Fitzroy School - 05/05/2017

Summary

At the time of this evaluation, 403 students were enrolled at Fitzroy School and 103 identify as Māori, nine as Pacific and 23 Asian. A small number are from other ethnic groups and a few are English language learners. The school has experienced considerable roll growth in the past few years.

Since the May 2014 ERO report, teachers have undertaken professional learning and development related to literacy, mathematics, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and teacher appraisal. Leaders and teachers are currently exploring modern learning practices. Next steps identified in the previous report have been addressed through these developments.

Staffing remains stable and new teachers have joined the ‘Fitzroy Family’ as a result of roll growth. Trustee elections in 2016 resulted in some new members joining the board.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a cohesive approach to responding to all students whose learning and achievementneed acceleration. They pursue equity and excellence for Māori and other learners who are not achieving in relation to National Standards.

Since the previous ERO report, leaders have used findings from effective internal evaluation and inquiry to build knowledge to inform and drive school improvement. Teachers respond positively to schoolwide development to continue enhancing outcomes for students.

At the end of 2016, most students were at and above the Standards for reading, mathematics and writing. The school has yet to have Māori students achieving as well as their peers. Examples of acceleration for Māori and other students below and well below in relation to National Standards are evident across the school. At the end of 2016, all Year 6 students achieved at or above the Standard for reading.

Agreed next steps are to: ensure teaching as inquiry has a stronger focus on accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement; and further develop schoolwide systems to show the rates of acceleration and effective strategies for cohort groups over time.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school has a cohesive approach to respond to Māori learners and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most students achieve at and above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The data shows that Māori learners are not yet achieving as well as their peers and more boys are below the Standards for reading and writing compared with girls. Leaders and teachers give priority to improving the achievement of these learners. Pacific and Asian students achieve well. At the end of 2016, approximately half of all students achieved above the Standard for reading, two-thirds for mathematics and a quarter for writing. At the end of 2016, all Year 6 students achieved at or above the Standard for reading.

Teachers know the students well. Achievement plans are prepared for each child and some models include the rate of acceleration expected. Syndicate meetings give priority to discussing particular teaching strategies that enable improvement. The rate of progress each child makes is regularly reviewed against expectations with examples of acceleration evident.

Student progress is well monitored at class and syndicates levels. A schoolwide process for tracking cohort groups over six years of schooling is in the development phase. Leaders are aware that this would better show the rates of acceleration for each targeted student.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School trustees and leaders set high expectations and pursue the achievement of equity and excellence. A range of processes effectively support this.

Students experience differentiated programmes that target their identified needs. They are challenged and supported in an inclusive, responsive learning environment. Appropriate external support and specific interventions are provided and teacher aides are used effectively in classrooms. Students actively engage in their learning, class tone is settled and rooms are attractively presented. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and behaviour. The school’s values of respect, integrity, excellence and resilience are actively promoted.

Leaders and teachers engage in positive relationships with parents, whānau and the community. Parents and whānau have opportunities to meet with teachers, discuss their child’s progress, and gain knowledge about how they can support learning at home.

The curriculum is coherent, inclusive and culturally responsive. Priority is given to literacy and mathematics and ensuring students have opportunities to pursue their strengths and interests across the curriculum. Te ao Māori and knowledge of mana whenua is well integrated. The te reo me ngā tikanga Māori programme is well planned and values such as manaakitanga, rangimārie, ako and hūmārie are understood by students and teachers. Ka Hikitia: Māori Achieving Educational Success as Māori, is used well to guide development.

The board has student learning, wellbeing and achievement as its core concern. Strategic, annual planning and target setting is coherent and aligned to the vision and values. Trustees have clear expectations for reporting student achievement and receive good information to make decisions to improve outcomes for Māori and others below Standards.

School leaders are collaborative and knowledgeable. They implement a well-considered approach to pursue the board’s goals and targets to accelerate the learning of students at risk of underachievement. Emphasis is given to growing the capacity of teachers as leaders to promote improved teaching and learning. Māori achieving success as Māori is promoted and valued.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Findings from the school’s internal evaluation and ERO’s external evaluation identify aspects of school development that require strengthening to achieve equity and excellence.

The appraisal system is well considered and supports teachers to inquire into and improve their practices. Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Māori Leaners, has assisted this development. The next step is to strengthen the appraisal process. Goal setting and teaching as inquiry need to be more responsive to accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement, particularly for Māori and boys.

A system is needed to assist the board, leaders and teachers gain better knowledge about the rates of acceleration for cohort groups over six years of schooling. This should show trends and patterns over time and enable identification of the most effective teaching strategies and actions for improvement.

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building is systematic and coherent. Leaders have strengthened internal evaluation and findings are used to inform and drive school improvement. Including specific success indicators as part of evaluation and inquiry processes is likely to assist the board, leaders and teachers to better gauge the effectiveness of programmes designed to accelerate achievement.

Learning-centred relationships with parents and whānau are promoted. Strengthening reciprocal learning partnerships with parents and whānau to accelerate progress for students at risk is a next step.

Good assessment practices and internal moderation are evident for reading, writing and mathematics. This supports the dependability of National Standard information. Consideration should be given to moderating the judgements teachers make in relation to National Standards with other schools to grow this practice.

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

  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen teaching as inquiry with a stronger focus on accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement

  • develop schoolwide systems to show the rates of acceleration and effective strategies for cohort groups over six years of schooling.

The board, leaders and teachers have a relentless focus on accelerating the achievement of Māori students through the very good school conditions to achieve the board’s vision ‘for students to aspire for, and achieve, personal excellence with the support of the Fitzroy Family.’

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

5 May 2017

About the school

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2167

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

403

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%

Pākehā 63%

Asian 6%

Other ethnic groups 6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

5 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2014

Education Review, March 2011

Education Review, April 2008