Stanhope Road School - 16/08/2013

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review?

Stanhope Road School, in Mt Wellington, caters for Years 1 - 8 students. At the time of ERO’s education review in April 2011, school systems, including leadership in curriculum, were not supporting children to reach their potential. This was the main reason for ERO’s decision to monitor and support the school’s development through a longitudinal, Arotake Paetawhiti review process.

Since September 2011, the school has been involved in an Arotake Paetawhiti review. The board, working with ERO and a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner, identified priorities for school improvement. An action plan was formed to guide development in these areas. Regular communications between ERO, the board of trustees and senior leaders have focused on the school’s progress in addressing concerns identified in the 2011 ERO report.

During 2012 a new principal was appointed to lead the school in its next phase of development. She and the board have been strategic in restructuring roles and responsibilities, and supporting teachers to improve teaching and learning in the school.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

In 2011, ERO and the school agreed on the following priorities for review and development:

  • accelerating achievement for the school’s target groups of students and enabling clear and accurate reporting on student achievement
  • strengthening school and curriculum leadership
  • developing effective programmes for English language learners (ELLs)
  • implementing strategies that further reflect the cultural heritage of Māori and Pacific students in curriculum delivery, and increasing parent, families, whānau and aiga engagement in their children’s learning
  • ensuring effective financial management.

Progress

Positive school developments since the 2011 ERO review indicate that the board, senior leaders and staff are focused on strategies to improve outcomes for students.

The school has used the agreed priorities as a basis for its ongoing development and self review. The board receives increasingly good quality student achievement information from senior leaders. As a result, the board has been able to make strategic decisions that are focused on positive student outcomes.

The board governs the school successfully and supports the principal in leading school improvement. Trustees support teachers and parents in their endeavours to raise student achievement. They value parent contributions and have built on existing positive relationships with families, whānau and aiga to strengthen partnerships that are focused on children’s learning.

Students are confident in talking about what they are learning and how they can improve their learning. They understand the purpose of lessons and have opportunities to express their ideas more freely. Recordings of students’ ideas, evident in wall displays and students’ learning journals show the value teachers place on student voice. To build on this good teaching and learning practice, ERO and senior leaders agree that teachers could provide students with further strategies to help them plan their next learning steps.

Senior leaders and teachers lead school improvement with more clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Staff are more assured in their contribution to raising student achievement. Teacher aides are supported to work alongside groups of students and individuals in various learning contexts. Teachers have responded positively to professional learning and development by modifying teaching practice so that it is focused on enhancing student learning. They have developed useful classroom strategies to support students to lead their own learning.

School-wide professional learning and development focuses on teaching practices that meet diverse learners’ requirements. Teachers are increasingly aware of the importance of planning and delivering programmes that build on students’ different capabilities. They are guided by a school curriculum that reflects the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and recognises students’ different languages, cultures and identities.

A current school development focus is raising staff awareness of culturally inclusive practices that best engage learners from different cultures and backgrounds. Teachers have an increased appreciation of how aspirations, experiences and knowledge vary from one culture to another. These positive developments have contributed to Māori students being more engaged in their learning, and experiencing greater success as Māori. School-wide development also supports the school’s drive to raise the achievement levels of students from different Pacific nations.

Teachers have responded well to initiatives that have focused on accelerating the progress of students achieving below and well below the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders acknowledge that there is still work to do to raise overall achievement levels.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Progress

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Since the 2011 ERO review, more consistent, good quality teaching and learning practice is evident school-wide. Effective monitoring of curriculum delivery by senior leaders and targeted professional learning and development have contributed to improvements in teaching and learning.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively with Ministry of Education personnel to improve teaching and learning. School involvement in the Ministry of Education’s Student Achievement Function (SAF) initiative provided opportunities for the school to strengthen its internal capability to implement a sustainable cycle of planning focused on continuous school improvement.

The new principal and board have worked effectively together to build on previous school improvement initiatives and support sustainability by:

  • developing the leadership capability of senior leaders to improve student outcomes
  • providing useful feedback to teachers, through a well considered appraisal system, about ways they can support student learning
  • ensuring that learning areas such as the arts and health and physical education provide students with meaningful contexts to apply their literacy and mathematical skills and understandings
  • implementing more robust systems for assessing and moderating student achievement.

The board has funded, and senior leaders and teachers have used information communication technologies (ICT) to, enhance student outcomes. Students can access information from a variety of internet sources to support their learning. Plans are in place to increase the school’s capability in communicating with parents via the internet about their children’s learning.

The board and senior leaders use self review to identify areas for school development. Self review is informed by contributions from trustees, senior leaders, teachers, students and parents. External review is welcomed and has informed areas such as the school’s provision for English language learners. As a result of reviewing its own practice, the board has improved its decision-making. One positive outcome has been more efficient and prudent financial management.

To continue to improve practice, the school has identified that the board, senior leaders and teachers should track and report the progress of different groups of students. This is now possible due to the intensive work that has been done by external support people, senior leaders and teachers to improve the quality of student achievement information that is collected in the school.

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.

During the review ERO identified two areas of non-compliance. To address these, the board must:

4. report to the school’s community about the achievement of students as a whole and Government priority learners (Māori students, Pacific students and students with special needs including those who are gifted and talented).
[National Administration Guidelines 2(c)]

5. in consultation with the school's Māori community, develop and make known to the school's community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students.
[National Administration Guidelines 1(e)]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

16 August 2013

About the School

Location

Mount Wellington, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1511

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

460

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Filipino

Tongan

Samoan

African

Chinese

Fijian

Sri Lankan

Other Asian

Other Pacific

Other

12%

12%

22%

15%

12%

6%

3%

2%

2%

1%

5%

4%

2%

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

16 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

February 2008

March 2005