Goldfields School (Cromwell) - 18/02/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Goldfields Primary School continues to be a high performing school. The board and principal have managed resources well to cater for the steady growth in roll numbers over the last three years. The school benefits from stable staffing with high levels of capability.

Students have a strong sense of belonging and are proud of their school. They have a high regard for their teachers. Students enjoy their school environment and are involved in decisions about developing aspects of the school’s grounds.

Students benefit from a positive learning culture in all aspects of school life. They are actively involved in their learning. They benefit from programmes that are relevant and meaningful, and make choices in their learning. Teachers focus students on learning how to learn.

The school’s vision is to create a love of learning where individual excellence and diversity are valued. Supporting this vision are key learning priorities, including the recognition of multiple intelligences, and promotion of the key competencies. Students know and are able to talk about the school’s vision for learning. This review found the vision very evident in the daily life of the school.

Teachers effectively integrate learning areas in the well-planned programmes. They cater for children’s different learning styles. Students can see that teachers are learners too. Teachers have been learning about ways to make better use of:

  • the links between assessment and learning; and
  • focused programmes to increase students’ rates of progress in writing.

Teachers have high expectations for students and have a detailed knowledge of them. Students respond positively to these high expectations and achieve well. Most students, including Māori, are achieving at or above the school’s expectations in literacy and numeracy. Students achieve to good levels in all other learning areas.

Other notable strengths of the school include:

  • the many opportunities parents have to be informed about and involved in their children’s learning;
  • the high quality of the professional learning linked to the school’s vision;
  • leadership throughout the staff; and
  • the board’s capability to carry out effective review and plan strategically for the future.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

2. Goldfields Primary School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Goldfields Primary School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

Older students are able to talk confidently about the school’s vision for students to learn within a safe, caring, respectful and sustainable environment where individual excellence and diversity are valued. The school’s curriculum emphasises the development of lifelong learning skills, self management, and students knowing about themselves as learners.

The school is able to show improved achievement over time in writing, numeracy and reading. Overall 2009 data shows that students, including Māori, are achieving at or above national performance levels in literacy and numeracy. Trends from 2010 achievement information indicate students have made further improvements in writing throughout the school. Numeracy data from 2009 shows there has been increased achievement over the past two years. The majority of students are working at or above national research data expectations in numeracy. Reading achievement information in 2010 shows that most students are achieving at or above the national standards.

Areas of strength

  • Focus on student achievement.

The school has high expectations for all students to achieve in their learning and make good progress. Senior leaders closely monitor students’ progress and achievement across the school. They provide regular and detailed reports to trustees about this. The information on student achievement is valid and reliable and used effectively as the basis for strategic decision making. There are well-planned programmes for students who require support or extension.

  • Assessment at classroom level.

Teachers know their students well. They gather useful information and can show how they use this to target the learning needs of individuals and small groups of students. Teachers show skill in how they integrate assessment into their day-to-day teaching. They give students specific oral and written feedback about their learning, including useful next steps.

  • Students’ involvement in their learning.

Students learn how to manage and take responsibility for their learning in purposeful ways. They make choices within their learning, including what they learn about and how. Students set worthwhile goals and targets, and revisit these to check their progress. With their teachers, they develop descriptions of what successful learning will look like. Students frequently share and talk about their learning, and take social action arising from inquiry topics.

  • Curriculum design and review.

Senior leaders and teachers have an in-depth understanding of the school’s vision for learning. This vision is highly evident in daily practice. Teachers follow very detailed guidelines about how the vision is to be implemented and for the delivery of the curriculum. The school’s curriculum is closely aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum and is regularly reviewed.

  • Partnership with parents.

Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement, and about learning programmes. There is regular and genuine consultation with parents. Parents have many opportunities to be involved in their children’s learning and their perspectives are valued. The school has used a variety of ways to inform, consult with and involve parents of Māori children.

  • Professional leadership.

The principal provides strong, visionary leadership and empowers others to take leadership roles. She and other senior leaders closely monitor and support staff to meet the school’s high expectations for learning. They reflect in purposeful, well-planned ways, with a focus on continual improvement. Senior leaders involve themselves in professional learning alongside the teachers. The teachers are highly engaged in purposeful professional learning and continually reflect as to how they might improve their teaching.

  • Governance.

The board has developed well-considered strategic and annual plans that guide school operations. Strategic priorities are decided after considering the findings from the school’s review processes. This includes looking carefully at student achievement data. As a result, the school has well-informed targets to improve achievement and meet other goals. Trustees have a wide range of expertise and experience relevant to their roles and responsibilities. They and senior leaders have implemented structures and systems to further build capability and sustainability within the school.

  • Review.

The school has a comprehensive process to review its curriculum and other priorities. Reviews are well structured, follow a clear format and result in very useful information being gathered. The school often consults different groups, including students and parents, to identify what is going well, possible concerns, and constructive next steps. It has frequently reviewed how well it is meeting the needs of its Māori students. The focus of all reviews is on improved outcomes for students.

Areas for development and review

This review has identified Goldfields Primary School as a high performing school. School leaders are always striving to improve what happens at school for students. At the time of this review, they had already identified several priorities for 2011. ERO’s findings confirm these.

School leaders and teachers have completed a comprehensive review of the reading and writing curriculum. Their next step is to review the oral language curriculum. They also want to strengthen teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching te reo Māori and including Māori perspectives into units of work and daily programmes.

3. Agreed Priorities

ERO and the board of trustees agree that the next stages of school development should focus on:

  • extending curriculum review as indicated above; and
  • continuing to build the confidence and capacity of teachers to integrate te reo Māori and Māori perspectives in meaningful ways into daily programmes.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Goldfields Primary School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and ERO also checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

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

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

18 February 2011

 

About The School

School type

Contributing (Years 1 – 6)

School roll

209

Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 75%

Māori 15%

Pacific 3%

Asian 2%

Other 5%

Review team on site

November 2010

Date of this report

18 February 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Reviews October 2007, November 2004 Supplementary Review May 2003

 

18 February 2011

To the Parents and Community of Goldfields Primary School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Goldfields Primary School.

Goldfields Primary School continues to be a high performing school. The board and principal have managed resources well to cater for the steady growth in roll numbers over the last three years. The school benefits from stable staffing with high levels of capability.

Students have a strong sense of belonging and are proud of their school. They have a high regard for their teachers. Students enjoy their school environment and are involved in decisions about developing aspects of the school’s grounds.

Students benefit from a positive learning culture in all aspects of school life. They are actively involved in their learning. They benefit from programmes that are relevant and meaningful, and make choices in their learning. Teachers focus students on learning how to learn.

The school’s vision is to create a love of learning where individual excellence and diversity are valued. Supporting this vision are key learning priorities, including the recognition of multiple intelligences, and promotion of the key competencies. Students know and are able to talk about the school’s vision for learning. This review found the vision very evident in the daily life of the school.

Teachers effectively integrate learning areas in the well-planned programmes. They cater for children’s different learning styles. Students can see that teachers are learners too. Teachers have been learning about ways to make better use of:

  • the links between assessment and learning; and
  • focused programmes to increase students’ rates of progress in writing.

Teachers have high expectations for students and have a detailed knowledge of them. Students respond positively to these high expectations and achieve well. Most students, including Māori, are achieving at or above the school’s expectations in literacy and numeracy. Students achieve to good levels in all other learning areas.

Other notable strengths of the school include:

  • the many opportunities parents have to be informed about and involved in their children’s learning;
  • the high quality of the professional learning linked to the school’s vision;
  • leadership throughout the staff; and
  • the board’s capability to carry out effective review and plan strategically for the future.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

 

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support ongoing improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.