Richmond School (Napier) - 29/01/2019

School Context

Richmond school located in Napier has students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review 129 students were on the roll, with 83% identifying as Māori and 14% as Samoan.

The school’s vision of, Rich in skills - Rich in belief, is based on mana-enhancing principles and an open and caring learning environment for learners. Children are encouraged to be champions of their learning as they develop the values and key competencies of the Richmond School community. Valued outcomes for the children are encompassed in the Rich Values of Pride, Respect, Responsibility, Language and Skills.

The school’s annual achievement target is to increase the number of Māori and Samoan students achieving at expected levels of The New Zealand Curriculum in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • teaching as an inquiry

  • behaviour.

The school has experienced changes in board of trustees, leadership and teaching staff. A new principal started in June, 2018.

The school is a member of the Matariki Kāhui ako.

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 is yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students in reading, writing and mathematics. Schoolwide reported data shows achievement is generally low. There is ongoing in-school disparity for boys in reading and mathematics with the greatest disparity in writing. Reported data for 2018 shows improvement for both boys and girls in mathematics.

Trend data over time indicates improvement in achievement for Pacific students from 2017 to 2018, in reading and mathematics.

Data for Year 6 shows that a small majority of students leave at or above expectations in reading, less than half in writing and some in mathematics.

Learners with additional needs are well identified, their needs recognised and programmes of support are in place. External resourcing and expertise supports this provision.

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

Achievement data shows that there has been success in accelerating progress for individuals and some groups of students. Students who are at risk of not achieving expected levels are suitably identified, monitored and are well known to teachers and leaders.

The school is yet to define what acceleration looks like at Richmond School. Establishing a clearer picture of accelerated progress, who, where and rates, should assist staff in measuring the effectiveness of their practice and inform next steps to plan and improve outcomes for priority learners.

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?

Leaders and teachers are highly reflective and responsive to student wellbeing. A well-considered and collaborative approach to managing and sustaining the care of students is evident across the school. Students enjoy a sense of belonging and connection to the school, whānau and community. Programmes to lift expectations through Māori role models (Atua Māori), are strengths-based. Students are encouraged to draw on expectations, skills and attributes to complete tasks as active contributors in team work and to remain focused when working independently.

Teachers know their learners and successfully engage them in a curriculum customised to their interests. Strategies used assist children to engage in and be receptive to learning. Teaching practices are culturally responsive and reflect the emphasis on relationships for learning. Leadership encourages clear social expectations designed to support teaching and learning through the ‘Rich kids Pearls’.

Leadership across the school supports the focus on coherence across learning programmes. Leaders and staff work collaboratively to develop and plan for consistent practice that responds to learners. They use differentiation and a variety of strategies to respond to the identified needs of learners. Teachers value inquiry into their practice to plan worthwhile and purposeful learning opportunities.

Students have equitable learning opportunities. Students’ whakapapa, language and culture are considered, making connections to their lives and prior understanding Children across the school develop digital fluency using a range of e-learning tools, accessible to all, to enhance their learning. Technological knowledge and skill proficiency allows them to create and problem solve through a range of applications and programmes designed to extend them.through real world contexts.

Sustained community collaboration contributes to positive outcomes for students. Teachers and leaders actively identify and draw on community resources to increase students’ learning opportunities. Parents are welcomed, respected and valued as partners in their children’s learning. The school and community work together to support effective transitions at critical points of children’s educational journey.

The board of trustees is representative of the school community. They are proactive in developing networks that enable the school to extend and enrich relationships. They continue to pursue ways to further strengthen iwi, hapū, agencies and whānau learning partnerships.

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

The principal, board and staff give priority to establishing school conditions to enable children to engage with learning. Focus is on the wellbeing and readiness of children to learn and equitable access to the curriculum. This provides a sound platform for an innovative and strategic approach to improving students’ progress and achievement.

This deliberate approach should include:

  • ensuring through induction, that teachers new to the school understand and pursue the school’s vision, values in their teaching of the school’s curriculum
  • continuing to develop the curriculum, so that every student makes sufficient progress toward achieving curriculum expectations
  • ongoing analysis of data schoolwide, with improved reporting of progress and achievement to provide a clearer student outcomes picture and to identify further action needed
  • deepening trustees’, leaders’ and staff understanding of progress and acceleration to inform targets, practice and strategies
  • providing the board with reports that clearly align to the achievement goals and present a clear impact picture
  • improving the board’s capacity to scrutinise achievement information.

Overall, the capacity of the board and staff needs to be developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the school in its operation and teaching and learning, for equitable and excellent outcomes for students. Examining closely student achievement and other information should assist them in knowing what is going well and who for and what needs to change.

ERO requests that the board of trustees provide planning that shows how they are to address the above areas for improvement and against which ERO will monitor progress.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

Ongoing review of the policy framework to ensure procedures are in place to meet legislative requirements was still in progress at the time of ERO’s evaluation.

The board and school leaders must ensure completion and maintenance of the self-identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • maintaining an on-going programme of self-review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of good quality assessment information on student progress and achievement. [National Administration Guidelines 2(b)]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • pastoral care that systematically responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning

  • a culturally responsive curriculum that makes connections to children’s language, culture and identity

  • connections and relationships with whānau, the wider community, and other education organisations that promote positive outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for students to achieve equity for all groups within the school and raise levels of achievement overall

  • the use of data from a range of sources for internal evaluation that better identifies what is working well for student learning and where improvements are needed

  • improving stewardship capability to further strengthen ongoing strategic direction and decision-making.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support to: focus school improvement on student achievement; and assist the board to further build stewardship capability to support this emphasis.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

29 January 2019

About the school

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2665

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1-6)

School roll

129

Gender composition

Female 55%, Male 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 83%
Samoan 14%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

29 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review January 2013
Education Review November 2010