Kelvin Road School - 19/06/2015

Findings

Kelvin Road School’s calm environment and caring staff provide a sound foundation for student learning. Students are positive and participate in settled and focused lessons. Although students’ achievement levels are low, most are slowly improving. Positive changes currently underway in the school suggest this improvement is likely to continue.

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

1 Context

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

Kelvin Road School is in Papakura, Auckland. The school’s roll is mostly Māori, with 21 percent Pacific students. The school has undergone significant building and internet connectivity upgrades over recent years. It is well presented and maintained, and reflects an Aotearoa/New Zealand bicultural environment.

The school continues to feature the special strengths identified in previous ERO reports. Students have respectful interactions, are friendly and show positive attitudes towards their learning. The school’s commitment to providing a Māori language immersion and bilingual unit, Te Whatitoka Rimu o te Whānau Kahurangi, remains. The school has continued to seek ways of involving whānau in their children’s education. It also continues to offer a variety of internally and externally sourced programmes and activities aimed at supporting the needs of children and their families.

Kelvin Road School has traditionally featured very stable staffing. More recently, the school’s staffing profile has altered. As new staff strengths have complemented existing ones, new avenues for change and improvement are being opened up. The school is now better placed to address the full range of areas for improvement identified in this report and ERO’s 2012 report.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing how well it uses achievement information to make positive changes for learners.

Teacher professional learning and improved assessment management systems are increasing the reliability of school achievement information. Teachers have more support for making good quality judgements about student learning. They know more about students as learners. Expectations of teachers are more clearly documented and the work of teacher aides is now more focused on supporting students who are below National Standards. A new computerised system is making it easier for the school to analyse and report about student learning.

At the end of 2013, significant numbers of students were not achieving the National Standards. By the end of 2014 results had improved for writing and mathematics. Achievement results for students in the Māori immersion classes are similar to those of the whole school. Although school-wide achievement levels continue to be worryingly low in all areas, the school has shown its ability to promote student progress. The challenge now is to increase school targets and efforts to meet them so that even more students experience success in their learning.

Details about some of the actions school leaders and teachers could take to accelerate student achievement were outlined in this section of the school’s 2012 ERO report. These actions mainly relate to strengthening how well teachers implement formative teaching approaches, and how well they give students ownership of their own learning. Good progress has been made in some of these areas for improvement, but not yet consistently across the school.

Although progress has been made, much remains to be done. The school would benefit from external support and guidance to help with setting targets, accelerating student achievement and monitoring the progress made. External support could help school leaders produce more frequent reports to the board that focus more directly on how well students are progressing and achieving at the school.

Data show the negative impact that non-attendance has on student progress and achievement in the school. School leaders have introduced some positive actions aimed at promoting improved attendance and reducing lateness. They should complement these initiatives with school-wide attendance targets, and targets for specific groups of students who are at risk in their learning. School leaders should regularly monitor how well the targets are being met, and should report their findings to the board of trustees.

3  Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum increasingly promotes and supports student learning.

The school’s settled environment provides a sound foundation for learning. Students are positive about their school. They know and respond appropriately to teachers’ and school leaders’ expectations. They enjoy affirming relationships with each other and with staff who are well intentioned and genuine. Special programmes and provisions strongly support the physical and emotional wellbeing of students.

School programmes prioritise reading, writing and mathematics, and recognise the important place oral language development has in children’s learning, especially in the Māori immersion classes. Students have opportunities to be involved in sport and to participate in school trips linked to their learning topics. Digital learning approaches are growing, and meaningful themes/topic studies related to the local and wider environment help motivate student interest. Classrooms are open, sharing spaces where lessons are planned to build on what students already know.

Improved self-review practices are significantly supporting curriculum development. Self review has helped identify the need for continuing to extend student-directed inquiry and to keep raising the level of learning challenge in integrated studies. It has highlighted the need for increased curriculum links throughout the different levels of the school. School leaders could now use self review to explore best practice for promoting the language, culture and identifies of Pacific students in classrooms and programmes.

Teachers are engaging in a greater range of formalised self-review practices. Teacher appraisal and curriculum evaluations are more robust. Teachers reflect more on the effectiveness of their practice and they participate in increased professional sharing. Focussing this reflection and sharing more directly on student learning outcomes is a next step for teachers.

The school faces special challenges in its attempts to devise a curriculum that meets the significant learning needs of its students. School leaders should consider different and more innovative possibilities for curriculum change.

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

The school has maintained its commitment to promoting educational success for Māori students, as Māori. This commitment is apparent in the support for Māori provided by the principal and the staff as a whole. It is apparent in the board’s additional funding for, and extension of, the number of classes in Te Whatitoka Rimu o te Whānau Kahurangi.

Māori students have several role models in the school. Long-serving and newly appointed male and female staff add to these models. Māori students, particularly those in the unit, have opportunities to be Māori leaders. All Māori students participate actively in aspects of school protocols and some have notable successes in local whaikorero competitions.

The school has well established relationships with the local marae. It is timely to review the purpose of this relationship and consider how the complementary role of kuia and kaumatua could support students in their learning of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. Including the whole school in pōwhiri and other protocols is a next step that Māori students in the mainstream classes are keen to be part of.

ERO’s 2012 report noted that teachers in mainstream classes should complement the school’s good practices by providing a sequential, integrated te reo Māori programme to increase students’ appreciation of, and capacity in using, the Māori language. The school does have a programme for te reo Māori, but is yet to evaluate its effectiveness. An effective school-wide programme is necessary, especially to support those students who enter the bilingual class when they are in Years 7 and 8.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is sufficiently well placed to sustain current good practices and continue improving.

The school’s performance management processes have been considerably strengthened. A large number of new teachers have been successfully inducted into the school. Teachers have received some good feedback about the quality of their programme planning and delivery. Their appraisal processes have been updated and adapted to help ensure school goals are implemented. A next step is to link performance management systems more directly to student achievement targets.

Increasing the number of school leaders is an important positive development. The increased sharing of middle management and leadership responsibilities helps to maximise the contribution teachers can make to the school. This initiative should enable senior leaders to place their effort on more reflective, strategic and target-based actions.

School leaders and trustees know the community well. They are committed to supporting the rights of students and their families to equity and social justice. They willingly accept any additional support available that will benefit students and their whānau. School leaders are aware of the value of increasing the active engagement of whānau in the school. School planning is now focusing on how this will be achieved.

Trustees are committed to supporting the school’s ongoing development. School-based trustee training and joining a board of trustees association could help the board to strengthen its governance of the school. Trustees should also seek to improve the board's monitoring of how well agreed charter goals and targets are achieved. The principal should adapt his reporting to the board to support this change.

Both this report and the 2012 ERO report contain detail about required next steps for the school. The board should ensure that school leaders address these areas for improvement in systematic, planned and timely ways.

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.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education offers the school support and guidance to help it to set student achievement targets, accelerate student achievement, and monitor and report on the progress made.

Conclusion

Kelvin Road School’s calm environment and caring staff provide a sound foundation for student learning. Students are positive and participate in settled and focused lessons. Although students’ achievement levels are low, most are slowly improving. Positive changes currently underway in the school suggest this improvement is likely to continue.

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

Dale Bailey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 June 2015 

School Statistics 

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1332

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

427

Gender composition

Girls       51%

Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian

72%
  4%
21%
  3%

Special Features

Te Whatitoka Rimu o te Whānau Kahurangi -
Māori immersion and bilingual unit: 2 immersion classes, 2 bilingual classes (that include Year 7-8 students)

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

19 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

May 2012
May 2009
March 2006