Longford Intermediate - 28/11/2019

School Context

Longford Intermediate has a roll of 196 students from Gore and the surrounding rural areas. Almost a quarter of the students identify as Māori.

The school’s mission statement is to ensure an inclusive community for all its students. Its vision is that Longford learners are responsible, respectful and safe. School values are: Perseverance; Resilience; Integrity; Diversity; Excellence (PRIDE).

Longford Intermediate’s strategic priorities are:

  • student achievement (that students are open minded; show a growth mindset; are critical thinkers and creative problem solvers)

  • identity and wellbeing (learners develop resilience and a sense of identity; take responsibility for their own and others’ wellbeing)

  • community (students are team members; respect themselves, others and their environment; and form positive relationships with a range of people)

  • to improve mathematics achievement.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress against school achievement targets
  • Term 1 mathematics achievement
  • students’ wellbeing.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been changes in leadership and the board. The principal was appointed toward the end of 2017. Early in 2019, a new leadership team, including a new deputy principal and team leader, was established. The board of trustees includes newly elected and experienced trustees.

Teachers have participated in professional learning to improve teaching in science, literacy and mathematics. The school is part of the Eastern Southland Kāhui Ako | COL.

Evaluation Findings

1 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?

Since 2017, school leaders have not gathered or reported to the board sufficiently detailed and analysed achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics. For some groups and school-wide insufficient achievement information makes it difficult for ERO to determine how well the school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Achievement information provided to ERO indicates that most students achieve at expected curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. This also shows that boys achieve less well in reading and writing. Māori student achievement overall is similar to other groups for reading and writing. However, there is disparity for Year 8 Māori students against some other groups of students in mathematics.

In 2018, about a third of Year 7 students and over half of Year 8 students achieved at Level 3 of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) in Science, an indication of progress towards expected levels.

A recent school survey showed that most students felt safe and positive about their school.

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

Reports about the impact of professional learning in writing and science show that the school was very successful in accelerating the progress of students in 2018.

Most students in the writing target group made accelerated progress, with over half reaching the expected curriculum level by the end of the year. Over three quarters of Māori students and boys below expected levels made accelerated progress.

In Science in 2018, most students across the school made accelerated progress in their learning.

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 school culture is inclusive and caring. Students know the school values and expectations for behaviour. Students learn in settled and well-managed classrooms, where they support each other and take increasing responsibility for their learning. They have meaningful opportunities to take on leadership roles. Māori students feel a valued part of the school.

Strong pastoral support systems help students to be ready to learn. Deliberate practices contribute to the positive culture and help students to have more equitable access to the curriculum. The school works effectively with external agencies to support students’ wellbeing.

Children who need extra help with their learning are well supported in the classroom. Teachers know these students well as learners. They deliberately adapt their teaching to better meet individual needs and find ways to engage and excite students in their learning.

Teachers have benefitted from relevant profession learning in science and literacy. This has led to changes in teaching that has had a positive impact on student learning. Leaders provide useful feedback to teachers and foster collegial discussion about strategies to better support learners.

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

School leadership needs to be further strengthened to ensure there is sufficient monitoring by leaders of student progress and achievement. Leaders now need to clarify roles and responsibilities and would benefit from support to build leadership capability and effectiveness across the school.

Leaders need to implement systems to better know and monitor students below expected levels in their learning and ensure appropriate support. Since 2017, the board has not received adequate mid and end of year information about the progress and achievement of different groups of students across the school in reading, writing and mathematics.

Internal evaluation systems and practices need to be developed, so that leaders and trustees know what is or is not going well and what changes are needed. This includes providing the board with evaluative reports about progress towards implementing the annual plan, the impact of interventions, the effectiveness of curriculum implementation and the analysis of student engagement and attendance.

Leaders need to complete the review of the school curriculum guidelines. These need to be explicit about valuing te reo and te ao Māori, local priorities for learning, teaching expectations in core learning areas and assessment expectations. In classrooms, not all students have equitable opportunities to learn te reo Māori or about te ao Māori.

Strategic and annual planning needs to have a stronger focus on equity and excellence. Charter targets to lift the achievement of students below expected levels, do not have sufficient baseline information, such as groups of concern within the target. Leaders need to regularly report to the board about the rates and sufficiency of progress that target students make.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Longford Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • its caring and inclusive school culture that helps students to be ready to learn
  • strong pastoral support for students’ social and emotional wellbeing
  • effective teaching that engages and promotes students’ learning
  • relevant professional learning that has led to improved student achievement.

Next steps

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

  • continue to implement systems to identify, monitor, support and report on the progress and achievement of students across the school, so that leaders and the board can make well-informed decisions to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • strengthening internal evaluation so that leaders and the board know what is going well, what is not and what actions need to happen
  • completing the review of the school curriculum and guidelines to better guide teaching, learning and assessment across the school
  • ensuring all students have meaningful opportunities to learn te reo Māori and about te āo Māori
  • strengthening strategic and annual planning so it has a stronger focus on equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • consultation with the school’s Māori community

  • analysis and evaluation of good quality assessment information.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students [National Administration Guideline 1 (e)]

  • through the analysis of good quality assessment information evaluate the progress and achievement of students, giving priority first to student progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy [National Administration Guideline 1 (c)].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

  • in-committee procedures are followed
  • they receive reports about other student outcomes, such as analysed attendance data, stand downs and suspensions, accidents and incidents
  • there is a school-wide programme for the provision of career education and guidance for all students in Years 7 and 8
  • there is a coherent and progressive second-language programme being taught to all students.

Since the onsite stage of the review the board have responded positively to ensuring the compliance issues are being addressed.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • school leadership, including its role in the gathering, analysis and use of reliable student progress and achievement information, to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
  • the board’s understanding of its oversight of student progress and achievement and compliance.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

28 November 2019

About the school

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

3979

School type

Intermediate

School roll

196

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
NZ European/Pākehā 72%
Other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

28 November 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review February 2015
Education Review November 2011
Longitudinal Review August 2010