Granity School - 11/02/2019

School Context

Granity School provides education for Year 1-8 students from a rural area north of Westport. At the time of the review the roll was 27 students.

The school’s mission statement is ‘All children at Granity School will be respected as individuals, their learning needs identified to ensure they reach their full potential as lifelong learners, fostered by competent staff, in a caring, co-operative environment, with the support of the community.’

The school’s belief statements are:

  • we believe that all students are unique and they have the right to reach their full potential
  • we believe that Granity school has a vital role in the community
  • we believe learning is a journey of discovery
  • we believe in providing high quality education
  • we believe every child should be safe in our school environment
  • we believe that learning should be an exciting and interesting process
  • we believe Wahi/Place, Tikanga/Practices, Tangata/ People and Kaupapa Ako/Programmes is where the curriculum rests.

The current key curriculum goals are:

  • continue to develop digital literacy capabilities for students in relation to skills and inquiry learning.
  • continue to promote effective spelling teaching across the school.
  • continue to promote effective reading teaching across the school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information in the following areas:

  • mathematics, reading, writing and spelling

  • attendance.

Granity school is close to the beach and is the hub of the small community. Teachers use the local environment within the curriculum.

The school is a member of the Westport Kāhui Ako | 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?

The school is working towards providing equitable opportunities for its students. However, there is little evidence that this is leading to excellent outcomes.

Māori students are generally achieving at higher levels than other students, but still at levels lower than national expectations.

The majority of students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading. In mathematics, the majority of girls are achieving below expected levels. Less than half of all students are achieving at expected levels in writing.

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

The school does not have effective systems to track progress, analyse achievement and show acceleration for the target group of students. ERO was unable to identify any instances where accelerated achievement had occurred.

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 take part in activities that make good use of local resources and provide relevant learning contexts. Teachers organise many excursions into the community. They make use of local people and places to enrich the curriculum. The current focus on the environment and using digital technologies provide interesting learning opportunities.

Students participate and learn in a caring, inclusive environment. There are opportunities for students to have a say about their learning. Teachers and students are respectful of one another. Older children help younger children in the small family-like atmosphere.

The school actively promotes community involvement. There is good attendance at school events. The school and community work together to provide opportunities for local gatherings, such as the recent night market. A parent group has recently been formed. The purchase of a school van has provided the opportunity for greater use of the local environment.

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

Leadership is not yet providing effective planning, coordination and evaluation of the school curriculum. There is a lack of cohesion and consistency in curriculum design and delivery across the school. It is unclear what the school’s expectations for students are, in terms of the valued learning outcomes they will achieve while at the school.

School attendance is low. Specific targets for attendance, engagement and the acceleration of students who need it, especially in mathematics and writing need to be developed.

Leaders and teachers have yet to engage in robust inquiry and evaluation to improve outcomes for students. Decision making around learning programmes and resources need to be based on rigorous analysis of a range of evidence. Current reports to the board are based on a single assessment of one aspect of mathematics or literacy.

There is no regular process of review of how well learning areas are being covered and how effectively the curriculum is meeting the needs, interests and abilities of the students. Trustees need a much more comprehensive picture of school-wide achievement, and what is working, or not, to raise achievement.

Trustees are not yet fully aware of, or carrying out their roles and responsibilities as stewards of the school. There is a lack of rigour in policy review. It is not clear when the school’s charter was last comprehensively reviewed by the key members of the school and its community to determine whether it is meeting current needs.

There have not been any recent anonymous surveys of staff, students and parents to monitor the wellbeing of children and staff. Trustees are not sufficiently well informed to take an active role in making resourcing decisions for the school.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • positive relationships between teachers, students and school/community

  • use of the local environment and people to provide meaningful contexts for learning.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for students in terms of attendance, progress and achievement

  • curriculum development, so that the curriculum is based on clear school-wide expectations for learning and other valued outcomes for students

  • school leadership, so that the board and parents can be assured of the quality of teaching and learning programmes

  • board governance, to enable trustees to fully participate in their role as stewards of the school.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • student achievement

  • curriculum development

  • school leadership and management

  • governance.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in the governance of the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

11 February 2019

About the school

Location

North Westland

Ministry of Education profile number

3192

School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

27

Gender composition

Boys 16 ; Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori 12

Pākehā 13

Pasifika 2

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

11 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2017

Education review August 2015

Education Review May 2012