Newfield Park School - 28/11/2019

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Newfield Park School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Newfield Park School is a socially and culturally diverse Year 1-6 school in Invercargill. This report evaluates the progress the school has made in addressing the areas for review and development in ERO’s April 2018 Education Review report.

Over the last 18 months the school has worked constructively with ERO and a Ministry of Education advisor. School leaders have made very good progress in addressing ERO’s recommendations.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The April 2018 ERO report identified that the school needed to:

  • address disparities in achievement for some groups of students

  • strengthen strategic and annual planning and reporting, including the quality of the school’s targets to lift the achievement of students working below expected levels

  • improve analysis and reporting to the board of trustees about student progress and achievement

  • strengthen aspects of inquiry and internal evaluation

  • improve school culture, student wellbeing and engagement outcomes

  • build stronger partnerships with parents to enhance student learning

  • deepen trustees’ understanding of their governance role.

Early in 2019, ERO’s Midway Progress review found that the school had made good to very good progress against most of the recommendations. The Midway Progress report recommended that the school continue to:

  • refine and embed improvements

  • address disparities in achievement, especially for Māori, boys and some year groups

  • strengthen learning-focused partnerships with parents.

ERO also recommended that the school:

  • over time extend assessment and reporting to the board to include student achievement across the wider curriculum

  • plan for changes in the board and the induction of new trustees.

Progress

This review (September 2019) found that school leaders, teachers and trustees have continued to build on the progress noted in ERO’s Midway Progress review. School leaders have led a relentless focus on raising student achievement, especially for boys and Māori students. As a result, there is no longer a significant disparity in achievement for these students.

At a board level, trustees are more knowledgeable and confident in their governance role. Thoughtful succession planning and support for new trustees have enabled the board to maintain effective governance through a time of change.

Leaders and trustees, in consultation with the school community, have developed useful strategic and annual plans that are known and ‘owned’ across the school. There is clear alignment between these and other school foci, systems and practices. Charter targets now prioritise groups of students who need to accelerate their learning in literacy and mathematics. Leaders ensure detailed action planning as to how the strategic priorities, annual goals and targets will be achieved.

There is strong evidence of improvement in the school’s culture as a result of well-planned and implemented programmes and initiatives. These, and improved behaviour management practices, mean that students are learning in a more settled environment. Effective pastoral systems support students’ wellbeing and enable equitable access to the curriculum.

Parents are better involved in their children’s learning. For example, they are informed in advance of planned inquiry topics and invited to contribute ideas and share their expertise. In the junior class, teachers build parents’ knowledge and confidence as to how they can best support their children’s literacy and mathematics learning, and are provided with relevant resources. Through a variety of media, leaders and teachers regularly share students’ learning and useful information with parents.

School leaders have researched and implemented practices to increase students’ agency and engagement. Innovations include a focus on positive learning dispositions and an integrated-inquiry approach to topics where learning is built around important concepts or big ideas. Increasingly, students’ voice is sought when planning and evaluating their learning. Teachers are beginning to implement meaningful ways to assess students’ learning across the wider curriculum.

Regular and very effective internal evaluation practices inform ongoing improvement in the school. Leaders have deliberately built staff understanding and use of evaluation to identify what is working well, what is not and what changes are needed. All leaders and teachers engage in inquiries into aspects of their practice, share their findings and adapt practices accordingly.

Leaders have significantly improved the quality of analysis and reporting (to the board) about student progress, achievement and wellbeing. At all levels there is better use of this information to inform decision making. Leaders have intentionally built teachers’ capacity to analyse and use assessment information.

Key next steps

ERO’s evaluation affirms the progress the school has made over the last 18 months. Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to embed and build on this.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Newfield Park School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

28 November 2019

About the School

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

2118

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Male 55%

Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

15%
77%
4%
4%

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

28 November 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2018
October 2014
August 2011