Weymouth School - 21/05/2018

School Context

Weymouth School in Manurewa is a multi-cultural school and caters for 539 children who are mostly in Years 1 to 6. Te Manu Tukutuku the Māori bilingual unit, currently provides for tamariki in Years 1 to 8. Māori children make up 38 percent of the roll, 15 percent are Samoan, 10 percent are Tongan and eight percent Cook Island Māori. Over the past year the school has managed rapid roll growth.

The school’s mission is for everyone at Weymouth School to ‘Strive for the best’. Key to this vision are the values of respect and honesty. The Weymouth Way aims to nurture children to think, to help, to learn and to care. The direction of the school and the values it holds are embedded and well understood and supported by parents, teachers and students. In 2017 a specialist teacher taught te reo Māori across all classes. Classroom teachers have assumed responsibility for strengthening and extending children’s knowledge of and confidence to use te reo Māori.

Current targets for improvement and learner success are focused on reading, writing and mathematics. The focus to embed relationship-based learning across the school is being supported through significant professional development and learning.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • students with additional learning needs

  • students who are learning English as an additional language

  • engagement and wellbeing for success

  • outcomes related to identity, culture and language.

The school is a member of the South Manurewa Community of Learning (CoL) Kāhui Ako.

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 making progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all. School information over the last three years indicates that just over half of students achieve at curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall, achievement is higher in reading and mathematics than in writing.

Data show good progress over time for those children who have had all of their schooling at Weymouth School. School leaders have identified patterns in achievement data where good progress is made by Years 3 and 4 followed by times when the rate of progress is slower at the senior level.

Despite ongoing gender disparity in literacy, particularly for boy’s writing, the school has been successful in achieving parity in achievement for some groups of children.

School achievement information indicates that Years 7 and 8 children learning in Te Manu Tukutuku achieve very well. Leaders now plan to monitor and report separately the progress and achievement of Māori children learning in Te Manu Tukutuku to those learning in mainstream classes. This could provide a broader overview of Māori learners’ progress and achievement schoolwide.

Leaders gather considerable student, staff and whānau voice during the course of their internal evaluations. This information tells them that most children:

  • are proud to attend the school
  • understand the school’s vision, values and the Weymouth Way
  • are well engaged in their learning.

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

The school has some good evidence that they are successful in accelerating the learning of children.

The school sets high achievement targets. These targets reflect the aspirations and expectations leaders have for children’s learning.

School leaders have developed more effective and reliable assessment systems and practices to better respond to students’ learning needs. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to analyse achievement information to inform teaching and learning programmes.

Teachers identify six students in reading, writing and in mathematics who need to make better progress. They inquire into the impact of their practice on these students’ learning. Collaborative processes within teaching teams provide supportive, yet challenging forums for professional discussions. This practice is helping teachers to respond to students’ diverse learning needs.

Leaders have clear expectations of teacher aides to ensure the purposeful use of their time. Teacher aides participate in school wide professional development that enhances the consistency of teaching and learning programmes. This good practice promotes a collective responsibility for improving outcomes for students.

The school has customised support programmes to better meet children’s learning needs. Children benefit from both their in class literacy programme and additional literacy support. School data indicate that most children who participate in these programmes make accelerated progress.

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning. Teachers report achievement information and explain what it means, how the school will be supporting the child, and how the whānau can help at home.

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?

A strong school culture is evident. The vision and values are well understood by children, teachers and whānau. Children’s identity, language and culture are nurtured. Displays promote the school’s Weymouth Way, ‘we think, we help, we care and we learn’. A powerful sense of community and collaboration is evident. This collective responsibility enrich opportunities for children to strive for their best, - ‘every child, every day, with everyone responsible.’

The school’s holistic support for whānau enables teachers to activate educationally powerful connections. Whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning.

School leadership is inclusive and highly effective. Leaders bring drive, energy and integrity to their roles. Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles. The board of trustees provides sound governance and is positive about the future of the school. Trustees are representative of the school community and many have strong connections to the school.

Significant professional learning that is aligned to school priorities builds teachers’ capability for ongoing improvement. Classroom observations and opportunities to develop evidence-based solutions to improve their professional practice, encourages teachers to take responsibility for improving student achievement and wellbeing.

The school makes good use of internal evaluation to improve practice and student outcomes. Leaders and teachers use relevant tools for reflecting on and evaluating the outcomes of initiatives.

Strengthening in-school communication has been a priority. As a result, staff feel well informed to improve individual and collective practice, and to maintain a shared responsibility for raising student achievement.

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

Professional learning focused on relationship-based learning is a key catalyst for changing elements of teaching practice. The school is keen to increase students’ access to digital learning. Leaders could now review how well the documented curriculum reflects the focus on relationship-based learning and the use of digital technologies.

The school has a clear commitment to biculturalism and promoting success for and as Māori. Te Manu Tukutuku provides a cultural setting where Māori language, culture and identity are celebrated. Senior leaders and whānau are reviewing the Māori bilingual pathway. This evaluation will help to guide a strategic approach for the unit to realise its vision for Māori students to enjoy educational success as Māori.

Continuing to refine systems and processes that successfully accelerate children’s progress and achievement, and extending the focus on a wider group of students who need to make accelerated progress could improve educational outcomes for children.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that holds high expectations for everyone and promotes the school vision

  • a school culture that supports and includes children and their whānau

  • the alignment of building staff capacity and capability to the school direction.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing and adapting the school’s curriculum so that it better reflects teaching approaches used and the role of digital technologies

  • developing and implementing an action plan to guide Te Manu Tukutuku pathway to the future

  • continuing to prioritise teaching and learning practices that successfully accelerate children’s progress and raise overall achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 May 2018

About the school

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1570

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

539

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Cook Islands Māori
Indian
Niuean
other Asian
other Pacific Peoples
other

38%
9%
15%
10%
8%
6%
4%
3%
3%
4%

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

0

Number of students in Level 2 MME

62

Number of students in Level 4b MLE

477

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

21 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2015
February 2012
December2008