Linwood North School - 08/12/2015

Findings

The school places a strong focus on developing home and school partnerships, and culturally responsive practices, in support of its diverse community. The board and senior leaders are developing networks that strengthen the school’s ability to enrich learning opportunities for students and accelerate their progress. Ongoing review and embedding new learning from professional development are next steps for the school.

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?

Linwood North School is in the heart of the Linwood community. It is host to a number of community and education services. This includes Plunket, a Tongan preschool, the resource teachers of learning and behaviour, social workers in schools and an after school programme.

Staff foster close relationships with these services and other external agencies to help support the diverse community that it serves. The school has an increasing roll, including a number of transient students.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the board and principal have continued to effectively manage the ongoing impact of the Canterbury earthquakes. There has been significant rebuilding, property and infrastructure development. The school is very well resourced, presented and maintained.

The leadership team and staff have worked with professional advisors to develop better analysis and use of student achievement data.

The board and senior leaders effectively support the principal’s involvement in leadership beyond the school, including work with a local cluster of schools and early childhood centres.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to support students with their learning. Achievement data at the end of 2014 shows that a number of students are not yet achieving at the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. This data is impacted by high numbers of transient students.

School leaders are very focused on lifting students’ achievement. Professional development is planned based on information about students’ achievement and learning needs.

Teachers have begun to analyse class data at a deeper level. This is well aligned to the board’s annual student achievement targets. Extensive targeted professional development is promoting student learning and wellbeing. It is extending teachers’ use of achievement information and how they reflect on their practice.

Teachers make the purpose and next steps for learning clearly visible to students. There are some useful examples of student self assessment. Teachers are working together to extend these.

The school has increased the range of ways it communicates with parents about their child’s learning, achievement and wellbeing. This is particularly noticeable in Years 1 to 3 with changes to the reporting system.

There is a strong, team approach to providing for the pastoral care needs of students. This includes:

  • providing a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of students at risk of not achieving, including those with specific learning needs
  • using a range of strategies to engage students in their learning and supporting their regular attendance at school
  • using a wide range of learner information to help decide on the best intervention for individuals
  • closely monitoring progress of students with special learning needs at class and leadership levels
  • working collaboratively with external agencies to further support the wellbeing and learning needs of students.

The board provides suitable levels of resourcing to support students with additional needs, including the use of some experienced, well-trained teacher aides.

Staff have undertaken significant professional development on analysing student achievement information. To further develop this area there is a need to:

  • be more specific in annual plans about what will be done differently to accelerate targeted students’ progress
  • continue building students’ understanding and management of their own learning, progress and achievement
  • evaluate the success of interventions to better support resourcing decisions
  • extend moderation of teachers’ reading and mathematics assessments.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum increasingly promotes students’ learning and engagement. The vision and values are well known and understood by students, staff and the community. They are an integral part of all aspects of the school’s curriculum.

Students are provided with many varied learning opportunities. Specialist teachers provide a range of additional programmes, particularly in the arts, music, sport and Samoan language.

Teachers and school leaders know individual students well. They use an holistic approach to support students’ learning and wellbeing. Teachers adapt their teaching practices and programmes to better meet the needs of individual students and help them to develop self-management skills.

Students who are speakers of other languages are provided with good quality programmes to increase their language skills.

School leaders provide teachers with clear guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning. This is particularly evident in the induction of new staff. Teachers have a consistent approach to the ways they implement the curriculum across the school.

New entrant students’ start to school, is well considered and planned. A specific programme, which is focused on fostering learning partnerships with parents, is being particularly well used during the first two years of schooling. Senior leaders and teachers are purposefully developing stronger home and school partnerships using a range of different communication options.

School leaders and teachers have increased the ways they collaboratively plan and assess students’ achievement and progress. They have a shared focus on improving outcomes for students. Teachers are engaging in useful professional development to further assist them to respond positively to students’ learning and behaviour.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely to review the school’s documented curriculum. This should include:

  • consulting with students, the community and teachers
  • reflecting the school’s move towards modern learning practices and commitment to bicultural perspectives
  • showing how student-led learning will be supported to increase students’ independence through a curriculum that is more personalised to their interests
  • developing a regular process and cycle of curriculum review.

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

Māori students are well supported to achieve educational success as Māori.

Māori culture is well represented and valued within the environment and key school documents. Students have many opportunities to hear and use Māori language and learn about Māori culture and local history. There are ongoing opportunities for all students to participate in kapa haka.

Trustees have prioritised success as Māori and ongoing achievement as a charter goal. They have proactively ensured Māori representation on the board and leadership within the school to enable shared understandings of Māori success. Several staff members are undertaking additional qualifications to upskill their knowledge and skills with te reo and tikanga Māori.

School leaders regularly provide opportunities to meet and consult with their Māori community. The board and school leaders have a strategic approach to culturally responsive practices and are responsive to feedback from their Māori community. This has resulted in a comprehensive action plan to guide ongoing and future developments that support students to succeed as Māori.

Māori students are achieving at or above many of their school peers in reading, writing and mathematics.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for students of Pacific heritage?

The school values students’ Pacific cultures, languages and identities and successfully promotes educational success for Pacific students. They are achieving very well in reading, writing and mathematics compared to their school peers.

There are many opportunities for students to be involved in the school’s Pacific cultural group.

Samoan language lessons have been introduced for Samoan students to support their home language learning.

School leaders have good links with the local Tongan preschool and Pacific community. They hold regular Fono (meetings) with Pacific families to seek their views, develop plans and provide feedback.

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. The board and senior leaders work well together and are focused on improving positive outcomes for all students. They are proactive in developing community and education networks that strengthen the school’s capacity to provide care and support for students’ ongoing learning and wellbeing.

Trustees are supportive and bring a wide range of skills and experience to their roles. They are representative of the wider community with a mix of parent-elected trustees and co-opted members.

Senior leaders are making increasing use of teacher strengths and growing leadership skills amongst staff.

There is a systematic approach that links the school’s strategic priorities to the curriculum and provision of appropriate professional development. This provision ably supports teachers to meet school expectations.

The board receives regular, useful, informative reports about student achievement that assist it with decision-making about resourcing. It makes good use of external evaluation and expertise to guide the forward direction of the school.

Trustees are enthusiastic about opportunities to further participate in a community of learning with neighbourhood schools and early childhood centres for the benefit of all children in their community.

The key next steps are to:

  • develop a self-review framework and processes that build on evaluation capacity across the school
  • refine and embed new systems and practices, for example, the behaviour management programmes and appraisal process.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. The school has not attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. The school has applied to withdraw as a signatory to the Code.

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

The school places a strong focus on developing home and school partnerships, and culturally responsive practices, in support of its diverse community. The board and senior leaders are developing networks that strengthen the school’s ability to enrich learning opportunities for students and accelerate their progress. Ongoing review and embedding new learning from professional development are next steps for the school.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

8 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3415

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

222

Gender composition

Boys 54%; Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnicities

40%

37%

17%

6%

Special Features

Host school to the Resource Teachers of Learning and Social Workers in Schools

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

8 December 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

June 2007

March 2004