Fairfield School (Levin) - 26/10/2016

1 Context

Fairfield School (Levin) is a large primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Since the April 2012 ERO report a new principal has been appointed. Staff have worked with a number of external facilitators to strengthen school systems and programmes. The teaching of writing has been the most recent focus.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are Perseverance, Respect, Responsibility, Creativity, Innovation, Mana and Unity. These values have been reviewed over the past eighteen months in consultation with the school community.

The school’s achievement information shows that many students are achieving well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, with greater numbers achieving in reading. Writing achievement in 2015 improved across the school.

There has been improvement in Māori student achievement from 2013 to 2015 in writing and mathematics. There was a positive shift in writing of 15% in 2015. This remains an ongoing priority and focus for the school.

Progress towards equitable outcomes for Māori students' achievement continues to require targeted actions. There is disparity for Māori and boys overall in reading and writing. Mathematics has been identified for targeted professional learning and development (PLD) in 2016 and 2017.

Achievement information for Pacific students shows that many achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading writing and mathematics. Accelerated progress has been made for some Pacific students in writing in 2014-15. The school continues to target actions to improve Pacific students' achievement.

Teachers have worked with an external adviser to develop internal moderation of assessment judgements in writing. This has strengthened the reliability of teachers' judgements. The focus for moderation in 2016 is reading and in 2017 it will be mathematics. Reporting to parents was reviewed and the reports contain useful information in relation to National Standards.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has developed:

  • teaching as inquiry
  • processes for identifying students at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes
  • Tikanga Māori across the school
  • the school charter, a conceptual Fairfield Curriculum and learning progressions
  • play-based learning in the junior school
  • student ownership of learning
  • significant use of digital technologies within the curriculum, particularly mobile devices.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school has a clear and deliberate focus on improving Māori student achievement. Comprehensive systems and processes are in place to track and monitor their progress and achievement. Charter targets reflect this priority.

The school's Māori Achievement Strategy 2016-2018 was developed in consultation with whānau. The strategy emphasises and fosters Māori achieving success as Māori. The intent is to continue to raise awareness, build tikanga Māori and raise student achievement.

A next step for the school is to increase the emphasis on promoting accelerated progress for some Māori students. Teachers should continue to deliberately focus on how well their teaching strategies impact on the pace of progress and achievement of individuals.

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

The school acknowledges the growing Pacific community and has developed a Pasifika Achievement Statement in the strategic plan. A charter goal on growing and fostering Pacific culture continues to be a focus for the school.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. There are good systems and processes for identifying, tracking and monitoring these students. Collaboration with external agencies, parents and whānau support children. There is a good range of programmes and initiatives available. Allocated resourcing is used appropriately.

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 conceptual curriculum has been developed in consultation with parents. It has a strong theoretical base and is clearly linked to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Positive aspects of the curriculum include:

  • an emphasis on effective teaching and learning
  • student agency, where students are empowered to determine choice in their learning, accessing the curriculum through their own interests
  • students able to talk confidently about learning and progress in relation to the key competencies
  • learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics aligned with National Standards and NZC
  • students makinggood use of the progressions for self-assessmentand identifying their next learning steps.

There is a deliberate and strategic focus on building and developing community engagement, working towards building partnerships. A range of appropriate and effective strategies is used to communicate with and engage parents, whānau and community.

Teachers began inquiring into their practice in 2015 and developed a useful framework to guide this. To further develop this process teachers should continue to increase the focus of their inquiries on those individual students whose achievement needs accelerating.

Implementation of the appraisal process has been strengthened. There is a useful framework with multiple aspects that inform and promote teachers' professional growth. Collaborative learning opportunities assist staff to develop effective teaching practice. Newly graduated teachers are well supported and mentored.

Leaders are developing and promoting a coherent approach to teaching and learning across the school. Structures, processes and practices have been established to promote collective understanding and ongoing school improvement. The school's vision and values have been reviewed and refreshed and translated into te reo Māori. The board, leaders and staff demonstrate a shared understanding of the school vision and work collaboratively to promote positive outcomes for all students. Student leadership is promoted.

Trustees are very focused on raising the achievement of those students who are at risk of under achieving. They are well informed about school operations and student achievement. The board bases its decisions on a useful range of information. They are involved in ongoing training and seek opportunities to continue to develop their understanding of their roles and responsibilities. The board resources the school strategically to support improvement.

There have been a number of developments in the past eighteen months to support student learning. The school should further strengthen the internal evaluation process by more clearly defining the desired outcomes of these developments. The board and staff should continue to effectively evaluate the impact of practice and programmes on student achievement to ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

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.

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 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

  • 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 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continue to strengthen internal evaluation for improvement. This should include developing and embedding strategies that focus on effectively promoting equity and excellence and enhancing educational outcomes for students. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 October 2016 

About the school

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2838

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

420

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pacific

Pākehā

Asian

Other ethnic groups

28%

10%

52%

7%

3%

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

26 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

April 2012

February 2009

February 2008