Ellerslie School - 18/09/2019

School Context

Ellerslie School caters for students from Years 1 to 8. It currently has a roll of 800 students. The multicultural roll includes approximately eight percent of students who identify as Māori, smaller numbers who identify as Pacific, and students from other diverse cultural backgrounds.

The school has undergone significant building and redevelopment in recent years. Students learn in mixed-aged groups in Collaborative Learning Spaces (CLS) called Pods.

The school’s vision aims for students to be the best they can be. Student and staff behaviours and practices are underpinned by the school’s 5Bs and 5Cs:

  • to be a good friend, be kind, be respectful, be the best you can be, be helpful

  • to be collaborative, curious, compassionate, creative, and confident learners.

The school’s strategic goals prioritise raising student achievement, developing a schoolwide culture of learning, and promoting culturally responsive and innovative practices.

Since the 2016 ERO review there have been two new principals. The current principal held the position of Deputy Principal for 4 years. The school has recently appointed a new Deputy Principal to join a long-standing Deputy Principal. Additional staff have been appointed to meet the growing roll.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels
  • other curriculum areas
  • additional special support programmes
  • attendance, student engagement and wellbeing.

Ellerslie School is a member of the Maungakiekie Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is making very good progress in achieving equitable outcomes for students.

Over the past three years most students have achieved expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics, including Māori students. The most recent school data show almost all students achieving at expected NZC levels in mathematics, and most students are achieving at the expected level in writing.

The school has identified students whose achievement needs accelerating. Over the past three years there has been increasing parity in achievement for some groups of students. However, there is continuing disparity continues for Pacific students in mathematics and writing, and for boys in writing.

Students achieve well in relation to other valued outcomes. Students:

  • demonstrate positive interactions with others

  • are caring and friendly

  • show pride in their school.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting learners who are at risk of not achieving. Leaders and teachers take collective responsibility and accountability for positive outcomes for students.

The school offers a good number of interventions and programmes to assist students who are at risk of not achieving. Teachers and leaders meet regularly to discuss these students and share practices aimed at promoting and accelerating their progress. The board of trustees provides sufficient resourcing for teacher aides, teacher professional learning and development, digital devices and other learning resources to support intervention and programmes.

For some students, proven successful programmes have helped accelerate learning. These students respond positively to high quality inclusive practices that enable them to participate fully in the curriculum. Deliberate, personalised action plans are used to coordinate support for children with special learning needs.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s processes and practices are increasingly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning. Organisational strengths have been maintained and improved since the 2016 ERO review. Significant change since 2016 has been well led and managed across the school.

The newly formed leadership team promotes a values-based school culture of inclusiveness that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. Leaders respect and value teacher contributions and provide an environment that allows for teacher innovation and creativity. Teachers’ collaborative decision-making and sharing of effective strategies supports student progress, achievement and wellbeing.

School values are visible and underpin the settled, well organised, learning-focused environments. Learning areas are well presented and resourced, and foster good levels of student engagement in learning.

The school curriculum promotes student learning through a variety of purposeful learning experiences. Senior leaders work collaboratively with staff to review and adapt the curriculum to guide programme planning and implementation. Integrated, schoolwide concepts have an appropriate focus on literacy and numeracy.

The school’s distributed leadership model provides opportunities to grow leaders and capitalise on teacher strengths. Purposeful teacher appraisal processes have resulted in improvements to teaching practice. Collaborative teacher inquiries foster a professional learning culture.

Partnerships with parents have been strengthened. These partnerships have promoted and extended learning opportunities for students. This work is continuing. Staff and the wider school community work together to support students to make successful transitions into and through the school, and onto secondary school.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school is at the early stages of implementing the bicultural goals in its strategic plan. To increase bicultural practices and better reflect the Treaty of Waitangi, leaders, trustees and staff need to plan and implement actions to meet these commitments.

Senior leaders could use more evaluative questions to guide the analysis of information about teaching and learning practices. This could provide a clearer picture of the effectiveness of acceleration strategies, and support the focus on increasing parity, particularly for Pacific students.

Leaders have implemented strategies to ensure greater schoolwide consistency in teachers’ assessment practices. Ongoing improvements in this area could help students become more ‘assessment capable’ and better able to direct their own learning.

The school has increased its ways of engaging with parents and acknowledging the school’s cultural diversity. Continued development of strategies to foster the languages, cultures and identities of the multi-ethnic community would strengthen the extent to which school practices are responsive to the diverse cultural backgrounds of students and their families.

3 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board 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
  • finance
  • 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 and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ellerslie School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • staff and students who enact the school’s vision and values

  • senior leaders who encourage teachers to be innovative and focused on improving outcomes for all students

  • a supportive, collaborative and inclusive school culture and learning environments

  • improved schoolwide communication that continues to build educational learning partnerships with parents and whānau.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • further developing the school’s bicultural practices to better reflect the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa

  • refining schoolwide internal evaluation processes and practices to promote ongoing improvement and strategic decision making

  • increasing student self-directed learning opportunities.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

18 September 2019

About the school

Location

Ellerslie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1268

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

801

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
NZ European/Pākehā 48%
Chinese 10%
Indian 7%
Pacific 5%
other ethnic groups 22%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

18 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review April 2013
Education Review March 2010