West Park School - 29/06/2018

School Context

West Park School is in the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville. At the time of this review, the roll was 409 students in Years 1 to 6, with 48 identifying as Māori and 26 as of Pacific heritage.

The school’s shared vision is that: ‘Every student matters, every moment counts’. This guides teaching and learning. Values are for students to be: leaders of their learning; critical thinkers; happy, confident and engaged; risk takers; creative; skilled in literacy and mathematics; and prepared for the future.

The school’s current achievement aims are to increase the percentages of students achieving at or above the expected curriculum levels for their year groups in reading, writing and mathematics. Supporting targets state expectations for each year group.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • engagement and wellbeing
  • outcomes for learners with complex learning needs.

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?

There are areas of strong achievement in the school, but consistently equitable and excellent outcomes for all students are yet to be achieved.

In 2017, most students achieved at or above expectations in reading and mathematics, and a large majority of students achieved at or above expectations in writing.

The majority of Māori students meet expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement for Pacific students is variable. Although the majority achieved in reading, the proportion of Pacific students achieving in writing and mathematics is lower than that of their peers within the school.

The data shows ongoing disparity for boys, who achieve less well as a group than girls in writing, with a small disparity in reading.

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

The school has yet to consistently accelerate the progress of students identified as at risk of not achieving.

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?

The school’s overarching focus on the learning, achievement and wellbeing of students is well supported by the board’s stewardship and governance and by school leadership. Approaches are highly collaborative. Trustees bring a useful range of skills and receive informative reports that guide strategic resourcing for improved student outcomes. Capability building for leadership and teaching across the school contributes to achieving the school’s vision, values and priorities.

School conditions are caring and inclusive and promote learning and wellbeing. Students learn in a range of open and more traditional learning environments. Positive, respectful and productive relationships are highly evident. The curriculum has a clear focus on integrating the school values. A well-considered, collaborative approach appropriately supports students’ transition into, through and out of the school.

Teachers use a range of strategies to engage students well in their learning. Students are provided with purposeful opportunities to grow their leadership capability and contribute meaningfully to the school’s vision. Children with diverse learning needs are well identified and supported through regular classroom programmes and use of external expertise.

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

The recently updated annual plan identifies explicit targets to promote equity and excellence. This should support the planning and implementation of actions that focus specifically on accelerating the learning of groups of students who are underachieving, particularly Māori students, Pacific students and boys.

Overall, the school’s curriculum guides and supports teaching and learning well. However, it is now timely for leaders and teachers to further review the curriculum through the lens of identity, culture and language so that it better reflects the school and community context. Consultation through whānau Māori hui and engagement with Pacific families should support this aspect of further development.

Self-review processes are well established. Leaders and teachers gather and analyse a wide range of useful information to inform decisions for change and improvement. A next step is to further explore the use of internal evaluation, for systematically determining how well, and in what ways, teaching practices and learning interventions have positive and equitable impacts on outcomes for all students.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

Since the onsite phase of the review the school has formalised goals and targets for Māori achievement.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should, improve its consultation with the Māori community, to inform specific goals and targets for raising Māori achievement in keeping with the requirements of National Administration Guideline (NAG) 1, e.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a strong culture of collaboration amongst trustees and leaders that supports achievement of the school’s vision, values and priorities for students
  • an inclusive and caring school environment and teaching strategies that positively promote students’ learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • a curriculum that reflects the school and community context, including students’ identity, culture and language
  • more targeted planning to accelerate learning for those groups of students who need this, and to address remaining areas of disparity [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]
  • schoolwide internal to determine the impacts of initiatives and inform decisions for ongoing improvement. [The school has requested and ERO has agreed to provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]evaluation,

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 June 2018

About the school

Location

Johnsonville, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2867

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

409

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 38%

Asian 34%

Pacific 6%

Other ethnic groups 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review April 2010
Education Review April 2007