Drury School - 25/10/2016

1 Context

Drury School is located in the semi-rural township of Drury, in South Auckland. It caters for Year 1-8 children and maintains a rich history and the traditions of the land and surrounding area including a focus on Enviro-school development. Approximately a quarter of the school's roll identify as Māori and a small number of children with Pacific heritage attend the school. The school has a history of positive ERO evaluations. Since the 2013 ERO report the Ministry of Education has provided professional learning and development support focused on Māori students succeeding as Māori. Staff have had opportunities to be involved in numeracy and literacy professional development and have increased the use of digital devices for learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school centre on nurturing students to be learning focused, critical and creative thinkers, and to become environmentally and socially aware and responsible. The school motto is 'Growth through Learning' and this is visually represented by the image of the large oak tree that once stood within the school grounds. The values of respect, responsibility and honesty enhance the school vision and are promoted through leadership and teaching. As a result, they are reflected in school practices and student approaches to learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that children are achieving well and more than 80% are meeting or exceeding the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2014 the school identified a group of Māori children at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics and appropriate targets were set to address this issue. While there is still some disparity between the overall achievement of Māori and non-Māori this has been significantly reduced over the past three years. Senior leaders and teachers note that they have successfully accelerated the progress of a number of Māori children who have now reached the appropriate standard.

The school has sound internal processes for moderating assessment information that is used as a basis for teachers making overall judgements about achievement. Senior leaders are continuing to reflect on these practices in order to further enhance teacher and team capability in this area.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has taken appropriate actions that have reduced achievement disparity and are contributing to accelerating the progress of children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. These include:

  • developing a Māori Achievement Plan that has been reviewed in 2015
  • establishing a Māori Liaison Teacher who actively works with teachers and students, and strengthening teacher competency in te reo and tikanga Māori
  • establishing expectations for teaching excellence closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum principles
  • gathering staff, student and whānau voice to inform decision-making, establish trusting relationships and foster a supportive learning environment for children
  • strengthening evaluation practices including strategic self-review and teacher inquiry.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is responding effectively to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Through the school's Māori Achievement Plan strategies have been established to connect with Māori learners and whānau. There is a clear focus on promoting productive partnerships with Māori whānau, growing staff knowledge, confidence and understanding of Māori world views and bringing a bicultural perspective to life within the school. These initiatives provide a foundation that supports students to make accelerated progress in their learning.

Senior leaders and teachers know learners well and promote student wellbeing. They work alongside whānau to develop learning-centred partnerships which help them to understand each child's learning needs, interests and strengths.

School-wide systems for assessing, tracking, and responding quickly to children's needs have been developed. Teachers identify children whose progress needs acceleration and adapt their teaching to support these learners' needs. Teachers reflect on, and inquire into, the effectiveness of their teaching strategies aimed at accelerating individual children's learning. This approach is aligned with teacher appraisal and the school's strategic and annual plans.

The board is committed to providing resources that help teachers to support Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

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

The board, senior leaders, teachers and staff use the same good quality processes and practices to support the learning of Pacific and other groups of children, as they do for Māori children.

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?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are effective in developing and enacting the school's vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

There is a strong emphasis on pastoral care and providing a safe environment for all. Children who have additional needs and abilities are catered for. The systems for doing this are well-managed and the outcomes are well monitored.

Children engage well in their learning and are articulate and confident talking about it. They benefit from supportive tuakana teina relationships, set and reflect on realistic goals and many know how well they are achieving. Their voice is valued and their thinking is clearly visible in the senior school classroom. Children have many opportunities to build on their interests and take leadership roles.

The experienced senior leadership team is building teachers' professional and curriculum capability. Staff have been involved in professional development to support bicultural practice, inquiry-based learning and formative assessment. A culture of collaboration and reflection is supporting a broad-based curriculum that reflects the local area and focuses on the strengths and needs of learners and the wider school community. Senior leaders agree that it is timely to develop a Māori strand when they review the curriculum this year.

Trustees bring experience to their roles on the board and have undertaken training to further develop their understanding of school governance. They have confidence in the student achievement information and other reports they receive and use as a basis for making decisions designed to promote better outcomes for students. The board surveys staff, students and parents/whānau regularly and value this feedback when making choices for the future direction of the school.

The board agrees that it would be beneficial to look at using Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees, in the near future. This would help them evaluate how effectively they are promoting cultural responsiveness in the school.

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.

Drury School is well governed and led. Children's learning is promoted and there is a range of successful interventions and strategies in place for children who are at risk of not achieving. Well documented systems for tracking and monitoring student achievement are evident. There is a strong focus on student wellbeing and gathering student and parent/whānau voice. Teachers have good opportunities to reflect on their knowledge and skills through professional development and leadership opportunities.

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

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the EROBoard 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.

7 Recommendations

School leaders and ERO agree that key next steps are to continue with plans to promote student agency and future-focused learning, extend the school's bicultural focus and more systematically evaluate school leadership and governance.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 October 2016

About the school

Location

Drury, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1263

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

460

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Indian

Pasifika

other

18%

72%

5%

3%

1%

1%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

25 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2013

November 2010

October 2007