Rosebank School (Auckland) - 12/11/2015

Findings

There is a strong sense of pride and belonging at Rosebank School that is shared by staff, students and wider school community. Students are respectful and learn in an inclusive, culturally affirming environment. Central to school decision making is the emphasis on bilingual Māori and Samoan learning and best outcomes for children. 

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?

Rosebank School provides a welcoming culture for its predominantly Māori and Pacific students. The school’s overarching vision “for children to be successful and stand proudly in their own and in a global world” is enacted through caring relationships and practices within a positive school environment. Since ERO’s 2013 report the diversity of students has increased and many students have home languages other than English.

The school’s commitment to providing Māori and Samoan language bilingual classes, Te Whānau and Tupulaga, remains. A special feature of the school setting is the Community Hub which promotes, and has the potential to strengthen, learning relationships between the community, school, parents, whānau and children. Other features of the school setting include the onsite Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) programme, the spacious well-resourced library and productive school gardens. These facilities are well used to enhance students’ learning and community participation.

The school is led by an experienced principal and a committed board of trustees. Significant staff professional development has been targeted towards improving outcomes for students. ERO’s 2013 report noted the inclusive school culture, the meaningful home-school partnerships and a well-considered approach to professional learning. These positive features have been sustained and further developed.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to promote student learning. School leaders and teachers monitor school-wide achievement and progress. Trustees use achievement information to ensure that resources are focused on the areas of greatest learning need.

Students are confident and enjoy affirming relationships with each other as well as with the staff. They are highly engaged and work independently and collaboratively. Increasingly they can talk about their achievement and are supported to set learning goals. Attractive classroom environments support and celebrate students’ learning.

The school’s National Standards data indicates students achieve well in reading and mathematics, including students in the bilingual classes. Writing achievement information is a little lower, but still shows that over 50 percent of students meet the National Standards. Māori and Pacific student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is similar to that of other students in the school.

Senior leaders use assessment data to monitor target students and ensure that students receive the help they need to progress in reading, writing and mathematics. They work with teachers to put in place support programmes that are carefully matched to the needs of identified students and monitor the progress students make while on these programmes. A next step for senior leaders is to report to the board about how well these programmes are promoting student learning. They should also use their sound assessment analyses to better meet Ministry of Education (MoE) reporting requirements.

The school has continued to seek ways to involve whānau and families in their children’s education. Mutukāroa, the school’s partnership programme, is a new initiative. Teachers work closely with families to develop and review individual learning programmes in order to enhance learning partnerships with whānau and families. Parents value this initiative and appreciate the availability of resources to support their children’s learning at home.

To strengthen current practice and further promote positive outcomes for students, trustees and senior leaders agree it would be useful to:

  • set more relevant and meaningful charter targets that reflect the specific needs of groups and individual students who are at risk of not achieving
  • assist teachers to more deeply evaluate the impact of their teaching practice on students’ achievement
  • increase students’ understanding about their own learning so they can take more ownership of it
  • continue to extend steps to help parents and whānau support their children to make accelerated learning progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s culturally responsive curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum appropriately prioritises student wellbeing as well as their literacy, mathematics and science learning. Bilingual programmes affirm students’ home languages and cultural identity.

Learning programmes are relevant and flexible. They feature a natural integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance learning opportunities for students. A wide range of co-curricular activities, leadership, sports, cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom helps ensure students engage in meaningful learning contexts. School leaders recognise that a sequential te reo Māori programme should be developed to enhance the Māori dimension of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.

Teachers are highly collegial and willingly share their expertise. They are committed to strengthening their practice and have benefited from well-focused professional development that has included the use of both internal and external expertise. The school’s coaching and mentoring approach is also assisting teachers to further develop subject expertise and associated teaching strategies. This approach has much potential as a model to develop the consistency of expected teacher practices across the school.

School leaders recognise that being more evaluative when reporting to the board about the effectiveness of initiatives is an important next step for curriculum development.

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

Māori students comprise 14 percent of the school roll. Tīkanga Māori is well respected and has a place within the school. Māori students proudly participate in school powhiri, with senior students leading karanga, whaikōrero, waiata and haka. Te Whānau provides a cultural setting where students involved are enriched in tīkanga Māori. Extending opportunities for Māori students in the mainstream classes to participate in kapa haka is a natural next step for promoting Māori success.

Trustees and school leaders are using the Ministry of Education’s Māori education strategy
Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017, to further develop their understanding of what educational success as Māori means. Working together with whānau to create a strategic education plan could provide a more coordinated approach to raising success for Māori students. This planning could specify even higher achievement targets and identify whānau and student aspirations for success as Māori. The New Zealand School Trustee Association’s resource, Hautū, could be a useful self review tool to guide the development of such a plan.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The inclusive school culture and committed staff, trustees and community provide a strong foundation for sustaining and improving student learning.

The experienced senior leadership team is continuing to build shared leadership approaches to support curriculum development. This helps teachers to participate in, and build collective accountability and responsibility for, student progress and curriculum improvements. The principal recognises the need for teacher appraisals to be more evidenced based to demonstrate how well teachers are meeting the new Education Council expectations.

The school community is loyal and supportive of the school. It values the way in which teachers’ know children and families well. Clear, regular communication could help the community to be better informed about school practices and developments.

Trustees are committed to supporting the school’s ongoing development. The new board chair is keen to improve the quality of governance systems and processes. The board should review its operations and give higher priority to its role in setting, evaluating and monitoring strategic and annual goals. The principal could now adapt her reporting to focus on the progress of these goals.

ERO affirms the school’s next steps to review the charter and strategic plan. A collaborative approach to self review that includes input from the board, staff, students and school community could provide ongoing valuable information to guide and affirm the school direction.

The board and school leaders acknowledge the need to develop and implement an effective process for robust self review to support ongoing improvement. A well planned review cycle could help to ensure that appropriate emphasis is given to reflecting on school direction and the effectiveness of improvements. The board could now consider accessing external training to support trustees and school leaders in the school’s next phase of development.

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.

In order to comply with current legislation the board must ensure that:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, it develops and makes known the school’s policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students
  • an ongoing programme of self-review of policies, procedures and practices is maintained
  • an analysis of variance between the school’s performance and the relevant aims, objectives, directions, priorities, or targets set out in the school charter is completed annually.

National Administration Guideline (NAG) 1 (e), 2 (b), 8

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education offers the school support and guidance to help strengthen governance practices and processes.

Conclusion

There is a strong sense of pride and belonging at Rosebank School that is shared by staff, students and wider school community. Students are respectful and learn in an inclusive, culturally affirming environment. Central to school decision making is the emphasis on bilingual Māori and Samoan learning and best outcomes for children. 

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

12 November 2015

About the School 

Location

Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1471

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

468

Gender composition

Boys      52%
Girls       48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Indian
African
Chinese
Filipino
other Pacific
other Asian
other

14%
  4%
36%
15%
  5%
  4%
  4%
  3%
  9%
  4%
  2%

Special Features

2 Māori bilingual classes (Te Whānau)

2 Samoan bilingual classes (Tupulaga)

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

12 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

January 2013
July 2010
May 2008