Windsor North School - 30/11/2015

Findings

Students at Windsor North School achieve very well. Their learning is well supported by a rich curriculum. There are highly effective systems for ensuring all students’ needs, abilities and interests are met. Students’ learning is enhanced by a positive and settled school culture where high expectations pervade. The school is very well led and governed.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Windsor North is a large urban school for learners in Years 1 to 6. The school has a growing roll with an enrolment scheme. Several areas in the school have been modernised and refurbished as part of an ongoing plan.

Students learn in a positive school culture where there are high expectations for learning and achievement. Students are highly engaged in their learning and very respectful of each other and school staff.

The school communicates effectively with, and is well supported by parents and whānau. It has developed strong connections with the local community. Together they are providing opportunities to extend students’ learning.

Leaders and teachers are very knowledgeable about individual student's progress and achievement.

Since the last ERO review in 2012, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. The board has fully addressed the recommendations in the 2012 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

This school makes highly effective use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Most students (more than 85%) are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Trends over the last two to three years show achievement is continuing to improve. Students whose achievement is not at this level are quickly identified and given appropriate learning support. These students are targeted to make accelerated progress and their achievement is closely monitored.

Leaders closely analyse the data to determine what is working for students and what is not. Leaders and teachers use the school’s student-management system increasingly well to analyse student achievement information. All students’ achievement and progress is monitored and tracked over time. Trustees receive high quality information about student achievement and progress. This assures them that student achievement is being very well managed.

Very good use is made of student achievement information by:

  • teachers to plan for individuals and groups of students and to review the effectiveness of their teaching
  • teachers to identify students for learning support and extension programmes
  • senior leaders to comprehensively analyse and interpret assessment information, and make resourcing decisions to support students’ learning
  • the board to inform resourcing decisions
  • curriculum leaders in reviewing curriculum effectiveness.

Teachers’ assessment practices are becoming increasingly reliable and valid. Leaders have provided some useful guidelines, professional learning and frameworks to support consistency of assessment judgements.

Students have an awareness of their learning goals and what they need to do next to achieve them.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

The curriculum has a strong focus on literacy and mathematics learning. Students are provided with authentic and wide-ranging learning opportunities. Learning is based on an inquiry approach and is well supported by an increasing use of digital technology.

Leaders regularly evaluate how well the school’s curriculum is responding to the interests and needs of learners. They have developed a comprehensive review process that leads to clear recommendations and next steps.

Teachers follow detailed curriculum guidelines. These provide clear expectations for what students will learn, how they will be taught and criteria for the progress students are expected to make from year to year. This helps ensure students make appropriate progress through the school.

Teachers work well together. They collaboratively plan, develop units of work and share ideas. The recently developed framework for inquiry learning is an example of this.

Extensive use of digital technology for enhancing teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics is a school priority.

Support programmes for students who require more help are well developed and responsive to their needs. Students’ progress is well tracked and closely monitored each term. Regular reports to the board inform trustees about the effectiveness of programmes. 

Leaders and teachers are placing a greater emphasis on meeting the needs, abilities and interests of capable students, by providing a wider range of extension and enrichment opportunities.

Students are very positive about their school, teachers and the wide range of learning opportunities, including sport and cultural activities.

The principal and teachers have a clear vision to move the school forward and are well placed to further integrate this vision into the curriculum. They agree that their next step is to make this vision more evident to the students and school community.

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

About 19% of the students identify as Māori. The majority of these students achieve very well.

Māori students experience aspects of their culture and language within classroom programmes and especially through inquiry learning where teachers plan a bicultural perspective. A kapa haka group represents the school within the local and wider community.

The school leaders gather the views of whānau and the Māori community in a variety of ways. They are developing further ways of improving their consultation processes.

ERO recommends, and the board agrees, that the school’s next step is to create a shared understanding of Māori success. This should include reviewing how well the school’s curriculum is supporting Māori language, culture and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board and principal have developed a focused and coherent strategic plan to guide the future direction of the school. This is supported by detailed action plans which the board and principal monitor closely to track progress toward their goals.

Trustees are experienced and have an excellent knowledge of governance. They are well supported by a comprehensive policy and procedural framework. This includes an appropriate focus on review of their own performance. The board expects and receives well-analysed reports on student achievement and is proactive in making decisions that improve outcomes for learners.

The principal is strongly focused on leading and developing effective teacher practice. He has implemented a number of systems and processes to support this including:

  • school-wide expectations and processes for teachers reflecting on the effectiveness of their teaching
  • greater collaboration between teachers around planning and delivering the curriculum
  • robust and transparent teacher-appraisal processes, including strengthened peer and self-review requirements
  • ongoing review of a wide range of school practices that incorporates student, staff and parent feedback
  • encouraging the development of modern teaching practices (for example, collaborative teaching and the integration of digital technologies in teaching and learning).

Staff and school leaders told ERO that the introduction of these practices has been well managed. This has been achieved through well-paced consultation with staff and the collaborative development of guidelines and frameworks to support staff to make changes.

Together, the board and senior leadership team have high expectations for ongoing improvement and student success. They have created useful systems and processes throughout the school to meet these expectations.

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 at Windsor North School achieve very well. Their learning is well supported by a rich curriculum. There are highly effective systems for ensuring all students’ needs, abilities and interests are met. Students’ learning is enhanced by a positive and settled school culture where high expectations pervade. The school is very well led and governed.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

30 November 2015

School Statistics

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

3967

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

322

Gender composition

Boys: 165

Girls: 157

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Pacific
Asian  

78%
19%
  2%
  1%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

30 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2012
February 2011
October 2009