Norfolk School - 14/03/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Norfolk School is a rural school for students in Years 1 to 8. The school is the focal point of the local community.

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers have high expectations for all students and this is described in the school vision - ‘Together we achieve our potential’.

Students learn in purposeful, settled learning environments. Senior students have many opportunities to be involved in leadership roles.

Writing has been a focus of professional development in 2013, led by the deputy principal.

Key strengths identified in the 2009 ERO report continue to be evident.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders, teachers and trustees all have a clear focus on students’ progress and achievement and use achievement information effectively to accelerate progress.

Teachers make good use of assessment information to differentiate their planning to meet the needs of students in their classes. They identify those students who are not achieving at or above the National Standards and plan deliberate strategies to accelerate their progress. Sound moderation processes help strengthen overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards.

Accelerated progress, for underachieving students during 2013, is clearly evident in the school’s achievement data. Each term, the progress of individual students has been tracked. At the end of 2013, there is a significant reduction in the number of students achieving below the Standards, compared to the number of underachievers at the end of 2012.

Overall school data show that most students are achieving at or above the reading and mathematics National Standards. Approximately three quarters are achieving at or above the writing National Standards.

The principal keeps the board well informed about schoolwide achievement and the progress of underachieving students. Written reports to parents have been strengthened for 2013 end-of-year reporting to more clearly show each student’s achievement in relation to the National Standards.

A next step is for teachers and senior leaders to build on current practice and continue to increase students’ knowledge about their progress and achievement levels. This should enable all students to talk more confidently about their next learning steps.

3 Curriculum

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

High levels of student interest and motivation are clearly evident.

In line with the school’s ongoing focus on improving outcomes for students, senior leaders and teachers are reviewing the Norfolk School curriculum.

Since implementing The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) the guidelines for teaching English and mathematics have been updated. The school values have been revised following consultation with students and parents. Work has been done to more strongly align the local curriculum with the NZC principles.

School leaders are aware of the need to review and develop curriculum documentation for other essential learning areas to better reflect current practice and to add depth to the school’s personalised curriculum.

Teachers are intentional in their use of strategies to engage students. They make good use of:

  • learning contexts relevant to the students' interests and experiences
  • deliberate acts of teaching to target students' specific learning needs
  • well-paced lessons to ensure students are ‘hooked’ into learning.

Students have opportunities to work with others in a range of ways. Self-management skills are fostered along with skills in relating to others.

Teachers know students well. They work to build and maintain positive and constructive learning environments that celebrate student learning, in classrooms and across the school. A bicultural emphasis is clearly evident.

E-learning is used effectively to help students make connections and enhance opportunities to learn. Students and teachers use information and communication technologies (ICT) resources well as a learning tool.

Teachers work collaboratively with colleagues to share teaching strategies likely to provide positive outcomes for students. They are committed to improving their own knowledge of high quality teaching practices.

A variety of programmes for children and their parents promote a smooth transition into the school environment. School self review of practices used over time to support transition of students has strengthened the process for students and their families. There is emphasis on identifying any specific learning needs that may require early intervention.

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

The school promotes the educational success of Māori students, as Māori in a broad range of ways. These include:

  • annual hui with whānau to plan future areas of curriculum emphasis
  • teachers regularly using te reo Māori in classrooms. Language use is extended by a part-time teacher working with students and staff on a weekly basis
  • inclusion of te ao Māori in the curriculum. An example is whole-school visits to a local marae.

The achievement of Māori students in relation to the National Standards is very high.

A next step for trustees and senior leaders is to use Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017 to ensure that clear goals to further promote success for Māori, as Māori, are part of strategic planning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Sound board processes focus on governance and positive outcomes for students. New trustees have been inducted into their role and all board members participate in training. The principal keeps the board well informed. Trustees are leading the development of a new strategic plan for 2014 to 2016.

The principal is regarded by staff as a leader of learning. He has a clear focus on moral leadership and ensuring that students are at the centre of school decision-making.

Senior leaders and staff work together collaboratively with a shared purpose of ongoing improvement as a learning organisation. They continually reflect on their teaching and the culture of the school. The appraisal system supports the ongoing development of all staff.

Senior leaders have been working with an external facilitator to use the teaching as inquiry process to inform literacy and mathematics development. This useful process has been linked with coaching, by the deputy principal.

Parents’ input is fostered and valued. School events strengthen and continue to build relationships with parents, whānau and the local community.

Senior leaders, teachers and trustees use self review effectively for systematic, planned and deliberate inquiry into school processes and practices. Multiple perspectives are sought and self review outcomes are used for decision making and improvement. There is a strong focus on teaching and learning and enhancing outcomes for all students.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

14 March 2014

About the School

Location

Norfolk, Inglewood

Ministry of Education profile number

2206

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

139

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic groups

83%

16%

1%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

14 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

May 2006

March 2003