Newlands School - 03/05/2017

Summary

At the time of this external evaluation, 338 students in Years 1 to 6 are enrolled at Newlands School and 46 identify as Māori. Twenty eight students attending this school identify as Indian and seventeen as Samoan.

Since the March 2014 ERO evaluation, there has been roll growth and four new classrooms have been established. An enrolment zone was introduced in May 2013. Extensive renovations to four classrooms were carried out in 2016 and will be completed early 2017. Children have had a settled school learning and teaching environment in temporary classrooms.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is well placed to achieve equitable outcomes for children. School leaders and trustees know that they need to continue to strengthen the response to Māori students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

There is a well-planned and aligned professional development programme for teachers that supports schoolwide goals and initiatives. Teachers inquire into their practice and work collaboratively to build capability and better respond to learners’ needs. The school is currently reviewing the curriculum and developing implementation plans for key learning areas.

More systematic tracking and monitoring of the rate of progress for students at risk of not achieving, is a next step. In addition, the development of a shared understanding of evidence-based internal evaluation should help the board and leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of practice on student outcomes.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and/or other children remains.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school’s 2016 end-of-year achievement information, showed that many students were achieving at and above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Continuing to strengthen the response to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement require acceleration is likely to increase the number of learners making necessary progress.

In 2016, the proportion of students achieving at and above in relation to the National Standards increased through successive year levels. The proportion of Māori students achieving at and above the National Standards was approximately fifteen percent lower than for Pākehā students. The proportion of Pacific students achieving at and above the National Standards was approximately thirty percent lower than for Pākehā. More girls than boys were achieving at and above the National Standards.

The school has introduced a number of initiatives to respond to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Case studies, shared with ERO, show that some of these students made good progress during 2016.

Teachers use a range of suitable assessment tools and observations to determine the learning needs of individual students. This includes some nationally-normed assessments. An appropriate assessment schedule guides the gathering of data throughout the year. Teachers use this to inform their practice and identify those learners at risk of achieving poor educational outcomes.

There is a structured and considered approach to moderating teacher judgements in relation to the writing National Standards. Continuing to formalise the approach for the moderation of reading and mathematics judgements should support the dependability of judgements across the school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The kaupapa of the school (Nurture, Learn, Succeed – Together (He tangata, he tangata, he tangata) effectively guides the development of learners as ‘Newlands School Citizens’. This profile is a key component of the Newlands School curriculum for successful learners.

Leaders have built a positive, clearly defined school culture. This includes well-understood routines to support learning. Respectful relationships between students and teachers are affirmed. Leaders and teachers know the children well. A clear learning focus and settled tone across the school is very evident.

Leadership is actively promoted across the school and the new coaching model supports this growth.

Board members have a sound knowledge of their stewardship roles and responsibilities. Trustees are proactive in building their knowledge and understanding. There is a well-considered approach to decision making. The board’s core focus on student learning, wellbeing and achievement is highly evident. 

Parents and whānau are well informed about their child’s achievement. Parents and whānau have opportunities to ask questions, make comments and discuss learning. The school has a strategic goal to have all students, parents and whānau working together in an active learning community. Trustees, leaders and teachers are exploring ways to enact this goal to strengthen learning partnerships.

Many schoolwide strategies successfully promote Māori success. Through Te Rito, Māori students meet weekly for 15 weeks with the deputy principal to recognise, value and build on students’ cultural knowledge and confidence. Teachers regularly participate in extending their knowledge of te reo Māori through schoolwide practices. These include a word of the week, whakatauki and leading kapa haka in syndicates. Te ao Māori is included in the curriculum through different learning areas.

Trustees, the principal and senior leaders have made effective use of the New Zealand School Trustees Association’s resource, Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees,to:

  • evaluate their practice relating to the school’s performance to deliver on Māori student achievement
  • ensure that Māori whānau and representatives of the school’s Māori community contribute to governance, planning and decision making.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Informal and regular discussion and reflection about teaching and learning takes place. The next step is to build a shared understanding of effective, evidence-based internal evaluation for improvement, to better support a clear focus on priority learners and the impact of initiatives on student outcomes.

This development should be supported by:

  • refining school targets to more clearly focus on accelerating the progress of individuals and groups of students at risk of not achieving
  • further developing the strategic plan and action plans to identify expected outcomes with clear indicators of success
  • reports to the board providing trustees with increased information about the progress and achievement of learners at risk of not achieving. The board has identified a need for this to give them a more in-depth understanding of progress, achievement and acceleration.

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

  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Appraisal audit

A new appraisal process was introduced in August 2016, after the principal and the board chair attended Education Council workshops. A next step is to consistently implement this new process.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and/or other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to further develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement. 

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO has provided feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning. 

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

3 May 2017 

About the school 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2925

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

338

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%

Pākehā 46%

Indian 8%

Samoan 5%

Chinese 4%

Other ethnic groups 23%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

3 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, March 2014

Education Review, January 2011

Education Review, November 2007