Woodstock School - 17/12/2015

Findings

Woodstock School continues to provide high quality education for students. An inclusive school culture that values diversity is a school feature. The curriculum reflects the priorities and aspirations of the community and effectively supports students learning. Strong and effective leadership and governance contributes to ongoing school improvement and sustainability.

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?

Woodstock School provides primary school education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school’s roll has remained constant over the last four to five years, with an increased percentage of students who identify as Māori.

The school is characterised by values of high expectations, equity, empathy and respect for all people and cultures. Strong and effective governance and leadership and high quality teaching practices positively impact on student engagement and learning. The well-established Conductive Education Centre effectively caters for students with high needs. Since the 2011 ERO review a new principal has been appointed along with several new teachers.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. School achievement information from 2013 and 2014 shows that the majority of students including Māori students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students overall achieved below their non-Māori peers and girls achieved better than boys.

The school has a well-coordinated and cohesive approach to meeting the needs of students at risk of poor educational outcomes. Charter targets focus on improving the achievement of students who are below or well below the National Standards. Individuals and groups of students are closely tracked and monitored through a wide range of targeted interventions and programmes. In addition, students who are second language learners are well supported through various initiatives. Students involved in these programmes make good progress, and a significant proportion of students make more than expected progress.

Trustees receive comprehensive reports about student achievement and the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives. They use this information effectively as part of ongoing self review and make informed judgements and decisions about future resourcing.

Consistent with the school's vision and values of equity for all students, the senior leadership team have prioritised supporting parents of students achieving below expected levels. School leaders have worked hard to earn parents trust and confidence, engage in regular dialogue and communication, and foster positive relationships. In addition the school has initiated parent education programmes and resourcing to ensure equitable outcomes for all families.

Teachers are particularly focused on catering for students at risk in their learning. A feature of their practice is the clear identification of specific teaching strategies that will address the identified learning needs of each target student. Other strengths include their frequent documented critical reflections, appraisal goals that are linked to priority learners, and personalised syndicate professional development that is aligned to the identified learning needs of students. Those students who are achieving very well are also closely monitored, supported and challenged to develop their talents, strengths and interests.

Students are very aware of how well they are progressing and achieving. They set meaningful learning goals and receive regular feedback from teachers about their progress. There are many opportunities for students to share their learning with parents and peers.

3 Curriculum

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

Students benefit from a well-designed curriculum that promotes and supports their learning. The curriculum document reflects a strong partnership with the Woodstock community and includes priorities and values gathered through consultation. There are specific and useful guidelines and frameworks for teaching and learning. The school values and vision are well known by students and families, and highly visible in the life of the school. . The dedication and commitment of trustees, leaders, teachers, support staff and families and whānau is promoting a safe, collaborative and inclusive learning culture for children.

Teachers have established positive, caring and affirming relationships amongst students and families. Classrooms are attractive and well-resourced learning environments that celebrate student learning and achievement. Teaching strategies that promote positive learning outcomes for students are consistently evident across classrooms. A rigorous appraisal process contributes to teachers’ ongoing professional learning and development.

There are many opportunities for students of all ages to build their leadership skills and experience success through academic, cultural, performing arts and sporting events and activities. They learn about science and social sciences and extend their interests through a ‘Big Ideas’ approach to inquiry learning. Students have access to good quality and relevant information and communication technology (ICT) resources and programmes. Further development of the curriculum to include wider opportunities for students to learn about Māori knowledge, understandings and world views, would further enhance students understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

Experienced specialist teachers provide a highly responsive and inclusive learning environment for students with identified needs and strengths. The diverse cultures and backgrounds of students are recognised and celebrated. Appropriate programmes to support students with English as a second language are provided by caring and experienced teachers. Well planned transitions enhance the sense of belonging for these students and their families.

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

The school continues to effectively explore ways to promote educational success for Māori students. These include:

  • the recent employment of a lead teacher with responsibility for strengthening te reo and tikanga Māori across the school
  • a whanau awhina group who provide a valuable voice and guidance for school leaders and trustees
  • opportunities for students to lead powhiri, karakia and waiata
  • Māori cultural celebrations that involve families, whanau and wider community
  • timetabled kapa haka for junior and senior students led by skilled tutors.

An important next step for school development is for leaders and teachers to include contexts for learning that reflect and affirm the language, culture and identity of Māori learners. This should include seeking expertise and resources to build the confidence and capability of leaders and teachers. It is also important to continue to seek whanau and hapu knowledge and provide opportunities for Māori learners to bring what they know to their learning within the unique context of Tainui.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain its performance and make ongoing improvements that impact positively on students learning and well-being.

The board brings professional knowledge, valuable skills and experience to their roles and effectively undertake their governance responsibilities. Trustees regularly consult with and inform their whanau and school community. This includes ongoing consultation with the Whanau Awhina group as part of ongoing self review. A strong partnership with a proactive and dynamic community, fosters and supports an inclusive environment for students, whanau and families.

The principal is a strategic and experienced leader of learning. She is well supported by her deputy principals and syndicate leaders who are highly focused on proving high quality education for students. Leaders use self review effectively to evaluate school processes and practices that contribute to improved learning outcomes for students.

Teachers are a professional, reflective and collaborative team. They work well together and use ongoing professional learning and development, and teaching as inquiry to improve their teaching practice. A high priority is placed on building teacher capability so that they can lead and sustain teaching initiatives that supports raising student achievement. Consistent high quality teaching practices are evident throughout the school.

Students at Woodstock School are encouraged to be risk takers, explore their strengths and interests and be reflective learners. They are well supported within a safe, caring and inclusive school culture.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Effective enrolment process, policies and practices support the integration and learning programme of the school’s one international student.

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

Woodstock School continues to provide high quality education for students. An inclusive school culture that values diversity is a school feature. The curriculum reflects the priorities and aspirations of the community and effectively supports students learning. Strong and effective leadership and governance contributes to ongoing school improvement and sustainability.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

2093

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

387

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Pacific Island

South East Asian

Other Asian

Other

58%

23%

4%

4%

2%

1%

4%

4%

Special Features

Conductive Education

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

17 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

June 2008

June 2005