Lincoln Heights School - 08/02/2019

School Context

Lincoln Heights School in Massey, Auckland, provides education for approximately 400 students in Years 1 to 8. The school serves a multicultural community. The largest groups of students are Pākehā, Māori and Samoan. The school offers two Samoan bilingual classes in Moemoe Fou. The Kahukura Centre provides specialist programmes for students with high additional learning needs.

The school’s vision is “step by step, together, we reach new heights”. The school aims to nurture in children the ideals of respect, engagement, being self-aware, celebration, diversity and honesty.

The school has a new learner profile. This describes valued outcomes for children that include becoming lifelong learners, leaders, and good contributors and communicators.

The board is in the process of reviewing the school’s strategic plan. Key goals for 2019 include strengthening the learning community of Lincoln Heights by increasing parent and key stakeholder engagement.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for children in relation to their:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing for success.

Since the 2015 ERO report, there have been changes to the board, school leadership and teaching team. Leaders and teachers have participated in significant professional learning to do with mathematics, instructional leadership processes and the use of digital technologies to make positive changes for children’s learning.

The 2015 ERO report identified that school priorities for development included:

  • improving the setting of achievement targets
  • rationalising initiatives to help teachers embed effective teaching practices
  • enacting the Māori Education Plan.

The board has recently begun to address these priorities for development.

The school is a member of the North West Te Kāhui Ako o Tiriwā | Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

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 supporting children to achieve well in relation to school valued outcomes. Learners:

  • are celebrated as leaders within their own cultures
  • display a strong sense of belonging
  • interact with respect and confidence
  • actively engage in tuakana/teina relationships.

School achievement information from between 2015 and 2017 shows that:

  • overall reading achievement has fluctuated with a small majority of learners achieving at or above expected curriculum levels
  • over time, achievement in writing has lifted with a small majority achieving at or above expected levels
  • overall achievement in mathematics has remained the same with slightly less than half of all learners achieving at or above expected levels.

The school’s 2017 achievement data show that:

  • Māori, Pākehā and Pacific groups of children achieve at similar levels in reading, with the majority achieving at or above their expected curriculum levels in this subject
  • while the achievement of Māori overall has improved, less than half of Māori and Pacific boys and girls achieve at expected curriculum levels in mathematics and writing
  • disparity in overall achievement continues between boys and girls.

Learners in the Kahukura with high additional learning needs are well supported to progress and achieve their individual goals.

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

The school is beginning to build its capacity to accelerate progress for those Māori and other learners who need to make accelerated progress.

Leaders and teachers have participated in worthwhile professional learning projects. These have helped make positive shifts in teaching practice resulting in an improvement in children’s attitude to learning, particularly in mathematics. However, this work is yet to show as a positive impact on achievement data.

Leaders have recently accessed a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function practitioner, (SAF) to assist them in strengthening assessment processes and lifting schoolwide achievement. This work aims to improve teachers’ capability to scrutinise data and help build evaluative capacity across the school.

Moemoe Fou builds Samoan learners’ strong sense of belonging through promoting their language, culture and identity. Children experience and lead a good range of learning opportunities. Teachers have high expectations that learners will achieve well. There are high levels of spoken Samoan, and children enjoy cultural experiences that are relevant, deep and meaningful.

Leaders, teachers and staff offer significant support to families and students who have additional needs. Leaders and staff work collaboratively with whānau and a wide range of external support networks and agencies. Along with internal expertise, these outside networks provide appropriate support for those students who most need 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?

The board and leaders strongly promote manaakitanga/care, and inclusive practices as part of the school’s culture. Staff are genuine in their care of the whole school community. Well-developed systems offer academic and pastoral support. Leaders and teachers make very good use of a range of external agencies that bring specialised expertise.

The board of trustees has recently consulted with the school community to refresh the strategic plan, which includes a learner profile, and specific goals that identify clear targets and community input. The board is continuing its efforts to increase community participation and partnership in the life of the school.

Senior leaders are committed to reviewing and continuing to build the school’s organisational systems and culture. Recent developments have included strengthening the middle leadership team, and accessing professional development to build leaders’ and teachers’ capabilities. In addition, staff have worked together to review school processes and documentation.

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

The board and school leaders have identified the need for greater whānau and community engagement. This should include working with whānau Māori to refresh the school’s Māori Education Plan. Seeking information about parents’ aspirations for their children, and responding to this, should help to strengthen the relationship between school and whānau.

Strong curriculum leadership is needed to accelerate student achievement. Priorities for school leaders are to further lift schoolwide expectations, and improve quality assurance processes with a view to creating consistently high quality teaching and learning.

Leaders identify that engaging parents in learning-centred partnerships is critical for accelerating achievement. In order to support this, leaders and teachers should develop schoolwide plans about how this will be implemented, particularly for learners most at risk of not achieving.

The board, leaders and teachers should continue improving school evaluation capacity and particularly teachers’ evaluative capabilities. This would enable leaders and teachers to better critique, scrutinise and respond to achievement information. Deeper inquiry into data by both leaders and teachers will support this.

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

Appraisal audit

School leaders identified the need to develop a more robust performance process that empowers teachers to take greater ownership of their appraisal.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • inclusive practices that include a strong emphasis on hauora
  • practices that foster pastoral care for the wider school community
  • developing in children a strong sense of belonging that promotes their cultural identity and self esteem
  • board and leadership’s commitment to consulting with learners, staff and the community about the future direction of the school
  • willingness by board, leaders and staff to strengthen their own capabilities to enhance teaching practice and strengthen the school’s curriculum.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening processes that accelerate student achievement and improve outcomes for learners
  • improving parent, whānau  and community engagement, particularly learning partnerships for those students who require accelerated progress
  • lifting the quality of teaching and learning by improving schoolwide expectations and quality assurance processes.

The board agrees that it is a priority to implement the targeted planning currently under development with the school’s SAF practitioner. This plan focuses on accelerating the achievement of those students who require it.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2019

About the school 

Location

Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1341

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

402

Gender composition

Boys      58%
Girls       42%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                    18%
Pākehā                                 21%
Samoan                               24%
Indian                                    7%
Cook Island Māori                   5%
Tongan                                  5%
other Pacific Island               10%
other Asian                          5%
other ethnic groups              5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

8 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            June 2015
Education Review            June 2012
Education Review            May 2009