Normandale School - 21/05/2019

School Context

Normandale School is located in Lower Hutt. At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 196 Years 1 to 6 students, of whom 18 identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is to provide a foundation for all students in an environment that is inclusive, future focused, fun, challenging and supportive. Its key value of Respect|Whakaute is supported by its recently revised TREE values of: Thoughtfulness|Kohuki, Resilience|Manawaroa, Empathy|Aroha, Enthusiasm|Whakarira.

Valued outcomes are to:

  • enable all students to access The New Zealand Curriculum with focus on literacy, numeracy and health
  • support students’ progress, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive environment
  • empower students to be self-motivated and enthusiastic learners who have the confidence and skills to achieve.

The schools current goals and targets for improvement in student outcomes are:

  • raising the achievement of boys in writing
  • groups of students in Years 1 to 5 in writing
  • maintaining high achievement for Māori students.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing and attendance.

Since the December 2014 ERO report, changes in staffing have occurred. Three new leaders have been appointed. Additional teachers have also been appointed as a result of significant roll growth.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for all students in literacy and mathematics. School leaders report that in 2018 most students including Māori achieved at or above their respective curriculum levels in writing and mathematics. Almost all achieved at these levels in reading.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Acceleration is evident in boys’ writing and girls’ mathematical achievement in 2018. Lower achievement was evident for boys in writing and girls in mathematics in the school’s 2017 achievement data. Progress was made in 2018 to address this disparity. Most students make expected progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Learners and their families are well known. Students whose achievement requires acceleration are identified and their needs considered. They are given ongoing support and sufficient opportunities to revisit and consolidate learning over time. Their progress is regularly monitored, discussed and reported to parents and trustees.

Students with additional needs are well supported. Teachers effectively identify their needs, develop programmes to address these and track progress towards individual goals. External agency support is accessed when required.

Students experience a broad curriculum designed to engage and interest them. It includes a focus on individual children’s needs and interests through authentic contexts and hands-on experiences.

Clear and comprehensive documentation guides the delivery of a learner focused curriculum. It effectively captures the contexts for learning overtime while allowing freedom to follow current events and children’s passions and emerging interests. Assessment processes were reviewed in 2018 and a new framework adopted. Processes are in place to support teachers’ understanding of new expectations.

A strategic and effective approach to building and supporting teachers’ capability is in place. There is a clear focus on building common understandings to ensure sustainability of effective teacher practices with changes of staff. A comprehensive teacher inquiry process is being used. Teachers are being supported to deepen their understanding and use of this process to better understand the impact of their practice on children’s learning and how to adjust practice to best meet individual children’s needs.

A strong, coherent appraisal process has been effectively implemented. Developmental goals are purposefully aligned to school-wide strategic priorities and focus on raising student achievement. The need for appraisal to reflect improvements in cultural responsiveness in classrooms is acknowledged.

Strong systems and processes support decision making and ensure smooth day to day operations of the school. Trustees effectively support the principal to pursue the school’s vision, implement its revised values and set the direction of the school. Progress towards school goals is formally monitored and regularly reported on to the board by the principal.

Leaders and trustees are improvement focused. They are transparent and considered in their decision making and have identified areas for ongoing growth within the school. They are focused on student achievement and responsive to identified needs of children. They ensure that parents are regularly consulted on school practices and the curriculum.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s strategic plan identifies broad outcomes. Clearer identification of the outcomes desired and more specific, measurable steps directed to achieving these outcomes is needed. The board acknowledges a need to strengthen strategic planning and target setting and has a programme of review in place for 2019 to address this.

Since the previous ERO review steps have been taken to strengthen cultural responsiveness. Rich cultural acknowledgement is evident in activities at a whole school level. Leaders have identified a need to further develop classroom practices to reflect the documented curriculum, implement whānau aspirations as identified in their recent hui and reflect elements of this through the appraisal process. ERO agrees this is a key next step.

Teachers and leaders are reflective and seek to understand new initiatives. A next step is to continue to deepen understanding of, and strengthen their practices in, internal evaluation.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership and stewardship that is consistently focused on improving student outcomes
  • a coherent and strategic approach to professional development that supports teachers to develop their professional practice
  • review and development of the curriculum that supports teaching and learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • strengthening strategic planning to better identify desired outcomes and steps to be taken to achieve these
  • increasing teacher capacity to better integrate te ao Māori into classroom programmes
  • strengthening understanding and implementation of internal evaluation to better identify the impact of initiatives on student outcomes.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

21 May 2019

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2930

School type

Contributing primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

196

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
NZ European/Pākehā 77%
Samoan 4%
Other ethnicities 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

21 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review November 2011