Richmond Road School - 10/09/2019

School Context

Richmond Road School provides education for children from Years 1 to 6. Sixteen percent of the school’s culturally diverse roll are Māori, and 23 percent of students have Pacific heritage. A significant feature of the school is its long-term commitment to bilingual education, alongside an English-medium learning pathway.

Students are taught in one of four rōpū (units). These are Te Whānau Whāriki (Māori), Kiwi Connection (English), Mua i Malae (Samoan), and L’Archipel (French). Kiwi Connection, Mua i Malae and L’Archipel use the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Whānau Whāriki is based on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The language units, other than English-medium, attract families from all areas of Auckland.

The school charter and rebranding show a strong commitment to ‘Growing Together as One’. The motto is ‘Aim High, Whāia te Iti Kahurangi, Tauivi Malosi, Visez Haut’. The school’s purpose and vision is ‘to develop children who are culturally intelligent life-long learners, who strive for excellence and contribute to their communities’.

Leadership changes since the 2016 ERO review include the appointment of a new principal at the beginning of 2019, and two deputy principals. There are new leaders in Te Whānau Whāriki, Mua i Malae and Kiwi Connection. Many staff in the school have been appointed between 2017 and 2019. A new board is in place following recent board elections. The board chair, deputy board chair and an external consultant provide continuity. At the beginning of 2018, the school opened a new innovative learning space for students in Kiwi Connection and L’Archipel.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • learning support for students with additional learning needs
  • student attendance, engagement and wellbeing.

The school is one of 12 schools in Te Kāhui Ako o Waitematā. It is also one of seven schools in the kāhui ako that offer Māori medium education.

Since the 2016 ERO evaluation, leaders and trustees have addressed concerns and complaints about school processes by engaging in an extensive consultation and review process with many groups in the school. This process resulted in the rebranding of the school, and a broad range of feedback and aspirations to inform charter development. The school’s shared vision, values and strategic direction were set in a new charter and strategic plan.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

School achievement information shows that over the last three years, most children achieve at expected NZC levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders have reviewed assessment practices and teacher understanding of the purposes of assessment to ensure that processes are fair, and that data are valid and reliable. This includes assessment of language proficiency for students in the Samoan, French and Māori rōpū.

Children in Te Whānau Whāriki, the Māori immersion unit, achieve very well in pānui (reading), tuhituhi (writing) and pāngarau (mathematics). Data also show that Māori student achievement in Te Whānau Whāriki is increasing over time.

The school collects data for the four rōpū. Leaders are aware of the differences in achievement between units. They are also aware of the need to deliberately collate and use schoolwide achievement data for groups of students over time. This information will enable leaders to identify trends and patterns and to be more strategic, responsive and systematic in their plans to achieve more equitable outcomes for all groups of students.

Students achieve well in relation to other school valued outcomes. They:

  • show pride in their identity, language and culture

  • value and appreciate other students’ languages and cultures

  • demonstrate leadership skills at all ages

  • demonstrate the school’s values.

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

The school is working towards building a shared understanding of acceleration amongst all leaders and teachers.

The school has identified groups of students who have low levels of achievement. Leaders and teachers provide useful interventions, strategies and programmes to support children who need targeted learning support. The school is inclusive and has very good provision for children with additional learning needs.

Broad percentage targets have been set for 2019 that focus on accelerating students’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Targets also focus on improving students’ self-efficacy and their attitudes to learning and school.

The challenge now is for school leaders to more deliberately gather and use schoolwide achievement information to increase in-school parity. They continue to establish schoolwide and rōpū systems and processes to identify, track and monitor the rates of progress for children whose learning needs to be accelerated. Leaders recognise the need to build teachers’ capability to identify successful acceleration strategies, and to use context specific approaches to develop their knowledge and adaptive practices.

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 new principal has prioritised building collaboration, trusting relationships and unity at every level of the school community to fulfil the school’s vision of ‘Growing Together as One’. Leaders have established a supportive and orderly learning environment that is conducive to children’s learning and wellbeing. A variety of appropriate and effective strategies is used to communicate and engage with parents, whānau and the community. The principal has built a sense of optimism, positivity and confidence in the future direction of the school.

The board of trustees actively represents and serves the school community in its stewardship role. Relationships between trustees and leaders are based on trust, integrity and openness. Governance practices are sound, and the board accesses external expertise and training to help build trustees governance knowledge and capacity. The board appointed a new principal to enact the school’s vision, values and strategic direction.

Trustees and leaders have actively sought external expertise to review the effectiveness of a number of school initiatives and operations. This external view adds rigour to the school’s internal evaluation processes and provides sound information to support decision making.

A more responsive curriculum and increasing opportunities for students to be self-directed and self-managing are promoting student engagement, in-school equity and excellence. Children learn in caring and collaborative rōpū that value and affirm their identity, language and culture. The school has a strong and strategic commitment to biculturalism and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Teachers are engaging in more student-centred approaches to inquiry and learning that build on students’ strengths and interests and enable them to make decisions about their learning.

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

School leaders are aware of the need to systematically collect, analyse and use schoolwide achievement information for groups of students to identify and monitor trends and patterns over time. Continuing to develop teachers’ analysis of achievement information would support the evaluation of initiatives to accelerate children’s progress.

The board plans to broaden the range and type of achievement information it receives in order to scrutinise effectiveness in achieving valued outcomes for students. Leaders and trustees acknowledge the benefit of using the next charter consultation to identify broader outcomes for students that are valued in the school community.

School leaders, trustees and teachers recognise the need to continue to develop collaborative practices as the school transitions into new learning environments.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that enacts the school’s vision, values and goals
  • a board of trustees that has consulted widely, and is committed to school improvement and positive outcomes for all learners
  • developing a curriculum that is responsive to students’ languages and cultures and that is increasing opportunities for self-directed learning.

Next steps

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

  • systematic analysis and use of schoolwide data for groups over time, to increase equity and excellence
  • collaborative sense-making of data to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives to accelerate student learning
  • continuing to develop collaborative teaching practices in the flexible learning spaces.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

10 September 2019

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1463

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

323

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%
NZ European/Pākehā 46%
Samoan 15%
Tongan 4%
other European 14%
other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

2

Number of students in Level 1 Māori Medium Education

44

Special Features

Te Whānau Whāriki, Māori immersion unit Mua i Malae, Samoan immersion/bilingual unit L’Archipel, French immersion/bilingual unit

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

10 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review March 2013
Education Review January 2010