Glenbrook School - 29/01/2016

Findings

Glenbrook School is welcoming and inclusive. It focuses on student wellbeing and achievement, and on community engagement. Spacious grounds are used to enhance the delivery of the curriculum. The new principal and senior leadership team are promoting collaboration and high expectations for teaching and learning.

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?

Glenbrook School, near Waiuku, is a rural school catering for students from Years 1 to 8. Ten percent of the school’s roll identify as Māori and four percent with Pacific cultures. The school values its history, place in the community, rural learning opportunities, and inter-generational family associations.

The school has a growing roll and an enrolment zone in place. The board is planning and positioning the school for anticipated roll growth associated with a regional housing development in the district. The school is currently finalising plans for a new building incorporating modern learning environments to open in 2016.

During the past three years there have been numerous staff changes. At the end of 2013, the principal left the school. A new principal was appointed and led the school until the end of 2014. At the beginning of 2015 a number of new teachers were appointed and during 2015, a new principal was appointed.

The school continues to build a positive profile in the local community. The school’s culture is welcoming and inclusive. It maintains a strong focus on student wellbeing; ako, all learning together; and achievement. Respectful, inclusive and affirming practices help students to have a sense of belonging, pride and security at school.

Glenbrook School is a member of the recently formed Waiuku Community of Learning (CoL) that comprises a group of learning services in the district.

The 2013 ERO report noted improvements in the use of student achievement data and in students’ involvement in the learning process. These improvements have been sustained and further developed. Areas identified for further development have been addressed. These include reducing the high rate of stand-downs, and promoting the language, culture and identity of Māori students.

2 Learning

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

The school uses well analysed achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. School data indicate that students achieve well against the National Standards. Māori students continue to achieve above national levels of Māori achievement. The school should continue to identify ways to achieve parity between the achievement results for Māori students and others in the school.

The board and senior leaders scrutinise achievement information to set school priorities. Senior leaders and teachers use achievement information to target students who need to make accelerated progress. Students with additional learning needs are well catered for through class programmes and additional support. School leaders plan to continue building teachers’ assessment and evaluation capabilities.

Teachers work collaboratively to meet the learning needs of individual students. They know the individual learners, their strengths, aspirations and goals. Teachers have high expectations of students and encourage them to talk about and share their learning with their peers. Students are active participants in their learning. Self-management skills are supporting children to become lifelong learners as they take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

Close relationships and regular communication between the school and parents benefits students’ learning. Parents are well informed about children’s progress and achievement through written reports, student led conferences and portfolios. Reporting to parents has been improved following community consultation. Student goal setting and the three-way conferences are assisting students to increasingly manage their own learning.

3 Curriculum

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

In 2015 the school’s curriculum was extensively reviewed in collaboration with staff, students and the community. A new curriculum will be introduced in 2016 and is planned to be responsive, inclusive and evolving. It incorporates the school’s vision and values and reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). A visual representation of this new curriculum, known as the Korowai of learning, is being shared with the community. It includes elements of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum as a pathway of learning for Year 1 students.

The curriculum emphasises the NZC key competencies, and fosters students’ independent and collaborative learning. Priority is given to literacy and mathematics as foundations of learning. Other learning areas are integrated into inquiry learning programmes. Planned professional development in 2016 will further develop the Glenbrook Model of Inquiry. The extensive school grounds offer students a range of cultural, sporting, arts and environmental opportunities that support their academic, social and emotional development.

Students are engaged and interested in their learning. They benefit from caring and respectful relationships between teachers and students. The school’s values of whakawhanaungatanga, manaakitanga, mana and ako contribute to a respectful and collaborative working tone in classrooms. The curriculum supports positive relationships and student wellbeing. There are numerous programmes and strategies to develop students’ resilience and positive learning behaviours.

An increasing emphasis on e-learning is impacting positively on student engagement. Teachers and students use a variety of digital devices as tools of learning. The board and school leaders plan to continue to progressively extend e-learning.

Students’ transitions into the school, through year levels and on to secondary school are very well managed and responsive to the needs of individual students. The Year 7 and 8 programme prepares students well for secondary school. The programme includes multiple opportunities for leadership, careers education, learning other languages, and learning technology skills.

Teachers collaborate well and implement consistent teaching approaches and assessment practices throughout the school. Changes made to the appraisal process are focusing teacher development on improving learning outcomes for students. Teachers receive useful feedback on their teaching practice.

School leaders agree that curriculum development should include a continuing focus on:

  • embedding the new curriculum
  • strengthening opportunities for students to become leaders of their learning
  • progressing plans for e-learning development to support students learning.

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

Glenbrook School very effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

There is a genuine sense of pride in being Māori at the school. Māori students engage well in their learning and benefit from inclusive practices that strongly promote their wairua and identity. Participation in kapa haka is highly valued by the students. Māori students have meaningful opportunities to lead in a culturally appropriate way including whaikōreo and pōwhiri.

A fluent te reo Māori teacher is supporting te reo Māori learning through the school. Teachers’ confidence and use of te reo and tikanga Māori has increased through a targeted professional learning programme. Te reo Māori is used widely in assemblies and in classrooms. There are regular opportunities for all students to take part in kōrero through mihi and greetings. This affirms and promotes Māori students’ pride in their language and culture.

Whānau views and perspectives are sought regularly by the principal and the board of trustees. These are used in review and strategic planning to further enhance partnerships and educational outcomes for Māori students.

The school has a well-considered approach for promoting bicultural school practices. This is clearly evident in the charter, the school values and in the curriculum. Thoughtful and well-paced initiatives reflect best practice in current education research.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Glenbrook School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Systems for self-review are well implemented. These are an integral part of school operations to sustain and improve school practices.

Governance is effective and trustees know their community well. The school is served by long standing trustees who bring a rich variety of backgrounds and expertise to their governance role. They are mindful of the school’s long history while strategically positioning the school for the future.

Trustees have worked collaboratively with school leaders to strengthen consultation, relationships and partnerships with the community. Parent, whānau and community involvement is welcomed. Parents are actively involved in school events and in supporting students’ learning programmes.

The leadership of the school is highly effective. The principal is successfully promoting school improvement. Leaders are reflective, professional and very well informed by current educational research about effective teaching practice. Leaders provide clear guidelines and expectations for staff. They are effective change managers and promote a working environment that values the contributions of others.

The principal and leadership team ensure that students are at the centre of strategic planning. A recent review of the school’s vision and values has strengthened the school’s direction and provided guidance for decision making and learning.

The board is well informed about student progress and achievement. Key strategic documents, systems and procedures have been reviewed and are well aligned. The board has made good use of external advice to improve personnel management practices.

Trustees and leaders have identified relevant development priorities that include:

  • continuing to thoughtfully plan for and manage future roll growth
  • managing the pace of change, guided by the school’s strategic documents
  • consulting with the community on the school’s health curriculum.

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

Glenbrook School is welcoming and inclusive. It focuses on student wellbeing and achievement, and on community engagement. Spacious grounds are used to enhance the delivery of the curriculum. The new principal and senior leadership team are promoting collaboration and high expectations for teaching and learning.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Waiuku

Ministry of Education profile number

1292

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

241

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Tongan

Samoan

other European

other

10%

78%

2%

2%

2%

1%

2%

3%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

29 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

June 2013

May 2010