Wesley School - 16/01/2015

Findings

Wesley School strongly promotes student learning and well being. Partnerships with parents, whānau and aiga are highly valued. The school’s curriculum is meaningful and relevant to the students. The school is well led and the board provides good governance of the school.

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?

Wesley School is located in Mount Roskill, Auckland. This small school caters for students from Year 1 to 6 who are mainly of Tongan and Samoan descent.

Since the 2011 ERO report, the school has undergone significant property developments. New administration and health promoting blocks have been built, new classrooms have been brought in to the school and the majority of old buildings have been demolished.

The school has a positive tone and provides strong support to students. It takes advantage of the many external student support initiatives available to promote student learning, health and wellbeing.

The school offers fono for aiga and famili to hear about and contribute to the school’s intended direction. Senior leaders share current Samoan and Tongan achievement results and gather parent aspirations at these fono. The board has made a room available which is very well utilised by whānau, aiga and famili as a meeting place. There has been a notable increase in community confidence in the school.

The board has responded positively to recommendations made in the 2011 ERO report. The report noted the high quality programme for students who are English speakers of other languages (ESOL), the close monitoring of student progress and the good quality of teaching programmes. These remain evident.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

School data indicates that about 70 percent of all students are achieving at or above National Standards in mathematics. Just over half of all students are achieving at or above National Standards in writing and nearly half of all students are achieving at or above the National Standard in reading. Teachers use a variety of reliable assessment tools to make these judgements. Student progress towards school goals and National Standards are closely monitored throughout the year and reported to the board of trustees. The board makes very good use of this information to develop focussed school-wide goals.

Teachers gather information about the skills and knowledge that students bring when entering the school. It would be useful to report this information to the board of trustees, as well as information about the progress students make during their time at the school. Such information could further enhance the board’s decision-making about resource allocation.

Senior leaders have good processes and strategies in place to support the students who are yet to meet the National Standards. These include:

  • ensuring teachers have high expectations for all students to achieve
  • providing high quality ESOL programmes for extra support
  • using a variety of external agencies to support student learning
  • increasing teaching practices by utilising internal expertise in mathematics and literacy
  • initiating a school-wide focus on improving students’ oral language skills.

Senior leaders are working with teachers to develop consistency in how they support students to identify and manage writing and reading goals. Trustees and senior leaders, in consultation with parents and whānau, should consider developing a list of skills, knowledge and values that they want Year 6 students to leave Wesley School with. This development will strengthen the school’s overall, and students’ individual, goal setting.

Students are confident, friendly and keen learners. They enjoy positive relationships with their peers and with teachers. They are engaged in their learning and continue to build their skills to monitor their own progress. They have many opportunities to take part in a variety of sporting and cultural activities.

A high percentage of students participated in early childhood experiences. Effective processes for students who transition from the adjacent kindergarten are evident. The school should now consider how it could improve processes for students who transition from other local early childhood centres. The school also provides good support for parents and schools for Year 6 students as they transition out of Wesley School.

Trustees and leaders have a commitment to strengthening parent and whānau relationships. Parents and whānau have many formal and informal opportunities to contribute to their child’s learning. The principal encourages parents and families to contribute and be a part of the school. The welcoming and inclusive school culture has resulted in more reciprocal relationships and increased parent and community confidence in being involved in the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The school’s six values and its vision underpin the curriculum.

Teachers and leaders emphasise providing meaningful, relevant and rich learning experiences. These experiences stimulate student interest and engagement, and provide the motivation to broaden their oral language. Although some learning areas are integrated, others are taught in isolation. Students would benefit from participating in fully integrated experiences to deepen their skills and understanding of topics offered.

The quality of teaching across the school is sound. Teachers regularly participate in professional development that aligns well with school strategic goals and includes a focus on making the curriculum culturally relevant for each student. Teachers regularly reflect on student participation in, and attitudes to, learning experiences. They could make this reflective process more useful by increasing its evaluative content and considering the impact teaching programmes are having on student learning.

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

The school has implemented some initiatives in this year. It continues to promote high quality kapa haka and opportunities for students to participate in external performances. However, the school has identified the need to revisit the principles of the Ministry of Education Māori education strategy,Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017, to consider how effectively it promotes Māori student success.

Eight percent of the school roll identify as Māori. This is fewer than during the 2011 ERO review. The school continues to promote Māori student success in targeted ways. Data for Māori students is analysed and reported to the board separately in order to show how teachers cater to their learning needs. This information could be further enhanced through self review and critical evaluation of Māori students’ progress over time.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Positive student and adult relationships provide a good base for sustaining and improving student learning.

Trustees represent most cultures in the community. They take advantage of external training and are developing a good understanding of their governance roles. The schools’ recently reviewed charter forms a solid foundation for planning for school and student achievement improvement.

The principal provides inclusive and distributed leadership. The senior leadership team is very supportive and change is well managed and carefully considered. Senior leaders know students and their families well. They are increasing the partnership they have with parents to support student learning.

Senior leaders have a good understanding of the purpose of self review. The board has an established agenda for reviewing their policies and receiving reports of student progress. The appraisal process aligns well to the registered teacher criteria and is monitored regularly throughout the year. To further strengthen self review processes, the principal’s appraisal could be aligned with the strategic goals of the charter.

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

Wesley School strongly promotes student learning and well being. Partnerships with parents, whānau and aiga are highly valued. The school’s curriculum is meaningful and relevant to the students. The school is well led and the board provides good governance of the school.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer - Northern Northern Region

16 January 2015

About the School

Location

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1565

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

164

Gender composition

Boys 59% Girls 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pakeha

Tongan

Samoan

other Pasifika

other

13%

2%

49%

20%

10%

6%

Special Features

Home Instruction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) Parent and Whānau Room Social Worker in Schools (SWiS) Public Health Nurse (PHN)

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

16 January 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

June 2008

June 2005