Gladstone School (Masterton) - 07/11/2019

School Context

Gladstone School (Masterton) is a rural school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The roll is 152, of whom 15% are Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘We Shine’ and its motto ‘Kia Pono - Be Faithful’. The guiding principle is ‘To provide a safe, supportive learning environment where students participate in and contribute to quality learning experiences that build a foundation for the future’.

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

  • literacy and mathematics.

A new principal commenced work at the school in term two, 2019. Most of the teaching team have been appointed since the October 2016 ERO report.

In 2018 and 2019, staff have been working with an external facilitator to focus on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

The school is a member of the South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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?

At the end of 2018, most students achieved at or above expected curriculum levels in mathematics. The majority achieved at or above curriculum levels in reading and writing.

Schoolwide achievement results between 2016 and 2018 have been similar. Disparity is evident for boys and Māori students in writing.

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

In the first two terms of 2019 the school accelerated learning for some students at risk. Approximately a third of target students made accelerated progress in reading and a quarter made accelerated progress in 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 are actively engaged in their learning in caring, collaborative environments. Teachers encourage them to question, engage in discussions and reflect on their learning. They talk confidently about persevering with their work and view errors as an opportunity for learning.

Teachers appropriately collect and analyse individual students’ progress and achievement data to inform teaching and learning. They inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Suitable appraisal processes and procedures, along with professional learning and development, support ongoing improvement of their practice.

The principal is effectively building relational trust and collaboration at every level of the school community. She is leading reviews of school operations and consulting with students, teachers and parents to identify what is working well and areas for improvement. The ‘roadmap’ consultation initiative is an example of one of the innovative ways that community input is requested and considered to inform future planning.

The board has a strong focus on students and their wellbeing and achievement. It has successfully led the school through a period of significant change over the last fifteen months. New trustees are participating in training to learn about their new roles and responsibilities.

A well-considered bicultural curriculum is promoted. Through Kāhui Ako participation, co-led by a Gladstone School teacher, kaupapa Māori is being established.

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

School leaders have identified that the charter, strategic plan and documented curriculum do not reflect current practice and community input. As a result, these documents are being revised and updated.

Leaders and teachers should continue to collate and analyse schoolwide data to track and evaluate the progress and achievement of target students and address disparity. Increased consistency in showing and tracking data across the school is likely to support deeper analysis of the progress students are making. Leaders have identified that increased planning for target students, especially in literacy, is a next step, along with the development of a structured plan with specific outcomes for Māori learners.

Leaders, teachers and trustees should develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation and implement and document this process using the newly-developed template.

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 Gladstone School (Masterton) and its performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • leadership which builds relational trust and collaboration to inform the future direction of the school
  • trustees’ strong focus on students and their wellbeing and achievement
  • a well-considered bicultural curriculum which promotes an understanding of Māori culture, language and identity for all students.

Next steps

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

  • revising and updating the charter, strategic plan and documented curriculum to reflect current practice and community input
  • continuing to collate and analyse schoolwide data to track and evaluate the progress and achievement of target students and address disparity
  • developing a shared understanding and use of internal evaluation.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • continue to update policies, including the development of a policy for physical restraint.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

7 November 2019

About the school

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

2845

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

152

Gender composition

Males 56%, Females 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%
NZ European/Pākehā 80%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

7 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016
Education Review October 2013