Dovedale School - 15/12/2015

Findings

The board, principal and staff are strongly focused on providing an inclusive culture and positive outcomes for all students. They have a well-planned, systematic approach to the management and governance of the school. Māori language and culture is highly valued. High priority is given to providing students with rich learning opportunities within and beyond the school.

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?

Dovedale School is a long established school in the rural Tasman district. It serves a diverse community and provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students and their families.

Positive relationships across the school and community contribute to students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging. The school has strong links with the highly supportive local community.

The school has a close and positive working relationship with the Ministry of Education funded playgroup that is located on the school grounds. This supports young children as they transition into the school. It also enables the school’s students to interact with younger children.

Since the 2011 review, there have been changes in staff and the board. This includes the appointment of a new principal in 2013. The identified positive features and strengths of the school have continued to be built on and extended.

2 Learning

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

The principal and teachers make very good use of student achievement information and foster positive engagement and progress for all students.

The school’s achievement information shows that students achieve best in reading and mathematics in relation to National Standards. There is an ongoing targeted approach to lifting student achievement in writing. Teachers closely monitor student progress during their time at the school. The increasing transient nature of the school has an impact on school-wide achievement results.

The board is provided with high quality useful information about how well students are learning and achieving. Trustees use this information as the basis for their decision making.

Teachers use a wide range of assessments to identify and plan for individualised learning and student wellbeing. They make very good provision for intervention and extension programmes to support and extend students' learning.

Students’ learning needs are well planned and closely monitored and evaluated. Teachers have good systems for moderating assessment across the school. The principal and teachers have identified that the next step is to extend moderation practices across other schools.

The principal and teachers have a strategic and targeted approach to ensuring students know about their own learning and next steps. Students regularly set useful learning goals and are being encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

Teachers know students very well and value them as individuals. Parents are fully informed about their child’s learning and wellbeing. Teachers are reviewing the school’s reporting process to ensure that written reports show students' learning progress over time.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in promoting student learning.

High priority is given to providing students with a vast range of rich learning opportunities, within and beyond the school and local community. Regular community celebrations showcase the breadth and depth of this learning.

The board and staff members have recently undertaken a significant review of the school’s vision and values. They have consulted widely with the community to establish the key priorities for student learning. Teachers are now developing a meaningful graduate profile to reflect the parent community’s expectations for their children as learners.

The principal and teachers have high expectations for teaching and learning. They work collaboratively and use a wide range of effective strategies and creative resources to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. An increasing use of digital technologies is extending teaching and learning.

Teachers have positive and supportive learning partnerships with parents. They use parent and local expertise well to enhance learning programmes. The principal and school have close relationships with social and education agencies and make good use of teacher aides to specifically meet individual students' learning needs.

The board receives regular, detailed reports about programmes within all learning areas. ERO has identified that these reviews could be further strengthened by placing greater emphasis on the impact of teaching strategies and outcomes for learning.

The board, principal and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step is to continue reviewing the school’s curriculum. This involves formalising a cohesive school curriculum document that reflects the current community priorities and best practice.

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

Māori language and culture is highly valued and respected within the school. Māori student leadership strengths are recognised and respectfully encouraged.

The board, principal and teachers are very responsive to the feedback from consultation with Māori whanau. They have reviewed and developed detailed guidelines to identify success for Māori as Māori.

The teaching staff have undertaken comprehensive external professional development to extend their knowledge and capability in using te reo and tikanga Māori. This has resulted in increased opportunities for all students to learn about Māori culture in meaningful ways.

The principal and teachers recognise that they need to continue to build on and embed te reo and tikanga Māori in school practices and guiding documentation.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to effectively sustain and improve its performance.

The board, principal and staff are very collaborative and strongly focused on improving outcomes for all students. They have a well-planned and systematic approach to the management and governance of the school that reflects current community priorities.

Trustees are highly supportive and professional. They have a wide range of expertise and experience, are future focused and have given in-depth consideration to succession planning. Trustees make effective use of professional development and are open to new learning.

The principal provides high quality professional leadership and guidance. Teachers’ strengths are recognised and well utilised. They are provided with supportive processes to build their capability.

The board, principal and teachers have very well-developed reflective practices. They regularly review and make good use of findings to inform their next steps and future directions. Parents and the school community are kept well informed about school operation and events.

The school maintains close and professional relationships with local schools. This promotes sharing of best practice and expertise to provide positive outcomes for learners in the community.

The board has recently undertaken extensive community consultation to inform the review of community priorities and future direction. The next step is to develop a clearer progressive approach to strategic planning over time.

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 board, principal and staff are strongly focused on providing an inclusive culture and positive outcomes for all students. They have a well-planned, systematic approach to the management and governance of the school. Māori language and culture is highly valued. High priority is given to providing students with rich learning opportunities within and beyond the school.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

15 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3188

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

43

Gender composition

Boys:23; Girls:20

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

36

7

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

15 December 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

February 2008

June 2005