Alfriston School

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School Context

Alfriston School, Manurewa, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The school has approximately 380 students. Māori students make up 19 percent of the roll, 4 percent are Pacific, and 22 percent are Indian.

The school’s mission is for students to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to succeed in life. Valued student outcomes identified in the school vision include learning that is connected to the real world, high expectations for all students, and students’ cultures recognised and valued. The vision is underpinned by the school values, which include respect, fairness, pride, and cooperation.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • provision for additional learning needs, and for gifted and talented students

  • practices that support students’ cultural identity and language

  • the curriculum, including the performing arts.

Since the 2013 ERO report, school leadership has remained stable. There have been changes in the board and teaching team, and the school’s curriculum has continued to evolve. Leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and to promote teachers’ and students’ assessment capability, and to deepen students’ learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school has many effective strategies in place for supporting students to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes. Overall, most students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. School data show a positive upward trend in student achievement, with increasing numbers of students achieving as they move through the school.

Overall school data show some disparity for boys in literacy, and for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. However, as students move through the school, significant progress is evident at most year levels, and the school is successful in addressing in-school disparities. By the time students reach the end of Year 8 almost all learners are achieving well.

Students achieve very well in relation to other school valued outcomes. These include students:

  • demonstrating high levels of engagement and confidence as learners

  • being able to talk about their progress, achievement and next steps

  • collaborating with, learning from, and supporting the learning of others

  • becoming digitally fluent, using a range of e-learning tools to enhance learning.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

School leaders and teachers use effective strategies and practices to support students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Leaders and teachers are very aware of those children most at risk of not achieving. They prioritise how they will respond by carefully monitoring and tracking the progress of these learners.

School achievement data show that Māori students who are initially below the standards make accelerated progress and positive shifts in achievement. Specific and varied programmes and targeted teaching support accelerated learning progress.

Clear strategic planning provides a high level of coherence. The school charter identifies specific achievement targets that focus on accelerating the progress of identified groups of children. These targets are well known, and progress towards these targets is closely monitored.

Children with additional learning needs, and children who speak languages other than English, are well supported. Their wellbeing, progress and achievement are closely monitored to ensure these children have full access to the curriculum.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Students enjoy a rich, broad, and strongly integrated and connected curriculum. Literacy, mathematics and oral language are prioritised. Performing arts and school productions are a feature of the curriculum. Tuakana/teina learning relationships are integral to curriculum design. Students enjoy many leadership opportunities within the curriculum.

There is a significant focus on developing students’ assessment capacity. Students are keenly focused, and actively engage in managing their own learning. Students receive feedback from their peers and teachers to help them learn. They regularly collaborate with others about their learning experiences, and have many peer coaching opportunities.

Strong connections and relationships with parents and whānau support positive learning outcomes for students. A variety of strategies for engaging in reciprocal partnerships with parents/whānau, include parents/whānau:

  • being involved in learning-centred programmes, particularly for children in the junior school

  • participating in the broader school curriculum

  • using online programmes at home that enable students to share their learning.

Highly effective leadership has a significant impact on student outcomes. Leaders maintain organisational structures, processes and practices that enable and sustain collaborative learning. The school motto ‘Ngā tui he waiata’ is well lived. Leaders actively seek out the perspectives of students and parents/whānau. They use their perspectives to inform the school’s strategic direction and curriculum development.

Leaders are deliberate in their approach to developing professional capability and collective staff responsibility for students’ learning progress. Collaborative inquiry processes enable leaders and teachers to integrate theory and practice, and take responsibility for their own professional learning and improvement.

A strong culture of internal evaluation supports ongoing improvement, including well-documented action plans that align with targets for accelerated progress. The board, school leaders, and teachers are highly reflective and focus on making improvements to enhance equity and excellence.

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

Leaders agree that continuing to strengthen bicultural practices is an area for ongoing focus. Reviewing and enhancing bicultural practices would provide more opportunities for Māori children to experience success as Māori, and for all children to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

School leaders also identify sustaining high quality practices as a school priority. They have established a distributive leadership model to grow teachers’ capacity to lead and embed high quality practices.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school. International students at Alfriston School are provided with very good levels of pastoral care. They are well supported to achieve educational success and to integrate into the school community. Effective systems are in place to monitor compliance with the Code of Practice 2016.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the board’s scrutiny of the school’s effectiveness in achieving valued student outcomes

  • leadership that collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence

  • organisational structures, processes, and practices that enable and sustain collaborative learning and decision making

  • a highly innovative, integrated curriculum that engages students, helps them articulate their own achievement, and supports inclusion for all.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in strengthening schoolwide bicultural processes and practices to further support Māori students’ educational success.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

12 December 2017

About the school

Location

Manurewa

Ministry of Education profile number

1203

School type

Full Primary

School roll

377

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Indian
Chinese
Pacific
other Asian
other

38%
19%
22%
6%
4%
4%
7%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

February 2013
May 2010
May 2007

1 Context

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

Alfriston School, in Manurewa, Auckland, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. Students come from a semi-rural and ethnically diverse community. There is a strong sense of community in the school and open and supportive relationships are evident. Students are proud of their school and enjoy the dynamic learning environment provided by the enthusiastic and broadly experienced teaching staff.

The recent introduction of an all boys' class in Years 7 and 8 is a successful school initiative that is showing improved outcomes for boys. The development of the class was as a result of effective leadership and board consultation with staff, parents and students.

Good quality facilities provide students with opportunities to learn and experience in a well resourced environment. The appointment of a new principal and senior leaders in 2011 has provided the school with a renewed focus on student achievement and sustainability. The school has a history of positive ERO reports.

2 Learning

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

Alfriston School uses student achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to students' engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers identify their students learning needs and use flexible programmes to provide relevant and meaningful opportunities for children to succeed. Reliable data is used to develop school targets and goals that are aimed at raising student achievement.

Teachers and senior leaders use a range of tools effectively to collect, analyse and use student achievement information. They track and monitor students’ progress. Teaching teams show confidence in developing overall teacher judgements from a variety of assessment sources.

Many students know about their learning progress and lead their learning through using their own achievement data. They regularly set their learning goals with support of their teachers. Students support each other by cooperatively constructing their learning goals.

Teaching teams focus on significantly improving student achievement in literacy and mathematics. They share in the analysis of student data and the planning of programmes.

Parents receive useful information about their children’s achievement. Progress is appropriately reported in plain language against curriculum levels and National Standards. Students’ next steps for learning are identified and suggestions for support at home are included in written reports.

Senior leaders and teachers examine achievement information to identify students who need extra support. Appropriate programmes for these learners are set by the special needs coordinator who also monitors their progress. Differentiated classroom programmes and effective use of external support ensures that students are well supported to accelerate their learning.

Senior leaders use relevant analysed achievement information to evaluate the effectiveness of learning initiatives. Consistently sound and comprehensive evaluative practices and decision-making is evident. Findings are shared with the teaching team and reported to the board. Trustees use this information to effectively self-review, strategise and appropriately resource the needs of students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very effectively. Students have opportunities to learn through a wide variety of engaging and authentic contexts including annual whole-school productions, outdoor initiatives, sporting events, environmental activities and rural environmental experiences.

Senior leaders have collaborated in a systematic and comprehensive review of the school curriculum over the past eighteen months. This process has involved the school community clarifying its direction and exploring the alignment of their school values and principles with The New Zealand Curriculum. Senior leaders now plan to discuss, identify and develop agreed expectations for teaching and learning across the curriculum. An emphasis on values is part of the strong culture of learning in the school.

The school’s curriculum focuses on relationships, inclusiveness, evidence-based decisions and biculturalism. Literacy and mathematics are the major areas of curriculum focus. Senior leaders could consider ways to further include student and parent perspectives in school curriculum design and development.

The professional learning and development programme supports teachers’ involvement with an inquiry approach based on 'e-learning, reflective teaching, visible learning and the school’s curriculum'.

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

The school is taking positive steps to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. Sixteen percent of the school roll identify as Māori. Specific achievement targets are identified for Māori students. Data show that significant shifts in the achievement of Māori students who received targeted literacy support were achieved in 2012.

Teachers acknowledge and respect the aspirations parents/whānau and the community have for the achievement of their children. Classrooms reflect aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori and the formation of a kapa haka group by teachers and students is underway.

Significant development of teacher knowledge and practice has helped to improve the school's provision for the success of Māori as Māori. Teachers are participating in professional learning to improve their understandings, knowledge and confidence of Māori culture, language and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board of trustees has a commitment to and a sound understanding of its governance role. Trustees make informed decisions based on evidence from rigorous self review. Self review places students at the centre and is focused on improving outcomes for students. Good quality self review is embedded at all levels of the school.

Effective board support has been provided for the principal as the vision for and the culture of the school has been developed and shared. Trustees continue to work collaboratively with the capable principal and leadership team to realise the shared vision of the school. The board is committed to good employer practices.

The new principal and leadership team has, since 2011 focused on building a collaborative, reflective professional culture that encourages initiative and contribution. A comprehensive review of the school’s curriculum and implementation processes has been undertaken. The school’s values have been reviewed. These well espoused values are alive in the school and underpin all decision making.

Cohesive leadership in the school is based on respect and trust. Senior leaders have established professional working relationships. They recognise and use each other’s strengths. Self review drives the development of teaching and resourcing initiatives to improve student learning.

The board is justifiably proud of its positive relationship with the school community. The involvement of the community is a significant factor in the sustained performance of the school.

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 were no international students 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.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

30 April 2013

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1203

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

318

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European

Māori

Indian

Chinese

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other

58%

16%

10%

6%

2%

3%

5%

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

30 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

May 2007

August 2003