Norsewood and Districts School - 22/09/2015

Findings

Norsewood and Districts School has made significant progress since the 2013 ERO review. There are good systems and processes in place for promoting sustainable development. The board, senior leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements in leadership, teaching practices and student learning.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Norsewood and Districts School, located in southern Hawke’s Bay, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 123 students and 19% identify as Māori. The shared core values are recognised and understood throughout the school as the guiding framework for learning and behaviour. There is a strong focus on providing an inclusive environment for students.

The May 2013 ERO report identified significant areas for review and development. These included the need to improve student progress and achievement, assessment practices, leadership and self review.

Following the 2013 report, school leaders developed a plan for review and development, in consultation with ERO. This has provided a framework to guide improvements in key areas. A new principal was appointed in 2014.

This 2015 report evaluates the progress made over time since 2013 and how well placed the school is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

An action plan was developed with key priorities for improvement. Actions and outcomes were monitored throughout the ongoing ERO review process.

The overall goal was to improve learning, engagement, progress and achievement for all students. Actions to achieve this goal have been to:

  • strengthen leadership and management systems
  • develop effective teaching practices
  • improve assessment processes. 

Progress

The school is addressing the significant areas for development. The principal has developed a structure that supports ongoing change. She articulates high expectations for student learning and achievement and for teachers as professionals.

Professional learning and development (PLD) is prioritised and focused on building effective teaching. Staff work collaboratively to share and discuss good practice. Teachers reflect on and inquire into their practice to make improvements to teaching and learning. The revised and strengthened appraisal system supports this process of ongoing development.

Staff have strengthened their understanding and use of student achievement information. This data is used to inform decision making and to track and monitor student progress and achievement. Leaders are reviewing assessment tools and developing guidelines to further support teacher judgements and moderation processes. School reported data in 2015 shows that many students achieve well.

Recent curriculum development is providing meaningful learning experiences for students. There is
a clear framework to support and guide teaching and learning. The school is strengthening the reflection of te ao Māori throughout the curriculum. Leaders and trustees are engaging with whānau and community members to support this.

PLD in restorative practices is helping teachers build a supportive learning environment. Active engagement is encouraged and students are beginning to develop an understanding of themselves as learners.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

There are good systems in place for promoting sustainable development. The principal provides effective leadership to support ongoing improvement.

Trustees receive useful information, including ongoing targeted PLD, to support its operation. They fund appropriate provisions for students and teachers. The board focuses on continuing to raise student achievement and sustain improvements.

Self review has been strengthened at all levels. Strategic and annual plans identify priorities and actions for teaching, learning and student achievement. Through review there is a stronger focus on professional practice and the impact on outcomes for learners.

The board, senior leaders and teachers should embed key developments outlined in this report to continue to improve leadership, teaching practices and student learning. 

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.

Conclusion

Norsewood and Districts School has made significant progress since the 2013 ERO review. There are good systems and processes in place for promoting sustainable development. The board, senior leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements in leadership, teaching practices and student learning.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 September 2015

About the School 

Location

Norsewood

Ministry of Education profile number

2622

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

123

Gender composition

Female 58%, Male 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

19%
77%
  4%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

22 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2013
February 2010
May 2006