Clifton Terrace Model School - 02/04/2015

Findings

The school has high quality systems and processes that support students’ learning. The co-principals' approach to ongoing improvement is highly evident. Students enjoy learning in an inclusive environment where individual needs are recognised and effectively responded to. The holistic curriculum is well developed. Staff and students work collaboratively.

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?

Clifton Terrace Model School is a small, full primary in central Wellington. Of the 67 students, four identify as Māori and ten as Pacific. All students learn Spanish and the school is a sister school with one in Mexico. As a model school, a close relationship is maintained with teacher training programmes at Victoria University of Wellington.

The school operates a shared management system with two co-principals. New teaching staff have commenced in 2015. The school continues with its holistic focus that considers the whole child and includes science, the arts, culture and place. Students have an inclusive learning environment.

In November 2014, a new board of trustees was elected. An external facilitator is assisting with board training in 2015.

Environmental education continues to be a focal point. A key area of professional development in 2013 and 2014 was e-learning and use of digital technology. During this time the school infrastructure was developed and staff skills increased.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is used well to identify students’ learning needs, to plan appropriately to address underachievement and to extend those who are able. The need to accelerate students at risk of not achieving is addressed through individualised programmes and the school’s participation in Accelerated Literacy programmes.

National Standards data are reported to the board. End-of-year 2014 student achievement information showed that most students achieved at and above in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics. The percentage is lower for writing and this is an area of focus for 2015. Data showed Māori and Pacific students achieved well. Parents are well informed about their children’s progress through parent-teacher discussions, written reports and regular communication.

Teachers have continued to develop their moderation processes since the May 2011 ERO report, to ensure that teachers’ overall judgements in relation to the National Standards are reliable. School leaders are working with other schools, in 2015, to moderate these judgements across a wider group of teachers and students.

Students' diverse learning needs are well catered for. Strategies used by staff include intensive support through explicit classroom teaching, specific programmes and specialist assistance where appropriate. Responses to students' special needs are closely monitored.

Learning conversations between students and with teachers are evident at all year levels. Students are enthusiastic about their learning. They understand and talk confidently about the purpose. A strategic goal for 2015 is to further develop students’ understanding of how they learn. ERO’s evaluation supports the direction to increase student ownership of their progress and achievement.

The co-principals make good use of school achievement data to set annual targets. Making these targets more specific is likely to put emphasis on teachers accelerating the progress of underachieving students. Such specificity should also strengthen monitoring and evaluating progress against the targets.

3 Curriculum

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

The broad curriculum promotes and supports student learning. A carefully considered approach has been taken to review of curriculum. High quality implementation plans clearly outline shared expectations for teaching and learning. The curriculum embodies the school’s core values. A strong focus on students and teachers working collaboratively is evident.

Students experience a wide variety of authentic learning experiences. Community members regularly visit the school and share their expertise. Students make good use of city facilities, including the library and art galleries.

Student use of inquiry is evident and well embedded. Students talk confidently and proudly about their inquiry work. They enjoy opportunities to research topics of relevance to them.

The place of digital technologies in learning is emphasised. Learning within literacy and mathematics programmes is effectively supported by students' use of these tools.

Students have a range of leadership opportunities. Responsibility is encouraged, especially amongst senior students, to empower them and develop confidence for their next stages of education.

The curriculum includes a well-considered bicultural emphasis. The co-principals expect that students respect and value each other’s cultures and make connections between Māori culture and their own. Manaakitanga is valued.

Transition processes into school, and learning pathways and transition to secondary school, are effective.

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

Expectations that staff ensure school cultural practices acknowledge Māori principles, perspectives and practices are clearly stated. Emphasis on promoting Māori students' success as Māori through culture, language and identity is well documented. Tuakana teina relationships are evident in students' interactions and shared learning.

Tikanga is integral part of school hui. School agreements (framed by students and staff) reinforce shared understandings and expectations for promoting Māori students' educational success, as Māori. Ako is evident.

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. Shared leadership is well established and continues to work effectively. The co-principals work collaboratively in a deliberate and strategic manner to promote improved outcomes for students.

Professional development is well considered and identified areas for further development are evidence-based.

Teachers’ inquiry into their practice is undertaken in a considered manner and linked to appraisal. Teachers actively share the process and outcomes of their inquiries with each other.

Trustees recognise the importance of professional development to build shared understanding of their governance roles. Trustees have engaged an external facilitator to ensure that high quality processes are maintained.

Self review continues to be highly effective. Strong communication systems are in place as these are recognised as central to improved and sustained school performance. The strategic and annual plans are well aligned to the school charter and improvement focused.

A high level of parent engagement is evident and building partnerships for learning continues to be a priority.

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 has high quality systems and processes that support students’ learning. The co-principals' approach to ongoing improvement is highly evident. Students enjoy learning in an inclusive environment where individual needs are recognised and effectively responded to. The holistic curriculum is well developed. Staff and students work collaboratively.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 April 2015

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2826

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

67

Gender composition

Females 36, Males 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other European

Indian

Latin American

4

41

10

5

4

3

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

2 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

June 2007

June 2004