Gisborne Central School - 22/01/2016

Findings

The Gisborne Central School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students’ progress is closely tracked and monitored. Leaders and staff are developing community connections with whānau to enhance students’ learning experiences through te ao Māori and local contexts. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Gisborne Central School is a Years 1 to 6 contributing primary located in the suburb of Whataupoko. The school’s roll of 432, includes 31% Māori. Since the December 2012 ERO report, the roll has increased and a significant number of new staff have been appointed.

Students take pride in their school. They have opportunities to participate in learning leadership beyond the classroom. Leaders and teachers enable students to be actively engaged learners and achievers. Respectful relationships are evident in the school environment. Student wellbeing is fostered and supported.

Families and whānau are involved in school activities. They are valued as partners in their children’s learning. The school has strong links with its wider community. The school has responded positively to the areas for further development identified in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Significant progress has been made in the effective use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Senior leaders have an appropriate focus on improving outcomes for all students.

A good range of assessment data is available and used by teachers to identify each student’s levels of achievement, needs and appropriate interventions. Students’ progress is closely tracked and monitored at class and syndicate levels. End of year achievement information helps teachers form an early picture of students’ needs at the start of the following school year.

The school reports that most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since 2014, there has been a reduction in the gap between Māori and Pākehā achievement levels.

Māori and Pacific students are clearly identified in data and school targets. In 2015, there has been a targeted focus on improving student outcomes in mathematics.

Teachers use multiple sources of evidence to ensure accurate judgements are made about student progress and achievement in relation to the wider curriculum and the National Standards.

Leaders provide trustees with informative reports about students’ achievement and progress against charter targets. This data informs resourcing decisions and helps the board track the progress of target students.

Parents receive a good range of information about their child’s progress and achievement. This is accessed through multiple sources including written reports based on the National Standards, interviews and open afternoons. These avenues prompt parents to share their child’s learning at home with teachers.

Three Tongan students at the school learn English as a second language through a targeted programme. Visits to a local school’s Tongan speaking class supports students to learn through their first language.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The Gisborne Central School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The ‘six pillars of learning’ underpin the school’s curriculum. These include the school’s values and learning progressions that lead to a student graduate profile. The bicultural curriculum is enacted through a focus on building students’ knowledge and experiences with te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Teachers have a clear emphasis on effective assessment and teaching practices that add value to learners’ outcomes. Classrooms have a varied range of resources for students to use in their learning. Students confidently engage in learning conversations and collaborative group work with their peers. Positive relationships and high levels of engagement in learning are evident. Te reo Māori is authentically integrated in programmes and interactions.

Some children have ‘curiosity and book packs’ to take home. These include fun and interactive resources to encourage and support parents and whānau to engage with their children’s learning. This approach is fostering new conversations between home and school.

Students with additional needs are well catered for in a highly inclusive environment. Transitions into and beyond school are well considered and responsive to students’ and families’ preferences and needs.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school promotes educational success for the 31% of students who identify as Māori. Leaders have a deliberate and planned approach to consulting with Māori whānau. This relationship is developing in a responsive and inclusive way. Students’ active involvement in kōrero, pōwhiri and kapa haka supports and values their culture, language and identity as Māori in the school.

The school is developing community connections with whānau to enhance students’ learning experiences through te ao Māori and local contexts. Feedback from whānau hui is being incorporated in a review of the curriculum and development of a Māori student graduate profile.

Leaders have identified the need to explore Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners as a guiding document to consider teaching approaches that best work for Māori students. This should help teachers to further enhance effective cultural practices across all learning areas.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Trustees and leaders actively seek the perspectives and aspirations of students, whānau and families in developing the school’s vision, values and priorities for learning. They are focused on improving outcomes for all students and providing them with equitable access to positive achievement outcomes.

The principal leads and models clear and consistent expectations to build the capability of teachers. He encourages leadership amongst staff and puts a strong emphasis on linking teaching practices to student achievement. Senior leaders engage with and contribute to the wider education community through professional learning opportunities.

The school’s internal evaluation process is underpinned by the use of data to make decisions and decide priorities. A next step is for leaders and teachers to continue to build their collective understanding of, and capability in, evaluation to further sustain improvement and innovation.

Appraisal is based on teachers’ needs and has an emphasis on building teaching capability. Collaborative discussions and sharing of practices enable staff to investigate teaching strategies mostly likely to improve outcomes for students. A next step is to continue to develop teacher inquiries into practices most likely to improve outcomes for students and embed them across the school. Leaders and teachers are working together to identify what good evidence looks like in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria for teacher registration.

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

The Gisborne Central School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students’ progress is closely tracked and monitored. Leaders and staff are developing community connections with whānau to enhance students’ learning experiences through te ao Māori and local contexts. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2564

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

432

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Fijian

Other ethnic groups

31%

64%

1%

1%

3%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

22 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

December 2009

November 2005