Upper Hutt School - 15/08/2012

1. Context

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

Upper Hutt School presents a pleasant, welcoming environment. Low staff turnover enables staff to get to know families well. Students are positive about the opportunities the school offers.

A specialised facility catering for students with additional learning needs is an integral part of the main school. This enables students to have regular contact and helps them develop empathy for others.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The majority of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Robust expectations and processes promote students’ engagement in their learning.

Transition into school and early assessing of student need is very well managed. Learning support is highly effective and well-monitored. A wide range of strategies and multiple layers of early response nurture and meet the learning needs of individual children.

Good processes are in place for accelerating priority learners. Teachers identify, monitor and plan for the needs of target students. This focus extends to supportive discussions within each teaching team.

Teachers are at the beginning stages of reflecting on their own practice. ERO agrees with this direction for continuing improvement of teaching.

Through self review school leaders have identified that, although they have reported in writing to parents and students on their progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards, these reports could be improved to provide further clarity.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum appropriately reflects an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. Planned professional development to support the strategic teaching of writing has contributed to increased teacher confidence in assessment. Curriculum statements are a useful guide for teachers to support their practice within the classroom and are aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) principles.

Teachers use well-planned strategies to engage students in purposeful, productive learning. Students work cooperatively.

Teachers generally meet the school’s expectation of good practice. They are beginning to develop and reflect on their practice through their performance appraisal process.

Trustees, managers and teachers use student achievement information to make decisions about resourcing and provisions to support student learning progress, achievement and engagement. Managers set relevant targets.

ERO, board and managers agree that developing a culturally responsive and place-based curriculum is likely to progress and enhance school performance. Attention should be given to increasing the knowledge base of teachers and students, and developing progressions of learning for Years 1 to 6 and a graduate profile. Developments should be responsive to whānau aspirations and increase the involvement of students in their learning.

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

Students’ academic achievement is well monitored for all priority groups including Māori learners. Managers set appropriate annual targets in response to noticed trends. Māori students are progressing well in literacy and mathematics.

The renewed kapa haka group performances support some students to experience success.

It is timely now for managers to capitalise on this recent resurgence by developing an implementation plan for ongoing partnerships with whānau, to better respond to their aspirations and promote success for Māori learners as Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Well-linked strategic and annual plans effectively guide board operations and goals. A useful governance manual, regularly reviewed, sets out roles clearly. Trustees regularly receive extensive information about student achievement to inform decision making. The principal’s performance appraisal could be strengthened by including goals derived from school targets for priority learners.

A very experienced senior management team actively supports teachers in developing consistent practice through involvement in suitable professional development and observations of planning and lessons. Leaders are improvement focused, initiating interventions for identified target groups of learners. They are open to staff requests, suggestions and ideas.

Managers gather information from a range of sources and provide some analysis. This leads to setting suitable school-wide targets and goals within the annual plan. Analysis exposes aspects for further consideration.

Review processes can be strengthened by a greater level of evidence gathering and deeper questioning of data to determine what has had an impact on student learning. This gives a more valid basis for meaningful evaluation.

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
  • 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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the School

Location

Wallaceville, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

3053

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile*

6

School roll

335

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

66%

25%

4%

3%

2%

Special Features

  1. Resource Teacher: Literacy
  2. Supplementary Learning Support Teachers
  3. Special Needs Facility (Team 10)

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

15 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

July 2006

November 2003

* School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides