Hobsonville School - 08/02/2017

1 Context

Hobsonville Primary School is a well established Year 1 to 8 school serving an increasingly diverse community of learners. The principal, appointed since ERO's 2013 review, is supported by an effective board of trustees. Senior leaders are promoting a student-centred curriculum, based on a school-wide understanding of best practice in teaching and learning. This strategic focus is well supported by a deliberate emphasis on building leadership capability, strengthening whānau engagement, and contributing to a local Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are based on the charter statement Tamariki i ngā rā katoa i ngā ara katoa, Every Child, Every Day, Every Way.

Equity and excellence are further highlighted by the school's mission statement "Learning to learn and learning to live", and the clearly espoused values of Respect, Responsibility, Attitude and Pride (RRAP) that support children's progress and achievement.

The school’s achievement information shows that children make very good progress from year to year. Most continue to achieve at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The percentage of Māori children at and above the National Standards has increased significantly since 2013, and there is now little disparity across the three areas.

The board's goal for 2016 is for 90 percent of children to achieve at or above the National Standards. School data shows positive and sustained trends in overall achievement, particularly in reading and mathematics. Fluctuations at Year 7 and 8 are possibly the result of some children enrolling at other intermediate schools at the end of Year 6.

Improved assessment and moderation practices are making teacher judgements more reliable, enabling school leaders to accurately identify priority learners. Target groups in 2016 for accelerated progress include Year 5 boys, Māori children, English language learners, and students with diverse learning needs.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has introduced a focused approach to improving children's writing. School leaders used achievement information to identify writing as an area for school-wide development. Teachers have engaged with external facilitators to review how writing is taught and assessed. Mid-year results show positive results, with increased enjoyment, engagement and achievement, providing evidence aligned to school charter goals.

School leaders have implemented specific approaches to supporting priority learner groups. The key areas of development include:

  • resourcing classroom teachers with improved ways to identify and accelerate the progress of children with learning needs
  • establishing a Year 5 boys class with well selected teachers to increase levels of interest and engagement
  • consulting with Māori children and whānau about ways to strengthen the school's goal for implementing Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017, the Government's strategy for accelerating success for Māori learners

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very well to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. High expectations for Māori achievement in reading, writing and mathematics inform whole-school charter targets. The progress of each year level cohort is tracked and closely monitored. Whole-school Māori student information reported to the board at mid-year shows the majority are achieving or working towards the targets.

The school has approximately 90 Māori learners across the eight year levels. While the cohort size in some year levels is statistically too small to make useful comparisons, the overall pattern of achievement shows continued improvement in reading, writing and mathematics.

From 2013 to 2015, data indicates that the disparity between Māori children and all other children, has reduced by up to 10 percent. The school's comprehensive Māori Achievement Plan, based on goals relating to strengthening whānau consultation and culturally responsive teaching, is likely to support this continuing trend.

The board has increased resourcing for te reo and tikanga Māori. Whānau who spoke to ERO were proud of the school's approach to promoting biculturalism and to showcasing kapa haka in school and community events. School leaders have a strong belief that strengthening the language, culture and identity of Māori children is pivotal to their success as learners.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration are also responded to positively. The school's close monitoring and effective data analysis, has helped to identify and respond to key groups for targeted support. New initiatives have focused on:

  • a target class of Year 5 boys and target children in Years 7 and 8
  • children who are English language learners and those who have diverse learning needs.

A variety of interventions, such as reading recovery and extra tuition before school, support individual target children. The major strategic focus however, is on building teacher capability to accelerate learning in their classrooms. School-wide professional development in writing is designed to lift the enjoyment and the pace of learning for all children, particularly those below expected levels. Teachers are noticing that children are writing with increased engagement and interest.

Learning leaders, at each year level, are monitoring children's progress and achievement. They support teachers' observational and standardised assessment practices, and check regularly to see if learning has been accelerated. The school is successfully moving some students who are below expectations toward the standard, and extending the achievement of others to above the standard.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and vision for learning support positive outcomes for children very effectively. School leaders have a strong commitment to promoting equity and excellence. They view the curriculum as empowering children to be self-directed agents of learning, confident in their identity and optimistic about their future.

A strategic approach to empowering learners is explicit in the development of a consistent school-wide language of learning. In all classrooms teachers help students to identify the processes, attitudes and behaviours that guide learning success. Children are encouraged to be creative and critical thinkers, to be problem solvers and develop sustainable practices. These are significant and deliberate shifts in the school's learning environment that are being thoughtfully led.

The curriculum is centred on an inquiry approach to learning. Children are supported to move from guided to self-directed independent learning. Teachers share achievement and progress information openly in the classroom enabling children to recognise and address their learning gaps. Workshops are offered by teachers and students in response to identified goals and next steps. Further development of the Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) and digital technologies are planned to enhance these approaches to student agency.

Children are consulted about the curriculum and actively participate and contribute as leaders of learning. As school leaders continue to document and evaluate the school's curriculum design, they could further engage parents and whānau in deepening understanding of student agency. Constructing the profile of a successful Hobsonville School learner, based on the school's key learning steps and dispositions, could also support this direction.

The school is strategically led and organised. Clear goals support the focus on children's learning and wellbeing, whānau engagement and community partnerships. Senior leaders are developing useful networks with other schools and contributing to the establishment of a local CoL. They value and seek external expertise and feedback about the impact of school leadership and the quality of teaching and learning.

Inquiry and reflection at all levels is contributing to effective internal evaluation and ongoing school improvement. Community and student surveys inform decision making and resourcing. Teachers use inquiry to reflect on the effectiveness of their own practice. School leaders use consultation and reflection to identify their own and school goals. Further embedding student agency, and exploring ways to evaluate and report student achievement information are well considered next steps.

Trustees have a range of relevant skills, and usefully contribute their expertise for school governance. They are very goal and future focused and are successfully managing significant property and resource developments as the school responds to changing demographics. Trustees agree that further board training could strengthen their collective capacity for evaluating how they plan for and consider information about the school's progress and strategic development. 

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Key features of school actions that support effective teaching for equity and excellence are:

  • continuing the external professional development in writing that is resulting in a shared understanding of best practice in assessment and learning
  • extended school-wide leadership that is supporting accelerated learning and the targeting and tracking of priority learners
  • an integrated and connected curriculum that enables children to develop confidence and agency as learners
  • a commitment to biculturalism and culturally responsive practices that are strengthening partnerships with whānau and the wider community.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

To develop further capacity for equity and excellence, ERO recommends that school leaders and trustees continue to reflect on and prioritise information from internal and external evaluation, utilising information about trends and patterns in student achievement over time, and exploring feedback relating to learning transitions. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 February 2017

About the school 

Location

Hobsonville, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1314

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

613

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Pacific

South East Asian

European

Japanese

African

other

15%

51%

7%

7%

5%

5%

2%

2%

1%

5%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

8 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2013

June 2009

June 2006