Shannon School - 16/07/2014

Findings

Shannon is an inclusive, multicultural school where te ao Māori is highly valued. It offers students a distinctive curriculum enriched by cultural, sporting and performing arts experiences. Staff develop positive partnerships with whānau and the community to support student’s learning. Leaders collaboratively target raising student achievement and identify areas for improvement.

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?

Shannon School is a full primary school catering for Years 1 to 8 students. The current roll is 141 with 71% identifying as Māori. Previous ERO reports are positive and report an improved focus on increasing the extent and quality of inquiry learning. Progress is continuing under the principal’s strong leadership. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are present in all school practices.

The board has consulted the community to develop the school’s vision and values.

Property developments include a performing arts centre and a well-resourced music room.

2 Learning

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

Shannon School leaders and teachers make good use of student achievement information to develop programmes and inform numerous decisions. Many students achieve National Standards. Māori achievement is similar to their non-Māori peers. Schoolwide achievement is higher in reading than in mathematics or writing. The school has identified these areas as priorities for student support and staff development.

Staff members know students well and have a shared responsibility for their learning and wellbeing. Teaching is adapted to meet the needs of students. Within classrooms groups of students are identified by teachers and receive additional assistance and support. Junior class programmes are focused on developing students’ oral language in order to accelerate their progress.

Trustees resource well-trained teacher aides to support student learning. Small class sizes in the junior school and the rūmaki class allow teachers to personalise programmes for students. It is timely for the school to evaluate the impact of this additional resourcing on student achievement.

Students are highly involved in their learning. They have a good understanding of expectations in relation to age and year level and are supported to set goals to achieve these. Teachers share achievement information with students in order to encourage students to become independent learners.

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning. Meetings between students, teachers and parents provide a useful platform to share progress of students towards their goals and for parents to understand, and contribute to, their child’s learning.

Shared decision making between teachers and leaders is used to set appropriate school targets. Trustees receive regular, helpful student achievement information to inform some decision making about resourcing and to monitor progress against charter targets and goals.

3 Curriculum

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

Shannon School’s local curriculum is well designed to promote and support student learning. The school philosophy “kia mau te purawaitanga o to mana” is well known.

The school has developed a distinctive approach to meet the needs of the students. Teachers, school leaders and trustees prioritise inclusion of te ao Māori across the curriculum and strongly support performing arts, sports and music. Community wishes and a clearly documented framework guide programmes. Students experience many opportunities to succeed and show leadership.

Clear values and virtues, principles and key competencies are explicitly promoted and reinforce student wellbeing and success. Many learning opportunities are based on students' inquiries.

The school actively promotes an inclusive culture to accommodate students with diverse needs and interests. Students with special needs are well supported within classrooms. Individual education plans are regularly developed in consultation with parents and specialist services. The school has responded to an increased number of students in need of support, through the appointment of a member of the senior leadership team to the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) position, and a strengthening of this role.

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

The school is highly effective in promoting success for Māori as Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are present in all school practices and a pride in this heritage pervades the school. The school employs several strong speakers of te reo Māori who support te ao Māori to be integrated. A tuakana teina approach is evident. All students are welcome to join the kapa haka group, which performs regularly.

Students in Years 1 to 6 who wish to learn in the Māori language attend the rūmaki class. A useful next step is to monitor and support these students as they transition to the Year 7 English medium classrooms.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. An ongoing cycle of self review informs decision making, strategic planning and resourcing. High expectations are set by school leaders who are well aware of the next steps for development.

Shannon School has a close partnership with its community. There is regular consultation on a range of issues and evidence that this partnership contributes to the wider school wellbeing. Students are well listened to, involved and influence decision making.

The principal, well supported by a strong senior leadership team, works collaboratively and provides direction to improve student achievement and teacher practice. Leadership structures and processes promote schoolwide achievement and ongoing review of practice.

Shared use of student achievement information, and teacher planning and reflection, promote a common responsibility for strategies and initiatives to raise student achievement. Teachers are increasingly participating in reflective practices in collaboration with their peers and leaders. They use evidence from a range of sources to reflect on and improve their teaching.

Recent teacher involvement in professional development in literacy and mathematics has informed changes in teaching. Several staff members are involved in leading these initiatives supporting ongoing improvement.

An increasingly reflective appraisal process supports teachers' development. A next step is to make teacher appraisal goals more specific.

Trustees have clear guidelines and expectations for their roles and responsibilities through a trustee’s handbook. They receive a range of useful information on which to base their decisions and to monitor progress towards their strategic priorities throughout the year. Clear goals and targets are set within the strategic plan.

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.

While parents are well informed about their children's learning and receive reports twice a year, it is not clear this reporting is against the National Standards. The board should address the following non-compliance.

Report to students and their parents on the students’ progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language and in writing must be at least twice a year(National Administration Guideline 2A (a)).

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure regular reporting on the outcomes of health and safety practices are followed.

Conclusion

Shannon is an inclusive, multicultural school where te ao Māori is highly valued. It offers students a distinctive curriculum enriched by cultural, sporting and performing arts experiences. Staff develop positive partnerships with whānau and the community to support student’s learning. Leaders collaboratively target raising student achievement and identify areas for improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

16 July 2014

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School

Location

Shannon

Ministry of Education profile number

2989

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

141

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

71%

29%

Special features

Rūmaki Class for students in Years 1 - 6

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

16 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

June 2008

March 2005