Greenacres School - 19/12/2013

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Greenacres School is a small community school in Tawa. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. Thirteen percent of the roll identifies as Māori and 7% as Pacific. There has been recent roll growth and the school enjoys close links with families. A positive, welcoming tone is evident with a high level of parent involvement in a range of school activities.

Since the December 2010 ERO report, there have been significant changes in the senior leadership team. The principal started at the beginning of 2013. She has been supported by the longserving deputy principal and an acting assistant principal. The new assistant principal starts at the beginning of 2014.

The previous ERO report noted areas for further development in the use of achievement information, curriculum and self review. Although little progress was made to address these areas, the new principal has initiated a very good school-wide programme of professional learning and development this year.

The board of trustees is working with an external adviser to plan the school’s future direction over the next three years. As part of this process, trustees have consulted families and whānau and used the information they gathered to help inform the school’s forward planning.

2 Learning

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

The principal has initiated positive changes to support teachers to make better use of achievement information to further enhance outcomes for students.

Schoolwide data gathered at the end of 2012 in relation to the National Standards showed that the majority of students were generally achieving at or above the Standards for reading, mathematics and writing. The achievement of Māori students was just below that of their non-Māori peers. Pacific students are a target group for improved achievement. Asian students were achieving well and the school provides help for those who are English language learners.

Achievement in literacy was better than achievement in mathematics. As a result, teachers are supported to make better use of assessment information in mathematics, with particular emphasis on raising the achievement of students achieving below the National Standards. The professional learning and development undertaken this year helps staff make good use of achievement information and to adapt their teaching practices to the identified needs of students in their classes.

Information about schoolwide achievement in writing is yet to be collated, moderated and reported. The school’s next step is to continue to support teachers to make better use of achievement information in the teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. This should help teachers to accelerate the progress of those students who are underachieving and trustees to set better achievement targets to support ongoing schoolwide development.

School leaders have sought and responded positively to feedback from parents about the school’s reporting processes. Parents and whānau have opportunities to meet with teachers and receive reports that provide them with useful information about their child’s engagement, progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

Most new entrants settle quickly into school. Teachers make good use of assessment information to plan class programmes and to monitor each child's progress. The school's next step is to use this information as a baseline from which to track the progress and achievement of the same groups of students over six years of schooling.

As part of schoolwide development, older students are provided with opportunities to give feedback about their class programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides students with a good range of academic, cultural and sporting opportunities. Appropriate emphasis is given to literacy and numeracy, together with the arts and physical education. Students learn in settled, welcoming class environments where interactions are positive and supportive. They enjoy participating in activities outside the classroom, and especially the engagement they have during special events with other students at schools in the area.

The principal recognises that it is timely to review the school’s curriculum. This is necessary in order to more fully implement The New Zealand Curriculum and support the vision, principles and goals the board has set for the next three years.

Through ongoing schoolwide professional learning teachers are developing their awareness of effective teaching and assessment practices in mathematics and other areas. They are provided with useful feedback and next steps related to class observations.

The school provides a range of additional support for students with special needs and teachers monitor their progress. School leaders have identified the need to review these programmes to establish and report on their effectiveness, and use the findings to further enhance outcomes for these students.

An important next step in strengthening teaching and learning is to review appraisal processes and support for provisionally registered teachers. Sound mechanisms are needed to support ongoing professional growth and development.

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

Senior leaders and trustees are working towards providing Māori students with learning experiences that support educational success and reflect their cultural heritage as mana whenua. They recognise that Māori students enjoy a sense of belonging when they see that their language, culture and identity are valued.

Substantial initiatives have raised the profile of te ao Māori in the school. The board employs a tutor to teach te reo me ngā tikanga Māori on a regular basis schoolwide. A lead teacher supports the implementation of this programme. Teachers learn alongside students and the tutor’s contribution is highly valued. The school’s newly formed kapa haka group is gathering strength and mana, and students and whānau see it as a positive element of the school curriculum.

ERO’s external evaluation affirms the board’s plan to engage Māori parents in discussion about ways to enhance their provision for Māori learners. Increased knowledge of whānau values and aspirations should contribute to the development of culturally responsive strategies to further promote Māori students’ success as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to improve its performance. The board has a carefully considered strategic direction for the school and trustees benefit from the support they are getting from an external adviser. They know there is further work to be done to develop the principal’s appraisal and aim to ensure there is good alignment between all aspects of operation. Trustees work in partnership with the senior leadership team and teachers to help all students reach their potential.

The principal provides knowledgeable, professional leadership. She has initiated an effective change management process targeted to the needs of students. She is leading schoolwide professional development, together with a lead teacher and support from an external adviser. The senior leadership team are positive about the school’s direction. It is timely to grow leadership capacity and capability within the school to support and promote continuous improvement across all curriculum areas over time.

Self review is at early stages of development. The board and senior leaders plan to develop shared understandings about the review process and its use at all levels of the school’s operation. The next step is to have a cycle of review to establish the effectiveness of developments over time. The outcomes of review are likely to help students reach their potential as learners.

The strong sense of partnership with families and the ongoing engagement planned with whānau promotes student learning.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

19 December 2013

About the School

Location

Tawa

Ministry of Education profile number

2849

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

210

Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other

67%

13%

7%

13%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

19 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2010

July 2007

September 2004