Remuera School - 24/06/2015

Findings

Remuera School provides high quality education for its learners. The school has a culture of high expectations and an inclusive and relevant curriculum through which all students can experience success. Effective school leadership maintains and extends the school’s very good performance.

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

1. Context

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

Remuera School is a large Auckland primary school with longstanding links to its local community. The student roll reflects the cultural diversity of the community and includes 5% who identify as Māori. At the time of this review 12 international students were enrolled at the school.

Students at Remuera School are confident, friendly and proud of their school. They benefit from a caring and inclusive school culture where their voices are heard and their views are valued. A schoolwide focus on wellbeing supports and promotes students’ sense of themselves as capable learners.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Previous reports have commended the school’s robust self-review processes that underpin the board’s vision of the school as a community of learners. High quality, collaborative leadership of teaching and learning was noted. These positive features of the school have been sustained and continue to be evident.

The principal, senior leadership and board of trustees ensure that students are at the centre of strategic thinking and planning. The school’s mission, vision and values guide decision making and learning for all members of the school community.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used very effectively to make positive changes for all learners. As a result, students are highly engaged in their learning and progress and achieve very well.

Relationships between teachers and students are reciprocal, respectful and focused on learning. Students are valued for their individual learning dispositions and strengths, and their pastoral care needs are well understood by teachers. Assessment tasks are used strategically by teachers as an opportunity to get to know their students better and further develop engagement within the classroom.

Students’ interest in learning and motivation to succeed contribute to their good levels of understanding and management of their learning. Students have many opportunities to express their views and ideas. Student voice is a major and essential aspect of the school’s focus on engaging and connecting learners to their learning.

School assessment processes are robust. Student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is consistently high, comparing favourably with National Standards data from national and local schools. Māori students consistently achieve very well. Teachers know their Māori and Pacific students well and closely monitor their progress and achievement.

Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to use valid, well analysed achievement information to inform teaching programmes. They share expectations for learning with students and help them to identify their next learning steps.

The school has good evidence of the success of interventions aimed at raising the achievement of students who are achieving below the National Standards. Most of these students are making good progress. The progress of some students is significantly accelerated. Students with additional learning needs receive high quality support from caring and well trained staff.

Close relationships between the school and parent community benefit students’ learning. Transitions into and through the school are very well managed. Useful achievement information guides learning conferences with families and students and helps to foster productive home-school partnerships.

Trustees use the school's well analysed and presented student achievement information to inform strategic plans and make targeted resourcing decisions. Charter targets are appropriately focused on accelerating the progress of those students not meeting national or school expectations. These targets are broadly stated and could now be refined to better reflect the school’s focus on strengthening and supporting students’ individual potential.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s coherent curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student engagement and learning. It is carefully designed to incorporate the school’s mission and vision, and to reflect the overarching essentials of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Curriculum review is ongoing and results in learning programmes that focus on developing students’ competence, curiosity and independence as learners. Priority is given to literacy and numeracy learning. Curriculum design responds to students’ interests.

Teachers encourage creative and critical thinking effectively within inquiry-based approaches towards learning. Students have opportunities to contribute to their learning programmes in meaningful ways, bringing their own cultural perspectives into class and school activities. The curriculum is increasingly reflective of the multicultural student population.

Teaching teams have frameworks for learning that help to ensure consistency of approaches in teaching. These approaches help support and enhance the delivery of the school’s curriculum.

A bicultural curriculum is increasingly evident. Māori contexts are a feature of learning across the curriculum. School leaders agree that it would now be timely to review bicultural practice in the curriculum. This review could include identifying areas of good practice, and further ways to include bicultural perspectives more consistently across all learning areas.

Students with special learning needs are well supported by teachers who have a depth of knowledge about each student’s individual learning preferences. The school is highly inclusive and works hard to provide good quality learning experiences for all of its students.

The ESOL programme is particularly effective in supporting students for whom English is not their first language to access the curriculum. The ESOL coordinator has an integral role in supporting the transition of new students into the school and in modelling effective practices to enable these students to access the school’s curriculum. As a result, class teachers are able to plan to better respond to their learning strengths and needs.

The school offers an enriching range of co-curricular activities. There are many opportunities for students to experience success and build leadership capability and social competencies. A variety of cultural, academic and sporting events celebrate student success.

The quality of teaching is consistently high. Teachers and support staff are very responsive to students’ needs and requirements for learning. Teachers work collaboratively to find new and innovative approaches to stimulate and challenge their students. A continued focus on improvement through professional learning and collegial support is a strong feature. Self and peer critique is integral to teachers’ professional practice. An effective and well coordinated performance management system supports teachers’ professional practice and growth.

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

Senior leaders and teachers are committed to supporting and enhancing Māori students’ success as Māori at the school. Māori students make up 5% of the school roll. They achieve well and at similar levels to all other students at the school in literacy and numeracy. Aspects of te reo Māori and tikanga are evident in class programmes and provide opportunities for Māori students to celebrate their culture and identity as Māori. Leaders and teachers are continuing to prioritise and foster culturally responsive teaching practices for Māori students across the school.

Since the 2011 ERO review the school has made steady progress in building partnerships with whānau and iwi. Senior leaders and trustees acknowledge that building respectful relationships with parents, whānau and the wider community to further acknowledge and support Māori students’ language, culture and identity is an ongoing priority.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Remuera School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. At all levels there is a culture of continuous improvement. A high degree of coherence between all processes and systems is evident, due to the effectiveness of thorough, purposeful self review.

Capable, vision-driven governance and leadership provide strong foundations and future direction for the school. High quality strategic planning, drawing on multiple perspectives, and responsive processes and outcomes support the achievement of the school’s vision.

The principal, school leaders and teachers are a highly effective group of professionals. The principal’s measured management of change and improvement in the school is well paced and considered. His focus on building collective capacity across the school has helped inspire innovation and further improved the quality and depth of the curriculum.

The board of trustees is capable and committed to the long-term interests of the school. They bring varied backgrounds and experience to their governance role. Board resourcing decisions are made strategically, based on student learning needs, best practice research and community consultation.

The community is rightfully proud of this school and the extensive educational opportunities it provides for students.

Provision for international students

Remuera is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of the review there were 12 international students attending the school, mostly from China, with one from Japan and another student from Sri Lanka.

Pastoral care services for international students are well integrated with English language teaching.

International students make good progress and achieve well academically. Students receive high quality English language learning programmes. International students actively engage in regular classroom programmes and are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities.

The principal and administrator for international students complete self reviews annually. The ESOL teacher works with classroom teachers to analyse academic progress and to report on student outcomes to the board of trustees. The board 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 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.

Conclusion

Remuera School provides high quality education for its learners. The school has a culture of high expectations and an inclusive and relevant curriculum through which all students can experience success. Effective school leadership maintains and extends the school’s very good performance.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 2015

About the School

Location

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1462

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

652

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Korean

Sri Lankan

Filipino

Other Asian

Other European

Other

5%

51%

16%

5%

6%

3%

2%

4%

2%

6%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

24 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

April 2008

April 2005