Ridgeview 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.

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School Context

Ridgeview School is located in the semi-rural community of Paremoremo, Auckland. The school caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The school roll comprises 67 students, with 17 children identifying as Māori. Small numbers of Pacific children and children from other ethnic groups also attend the school.

The school’s vision and mission is to ‘create confident, connected, life-long learners’ supported by the school’s values of respect, excellence, and positive relationships. Parents, teachers, and children understand and support these values.

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

  • children’s wellbeing and how the aspirations of parents for their tamariki are being met
  • how well students are progressing, the achievement of Māori students and the achievement of boys and girls
  • the effectiveness of literacy and mathematics programmes in supporting children’s learning.

Staff have participated in Assessment for Learning (AFL) professional learning and development (PLD), to increase their capability in the teaching of reading, writing, and mathematics.

Since ERO’s 2014 evaluation, the board co-opted a Māori trustee to represent a Māori perspective on the board, and have appointed a staff member who is also Māori.

Ridgeview School is a member of the Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL), Whānau ki te ako: Albany/Greenhithe. 

Evaluation Findings

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 is making good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for Māori, Pacific, and other students.

Most children achieve to expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics. While Māori children achieve in reading at comparable levels to all students, there is some disparity compared with Pākehā learners in writing and mathematics. Interim achievement information for 2017 shows that Māori children are achieving at higher levels than previous years, and an increasing number achieve above expectations.

School leaders and teachers recognise the disparity in achievement for Māori learners in writing and mathematics, and have well-considered strategies in place to accelerate the progress of children who are at risk of not achieving.

Children achieve very well in relation to other school valued outcomes. Most children:

  • demonstrate confidence in themselves as learners
  • have a strong sense of belonging in school
  • use school values to support their positive interactions with others
  • are actively involved in their learning, and contribute to the life of the school.

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

Ridgeview School is increasingly effective in responding to children whose learning progress needs acceleration. The board of trustees, leadership team, and staff prioritise equity and excellence for all children. They have a commitment to supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori.

Senior leaders and teachers know priority students’ learning strengths and needs. They set timeframes with key benchmarks to closely monitor the progress of priority children. Teachers use a variety of assessment information to help them plan programmes that target the needs of individual children. These targeted programmes promote teachers’ collaborative approaches, and are impacting positively on children’s literacy and mathematics learning.

Increasingly, teachers share their ideas and value feedback from colleagues about ways they can support students’ diverse learning requirements. This is helping to ensure that children who have additional learning needs are well catered for in an inclusive environment. Diversity is celebrated and viewed as a strength in the school. Individual Educational Learning Plans (IEP’s) are collaboratively developed with parents and whānau. These plans have an appropriate balance of learning and wellbeing goals, and strategies to help children make progress with their learning.

Effective school-wide moderation helps teachers to make dependable judgements about children’s achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics. This information about children’s progress and achievement is analysed, monitored, and regularly reported to the board.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, mahi tahi, and ako are significant features of the school’s culture. A Māori language specialist provides in-depth programmes for children in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori that includes kapa haka and waiata. This promotes Māori children’s leadership and learning. Children fulfil tuakana/teina roles in a safe and inclusive environment, and their voices are respectfully heard and valued by their peers and by adults.

Māori children have opportunities to develop their confidence, build on their capabilities, culture and identity through a broad curriculum. Māori children’s success in the arts, science, technology, health and physical education is noted and reported.

Children, parents, whānau and community groups feel supported through affirming relationships with the school. Families are encouraged to be part of the learning processes that help children make progress and improve their achievement. The school has an innovative approach to involving whānau in child-led family conferences. Teachers support parents by discussing ways they could support their children’s learning. Parents of ‘priority learners’ have their child’s individual accelerated learning plan shared with them.

Children benefit from many opportunities to learn collaboratively. These have helped them to develop values, skills, and competencies for successful learning. Children’s use of digital technologies supports the development of “team work”, and helps them to achieve and make progress in their literacy and mathematics learning.

Teachers make learning processes very clear, and this helps children to understand learning and see it as meaningful. For example, teachers explain to children the purpose of each lesson. Children also have good access to information that tells them how well they are achieving and progressing. Teachers could now provide more opportunities for children to identify their own next learning steps, and to help plan how to take these steps.

Staff focus their school goals, practices, and decision-making on what is best for children. Teachers collaboratively reflect on and consider their practice to identify ways to improve their strategies for catering for children’s diverse learning and well-being requirements. This learner-focused approach to school decision-making and inquiry is resulting in positive outcomes for children.

The board provides good stewardship. Trustees are strongly committed to the community and children. They work collaboratively and successfully to contribute to student outcomes, learning, and wellbeing. School leaders continue to focus on developing good quality teaching and learning practices. They also access and support relevant teacher PLD to help them achieve the school’s strategic goals that are focused on equity and excellence.

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

The school has appropriate and relevant strategic goals for ongoing school improvement.

These goals include expanding and strengthening the use of evaluation to identify and build on successful school practices and processes. Development should focus on improving staff’s evaluative thinking about the links between their teaching strategies and children’s learning outcomes. This will assist them to build on success and inquire more critically into the effectiveness of their practice. Through expanding the perspectives used in evaluation, partnerships with local iwi could also be strengthened and contribute to improved outcomes for Māori learners.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collaborative leadership that supports equity and excellence for all learners, and provides the means to accelerate the progress of children who are at risk of not achieving
  • connections and partnerships with parents, whānau, and community that are focused on improving children’s learning and wellbeing
  • the opportunities students have to develop their capabilities through a variety of relevant learning experiences.

Next steps

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

  • embedding a school curriculum that enhances students’ identity and provides opportunities for them to give direction to their learning
  • enhancing evaluation processes at all levels particularly to support children who are at risk of not achieving
  • continuing to strengthen school processes and practices that are focused on improved outcomes for Māori learners.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 February 2018

About the school 

Location

Paremoremo, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1433

School type

Contributing

School roll

67

Gender composition

Girls       34
Boys      33

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Fijian
other

 17
 40
   3
   7

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

 February 2015
 October 2012
 June 2009

Findings

Ridgeview School’s inclusive school culture fosters student wellbeing, positive partnerships with families and strong community links. The principal and board work collaboratively and strategically to focus on student learning. Ongoing improvement has strengthened teaching, leadership and governance. The school is well placed to consolidate these good practices and implement future-focused developments.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Ridgeview School is located in the semi-rural community of Paremoremo, Auckland. The school caters for students from Years 1 to 6.

Prior to ERO’s 2012 review the school had experienced difficulties related to community relations, and governance and management systems. During 2010 the principal and board of trustees requested support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to address the concerns. In 2011 a commissioner had been appointed to govern the school.

At the time of ERO’s 2012 review the principal and commissioner were working together effectively to plan the school’s strategic direction, manage finances, strengthen parent partnerships with the school and improve community relationships. However, much work remained to be done. ERO recommended that the commissioner’s intervention continue until a new board of trustees was established and ready to govern the school.

In mid-2013 a new board was elected to govern the school. Since then, the principal and board have implemented a variety of strategies to address areas for review and development. The school has continued to work with external expertise to support improvements in the school. During 2013 and 2014 ERO has provided ongoing evaluation of the school’s progress in the identified areas for review and improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO’s October 2012 report identified the need to:

  • develop and train a self managing board of trustees
  • accelerate the progress of students who are not achieving at the National Standards
  • continue to develop the school’s curriculum.

Findings

The school has developed a strong foundation of productive partnerships that are focused on student learning. The board and principal have worked collaboratively to address the identified priorities.

The board has made very good use of external support to develop effective systems and frameworks that promote successful governance and leadership. The board has a commitment to representing its community and promoting positive outcomes for all students. A transparent approach to leadership and governance has strengthened school operations.

Relationships in the school are enhanced through open communication. The board makes good use of consultation to gauge the aspirations of the school’s diverse community and to inform strategic planning. Parents spoken to commend the way in which the school’s vision and direction is being implemented. Parents feel valued and empowered to contribute to their children’s education.

Students have a good sense of their achievement and progress. The board has a strong focus on student engagement, progress and achievement. Trustees actively seek achievement information that helps them make decisions to support the school vision of creating confident, connected, life-long learners.

Teachers plan collaboratively and inquire into best strategies to improve their practice. Teaching and learning practices have been strengthened through well considered professional development for teachers. Increasingly teachers are using achievement information to accelerate students’ progress. Some groups of students are showing very good progress as a result of targeted interventions. A recent focus on writing has resulted in significantly improved student achievement in this area. School leaders recognise that there is still a need to raise the achievement of boys and Māori students.

Literacy is seen as underpinning all learning areas and students are provided with meaningful opportunities to make links between their speaking, reading and writing. Digital technologies support student engagement in their own learning. Students share their writing with peers in order to receive feedback and enjoy reading on a variety of themes. The school has plans in place to further develop its literacy curriculum guidelines to support teaching and learning practices.

The development of effective teaching and learning practices has been supported by changes in building design. Transparent and flexible approaches are evident in the open, variable learning environments.

Māori students and their whānau are well engaged in the life of the school. Teachers have used MoE resources to support student engagement in learning and to foster tuakana-teina relationships. Teachers are continuing to look at ways they can use culturally responsive practices to accelerate success for Māori students by building on their culture, language and identity. To enhance existing programmes a teacher of Māori is to be appointed to begin in 2015.The school’s prevailing sense of inclusiveness and teachers’ active engagement with parents of Māori students has promoted success for and as Māori.

Key next steps

In order to further improve learning outcomes for students, the principal and board agree that they should:

  • ensure consistency and sustainability of effective teaching and learning practices that are focussed on accelerating student progress
  • provide more opportunities for students to lead the direction of their learning.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

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

The board and principal have managed change well over the past two years. The principal’s strong educational leadership and promotion of coherent systems supports a school culture focused on improving student learning.

Trustees have developed a shared understanding and a strategic approach to their work. They have made very good use of training and continue to seek external advice to strengthen governance. Clear processes and useful documentation now provide good induction for new trustees. The board has co-opted trustees for particular roles at different times to ensure that the diversity of the school community is reflected on the board. The board is currently considering strategies for effective succession planning.

Self review is now part of governance and management practice. A well developed framework provides good guidance for self review. Multiple perspectives are sought to inform decision-making. The board has good processes for receiving assurance about policy implementation, and health and safety.

The board has identified that while they now have a foundation of good practices in place, self review could be further strengthened by:

  • covering all aspects of the school’s operation over time, including review of the board’s own practice
  • exploring possibilities for future development linked to the school’s vision and strategic direction
  • looking at ways to increase the board’s visibility in the school and community to promote school successes and developments.

To further improve practice, trustees agree that they should:

  • ensure that all documentation provides sufficient detail and evidence of process, in particular with regard to the recording of complaints and in-committee minutes.

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

Ridgeview School’s inclusive school culture fosters student wellbeing, positive partnerships with families and strong community links. The principal and board work collaboratively and strategically to focus on student learning. Ongoing improvement has strengthened teaching, leadership and governance. The school is well placed to consolidate these good practices and implement future-focused developments.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

11 February 2015

About the School

Location

Paremoremo, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1433

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

77

Gender composition

Boys 47, Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

other

19

44

14

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

11 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

June 2009

July 2006