Remuera School - 23/06/2011

1. Context

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

Remuera School, in Auckland, caters for students from school entry to Year 6. NZ European/Pākehā students constitute just over half of the school roll, which has grown considerably since the 2008 ERO review. Māori students comprise three percent, and Pacific students two percent, of the roll. The school has fifteen international students. All staff contribute to the inclusive learning environment of the school. Students are confident, enthusiastic participants in lessons and have a wide range of opportunities for physical activity.

The principal, appointed since the 2008 ERO review, is well supported by the board and school leaders in making organisational changes that enhance continuous school improvement. Teachers have a clear understanding of their role in helping to ensure that the school meets the board’s priorities for its development.

Reflective practices at board, school leader and teacher levels have continued to develop since the last ERO review. Good governance ensures the provision of effective student learning programmes. Decision making now has a greater focus on improving achievement for all students. Teachers modify their teaching practices and classroom programmes so that they target identified needs in students’ learning and build on their existing strengths.

2. Learning

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

Most students achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics. The school’s effective assessment procedures provide teachers with very good quality information about students’ strengths and needs in learning. Increasingly, teachers provide students with meaningful information about their achievement to help them to reflect on their learning and plan ways to improve.

Teachers cater effectively for the learning needs of the small number of students who achieve below national expectations. School leaders provide well considered resources and professional development to help teachers to personalise students’ learning. Teachers discuss achievement information in depth and explore ways of modifying their practices to best meet students’ learning requirements. As a result, teaching practices are successful and students are actively engaged in learning.

Students with special needs benefit from the school’s nurturing environment. Their progress is well monitored and interventions are modified as students develop and make progress. Students in gifted and talented programmes benefit from opportunities to extend their understandings and skills in a wide variety of learning areas. Students whose first language is not English are supported by well planned withdrawal and classroom programmes.

Student achievement information is carefully analysed. Sound conclusions are reached about effective ways of helping students with their learning. While most Pacific students achieve at levels that are at and above national expectations, their achievement is slightly below levels attained by other groups of students in the school. The board and school leaders are exploring strategies to improve the learning of Pacific students and have identified the need to consult Pacific families about their aspirations for their children.

Parents receive good quality information about how well their children are progressing. Reports to parents in 2010 showed how students were achieving in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and numeracy. Teachers are developing effective ways of informing parents about how their children are achieving across the broader curriculum.

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

The board is assured through regular reports that Māori students engage, progress and achieve well. Levels of Māori student achievement are similar to the high levels of achievement of other students in the school. School leaders and the board have a good understanding of the importance of Māori students achieving well in their learning and experiencing success as Māori. Teachers are increasingly providing opportunities for Māori students to take leadership roles and to share experiences that reflect te ao Māori.

ERO, the board and leadership team agree that the school could further develop relationships with Māori families so that their cultural knowledge, experiences and skills can be used to build on students’ knowledge and skills.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports students’ interests effectively and reflects national guidelines and local priorities. Teachers plan varied and interesting programmes that provide opportunities for students to develop their academic, cultural and physical abilities. Students participate in lessons that promote relevant and meaningful learning. They engage in well developed literacy and numeracy programmes that are integrated in purposeful ways across the curriculum. Board-funded intervention programmes are helping to improve the achievement levels of the small number of students who are underachieving or who are at risk of underachieving.

A strong inclusive school culture supports students’ individuality and self belief and helps to ensure that they are emotionally safe. As a result, students view themselves as capable learners. They are receptive to new ideas and experiences and readily seek advice and support from others.

Students know the purpose of learning activities. Increasingly, students are able to identify their next learning steps. Examples of good practice in student-led learning could be used to embed these effective teaching and learning strategies across the school.

A consistent school-wide approach to the analysis and review of data is used to inform programme planning and professional learning. Recent professional development has focused on refining practices for teaching reading to ensure that all students’ learning requirements are better met. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in classroom programmes is well considered. ICT initiatives are evaluated to identify their impact on developing students’ learning.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The school is well governed and well led. The board of trustees, with the principal, staff and school community, has developed a charter and a school direction that is focused on enabling all students to develop and to achieve their potential.

The board’s commitment to providing opportunities for all students to succeed is reflected in the provision of programmes and resources for children with special learning requirements. The board’s targets for student achievement in 2011 include targets to improve the achievement of under-achieving students in relation to the National Standards.

The quality of leadership is high. A new leadership structure has enabled the leadership team to sharpen its focus on embedding effective teaching and learning practices across the school and building on ways in which teachers reflect on their teaching.

Self review is integral to the successful functioning of the school at all levels. The board and school leaders use review information to determine areas of focus and development in the school and to monitor the progress and success of initiatives already in place.

The board understands its governance role well. Trustees are aware of the impact of roll growth on the school’s infrastructure and plan for the future development of the school. Well considered planning is focused on enhancing current resources for students.

ERO and the board agree that the school’s self review could focus on the following areas to sustain current levels of high quality student learning:

  • continuing to embed effective teaching and learning practices across the school
  • building on students’ cultural knowledge, experiences and capabilities to enrich their learning
  • a continued focus on providing opportunities for student-led learning.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were 15 international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 June 2011

About the School

Location

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1462

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

667

Number of international students

15

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Korean

British/Irish

Indian

Sri Lankan

Australian

Pacific (Samoan and Tongan)

European

Other Asian

Other

58%

3%

13%

5%

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

3%

3%

Review team on site

May 2011

Date of this report

23 June 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Discretionary Review

April 2008

April 2005

December 2001