Wiri Central School - 09/05/2019

Findings

Wiri Central School has made good progress in addressing priority areas for development. Collaborative practices are supporting improved teaching practices. Students experience settled learning environments and variety in classroom programmes.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Wiri Central School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Wiri Central School in Manurewa, provides education for children from Years 1 to 8. Māori and Samoan children each make up one-third of the roll. Tongan and Cook Island Māori children make up 20 percent. The school’s two language-based units are Mōkai Awhina, offering bilingual education in te reo Māori, and Fofoa i Vaoese, a Samoan bilingual option.

The senior leadership team includes a long-standing principal and deputy principal, and a recently appointed deputy principal. They are supported by six leaders of learning, including two who are new to their role. Since the 2017 ERO review, almost half of the staff are new to the school.

The 2017 ERO report noted a school focus on student wellbeing, the loyalty of the local community, and families’ intergenerational connections with the school. ERO identified concerns with systems and processes for:

  • guiding teaching and learning to raise the level of student achievement
  • building effective leadership capability to sustain and embed changes
  • promoting in-depth internal evaluation to support school improvement
  • building board capability to strengthen governance.

For these reasons ERO decided to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal review process.

Over the past two years the school has worked with ERO, the Ministry of Education, and an external facilitator, to make improvements in specific areas of concern. As a result, quality systems and processes for monitoring overall school achievement and building leadership to sustain change, have significantly improved. Governance processes and internal evaluation have been strengthened, and continue to be ongoing areas of focus for the school.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities for school review and development identified in 2017 included:

  • addressing low student achievement through the use of effective systems and processes

  • building teacher capacity and creating a professional culture of learning

  • strengthening leadership capacity and capability to sustain and embed changes

  • establishing a process for in-depth internal evaluation that promotes ongoing school improvement

  • building board capability to strengthen processes and school improvement.

Progress

The school has made progress in all of the priority areas.

Senior leaders have developed and implemented schoolwide systems and processes to address low student achievement. Interventions are now happening earlier for students whose achievement needs improvement. Leaders and teachers share information about good teaching practices to support teaching and learning.

The progress of target students is discussed at all levels. These discussions focus on developing a shared understanding of how teachers can accelerate progress, and foster learning partnerships with parents, in order to accelerate student achievement. Partnerships with families are providing parents with ways to support their children’s learning at home.

Schoolwide information shows small positive shifts in students’ achievement compared with the 2017 data. Senior leaders acknowledge it is too soon to see significant improvement in school data across all curriculum areas. They have recognised that where there is poor student attendance, the impact on low student achievement is high. Leaders are considering strategies to increase students’ engagement with the school curriculum.

Leaders and teachers have reviewed the school curriculum. They have made good shifts towards a shared understanding of the school vision and the development of teaching approaches that increase student ownership of their learning. Teaching and learning practices are becoming more consistent and embedded across the school.

Teaching practices in Mōkai Awhina continue to be strengthened by new staff members’ use of its curriculum and assessment. Fofoa i Vaoese has had some changes in staff and an additional class. Teachers in this unit are beginning to develop their own Samoan curriculum and assessment practices. Students from both units participate in schoolwide activities, events and programmes.

A schoolwide culture of staff professional learning and sharing is promoting clear expectations. New appraisal processes include specific goals focused on lifting student achievement. Leaders continue to provide opportunities for teachers to share evidence of effective practices that contribute to raising student achievement.

Key next steps

The principal and senior leaders should continue to evaluate and refine systems and processes that guide improvement. They should plan intentional strategies to sustain recent improvements and current good practices. The principal and senior leaders agree to continue to:

  • further develop schoolwide shared understandings of strategies that help to raise students’ achievement

  • extend moderation practices by working with other English medium schools

  • build middle leadership capability.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is increasingly well placed to continue to review and improve its performance.

Senior leaders work collaboratively. They have developed a strategic approach to building leadership capability to sustain and embed changes. Professional learning focused on leadership is helping to build the capability of the leaders of learning and supporting them to develop a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

The school has developed and implemented the Wiri Whānau Way to guide positive relationships and behaviour management. Leaders should review the content and use of the school’s anti-bullying policy, to address the high number of reported incidents.

Good frameworks have been developed to guide internal evaluation across the school. It is timely for trustees, leaders and teachers to strengthen their shared understanding of the purpose of internal evaluation, including its impact on outcomes for students.

The board of trustees works collaboratively. This has supported the board’s capability to strengthen support for school improvement initiatives. There is a willingness from trustees to continue to strengthen their governance roles and responsibilities through external support.

The school is a member of Te Kaahui Ako o Manurewa |Community of Learning, which is made up of local schools. This is fostering useful school connections and initiatives that could support improved outcomes for students.

Key next steps

The school has been through a period of significant change, challenge and improvement, and is now moving into the next phase of this change process. The senior leaders and trustees should continue to evaluate systems and processes to support ongoing improvement. The principal and trustees agree to:

  • improve the content and use of the school’s anti-bullying policy

  • seek external support to build trustees’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities

  • develop a shared understanding of the purpose of internal evaluation and its impact on outcomes for students across the school

  • further explore strategies to strengthen educational learning partnerships with parents.

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.

In order to improve practice, the board should:

  • develop secure processes for filing confidential documentation

  • ensure correct processes are followed for the use of in-committee meetings.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education continue to provide support for Wiri Central School to build teacher capacity and capability to sustain practices that result in improved outcomes for students.

Conclusion

Wiri Central School has made good progress in addressing priority areas for development. Collaborative practices are supporting improved teaching practices. Students experience settled learning environments and variety in classroom programmes.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Wiri Central School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

9 May 2019

About the School

Location

Wiri, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1576

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

374

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Samoan
Tongan
Cook Island Māori
other ethnic groups

34%
39%
11%
9%
7%

Special Features

Māori Bilingual 3 classes MMI Samoan Bilingual 4 classes

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

9 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2017
May 2014
April 2011