Levin North School - 07/07/2014

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for improving students’ learning, wellbeing and holistic development. A culture of care and relationship-based teaching and learning underpins interactions. A positive and inclusive environment provides a beneficial platform for learning. Review and development of the curriculum focuses on improving outcomes for students.

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?

Levin North School caters for students in Years 1 to 6 who live mainly in the local community.

School trustees, staff, families, whānau and aiaga enjoy positive relationships. Collective responsibility for students’ well being and holistic development is evident.

A culture of care and relationship-based teaching and learning underpins teacher student interactions. The positive and inclusive environment is supportive of learning.

A new principal has been appointed and structural changes to school leadership have taken place since the May 2011 ERO review. The leadership team work well together towards the school’s goals and to improve teaching and learning. Changes to syndicates assist teachers to better support students’ learning as they progress through year levels.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers continue to develop their use of student achievement information to improve learning.

Leaders recognise that although teachers are gaining confidence in making overall teacher judgements about students' achievement, more consistent understanding is needed. This should assist teachers to accurately report students’ progress in relation to the National Standards to parents, whānau and trustees. ERO’s evaluation confirms that this is a next step for development.

Data reported at the end of 2013, showed the majority of learners being at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that analysis of writing achievement information indicates a need to improve teaching to increase rates of progress. Curriculum development in writing is especially necessary to improve outcomes for target students identified in the school's 2014 charter.

3 Curriculum

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

Ongoing review and development of the curriculum focuses on, and results in, improving outcomes for students.

Students experience a curriculum that reflects the intent of The New Zealand Curriculum and is inclusive of te ao Māori. Literacy, mathematics, blended e-learning and inquiry are key learning focus areas.

Increasingly, students are making choices about their own learning through topics and activities of high interest to them. They learn in child-focused environments, with ready access to information and communication technologies. This promotes enthusiasm, motivation and active engagement in learning.

ERO’s 2011 review findings confirmed further development of the school’s curriculum as a priority, including:

  • determining how the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum were to be expressed
  • bicultural and Pacific peoples' perspectives
  • developing schoolwide expectations for teaching as inquiry.

Some progress has been made. Strategic and annual planning includes actions to progress this work further.

Curriculum guidelines are not sufficiently clear for consistent, effective teaching practice that ensures coverage of learning areas. Leaders identify that further review and development is necessary. They should continue to evaluate the impact of curriculum developments and report to trustees about how these improve outcomes for students.

Next steps for development are to continue:

  • professional learning and development to improve assessment and teaching in writing
  • to develop productive learning partnerships with parents, whānau, hapū, iwi and aiaga to include their aspirations for students’ learning as part of ongoing curriculum review and development.

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

The school has a solid foundation of successful practice that impacts positively on the progress, achievement and engagement of Māori students.

Māori culture, language and identity are affirmed and celebrated. Planning is in place to improve educational outcomes for Māori.

Further curriculum development and a deliberate focus on promoting success for Māori, as Māori should continue. Leaders should:

  • strategically plan for and further develop self review to determine the successful practices that support Māori learners’ culture, language and identity
  • ensure te reo Māori learning is progressive
  • along with whānau, develop and express relevant cultural competencies desired for Māori learners; take account of hapū, iwi and the nation’s aspirations; develop clear measurable outcomes and show how success will be reviewed.

Developments should inform relevant changes to the school’s curriculum expectations.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Recent board elections resulted in a number of new appointments and position holders. Some members have undertaken initial training. Further training should ensure all members are assisted to carry out their roles and responsibilities to govern the school.

Trustees support leaders’ decisions to improve the quality of schooling and promote all students’ wellbeing and engagement. Leaders and staff know the value of looking at what is going well and where improvements may be needed. Review informs development decisions and identifies the professional learning needs of leaders and teachers.

Teaching staff are highly reflective practitioners who work collaboratively and share responsibility for learners. All are involved in planned ongoing professional learning that is prioritised through analysis of student achievement information. Intended development for 2014 is for leaders and teachers to inquire more deeply into achievement data to raise student achievement. ERO affirms this developing practice.

Leaders recognise that appraisal practice should be further strengthend. Appraisal for teachers should be robust and identify next steps responsive to each teacher's individual needs. This should further build the school’s capability and sustainable practice.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for improving students’ learning, wellbeing and holistic development. A culture of care and relationship-based teaching and learning underpins interactions. A positive and inclusive environment provides a beneficial platform for learning. Review and development of the curriculum focuses on improving outcomes for students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

7 July 2014

About the School

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2888

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

272

Gender composition

Male 144, Female 128

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

114

127

12

19

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

7 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

June 2008

June 2005