Queenstown School - 23/07/2019

School Context

QPS is located in Queenstown and provides education for students Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review it had a roll of 602 students, 26 of whom were Māori and 196 from a wide variety of other cultural backgrounds.

The mission of the school is ‘Through Quality, Perseverance and Success, QPS will grow adaptable, connected, lifelong learners’. Its vision is ‘Growing confident and future-focused learners’. This is supported by values of; Manaaki| Care, Whakāute| Respect and Ngakau tapatahi| Integrity.

The school’s strategic goals for 2019 focus on celebrating diversity, engaging families and inspiring students to become future focused learners, and being the heart of the community.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • achievement in specific learning areas and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • student wellbeing
  • progress for students who receive learning support
  • valued outcomes related science, project based learning, physical education and technology.

Since the 2015 ERO review some trustees have changed. There have been significant changes in staffing.

The school is a member of the Wakatipu Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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 effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students.

The school’s information for the 2016 to 2018 time period shows that in reading, writing and mathematics, a large majority of students achieved at or above the school’s curriculum level expectations. There is ongoing disparity for boys in writing and mathematics over this time period. This disparity has decreased over time in writing. The proportion of Māori students achieving the school’s expectations for reading and mathematics from 2016 to 2018 was also lower than for other groups at the school.

Almost all students are achieving in relation to the school’s valued outcomes as described in the context. In addition, almost all students are working within and consistently across the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

School information in relation to progress shows good levels of acceleration for those students achieving below the school’s expectations. This is particularly so in writing, where there has been an increase in overall achievement in writing due to a targeted approach.

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?

The school’s learning environment is managed effectively. It supports student’s participation and engagement in their learning. Teachers use a variety of teaching strategies, including differentiation, to ensure there is a continual focus on engaging students with their learning. Appropriate tools and methods are used to gather, store and retrieve a range of information about student’s learning.

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning communities. Diversity is valued at all levels of the school. International students and students from other cultures are welcomed and supported. There is a systematic wrap-around system for pastoral care. Students with additional learning needs are well provided for. The school’s values are known, relevant for students and incorporated into their learning. Students have voice and choice throughout the curriculum. A number of specialised teachers in a variety of subjects, add depth to the choices available for students’ learning.

There are intentional well established relationships with the community to promote positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for students. Curriculum design and enactment is responsive to the aspirations of students, parents and whānau. Leaders and teachers plan and integrate some aspects of te ao Māori within the school in a range of ways. There is ongoing development of the curriculum to support the diverse learning needs of students. Teaching staff work within a collaborative culture with their peers.

The board ensures there is a strategic alignment of resources to identified priorities. There is a large emphasis placed on the education outside the classroom (EOTC) programme and the board and school leaders ensure there is equitable access this for all.

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

Leaders and the board should continue to develop internal evaluation strategies. This would better enable the identification of priorities, and the impact of programmes and approaches for all students. Evaluating the success of strategies and initiatives to improve learning outcomes for students should be part of this.

During the course of this review ERO became aware of some communication concerns within the school. The board, leaders and teachers should continue to focus on building relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Queenstown Primary 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. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s processes for reviewing compliance against the code are robust, well documented and lead to change where needed.

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

Students receive a welcoming and personalised introduction to the school and the community. The international department is well resourced and staff ensure international students’ needs are met throughout their stay. Valued outcomes for international students include academic and language learning, life skills, leadership and outdoor education.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to policies and procedures.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • Regularly review and update policies.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Queenstown School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • intentional well established relationships with the community that promote positive learning and wellbeing for students
  • an inclusive environment where diversity is valued at all levels that is welcoming and supportive
  • a learning environment that is managed in ways that effectively support students’ participation, engagement and agency in learning.

Next steps

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

  • the evaluation of valued outcomes and priorities to know the effectiveness of those valued outcomes and priorities
  • the board, leaders and teachers continuing to focus on building relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

23 July 2019

About the school

Location

Queenstown

Ministry of Education profile number

4005

School type

Contributing Primary-Years 1-8

School roll

602

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%

NZ European/Pākehā 63%

Asian 14%

Other European 8%

Pacific 2%

Other ethnicities 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

23 July 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2015

Education Review December 2011

Education Review August 2008