Richmond School (Napier) - 01/02/2016

Findings

Students learn in culturally and digitally rich environments, in ways that support their sense of ownership, confidence and pride in learning. School leaders and teachers promote relational trust and partnerships for learning. Effective literacy programmes positively impact on student achievement. Completing current curriculum development and strengthening evaluation for improvement are next steps.

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

1 Context

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

Richmond School is located in Maraenui, Napier. The Years 1 to 6 students who attend the school are mostly Māori and Samoan.

During 2015, new senior leaders were appointed to the leadership team. Several staff are new to the school since the January 2013 ERO report.

The board and staff continue to emphasise, expand and equitably provide digital technologies as tools to accelerate student learning. Richmond School students present their work to a range of national and international educators.

Staff are involved in professional learning and development to develop a schoolwide system of Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L).

2 Learning

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

Well-developed systems support the use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students’ health, behavioural, academic and social needs are quickly identified when they enrol at school. Those with additional needs are thoughtfully supported. A pastoral care team involves a wider network of external agencies in deliberate, well-considered and structured ways. Students learn in an environment highly conducive to their wellbeing.

The board sets strategic goals to raise the achievement of groups of students who are well below or below the National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Reported data shows that the school has significantly improved the percentages achieving at or above the National Standards in all three areas, since 2011. In 2014, mathematics achievement approached the Ministry of Education target of 85% and writing achievement exceeded this, for all students. Māori students achieve well. The board’s focus in 2015 is appropriately on the group of Samoan students not yet achieving in relation to the Standards.

The board receives regular reports about the percentages of students meeting the Standards. The data shows clearly the achievement for gender and ethnic groups, both schoolwide and at year levels. It is not as clear how many students within the targeted groups are making the progress necessary to achieve the school's expectation for accelerated progress.

All students below the Standards have their progress tracked and monitored over time, both by individual teachers and the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). New systems are developing to monitor student progress electronically and collate and analyse data for groups of students. This should support teachers and trustees to be clearer about expected milestones for accelerated progress.

Shared understanding has developed amongst teachers about expected assessment practice. This needs to be documented within the curriculum. Moderation of assessment judgements occurs in writing, with some reflection about overall teacher judgements happening in reading. The use of standardised testing to benchmark schoolwide achievement in reading and mathematics and to inform teacher practice is in the early stages of development.

Each teacher bases an individual teaching inquiry on two students. The targeted strategies used for these students and the subsequent progress made is very clear. Actions taken by class teachers for other students at risk are less explicit.

Reporting to parents needs further development. Reports need to show more clearly achievement and progress in relation to National Standards. They should also include statements about how parents can support their child’s progress at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school board and staff are developing a new curriculum. Vision and values based on Rich Kids, staff, school and community are well defined. The Rich model is embedded in classroom programmes and clearly articulated by students and staff. It positively impacts on students' perceptions of themselves as confident and capable learners.

A recently introduced literacy programme is showing very positive impacts on junior writing achievement. The introduction of the programme in other areas of the school is thoughtfully and systematically led. Programme outlines in literacy and mathematics are being written. Completing these documents and providing guidelines for other learning areas is essential and urgent. This should assist teachers to know the expected effective teaching practices to support the Rich Kids' model.

A school priority is the further development of e-learning. Technology is well-used by students at all levels of the school to appropriately support their literacy skills. All students and teachers use digital technology to create, collaborate and share learning, progress and new understandings.

In classrooms observed by ERO there were high, clear and equitable expectations for student learning and achievement. Class tones were positive and students were respectful and enthusiastic about learning. They confidently share their ideas and knowledge and celebrate their success.

The principal and staff are committed to strengthening partnerships with aiga and the Samoan community. They deliberately seek and use others' expertise to enrich the curriculum for Pacific learners. A Samoan teacher aide is recognised as a valuable resource. Students learn through their culture and show leadership and support for others. First language learning is valued and fostered.

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

Māori students learn in an environment that supports their sense of belonging as Māori. Values of whanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga are embedded in practices. The school fosters close links to the nearby marae and calls on community expertise to help infuse te ao Māori into the curriculum. Students have many opportunities to strengthen their understanding of local history. The school recently hosted the Ngāti Kahungunu kapa haka festival.

Parents, whānau and community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in their child’s learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders acknowledge and promote relational trust through respectful, interpersonal interactions. They focus on student wellbeing as the platform for student achievement. They model collaborative inquiry.

Systems and practices to support raising professional capability are developing. There are many opportunities for staff to deepen their understanding of effective curriculum, teaching and assessment practice. The model used to help teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their practice is systematic and useful. Teachers electronically record evidence of their learning and the progress target students make. They value the licence to innovate and try new teaching practices for students at risk of not achieving. The process fosters a collaborative and supportive professional climate. The next step is to more consistently monitor and measure the impacts of the actions teachers have taken.

Appraisal is being redeveloped and requires further refinement to include:

  • more constructive feedback linked to teaching practice
  • a system to document and summarise findings
  • a more developmental model for support and appraisal of the principal.

The school has established a strong framework for their partnership with wider external agencies. Regular meetings focus clearly on supporting students and their families.

The close relationships formed with neighbouring early childhood centres eases transition for students, especially those who need additional support. Involvement in the Matariki Community of Learning is assisting students’ transition to intermediate.

A strong focus on developing positive relationships underpins parent partnership. Teachers communicate regularly with parents to share successes, challenges and suggest partnered approaches for students at risk of not achieving. Information sessions support parents to gain new knowledge and understanding of teaching approaches. The school aims to build parents’ pride and belief in their children as successful learners.

Reflective practice for improvement is well embedded. Understanding of internal evaluation as a systematic process to measure the quality of student outcomes is developing. Evaluation of the impacts of current initiatives and associated systems is a next step.

The board recognises the need to review a number of policies to more accurately reflect current practice.

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

Students learn in culturally and digitally rich environments, in ways that support their sense of ownership, confidence and pride in learning. School leaders and teachers promote relational trust and partnerships for learning. Effective literacy programmes positively impact on student achievement. Completing current curriculum development and strengthening evaluation for improvement are next steps.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2665

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

152

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Pākehā

Other Pacific

73%

22%

4%

1%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

1 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

January 2013

November 2010

February 2009