Cloverlea School - 27/01/2011

 

1. What are the important features of this school’s context and background that impact on student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

Cloverlea School has a positive reporting history with ERO. It is an urban primary school in Palmerston North catering for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll remains stable and includes 31% Māori. Spacious, well-maintained grounds include a recently installed all-weather court surface. Since the February 2008 ERO review, buildings have been repainted, classrooms refurbished and the school’s infrastructure and capacity for information and communication technologies (ICT) have been enhanced. Teachers participate in professional development to ensure ICT is well used as a tool for learning and teaching.

This review finds that positive features identified in previous ERO reviews have been sustained and enhanced. In response to the 2008 report, teachers have further developed teaching and assessment practices. Achievement information is effectively guiding teaching and learning.

Students continue to learn in a secure, supportive environment where expectations for behaviour and learning are high. Teachers know students well and maintain a welcoming family atmosphere where holistic development is valued. A school-wide emphasis on reflective teaching fosters a professional learning community that improves outcomes for students.

2. How effectively is the school’s curriculum promoting student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

The school’s curriculum has been developed in consultation with parents, staff and students. There is a strong focus on authentic real-life learning contexts. Students have increasing opportunities for study choices associated with personal interests and achievement levels. The curriculum includes a significant emphasis on literacy and numeracy with meaningful links to inquiry learning in other subjects. It is effective in promoting learning: engagement, progress and achievement.

Students benefit from consistently high quality teaching including skilful questioning, meaningful learning tasks, vibrant classroom displays and flexible responses to needs. Teachers are continually developing shared understandings about effective teaching practices, including guided group work. Relationships are mutually respectful.

Differentiated teaching caters for more able students and for those requiring learning support. Students who are at risk of underachieving have targeted programmes to address their learning needs. Teacher-aide assistance is unobtrusive and focused. Assistance from relevant external agencies is accessed as required. A high proportion of students receiving learning support demonstrate accelerated progress over time.

3. How well are students learning: engaging, progressing and achieving?

Areas of strength

 

  • A significant number of students are achieving at or above year-level expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. They are highly engaged in purposeful learning.
  • Robust assessment processes are aligned well with National Standards’ requirements. Information is effectively analysed and used to guide teaching and learning for individuals and groups. Clear school-wide expectations ensure regular close monitoring of students’ progress. Learning goals and strategies are continually refocused in response to information from planned and informal assessment.
  • Reports to parents provide very clear interim and end-of-year information about students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards. Assessments by teachers are supported by well-presented portfolios of students’ work that are shared with parents each term. Students participate in conferences about their learning and they are aware of their progress and next steps. Useful achievement information facilitates parents’ participation in their children’slearning

 

Priorities for future action

School leaders identify the following priorities for future action.

  1. Continuing to develop student voice by further involving students in using formal and informal assessment information to continually set and monitor learning goals.
  2. Continuing curriculum development to include:
  • documenting the school’s expectations in relation to national curriculum principles;
  • incorporating indicators for higher curriculum levels to demonstrate achievement for more able students; and
  • setting direction for consistent ICT integration.

The findings of ERO’s external evaluation support these developments.

Māori student learning: engagement, progress and achievement

Areas of strength

  • Māori students’ achievement is consistently monitored within classes and teaching teams. Some students achieve at and above expectations for their year levels. Students at risk of underachieving have high quality learning support. Individual progress is tracked as students move through the school.
  • The lead teacher has supplied each class with a kete of resources to support te reo Māori teaching and learning.
  • A part-time teacher has recently been employed to provide regular te reo Māori teaching for each class and assist in training the kapa haka group.

Priorities for future action

ERO identifies the need to develop processes for:

  • strengthening data analysis to demonstrate school-wide trends and patterns of Māori student achievement;
  • setting specific annual targets for improving Māori achievement;
  • consulting Māori families about aspirations for their students; and
  • including bicultural perspectives at all levels of school planning and review.

4. How well placed is the school to sustain its performance and continue to improve student learning and achievement?

Areas of strength: governance, leadership self review and community engagement

  • The board is proud of the school and committed to supporting the principal and staff in sustaining positive outcomes for students. It funds extra resources for students who are at risk of underachieving.
  • The principal and senior managers continue to provide strong shared leadership. This collaborative team effectively manages designated responsibilities according to members’ expertise and interests.
  • Self review is well established. The board of trustees receives regular reports on student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. The progress of students at risk of underachieving is also reported to the board.
  • Strategic goals focus on improvement in literacy and mathematics achievement. Teaching teams develop annual targets that guide the board’s planning and reporting process. The achievement of targeted groups is monitored throughout the year. Teachers discuss strategies for accelerating progress at team meetings. Team-led target development and review empowers teachers to continually focus on strategic goals for raising achievement.
  • Expectations for structured and meaningful teaching as inquiry strengthen quality assurance and capacity building. Teachers’ reflections are discussed at team and staff meetings and linked to professional development.
  • Planned in-depth curriculum review ensures that all areas are rigorously reviewed according to a well-considered, long-term schedule.
  • Reviews of emerging issues are conducted as required.
  • The school continues to consult regularly with its community. Parents actively support the school in a variety of ways.

Priorities for future action

ERO and the board agree about the following priorities. The board should:

  • continue to develop governance roles and skills; and
  • review governance and management documents so that policies and procedures reflect changes due to recent developments.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO intends to carry out the next review within three years.

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

27 January 2011

 

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary(Years 1 - 6)

School roll

263

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 62%, Māori 31%, Asian 4%, Pacific 3%

Review team on site

November 2010

Date of this report

27 January 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review February 2008 Education Review May 2005 Accountability Review June 2001

 

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

school curriculum;

national evaluation topics–contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and

the Board Assurance Statement,includingstudent and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

 

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

5. Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.