Granity School - 30/06/2017

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

The 2015 ERO report identified significant areas for review and development. They were:

  • student achievement
  • curriculum development
  • bicultural perspectives
  • planning and evaluation
  • appraisal.

At the time of the 2015 review there had been a number of changes on the board and in the school. Limited progress had been made since the 2012 ERO review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

The board, principal and teachers have made good progress in addressing the areas for review and development from the 2015 ERO review. However, internal evaluation and continuing to raise student achievement remain areas for development.

Student achievement

Progress

The board, principal and teachers have a clear focus on raising student achievement through the charter and strategic plans. Deliberate teaching approaches and using teaching as inquiry to evaluate these strategies has led to improvements in student achievement from 2015 to 2017. Children can talk about their learning and achievements are celebrated.

Children with additional needs are responded to well through individual learning plans and close monitoring of their achievement.

A few children remain well below the National Standards in writing and mathematics. These children are in the targeted groups to accelerate their learning. They are closely monitored and have classroom and external support.

Professional development with local schools through the Buller Kāhui Ako Community of Learning (COL) is improving teachers' understanding of assessment and moderation.

Key next steps

Leaders and teachers now need to sustain the focus on accelerating student achievement across the school. This includes the setting of additional targets focusing on attendance and engagement of children.

Teachers are yet to develop a broad range of assessment tools to support the moderation of teacher judgements for the National Standards. They need to continue to work with the COL to improve validity of their teacher judgements.

Curriculum Development

Progress

Teachers and leaders have made good progress in updating the school curriculum. It is research based and has clear links to the New Zealand Curriculum and the school values.

Children are benefiting from the implementation of this newly-developed, place-based school curriculum. This document gives clear direction and expectations for teaching and learning programmes. They are localised to the children’s community and cultures. Children are offered a rich range of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Teachers have been using a well-designed reflection tool to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practice. This is beginning to have a positive impact on the strategies teachers use to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

Key next steps

The principal and teachers now need to fully implement the curriculum across the school. This includes extending it consistently to all learning areas. Teachers now need to develop a curriculum review programme to show the impact of the new curriculum on student learning and achievement.

Bicultural perspectives

Progress

Bicultural perspectives are becoming better integrated across the school. Children and teachers regularly use te reo and tikanga Māori in classrooms and in the playground.

The principal and board members are successfully building capacity of the teachers and the community in te reo and tikanga Māori. They are embedding bicultural perspectives into all aspects of the school’s curriculum.

Planning and evaluation

Progress

The charter and other operational documentation now provide clear direction, expectations of roles and responsibilities and timelines.

The school’s vision and values are clearly stated and linked to the school’s curriculum.

The comprehensive charter has clear student achievement targets based on valid data and information about children's learning and progress. The evaluation of the 2016 targets provides a good model for internal evaluation.

Key next steps

The principal and teachers should review the charter to ensure priorities and reporting practices are more manageable and student focused. Goals and targets should be reported against success indicators to make reporting easier.

Leaders need to involve all stakeholders, including student voice, in the further development of the school’s charter and targets.

Appraisal

Progress

The principal and teachers have made very good progress in developing a robust appraisal system. It is focused on raising achievement through targeted teaching and learning strategies. This appraisal system covers all staff and has clear timelines for implementation.

This appraisal system includes:

  • a focus on accelerating student achievement
  • a collaborative inquiry model that helps teachers evaluate their effectiveness
  • classroom observation and critical feedback
  • clear evidence for Education Council registration and attestation
  • summary information shared with the board.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is better placed to continue to improve and review its performance. The board is now stable and has planning systems and processes in place to ensure continuity in governance practices.

Findings

The board and school leaders have a focus on raising student achievement across the school. They are responsive to the identified needs of each child. Reports to the board are more comprehensive and focused on reporting against the student achievement targets.

The board has made good use of training by the New Zealand School Trustees Association to ensure that board documentation is in place and board members are better informed about their roles and responsibilities.

The principal has some good examples of internal evaluation processes that provide good information on achievement and next steps for reporting and planning purposes.

The school has high levels of community support that provide many rich learning opportunities for children. School events are well attended with support from parents and the wider community.

Key next steps

The board and principal need to ensure:

  • principal reports to the board are better focused on achievement targets and identified school priorities
  • that they draw together existing internal evaluation processes into a cohesive plan focused on student achievement and the school values
  • regular school-wide analysis of achievement is reported to the board
  • all policies relating to the Vulnerable Children’s Act are in place
  • that they complete regular anonymous surveys of children, staff and parents.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association support the board by completing a Health and Safety Audit and supporting new trustees with their roles.

The Ministry of Education provide support with raising student achievement and the further development of the school’s curriculum.

Conclusion

The board, principal and teachers have made good progress against the priorities from the 2015 ERO report. To continue this progress:

  • ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning
  • the board requested and ERO agreed to provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

ERO will review the school on the regular review cycle. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

30 June 2017

About the School

Location

Granity

Ministry of Education profile number

3192

School type

Full Primary

School roll

39

Gender composition

Girls 18; Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

14
24
1

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review 

August 2015
May 2012