Fairfield School (Levin) - 04/02/2020

School Context

Fairfield School (Levin) is a large primary school with 506 students in Years 1 to 8. The roll comprises 47% NZ European/Pākehā, 33% Māori children, 8% of Pacific heritage and 10% Asian students.

The vision is to empower students to be ‘open, self-directed and engaged lifelong learners. E whakarangatira ana te hunga ākonga kia tōrunga, kia motuhake hoki ōna pukenga akoranga mo ake tonu’.

‘Perseverance, respect, responsibility, creativity, innovation, mana and unity’ reflect the values considered by the community to provide a foundation for successful learning.

Strategic goals to 2021 are focused on: providing high-quality learning and teaching programmes; creating a rich, safe and meaningful learning environment; growing and fostering tikanga Māori and Pacific heritage; strengthening and enhancing community relationships; and extending leadership and developing effective processes and systems.

Achievement targets in 2019 seek to: accelerate student achievement in Years 4 to 8 in mathematics and Years 5 and 6 in reading; and promote the health and wellbeing of individuals in Years 7 and 8.

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

  • student progress and achievement

  • wellbeing

  • attendance.

A new principal joined the school in Term 3, 2019. From 2017, schoolwide professional learning and development (PLD) has been undertaken in mathematics, literacy, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and teaching as inquiry.

The school is member of the Taitoko 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 working purposefully toward equity and excellence for all its students. Achievement outcomes are often good, with many students achieving at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Trends from 2016 show a slight increase for Māori learners in writing and mathematics and a pattern of positive achievement for girls in literacy. Continuing to address disparities for boys in literacy and for Pacific students in all three areas are priorities to achieve equitable outcomes for all.

Wellbeing survey information for students in Years 4 to 6 indicates that most students are positive about school.

The school reports high levels of attendance for most students.

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

The school provides a wide range of actions and initiatives to respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. In 2019, some students requiring their progress and learning to be accelerated achieved curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Students who participate in additional learning programmes and those with complex needs receive comprehensive support. Tracking and monitoring processes are thorough, promoting a timely response to their learning and engagement needs. Individualised goals, for high needs learners, are developed in conjunction with parents, staff and external specialists to match the specific needs of students. Transition in, through, and out of school is well managed to suit learners, families and whānau. Appropriate resourcing provision, including the allocation of additional personnel, impacts positively on the progress and achievement of English speakers of a second language (ESOL).

Students’ skills, competencies and capabilities are well supported through their active participation in well-designed curriculum experiences. Learners pursue their interests and passions through a wide range of authentic learning opportunities. Aspirations for Māori learner success encompass the shared values of Ariki, Tohunga, Mangotoa and Aronui. Leaders effectively guide the school in their ongoing development of culturally responsive practices aligned to their vision for Māori learner success. Comprehensive teaching and learning guidelines inform practice expectations that support consistency in the classroom. Access to digital technologies assists student inquiry. Students are well supported by teachers to make decisions in relation to their learning needs.

Students learn in a positive and inclusive environment. They articulate a sense of belonging and connection to their school, of feeling included and secure and where their culture, language and identity are valued and celebrated. Daily interactions reflect the shared school values and promote positive relationships between staff, students and their peers. Well-considered communication strategies engage parents and whānau, in their child’s learning and celebrate achievements.

The vision for student success is central in the decision making of trustees, leaders and staff. Leaders and teachers purposefully engage in PLD that builds capability and contributes to positive student outcomes. Staff are highly collaborative and reflective practitioners. They gather relevant information from a wide range of sources, including current research, that impacts in curriculum developments that benefit learning in the classroom.

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

Strategic planning identifies relevant goals to guide ongoing development. As a next step leaders and trustees should further develop annual and implementation plans. Including key progress indicators should support evaluation that determines the impact of actions and strategies aligned to desired outcomes for targeted students.

Increasing rates of accelerated achievement and maintaining a consistent trajectory for identified groups overtime is required to achieve equitable outcomes for all. Leaders should evaluate current processes, systems and practices to determine strategies and actions that make the greatest difference in accelerating student progress and use this to inform further refinements.

The school gathers a wide range of assessment data. To strengthen current practice leaders and teachers should:

  • review assessment tools and further develop how they are used to determine the extent of student progress within curriculum levels
  • refine achievement targets, giving priority to addressing disparities for boy’s literacy and Pacific students
  • strengthen evaluative commentary to trustees in relation to learner outcomes.

Leaders and teachers have implemented a range of curriculum initiatives designed to strengthen student learning, engagement and achievement. As changes have progressed it is timely for the school to collectively strengthen their knowledge and use of evaluation. Undertaking systematic evaluation aligned to specific achievement targets should provide information into what works for these learners and barriers that need addressing.

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 (Levin)’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:

  • a purposeful response to learners with complex and additional learning needs that impacts positively on their learning and engagement
  • inclusive school and classroom environments that foster positive student involvement at school
  • well considered curriculum developments that are impacting positively on student engagement and promoting self-directed learning opportunities
  • professional capability of staff that purposefully sustains the school’s valued outcomes and seeks to further develop their vision for learner success.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening annual goals and implementation plans to guide ongoing development and support rigorous evaluation aligned to student outcomes
  • building assessment practice to more fully determine the extent of student accelerated progress and support improved evaluation of achievement outcomes
  • building evaluation capability and practice to determine the impact of curriculum changes on students experiencing disparity in their achievement or engagement.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services 

Central Region

4 February 2020

About the school

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2838

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

506

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 33%

NZ European/Pākehā 47%

Pacific 8%

Asian 10%

Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

4 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016

Education Review April 2012

Education Review February 2009