Linwood Avenue School - 03/08/2012

1 Context

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

Students learn in an inclusive and supportive atmosphere. They feel valued and welcome. The principal, trustees and teachers are making good use of strong links with families and the wider school community.

The school is located in the east of Christchurch, and has been affected by the Canterbury earthquakes. School leaders and teachers have worked successfully to monitor and support student well-being and to provide consistency of learning with an ongoing focus of improving achievement and progress.

The school values and vision have helped to build the positive school culture. The introduction of restorative justice practices based on the school values has helped bring about significant improvements in behaviour.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well engaged in their learning and actively participate in the wider life of the school.

Building student engagement has been a focus for teachers’ professional development. Teachers are expected to include detailed strategies to engage students in their unit planning. Teachers make good use of analysed student achievement information at class level to identify learning needs, and plan programmes to meet these needs.

Students ERO spoke to enjoy the challenge of learning. They indicated that the variety of teaching approaches used by teachers helped them in their learning. Students respond positively to the good range of leadership opportunities that are provided.

The reinforcement of school values is supporting improvements in overall levels of student engagement and supporting students’ development of self-management skills.

There are good to high levels of student achievement. The school reports that over 55% of the whole-school population is achieving at or above the national standards in mathematics, reading and writing. Students identified as not meeting the standards are targeted for additional support, including English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), and learning support groups.

Senior leaders and trustees seek and use analysed achievement information to make informed decisions in planning for school improvement. Literacy and numeracy achievement is reported regularly to the board. This information is detailed and specific, and shared with the community.

Most students are making good learning progress. Teachers identify students who are not achieving at expected levels, and set targets for them. Teachers design learning programmes to accelerate progress of priority learners. In 2011, these students made very good progress in reading and writing.

3 Curriculum

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

The cohesive nature of the school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

The well-developed curriculum reflects the diversity and the wishes of the local community. The curriculum includes an emphasis on:

  • student engagement in learning
  • oral language development to promote wider literacy learning
  • achievement for Māori and Pacific students, including teaching of te reo Māori and Samoan language.

Teaching programmes are responsive to the needs of students and the community. Recent examples include an All Black day, a fun activities day and a 2011 production that was written by students and involved all students in the school. Teachers monitor the learning and well-being of students, particularly since the earthquakes. They are flexible in adapting programmes to meet any identified needs.

Students benefit from very good quality teaching. Teachers regularly:

  • promote good relationships and a positive learning environment
  • plan for groups to work at the right level of learning
  • encourage students to manage their own learning
  • provide coaching and modelling.

A comprehensive staff handbook sets out very clear expectations for teachers. It includes specific guidelines for planning, teaching, assessment and reporting. It emphasises the importance of using student achievement information, including teachers considering the effectiveness of their teaching practices. Senior leaders regularly monitor the quality of classroom teaching.

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

Māori student achievement is similar to or slightly better than that of other school groups. Senior leaders and teachers have developed and are implementing a detailed plan to support Māori student achievement, and to provide opportunities for Māori students to experience activities that reflect their cultural heritage. The kapa haka group is large and inclusive. The students enjoy performing, and benefit from the good quality teaching of te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers monitor Māori student achievement, engagement and well-being to evaluate the success of their programmes, and regularly communicate their findings to whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board provides effective governance, and has set a clear vision and strategic direction for the school. This includes a strong focus on student and family needs, ongoing improvement, and a strategic approach to planning next steps. Robust and effective systems and procedures have been introduced to ensure ongoing sustainability. School documentation is comprehensive and well linked to the school’s strategic direction.

The principal and senior staff provide strong leadership, especially of teaching and learning. The leadership team is cohesive, collaborative, and reflective. They strongly influence the continuing development and enhancement of an inclusive and supportive school culture.

The board, leaders and teachers have good quality self-review practices to ensure that their focus is always on school improvement. As a result, trustees are well informed about student progress and achievement, and progress towards meeting the school’s annual goals and targets.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

3 August 2012

About the School

Location

Linwood, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3413

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

279

Gender composition

Boys 59%; Girls 41%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

43%

32%

20%

2%

3%

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

3 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2008

September 2005

December 2002