Napier Central School - 23/02/2015

Findings

Students are enthusiastically involved in the broad range of well-considered curriculum opportunities. Most achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s learning. Defining and embedding shared expectations of effective teaching would support further school development.

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?

Napier Central School is a long-established Years 1 to 6 school in central Napier. At the time of this ERO review the student roll was 334, with 11% identifying as Māori. An enrolment scheme is in place to assist the management of a growing roll.

Students enjoy the many academic, cultural, sporting and beyond-the-school experiences available to them. The values of respect, integrity, perseverance and empathy are a school focus. Students are confident, friendly and welcoming. Leadership opportunities are provided, particularly for those in Year 6.

Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities and accept the many opportunities to be partners in contributing to children’s learning.

The appointment of a new principal in Term 4, 2014, has ended a year of regular changes of leadership. During this period, positive learning opportunities for students and schoolwide initiatives have been maintained.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is used well to make positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement.

Most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The current board priority is improving boys’ literacy achievement to be on a par with that of girls'. A higher proportion of students reach National Standards expectations as groups move through school. A significant number of those leaving at the end of Year 6 achieve at high levels.

Support for students not achieving against the Standards is given priority. Extra teacher time, teacher aides and at times, referrals to outside agencies, contribute to improvement. Teachers meet regularly to monitor progress and share strategies that successfully support the achievement of identified students.

Teachers build positive relationships with parents to support student progress. Specific information is provided to assist parents in supporting learning at home. Enhanced relationships have contributed to the progress of targeted students. The school is continuing to build relationships for this purpose.

Parents are well informed about their children’s achievement and progress. Students themselves are increasingly involved as participants in this reporting.

Schoolwide analysis of assessment information focuses on progress and achievement. Future targets and resourcing are based on consideration of this data. Achievement information should be used more to consider the effectiveness of strategies in promoting student progress, including for those who require acceleration.

3 Curriculum

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

The Napier Central School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The curriculum successfully provides students with a range of academic, sporting and cultural learning opportunities. Reading, writing and mathematics are appropriately prioritised. The Napier Central School model of student inquiry has been recently developed. Students are encouraged to decide for themselves the questions and learning necessary to enhance their knowledge and understanding in a variety of areas. Teachers intend to increase the extent to which students lead their own learning.

Other recent developments that have enhanced the quality of the curriculum include:

  • increased focus on te reo Māori learning at each year level
  • timetabled play-based learning becoming an integral part of the junior curriculum
  • increased awareness of responding to the specific needs of boys.

A plan to support greater use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching and learning is being developed. Blogs effectively share and celebrate learning.

Positive and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to a positive tone that promotes learning. Students are generally well engaged in classroom programmes. As part of strengthening teachers' inquiry into practice, it would be timely for school leaders and staff to establish shared understandings and expectations of effective teaching and learning.

Students with special needs are well catered for. An inclusive approach supports their involvement in the full curriculum. Parents contribute to the education plans for their children and are well informed of the progress they make. A collaborative approach successfully supports meeting the needs of these learners.

A well-considered process successfully supports new entrants' transition to school. An interview with parents shortly after starting school enhances the learning partnerships established. Continuing to build these relationships is a school-identified priority, confirmed through ERO’s evaluation.

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

The school is building the extent to which there are opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori. Recent developments include:

  • resources for teaching te reo Māori across the school
  • integration of te reo Māori into regular school events
  • growing numbers of students involved in kapa haka.

Increased valuing and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori affirms the identity of Māori students.

The school continues to consider ways it can promote the involvement of Māori whānau and Ngati Kahungunu in decision making.

The board and teachers should use resources such asKa Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to consider how they might further support Māori success, as Māori.

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 focus on improving student learning is supported by schoolwide reflective practice that is increasingly informed by data. Strengthening indicators for success within improvement plans would increase the robustness of review and enable better evaluation of the impact of developments.

Ongoing professional discussions, evidence-based inquiry and reflection, often related to the Registered Teacher Criteria, are an integral part of the appraisal process. Further development of appraisal should include greater consistency of implementation across the school and more emphasis on next steps for teacher improvement.

Professional learning and development (PLD) is appropriately linked to school priorities for improvement. Recent PLD has contributed to improving outcomes for students through increased targeting of specific needs of learners and greater, in-depth teacher reflection.

Trustees bring a range of relevant skills and expertise to their governance roles. They access training and support to increase their understanding of good governance. The charter provides clear strategic direction through its identified goals. Recent review of the charter has included consultation with students, parents and staff.

Reporting to the board includes regular analysis of achievement information. Discussion centres on where strengths lie and which areas need development. The board's decisions focus on improved student outcomes.

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.

Through completing the Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists, the board identified some areas requiring policy development and others where more thorough reporting to the board is required. The areas identified are being addressed to improve current practice.

Conclusion

Students are enthusiastically involved in the broad range of well-considered curriculum opportunities. Most achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s learning. Defining and embedding shared expectations of effective teaching would support further school development.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

23 February 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2618

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

334

Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

87%

11%

2%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

23 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

June 2008

May 2005