the buildings. The principal, senior leaders and the board recognise that this planning process provides an opportunity to reconfigure building layouts to provide students with facilities and learning environments that support modern practices for teaching and learning.

ERO agrees with the areas that the board has identified for further development and review in the school. These include:

  • increasing opportunities for students to lead their own learning
  • promoting further opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori
  • refining ways of reporting students’ progress and achievement in writing, reading and mathematics in relation to the National Standards.

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.

In order to meet legal requirements, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to report at least twice a year in plain language in writing to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards [National Administration Guidelines 2A (b, c)].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

15 February 2013

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1247

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

475

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Indian

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Tongan

other Asian

other Pacific

other ethnicities

51%

13%

10%

6%

5%

2%

2%

4%

4%

3%

Special Features

5 Māori language enrichment classes

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

15 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

August 2006

June 2003