Selwyn Park School

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School Context

Selwyn Park School is located in Dargaville, in the Northern Wairoa area. Currently 126 students attend the school from new entrants to Year 6. Most have Māori heritage. Families and staff have strong inter-generational connections to this school. There are established facilities for a Tongan playgroup and a neighbouring kindergarten, supporting transition for children to school. Some annual transience is a significant factor of the school roll.

The school’s mission statement aims for students to develop skills to make positive life choices, which will enhance their physical, mental, cultural and emotional development.

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

  • analysed achievement data in reading, writing and mathematics
  • information about other curriculum areas, including education outside the classroom
  • attendance information.

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?

The school successfully supports most students to achieve at appropriate curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieve as well as their peers. Students with additional learning needs are respectfully supported to learn at their pace alongside their peers.

The school has identified that achievement data in Years 1 to 3 are exceptionally high, and that lower numbers of children achieve at expected curriculum levels from Years 4 to 6. Leaders are investigating the disparity in their data, and the possible reasons and solutions for this.

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

The school has some success in accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this. Teachers and leaders identify those students who they need to support in a more targeted way to accelerate progress. Data demonstrate many students for whom interventions have been successful. The school continues to review and refine practices to further accelerate learning.

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?

The Selwyn Park whakatauki Titiro ki te Matauranga, promotes high expectations for all. The school has worked respectfully in partnership with whānau to review its charter and to create a graduate profile that expresses valued student outcomes. This provides a robust foundation for all future school development, including reviewing curriculum priorities. It strongly acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua, and expresses the significance of the school location through the school’s pepehā.

The school benefits from its long-standing leadership team, a committed board, and diligent staff. Together they foster an orderly and supportive environment for learning. Students enjoy settled and attractive classroom environments. Their interests and successes are affirmed and celebrated. Respectful and trusting relationships are established with the parent community and with support agencies, further supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

Since the 2016 ERO review, the school has continued to develop teaching practices to target students’ learning needs. Teachers collaborate to identify the strengths and needs of individual students and to discuss teaching strategies. The board invests in extra support staff and in professional development for staff to promote success for students achieving below expectations. Digital technologies and learning through play have been prioritised. Teachers aim to capitalise on student interests and motivations, initiating greater opportunities for authentic, engaging and meaningful learning.

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

Leaders are keen to continue to build on the curriculum, programmes and practices that have been established. The school’s graduate profile and new indicators of success are beginning to unpack the school’s valued outcomes. There is some variability in how teachers prompt and support students to discuss their learning strengths and to identify their next steps. A more consistent school-wide approach would help students to understand their learning goals, and to lead and monitor their own progress.

The school is considering ways to improve existing leadership systems and structures. Leaders should align strategic goals more directly to their annual plans and actions, fostering a more coherent and coordinated approach to achieving these priorities. Leaders are considering more structured support within and across syndicates to foster teachers’ shared understanding of effective teaching practices. This includes a more deliberate alignment of teachers’ inquiry and appraisal goals to the school’s key priorities.

It is timely to develop a school-wide understanding and approach to using internal evaluation. As a tool for improvement, this would support the board, leaders and teachers to determine their effectiveness in meeting goals and targets. Teachers also need greater clarity and support from leaders to guide their use of inquiry to improve outcomes for target groups. These improvements should focus more purposefully on accelerating learner progress and achieving valued outcomes.

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 Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Selwyn Park 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:

  • the charter’s clear priorities and valued outcomes for students
  • respectful and responsive relationships at all levels of the school
  • strong collaboration and shared commitment to achieving positive outcomes for all students.

Next steps

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

  • enhancing student involvement in discussing and assessing their achievement and progress
  • evaluating and developing more coherent leadership systems in order to achieve school goals.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the appraisal of teaching staff.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must ensure that:

  1. there is a meaningful annual appraisal of each teacher based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession established by the Teaching Council for the issue and renewal of practising certificates

  2. these appraisals are signed as completed by the professional leader of the school

  3. there is a meaningful annual appraisal of the principal, as the professional leader of the school.
    [(Part 31 Education Act 1989) – Standards for the Teaching Profession]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • seek training from the New Zealand School Trustees Association about trustees’ governance role
  • ensure that a cycle of policy review is followed to keep policies and procedures up-to-date with legal requirements, including alignment to the Children’s Act 2014
  • consider police vetting for volunteers at camps and overnight excursions to ensure children’s safety.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

1 July 2019

About the school

Location

Dargaville, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1097

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

126

Gender composition

Boys 59% Girls 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori 89%
NZ European/Pākehā 5%
Tongan 4%
other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

1 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review November 2012
Education Review March 2010

Findings

Selwyn Park School provides good quality education. Teachers promote positive outcomes for students. Students benefit from a broad, relevant and culturally responsive curriculum. The positive tone, strong sense of identity and high whānau engagement promote students’ wellbeing. Pride in the local history is central to the school’s kaupapa.

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

1 Context

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

Tēnā koutou te kura o Selwyn Park. Tēnei rā te mihi ki te tumuaki, te poari, ngā kaiako, ngā kaimahi me ngā tamariki hoki. Tēnā hoki koutou e hāpai ana te mātauranga mō ō tātou tamariki, ki ngā teiteitanga o te ao Māori me te ao Pākehā. Ko te tūmanako, kia tū tangata ai rātou i roto i tēnei ao hurihuri mō āpōpō. Noho ora mai i raro i ngā manaakitanga o te runga rawa. Tēnā rā koutou katoa.

Selwyn Park School is located in Dargaville, situated on the bank of the Northern Wairoa River, Northland. The school continues to provide good education for students from Years 1 to 6. The school and local iwi maintain strong ties through ongoing consultation, shared local history and knowledge, tikanga, and Māori culture. Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua, Te Uri o Hau, and Te Roroa represent the local area.

Most of the children are Māori, with a small number of Pacific and Pākehā students also attending. Whānau are very supportive and proactive. They genuinely appreciate the school’s consultative climate and the way in which their aspirations are valued as part of the decision-making process. Parents openly affirm the languages, cultures and identities of the school community.

The school has an attractive and welcoming environment. The grounds are well maintained and feature a school vegetable garden as part of the ‘Health Promoting Schools’ initiative. The school works closely with the Tongan playgroup that operates in the whare and the local kindergarten next door. Senior students have many different tuakana/teina roles to help younger children.

The long-term experienced principal and senior leadership team lead the school collaboratively. Dedicated teachers are involved in purposeful professional learning to promote children’s success.

ERO’s 2012 review identified issues around the implementation of National Standards. These issues have been well addressed and all National Standards expectations are now implemented.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes to the engagement, progress and achievement of Māori learners and all students.

National Standards achievement data is regularly reported to the board of trustees and to the Ministry of Education. Reports to parents clearly show progress and achievement against National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics twice a year.

Data for students shows that they achieve well in all National Standards and at levels that align well with local and national data. Information also shows that the overall achievement levels for these students continues to improve.

The senior leadership team and teachers regularly monitor school-wide student achievement. Students at risk of not achieving are identified and individual learning programmes are developed to accelerate their progress and achievement. Teachers track and monitor all students closely from new entrants to Year 6.

Teachers make overall teacher judgements about student progress and achievement against National Standards. They moderate students’ work internally. Further moderation with other schools could help teachers to further improve the reliability of teacher judgements.

Teachers benefit from regular professional development. They are currently working on raising boys’ achievement in writing. Shifts in learners’ progress are evident in writing data gathered during 2015.

Teachers reflect on their own practice mainly around target groups of learners who are at risk of not achieving. It would be beneficial to directly link this work to teacher appraisal. This link could encourage teachers to further increase their expectations for student learning, develop their capacity to reflect critically on their own practice, and enhance their responsiveness to student learning needs.

There is a positive tone in the school that supports the learning of all students. Strong relationships and connections underpin all education practices. Low staff turnover contributes to teachers knowing their students and families well. It fosters partnerships between whānau, teachers and children that help build success and confidence in learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes, supports and is responsive to student engagement, progress and achievement. Whānaungatanga and mutually respectful relationships characterise the school.

The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) values and key competencies are strongly embedded in the school’s programmes. Students receive rewards for positive participation in learning.

School leaders, in consultation with whānau, have incorporated the Ministry of Education’s document Tātaiako (Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Students) into the school curriculum. Whānaungatanga, ako, wānanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga are regularly referred to and deeply embedded throughout the curriculum.

Learning in reading, writing and mathematics is the core for morning programmes. Literacy and mathematics are usefully integrated where possible across other curriculum areas. Children are setting appropriate learning goals. Teachers could now monitor children's learning more consistently in order to help them identify their next steps.

Students’ cultural knowledge and bicultural understandings are promoted. Parents’ ideas contribute to the curriculum. Local history and tradition, as well as national and global contexts, provide authentic experiences for developing students’ understanding of tangata whenua.

Teachers are committed to ensuring that students have positive learning experiences within the local curriculum. Stimulating and rich classroom environments feature colourful displays of student work. Teachers currently use the ‘flame model’ with students as an action learning process when inquiring and investigating.

Learning through inquiry is also evident in other curriculum areas. It could be helpful to now include science and technology topics more regularly into this approach to gain full coverage of the curriculum.The senior leadership team could also review the existing gifted and talented resources to determine how effectively they promote and challenge children’s thinking.

Te reo Māori is expected in teacher practice and is becoming consistently heard and seen throughout the school. Students proudly participate in pōwhiri, with senior students leading roles for protocols such as karanga. Iwi involvement in tutoring kapa haka is appreciated by the school. Tikanga is practiced in classrooms, sports, cultural events, and in the school playground.

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

Eighty one percent of students are Māori. Many features of the school effectively promote students’ confidence as Māori and provide a sound foundation for their ongoing success. Findings in this report provide an overview of ways in which the school supports and affirms its Māori students and fosters their success as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Whanaungatanga is highly evident and effective in the school. The board has used the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) resource, Hāutu, to evaluate the school’s cultural responsiveness to Māori. This has helped trustees, senior leaders and teachers to make well informed decisions about how best to support Māori learners to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.

NZSTA’s effective succession planning tool is also assisting the board to be proactive in its practices for recruiting and retaining of trustees.

The board and principal are looking at the new School Evaluation Indicators and other educational research-based documents to prepare for 2016. This should assist the board, senior leadership team and teachers to implement more in-depth self review for ongoing improvement.

ERO, senior leaders and the board agree that further work on helping teachers to reflect on the impact of their teaching practices would be useful. This action should help strengthen the school’s performance appraisal processes to better meet revised Education Council requirements.

The principal is an experienced leader who successfully builds trusting relationships with students, staff, parents and whānau. The school’s positive tone, inclusive culture and committed staff provide a strong foundation for sustaining and improving student learning.

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

Selwyn Park School provides good quality education. Teachers promote positive outcomes for students. Students benefit from a broad, relevant and culturally responsive curriculum. The positive tone, strong sense of identity and high whānau engagement promote students’ wellbeing. Pride in the local history is central to the school’s kaupapa.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Dargaville, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1097

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

123

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

81%

10%

6%

2%

1%

Special Features

Tongan Playgroup

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

22 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

March 2010

January 2007