Fairfield School (Dunedin) - 01/11/2019

School Context

Fairfield School is a Year 1 to 8 primary school with a roll of 461 students.

The values of respect, responsibility and resilience underpin its vision of ‘independence through responsibility’ and commitment to using these values to enhance the school’s learning community. The school’s strategic goals are to raise achievement in mathematics, use assessment data to facilitate learning for all students, and promote a safe and inclusive environment that maximises learning.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the school curriculum expectations
  • achievement in the key competencies and other learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 effective in achieving positive outcomes for most students in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information over the last three years shows an upward trend in outcomes for most students in these areas.

There are equitable outcomes for Māori students in writing and mathematics. The school has been effective in reducing disparity of outcomes for boys in reading, and for boys and Māori in mathematics.

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

The school is effective in accelerating the progress of most students who are achieving below or well below school expectations. School information over the last three years shows that greater proportions of all students achieve at or above school curriculum expectations.

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?

A broad, rich, localised curriculum provides students with interesting learning opportunities in and beyond the school. The curriculum is coherent and well organised. The learning environments recognise the collaborative and social nature of learning. These are managed in ways that support students’ participation, engagement and agency in learning. School values are well integrated throughout the curriculum. Students know and show the school values in their learning. They learn in an inclusive, positive and supportive environment that promotes their learning and wellbeing.

Leaders have introduced effective systems to identify and monitor the progress and achievement of all students. A wide range of information on individual children is clearly documented. Teachers track, monitor and have planned actions to meet the needs of students who are identified as below/well below school expectations.

Students with additional needs are well supported through targeted planning and a wrap around approach to promote their success. These systems, processes and practices contribute to ongoing improvement in teaching and learning.

The principal and leaders foster strong collaborative relationships across the school so that everyone feels valued. The school has strong reciprocal relationships with its community. Student and whānau voice are regularly sought, valued and used to inform ongoing improvement. These practices enhance the positive environment for teaching and learning.

The board and principal support teachers to grow their professional capability as teachers. Strategically planned professional learning has strengthened the collective capacity of the staff. Te reo and tikanga Māori are valued in the school environment. Leadership in this area ensures that staff benefit from well planned, regular opportunities to build their culturally responsive practices, and students have access to a rich bicultural curriculum.

Staff and students are encouraged and supported to develop their leadership skills. There is a useful appraisal system that is based on ongoing inquiry into effective teacher practice.

The board receives regular reports on achievement and curriculum. They use this information to make resourcing decisions clearly focused on improving outcomes for all students.

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

ERO and the school agree that trustees, leaders and teachers need to continue to:

  • build the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening the analysis of school-wide data

  • refine reporting to include consistent judgements in relation to the appropriateness of the amount of progress students are making in all target groups.

These developments will enable leaders and teachers to clearly identify the teaching practices that are most effective in raising achievement.

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 Fairfield School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • strong collaborative relationships at all levels of the school that make staff, students and the community feel valued

  • a broad, localised curriculum that provides students with rich learning opportunities in and beyond the school

  • values and vision that promote self-regulated learning strategies that are increasingly enabling students to be independent learners

  • systems and practices that supports teachers’ professional growth.

Next steps

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

  • building the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening the analysis of school-wide data to inform ongoing improvement.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 November 2019

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3736

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

461

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%

NZ European/Pākehā 73%

Asian 5%

Other 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

1 November 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review April 2015

Education Review May 2010

Education Review April 2004