Cornwall Park District School - 08/02/2017

1 Context

Cornwall Park District School in Greenlane Auckland, is a well-established contributing school catering for children in Years 1 to 6. It has a long history of intergenerational connections and significant links with the community. It shares its well-maintained grounds and facilities with the community. An enrolment zone is in place to assist the school to manage roll growth.

The school is part of the Auckland Central Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL). Since ERO's last evaluation there have been changes to the senior leadership team and membership of the board of trustees. Leaders and teachers have undertaken a variety of professional learning programmes and inquiries to help accelerate student progress and lift achievement. They continue to work collaboratively with the board, to ensure continuous improvement, and positive learning outcomes for children.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are for children to become lifelong learners, who embrace challenges creatively, and actively contribute as confident citizens.

The school values are "Aroha" (compassion),"Manawanui" (perseverance),"Kanorau" (diversity) and "Whakakotahi" (showing integrity). These values link through to developing learning dispositions that enable children to become creative, self-managing, connected, curious, reflective, and flexible learners.

The school’s achievement information shows that over 80 percent of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and writing and 90 percent of children achieve at or above the National Standards in mathematics. There is some disparity in achievement. Achievement outcomes for Māori and Pacific students overall are not as high as for the whole school cohort. The school's data also shows outcomes for boys, in writing are somewhat lower. The board, school leaders and teachers continue to focus on actions designed to accelerate student progress and reduce these disparities.

The school's moderation processes are effective. Teachers use rubrics and have robust internal discussions about children's achievement results. They work in and across teams to ensure overall teacher judgements are dependable. Assessment decisions are analysed by senior leaders. The school plans to formalise its external moderation with other schools through its work with the Auckland Central CoL.

Since the last ERO evaluations the school has:

  • strategically planned to focus on 'the child and learning', 'building community partnerships' and 'developing consistency of practice'
  • developed very effective systems and processes to track and monitor the progress of all children
  • reviewed and refined the curriculum plan
  • strengthened and further developed strategic success plans for Māori, Pacific and other priority learners.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds effectively to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Charter targets and strategic goals are clear and appropriately focus on accelerating Māori achievement. Approaches such as child lead discussions with parents, whānau and teachers are part of a focus on 'knowing the learner'. This is resulting in children, teachers and parents collaborating and adults taking collective responsibility for the wellbeing and learning progress of all children.

Senior leaders have developed very effective systems and processes for identifying, tracking, monitoring and responding to the needs of Māori children whose achievement is below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. A Māori success and acceleration plan guides development.

In 2016 the school introduced collaborative learning plans that specifically target children at risk of not achieving. These plans are developed with parents and whānau to promote acceleration. Many other teaching strategies and intervention programmes are being implemented and are resulting in accelerated progress for the majority of children. The school has plans to evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives. The outcomes of the evaluations should then be shared appropriately with parents and the community.

The school has a strategic approach for promoting bi-cultural practices. School leaders and teachers have been responsive to whānau aspirations. There are a variety of successful strategies in place to promote te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, for children and staff. Whānau who spoke with ERO, affirm the support and priority senior leaders place on strengthening bi-cultural practices.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds well to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School leaders and teachers collate and analyse achievement data well. They inquire into emerging trends relating to specific year levels, groups and individual children. As a result, teachers and leaders know which children are at risk of not achieving and set targets and take action to accelerate their progress. The strategies in place to accelerate children's' achievement in reading, writing and mathematics include;

  • in class interventions with class teachers
  • in class interventions supported and reinforced by teacher aides
  • out of class acceleration programmes supported by specialist teachers.

In 2016 a specific initiative has appropriately targeted boys writing. Analysis of the outcomes of this and other initiatives is likely to help evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts. Leaders should continue to research other intervention strategies that could also be used to address children's learning needs and accelerate progress.

Teacher's plan to meet learning needs well. They scaffold children's learning through a range of learning experiences across the curriculum and build on what they know about individual children's interests, strengths and capabilities. Teacher aides work effectively alongside teachers supporting children with identified needs in many classrooms.

Teachers regularly discuss, inquire into, and strategize together about how to better support the progress of individual children. They routinely share good practice to accelerate progress and enhance learning outcomes for children.

Teacher inquiry is being used well by teachers to gauge the impact of their teaching and intervention initiatives on children's progress. This work is also well aligned to the school's strategic achievement targets and is linked to teacher appraisal processes.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

Cornwall Park District School's curriculum and organisational processes are becoming increasingly effective.

The school's curriculum reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the school's vision, values and goals. It also appropriately prioritises reading, writing and mathematics as the foundations of learning. Since the last ERO evaluations the school has reviewed the curriculum and further refined and embedded the school's inquiry learning model. As a result, children experience a curriculum that is responsive to their interests and allows them to take ownership of and direct their own learning.

E -learning and information, communication and technologies (I.C.T.) are integrated and woven through the curriculum. Classroom programmes are enhanced by specialist teachers who deliver Mandarin, music and physical education programmes. These special features of the curriculum support and enact the school's mission and commitment to holistic education.

Effective teaching strategies are evident. Children are actively involved in their learning. Teachers and children now share a common 'language of learning'. Children are learning to monitor and track their own progress and achievement, and identify their next learning steps. Children benefit from settled and positive classrooms and benefit from many opportunities to collaborate with their peers and teachers. They are articulate, confident, friendly and respectful and have a positive sense of belonging in the school.

Leadership is effective and reflects the school's strategic goals. The principal and senior leaders work collaboratively to promote high expectations and continuous school improvement. Leaders have a clear focus on raising achievement, and maintain a good line of sight across children's progress and achievement. Systems to identify, track, and monitor the progress of all children who need to make accelerated progress are effective. Comprehensive progress and achievement reports are received by the board of trustees.

Leaders provide clear guidelines and expectations for staff to support teaching and learning. They promote leadership opportunities, and value the strengths, talents, interests and contributions of staff members. Leaders and teachers are open to new learning. Professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher aides, are being used to refine and introduce new programmes and initiatives to help maximise children's success. The leadership team and the board have been working to build and strengthen partnerships and trust within the community and remain committed to continuing and furthering this work.

Parents and whānau appreciate open collaborative communication with teachers. They value the school's bicultural practices and the way diversity is celebrated, and the visibility of the school's values. Parents acknowledge the board's communication strategy and its work to build positive relationships across the school community. They support the work of the board's 'Collaborative Planning Group' and are keen for the work of this group, and engagement initiatives with parents, to continue.

The school is extending networking and collaborative practices through membership of the CoL. The school's strategic plan is linked to the CoL's goals and contributes positively to accelerating the progress of children at risk of not achieving.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

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

Cornwall Park District School is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Children's learning and wellbeing are central to decision making and there is a collective commitment to raising children's achievement. Leaders foster a school culture that is caring, affirming and respectful. Transitions are well managed and responsive to the needs of individual children.

The board of trustees is made up of experienced and recently elected trustees. Currently, two additional trustees are being co-opted to increase parent voice and reflect the school's diverse community. Trustees have the child at the heart of their thinking, and a commitment to improving learning outcomes for all children. They effectively scrutinise student achievement information and use it well to make strategic resourcing decisions to improve learner outcomes. The board has well established internal evaluation processes in place.

The board is responsive to the views and aspirations of the parent community. Trustees are working strategically to strengthen and improve communication, community liaison and to develop greater transparency around board processes and operations. The establishment of a collective planning group with parents is an initiative that is helping to build positive relationships.

Through internal evaluation and ERO's external evaluation, senior leaders identified the following development areas. These include:

  • continuing with plans and interventions to reduce the disparity in achievement in children's writing
  • continuing to evaluate and report on the effectiveness of recently introduced strategies and initiatives designed to accelerate children's progress
  • continuing the momentum of engagement with the community so that parents and whānau are active partners in their children's learning.

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continues to implement strategies that strengthen and promote reciprocal learner-centred partnerships with parents, whānau and the community. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 February 2017

About the school

Location

Greenlane, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1256

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

694

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Pasifika

Japanese

Korean

British/Irish

Filipino

Middle Eastern

Sri Lankan

other Asian

other

6%

42%

22%

11%

5%

2%

2%

1%

1%

1%

1%

4%

2%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

8 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Special Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2015

April 2014

February 2011