Redwood School (Tawa) - 30/05/2014

1 Context

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

Redwood School caters for students in Years 1 to 6, largely from the surrounding neighbourhood. Students attending the school come from a range of ethnic backgrounds, with 7% identifying as Māori and 5% as Pacific. The school enjoys strong support from its community. The school's vision and values are for students to be ‘respectful, responsible, engaged, empowered and driven to be life-long learners’.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the April 2011 ERO report, the board appointed a new principal and deputy principal and the school has participated in Ministry of Education (the Ministry) contracts to help teachers:

  • accelerate the progress of students who are below National Standards in literacy and mathematics
  • use digital technologies to support teaching and learning.

Contracts to support literacy development and the use of digital technologies continue this year.

There have also been changes in board membership, with new trustees undertaking some training to help them understand their governance role and responsibilities.

2 Learning

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

Schoolwide achievement information gathered over the past three years shows that the majority of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. The achievement of Māori and Pacific students is similar to their peers and Asian students achieve well. The board uses this information to set annual targets to accelerate the progress of priority students who are below the standards.

Since the previous ERO review, teachers are using achievement information more effectively to:

  • make reliable judgements in relation to National Standards as a result of improved moderation processes, especially for writing
  • look more closely at the data to better inform teaching and learning in some classes.

Senior leaders identify that the next step is to:

  • support all teachers make better use of assessment data to inform teaching and learning by sharing effective models within the school.

The school gathers useful achievement information when students enter school aged five and the need for early intervention is apparent. The assistant principal is supporting junior teachers to make better use of achievement information to identify teaching strategies that accelerate students’ progress.

A good range of additional programmes support students with special needs and abilities. Most focus on small group teaching outside the classroom using part-time teachers. Student progress is monitored with clear evidence to show that some students make accelerated progress. Further consideration should be given to:

  • promoting more targeted support within classroom teaching programmes for students who are achieving below National Standards.

Students with very high learning needs are well supported. Their progress and achievement is monitored through individual education plans.

Parents and whānau receive useful information about their child’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. School leaders have sought and responded positively to feedback from parents about the school’s reporting and continue to review and improve the process.

3 Curriculum

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

Students participate in a wide range of learning experiences. Appropriate priority is given to literacy, numeracy and physical education, including daily fitness. Other curriculum areas such as science, social sciences, health, technology and the arts are integrated through student inquiries, based around a range of topics. Students enjoy participating in activities outside the classroom and the engagement they have with other students from local schools at special events.

Examples of effective teaching practices are evident. Interactions between teachers and students are positive and supportive. Most classes have a settled, learning-focused atmosphere and many of the older students talk confidently about their learning. Leaders plan to support greater consistency of effective practices across the school.

Senior leaders and teachers are presently reviewing the school’s curriculum to ensure it is designed to cater for the needs of all students. They have also begun to review behaviour management practices. ERO suggests widening the scope to include student wellbeing as the findings are likely to link well with the outcomes of the curriculum review.

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

The school’s curriculum gives specific focus to aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. The kapa haka group is gathering strength and has performed well in the local Tawa Cultural Festival. While the majority of Māori students are achieving well, the school’s curriculum is not yet sufficiently responsive to their needs, interests, abilities and culture. The curriculum review should help address this.

The board, school leaders and whānau have yet to develop shared understandings about success for Māori, as Māori. Increased knowledge of whānau values and aspirations is likely to contribute to the development of effective strategies to further promote the learning and wellbeing of Māori students as Māori. Using the recent Ministry publications Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should support this development.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers are committed to ongoing improvement. The board has developed a clear vision, values and goals to guide future planning and the strong partnership with families supports student learning and wellbeing. Effective aspects of self review include:

  • good analysis of schoolwide achievement information with a clear focus on accelerating the progress of students not meeting National Standards
  • school leaders and teachers regularly reflecting on teaching and learning
  • the board’s cycle of ongoing policy review.

The next steps are to:

  • develop a robust process for the in-depth review of the school’s curriculum to ensure it responds effectively to the diverse range of student needs, abilities and cultures
  • establish a cohesive and well aligned approach to school development and review, including strengthening links to appraisal
  • consider the most effective leadership model to promote and support ongoing school improvement.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

30 May 2014

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School

Location

Tawa, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2976

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

409

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Indian

Other European

Other Ethnic Groups

7%

69%

7%

5%

5%

5%

2%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

30 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

February 2008

November 2004