Winton School - 10/02/2012

1 Context

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

Winton School, in Central Southland, provides students from Years 1 to 8 with a good range of enjoyable learning experiences. Trustees, senior leaders and teachers have worked together to continue improving the school’s culture and the strong focus on learning.

The school’s vision is for all students to have the qualities needed for life-long learning. Students learn and interact with one another in ways that put into action the school’s values of respect, responsibility, excellence and cooperation.

Students have pride in their school. There is an overall, positive attitude throughout the school, shown in improved rates of attendance and higher levels of student motivation for learning. The focus for teachers is on purposeful learning rather than on managing social behaviours. Students feel safe and settled.

Good links have been made between the community and the school. Partnerships between home and school are strong. The principal and teachers communicate with each other and with parents about students’ learning and well-being.

School leaders have placed a focus on information and communication technologies (ICT) that are benefiting learning, teaching and management. The school’s aim is to make ICT a part of how things are done ‘anywhere, anytime’.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Reports to trustees at the end of 2010 show that about:

  • three quarters of all students were at or above the reading and writing end-of-year National Standards expectations
  • four fifths of all students were at or above the mathematics National Standards.

Achievement reports in 2011 show that, overall, students have made good progress between Terms 1 and 3, with most progress seen in reading.

Areas of strength

Students benefit from good to high quality teaching. The teachers have high expectations for each student for both learning and behaviour. These expectations are shared with them and students respond with success. Teachers have ongoing discussions with students about their progress and achievements. They teach with a sense of purposefulness. Their deliberate acts of teaching are based on careful consideration of assessment information to identify specific learning needs.

The learning environment in and beyond the classrooms supports, celebrates and stimulates students’ learning. This environment is a result of:

  • the caring relationships between teachers and students and among students
  • how teachers see students as confident, competent learners
  • the school’s values being known and followed by all in the school community.

Students, teachers, leaders and trustees use achievement information well. This is evident at:

  • teacher level to monitor progress and identify future learning needs with students
  • syndicate level to identify annual targets and monitor the progress in achieving these
  • management level to track the progress of groups of students and report to the board
  • trustee level to consider impact of initiatives on rates of progress and plan for the future.

Students are well supported to have a good knowledge and understanding of their learning. They have a growing awareness of the part they play in progressing their learning. They are able to talk about:

  • their learning and the learning process
  • where they are in their progress
  • their goals and next steps, and how they might get there.

Area for review and development

A next step for teachers and leaders is to extend and consolidate their practices related to assessment and reporting, including those for National Standards. This should include:

  • increasing the level of involvement students have in reporting their achievement
  • building on the good practices happening throughout the school
  • having a consistent understanding of what being ‘above’ a National Standard is.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Over the last three years, the number of students who identify as Māori has increased. At the time of this review there were 32 students identified who as Māori, which is 13% of the school’s roll.

End-of-year 2010 reports to the board show that about two thirds of the Māori students were achieving at or above National Standards for reading and writing. About three quarters of the students were at or above the mathematics National Standards. Achievement information for 2011 shows that, overall, students have made good progress during the year, with most progress in reading.

The school has a strong commitment to providing a bi-cultural environment for all students. Teachers and leaders are in the early stages of developing the leadership in this area and extending teachers’ skills, knowledge and confidence in teaching te reo and tikanga Māori.

In 2010 the school formed a kapahaka group. All students, Māori and non-Māori, are welcome to be part of the group. The group has taken part in regional events and competitions and performs locally. Anecdotal evidence shows the positive impact participation in kapahaka is having on many students. For example, students have increased confidence, improved attendance and have a more positive attitude towards school. The kapahaka group is well supported by the whānau of the students.

School leaders identify the need to continue to build the partnership between the school and their Māori community. This will provide an ideal opportunity to explore together what success for, and as Māori could be for Winton School.

3 Curriculum

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

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

Areas of strength

A major contributing factor to this effective curriculum is the school’s positive culture of learning. The school has successfully established its vision, values and a balanced and broad curriculum. These are very evident throughout the school.

Notable features include:

  • well-planned learning initiatives for reading and numeracy
  • the appropriate integration of the arts into topics of inquiry
  • the integrated use of ICT
  • the wide range of second languages for Years 7 and 8 students.

Teachers clearly and quickly identify from achievement information those students who need support or extension. Programmes to support or extend students are put in place, resourced and evaluated for their impact over time. Students who are new to the school are quickly identified for any learning needs. They are supported to make whatever extra progress they need to, to reach the school’s expectations and to progress towards National Standards.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school’s culture of on-going improvement in all areas of its operations ensures that it is well placed to sustain and improve its good performance. The following areas of strength support this.

Areas of strength

Teachers, leaders and trustees are focused on raising students’ levels of achievement and rates of progress. Trustees and leaders have useful processes to review the effectiveness of the curriculum, associated teaching practices and board operations. Information is gathered from all those involved in the area being reviewed. Recommendations and actions planned as the result of reviews are clearly followed through.

The principal promotes leadership capacity in others. He has developed a collaborative teaching team with a focus on improving learning for students. He and other leaders know the quality of teaching throughout the school and are working strategically to lift that quality where the need for is improvements is identified.

Professional development opportunities are well chosen and linked to individual teacher and school needs. Teachers and leaders make good use of external expertise.

Teachers use effective processes to:

  • reflect on the impact of their teaching
  • identify next learning and next teaching steps
  • explore new ideas and integrate them where appropriate into their teaching practices.

As a result of this improvement focus, changes are put in place for the benefit of students. These changes are coherent and sustainable.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

10 February 2012

About the School

Location

Winton, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

4052

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

246

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other

77%

13%

1%

2%

7%

Special Features

Base school for 2 teachers of learning and behaviour (RTLB)

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

10 February 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

June 2008

June 2006

March 2005