Leamington School - 11/09/2018

School Context

Leamington School is located in Cambridge and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has experienced significant roll growth and at the time of the review there were 569 students enrolled, 13% of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is for young people to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and the motto is ‘strive to achieve – whaia te mātauranga’. The vision and motto are underpinned by the virtues of respect, honesty, cooperation, self discipline, creativity, excellence and resilience. The vision, motto and virtues contribute to the valued outcomes of developing each child to be effective thinkers, effective communicators, technologically capable, active learners and making a difference.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of Te Puna o Kemureti Kāhui Ako – Community of Learning (CoL). The principal of Leamington School is the lead principal of the CoL, and there is an across school leader on staff.

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 towards more equitable outcomes for all students however significant disparity for Māori boys remains.

2017 achievement information shows that most students are achieving at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls and boys are achieving comparably in reading and maths, however there is disparity between boys and girls in writing and this has been a consistent pattern over time.

Māori student achievement has been increasing over time and the disparity between Māori and Pakeha students is reducing. School data shows significant disparity between Māori boys and Pakeha boys in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori girls are achieving comparably to the non-Māori peers in writing and maths, but there is a 12% disparity in reading.

The school tracks cohort data and value added learning over time. This information shows high levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6 including Maori students.

The school monitors children with special learning needs and reports they are progressing well towards their personal development and achievement goals.

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

The school is not effectively accelerating learning for those Maori and other students who need this. Senior leaders are unable to show collated, analysed and reported acceleration information for students at-risk in their learning.

There is a range of intervention and support programmes for students achieving below expected curriculum levels. Leaders are still developing systems to monitor the extent, pace and sufficiency of progress to determine if students at-risk of underachieving are on track to achieve accelerated progress. Some teachers can show acceleration for individual students but this is not inclusive of all students who require it.

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?

Leadership has built relational trust and effective collaboration for school-wide improvement. With the support of trustees, they have taken a strategic approach to building teacher capability through targeted professional learning and development focused on effective teaching strategies to increase student engagement and their ownership of learning. This is supporting students as they move through the school to achieve equity and excellence.

Students learn in calm, settled, innovative environments that cater for multiple learning styles. In the junior school, a play-based approach to learning is providing children with a range of opportunities that integrate literacy and numeracy skills and foster rich oral language. In the senior school student collaboration and problem solving is highly valued. Teachers promote the school virtues and actively develop the core skills of students to build self efficacy. The ‘Leamington Learner’ profile is enacted with equity and excellence achieved by almost all students by the end of Year 6.

Teachers build positive, respectful relationships with students and their families. Parents and whānau are welcomed in to the school for student-led conferences and are active participants in goal setting. Teachers provide multiple formal and informal opportunities to hear the aspirations of parents and whānau for their children and their learning. Teachers, the special educational needs coordinator and parents, work collectively with specialist agencies to provide wrap-around support for students with special learning needs. The school provides an equitable and inclusive environment and students develop a strong sense of belonging.

The school provides a culturally responsive programme that promotes the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa. Leaders and teachers continue to build their collective capacity in culturally responsive practice by extending their confidence and competence in te reo and tikanga Māori. Leaders and teachers work with kaumātua and iwi to provide authentic learning opportunities for students. These include Matariki celebrations, hikoi around the rohe, and visits to Maungatautari marae to learn about the stories, history and tikanga Māori. Students benefit from a programme that prioritises and values Māori student’s language, culture and identity.

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

Trustees and leaders need to collaboratively develop and implement targeted actions that effectively responds to at-risk learners to accelerate their learning. This should include:

  • charter targets that focus on accelerating the progress of at-risk learners in order to reduce levels of disparity

  • alignment of targets at all levels of the school focused on numbers, names and needs of at-risk learners

  • developing a school-wide shared understanding of acceleration and how to achieve it

  • effectively using data at classroom and leadership level to plan, track and monitor the pace of learning for at-risk students, to make accelerated progress.

Leaders and teachers need to develop effective systems and processes for evidence-based internal evaluation. This should include:

  • leaders evaluating the effectiveness of school-wide intervention and support programmes for accelerating the progress of at-risk learners and report this to the board to inform resourcing decisions

  • teachers effective use of data for at-risk students as part of the teaching as inquiry process. Planning to meet their needs and regularly evaluating the effectiveness of strategies in accelerating their learning and modifying practice and programmes accordingly, is a key component to the process.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. The school has recently reviewed its procedures to ensure they align with all aspects of the Code of Practice.

At the time of this review there were three international students attending the school.

International students are actively supported to fully participate in a wide range of opportunities and events. An inclusive approach builds learners confidence and independence. The diverse cultures represented in the school are acknowledged and celebrated.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of collaboration between trustees, leaders and teachers that builds collective capacity to improve educational outcomes for all learners

  • respectful relationships between teachers, students and families that actively creates an inclusive environment for learning

  • productive partnerships with whānau and iwi that provide authentic learning experiences for all children to learn and value the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa.

Next steps

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

  • aligning targets, action plans and regular reporting to monitor progress and acceleration for at-risk learners

  • evidence-based internal evaluation to identify what is working well for at-risk students to ensure they are making accelerated progress.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 September 2018

About the school

Location

Cambridge

Ministry of Education profile number

1789

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

569

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%

Pākehā 73%

African 3%

British/Irish 2%

Other 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

11 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review September 2011
Education Review June 2008