Lauriston School - 21/11/2018

School Context

Lauriston School is a Years 1 to 6 school located in the rural Mid-Canterbury community of Lauriston. The school shares its board of trustees with Mount Hutt College. It has a current roll of 87 students.

The school’s overarching vision is to create ‘a thriving learning community READY for success.’ The valued outcomes for the school community, known as ‘READY’, comprise ideas about being ‘Respectful’ (tipu), ‘Enterprising’ (maui), ‘Achievers’ (kowhiri), ‘Determined’ (hiranga) and ‘Your choice’ (ko kōe). The school uses ANGITU MĀORI, a framework for curriculum delivery and self review.

The school’s current strategic goals are aligned with its valued outcomes and are to:

  • accelerate achievement in reading, writing and mathematics (Respect – pedagogical practice linked to teacher inquiry and annual targets)

  • empower all learners (Enterprise – ‘culture’, innovative practice, living values, strengthening partnerships and networks)

  • thrive – in an optimal learning environment (Achievement – ‘Nga whare Manaki’ equitable outcomes)

  • sustain an optimal learning environment (Determination – sustainable systems).

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been two changes in personnel at senior leadership level. A new principal was appointed in 2017, and there is a relieving deputy principal. Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) support was concluded in mid-2017.

The school has made strong progress in addressing most of the areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO review.

The school is an active participant in the Opuke Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working strongly towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

According to the school’s information, most students are achieving at or above New Zealand Curriculum (s) expectations. The 2017 data for reading, writing and mathematics shows that most students achieve at or above expectations.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is effective in accelerating learning for its targeted students. Consideration is given to extending students currently ‘at’ curriculum expectations to ‘above’. All Māori learners are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s mid-2018 progress information for target groups shows the following:

  • most girls in a Year 4-6 group for mathematics are now at or above curriculum expectations

  • almost all boys in a Year 3-5 group for mathematics are now at or above curriculum expectations

  • almost all students in a Year 1-2 group for writing are now at or above curriculum expectations

  • the majority of students in a Year 1-2 group for reading are now at or above curriculum expectations.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

School leaders are focused on effective change management. They are identifying those processes and practices which are most effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning. Since mid-2017, the principal, in conjunction with the board, has introduced a number of key changes related to communication practices and school systems. These changes are well-paced and well-considered.

Communication processes and practices within the school and with the wider community are thoughtful, responsive to need, and culturally aware. The principal has focused on developing a culture of respectful interactions at all levels of the school. There is a strong relationship and effective sharing of information and ideas between the board and school leadership. Teacher professional discussions and reflections about student learning are encouraged. Families and whānau, particularly for children needing additional support, are well-informed about their children’s learning progress and achievement. The emphasis on effective communication is contributing to a culture of relational trust within the school, and between the school and its wider community.

School systems for strategic planning, annual planning and teacher professional learning are coherent and aligned. ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ is well established and meaningfully applied to develop teacher professional capability and provide targeted support for student learning. Teacher professional learning and development is aligned with teacher inquiries, the needs of students, the appraisal system and the school’s strategic goals and targets.

The curriculum promotes student self-belief and enterprise. Teachers encourage students to develop confidence and to challenge themselves. The framework and school guidelines for achieving success for Māori, ‘ANGITU MĀORI’ are woven through the curriculum and emphasise a culture of care and wellbeing for all students. Bicultural knowledge, understanding and respect is well-developed. A kaiawhina works with the principal, teachers, students and the board to embed Māori values in an approach the school calls ngā whare manaki.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Student agency is an aspect of learning that needs strengthening. In particular, students need:

  • more information about, and clear expectations for, their progress and achievement, based on the NZC

  • task-related success criteria that enables students to better monitor their own learning

  • explicit feedback, including written feedback, that makes it clear for students how well they have achieved in relation to expectations, and that identifies possible next steps for improvement.

The principal has identified, and ERO agrees, that internal evaluation for improvement and accountability requires significant development. It is now timely to evaluate the curriculum (including assessment practices and use of data to inform teaching) and teaching practices (including knowledge of effective teaching strategies). Recently implemented systems and processes should be evaluated over time. In order to gain maximum benefit from internal evaluation, it will be important to:

  • build teacher knowledge and understanding about the purpose, value and processes related to internal evaluation

  • adopt a framework for internal evaluation that is used consistently across the school

  • prioritise evaluations to ensure sufficient time is allocated for a quality and useful evaluation.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • improvement-focused leadership which is managing change strategically and intelligently

  • child and whānau-centred communication practices that are inclusive, respectful and thoughtful

  • strong bicultural practices and Māori values that guide practices, inform curriculum planning and delivery, and support trusting relationships at all levels of the school.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • strengthening student agency by providing students with the information they need to make appropriate decisions about their learning

  • implementing a schoolwide internal evaluation process to identify what is working well and what needs improvement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

21 November 2018

About the school

Location

Lauriston

Ministry of Education profile number

3407

School type

Year 1-6 Contributing

School roll

87

Gender composition

Boys: 44

Female: 43

Ethnic composition

Māori: 9

Pākehā: 74

Other ethnicities: 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

21 November 2018

Most recent ERO reports

March 2016

April 2013