Waimate Main School - 12/06/2017

Summary

Waimate Main School is a Years 1 to 6 primary school. At the time of this review it had a roll of 79 children including 10 Māori children.

Since the last ERO review (2014) the school has:

  • appointed a new principal and a number of new teachers

  • joined the Waimate Community of Learning along with six other local schools

  • participated in the Ministry of Education’s Accelerating Learning in Mathematics and Positive Behaviour for Learning programmes

  • maintained its involvement in the local Connecting Education and Communities and Parenting Hub initiatives.

Aspects of curriculum development and self-review identified as areas for development in the last review have not been fully addressed.

School achievement information shows improvement over time in children’s achievement in mathematics but declining achievement in reading and writing.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

This school is somewhat effective in responding to those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Many of the school’s systems and processes for ensuring equity and excellence were not sufficiently sustained during a period of significant change in school personnel in 2016. This has impacted negatively on children’s achievement.

At the time of this review the new principal was in the early stages of addressing many of the recommendations for improvement identified in this report.

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and/or other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement
  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

This school is somewhat effective in responding to those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most children achieved well in relation to the National Standards in reading in 2014 and 2015. In the same period about half of all children achieved at or above expectations in writing. Achievement in both areas dropped in 2016 as a result of changes described in the summary statement above, and a narrow focus on lifting achievement in mathematics. This focus was successful in raising achievement, with about 75% of children achieving at National Standards in mathematics in 2016.

The school has yet to achieve equitable achievement outcomes for Māori children in all areas.

School information shows that the school’s intervention to raise achievement in mathematics was successful in accelerating the progress of nearly all children who participated.

This school is highly responsive to the needs of children with high and complex needs. Targeted support for these children has improved engagement and participation in learning.

The school has adequate processes and practices to enable leaders and teachers to make reliable judgements on children’s achievement in relation to National Standards. The leadership in the school needs to ensure these are well understood and implemented consistently across the school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Some school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

This school effectively builds strong relationships and partnerships with other schools, community organisations and external specialists to support the well-being and learning of children and their families. This has included a collaborative focus on building parents’ and families’ knowledge and understanding of how to support their children’s learning. 

The new principal is strongly focused on lifting student achievement, and is acting quickly to put in place the systems and practices needed to enable this. This includes:

  • setting high expectations for staff and children

  • implementing school-wide systems for identifying and monitoring the progress and achievement of all learners – particularly those yet to achieve success

  • leading and promoting processes for evaluating the quality of teaching and its impact on student achievement and progress

  • improving appraisal processes

  • reviewing and developing guidelines for curriculum delivery

  • building constructive relationships with trustees, teachers, children and families and the wider community.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are actively researching and trialling new and innovative approaches to meeting the needs of children. Teachers have been well-supported to participate in relevant professional learning to implement these approaches.

The school’s values of Think, Care and Achieve are evident and effectively promoted through all school planning and programmes. These are actively supporting positive relationships and behaviours for learning.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

At the time of this review many school processes needed to be improved in order to effectively promote the achievement of equity and excellence for all children.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school’s charter targets need to be more focused on those children who need to make accelerated progress to be achieving at expected levels. Improving the charter targets will bring greater focus to school plans and actions and enable evaluation of outcomes.

The school does not have well-embedded systems for identifying priority learners, planning targeted actions to lift achievement and monitoring children’s progress and achievement. Establishing more effective systems will enable trustees, leaders and teachers to be more responsive to children’s learning needs.

The school’s evaluation and inquiry practices are not consistently implemented or well-used to inform decisions and improvements. Strengthening evaluation practices will enable trustees, leaders and teachers to know `what is working and for whom’, and provide a basis for ongoing improvement.

Teachers do not have a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning in this school. Reviewing and updating expectations for teaching and learning will ensure good practices are spread and sustained across the school. 

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

  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and/or other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement
  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning. 

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

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

12 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Waimate

Ministry of Education profile number

3574

School type

Contributing Primary

School roll

79

Gender composition

Boys: 45 Girls: 34

Ethnic composition

Māori: 10

Pākeha: 68

Other: 1

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

12 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review February 2014

Education Review January 2011

Supplementary Review February 2008