West Park School - 17/04/2015

Findings

Students are successful learners. Teachers and senior leaders make good use of achievement information to identify students’ learning needs and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Agreed vision and values underpin teaching and learning. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in the life 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?

West Park School, located in Johnsonville, has a roll of 373 students. They represent 52 ethnicities, including 12% who identify as Māori, 4% as Pacific and 21% as Asian. The roll continues to grow and contains increasing numbers of English language learners.

Since ERO's 2010 review, there have been significant changes to leadership. The new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2014. A new deputy principal and team leaders were appointed at the beginning of this year, expanding the senior leadership team.

The school’s vision and values have been recently reviewed. The new vision ‘every student matters - every moment counts’ is beginning to underpin teaching and learning and the culture of the school.

Positive relationships with whānau and the wider community support students’ involvement in a range of academic, sporting and cultural activities that cater well for individual interests and abilities.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The board and senior leaders have responded positively to the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is using student achievement well to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement.

Student progress in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, is closely monitored. The school reports that the majority of students are achieving at or above standards with a significant percentage achieving above in reading.

Leaders and trustees use achievement information to make suitable decisions about improvement targets, resourcing, professional learning priorities and teachers’ professional learning and development (PLD).

Students with identified needs are prioritised in professional discussions. Their needs, progress and achievement are shared by teachers in syndicate and whole-school staff meetings. This process is resulting in a more collective response to the learning of all students by all staff. Teachers use a wide range of tools to inform overall judgements about students’ progress and achievement.

Parents receive useful information about their children’s learning. This includes indication of achievement for literacy and mathematics in relation to National Standards, and progress in other curriculum areas. Judgements are well supported by evidence in students’ portfolios.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum promotes student learning, engagement and achievement.

The school has started to review its curriculum to reflect a whole-school approach and direction. The collaboratively developed vision and values are clearly evident in all aspects of the environment. Staff have recently reviewed the mathematics curriculum. Useful guidelines outline schoolwide expectations for assessment, planning and teaching. This framework should be useful to guide curriculum development for other learning areas.

School leaders have identified the need to:

  • continue to collate curriculum information to create a coherent overview that informs consistency of teaching and learning across the school
  • include local contexts for learning in the curriculum.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies to engage students in learning. They effectively support students to independently take responsibility for and ownership of their learning. Respectful relationships and positive interactions are evident among teachers and students. Information and communication technologies are used effectively to enhance learning, make connections and access the wider world.

Te reo Māori is evident in classroom environments. School leaders acknowledge a need to continue to build teachers’ confidence and competence in using te reo Māori and to more explicitly include te ao Māori contexts in teaching and learning.

It is timely for the school to consider ways to acknowledge the diverse cultures of the local community within the school environment.

A flexible and responsive process is in place to assist children and their parents to transition into the school and on to further education. Well-established relationships with local early childhood services and intermediates support the development of this approach.

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

The majority of Māori students achieve at and above National Standards in reading and mathematics. Overall writing achievement is slightly lower.

A considered approach to raising the profile of Māori in the school resulted from community feedback. The need to continue to identify and address the specific needs of Māori students in planning and class programmes has been identified.

To further promote success for Māori as Māori the school should:

  • undertake training for staff in relation to Te Tiriti ō Waitangi and cultural responsiveness
  • consult with whānau to ascertain their aspirations for success for their children
  • develop a suitable strategic plan
  • as part of curriculum review, include learning contexts that reflect te ao Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain its performance and improve student learning and achievement.

Trustees have actively responded to key messages from community consultation, analysis of achievement data and curriculum review to inform decisions about school direction. Clear charter and strategic goals guide practice and operation.

The principal has high expectations of staff and students. He is focused on promoting success for every student. The recent restructure of the leadership team is contributing to increased cohesion and consistency of practice. Leadership capability is well supported through focused professional development. The principal, with support from senior leaders, should continue to explore strategies that effectively engage all staff in initiating changes that benefit students.

An improvement-focused appraisal process supports leaders’ and teachers’ learning and effective practice. The 2014 appraisal of the principal was a comprehensive, robust process. The development goals of teachers and the principal are aligned with school focus areas and priorities.

Self review is used well to identify development needs and sustain and improve the school’s performance. ERO has identified, and school leaders agree, that strengthening evaluative inquiry into the quality of curriculum, programmes and teaching should further support sustainability and improvement.

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

Students are successful learners. Teachers and senior leaders make good use of achievement information to identify students’ learning needs and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Agreed vision and values underpin teaching and learning. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in the life of the school.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2867

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

373

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

12%
42%
21%
4%
21%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

April 2007

August 2004