Woodleigh School - 31/07/2019

School Context

Woodleigh School caters for students from Years 1 to 6 and is located in Frankleigh Park in New Plymouth. The school is located amongst native bush and offers an outdoor learning space, Tane te Wananga.

The school’s valued outcomes for students are that they receive quality education in a caring and supportive environment which fosters personal excellence and lifelong learning. These are promoted through The Woodleigh Way of ‘Learning – Achieving – Caring’, supported through the values of Responsibility, Resilience and Respect.

School achievement targets in 2019 are for identified students in Years 3-6 to achieve at school expectations in reading and writing.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • end of year outcomes for targeted students
  • attendance.

Teachers have participated in sustained professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy, including Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), and leaders are currently undertaking leadership PLD. The school is participating in Te Ara Hou o Taranaki, a locally based Māori Achievement Collaborative (MAC).

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?

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading. A large majority achieve expectations in writing and mathematics.

There is ongoing disparity for Māori learners compared with Pākehā in literacy and mathematics, most significantly in writing and mathematics. Boys achieve less well in writing than girls.

As students progress through the school, there is a strong trend of improvement towards equitable outcomes, especially for Maori, so that most or almost all students achieve at expectation by Year 6.

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

Students requiring acceleration are clearly identified, provided with a range of learning support and their progress is monitored and discussed.

School data shows that some targeted students, including Māori, accelerate their progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Further developing systems and processes that identify, track and report the rates of progress of identified groups, should assist in showing how disparity is being identified and addressed.

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?

There is a clear focus on promoting and supporting student learning and wellbeing. Good processes are in place for fostering a positive school culture where relationships are valued and supported. School values and social competence are promoted through a range of deliberate strategies and actions. Positive, respectful relationships are evident.

Students benefit from a wide range of carefully considered experiences within a broad curriculum. Classroom environments are focused on learning. Teachers support learning through deliberate acts of teaching and useful frameworks. They are affirming of students and provide opportunities for sharing and celebrating their learning. The development of a consistent language for learning is helping to assist children as they progress through the school.

There is a strategic approach to developing teacher capacity through professional development and collaboration. Leaders and teachers are encouraged to develop their strengths, undertake leadership roles, and trial new approaches to teaching and learning. They value and benefit from the expertise and support of their colleagues and leadership team. The appraisal process provides opportunities for teachers to reflect on and receive feedback about their practice. Continuing to strengthen teachers’ use of inquiry and evidence to critically reflect on their practice and show how they meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession are next steps.

Participation in MAC is supporting the school to develop their capacity to meet their Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. Te ao Māori is visible in the curriculum and environment and is increasingly being integrated into the life of the school. A Māori Achievement strategy is in place to develop te reo me ngā tikanga Māori throughout all aspects of school life. The school is working with a facilitator to develop meaningful partnerships with whānau and iwi. This should better support the development and implementation of the school’s vision for success as Māori.

Many families have a long association with the school. A range of strategies is in place to promote their involvement and communication about school activities and initiatives. Trustees and staff value the engagement of families and seek their perspectives on school developments and programme provision. A plan is in place to provide families with further opportunities to contribute to educational outcomes for the school. This should assist in strengthening partnerships for learning.

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

The school recognises the need to further develop documentation and implementation of a localised curriculum which aligns to the school’s vision for learning and teaching.

The senior leadership team are working to distribute and strengthen leadership roles within the school. Further development should include:

  • implementing a cohesive and strategic approach to enacting collective responsibilities for promoting equity and excellence
  • developing a shared understanding of, and robust processes for, undertaking internal evaluation to better support decision-making and improvement
  • improving the regularity and breadth of information shared with the board to support decisions about resourcing and direction.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a clear focus on promoting and supporting student learning and wellbeing that results in positive engagement and progress in learning
  • a wide range of carefully considered learning experiences that support students to learn within a broad curriculum
  • a strategic approach to developing teacher capacity that supports a consistent approach to teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • documentation and implementation of a localised curriculum to align with the school’s vision for learning and teaching
  • building and distributing leadership to provide a cohesive and strategic approach to promoting equity and excellence
  • robust processes for undertaking internal evaluation to better support decision-making and improvement
  • improving the regularity and breadth of information shared with the board to support decisions about resourcing and direction.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

31 July 2019

About the school

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2268

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

409

Gender composition

Girls 54%, Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%
NZ European/Pākehā 74%
Pacific 3%
Asian 3%
Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

31 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review June 2011