North East Valley Normal School - 29/10/2019

School Context

North East Valley Normal School (NEV Normal) provides education for children from Years 1 to 6. The school has a roll of 265 children, of whom 19 percent identify as Māori. The roll has grown significantly since the last ERO review (2015).

A bilingual classroom, |Te Rōpu Manaaki, offering education in te reo Māori and English, was established in 2017. Currently 26 children participate in learning in this classroom.

The school has had a long association with the North East Valley Community Project and the offices for this organisation are hosted on site along with a community garden.

NEV Normal has a partnership with the University of Otago College of Education to provide placements and mentoring for trainee teachers.

The school’s vision is for a learning community that is caring, respectful, knowledgeable, confident and competent, prepared for life and grounded in the ‘greater good’ and the community. The school’s values are respect, responsibility and safety.

Current strategic priorities are to sustain positive outcomes for all children and their whānau through:

  • effective collaboration with children, whānau and the community

  • continued curriculum development with an emphasis on culturally responsive practices, learning-to-learn capabilities, environmental education and digital technology

  • promoting effective teaching practice.

Achievement goals are for all children to: ‘achieve their potential’, achieve at the school’s expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics and for equitable achievement outcomes for Māori students. The school has specific targets for junior reading and numeracy at year four.

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

  • achievement in reading
  • engagement, attendance and positive behaviours for learning.

In addition the board receives reporting on outcomes for priority learners participating in tailored learning interventions and outcomes related to the school’s specific targets for junior reading and numeracy in year four.

The school is a member of the Otepoti ki Te Raki Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning. The principal leads this community.

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 working effectively to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. Information for 2016 to 2019 shows most children achieve at and above the school’s curriculum expectations. The school is effective in achieving excellent and equitable outcomes for all students in reading.

Reporting against the school’s specific achievement targets shows the school is effective in supporting most students to achieve at expected levels in reading by the end of Year 2 and at expected levels for numeracy by Year 4.

Achievement information for 2016 and 2017 shows that while most students achieved at expected levels in writing and mathematics, there was a small disparity for Māori students.

Attendance, engagement and behaviour reporting shows students have good levels of engagement in learning and maximised opportunities to learn.

Achievement information for 2018 was not provided to ERO during the review.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for students who need this?

The school effectively meets the needs of a diverse range of students and supports them to make positive progress. School reporting on a wide range of targeted teaching and support programmes (including for reading and mathematics intervention groups) shows they effectively promote students’ engagement, participation, social/emotional capability and achievement.

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?

Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for enabling all children to achieve their potential. They do this by:

  • valuing and enabling strong reciprocal relationships with the wider community

  • promoting a high trust, positive, inclusive, caring learning culture

  • setting high expectations for effective teaching and learning and encouraging innovation

  • recognising and fostering leadership across the learning community

  • leading and enabling culturally responsive practices across the school.

The school has effective systems for identifying, monitoring and responding to the diverse needs of all children. Teachers make strong use of a wide range of learning information to get to know students as individuals and learners, and to personalise their teaching. Students with additional needs are well supported to participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate challenge. Teachers collaborate effectively to support the continuity of learning for students as they progress through the school.

Student’s language, culture and identity are valued and celebrated. All students have many, meaningful opportunities to know, understand and value Māori language, knowledge and perspectives. Students and whānau value the way their identity, belonging, whānaungatanga and language are nurtured in Te Rōpu Manaaki. Students learn in a community characterised by respect, empathy, cooperation and team work.

A broad, localised curriculum effectively reflects and enacts the school’s vision and valued outcomes for children as holistic learners. Strengths include the way it:

  • is developed collaboratively with learners and families|whānau

  • gives emphasis to learning-to-learn capabilities, social and emotional competence, health and well-being and environmental education

  • makes links to students’ lives beyond school

  • makes strong use of local community resources and partnerships to provide authentic contexts for learning.

The school has well-established reciprocal learner-centred relationships with families/whānau, the education sector and wider community. Leaders and teachers draw on this expertise to enrich teaching and learning and meet the needs of children. Leaders and teachers actively participate in community and professional partnerships and networks focussed on deepening their professional capability.

Leaders and teachers demonstrate collective capacity to do and use evaluation, inquiry and knowledge-building to sustain improvement and innovation. They engage in ongoing critical reflection about what makes the greatest difference to students’ learning.

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

Trustees and leaders need to further analyse school-wide outcomes for students in writing and mathematics. This will enable them to make better informed decisions based on knowing more about:

  • equity for all groups of students

  • outcomes against the school’s achievement target for all children to be achieving at expected curriculum levels

  • trends and patterns in achievement over time.

Leaders need to report regularly to the board about schoolwide student progress and achievement.

The school is currently revising its localised curriculum. Leaders and teachers are developing ways of knowing about how well students are developing the capabilities valued in the new curriculum. ERO agrees that reporting these outcomes to the board will support ongoing decision making.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

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

At the time of this review there were 2 international students attending the school.

The school has well developed and considered practices for the induction and pastoral care of international students. Students’ English language learning is well supported both within specialist language and mainstream classes. Children’s additional needs are carefully identified and appropriately responded to.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of North East Valley Normal School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strong learner-centred partnerships with parents, whānau and the community that enrich teaching and learning
  • a broad, localised curriculum that responds well to the interests, strengths and needs of students
  • culturally responsive practices that value and celebrate the culture, language and identity of students
  • a learning culture amongst staff that promotes critical reflection and innovation.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the analysis and reporting of school-wide achievement information to be able to more systematically identify and address any in-school disparity
  • developing new assessment and reporting processes to know about how well all students are developing the broad learning capabilities valued in the school’s revised curriculum.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 October 2019

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3783

School type

Contribution Normal

School roll

265

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%

NZ European/Pākehā 69%

Pacific 2%

Other ethnicities 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

1

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

0

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

26

Number of students in Level 1 MME

2

Number of students in Level 2 MME

0

Number of students in Level 3 MLE

0

Number of students in Level 4a MLE

24

Number of students in Level 4b MLE

0

Number of students in Level 5 MLE

0

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review February 2015

Education Review October 2011

Education Review February 2008