Wymondley Road School - 27/11/2012

1. Context

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

Wymondley Road School is a small suburban school in South Auckland. Eighty-four percent of the students who attend have Pacific heritage. Many students are bilingual and new learners of English. Māori students make up 16 percent of the school roll. The board has recently completed phase one of significant property developments that have led to an improved environment and better provision of resources to support students’ learning.

Strong partnerships between the school, home and community are evident. The community identifies with the school and its vision. School leaders and staff engage parents and families in culturally appropriate ways and support families’ active involvement in their children’s learning.

Recently, the school has experienced significant changes in school leadership. Both the school’s long-serving principal and the deputy principal have left the school. The board appointed a new principal for the beginning of term two 2012. The new principal has created a leadership structure that includes three leaders of learning. This leadership team is focussed on retaining the strengths of the school and school improvement.

The school provides a place where students are valued and able to flourish. Students enjoy good relationships with each other and with teachers. The school promotes tuakana-teina relationships through opportunities for senior and junior students to learn alongside each other as part of school programmes.

The positive tone of the school supports good teaching and learning. Students are confident in their cultural and individual identity and display a strong sense of belonging.

2. Learning

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

Students at all levels are purposefully engaged in learning. They talk confidently about their learning and are active participants in classroom programmes. Students are taught strategies that support them to be independent learners and critical thinkers. They willingly share their ideas with others and support the learning of their peers. These good practices provide motivation for students to succeed and take ownership of their learning.

Achievement information gathered by the school indicates that just over half the students, including Māori students, meet National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Good systems are in place at the classroom level to support teachers to make accurate overall judgements in relation to the National Standards. This information is shared with parents appropriately. Teachers’ reporting to parents places priority on identifying students’ next steps for learning and explaining how parents can help their children to make progress.

The new school leadership team has identified the urgent need to establish school systems for analysing, reporting, and using school-wide achievement information to improve teaching and learning. School leaders are beginning to put systems in place that will allow them to:

  • identify achievement patterns and trends
  • identify different groups of students who are underachieving
  • track students’ progress over time.

These new systems should improve the reporting of achievement information to the board and help school leaders to set appropriate achievement targets.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides a broad range of learning opportunities that support student learning. The strength of the curriculum is its strong focus on building students’ literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills. The opportunity for students to learn through physical education and the Arts is also a significant component of the school curriculum. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated across the school’s curriculum and protocols.

School leaders have begun to review the effectiveness of the school’s curriculum. As part of this review, consultation with parents, staff and students is underway to develop a shared vision of the 21st century Wymondley Learner. The next step for senior leaders is to document a Wymondley curriculum that captures this vision and articulates how the curriculum is setting the direction for student learning.

Teachers provide good quality teaching programmes. They establish and articulate high expectations for learning. Teachers connect well to their students, promote their wellbeing and value students’ diverse cultural backgrounds. They also share professional practice with each other and are supported by an effective professional learning and development programme.

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

The school has 32 students who identify as Māori. Māori students have positive attitudes to school and learning. They benefit from the respectful relationships that underpin the school culture, and enjoy the opportunities they have to succeed as Māori. Māori students are represented in leadership roles in the school.

The school is built on Tainui land and the school seeks guidance from local kaumatua to respect the strength and māna of this heritage. Māori names have been given to the school’s learning spaces to reflect this heritage. Māori student learning is supported by the tuakana-teina relationships that are embedded in the school.

Whānau are made welcome in the school and are involved in their children’s learning. They share their aspirations with teachers at teacher/student/whānau conferences and at whānau hui. School leaders see re-establishing relationships with the neighbouring kohanga reo as a priority to support new entrant children’s transition into the school.

The school has used the Ministry of Education’s Māori Education Strategy – Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success, to help them to develop a school approach for developing the potential of all Māori students. Documenting this approach in the school’s annual plan should be useful for the board and senior leaders and could help them to monitor and review the implementation and impact of strategies and to guide future actions.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The new principal is establishing good systems to sustain and improve school performance.

The principal and senior leaders provide strong professional leadership and are committed to continuous improvement. The leadership model allows leadership to grow at all levels of the school. Staff have embraced this leadership model and take opportunities to share their knowledge and skills to enhance outcomes for students. Opportunities for student leadership are growing. Leadership through effective service is strongly promoted by the principal.

ERO recommends that the board seeks training to ensure that trustees are aware of their governance roles and responsibilities, and to improve the quality of governance systems. The board should review its operations and give higher priority to its role in setting, evaluating and monitoring strategic and annual goals. These strategic and annual goals include those related to accelerating the rates of progress of students who are currently underachieving.

The principal is introducing self-review practices. However, the principal and board acknowledge the need to develop and document an effective process for robust self review to support ongoing improvement. A staggered review cycle could help to ensure that appropriate emphasis is given to reflecting on how well policies are implemented.

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.

During the course of the review, ERO identified an area of non-compliance relating to policy review. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • maintain and document an on-going programme of self review in relation to school polices (National Education Guidelines 1993, National Administrative Guideline 2).

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

27 November 2012

About the School

Location

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1579

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

202

Gender composition

Boys 57%

Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Samoan

Tongan

Māori

Cook Island Māori

Niue

49%

19.5%

16%

15%

0.5%

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

27 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

September 2008

September 2005

February 2002