Stoke School - 21/02/2020

School Context

Stoke School, located in Nelson, caters for children in Years 1 to 6. Of the 271 students attending, 28% are Māori and 6% are of Pacific heritage.

The school’s vision is ‘Tū iti tū tonu mai’ we are proud, humble and will keep striving. The values (STOKED - Supportive, Tutūru, One Whānau, Kaitiakitanga, Enthusiastic and Diverse) and the rules (‘Respect, Responsible, and Safety’) are highly visible in the school environment.

Since the July 2013 ERO review the school appointed a new principal in August 2018, and a new leadership team started at the beginning of 2019. A new board commenced in 2019.

Relationships-based learning is a key professional development focus within the school along with collaborative practices and coaching.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing
  • attendance.

The school is a member of the Te Tumu Herenga Tangata Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

The school is working on, and has yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Achievement data for 2019 shows that a high majority of students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics, and the majority achieved these expectations in writing.

Achievement levels have fluctuated over time in reading and writing, while mathematics is showing some improvement.

The majority of Māori students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in literacy and mathematics. The achievement of Pacific students fluctuates, with the majority achieving at or above expectations in reading and mathematics. In 2019 there has been a dip in writing, with half meeting expectations.

Girls achieve more highly than boys in literacy, but lower than boys in mathematics.

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

The school can clearly show accelerated learning for a few students in literacy and mathematics. However, over the last few years schoolwide acceleration for other students who are below curriculum expectations has not been reported. Teachers are working together to establish acceleration strategies that are successful in raising student achievement.

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?

Leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to relationships-based learning. This is supported through teachers’ professional development and coaching. Expectations for children’s ownership of learning are promoted at all levels of the school.

Bicultural practices are highly evident. Māori language, culture and identity are promoted. Te reo me te ao Māori are evident in learning contexts and the daily life of the school.

The Stoke School curriculum is clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. School documents outline expectations for teaching and an integrated approach to the learning areas. Children have a wide variety of opportunities to experience the breadth of the curriculum.

Transitions into and out of the school are effective, particularly for students with diverse needs. The school has well-developed relationships with external agencies that enhance the school’s provision for children with additional needs. Student wellbeing is a high priority.

Leadership actively promotes positive reciprocal relationships with the local community. The school value, ‘One whānau’, effectively describes how everyone works together for the benefit of the children. Community relationships are sought and valued.

Students are active, engaged participants in their learning. They work collaboratively in multilevel groups and many can articulate their learning and are aware of the next steps for improvement. Children’s ideas are valued, and their contributions supported and promoted.

The school’s strategic aims are highly relevant and provide a sound foundation for ongoing development. New trustees are involved in training to develop their knowledge and skills to support their roles.

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

Lifting student achievement is a priority. The identification, monitoring and tracking of all children needs increased emphasis, particularly for those who are below curriculum expectations. The ongoing progress of all children who are below expectations must be more regularly reported to trustees. Continuing with the focus on relationships-based learning, with its emphasis on effective teaching and strengthening teaching practice alongside building positive relationships, is of key importance.

Understandings of internal evaluation need development to provide feedback on the success of initiatives, including the impact of play-based learning on outcomes for children. Leaders and teachers should articulate a clear rationale for implementing changes and evaluate the impact before extending practices. They need to establish clear indicators of high quality practice, gather a range of data in relation to these, and consistently analyse and interpret the data to determine priorities for future development. This should increase opportunities for evaluation of effectiveness.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Stoke School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • pastoral care of students’ wellbeing to enable engagement with the school curriculum
  • building relationships with students and their families to support learning.

Next steps

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

  • identifying effective teaching practices that raise student achievement
  • data analysis practices that are shared and clearly inform teaching and learning
  • internal evaluation that identifies successful school practices and contributes to sustainability.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

21 February 2020

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3223

School type

Contributing primary (Year 1-6)

School roll

269

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 28%

NZ European/Pākehā 53%

Pacific 6%

Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

21 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2013

Education Review May 2010

Education Review May 2007