Waterview School - 24/12/2014

Findings

Waterview School provides a supportive, well organised environment for students. School values and positive behaviour strategies set the foundations for successful learning. Significant changes prompted by Auckland’s western motorway development are being well managed by school leaders for the advantage of students and to prepare for the move to new premises.

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

1 Context

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

Waterview School is uniquely situated within the changing environment of Auckland’s western motorway development. School buildings have been replaced with temporary buildings and relocated to accommodate this development. Plans for a new permanent school in the near future have been confirmed by the Ministry of Education. Despite the challenges of this situation, the school’s roll continues to grow.

School leaders have chosen to see these challenges as opportunities and the school holds a positive outlook for the future. The board has worked well to minimise the impact of ongoing changes and the core business of teaching and learning continues to be the school’s main focus. Well considered decisions and preparations continue to be made to help ensure that students and their learning benefit from developments.

Further, significant change lies ahead in updating the school to a modern learning environment (MLE) school. The school has is good plans in place to prepare teachers, students, and parents for these developments.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement data is well used to inform decision making at all levels of the school.

Teachers use student achievement data well to plan and monitor their programmes. They are increasingly using targeted strategies to raise student achievement and to implement more considered interventions to support at students at risk of not achieving well. The board of trustees is very aware of the school’s achievement information and discusses student achievement at all board meetings.

Information gathered by the school in 2012 and 2013 shows that overall levels of student achievement is in line with national averages, but a little below regional (Auckland) and local averages for National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Trustees and teachers also noted some decline in overall achievement results for reading, writing and mathematics between 2012 and 2013. This decline is likely to have been a result of improved practices for ensuring consistent teacher judgements about student performance. These improvements in teacher practice should provide the school with more reliable information about student achievement and give teachers, students and parents greater confidence in judgements made about student progress and learning. The school’s 2014 mid-year data shows good progress in a number of areas and end of year data is expected to verify improved student performance.

School leaders and teachers are also increasing the focus on involving students more in knowing about, and having ownership of their own learning. They are using digital learning technologies effectively to increase students’ engagement in learning and to promote greater levels of independent learning. These on-line technologies are also being used to strengthen learning partnerships between the school and families.

School leaders agree that next steps in the use of student achievement information include:

  • continuing to ensure that all teachers have a shared understanding of school assessment practices
  • continuing to extend use of data to monitor the progress of identified students and groups of students over time
  • deepening and extending teachers’ inquiry into their practice.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum reflects the school’s vision and values well and is responsive to student needs.

School leaders and teachers maintain a strong emphasis on school values and positive behaviours for learning. Planning is closely linked to the learning areas, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Students know and can share their knowledge of the school’s expectations for learning and behaviour.

The school provides a broad curriculum that has an appropriate emphasis on literacy and mathematics. School leaders are beginning to develop bicultural and Pacific perspectives in the curriculum. They are using relevant and up to date resources to help them do so.

Teachers plan collaboratively to support each other and to meet the needs of their students. They are increasingly using students’ interests to engage, motivate and sustain students’ learning. Teachers are exploring and trialling new teaching and learning strategies that will lay the foundation for the school’s future curriculum development. These new strategies are well supported and monitored by the senior leadership team.

Students are provided with many sporting opportunities, including opportunities to work with external coaches to further enhance their enjoyment and skill levels.

School leaders agree that the next steps in curriculum development are to:

  • review and design curriculum and teaching approaches that enable the school to benefit fully from its upcoming move to a modern learning environment and the opportunity this presents for personalising learning
  • continue to identify and document effective teaching practices for promoting learning at Waterview School and increase consistency in the use of these practices across the school
  • continue extending bicultural and Pacific perspectives within the curriculum.

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

The school has taken steps to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. School leaders and teachers know their students and whānau well. They continue to build supportive relationships with the Māori community. The school’s strategic plan includes useful Māori student achievement initiatives and targets. Teachers are addressing the learning needs of Māori students through group and individual teaching, and other learning programmes.

Some school practices enhance the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are taught to all students and teachers by a specialist teacher. The school environment shows some evidence of te reo Māori and teachers’ unit planning reflects programmes that celebrate New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The school’s kapa haka group is well established and supported. A highlight for the group and a source of pride for the school and community was their high quality performance at the recent New Zealand Transport – Waterview Tunnel Project opening.

School leaders agree that next steps in promoting educational success for Māori as Māori is to:

  • embed te reo me ngā tikanga Māori at classroom levels by developing teacher confidence to support and independently sustain the work of the specialist teacher
  • further include te ao Māori in school routines and practices.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has good systems and strategies in place to sustain and build its capacity as it enters its next phase of development.

The school structure supports ongoing development in teaching. Enthusiastic and motivated teaching teams have opportunities to collaborate and share professional practice with a focus on improving outcomes for children. School leaders create a safe environment for teachers to trial different teaching approaches in readiness for the MLE. These practices foster the development of good leadership capability with the school.

The school benefits from clear directional leadership. The principal is considered, thoughtful and reflective in his approach to change management. He works closely with the board to manage and lead this change. Good collaboration and communication is a feature at all levels of the school.

The increasingly diverse ethnic community is reflected in the composition of the board of trustees. The board provides strategic, future focused leadership and governance. Trustees are well informed and make strategic decisions to support improved outcomes for all students. There is a clear alignment between various school planning documents.

The school’s self-review processes promote ongoing responsiveness to parents and a focus on continued improvement. Policy review is being streamlined. The board has promoted meaningful consultation and open communication with the school community to shape decisions about the direction of the school.

School leaders continue to refine and develop performance management systems and progress towards strategic goals is well tracked, documented and reported.

School leaders agree that next steps to sustain and improve performance include:

  • formally building leadership capacity to manage ongoing change and predicted roll growth
  • extending and strengthening self review through more formalised and evaluative documentation.

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.

Conclusion

Waterview School provides a supportive, well organised environment for students. School values and positive behaviour strategies set the foundations for successful learning. Significant changes prompted by Auckland’s western motorway development are being well managed by school leaders for the advantage of students and to prepare for the move to new premises.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

24 December 2014

About the School

Location

Waterview, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1563

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

174

Gender composition

Boys 56%

Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Asian

Cook Island Māori

Fijian

Kiribati

other

18%

33%

17%

9%

8%

5%

1%

1%

8%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

24 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

October 2008

September 2005