North Loburn School - 11/11/2015

Findings

Students benefit from a welcoming and inclusive environment. Teachers know students and their families well. Students achieve well. They are provided with rich and varied learning experiences. The board and staff are focused on student achievement and ongoing school improvement. Further refinement of the school’s achievement targets and strategic plan are the key priorities for further development.

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

1. Context

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

North Loburn School provides a welcoming and inclusive environment. Positive relationships across the school contribute to students’ learning and wellbeing.

Parents and the wider community are highly supportive and actively involved in school events. There is a strong sense of belonging and connection with the school. Many families have long association with the local area and school.

Students are well supported as they transition into the school. Leaders and teachers have close professional relationships with other local schools and early childhood centres.

The board, leaders and teachers have responded well to areas for development identified in the 2012 ERO report. They have developed a process for self review and have evaluated the learning-support programme. There is now an increased awareness of Māori language and culture across the school.

2. Learning

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

Teachers and leaders make very good use of well-analysed student achievement information to support students’ learning, progress and achievement.

Most students achieve very well in relation to National Standards. The school’s information shows that students achieve highest in reading. Teachers and leaders have identified that mathematics and raising boys’ writing achievement are areas for ongoing development.

Teachers use a wide range of ways to assess students’ learning. They know their students well. Students most at risk of not achieving are provided with additional, targeted support. Their progress is closely monitored and programmes adapted as necessary.

School leaders and teachers have extended the ways they ensure their assessment decisions are accurate. They work closely with local schools to build shared understanding of assessment practices. School leaders have identified that the next step is to continue documenting specific school guidelines.

The board receives regular reports about how well students are progressing and achieving. Trustees use this information effectively in decision making to improve outcomes for students.

The principal and board agree that their school targets need refining. They should:

  • more specifically identify the groups of students most at risk of not achieving
  • clearly define the expected rates of progress and levels of achievement for individual students
  • set higher expectation levels for these students

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning and achievement. However, the school’s end of year 2014 reports to parents did not directly report in relation to the National Standards. The principal and teachers are currently reviewing the format of reporting to parents. The principal stated that this will be in place for future reporting.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes student learning. The vision and PRIDE values are integral to all aspects of teaching and learning. They are well understood and clearly evident throughout all aspects of school practices.

Students are provided with rich and varied learning experiences within and beyond the classroom. Teachers give appropriate priority to literacy and mathematics within their programmes. Students’ oral language is effectively supported and extended in a range of different ways. Technologies are used meaningfully across all areas of the curriculum. All students have regular opportunities to learn and use te reo Māori.

Teachers use a variety of very effective practices to support and engage students in their learning. Teachers are flexible and responsive to individual needs. Teacher aides are well supported and skilful. Their work with students is highly valued.

The experienced teaching team works collaboratively. Teachers have high expectations for learning and teaching. Students are encouraged to be active participants in their learning. Students’ opinions about their learning are regularly sought. There are frequent and meaningful opportunities for older students to take on leadership responsibilities.

The school has a strong focus on environmental education and sustainable practices. The recent attainment of an Enviroschools Green-Gold Award recognises the high quality work of students and staff.

The principal and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that aspects of the curriculum need to be reviewed. This includes:

  • extending opportunities students have for greater ownership of their own learning
  • further developing the ways to show the progressions of learning within all curriculum areas.

School leaders have developed useful statements and guidelines about how they support Māori success, achievement and consultation with whānau. They agree that they could consider increasing the ways they reflect Māori culture within their key documentation.

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

Māori students have very good opportunities to succeed as Māori.

School leaders and teachers know Māori students well as learners and individuals. Māori students are actively engaged in their learning and often take leadership roles within the school.

The principal and teachers have respectful relationships and connections with Māori whānau. They have increased their links with local iwi and value the support they provide.

The principal, teachers and board have given high priority to considering ways the school supports Māori students. They have developed a shared understanding of Māori success as Māori. The next step is to consider ways to ensure that current good practice is embedded and sustained.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board, leaders and staff work purposefully to ensure positive outcomes for all students. There is close alignment between the school’s key documents and its identified goals and priorities.

The leadership team is reflective and focused on ongoing improvement for learning and teaching. Leaders make good use of individual teacher’s strengths. Teachers have regular opportunities for meaningful and appropriate professional learning. They are provided with useful feedback to guide their practice.

The staff and board’s active involvement with other local schools allows for sharing of good practice and building professional capacity to support ongoing improvement.

The board is highly supportive of student and staff wellbeing. Trustees regularly consult with the community and provide regular information about school happenings and developments.

The board and leaders have made significant progress in developing the ways they evaluate the school’s performance. They have identified, and ERO agrees, that they need to continue to strengthen and refine these processes. This includes making increased use of the in-depth information they gather to determine how effective school practices are.

The school leaders are currently reviewing the appraisal process. They need to ensure that this process is updated in line with current Education Council requirements.

The board and principal have also identified that it is timely for the board’s strategic plan to be updated. The next plan needs to better reflect school priorities for development. Consideration should also be given to developing a process for regularly reporting how well the school is progressing towards meeting its strategic priorities.

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

Students benefit from a welcoming and inclusive environment. Teachers know students and their families well. Students achieve well. They are provided with rich and varied learning experiences. The board and staff are focused on student achievement and ongoing school improvement. Further refinement of the school’s achievement targets and strategic plan are the key priorities for further development.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

11 November 2015

About the School

Location

North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3447

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

123

Gender composition

Girls 51%;

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnicities

86%

11%

1%

2%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

11 November 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

October 2009

August 2006