Lumsden School - 24/09/2019

School Context

Lumsden School is a small rural school providing education for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of the review, the roll was 82 students.

The school states that its vision is ‘about what we want our children to do, be, and know by the time they leave Lumsden’. The valued outcomes for children include having a strong foundation of numeracy and literacy as a springboard for learning, and being able to use digital technology to access, identify, organise, present, create, problem solve and collaborate. The school values are ‘we are kind, we always try our best’.

The school’s current strategic priorities are:

  • accelerating progress for those students at risk of not achieving

  • improving rates of progress for those students working above expectation

  • supporting Māori students to achieve as Māori

  • engaging all students in their learning.

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

  • student achievement and progress in reading, writing, mathematics, science and te reo me ona tikanga Māori

  • outcomes related to engagement and wellbeing for success.

Recent schoolwide professional learning has been undertaken in the areas of positive behaviour for learning, health and physical education, and digital technology.

Recent board elections have led to significant changes in governance. Two members of the previous board have been co-opted to support continuity of governance. A further board member has been selected to support Māori whānau. Recent staff changes have included the appointment of a new deputy principal and a lead teacher in te ao Māori.

Lumsden School is part of the FiNSCoL Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

The school is achieving very good achievement outcomes for most students.

Schoolwide data for 2017 and 2018 shows the following:

  • in reading, almost all students are at or above expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels
  • in writing, most students are at or above expected NZC levels
  • in mathematics, almost all students achieve at or above expected NZC levels.

The school-wide achievement information does not yet include data for all significant groups. It is therefore unclear if the progress and achievement of all groups of students is equitable.

Almost all Māori students are achieving highly in reading and very well in mathematics. Considerable improvement is evident in their writing outcomes between 2017 and 2018.

Achievement levels in 2018 for almost all students are high in reading and mathematics, and very good for most students in writing. Achievement information in writing shows high performance by girls.

Interim student engagement data for 2019 demonstrates a small increase in engagement levels. This has yet to be analysed to show trends by gender and ethnicity.

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

The school is yet to implement data management practices that will clearly identify how well learning is being accelerated for students who need this.

Leaders and teachers use a number of strategies to accelerate outcomes for students. They need to increase the consistency and depth of analysis and reporting of schoolwide data to ensure equity and acceleration of outcomes for all students who need this.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

1.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students participate and learn in collaborative and inclusive learning-centred environments that reflect their needs and interests, and set high expectations for learning and wellbeing. Teachers work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of learners and their needs.

Leaders are community focused and have developed reciprocal relationships which enable students to be connected to the local community and their school. These relationships provide opportunities for students’ learning to be further extended and enriched. Leaders and teachers are making good use of links within their Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning to improve outcomes for students. More effective use of internal evaluation processes would assist the school in knowing the impact of these opportunities on valued outcomes for students.

School leaders model the recently redeveloped school values for students. They seek the perspectives and aspirations of students, parents, whānau and staff, and involve them in the development of a school environment that supports learning and wellbeing.

There is a focus on improving bicultural practices within the school. Leadership of te ao Māori is strengthening relationships with whānau and ensuring that new initiatives include Māori perspectives. Professional development in te reo and tikanga Māori is regular and ongoing.

The board of trustees scrutinises and supports the work of the school. Trustees engage in consultation with key stakeholders to inform the strategic direction of the school, and seek training in their roles and responsibilities. Leaders and teachers provide the board with regular curriculum reports that focus on student progress and achievement. Further development of the analysis of student achievement data would enhance the board’s understanding of students’ progress and achievement.

Well developed organisational structures, processes and practices support teaching and learning. There is a robust appraisal system in place, and teachers benefit from focused and strategically determined professional learning opportunities.

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

The school has identified, and ERO agrees, that teachers and leaders need to increase opportunities for Māori to achieve success as Māori by:

  • strengthening the process of iwi consultation
  • including a cultural narrative as part of a responsive curriculum.

The newly appointed board needs to ensure that trustees have relevant information about student progress and achievement to inform decision making.

Leaders and teacher must ensure that:

  • there is improved reporting across identified learning areas to clearly show how well all groups of students are progressing over time and achieving the school’s valued outcomes

  • moderation processes and practices are robust

  • an effective process is in place to track, analyse and report on the progress and achievement of students who identify as Māori

  • internal evaluation practices are in place that provide reliable ways for the board, leaders and teachers to know about the effectiveness of initiatives, interventions and programmes, and the impact they have on learning progress and outcomes.

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 Lumsden School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • strong community relationships, including reciprocal relationships with whānau and the wider education community
  • leadership that is community focused and seeks the aspirations of students, parents, whānau and staff
  • a responsive curriculum that supports learning and seeks to strengthen students’ sense of belonging to the local community.

Next steps

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

  • extending the process of consultation with iwi
  • developing a more in-depth, schoolwide approach to analysing and reporting students’ progress and achievement, particularly for those students whose learning needs to be accelerated
  • strengthening internal evaluation processes and practices to better inform decision making and improve outcomes for all learners.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

24 September 2019

About the school

Location

Lumsden

Ministry of Education profile number

3980

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

82

Gender composition

Boys: 45

Girls: 37

Ethnic composition

Māori 9

NZ European/Pākehā 62

Asian 9

Other ethnicities 2

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

24 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016

Education Review March 2013