Henry Hill School - 28/07/2015

Findings

Since the 2012 ERO review, significant improvements have occurred to increase the engagement, progress and achievement of learners. Trustees and staff are focused on improving and sustaining positive outcomes for all students. Ongoing review of the curriculum, that involves the school's community, and of school systems should support further improvement.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Henry Hill is an urban school in Napier for students in Years 1 to 6. Of the 228 students attending the school, 79% are Māori and 10% Pacific.

The November 2012 ERO report identified priorities for improvement. The school has participated in an ongoing ERO evaluation process. School leaders and teachers have been involved in professional development in literacy and mathematics with the support of external facilitators.

A new principal started at the school in October 2012, shortly after the previous ERO review. There have been significant staff changes since, and the leadership team and trustees are new.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The previous ERO report identified the following areas as requiring development:

  • raising student achievement, including that of Pacific
  • effective teaching practice
  • assessment practice
  • reporting to parents
  • curriculum review and supporting guidelines (alignment with The New Zealand Curriculum)
  • whānau consultation
  • teaching as inquiry
  • appraisal
  • self review. 

During the ongoing evaluation process, consultation about curriculum development has been identified as an area needing attention.

Progress

Raising student achievement

Teachers regularly share and discuss the progress of their students in syndicate meetings. A relentless focus on raising student achievement in literacy and mathematics is apparent. This continues to strengthen in 2015. The school’s mid-year tracking indicates a likely rise in achievement in relation to National Standards at the end of 2015. Data shows that Pacific students achieve similarly to Māori students.

Monitoring systems are used effectively. A consistent approach is evident across the school to show progress twice a term in reading, writing and mathematics. Additional tracking sheets, used in Years 1 and 2, more closely monitor aspects of literacy development.

Collaborative practice is developing. Successes in students' learning are regularly shared and celebrated.

A wide range of initiatives supports the culture, language and identity of students. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are highly evident across the school. This supports Māori students to achieve success as Māori.

Effective teaching practice

Opportunities for professional learning have increased. As a result, teachers have further developed their subject knowledge and understanding of effective teaching. There is a current focus on e‑learning and mathematics. Teachers are well supported to make appropriate changes to practice.

Teachers use a variety of questions to elicit students' ideas and participation in their learning. Consistent teaching practices are evident across the school, with a particular focus in the junior school, where it is acknowledged that students' foundational skills require development to enable future success.

The implementation of schoolwide planning systems supports increased consistency.

Assessment practice

Staff skills in analysis, collation and interpretation of data show significant development. They have guidelines for when and how assessment information is gathered and used.

Students have a sound understanding of how they are progressing in reading, writing and mathematics. A positive approach to student learning and engagement is evident.

  • Staff should develop manageable ways to consistently provide students with written feedback, both digitally and in books.

Reporting to parents

Parents receive reports that clearly outline where their children are achieving in relation to National Standards. Newsletters explain the purpose of reporting and how National Standards judgements are reached. The community are informed about the school’s changing approach to delivery of the curriculum through informative, open newsletters and online forums.

Curriculum review and supporting guidelines

A new Henry Hill Curriculum was developed in 2013, aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Regular professional development supports teachers to deliver the curriculum and shared understanding of schoolwide expectations.

Improvements are evident. The school has clear mission and values statements. A positive environment is promoted through the development of 'Can Kidz' (students who can achieve). This is having a positive impact on behaviour across the school. Te ao Māori is well integrated into the school curriculum. Academies offer opportunities for students to follow their strengths and interests. Authentic contexts for key learning experiences are apparent. Teaching practices are focused on student engagement and improvement.

  • With the school undergoing extensive change, especially in relation to modern learning practices and e-learning, it is timely to review curriculum documents to incorporate the newly developed, shared understandings. The review should consider students’, whānau and parents' perspectives. Guidelines and tracking should also maintain an overview of topics covered to ensure variety and suitable sequential learning.
  • Community consultation, in particular about curriculum developments, needs to be at the forefront of any ongoing change. It is clear that some parents wish to see handwriting practices maintained alongside the use of digital devices. The principal’s reports to trustees demonstrate that parents’ views are beginning to be taken into consideration.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Leadership

The principal is highly visible in the school and is leading positive change by example. Revised leadership structures ensure that shared leadership is in place. Team leaders work collaboratively with staff and guide consistency in curriculum delivery focused on positive outcomes for students.

The board has developed sound processes. Trustees demonstrate a strong commitment to improving outcomes for all students and seek to communicate effectively with parents. They are focusing on making sure that positive changes are sustainable. Trustees are aware of the need for succession planning.

Appraisal

Appraisal has been developed and modified, providing teachers with regular observation and useful feedback to inform their ongoing development. It supports improvements in teacher practice, implementation of new systems, and alignment to the strategic direction.

Teaching as inquiry

Teaching as inquiry has been introduced and is focused on school and appraisal goals. Teachers keep individual blogs that include the gathering of evidence in relation to the Registered Teacher Criteria.

  • Accelerating the progress of target students as part of teaching as inquiry should be considered.

Self review

The use of self review as a tool to inform improvement is developing. There is regular and ongoing review of policy and procedures. School goals are regularly monitored and discussed by management. Progress is reported to trustees and to the community.

Key next steps:

  • evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of school practices on students and their achievement
  • finding ways to get appropriate feedback from parents. This requires ongoing work.

School systems and processes

Policy review needs to keep abreast of changes in school practice. School leaders and trustees are working collaboratively to improve systems and processes. Documentation requires attention particularly in relation to regulatory requirements.

The board is aware of the importance of embedding and sustaining improvements made over the past two years.

Key next steps

School leaders identify, and ERO's evaluation affirms, the following key next steps:

  • curriculum responsiveness to the needs of students and views of the staff and community
  • further development of teaching as inquiry
  • stronger connections to better engage the community in their children’s 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.

In order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure that:

  • records are retained in the school in accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines. This includes documentation associated with the staff appointment process
  • hazard checking is systematic and consistently implemented
  • policy review is kept up to date and reflects school practices.

Conclusion

Since the 2012 ERO review, significant improvements have occurred to increase the engagement, progress and achievement of learners. Trustees and staff are focused on improving and sustaining positive outcomes for all students. Ongoing review of the curriculum, that involves the school's community, and of school systems should support further improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 July 2015

School Statistics

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2574

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

228

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian

79%
10%
  9%
  2%

Special Features

BLENZ (Visual Resource Centre)

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

28 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012
July 2009
August 2005