Kelston School - 05/05/2017

Summary

Kelston School has a stable roll that peaks at approximately 350 children each year. The school roll is culturally diverse with 20 percent Māori, 27 percent Samoan, and 46 percent from other Pacific nations. Increasing numbers of children are from Asian nations or other ethnic backgrounds and 70 percent are learning English as an additional language.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation the board has appointed two new senior leaders and has some new trustees. The principal, board chair and several other trustees provide continuity, building on the school’s strong sense of community. The board and senior leaders have responded well to some of the findings from the 2014 report.

Teachers are involved in a variety of relevant professional learning opportunities. The school is an active member of the recently formed Te Wānau Mātauranga o Kerehana Community of Learning I Kāhui Ako (CoL), a group of seven local schools. Focus areas for this CoL include improving the achievement of Māori learners and strengthening culturally responsive teaching.

Public Achievement Information shows that two-thirds of children at Kelston School achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and maths. Since 2013 the school has lifted Māori achievement in maths. However the school has not been able to lift overall achievement in reading, writing or maths.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Kelston School is becoming more effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School leaders are introducing new initiatives to help promote equity and excellence. These initiatives are beginning to make a positive difference to teachers’ practices and are accelerating the learning of some children.

Leaders and teachers have an improvement focus that is responsive to the needs of learners. Teachers have continued to strengthen the curriculum so that children engage in meaningful inquiry-based learning experiences. The school now needs to develop more targeted, regularly monitored planning, and establish teaching approaches and conditions to support accelerated learning.

A challenge for the school is to develop learning focused partnerships with every child’s parents/whānau. Involvement in the CoL could provide opportunities for the board, leaders, teachers, and the community to share resources about what is working effectively in their schools.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains. ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Kelston School is becoming more effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school, with its community, has clearly stated the outcomes that it values for children. These are community, respect, excellence, curiosity, and honesty, and are described in more detail through the ‘Kelston Learner’ profile. These values are explicitly reinforced, and how well children demonstrate them is shared in written reports to parents.

Leaders and teachers know which children are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. They have introduced new systems to help them monitor their progress more easily. Children with specific learning needs and those who are learning English as an additional language receive extra support. Evaluations of some interventions show evidence of accelerated progress for children. The challenge for the school is to sustain this progress over time.

Teachers have been involved in a wide variety of professional learning initiatives to help adapt practices to meet the diverse needs of learners. The effectiveness of these initiatives is not yet evident. Data from 2013 to 2016 show that the school has not been able to lift overall achievement in reading, writing or maths and is not yet achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

Two-thirds of Māori and Pacific children achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and maths. The school has lifted Māori achievement in maths since the last ERO review. Achievement levels for Pacific children have shown a slight decline over time. Differences between the achievement of girls and boys are evident in reading and writing.

Teachers use a variety of relevant processes to assess children’s progress and achievement. They use this information to plan differentiated programmes. A next step is for teachers’ planning to be more targeted, identifying strategies that will accelerate progress for individual children at risk.

The school has some good processes to ensure that overall teacher judgements for National Standards are reliable, particularly in writing. The recent move to anniversary reporting should provide parents with more reliable information about children’s progress in the first three years of school. The principal has identified that moderating assessment processes and overall teacher judgements with other CoL schools would be a useful development.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s processes and actions are beginning to help achieve equity and excellence for all children.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to build a school development and improvement culture. The leadership team model an openness to learning and working collaboratively. Teachers have participated in a variety of professional learning opportunities. One initiative in particular is contributing to improved curriculum and teaching practices that are responsive to the language, culture and identity of Māori and other learners.

Teachers provide children with well organised programmes and a settled environment. Through the integrated curriculum they have strengthened learning experiences so that they are more relevant to children’s interests. In maths, new teaching practices allow children to take more responsibility for their learning. Children are eager to learn and engage very well.

The most notable process that is contributing to equity and excellence is the introduction of the ‘teaching as inquiry’ cycle. Teachers identify an area of their practice they want to develop and then make evidence-informed decisions about strategies that are most likely to meet the needs of their learners. These inquiries are starting to show evidence of accelerated learning for groups of children.

The board, senior leaders and teachers collaborate with parents/whānau to enhance outcomes and promote learning. The school is working to strengthen this relationship so that parents/whānau have a variety of ways to be active partners in their child’s learning.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School leaders are making improvements to processes to help them achieve equity and excellence. Aspects of strategic leadership and internal evaluation are not yet sufficiently well developed. School processes that require further development include:

  • developing consistency of effective teaching practices, including enhancing children’s ownership of their learning, and reviewing how effectively ‘assessment for learning’ strategies contribute to improved learning outcomes
  • deeper analysis of achievement information for groups of children over time; teachers’ leadership in this role could identify a wider range of achievement targets and actions to be addressed at different areas of the school, informing priorities at the strategic level
  • streamlining action plans and rationalising priorities to allow leaders to more regularly and effectively monitor, evaluate and report what is contributing to accelerated progress
  • strengthening evidence-based internal evaluation by including information about the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives on children’s learning to further support teachers, leaders and the board in their decision making.

Developing a more strategic approach to leadership and governance that ensures a coherent focus on children whose learning and achievement need acceleration, should contribute to greater equity and excellence.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement.
  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning. 

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Kelston, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1331

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

297

Gender composition

Boys      53%
Girls       47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan               
Indian
Tongan
Fijian
Filipino
South East Asian
Chinese               
Middle Eastern
Cook Islands Māori
other Asian
other Pacific
other

  20%
    5%
  27%
  10%
  10%
    4%
    4%
    4%
    3%
    3%
    2%
    3%
    3%
    2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

5 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review

  January 2014
  December 2010