Buckland School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

1 Context

Buckland School is located in a semi-rural setting close to Pukekohe and provides education for children from Years 1 to 8. Fifteen percent of children identify as Māori. Staff, children and parents value the traditions and community connections of this long established school.

Since ERO's 2013 review, school leaders and teachers have been involved in significant professional development that has focused on increasing understanding about effective teaching practices. Board members have also continued to upskill. Some members have attended specific courses to help them support school initiatives with te ao Māori. A new building is currently being constructed to provide additional learning spaces.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to be lifelong learners, to relate well to others, to be active participants and to have high self-esteem.

The school's achievement information shows that many learners achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Over the past three years there has been improvement in the percentages of children achieving National Standards in writing and mathematics. During this period Māori student achievement has improved significantly in reading, writing and mathematics. Children's achievement increases across all National Standard curriculum areas as they progress through the school. A high percentage of students reach National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics by the time they reach Year 7.

Since the 2013 ERO review the school has continued to refine its assessment practices. Targeted professional development has supported teachers to reflect on their practice. All teachers have been involved in school-wide professional learning contracts, including the Ministry of Education Leadership and Assessment contract in literacy and mathematics. There has been a significant focus on developing bicultural aspects of curriculum and practice. These developments have resulted in a greater consistency of teaching practice across the school and a shared understanding of the school's teaching expectations. As a result, most children are better able to talk about their learning and what they need to do to be successful.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has been successful at accelerating the progress of Māori children, especially over the last three years. School leaders use explicit and robust processes to identify and monitor children who are not achieving at expected levels and whose learning needs acceleration. Teaching teams regularly reflect on these target children. They trial different strategies and interventions to accelerate their progress. Children and their whānau are very well supported by strong pastoral care, with an emphasis on children's wellbeing and engagement. Whānau actively contribute to their children's learning.

Recent initiatives focused on developing bicultural practices in the school have been an intentional strategy to further support Māori children's success. Whānau are pleased with this focus and the school's approach to developing bicultural practice. Leaders and trustees should continue to develop, embed and sustain bicultural practices across the school.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very well to other children whose achievement needs accelerating through systems and processes that are similar to those used for Māori children. Leaders and teachers regularly review their practice to identify further changes that could be made. They work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for the wellbeing and achievement of all learners. All children are supported individually to reach their potential.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The Buckland School learning community is characterised by respect, empathy, relational trust, cooperation and teamwork.

The school's curriculum, processes and practices promote and enact the vision, values and priorities very well. The curriculum responds well to children's and whānau aspirations within the local context. It draws on the knowledge of children, parents/whānau and community and responds to children's identified strengths, needs and prior knowledge.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose, providing relevant and meaningful evidence to assess children's achievement and progress, and to develop next steps. Teaching practices scaffold children learning effectively. Children with special needs and abilities participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate challenge and support.

Children's views are gathered and responded to. Learners value the school-wide opportunities and outside school experiences provided. They have leadership opportunities in cultural, pastoral and academic settings.

Children's achievement is recognised in the academic, sporting, social, leadership and values areas. They use digital devices and resources in ways that promote their learning in digital and technological literacy.

Trustees recognise each other's individual knowledge, expertise and experience. They have a shared understanding of their roles, responsibilities and distribution of tasks. They regularly review and reflect on the school's and board's effectiveness and seek advice to ensure ongoing improvements.

Trustees receive good information about student achievement. They know the story behind the data, resource interventions, monitor progress and have high expectations for children's progress and achievement.

The principal and senior leaders know the community and are proactive in seeking partnerships with parents. Leaders are approachable and show care and concern for the wellbeing of children, staff and parents/whānau. The school invites parents/whānau and the community to participate in school activities and decision making in a variety of ways.

Trustees and staff identify and draw on community resources and expertise to increase their capacity to improve children's achievement and wellbeing.

Coherent performance management processes build teachers' professional capability and collective capacity. Leaders ensure alignment between children's learning needs, teacher professional learning goals, and processes for teacher appraisal.

The school culture is conducive to reflective practice by teachers. Organisational structures, processes and practices enable and sustain ongoing learning, collaborative activity and collective decision making.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children who need their learning and achievement to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school has a focus on relationships and care at all levels. These relationships foster supportive learning partnerships. Inclusiveness and equity are valued. The outcome is confident and engaged learners.

Very good consistency of teaching practice across the school supports children's learning. This consistency has been achieved through school-wide focused professional learning and development, along with development of teachers' shared understandings about expectations.

The board fosters bicultural practice and is strategic in its resourcing and implementation. Māori children are well supported in their culture, language and identity and all children are developing cultural understandings.

Leaders agree that they need to continue to:

  • develop and embed bicultural practices across the school at a considered pace
  • strengthen children's ownership of their learning and teachers' innovative pedagogical thinking.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continues to develop evidence-based evaluation to review the impact of changes made to teaching practice and curriculum provisions in promoting equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 May 2016 

About the school

Location

Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1239

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

260

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

Filipino

others

15%

74%

2%

2%

2%

1%

4%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

11 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

September 2010

November 2007

1 Context

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

Buckland School is located in a semi-rural setting, close to the township of Pukekohe. It provides education for approximately 250 students in Years 1 to 8. Māori students comprise 15% of the roll.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The board and senior leaders are committed to providing wide-ranging programmes of learning that reflect The New Zealand Curriculum and respond to identified abilities and needs. Students learn in an environment that is well resourced and maintained.

The 2013 charter targets relate to accelerating progress for identified groups of students in writing, mathematics and reading.

Strong parent and community involvement is a feature of the life of the school.

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 well to monitor learners’ progress.

In 2012, most students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students’ achievement was similar to schoolwide patterns. School leaders want to raise overall levels of achievement further by the end of 2013.

Assessment of students’ learning is soundly based on information from a range of reliable sources. Teachers share and discuss data to inform their planning. They identify individuals and groups who need support or extension. Appropriate measures are implemented to promote the learning of all students.

  • Leaders and teachers recognise the need for continued refinement of their assessment practices to enhance the robustness of data used to make judgements about students’ learning and progress.

Student progress and achievement are regularly reported to parents and trustees. The board uses this information to set annual targets and allocate appropriate resourcing to support the implementation of a range of strategies to promote outcomes for all learners.

Students are active, enthusiastic learners who know what they are focusing on and why. They set personal goals and take increasing responsibility for their own progress and achievement. High levels of engagement are evident schoolwide.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum effectively supports students’ learning in a high quality environment.

Classrooms are well resourced. On-site facilities such as the library and swimming pool enable students to benefit from easy access to a range of learning opportunities. Education outside the classroom is a key component of the curriculum.

Effective teaching of literacy and mathematics is central to curriculum planning and implementation schoolwide. Other subject areas are integrated under the “Learning the Buckland Way” approach to student inquiry. Students are encouraged and supported to develop the skills and attitudes of independent learners. Teachers actively foster students’ ability to assess their own mastery and progress.

A widely understood set of school values underpins high expectations for learning and behaviour. Relationships are positive and respectful.

Student leadership is nurtured throughout the school. Students in Years 7 and 8 lead assemblies and are expected to take responsibility for a variety of initiatives in the school and community. Senior students are well prepared for the transition to secondary school.

Teachers regularly reflect on their practice and consider how they can continue to improve outcomes for students. They have begun to implement formal inquiry into the effectiveness of specific teaching strategies used to raise student achievement.

  • The next step for teachers is to ensure that their professional development goals are specific, measurable and relevant.

Teachers recognise the importance of strengthening bicultural awareness in the school. Most have undertaken externally-provided professional learning and development to build their knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

  • Continued focus on increasing teachers’ confidence in this area is needed, to ensure that students’ learning experiences reflect a valuing of Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

Effective use of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning is underway.

Buckland is a health promoting school and an enviro-school. Students gain an understanding of their own and others’ wellbeing and take an active part in the conservation of natural resources in the school and the community.

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

Māori students are well engaged in the full range of learning opportunities provided.

The achievement of Māori students is analysed separately, and those who need support or extension are identified and appropriately catered for. For 2013, the board has a strategic target for all Māori students to make accelerated progress in reading. To achieve this target, the school aims to link with parents and whānau to develop shared strategies that contribute to improved learning outcomes.

School leaders have consulted parents and whānau about their aspirations for their children as Māori. These conversations are generally informal and spontaneous. Māori parents have told the school that they are happy with the school’s approach to promoting education success.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Factors that underpin the school’s strong position include effective governance, passionate and committed leaders, a positive school tone, close community links and a culture of high expectations.

School leaders and trustees recognise that self review is an area for further development and ERO’s evaluation affirms this next step. Full alignment of school plans and systems is likely to contribute to sustained progress in meeting strategic objectives. Robust evaluation of the effectiveness of programmes, initiatives and operations needs to be embedded to guide decision-making and planning and promote student achievement.

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.

To improve current practice, a systematic coordinated programme of induction and mentoring of provisionally registered teachers is needed. This will ensure that their preparation for full registration meets requirements.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

17 April 2013

About the School

Location

Pukekohe District

Ministry of Education profile number

1239

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Male 53%

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

73%

15%

4%

8%

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

17 April 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2010

November 2007

August 2004