Waverley Park School - 16/05/2016

1 Context

Waverley Park School is a medium-sized school in Invercargill. It has had a stable roll since the 2013 ERO review. Children come from the local area and from culturally diverse backgrounds. The school has a large number of children with special learning needs.

The school has an inclusive, family-like and caring culture. Staff know the children and their families well. There is a strong focus on pastoral care and ensuring that every child has equal opportunity to participate in what the school has to offer. The school has adjusted the conventional classrooms and corridors so children can learn in a range of spaces. Parents are made to feel welcome.

Most trustees have been on the school board for more than three years. The principal, senior leaders and most staff members have remained at the school since the 2013 ERO review.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all students are for all children to be in a safe, secure learning environment, in which the unique qualities of each individual child are valued.

All children will be ‘Living the Learning - Ora i te akoranga', and to ‘Be strong, Aim high, Be courageous in life - Kia kaha, Kia maia, Kia manawanui'.

The children and staff form an effective and dynamic learning community in which everyone contributes and can take real pride.

The school’s achievement information shows that Māori children and boys have been consistently underachieving against the National Standards, particularly in writing since 2013. In 2015, Māori children and most other children in the school made accelerated progress in writing. These levels were similar to other Invercargill schools.

Māori and other children achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in art, science and technology.

Since the 2013 ERO review, school leaders and teachers have improved the way they analyse student achievement data, and report children's progress and achievement to parents and to the board.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school needs to further accelerate the progress of Māori children in reading, writing and mathematics so that more reach the National Standards.

Māori and other children generally make good progress in their first two years of school.

In 2015, the school effectively accelerated the progress of Māori children and boys in writing. This acceleration was attributed to the useful professional learning and development teachers received. particularly related to the teaching of writing. Writing levels have improved but remain the area of highest need.

Senior leaders and teachers have well developed systems for identifying and monitoring Māori children and other groups of children who need extra support and/or extension with their learning. Teachers are beginning to adapt teaching practices to meet learners’ needs.

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

The school provides a good range of suitable support programmes and resources for all children at risk of not achieving at the National Standards. Children who have been identified with special abilities have a range of opportunities to extend their interests, skills and knowledge.

Identified children with learning needs have individual learning plans that are regularly evaluated with parents. However, school leaders need to ensure:

  • learning support and extension programmes are regularly evaluated and reported to the board
  • more effective strategies are used to lift Māori children and boys’ progress and achievement particularly in reading and mathematics.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The curriculum effectively enacts the school’s vision and values. These are well understood by children, staff and the community. The values are closely linked to Māori values, are highly visible in the environment and well enacted in teaching and learning. Positive relationships and a trusting learning environment support a high level of engagement in learning.

Children get on well with their teachers, enjoy a wide range of learning experiences and have good opportunities for leadership. They frequently go on interesting trips beyond the school. Classroom environments are visually attractive, include useful resources and student work is well displayed.

Inquiry learning is well embedded in the school’s curriculum. Learning is effectively supported by a good range of digital devices. The next step is for teachers to deliberately plan for the integration of the school’s vision and values, bicultural aspects and the use of digital technologies in student learning.

Māori children have a wide range of opportunities to learn about and celebrate their language, culture and heritage. Te ao Māori and te reo Māori are well integrated into class programmes. Māori children and other children can attend a specialised Māori programme that supports the protection and respect of personal mana. Teachers are highly committed to increasing their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori and are strongly focused on building whanaungatanga across the school.

Senior leaders and teachers have developed effective transition programmes and systems to support children coming into the school and going onto the college.

Parents are well involved in the everyday life of the school. Their suggestions and children’s ideas are valued by the staff and used to inform planning. Through informal and formal meetings and reports, parents are well informed about their children’s learning. Teachers are finding ways to further strengthen partnerships with parents to support this learning.

The principal and school leaders work well together to lead learning. Leadership is distributed and staff skills and knowledge are well used to support teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers have high expectations, support diversity and ensure open, trustful communication exists amongst staff. The leaders have updated and improved guidelines and systems for teachers’ appraisal. These improvements are in the early stages of implementation. Leaders and teachers are working on consistent teacher practices that support individualised student-led learning,

The board is strongly committed to raising student achievement. Most trustees have served on the school board for over three years and show a strong commitment to providing the best for Waverley Park children.

The school has developed useful strategic goals and accompanying plans. The next step is to strengthen the strategic plan by including sufficient detail to:

  • clarify the actions that are likely to support the board in meeting its strategic goals
  • inform parents, staff and new board members of the board’s expectations and desired outcomes
  • outline the process for evaluating the effectiveness of actions in achieving the strategic goals.

School leaders and the board often seek parent and staff views on different matters. The board needs to extend this to include anonymous satisfaction surveys particularly related to children’s emotional and physical safety.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review, ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes.

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

6 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 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

  • Processes for appointing staff

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • Attendance

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

16 May 2016

About the school

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

4047

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

284

Gender composition

Boys 53%; Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

36%

60%

2%

1%

1%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

16 May 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

May 2009

May 2006