Parkvale School - 29/09/2011

Findings

1. Context

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

Parkvale School draws its students from Hastings, Havelock North and the local rural community. It is inclusive of a range of cultures and 21% of the students identify as Māori.

The school's values of striving for personal best, respect and responsibility, integrity, determination and enjoyment (PRIDE) are interwoven into all aspects of its life, particularly through interactions between teachers and students and among students.

The school is technology rich. The board of trustees and parents have funded a range of information and communication technologies that are used effectively to enhance student learning and engagement.

All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure a safe and inclusive environment. Students spoken with by ERO say that they feel safe and staff actions and planning focus on the children’s interests. Well-maintained grounds and buildings contribute to physical activity and play.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well engaged in learning and make good progress over time. Information for 2010, showed that, for the whole-school population, the large majority of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in mathematics, reading and writing.

Collated school-wide data are well analysed and reported to trustees against the National Standards with recommendations for resourcing, extra staffing and professional learning and development.

For 2011, the four student achievement targets in reading, writing, vocabulary and mathematics are appropriate. They are specific, measurable and informed by data. The overall mathematics target is differentiated to meet the learning requirements of identified target students.

Teachers make sound judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. The school is implementing a comprehensive assessment and reporting schedule using nationally normed tools. Teachers report to parents on student achievement in relation to National Standards twice a year, and in the three-way conversations with parents and the student.

Teachers use achievement data to inform planning and grouping of students for teaching and learning. Information is also well used to identify those with special needs and abilities. The school implements a wide range of appropriate interventions for both of these groups, whose progress is wellmonitored and reported to the board.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Overall, in 2010, the clear majority of Māori students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics and at a similar level to the whole-school population. Teachers use strategies such as cooperative learning and mentoring to support and improve Māori student achievement.

The school has reviewed its Māori achievement action plan based on the values of Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success/Māori Education Strategy. It continues the aim to raise Māori student achievement through the integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori within the classroom and school environment and to build closer relationships with the Māori community. The changes are in the early stages of implementation, but the plan's impact is evident in some rooms.

The board employs a te reo Māori teacher who works with students and also tutors the teachers in tikanga within the classroom setting. This is enhancing all students’ cultural awareness.

As part of its analysis, the school has recognised that the attendance of Māori students, as a group, is lower that of their peers and the number of unexplained absences is higher. Strategies are in place to improve the engagement of the students concerned.

3. Curriculum

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

The principal, staff and board have carefully considered and developed the school's curriculum based on the principles, values and key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum and on school needs.

The PRIDE values framework is used to reinforce learning and attitudes and is evident in a range of ways.

  • The values are displayed in every classroom and frequently referred to.
  • Students are encouraged to demonstrate the values in their interactions and behaviour, and in their attitude to, and the presentation of, their learning.
  • The board has embraced the concept and has developed expectations accordingly.
  • Students keep PRIDE books. These contain samples of learning and the teachers have identified the students’ levels of achievement and their next steps. Students self assess, often based on criteria that are made available to them. They contribute well to class learning conversations. They have a clear idea of the learning expectations and reflect on their own learning.

The curriculum is integrated so that learning is authentic and meaningful for the students. The high quality resources, facilities and provision for learning support enhance student engagement and achievement. Teachers and students make full use of the wide range of technology available.

The school has a culture of learning from the board to the students. Teachers have many professional learning and development opportunities to meet their individual needs and as part of addressing a whole-school professional development target.

Teachers work together to enhance their practice through:

  • planning cooperatively as a team and reflecting on how they can support students' learning. Planned themes are then adapted for individual classes
  • developing programmes that cater for a variety of learners
  • discussion to develop shared responses to potential learning difficulties
  • timetabling to prioritise literacy and numeracy learning
  • coaching and mentoring each other
  • engaging together in genuine learning conversations
  • reflection by using a teacher inquiry model.

Each student has a portfolio that documents school expectations of achievement based on the National Standards. The student’s learning is tracked through her/his time in the school. Portfolios are used to highlight current achievement in literacy and numeracy, and provide next learning steps. These formative documents inform the student, the parents and future teachers of the student’s learning pathway.

The school’s curriculum offers many opportunities for students to take meaningful leadership roles, both within the classroom and in school events. Students' success in a wide range of activities is celebrated and shared.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school's sound governance and management, well-developed policies, procedures and routines, mean that it is well-placed to continue to develop and provide a positive learning environment for all of its students.

Governance

Trustees bring a range of individual skills to the board. Participation in a wide range of professional learning and development has led to a clear understanding of their roles and portfolios. A wellconsidered governance manual outlines roles, responsibilities, strategies and review programmes. A strong strategic focus is evident in good links between the strategic plan and other documentation.

The board is a cohesive team committed to students' progress and well-being. Trustees are well informed and have a good understanding of student achievement and the National Standards. Staff acknowledge and appreciate their good support.

Self review

Elements of good self review, including action research and reflection by teachers, contribute to improvement. An appropriate self-review policy is based on the National Administration Guidelines. It has the strategic plan as the focus, with clear consultation and reporting outlined. All policies are on an annual review cycle. High level board self review to explore questions of whole-school effectiveness and inform decision making for continuous improvement is a next developmental step.

Leadership and management

The principal’s leadership is visionary, strongly strategic and supportive of staff initiatives. This has played a key role in the development of a school culture in which there is an expectation that all students will experience success in learning. It has entailed a measured approach to managing change in a range of areas such as effective teaching and curriculum development. School leadership is distributed among senior teachers, drawing on their interests and strengths.

The newly developed appraisal process supports the development of teaching practice, including the sharing of strategies amongst staff.

Community engagement

The board, principal and staff undertake ongoing consultation and communication with the community. Two-way discussions strongly support the community to be part of the school. Classroom blogs provide opportunities for students to share what they are working on with their families. Each blog is overseen by a teacher for safety, but is student driven and a celebration of the activities and programme in the classroom.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services Central Region

14 September 2011

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2641

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

5

School roll

494

Gender composition

Male 54%

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic groups

71%

21%

8%

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

14 September 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2008

October 2005

September 2002

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrate schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides