Summerland Primary - 28/04/2014

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Summerland Primary opened in 2002 to serve a new suburban development on the outskirts of Henderson. The school caters for Year 1 to 6 students, who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Fourteen percent of students are Māori and ten percent have Pacific Island heritage. The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

Summerland Primary is strongly values based. The school values of “fun, integrity, respect, team and success” are clearly articulated by the leadership team and supported by parents, teachers and students. The emphasis is on building a learning community, with the individual child and their family/whānau at the centre of this partnership.

Since ERO’s 2009 review, the school curriculum has continued to broaden with developments to teaching practices in student negotiated learning and mobile e-learning. The curriculum provides many opportunities for families to learn and grow together. The board of trustees continue to oversee building developments as they respond to a staged school rebuild due to leaky buildings.

The school’s promotion and response to student wellbeing is extensive. Strong relationships and connections underpin all practices. School leaders foster relationships with families to support students’ individual pastoral and academic needs. Students, teachers and parents value being members of the school community and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

2. Learning

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

School achievement information shows that over eighty percent of students are consistently achieving at and above the national standards in reading and mathematics. Achievement information in writing shows approximately seventy-four percent achieving at and above the national standard. Initiatives to engage Pacific families and raise the overall achievement of Pacific students have been successful. Achievement data indicates a significant rise in achievement levels for Pacific students, and as a group they are achieving at similar levels to the wider school population.

Māori students are represented across all achievement bands in the school. They achieve favourably in relation to national trends for Māori students, however, as a group of students, they are not achieving at the levels of the school community as a whole. A useful next step would be to track a cohort of Māori students over time at school to identify trends and patterns that may affect progress and achievement.

Good systems are in place to support teachers to make reliable overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards. Senior leaders are continuing to refine ways of reporting to parents and students more clearly in writing about their child’s progress in relation to the National Standards.

The board, senior leaders and teachers use achievement information well to make positive changes for learners. The board and senior leaders use achievement information to set school priorities and achievement targets, design curriculum programmes, and closely monitor progress. Teachers use achievement information to plan programmes to cater for their students’ different strengths and learning needs. Achievement information is also used by senior leaders and teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of teaching approaches and identify suitable professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

Student enjoyment and engagement in the learning process is highly evident. Student engagement in learning is very well supported by the school’s culture of learning. The school value of “success” places emphasis on the student’s learning journey, and measures achievement as one of the end products. Staff and students have high expectations of themselves and others, and are self motivated learners. Students talk about their learning with confidence and see themselves as capable learners. They support the learning of their peers.

The school has inclusive and responsive practices and systems to support students with special learning needs. There is a shared commitment and responsibility for student progress on the part of teachers and learning assistants. This ensures students participate fully in appropriate learning programmes and classroom activities.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very effectively. While the curriculum has a strong focus on literacy and mathematics, it promotes a negotiated learning approach with students. The curriculum is based on principles of managed risk-taking, collaboration, reflection, and self management. Teachers support students to reflect on their own learning processes and encourage them to make decisions about their learning. Students enjoy and value this approach to learning, and are building their skills to participate in negotiating their own learning.

The curriculum builds on students’ interests and strengths. Opportunities for students to participate in different academies, namely science and the visual arts, are available to all students. Planned learning experiences that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand are given an important place in the curriculum. There is a natural integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) to enhance learning opportunities for students.

Teachers are well planned and deliver the curriculum well. High quality teaching programmes are underpinned by respectful learning relationships and a strong professional learning school culture. Teachers share professional practice within pods and across the school. Comprehensive performance management systems support effective professional practice and growth. This culture nurtures innovation and contributes to ongoing expansion and change in the curriculum.

School leaders and teachers work together effectively with families, early childhood services and intermediate schools to support smooth transitions for students.

ERO and senior leaders have identified that a priority for the school is to continue to explore how the deliberate infusion of students’ language, culture and identity can help to shape future curriculum developments. This has the potential to promote further learning for students by building from what is familiar and relevant in their lives to new learning.

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

Good progress is being made to promote educational success for Māori as Māori.

The school has eighty-seven students who identify as Māori. They have positive attitudes to school and learning. Māori student learning is supported by the school whānau organisation which promotes tuakana-teina relationships and holistic approaches to raising student achievement.

Māori students value the inclusion of aspects of Māori culture and language in the environment, curriculum and school practices. Whānau members support these learning activities by sharing their knowledge, further enriching school programmes and increasing opportunities to celebrate the backgrounds and cultural heritage of Māori students. A current priority for senior leaders is considering ways they can support teachers to grow their skill and confidence in successfully integrating te reo Māori into class programmes.

School leaders and teachers are proactive in fostering positive relationships with whānau. Māori are represented on the board of trustees. Whānau spoken to during this review say that they feel that they have a place at the school. This sense of belonging contributes to increased involvement in their children’s learning. Parents speak highly of the school initiatives that promote Māori success as Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to grow its performance and innovative practice.

The board provides effective governance. There is a unity of purpose through the shared school vision and good working relationships between the board and management of the school. Trustees are well informed about curriculum developments and student achievement. Board decision making is strategic and has a focus on improving outcomes for all students.

Leadership in the school is highly effective. The principal and senior leaders are instrumental in building leadership capacity across the school. There is a focus on growing leadership at all levels. School leaders recognise staff and students’ capabilities to complement and enhance school development. Students and staff are well aware and responsive to the high level of trust that school leaders have in them as learners and professionals. School leaders have established an effective learning community.

Self review is used well to sustain and improve the school’s performance. Ongoing critical reflection and outcomes of self review provide clear rationale for improvement in curriculum design, teaching practice, and future directions for the school. Students, staff and the school community are consulted as part of the review process. The board and school leaders build networks with other schools, and make good use of external advice and sound educational research to support improved outcomes for students.

Provision for international students

Summerland Primary provides its international students with a very good standard of education and support. An effective programme supports their English language development. Students are warmly welcomed and enjoy many opportunities to participate in school activities. The school provides high quality pastoral support for these students.

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education act 1989. At the time of this review there were three international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. EROs investigations confirmed that the schools self-review process for international students is thorough.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

28 April 2014

About the School

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

6937

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

596

Number of international students

3

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Pacific Nations

Chinese

Filipino

Korean

African

other Asian

other European

other

14%

26%

17%

10%

8%

4%

4%

3%

6%

3%

5%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

28 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

June 2006

May 2004