Rosebank School (Auckland) - 14/02/2019

School Context

Rosebank School (Auckland) caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Currently 13 percent of the roll are Māori, 34 percent Samoan, and 12 percent Tongan. There are smaller groups from other ethnic backgrounds.

The school’s mission is “To raise student achievement through enhancing teacher capability within a reflective learning culture.” Its vision of “moving forward as successful lifelong learners” is underpinned by the school values of Manaaki mai (Respect self), Manaaki atu (Respect others), Manaaki i te taiao (Respect the environment).

The school’s strategic focus is on developing teacher capability, strengthening partnerships with parents and the community, and providing inspiring, learning-centred classrooms. Providing a positive and safe emotional and physical environment, and continual school improvement are other goals.

The school sets achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics, with a specific focus on increasing the engagement, progress and achievement of Māori and Pacific learners. The school’s Māori and Pacific bilingual classes, Te Whānau and Tupulaga, have increased their numbers.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in mainstream and bilingual classes
  • achievement for students with additional learning needs and for English Language Learners
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets
  • programmes including positive behaviour for learning, reading recovery and literacy
  • student and staff wellbeing.

Since the 2015 ERO evaluation, a new principal was appointed in Term 4, 2017. He has been instrumental in guiding changes needed to address the development priorities noted in the 2015 ERO report.

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 uses a variety of strategies to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for students. Achievement information shows the majority of students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

2018 achievement information shows the school is working more successfully towards achieving equity for some groups of students. In particular, there are positive signs that the school’s longstanding disparity in achievement for boys and Māori students in literacy is reducing.

Students achieve well in relation to the school’s broader valued outcomes. Most students:

  • understand and value their own cultural identity and that of others
  • understand that they are members of a wider global community, and respond to others with compassion and care
  • are active learners who are striving to maximise their potential
  • recognise the uniqueness of their school, and are learning to take care of their own and others’ physical, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing.

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

The school can now demonstrate evidence of successful acceleration for different groups of learners. Leaders have been more deliberate and focused in their recent responses and approaches to support students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. These approaches include:

  • defining acceleration and producing visual examples of what this looks like so that teachers have shared understanding
  • creating a data wall to ensure transparency about student achievement across the school, and explicit expectations that all children should make sufficient progress and achieve
  • an increased focus on knowing the learner, their languages and cultures.

These increasingly successful approaches are helping teachers to positively respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

2018 achievement information shows greater equity for all groups of students in mathematics. Overall mathematics achievement has been steadily lifting for all groups of students over time.

Teachers, learning assistants and leaders know students well as individuals. Target students and those requiring additional support are identified, tracked and monitored. Leaders and teachers could more deliberately document in planning for reading, writing and mathematics, the rate of accelerated progress (within a specific timeframe) expected for each target student.

Students respond positively to a range of initiatives to increase their engagement, self-advocacy and learning success. For example, students’ work as ‘reading coaches’ is equipping them with skills as both learners and teachers. Through improved parent and community involvement, parents are also building and sharing their skills to support their children’s learning at home.

Students with additional learning needs are identified and carefully monitored through individual learning plans and learning support network meetings. Multi-layered approaches support their wellbeing and ensure that their learning needs are well catered for.

Learning programmes for English Language learners (ELL) are supporting students’ capacity to speak and write in English. Leaders and teachers should consider how these programmes could better support ELL learners’ access to the broader curriculum. Providing programmes that better reflect students’ prior knowledge, interests, cultural stories and strengths would improve their understanding and learning progress. Leaders should evaluate the effectiveness of programmes, including student feedback, to guide ELL curriculum improvements.

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?

Trustees have a strong educational vision and values. This, together with the board’s strategic goals and high expectations for every student, provides a sound platform for enhancing equity and excellence.

Stewardship practices are effective, and trustees are highly committed to their governance responsibilities. Through ongoing board training trustees have developed expertise in their roles. They have successfully navigated the school through a period of change and the appointment of a new principal. The board’s focus on improving the school’s internal evaluation will help trustees to monitor progress being made towards the charter’s goals and achievement targets.

The new principal has worked proactively with the leadership team, teachers and staff. Together they have enhanced the school environment, and built partnerships and relationships with whānau, family and the school community. Leaders are explicitly focused on maintaining a respectful school culture, high expectations of teaching practice, and improving outcomes for learners.

A deliberate priority has been placed on the languages and cultural identities of all learners and their whānau/parents. Structural changes in Te Whānau and Tupulaga bilingual classes to vertical groups and formalised leadership roles is evidence of this prioritising. These changes are contributing to improving conditions for equity and excellence.

Leaders have established a settled and inclusive school tone. Respectful relationships between staff and students underpin the culture of the school, and promote purposeful expectations for learning. Students experience environments that support their learning participation and engagement. Their cultures and languages are valued, and they have opportunities to make connections to authentic and real world contexts.

Leaders and teachers are building relational trust and collaboration with parents, whānau and the wider community. This is creating learner-centred opportunities for students’ wellbeing and achievement. Students, teachers and adults benefit from these reciprocal relationships that are educationally focused. Links to other education and community agencies are also enhancing these partnerships. 

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

Senior leaders agree it is a priority to continue reviewing the school’s curriculum delivery so that it better reflects the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Ensuring students experience a broad, challenging curriculum, with explicit expectations that promote their creativity and innovation would support them to become successful lifelong learners.

To sustain and further support equity and excellence, trustees and leaders should now use achievement information to:

  • scrutinise data to identify priorities for improvement
  • monitor the implementation of improvement actions, and evaluate their impact on outcomes for students
  • evaluate progress towards strategic and annual goals, and the impact of actions taken, so that this information can be used for ongoing improvement.

A more strategic approach to evaluation would support trustees and leaders to gauge the extent to which all learners are experiencing success. It would enable them to determine which improvement initiatives are most effective for learners.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board should document the response it follows with regard to any complaint received, so that there is an evidential trail to show how policy and procedures have been followed.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • school leadership capability to guide strategic and well-considered change management
  • respectful relationships between staff and students that underpin the culture of the school and promote purposeful expectations for learning
  • educationally powerful connections and relationships with parents, whānau and community that support student wellbeing, and positive social and academic outcomes
  • school governance that actively and very effectively represents and serves the school and community, and communicates a clear direction for the school.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing, designing and implementing a broad curriculum that reflects the NZC principles, provides students with appropriate challenge, promotes their creativity and innovation, and supports them to achieve their potential as lifelong learners
  • continuing to widen leaders’ and teachers’ knowledge and use of achievement data to increase their capability to identify and address learning disparities.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern
Northern Region

14 February 2019

About the school 

Location

Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1471

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

493

Gender composition

Girls       51%
Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                    13%
Pākehā                                  4%
Samoan                                34%
Tongan                                 12%
Cook Island Māori                  6%
Indian                                    5%
African                                    4%
other Pacific groups                5%
other Asian                            6%
other ethnic groups              11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

14 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            November 2015
Education Review            January 2013
Education Review            July 2010