Shelly Park School - 18/10/2018

School Context

Shelly Park School in Howick, East Auckland, provides education for children in Years 1 to 6. The roll is culturally diverse and includes a small number of Māori and Pacific children. The school has an enrolment zone in place to manage roll growth.

The school values are respect, responsibility and determination. The overarching mission is to ‘empower children to be confident, caring and connected community communicators’. The charter and strategic direction are underpinned by the school’s and community’s high expectations. The learning partnership between the school and community is promoted in the school’s motto of ‘working together to succeed’.

Since ERO’s 2015 evaluation of the school, the provision and use of digital devices and e-learning opportunities for children has been extended. Teachers have also continued to strengthen the school’s bicultural programmes and opportunities for children to make decisions about their learning.

While the school has experienced some staff changes over the past three years, it has benefited from the stability of its long-serving senior leadership team.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • achievement in relation to school targets
  • support for children with additional learning needs.

The school is a member of the Waipaparoa Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL), which is currently exploring ways to strengthen student agency, develop critical inquiry skills and increase literacy levels.

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?

Shelly Park School is working well to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students. Over the past three years the school has maintained high levels of student achievement with most students achieving expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

While there is reducing disparity for Māori students in reading, writing and mathematics, there is some disparity in achievement outcomes for boys in writing. The school has successfully increased parity for its Pacific students.

The school’s achievement targets include specific targets for students who are just below expected levels, and for students at higher achievement levels who also need to make progress. The school’s 2017 data shows that most target learners have made accelerated progress. Developing focused achievement targets for the small number of students who are achieving below their expected curriculum levels would be a worthwhile next step.

Survey results and anecdotal information suggest that students achieve very well in relation to the school’s other valued outcomes. Students confidently share their ideas and opinions. They also articulate and demonstrate school values in their everyday school life. These positive outcomes are in part a result of the strong relationships, founded on trust and respect, that students experience.

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

The school has a successful and deliberate approach to accelerating the learning progress of those Māori and other students who require this. Senior leaders know the students who need to make accelerated progress. They work closely with teachers to monitor and track target students’ progress, sharing ideas and adapting programmes where necessary.

Leaders and teachers respond very effectively to students with additional learning needs. They promote an inclusive environment with a range of specialist support programmes designed to help students to access the curriculum and make learning progress.

The board of trustees allocates funding for additional and specialist teachers and a substantial number of teacher aides to ensure students’ individual learning needs are met. Students who speak languages in addition to English are well supported. This is helping them to make good progress in their learning.

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?

The school’s well developed, inclusive learning environment supports student achievement and wellbeing. School leaders model and promote the school’s positive mission, values and motto. There is a high level of trust and respect between the board, staff and parents. This is underpinned by their shared values and high expectations for students’ learning and wellbeing.

Parents and whānau are respected and valued partners in their children’s education. The school’s strong connections and relationships with parents, whānau and the community produce high levels of community support. Trustees, school leaders and staff actively encourage parent engagement and participation. Parents, whānau and teachers share information, with the result that leaders and teachers know students well. Parents benefit from opportunities that enable them to support their children’s learning in practical ways.

The curriculum places a strong emphasis on students’ overall development. Students are supported well to experience success in the breadth and depth of the curriculum. Through inquiry learning they have good opportunities to make links across all learning areas. In addition, students are offered a wide range of sporting, arts, environmental and cultural activities. Of particular benefit are the increased opportunities they have to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Leaders and teachers have a strong sense of collective responsibility for pursuing equity and excellence for all learners. This is promoted by leaders’ focus on student learning and wellbeing. Trustees are improvement focused and generously resource the school to support student learning. They bring a range of skills to their governance and stewardship roles.

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

Further development of assessment for learning practices, and strategies for promoting students’ self-management and decision-making around their learning, would be useful next steps. The aim should be to ensure these practices and strategies are more consistently reflected in teaching across the school.

School leaders should also review and develop a more effective way of aligning curriculum design with current best practice. To improve school planning and ensure that decision-making is based on robust evidence, leaders should:

  • continue strengthening the capacity of teachers and the board to implement practices that will help them to achieve the school’s strategic goals
  • use internal evaluation to identify the strategies and programmes that are most effective in supporting and accelerating student learning
  • design processes to gauge and report how well students are achieving in relation to the broader valued outcomes which are specified in the school’s goals and other documentation.

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

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has not attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of the review there were six short-stay international students attending the school.

International students benefit from the school’s warm, inclusive and welcoming environment. They integrate well into class programmes and receive good opportunities to develop their English language. They are immersed in all aspects of school activities.

The school’s mostly informal processes for monitoring international students should now be complemented by more rigorous and documented processes.

ERO’s audit of the school’s implementation of the Code identified concerns relating to some required documentation and monitoring of practices.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • providing caring, inclusive learning environments that promote children’s success, learning and wellbeing
  • effective practices that promote children’s holistic development
  • well established learning partnerships with parents.

Next steps

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

  • sharpening the school’s focus on priority learners, in order to continue accelerating their progress and lifting their achievement
  • continuing to embed and enhance bicultural practices
  • building in-school capacity to embed strategies that promote students’ self-direction and management skills (student agency)
  • using internal evaluation to help school leaders identify and gauge more accurately which strategies improve outcomes for children.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, follows up with the school regarding:

  • documentation relating to all requirements concerning international students, including student safety and wellbeing assurance processes
  • filing of all expected immigration papers
  • monitoring of the work of the school’s agents.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 October 2018

About the school 

Location

Shelly Park, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1480

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

479

Gender composition

Boys      55%
Girls       45%

Ethnic composition

Māori                              6%
Pākehā                          62%
Chinese                         17%
Pacific                            4%
other European               8%
other ethnic groups         3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

18 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            July 2015
Education Review            August 2012
Education Review            May 2009