Flaxmere Primary School - 05/04/2019

Findings

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Te Kura o Pāharakeke, Flaxmere Primary School, is located west of Hastings and has 451 children in Years 1 to 8. Over two thirds of the roll identify as Māori. Twenty three percent are of Pacific heritage and include Samoan, Cook Island Māori and Tongan children.

Children and whānau can select one of three learning pathways - Rumaki (Māori immersion), Rua Reo (bilingual) or Auraki (English medium). Rumaki has extended into Years 7 and 8 since the start of 2018. In 2019, 38% of learners are involved in Rumaki or Rua Reo.

The principal, senior and Rakau (team) leaders are well established in their respective roles. The school enjoys strong community support. Responding appropriately to the cultural backgrounds of children through establishing respectful relationships, whanaungatanga, is given priority.

The valued outcomes identified by the school are based on ‘tamariki being empowered and inspired to be their best, be well and become lifelong learners’. These are linked to clearly identified ‘TOA’ expectations for a ‘victorious child’: ‘Kia Toa - Be Your Best, Kia Ora - Be Well, Kia Ako - Be a Learner’. Desired outcomes are explicitly described in graduate profiles linked to each learning pathway.

The 2019 strategic and annual plan identifies priorities for improvement in relation to learning, teaching, the quality of learning environments and partnerships with whānau and aiga. The annual targets focus on accelerating progress of those below expectation in matatini/literacy and pangarau/mathematics and improving attendance for some children.

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

  • achievement in pānui, tuhituhi, korero, pangarau in relation to levels of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics relative to levels of the New Zealand Curriculum

  • outcomes for children with additional learning needs

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • outcomes related to identity and culture.

The school is part of Te Waka o Maramatanga Kāhui Ako.

Since the March 2017 ERO report, the school has worked alongside ERO to respond to the areas for improvement that were identified. Professional learning has further supported the school to extend practices to better support learners.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The school has responded positively to the areas identified for improvement in the previous ERO report. These included:

  • raising achievement through more effectively accelerating progress for those below curriculum expectation

  • strengthening reporting to trustees of achievement and progress across the school to enable them to better monitor progress of target children and the impact of resourcing decisions

  • revising schoolwide curriculum expectations for effective teaching and learning to reflect recent professional learning and more effectively promote learner outcomes

  • ensuring clearer alignment of school priorities, annual targets, strategic vision, curriculum expectations and an appraisal system to better assist ongoing development and improvement in learner outcomes 

  • establishing clearer schoolwide expectations for inquiry and internal evaluation practices.

Progress

A collaborative approach to improving outcomes contributes positively to the acceleration of progress for many learners. A shared understanding of accelerating progress has been developed across the school. Actions to support targeted children needing to have their learning accelerated are clearly identified. Processes to support tracking and monitoring of progress are well established.

An extensive range of strategies are in place to support those children whose progress is not sufficient. Focusing on individual needs is prioritised. Reporting of outcomes for children, including to the board of trustees, is more focused on learners needing acceleration.

School data indicates the majority of children in Reo Rua and Auraki are achieving at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. A range of data indicates improved achievement since 2016. Māori student achievement has improved significantly in literacy and to a lesser degree in mathematics. Pacific learners’ achievement has improved in literacy and although lower overall than their Māori peers, the gap has closed. In literacy females achieve more highly than males, particularly in writing.

Rumaki data shows a small majority of children are achieving at or above expectation in korero, tuhituhi, pānui and pangarau. Matatini achievement has declined since 2016. Supporting consistent improvement in academic outcomes for Rumaki children is a priority identified by trustees and leaders.

Improved guidelines support teachers to make overall achievement judgements. Matrices linked to the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa distinguish expectations at the end of each year level for matatini/literacy and pangarau/mathematics. A range of assessment information contributes to judgements. Making greater use of assessment tool benchmarks, linked to the level at the end of each year (including standardised tools), should further support dependable judgements of achievement and progress across the school.

Trustees have built capability to scrutinise data and to evaluate the impact of resourcing decisions. They question, and in association with school leaders, discuss ways to better support learners. Frequent reporting of outcome information to the board includes whole school achievement, progress in relation to annual targets and the impact of learning support programmes.

Teachers, Rakau leaders, senior leaders and trustees use achievement information to consider the impact of the learning programme on learners. Achievement and progress of specific groups and individuals are identified. Analysis includes identifying factors impacting on achievement. Teacher effectiveness in promoting learning is identified. The impact of strategies on students who were specifically targeted is considered. Next steps likely to increase the effectiveness of actions to ensure more students are accelerating their progress and to a sufficient level are identified.

The curriculum provides a broad range of activities that effectively engage learners. Attractive learning environments successfully support a variety of teaching and learning approaches. Programmes are responsive to children’s interests and needs. An inclusive learning environment has been established that promotes success.

Teaching is responsive to students’ learning needs, identities and wellbeing. Culturally responsive practices support and promote student learning. TOA values underpin interactions and behaviours supporting learning.

Teacher practice and children’s learning are supported by guidelines that are in place. The 2019 Annual Plan identifies further development of a localised curriculum and teaching that gives priority to the needs and aspirations of future learners. Aspects of the curriculum development should include:

  • continuing community involvement in shaping of curriculum

  • further promoting school priorities for learners as expressed in the graduate profile

  • promoting student agency and digital fluency

  • supporting sustainability through documenting expectations and guidelines linked to quality teaching, learning and assessment practices.

The capability of individual teachers and the school’s capacity to provide good quality learning opportunities, promote engagement and support the wellbeing of children has improved. The Rakau team structure is effectively supporting greater understanding of learners needs and deepening relationships with whānau and aiga. Teachers regularly share practices to improve teaching and learning. Collaborative approaches contribute positively to a shared responsibility for all learners. A distributed approach to leadership is recognising and further building the capacity of those in lead curriculum roles. Collective sense making informs decision making.

The teacher appraisal process complies with Teaching Council requirements. Individual teacher goals link to students' learning needs, school targets and leadership roles. Developing Flaxmere Primary School quality indicators for teaching and learning linked to The Standards for the Teaching Profession should further support teachers to focus on the key teaching and learning practices likely to promote high quality outcomes for children.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance?

The school is well placed to continue to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Schoolwide expectations and guidelines for inquiry and internal evaluation practices are in place. Formal evaluation includes considering the impact of practices supporting attitudes to learning and acceleration of learning in matatini/literacy and pangarau/mathematics. Student and whānau feedback contribute to decision making. Next steps to increase effectiveness are identified.

The school has:

  • developed capacity to use evidence, including student achievement information, to inform review and evaluation

  • developed a sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and evaluation

  • built capability to sustain and continue to improve achievement and wellbeing

  • established a foundation of values, leadership, climate and relationships likely to sustain and improve student learning.

Leaders, teachers and trustees should continue to develop the use of internal evaluation to extend good quality practices to high, and identify key priorities in continuing to promote learner success.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

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

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

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

5 April 2019

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2560

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

451

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific
Pākehā

73%
22%
5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

9

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

173

Number of students in Level 1 MME

63

Number of students in Level 2 MME

110

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

5 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

March 2017
February 2014
June 2009