Redwood School (Christchurch) - 13/06/2018

School Context

Redwood School provides education for children in Years 1-6. The school roll is 329, and 59 children on the roll have identified as Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘We are climbing high ready for life’. The valued outcomes are for children to be respectful, responsible and able to relate well to others. These outcomes are known as the ‘Reddie Learner Qualities’.

The school’s key aims and overarching goals are to:

  • continue to develop the ‘Redwood Way’ (expectations for teaching and learning – the ‘Heart of the Matter’), while continuing to build strong collaborative pedagogy across the school

  • target and differentiate the teaching of literacy and numeracy

  • provide a broad curriculum

  • build bicultural practice through contextual learning throughout the school curriculum

  • extend the use of digital tools for learning.

The school’s 2018 targets are to increase the number of children achieving at or above the school’s expected standard in reading and writing. There is a particular focus on improving boys’ achievement in writing and reading, and some Māori children’s achievement in reading.

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

  • student achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics

  • summarised school-wide and year level information against school targets

  • trends and patterns about student achievement, and children’s participation in specialised programmes.

The school participates in a national programme that promotes positive learning behaviours. It is a member of the Totaranui Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 achieving good outcomes for most children.

Over the last three years, most children have achieved at the school’s expected levels in reading and mathematics. Mathematics achievement for all groups of children has remained consistent, over this time.

The school has identified that there is an ongoing need for school-wide improvement in writing achievement, and has targeted strategies in place to address this.

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

The school has had success at accelerating the achievement of a number of children whose learning needs to progress at a faster rate.

School information over the last three years shows:

  • disparity for boys in writing and reading, particularly for Māori boys

  • improvement in Māori girls’ writing achievement.

The school has effective processes to identify and monitor the progress of children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

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 values are well known and enacted across all areas of the school. This is conducive to positive relationships and school culture.

School leaders, teachers and support staff know the children well as learners. Teachers identify and respond to children’s strengths, abilities and needs. Children with specific learning needs are well supported and closely monitored. Teachers identify and share specific strategies to assist children’s learning, wellbeing and social development. There is a shared responsibility by all staff for supporting children’s learning and wellbeing.

A deliberate and well-considered approach to building a culture of collaboration between school leaders and teachers is evident. This is encouraging the growth of teachers’ practices and understandings of what works best for individuals and groups of children. Teachers are well supported to build their collaborative capability to successfully manage the planned future school developments to the school environment and property. There is a strong focus in the school on developing teaching pedagogy around effective collaborative teaching.

The school’s leadership makes good use of teachers’ strengths and skills. There are opportunities for leadership roles and this is enabling the development of leadership capacity across the school. Good use is made of external and internal expertise to foster teacher capacity and capability, particularly in the development of bicultural practices and understandings.

The board is provided with a useful range of information to assist trustees in their governance role. Trustees are supportive of the school’s strategic direction. They are focused on improvement and implementing changes that respond to identified student needs and school direction priorities.

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

School leaders need to further develop their understanding and use of robust internal evaluation practices and processes to determine what works and what is needed to sustain ongoing improvement of equity and excellence. This will enable them to:

  • better know about the impact and effectiveness of teaching practices and programmes on improving outcomes for children

  • have a greater focus and understanding of accelerating student progress

  • ensure that sufficiency of progress for all students is known and responded to.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely for aspects of the school’s curriculum to be reviewed. The school needs to consider the ways other learning areas beyond literacy and numeracy are assessed.

The current appraisal process needs to be strengthened to ensure it effectively meets the Education Council requirements. This should include use of evidence and increased opportunity for teachers to take greater ownership of their appraisal.

3 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the positive school-wide learning environment where individuals are well known and supported

  • the shared responsibility for children’s learning and wellbeing

  • ongoing focus on building bicultural understandings and practices to support Māori children’s success as Māori

  • the culture of collaboration that supports sharing of good practice and building capacity of staff.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing and further developing the school’s curriculum learning areas in ways that identify and personalise expectations for the Redwood Learner

  • further developing internal evaluation practices and processes to identify what is working well for children and where improvement is needed

  • strengthening the school’s appraisal process.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 June 2018

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3484

School type

Contributing

School roll

329

Gender composition

Boys 49% : Girls 51%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%

Pākehā 71%

Pacific 2%

Other ethnicities 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

13 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review May 2015

Education Review February 2012

Education Review March 2008