West Gore School - 07/06/2019

School Context

West Gore School is a Years 1 to 6 school in Gore with a roll of 216 students. Sixteen percent of students identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is: ‘e kikiri tatou: our place to grow’. Valued outcomes are for students to become lifelong learners, feel empowered and prepared for the future, and to experience self advocacy and agency.

Current school priorities are to introduce innovative practices across the curriculum for increased student engagement, have Māori learners experience success as Māori, and lift achievement levels in writing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, science, technology and the arts
  • progress and achievement in relation to targets in writing and mathematics
  • aspects of the key competencies.

Since ERO’s 2014 review, there have been changes in senior leadership and teaching staff. The school has implemented Ministry of Education professional learning for building students’ social competency, and for teaching mathematics and writing.

West Gore School is a member of the Eastern Southland Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in supporting students to achieve its valued outcomes and is moving towards achieving equitable outcomes for all its learners.

Over the last three years, most students have achieved at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics, and in aspects of the arts, science and technology. Parity of achievement has been reached between boys and girls in writing. Disparity for Māori learners in reading, writing and mathematics remains.

In 2018 the school reported that almost all students were self-managing according to school criteria.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Targeted responses to accelerate students’ progress have been effective for identified groups of learners. The majority of targeted students made accelerated progress in writing and mathematics.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students participate and learn in caring, inclusive learning communities. Trustees and leaders have a commitment to forming educationally powerful relationships with parents and the community. Students are well supported in their transition to school. Their cultures and identities are recognised and valued. They have a strong sense of belonging to their school and community because they know their voice is heard.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are united in their purpose to realise the school’s vision. Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue strategies for innovative teaching and learning for all students. The principal has set, and models, the conditions for innovation at the school. Teachers work within a culture of high relational trust.

There are meaningful opportunities for teachers to continue to improve their practices and build a cohesive approach to teaching and learning across the school. These are achieved through:

  • building leadership capabilities that utilise individual teacher’s strengths

  • purposeful teacher inquiries for professional improvement

  • professional dialogue and sharing of good practice

  • ongoing coaching and teacher development.

The leaders and teachers are collectively building capability in order to better respond to students’ strengths, needs and interests.

Strong systems and structures are in place to support all students to make sufficient progress. Close scrutiny of learning information leads to the establishment of relevant targets. The board makes effective decisions to prioritise resourcing for those students who need it most. Actions and strategies are put in place for teachers to meet the needs of students. These systems and structures provide equitable opportunities for students whose wellbeing and learning need accelerating.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders and teachers need to use the information gathered to evaluate the impact of teaching programmes and innovations, and measure the sufficiency of progress for all students.

The school has identified, and ERO’s evaluation confirms that leaders and teachers need to continue to refine structures and systems that support the school’s curriculum and other innovations. This should help to ensure learning is cohesive and coherent for students throughout their time at school.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of West Gore School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • culturally responsive practices that recognise student identity and purposefully connect with whānau
  • its culture of collaboration and professional dialogue that leads to carefully considered innovations for improvement
  • clear alignment of purpose between trustees and leaders that maintains a commitment to equity and excellence.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • evaluating a range of achievement information to effectively identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed
  • further integrating skills and knowledge from the breadth and depth of the curriculum, for better cohesion of learning for all students.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

7 June 2019

About the school

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

4050

School type

Contributing primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

216

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 82%
Māori 16%
Other ethnicities 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

7 June 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2014
Education Review October 2011