Stanhope Road School - 11/11/2016

1 Context

Stanhope Road School in Mt Wellington, caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The school is part of the recently established Maungakiekie Community of Learning (CoL). The school roll is growing and increasingly culturally diverse. An experienced new principal was appointed at the end of 2014 and leads the school in collaboration with a supportive board and senior leadership team Leaders and teachers have been involved in a variety of professional learning contracts. These initiatives have helped teachers improve strategies for teaching literacy and te reo me ōna tikanga Māori.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be Friends (Whakahoahoa), Learners (Akonga), and Guardians (Kaitiaki) - in all aspects of their learning and life. The school also promotes the values of excellence, innovation, inquiry and curiosity. As a result, children at Stanhope Road School are being encouraged to develop a strong sense of identity and guardianship of their world, together with respecting people, knowledge and the environment. The school's community is committed to a vision that celebrates diversity, promotes creativity and bi-cultural heritage and provides a rich and responsive curriculum.

Overall school achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards has remained relatively stable over the last three years. However, the 2016 mid-year achievement information shows an increase in the percentage of children below and well below the standards when compared to the end of 2015.

The percentage of Māori children achieving National Standards is 10 percent below the figure for all children in reading and writing. More Pacific children are below the standards with approximately 40 percent below the standard in writing and 30 percent in reading and mathematics.

Some gender-based differences are also evident with girls' achievement exceeding that of boys in writing. The board and school leaders are focused on developing a range of interventions and programmes to address these disparities and to accelerate children's learning and progress.

Improvements to moderation practices have resulted in teachers' National Standards assessment judgements becoming more reliable. Teachers value the collaborative process of moderating assessment evidence with their teaching teams and across the school. School leaders are currently considering using the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) to strengthen teachers' assessment expertise across the Maungakiekie Community of learners.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has continued promoting improved learner outcomes through:

  • improving teachers' use of te reo Māori
  • teachers' professional learning in literacy and visible learning
  • improving transitions for children from early childhood into the first years of school
  • release for a Maths Support Teacher( MST) and the Mutukaroa teacher and a new role for an art specialist
  • extending the SENCO role with a focus on student support and wellbeing.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has a range of planned interventions and strategies designed to respond to Māori children whose progress requires acceleration. Senior leaders and teachers are aware that it is urgent to accelerate the progress of Māori children who are achieving below the National Standards for writing and reading.

Strategies to accelerate children's progress include identifying their learning needs prior to them entering school. This involves close communication with whānau about children's strengths needs and capabilities. Whānau who spoke with ERO said that they value the strength of their relationships with teachers and that this helps them to support their children's learning at home. Children's learning goals are shared with whānau at parent:teacher conferences.

Leaders and teachers use school-wide tracking and monitoring processes to identify Māori children at risk of not achieving well. A range of individualised approaches help teachers to support the progress of these children. Teachers regularly reflect on the impact of their teaching on children's progress. Some teachers are inquiring more deeply and systematically into what is required to accelerate children's progress and achievement. This inquiry process is yet to be embedded into practice sufficiently to lead to significant changes in teachers' strategies for accelerating children's learning.

The school change team, Te Rōpu Hurihanga, supported by Māori whānau, developed a plan to raise Māori student achievement in May 2016. The aim is to track and monitor the progress and achievement of Māori students and implement successful interventions so that students are given the opportunity to learn and succeed as Māori. The plan's goals align with the school charter and focus on:

  • strengthening te reo me ōna tikanga Māori in the curriculum
  • increasing the engagement of whānau in children's learning
  • continually reviewing the learning needs of Māori learners.

A useful next step would be for leaders and teachers to undertake a systematic and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the planned initiatives and the impact they are having on Māori learners' progress and achievement.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Senior leaders and teachers know that it is urgent to accelerate the achievement of all children who are below the National Standards. The school's 2016 to 2018 annual plan identifies goals focused on fostering student achievement and reporting on progress and achievement.

In July 2016, leaders developed a plan to raise achievement and they have identified all children achieving below National Standards at each year level. These children are the focus of teachers new inquiries into the effectiveness of their practice, which align to their appraisals. There is an increased sense of collective responsibility for accelerating children's achievement promoted by consistent expectations across teams and year levels.

External professional development for teachers in 2016 focuses on the teaching of writing and spelling. Goals have been set to raise the levels of student achievement over the next three to five years. These targets focus on having 85 percent of learners achieving at the National Standards by the end of Year 8.

The school provides well for children who require additional learning support. A special education needs coordinator (SENCO) is monitoring the learning of students with special capabilities and needs. Some children with specific needs have programmes that are guided by individual learning plans.

Thirty-four percent of students are learning English as an additional language. These children receive additional teacher aide and other support to help them access the curriculum and build their capability in English. The outcomes of this additional support should be evaluated and reported to enable trustees and school leaders to make informed decisions about future resourcing.

To promote children's accelerated progress and address the growing number of children who are below National Standards, the board and senior leaders acknowledge they could utilise the strengths of the leadership and curriculum teams to:

  • refine the acceleration focus through a school-wide inquiry into one curriculum area with smaller numbers of target children
  • further develop leaders' and teachers' evaluation and inquiry capability
  • scrutinise achievement data to identify how well programmes and strategies are accelerating children's learning
  • maintain longitudinal records of each target child's learning progress to ensure it is sustained.

These steps should help leaders and teachers to implement a more coherent approach to lifting the achievement and accelerating the progress of children.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum is currently being reviewed and is at the early stages of development. Therefore, it is not yet effectively enacting the vision, values, goals and targets to promote equity and excellence.

The school promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for children and their whānau. Establishing and building quality relationships and partnerships with whānau is a well established priority for teachers and leaders. The Mutukaroa project continues to support positive relationships with parents around their childrens learning.

Parents receive informative written reports about their childrens learning. Children share learning goals with whānau at home-school conferences and class blogs keep parents informed about what their children are learning at school. Parents and whānau who spoke with ERO appreciate teachers' high levels of care and responsive approaches to the needs of their children.

Children are enthusiastic about their learning and they benefit from a settled and positive school tone. Some teacher practices support children as capable and critical thinkers. This is evident where children have opportunities to collaborate with, learn from, and facilitate the learning of others. Developing greater schoolwide consistency of teaching practices that provide opportunities for all learners to actively contribute to and lead their learning is a useful next step.

Leaders and teachers recognise that bicultural practices, Māori curriculum content and the use of te reo can have a positive impact on Māori children's sense of identity. Teachers are supported to develop their pedagogical content knowledge and incorporate Māori perspectives in curriculum programmes. The school has developed a school pepeha and a whakatau wairua for the beginning and end of the day. Many children are involved in kapa haka. Māori children and their whānau also acknowledge their school being a place to learn about and connect with their culture.

Māori children who spoke with ERO, feel proud to be Māori at Stanhope Road School and value the approaches teachers are taking to include Māori aspects in the curriculum and their environment.

As part of the current review of the school's curriculum school leaders agree that they could:

  • ensure it reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and is coherently aligned to teaching practice
  • continue to seek learner input into decision making about curriculum provision and learning pathways
  • extend collective leadership capacity through creating a pedagogical curriculum leader position with responsibility for oversight of the curriculum and teaching and learning.

Appropriate teacher registration processes are in place for 2016. Leaders agree that more effective use of the appraisal process should enhance and build the professional capability of leaders and teachers.

The board, school leaders and teachers ensure that the school serves its community well. They recognise the school's changing population and the requirements of diverse learners. Improving the use of internal evaluation could play a significant role in helping leaders and teachers set school conditions that respond holistically to the learning and wellbeing of all children, particularly those at risk of not achieving. Other key next steps include the board of trustees:

  • increasing its focus on the Māori, Pacific and other children who are at risk of not achieving the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics
  • receiving evaluative information from the principal that shows the impact of initiatives on accelerating the achievement of Māori, Pacific and other children.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Trustees bring a range of expertise to their roles and are representative of their school community. There is a good mix of new and experienced trustees.

The principal and school leaders have made some recent changes to the leadership team and distributed leadership opportunities to emerging leaders. They have developed expectations for teachers to inquire into and reflect on their practice.

The principal and board acknowledge they are now better placed to develop a plan to raise children's achievement and reduce disparity. The plan should aim to:

  • increase collective evaluation capacity and improve scrutiny and evaluation of achievement information
  • develop and adapt effective practices to accelerate children's progress
  • ensure evaluation outcomes are shared to inform effective practice.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a plan to raise achievement and further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should urgently ensure all school policies and or procedures are updated and meet legislative requirements.

The school has begun to align its policies and procedures to meet the requirements for 2016 Code for International Students.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continue to develop its internal evaluation capacity to help achieve excellence and equity in outcomes for all children. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 November 2016

About the school

Location

Mt Wellington, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1511

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

498

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South East Asian

Indian

Tongan

Samoan

Niue

Cook Island Māori

Fijian

Middle Eastern

Chinese

African

other Asian

other European

14%

14%

18%

15%

12%

6%

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

2%

4%

3%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

11 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2013

June 2011

February 2008