Riverview School - 01/06/2016

1 Context

The school's semi-rural location supports children's access to environmental education and appropriately challenging physical activity. There are growing numbers of Māori children, and other children who speak languages other than English, attending the school. Parents, including whānau Māori are highly involved in the life of the school. Parents of children with special education needs are supportive of the school and have input into their children's learning and care needs.

The school has stable staffing and strong connections with families and their children. Many features of the school promote the wellbeing of children and staff, and provide them with a secure environment for learning and working.

Since the 2013 ERO report, building work has improved learning spaces and the school grounds. The school has a history of positive ERO reporting.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes of the school are for all children to continue growing, discovering and learning for life. This vision and the school's HeartWise values align well with tikanga Māori. They outline high expectations for learning and behaviour, and are integrated into daily learning programmes and celebrations. In line with the school's focus on raising the bar and closing the gap, the board of trustees and staff have aspirations and plans for increasing children's achievement.

The school's achievement information shows that for the last three years over 90 percent of children who attend from Years 1 to 6 achieve at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall, children achieve very well in relation to the National Standards.

School achievement information also shows that outcomes for Māori children in 2013 and 2014 are consistently just below that of other children. Analysis shows that this disparity has reduced over time, especially in mathematics and writing. The school's 2015 data shows that more than 80 percent of all children achieved at and above the National Standard in reading, and around 75 percent achieved at and above in writing and mathematics.

Since the 2013 ERO review teachers have participated in professional learning in literacy, mathematics, science and digital technologies. As a result of their analysis of data, school leaders and teachers have identified the need to accelerate the progress and achievement of children in writing, and in reading, particularly for Year 3 and 4 boys.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The effectiveness of strategies to respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration has increased since 2013. School leaders promote a strong sense of urgency in accelerating Māori student achievement, including moving those achieving at, to above the National Standards.

The school's charter target for 2016 is to accelerate the achievement of Māori and other children whose achievement needs acceleration. Teacher professional development is strategically aligned to children's learning needs, and includes strengthening teachers' understanding and use of achievement information.

Teachers and leaders meet regularly to monitor and discuss children's learning. They share teaching and learning strategies, and design specific interventions for accelerating progress and lifting achievement. School leaders are increasing expectations for teachers to promote children's confidence in themselves as learners.

Many teachers use achievement and other information well to plan classroom programmes that are based on children's strengths and talents, as well as their learning needs. Children have an increasingly good understanding of their own learning and achievement and set learning goals with their parents and teachers. These school-wide approaches enhance the collective responsibility that teachers, leaders and support staff have for promoting student achievement.

Importantly, the school's increasing promotion of a school kawa and tikanga is strengthening Māori children's pride in their language, culture and identity. Collectively, these school approaches are having a good impact on accelerating Māori student achievement.

The school and board of trustees express their commitment to further strengthening Māori success and accelerating Māori student achievement.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Strategies to respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration are well-coordinated and are steadily improving the progress of children with special education needs and children with high needs.

Children who speak languages other than English, including te reo Māori and Japanese, are very well supported to learn English and achieve at accelerated rates in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement data is used well to identify, and plan appropriately to target and accelerate the progress of children in particular learning areas.

The school recognises the urgency necessary to accelerate the achievement of other children at risk of not achieving at expected levels. This is reflected in the 2016 charter targets.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's vision, values and organisational processes support the curriculum and help to promote equity and excellence. There is a warm and welcoming school culture for children, staff, parents and whānau that is increasingly inclusive of Māori language, culture and identity. School conditions to support children's learning and well-being are effective.

Staff and the board of trustees are learning appropriate tikanga and are exploring how to best build meaningful relationships with their Māori community. All children participate enthusiastically in kapa haka and pōwhiri, and Māori children ably fulfil leadership roles in these cultural dimensions. These approaches and school values are supporting the strong ethos of care that children and staff have for each other throughout the school.

Children are settled in their learning spaces and have positive relationships with teachers and each other. Modern learning environments in the senior school provide older children with good opportunities to choose how and where they learn. These children have good access to digital devices that support their learning. Programmes are interesting and challenging, and engage and motivate children. Teachers throughout the school plan programmes that are well targeted to children's specific learning needs and that accelerate their achievement.

Teachers plan collaboratively and deliver learning programmes based strongly on reading, writing and mathematics. They provide good opportunities for children to use these core skills in other areas of the curriculum such as science, technology and inquiry.

Teachers of older children skilfully facilitate learning. These teachers challenge themselves and their children to think differently about teaching and learning. They promote good opportunities for children to take leadership of their own learning and support them to think critically and problem solve. These good student-centred teaching practices and approaches are enhanced by a new and effective teacher appraisal system and a professional learning focus.

School leaders promote a strengths-based approach to leadership that uses self-review information to plan strategically to improve teaching and accelerate children's learning and achievement. Using outcomes from their own self review, school leaders have identified that the school's curriculum requires review and redesign to promote greater school-wide cohesion.

School leaders value external critique and use it alongside their own good internal evaluation systems to promote improvements throughout the school. They would like learning programmes to be more responsive to children's interests and strengths, and for teachers to be more skilled in adapting teaching practices to meet children's changing learning preferences and requirements.

The board of trustees is well led. Trustees work in partnership with the principal to promote positive outcomes for Māori and other children. The board is currently using Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Board of Trustees, a self-review tool designed by New Zealand School Trustees' Association to build culturally responsive understandings among school boards. School leaders and the board of trustees are keen to work with whānau to explore how to further promote te reo Māori throughout the school.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

The school's vision for improvement, and charter goals, indicate the school is well placed to implement strategies to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The principal, board, school leaders and ERO agree that key next steps for the school include reviewing the school's curriculum in partnership with staff, children and parents. This review would help the school in:

  • designing a more unified curriculum that increasingly responds to children's interests, strengths and learning needs
  • partnering with whānau Māori to further enhance bicultural curriculum elements in the curriculum and explore ways to strengthen the learning of te reo Māori throughout the school
  • promoting teachers' capability as adaptive experts.

A collaborative review of the school's charter is timely. The board and senior leaders recognise that such a review has the potential to strengthen and sustain both accelerated Māori student achievement and Māori children's' success as Māori.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board give priority to the school plans and strategies discussed in this report and give urgency to lifting the achievement of Māori children. Priorities include the effective implementation of 2016 goals and targets and the continued improvement of outcomes for all children. The involvement of the board and whānau Māori in a review of the school curriculum, should benefit and enhance the bicultural elements of the curriculum. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

1 June 2016 

About the school

Location

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1594

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

352

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

British/Irish

other

26%

67%

2%

5%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

1 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

March 2010

December 2006