Longford Intermediate - 24/11/2011

1. Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review? At the beginning of 2011, the newly appointed principal and senior leaders prioritised the need to develop a school culture that promoted positive learning and behaviour. Teachers have undertaken well-targeted and specific professional development to increase levels of teaching skills and knowledge. There has been a specific focus on the development of the school vision, values, expectations and direction for learning. Teachers have responded positively to this professional development.

Students are actively consulted about matters that affect them. They told ERO that they make choices about their learning. There is a strong emphasis on involving parents in their children’s learning. They have been consulted about how and what their children are to learn and the future direction for the school.

Senior leaders have high expectations of teachers and students. They expect that all students will succeed and make good rates of progress during their time at the school. The board uses student achievement information to identify the most important needs. It then makes decisions designed to improve how well students achieve.

2. Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development? The board, principal, senior leaders and teachers have made significant progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in the 2010 ERO report.

Priorities identified for review and development

The recommendations from the previous ERO report include:

  • the board and principal review the strategic plan and define the annual plan goals and student achievement targets
  • the principal and teachers complete the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • the principal and teachers need to use a wider range of valid assessment tools.

Progress

Strategic direction. The board has appropriately identified the need to review and develop the strategic direction for the school to ensure that it reflects what is actually happening for students and teachers. This review is well planned and timely. This year the board, in consultation with the school community, have decided what is important for students and their learning. These goals are aligned to the school’s long-term goals. Student achievement targets are specific and challenging. The principal reports regularly to the board about the achievement of targets and meeting the schools goals.

Curriculum design and development. The principal and senior leaders have successfully led a high quality review and development of the curriculum. They have:

  • ensured that the school’s curriculum reflects the identified goals and priorities for learning
  • worked with the teachers to develop very clear guidelines and expectations for what learning and teaching looks like in the school
  • spent considerable time with the teachers and students developing a shared understanding of the school’s vision, values, key competencies and principles of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Assessment. Teachers effectively use a range of assessment tasks in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers are becoming more confident in using multiple sources of assessment information to make well-informed overall teacher judgements about students’ progress and achievement. Improved assessment practices include:

  • most teachers discussing assessment information with students to identify their next learning steps
  • teachers making better use of assessment information to inform planning, identifying individual students for support or extension and setting goals with students
  • reports to parents showing student progress and achievement against the National Standards
  • teachers regularly reflecting on their teaching practice and the impact professional learning is having on their teaching.

Future priorities for development and review

Senior leaders and teachers need to continue to develop and review the school’s curriculum to ensure the emerging needs, interests and abilities of all students are recognised and met.

3. Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance? The board is well-placed to continue to develop and improve its practices.

Progress

During 2011, there has been extensive review of aspects of the strategic direction for the school. The board, principal, senior leaders, teachers, students and parents have been extensively involved in the reviews undertaken to bring about the changed culture and direction of the school. This has had a positive impact on the way resources are used to improve learning and teaching.

Future Priorities identified for review and development

The next step for the board is to develop guidelines and a framework for undertaking self review of operations and programmes.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the School

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

3979

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

Decile*

5

School roll

185

Gender composition

Girls 87

Boys 98

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other

148

30

7

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

24 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

June 2009

August 2010

June 2008

*School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.