Northland School - 05/05/2015

1 Context

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

Northland School is a Wellington suburban school catering for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 346, with 5% identifying as Māori and 3% as Pacific. A number of teachers are long serving. The school has a stable roll.

The school is working with the Ministry of Education to trial the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) to support teachers to make appropriate judgements about student progress in relation to the National Standards.

There is a focus on literacy and mathematics with additional emphasis on visual arts, music and sport. Recent school professional development opportunities for staff have focused on science and writing. The values or ‘qualities’ programme is an integral part of the curriculum. Board funded personnel add breadth to curriculum provision. The school enjoys a high level of community involvement and support. Students have a variety of leadership opportunities.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information for 2014, indicates that the majority of students are at or above expectations in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This data shows that Māori students achieve very well.

The school uses an appropriate range of assessment tools to gather data. This information is well analysed and provides clear evidence of how well students are progressing and achieving. Appropriate supports are available for students with identified needs.

Teachers use student achievement data to appropriately adjust their teaching for different learners. They are increasingly inquiring into the effectiveness of their strategies for promoting the progress of underachieving students. The school recognises the need to continue to strengthen teacher inquiry processes to ensure a more focused approach to accelerate the progress of 'at risk' students.

Reports to parents appropriately include information on how well students are progressing in relation to National Standards. Parents are involved in goal-setting processes with their children.

3 Curriculum

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

The Northland School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It affirms students' social, physical and emotional wellbeing. Curriculum documents have clear links to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the expectations of National Standards.

As a result of recent professional development and consultation with the community, it is timely to review curriculum statements and guidelines. This should provide senior managers and staff with the opportunity to:

  • reinforce the principles of the NZC
  • reflect te ao Māori and the school's local context
  • strengthen the school’s culturally responsive practices
  • provide guidance for the integration of digital learning and information and communication technologies.

Effective teaching strategies are used to successfully engage and motivate students. Reflective teachers demonstrate that they know their students very well. Students are settled and cooperative. Positive, respectful relationships are evident at all levels of the school.

Teachers should increase their use of strategies to help students have ownership of their learning and clarity about their next learning steps.

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

A recently appointed lead teacher of Māori is focused on increasing engagement and partnership with whānau of Māori learners. She has introduced a range of initiatives to strengthen the reflection of te ao Māori throughout the school. ERO affirms this direction, as there is a need to increase the extent to which the school’s curriculum and environment reflects the language, culture and identity of Māori learners.

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 focus on building leadership across the school continues and is well supported by senior managers. The positive school tone promotes the wellbeing of students and staff.

Self review is developing. Trustees are in the midst of an extensive process of redeveloping policies and procedures to make monitoring and review more manageable.

Trustees receive a range of information through detailed principal’s reports. Leaders are developing their analysis and interpretation of student achievement information. This should support the evaluation of the impact of the curriculum, and impact of specific programmes, and support board decision making. Leaders and ERO agree that it is important to review and refine planning, monitoring and reporting systems to accelerate the progress of the charter target groups.

Teacher appraisal has undergone development to better align with the school’s strategic and annual goals and the Registered Teacher Criteria. The role of teacher observation should be strengthened. Leaders should consider ways to increase evidence-based feedback to assist teachers to continue to enhance their practice.

The school and the community have a positive relationship. Parents are well informed about what is happening at school and are consulted to ensure they have a voice in the direction of the school.

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 achieve well in a positive and supportive school climate that enhances their wellbeing. They are well engaged in their learning. Relationships are respectful. Leadership is strongly supportive of teachers and students. Continuing to develop the school curriculum and evaluation of school systems and processes are key next steps.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 May 2015

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2931

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

346

Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Pakeha 87%

Māori  5%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 5%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

5 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2012

Education Review September 2009

Education Review August 2006