Newstead Model School - 31/05/2016

1 Context

Newstead Model School is a contributing primary located in rural outskirts of Hamilton. The roll is currently 120 students and 14% identify as Māori. The school is set in spacious and attractive grounds.

A new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. Teaching staff has remained consistent since the previous ERO review. Teachers have participated in the Ministry of Education funded Accelerated Learning in Literacy professional learning and development contract. Other teacher developments have been eLearning and the increased use of digital technologies.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to experience an inclusive future-focused environment where they are empowered to learn, be resilient risk takers, inquisitive thinkers and global communicators. This vision is reflected in the 'Learning Tree' which illustrates the learning competencies and the virtues of respect, responsibility, excellence, perseverance and trust. The school whakataukī is:

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nona te ngahere

Ko te manu e kai ana i te matauranga nona to ao

The school's achievement information from 2015 shows that out of the 14 Māori children in the school a very small number need extra learning support. Programmes to accelerate the progress of these students towards their expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics are well organised and managed.

School achievement information from the previous three years shows:

  • that overall Māori children are achieving and progressing well in relation to the school's expectations
  • consistently high achievement in reading and mathematics for both boys and girls
  • girls achieved significantly better than boys in writing.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the following initiatives have been implemented:

  • two reports in relation to National Standards are provided for parents each year
  • achievement and progress checks have been introduced for every child each term
  • extension programmes in science and mathematics are implemented
  • the Learning Tree is the reference point for curriculum planning and approaches to learning
  • an action plan to guide the use of digital technologies is developed
  • a specialist teacher has been appointed to lead the promotion of te reo and tikanga Māori practices
  • classroom programmes are supplemented by an appropriate range of additional learning opportunities effectively coordinated by the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school effectively responds to children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. The achievement of these children, including Māori and other groups of students, is closely tracked. Many Māori students make accelerated progress. The SENCO uses a range of achievement information and her in-depth knowledge of children and their families to establish a detailed register of children at risk in their learning. She works collaboratively with classroom teachers, learning assistants and families to develop and implement appropriate and responsive interventions and support for these children.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school provides a broad and holistic curriculum that reflects their rural community. Additional opportunities include sport, drama, music, and many traditional country school events. Curriculum and school practices include bicultural perspectives.

The board is well led by an experienced and knowledgeable chairman. Trustees are well informed about achievement and actively scrutinise this information through ongoing questioning and discussion. This process informs the setting of appropriate charter targets and strategic resourcing decisions. Trustees are highly dedicated and committed to promoting equitable outcomes for all children.

The principal is strongly focused on building a culture of leadership for learning and success for all children. He empowers and supports teachers by setting high expectations in all aspects of their professional practice. A systematic review process identifies next steps for ongoing improvement and includes in depth consultation with the school community.

A feature of the school is the strong sense of pride in, and identity with, the school. This is evident in the high levels of contribution, attendance and participation by parents, whānau, students and staff across a wide range of school events.

Positive and inclusive relationships are underpinned by the school's values and virtues. Learning-centred partnerships with parents are enhanced through educational workshops, community consultation, student-led conferences and increased communication through various forms of digital technologies. Relationships between teachers and students are caring and respectful and classrooms are settled, productive learning environments.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement needs to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The new principal is bringing a renewed focus on a culture of learning and equitable outcomes for all children. The school provides an effective curriculum that supports and promotes high levels of achievement for all children.

Next steps for the school are to continue to increase students taking ownership and responsibility for their own learning and strengthen teaching as inquiry approaches.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

In order to improve practice the board must meet its legal obligation for performance management and attestation of teaching staff in relation to the practising teacher criteria (PTCs). The school has identified this as a focus area and has begun this process. 

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that school leaders:

  • continue to intensify efforts to lift the levels of achievement Māori students and boys, particularly those who are below or well below expectations
  • build teacher capability and capacity in evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

31 May 2016

About the school

Location

Newstead, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1843

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

120

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

79%

14%

7%

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

31 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

November 2009

October 2006