Kilbirnie School - 17/02/2015

Findings

The board and senior leaders set clear and positive direction for promoting student learning, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive school. The curriculum provides an extensive range of experiences to motivate and engage learners. Students are confident, respectful and active in school life. The tone is settled and there are strong partnerships with parents and the community.

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

1 Context

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

Kilbirnie School, in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai, caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school enrolment scheme has maintained the roll at approximately 220. Most students are New Zealand European and 9% identify as Māori. About 23% of the roll comes from other ethnic groups.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The long-serving senior management team has provided stability and a strongly structured platform for continuing progress. Senior leaders and trustees have responded to the areas for development in the November 2011 ERO report.

A settled, respectful and inclusive tone is evident.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Students are confident, capable learners.

Teachers use a range of assessment tools ably to inform their overall judgements of student achievement in relation to the National Standards. The moderation process for writing is rigorous and facilitates schoolwide consistency.

Overall, students perform very well. Most students achieve at and some achieve above the National Standards. Senior leaders recognise that teachers could challenge more students to achieve at a higher level, particularly in writing and mathematics, where smaller proportions feature above the Standards.

Those students at risk of not meeting the National Standards are identified and well supported. All teachers have focus groups of students whose learning they work to accelerate. Accelerated progress is evident and regularly reported.

Teachers monitor student progress closely and analyse achievement data. The principal collates this information and uses it to provide the board with regular reports on movement toward strategic targets. Parents are well informed. Some work in partnership with the teachers to support their child’s learning.

Most Māori students achieve the National Standards. The few at risk of not meeting these expectations benefit from specific initiatives to accelerate their progress. The next step is for teachers to challenge the majority to achieve above the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The well-considered curriculum successfully promotes and supports student learning. Senior leaders consult widely to regularly review the programme to ensure it is relevant and meaningful for students. Teachers are highly reflective and provide interesting programmes to enrich learning.

Curriculum design is responsive to students’ interests and needs, and parents’ wishes. It is strongly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum, the school’s charter and strategic plan. The CARE values: Confidence, Achievement, Respect, Empathy, are well embedded. Each term, one element is a school focus.

Teachers make very good use of the local environment and resources to make learning meaningful and fun. The wide range of opportunities, including the enrichment programme, enables students to pursue interests and develop leadership skills.

Literacy and mathematics are given daily priority. Teachers are focused on improving teaching and achievement in writing. They have taken part in professional development that is having a very positive impact on students’ learning and writing achievement. Valued teacher aides effectively support students’ learning programmes.

The school has sound and sensitive processes to transition children smoothly into the new entrant classroom. Teachers know the children’s interests, strengths and areas for further growth. They settle well and there is valuable dialogue between the teacher and parents.

Similarly good processes support transition through the school. The relationship between the school and local intermediate is strong. Student graduation is celebrated and enhancement of success is likely through the planned introduction of the graduate profile.

The board and senior leaders have recently reviewed the bicultural programme. As a result, the school has a stronger commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. The school policy has been rewritten as an over-riding policy for all school procedures. Many initiatives to promote the programme have been introduced. The board has continued to fund a teacher to lead cultural activities and teach te reo Māori to all students and teachers.

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

The school fosters the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Clear principles have been established based on Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017. This provides a well-considered foundation for purposefully promoting success for Māori as Māori.

Plans to support Māori students are well embedded in school and class practice through the promotion of te ao Māori in the curriculum.

Analysis of Māori student achievement data is reported to the board to inform decisions about the development of programmes required to enhance student learning and engagement. Generally these students achieve well.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Kilbirnie School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Governance and leadership are highly effective. High quality review processes and systems are used strategically across the school to promote continuous improvement.

Planning at all levels is well aligned with the vision for school direction. The sound teacher appraisal process facilitates a schoolwide consistency of purpose. The board is regularly informed about intended outcomes and makes decisions in response to this information.

Parent partnerships are valued. Families are actively encouraged to engage in their children’s learning and the life of the school. They are well informed about the school’s education approaches and requirements. School and teaching team newsletters, along with portfolio entries and interviews, provide a range of opportunities for parents to engage with students’ learning and progress. Many surveys are conducted to include student and parent views. Sharpening the focus on student outcomes is likely to enhance this feedback process.

The school website is informative and blogs facilitate up-to-date communication between teachers and home. The board’s regular newsletter and appropriate policies on the website serve to enrich the open communication between school and community.

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.

Conclusion

The board and senior leaders set clear and positive direction for promoting student learning, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive school. The curriculum provides an extensive range of experiences to motivate and engage learners. Students are confident, respectful and active in school life. The tone is settled and there are strong partnerships with parents and the community.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

17 February 2015

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2880

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

227

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

68%

9%

9%

4%

10%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

17 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

June 2008

November 2005