Duvauchelle School - 14/10/2015

Findings

Duvauchelle School provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students and families. Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated into the curriculum. The school makes good use of specialist teachers and the skills of community members to extend learning opportunities. The school leaders now need to establish a programme of effective self review to know about the effectiveness of school programmes, and learning and teaching.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Duvauchelle School is a small country school providing for students from Years 1 to 6. Parents and the wider community are actively involved in the school. Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated throughout the curriculum. The school environment is well used by students to work cooperatively, be creative, problem solve and care for the natural world.

Students learn in two classrooms with low numbers of students in the classroom. The board contributes funding for an additional class and specialist teachers to broaden the curriculum opportunities for learners.

The school has recently elected three new trustees. Two new teachers joined the staff in Term 3, 2015. The principal and board chairperson are experienced in their roles.

The school has made considerable progress in meeting the recommendations from the 2012 ERO review. A strategic plan has been developed and the school curriculum has been documented. The school has established closer working relationships with other schools. Internal evaluation remains an area for ongoing development.

2 Learning

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

The school is making progress in improving learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The principal and teachers make good use of achievement information to identify and support students who need more help with their learning. They use a wide range of assessment tools to help them make their judgements on learners' progress and achievement. Detailed analysis identifies student progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

Annual school targets identify students who are at risk of not achieving. These students are well supported in their learning. The board provides considerable resources to support a number of extra programmes and teacher-aide assistance for these students.

Area for review and development

ERO has identified that the next steps for improving learners’ engagement, progress and achievement include the principal and teachers:

  • reviewing the effectiveness of special programmes and support given to students at risk of not achieving
  • reviewing plans for supporting students to achieve the school targets
  • strengthening moderation in reading, writing and mathematics to ensure accurate judgements of student achievement against the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school is making good progress in developing and implementing a curriculum that promotes and supports student’s learning.

The school has developed some comprehensive curriculum documents. These documents provide teachers with clear direction for planning and delivering their classroom programmes, assessing student learning and helping students to continue to develop their thinking skills.

Students have a wide range of learning experiences within the school and the wider community. Curriculum specialists in Māori, French and music regularly visit the school to provide class and individual programmes. Community members share their expertise to help to ensure students have a good knowledge of their local community, including Māori and French history. Students also have many opportunities to solve problems, be creative and work collaboratively with others.

The board and teachers place a strong emphasis on student wellbeing, and respecting and caring for others. Students have good relationships with each other and their teachers. Older students are encouraged to take responsibility, show leadership and support younger students.

The school and the neighbouring preschool have established a good programme to support learners' transition to school. Teachers at the school know the preschool children well before they start school. The preschool and school teachers share important information to make transitioning easy and seamless. A well developed buddy system helps to ensure new entrants are well supported by older students prior to, and during their first weeks at school. This helps to develop and build ongoing supportive relationships.

Students achieve very well in the National Standards in reading and mathematics and less well in writing. Māori student achievement is similar to their peers.

Areas of review and development

The principal and ERO agree that the next steps for strengthening the effectiveness of the school curriculum include:

  • ensuring there is a shared understanding of the delivery of the school’s curriculum
  • strengthening student’s ownership and understanding of their achievement and learning
  • continuing to develop student involvement in decisions about their learning
  • implementing the e-learning strategy plan so it better reflects the school’s context.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers place a strong emphasis on including te reo and tikanga Māori in the school’s curriculum and students knowing and understanding the local Māori history. This is supporting Māori students to be proud of their cultural heritage and its prominent place in the school.

Parents of Māori students are regularly consulted about their aspirations for their children. They are actively involved in the life of the school.

The principal has high expectations that teachers and students will continue to increase their knowledge in this aspect of the curriculum. Key school documents include te reo and tikanga Māori and its significance for all students, particularly Māori students. Class programmes include regular te reo and tikanga lessons.

The principal and teachers have a programme for Māori language. They now need to ensure that it builds students’ confidence and knowledge in te reo Māori as they progress through the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is making good progress in developing systems and practices to sustain and improve its performance.

The trustees are developing a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They make appropriate use of training to increase their understanding, and to develop and improve school systems and practices. The board has high expectations that new trustees will be involved in training so they can participate knowledgeably in decision making.

The trustees and principal, in consultation with the community have developed a useful strategic plan. This plan provides good direction for the future development of the school, and is well linked to learning and teaching. The strategic plan clearly identifies what is important for students’ learning and wellbeing in this community and what needs to happen for these goals to be achieved. There are some links between teacher appraisal goals and those in the strategic plan.

Parents and members of the wider community are very involved in the life of the school. Regular board surveys are often responded to by all parents. Responses show that parents are very positive about the school and what it provides for their children.

The board and teachers are active members of a local cluster of schools and early childhood centres. This involvement is providing good support and some useful professional development for leaders and teachers.

Areas of review and development

The board and ERO agree that the trustees, principal and teachers need training to better understand and effectively use internal evaluation to enable them to sustain and improve school performance in all areas, including the curriculum and specialist programmes.

The board and principal should also:

  • strengthen principal and teacher appraisal
  • build leadership capacity amongst the teaching team
  • review the board minutes to ensure they include sufficient information about the decisions that the board makes.

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.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) provide training for the board and teachers in self review to ensure the school can sustain and improve its performance in all areas, including the curriculum and board operations.

Conclusion

Duvauchelle School provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students and families. Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated into the curriculum. The school makes good use of specialist teachers and the skills of community members to extend learning opportunities. The school leaders now need to establish a programme of effective self review to know about the effectiveness of school programmes, and learning and teaching.

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

Chris Rowe Deputy

Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 October 2015

About the School

Location

Banks Peninsula

Ministry of Education profile number

3332

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

34

Gender composition

Girls 18;

Boys 16

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Tongan

25

7

1

1

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

14 October 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

December 2008

December 2005