Rosebank School (Balclutha) - 04/09/2015

1. Context

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

The key features of this school that impact on student learning are the:

  • high expectations that all students will be successful in their learning
  • genuine interest in and support for each student’s wellbeing
  • commitment to valuing Māori language and culture.

Rosebank is a semi-rural Year 1-8 school, located next to the high school. There are high levels of parent involvement and support for school activities. The school works closely with other schools and early childhood services to provide the best education for students now, and in the future.

The school’s vision is to value each student as an individual and celebrate his or her strengths in learning and life. This vision is strongly evident in what happens in this school. There is a very strong culture of manakitanga (care for each other) and respect. This can be seen in the caring relationships between students and teachers and the way the school values and works with families.

The school has fully addressed the recommendations in the 2012 ERO report. This review (2015) identifies Rosebank School as a high performing school.

2. Learning

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

At all levels, the school makes very effective use of assessment information in order to best support its students. Overall, students achieve very well against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students are increasingly involved in the assessment of their work. This continues to be a school-wide focus and area of growth. Most students can talk confidently about how well they are progressing and achieving, and what they need to do to improve. Increasingly teachers share indicators of success with students and encourage students to assess their work against these.

Teachers know their students very well as learners and as individuals. They carefully:

  • analyse achievement information to identify learning needs for each student
  • identify and monitor students needing extra support and/or extension
  • research and implement innovative ways to engage and motivate students in their learning.

The principal drives the vision that all students will be successful in their learning. She has established a school-wide inquiry team that keeps a tight overview of student progress and achievement. This team:

  • looks intensively at how each student is progressing
  • researches and reflects on the effectiveness of different interventions and teaching strategies
  • identifies and ensures best teaching practices are shared across the school.

As a result, there is very strong evidence of students making accelerated progress and catching up with their peers.

The board is very well informed about how well students are progressing and achieving. They receive detailed information that includes:

  • trends over time
  • the impact of interventions to lift student achievement
  • student views about their learning
  • useful recommendations about how the board can further support student learning.

The board and principal have set appropriate targets to lift the achievement of identified groups of students. Targets are supported by specific actions to make a difference. The board regularly receives reports on actions taken and students’ progress towards meeting the target.

3. Curriculum

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

Students are very well supported in their learning and benefit from a broad curriculum. Their views about how they best learn are regularly sought and valued. Students have increasing opportunities to manage and direct their learning. The school sees this as work in progress.

There is a strong commitment to valuing and developing te reo Māori and Māori culture in the school. This is evident in:

  • employment of a Māori language and kapa haka tutor
  • weekly te reo Māori instruction for teachers and students
  • the natural integration of core Māori values, such as whanaungatanga (family-like relationships)
  • the pride students across the school feel in participating in waiata and kapa haka.

Other strengths in the school’s curriculum are the:

  • wide range of cultural and sporting opportunities
  • natural integration of different learning areas
  • progressive use of digital technology to enrich and share students’ learning
  • variety of ongoing extension activities for able or interested students
  • intensive in-and-out of class support for students who need extra help with their learning.

The principal is leading a comprehensive review of the school’s curriculum. This includes looking deeply at the principles in the New Zealand Curriculum guidelines. In particular, the school is exploring how best to equip students for citizenship and resilience now and in the future.

Staff are involved in purposeful and well-planned professional development so that teaching practices match the school’s vision for learning. The school is implementing modern-learning practices and see this as an area of ongoing development.

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

The school is very committed to promoting the wellbeing and educational success of each Māori student.

In recent years, the school has lifted the achievement of its Māori students. Students now achieve at similar levels to their peers. This is a result of deep thinking about how Māori students best learn, and a greater recognition and valuing of their culture.

The school works closely with parents and the wider whānau to best support their children.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

This is high performing school. There is a culture of innovation and creative thinking about teaching and learning.

The principal is a very strong professional leader. She is research informed, collaborative and has a clear vision as to what best teaching and learning should look like. She is developing her new leadership team.

Strong leadership has resulted in:

  • a collaborative culture where leaders and teachers work closely with students in mind
  • rigorous appraisal
  • useful processes for sharing ideas and best teaching practices across the school
  • well-planned and purposeful professional learning
  • good alignment of initiatives to the school’s strategic and annual plans.

Trustees understand and are confident in their governance role. They are:

  • clear about priorities for now and the future
  • are well informed about student achievement
  • make well-considered resourcing decisions
  • regularly seek and respond to parent and student views
  • have a good understanding of the value and purpose of self review.

The principal works closely with other local schools and early childhood centres. She often initiates and leads these interactions. The school’s focus is on the big picture of what is best for their students now and in the future. This includes students becoming confident global citizens.

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

This is a high performing and innovative school. Student's wellbeing and learning are at the forefront of decisions. Students learn in a safe and caring environment. The school works closely with families. Māori culture and language are strongly valued. The school is well led and governed.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

4 September 2015

About the School

Location

Balclutha

Ministry of Education profile number

3812

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

238

Gender composition

Boys: 130

Girls: 108

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 80%

Māori 16%

Pacific 3%

Other 1%

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

4 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2012

Education Review March 2009

Supplementary Review March 2005