Johnsonville School - 03/12/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Johnsonville School is situated in a northern Wellington suburb and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Students’ diverse cultures bring special character to the school. They are enthusiastic, independent learners working in an environment where learning is valued and affirmed. Students enjoy extensive opportunities to pursue their interests, to experience new challenges and to develop social skills. Enviro-Schools’ values, with a strong conservation focus, are encouraged and followed. Students accept opportunities to act as leaders and to be team members. They are respectful, friendly and responsive in their interactions with each other and with adults.

Achievement information indicates that the majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above age expectations. Students exercise considerable control over their current and future learning. They understand the purpose, reflect on ways to improve and set realistic next step goals. Success for Māori is supported by ongoing positive relationships between teachers and whānau.

Families actively support their children’s learning at home. Parents have regular opportunities to better understand the teaching and learning process and the curriculum content relevant to each age level. This school’s curriculum follows values and local preferences agreed through consultation.

Teachers work enthusiastically to make learning fun. Programmes closely match the specific needs of individuals and groups including students with special abilities and complex needs. Educational support workers (ESWs) work collaboratively with teachers to close gaps in student achievement. Enhancing students’ academic, social and physical skills is a shared commitment. Teachers have opportunities to grow their leadership skills and to share teaching expertise and specialist knowledge. There is a strong sense of collegiality and focus on high quality teaching practice.

Students in the special education unit benefit from similarly high levels of teaching, assessment and evaluation practice. Comprehensive and informative portfolios record students’ involvement in many activities and document their successes and progress in achieving small learning goals. Teachers and ESWs work closely together and in consultation with families, to ensure that these students have much to celebrate. Partnerships with parents are strong. Inclusive practice and a climate of students caring for each other are evident across the school.

The principal is a capable, knowledgeable leader. He and senior staff communicate high expectations for student progress and achievement and for teachers as professionals. Sound self-review practices support a culture of continuous improvement and impact positively on the quality of teaching and learning. Strategic and annual planning align closely with self review. Every effort is made to improve outcomes for students.

Trustees are well informed about student achievement. Board planning is flexible and responsive to emerging needs. Trustees set priorities in consultation with families, taking account of the school community’s values. Effective policies and efficient practices are evident in all aspects of governance and management.

Future Action

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

2. Johnsonville School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Johnsonville School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

Capability and sustainability

Senior leaders and trustees have well-considered plans and strategies to sustain ongoing school improvement. The principal and senior staff communicate high expectations for students’ learning and achievement and for teachers as professionals. Teachers have opportunities to grow their leadership skills and to share teaching expertise and specialist knowledge. School-wide professional development focuses on achieving agreed strategic goals and student achievement targets. There is a strong sense of collegiality and commitment to high quality teaching practice.

Trustees are well informed about student achievement. Discussion at board meetings is reflective, evaluating the impact of resourcing and intervention programmes on students’ progress. Board planning is flexible and responsive to emerging needs. Trustees set priorities in consultation with families, taking account of the school community’s values. Effective policies and efficient practices are evident in all aspects of governance and management.

The principal regularly updates trustees’ knowledge of educational initiatives, in particular familiarisation with the National Standards and aspects of the curriculum. There is a collective expectation that all students will be motivated and engaged as successful learners. Students’ academic, social and physical development and well-being are at the heart of decision making.

Student achievement

Students exercise considerable control over their current and future learning. They self assess progress and that of their peers, reflect on ways to improve and set realistic next step goals. Regular school-wide reviews of achievement show that most students make significant progress throughout the year and achieve at or above age-expected levels.

Teachers collate and analyse a comprehensive range of achievement information in literacy and numeracy. The information has multiple uses. Entry data and information from the Six Year Observational Survey (6 year net) indicate progress in students’ first year at school, inform special intervention programmes and ensure that teaching matches individual needs. Trustees and senior leaders review trends and patterns of achievement and make resourcing decisions based on reliable information. Success in the early years is seen as essential to students’ future independence and motivation for learning.

In Years 3 to 6, Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading (STAR) results are analysed and reported. Data shows the majority of students, including all Māori, achieve at or above age expectations, with 33% attaining superior levels compared to 11% nationally. Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) in mathematics also indicate that most students achieve at or above national expectations.

Teachers moderate writing samples against school-determined criteria, aligned to the Literacy Learning Progressions. They interpret each student’s individual achievement stage into goals related to need. The results from writing samples, moderated against the National Standards have been reported to trustees forming part of board self-review information.

Pacific student achievement information is collated and analysed. An individual approach caters for the needs of this small group. Senior leaders can show that individual students make continuing progress to improve their achievement levels.

Teachers, trustees and parents work in partnership. Reporting through three-way conferencing supported by portfolios of completed work means that students, parents and teachers are part of the goal setting process. Discussions about learning are shared between home and school and these contribute meaningfully to self review, ensuring decisions make best use of available resources. Comprehensive use of achievement information contributes to successful teaching, learning and achievement.

Curriculum design and review

The school’s curriculum is highly responsive to students’ needs and to parents’ aspirations for their children’s education. Extensive consultation identified values and local priorities considered to be important for students in this community. Students’ learning begins with their experiences, collective interests and relevant contexts. An extensive choice of arts-related, sporting and social programmes invites students to experience new challenges and enrich their education.

Teachers are highly reflective professionals. They regularly identify and share strategies that have a high impact on students’ progress and achievement. Effective teaching practice includes:

  • planning, implementing and regularly evaluating programmes for individuals and groups of students including those with special abilities and those with complex needs;
  • working collaboratively with skilled educational support workers (ESWs) to plan and implement programmes designed to close gaps in achievement;
  • modifying teaching approaches as students’ needs change;
  • communicating high expectations for successful learning and teaching the skills and knowledge students require;
  • using an inquiry learning approach with students understanding the purpose for tasks, identifying success indicators and next goals for improvement;
  • supporting learning with thoughtfully selected practical materials and texts;
  • giving students time to think and to persevere until they are satisfied with their work; and
  • ensuring classroom environments celebrate effort and achievement, as well as providing examples of ‘best’ work and cues for learning.

Students in the special education unit benefit from similarly high quality teaching, assessment and evaluation practices. Comprehensive and informative portfolios record students’ involvement in many activities and document their successes and progress in achieving small learning goals. Teachers and ESWs work closely together and in consultation with families, to ensure that these students have much to celebrate. Partnerships with parents are strong. Inclusive practice and a climate of students caring for each other are evident across the school.

Areas for development and review

ERO, trustees and senior leaders engaged in discussion and agreed that to continue to review school practices against the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum is an appropriate next step.

3. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Johnsonville School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and ERO also checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

4. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

3 December 2010

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 - 6)

School roll

357

Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 63%, Asian 20%, Māori 12%, Pacific 5%,

Special features

Attached Unit: Special Education

Review team on site

November 2010

Date of this report

3 December 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2007

Education Review February 2005

Accountability Review May 2000

To the Parents and Community of Johnsonville School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Johnsonville School.

Johnsonville School is situated in a northern Wellington suburb and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Students’ diverse cultures bring special character to the school. They are enthusiastic, independent learners working in an environment where learning is valued and affirmed. Students enjoy extensive opportunities to pursue their interests, to experience new challenges and to develop social skills. Enviro-Schools’ values, with a strong conservation focus, are encouraged and followed. Students accept opportunities to act as leaders and to be team members. They are respectful, friendly and responsive in their interactions with each other and with adults.

Achievement information indicates that the majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above age expectations. Students exercise considerable control over their current and future learning. They understand the purpose, reflect on ways to improve and set realistic next step goals. Success for Māori is supported by ongoing positive relationships between teachers and whānau.

Families actively support their children’s learning at home. Parents have regular opportunities to better understand the teaching and learning process and the curriculum content relevant to each age level. This school’s curriculum follows values and local preferences agreed through consultation.

Teachers work enthusiastically to make learning fun. Programmes closely match the specific needs of individuals and groups including students with special abilities and complex needs. Educational support workers (ESWs) work collaboratively with teachers to close gaps in student achievement. Enhancing students’ academic, social and physical skills is a shared commitment. Teachers have opportunities to grow their leadership skills and to share teaching expertise and specialist knowledge. There is a strong sense of collegiality and focus on high quality teaching practice.

Students in the special education unit benefit from similarly high levels of teaching, assessment and evaluation practice. Comprehensive and informative portfolios record students’ involvement in many activities and document their successes and progress in achieving small learning goals. Teachers and ESWs work closely together and in consultation with families, to ensure that these students have much to celebrate. Partnerships with parents are strong. Inclusive practice and a climate of students caring for each other are evident across the school.

The principal is a capable, knowledgeable leader. He and senior staff communicate high expectations for student progress and achievement and for teachers as professionals. Sound self-review practices support a culture of continuous improvement and impact positively on the quality of teaching and learning. Strategic and annual planning align closely with self review. Every effort is made to improve outcomes for students.

Trustees are well informed about student achievement. Board planning is flexible and responsive to emerging needs. Trustees set priorities in consultation with families, taking account of the school community’s values. Effective policies and efficient practices are evident in all aspects of governance and management.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.