Redhill School

Redhill School - 15/08/2016

1 Context

Redhill School is a full primary school catering for children from Years 1 to 8 in the Redhill area of Papakura. Seventy one percent of children identify as Māori and the majority of these students affiliate to Ngāpuhi and Tainui iwi. Twenty-four percent of children are of Pacific heritage.

The school works successfully with an increasing number of external agencies to support the learning and well-being of children and whānau. The Ministry of Education envisages considerable future roll growth. A full re-build of the school is scheduled to begin in 2017 to improve facilities and accommodate this growth.

2 Equity and excellence

The school's vision is to cultivate high achievement through the development of "High Ten Learners".

Valued outcomes for all children focus on learners who demonstrate respect, responsibility, honesty, tolerance and cooperation. The vision and values are easily articulated by children and are regularly reinforced in the classroom and celebrated at school assemblies.

Public Achievement Information (PAI) and the school’s achievement information shows that achievement in reading and mathematics has trended upwards over the past three years. Approximately seventy percent of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Māori children's progress in reading and mathematics over the past three years has also improved. Approximately seventy percent of Māori children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Pacific children achieve well in mathematics with over seventy percent of students at or above the National Standard. Pacific children's achievement in reading has improved but remains proportionally lower.

Approximately forty percent of children are currently achieving at or above the National Standards in writing. Boys' writing levels are significantly below those of girls.

Children make progress over two to three years at Redhill School. By the time they leave the school at the end of Year 8 approximately eighty percent of children achieve at or above the National Standard in reading and mathematics.

There are systems and procedures in the school to ensure that assessment decisions by teachers are checked and moderated within the school. The school has worked with external agencies to ensure moderation processes are sound.

ERO last reviewed the school in 2013. The 2013 report noted a considerable number of children were achieving below and well below in relation to the National Standards.

Since then the school has provided staff with numerous professional learning and development programmes designed to raise achievement and increase teachers' content knowledge and approaches to teaching and engaging children in writing. In response to the analysis of their data, school leaders and teachers have identified the need to urgently accelerate the progress of all children in writing, with a particular focus on raising the achievement of boys.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is increasingly effective in responding to all children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school maintains a strong focus on 'knowing the learner' and leaders and teachers know the children and their whānau well. They are proactive in ensuring that children's wellbeing needs are addressed so that achievement can improve. Where necessary, the school accesses appropriate support strategies for children and their whānau from external agencies.

The school uses achievement information effectively to identify and regularly monitor Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Key strategies promoted in classrooms focus on increasing children’s vocabulary and learning talk, providing more meaningful
experience- based learning tasks, and using teacher aides effectively in classrooms to improve children's learning.

Māori children's progress in reading and mathematics has improved over the last three years. Data indicates that a significant number of children have made accelerated progress. Achievement in writing however, has yet to improve at the same rate. Targets set to accelerate boys' writing at specific year levels, are yet to show acceleration of progress. School leaders agree that accelerating the achievement of all children, including Māori in writing remains their number one priority.

Over the past three years the school has successfully re-engaged with whānau. Deliberate strategies to share and celebrate children's progress and success with families is now strengthening home and school learning partnerships. A positive impact has been the significant increase in the number of parents who attend student-led conferences.

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

The school is improving the effectiveness of its response to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The systems, practices and programmes in place for other children are very similar to those of Māori children. The school works successfully with many health providers and community-based organisations to support children and their whānau.

National Standards achievement information is used by the board and staff to identify Māori, Pacific children and specifically boys whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. Leaders and teachers are continuing to develop more effective strategies to accelerate achievement.

These actions and strategies include:

  • the appointment of literacy leaders, to support teachers to improve their practice in the teaching of writing
  • a school-wide collaborative planning approach with an emphasis on a strategy where students have the opportunity to talk then write and read
  • the appointment of a teacher with second language teaching qualifications to provide additional language support programmes
  • the introduction of computer devices at all year levels and digital immersion classes for Year 5 to 8 classes.

While these initiatives and strategies have the potential to have a positive effect, their impact is not yet evident in the writing achievement data. However, the use of computer devices in senior classes is beginning to have a positive effect on children's engagement in, and enjoyment of, writing.

The school is continuing to build a shared teacher understanding of acceleration. Leaders are focusing on developing explicit plans for accelerating the achievement of all children who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. This work will further promote collective responsibility for accelerating achievement and is building a stronger professional community.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The school’s curriculum, processes and practices are increasingly effective in promoting equity and excellence for all children.

Since the last ERO report the school has reviewed the curriculum. A 'High Ten' learning framework for the Redhill learner has been developed with children, staff and parents. The school's curriculum is values based, culturally responsive and reflects The New Zealand Curriculum. It prioritises reading, writing and mathematics as the foundations of learning. School leaders and key staff members are continuing to review and refine the curriculum to develop greater alignment across Years 1 to 8 and to further develop effective student ownership of learning.

The board of trustees is representative of the school community. Trustees have the 'child at the heart' of their thinking, and a strong commitment to improved learning outcomes for all children. They are well informed and have a clear understanding of children's progress and achievement. They use achievement information well to make well-considered and appropriate resourcing decisions to improve achievement. Good examples include the employment of teacher aides to support literacy and maths programmes, and the equitable allocation of computer devices for children. The establishment of a whānau room is responsive to the needs of the community and facilitates active participation in the school.

The school intends to review the charter and strategic plan. This will entail building on the aspects of current planning to do with acceleration and target setting in order to ensure an ongoing and more coordinated approach to raising success for all children.

The principal and senior leaders and teachers work collaboratively. They are open to external new learning opportunities, utilise internal and external expertise for improvement, and trial new approaches to increase learning outcomes for children. Current professional development work includes exploring digital platforms and collaborative teaching spaces, ahead of moving into new buildings by 2018.

Leaders and teachers collate a comprehensive range of achievement data to inform teaching and learning programmes and to set annual achievement targets. School leaders now plan to review assessment processes. This will assist them in further aligning assessment and acceleration planning.

Children benefit from a settled and positive working tone in classrooms. They are confident, friendly and respectful and have a strong sense of belonging at Redhill. They regard 'teachers as whānau'. Children benefit from numerous sporting and cultural leadership opportunities.

Parents and whānau Māori who spoke with ERO appreciate the way the school recognises and celebrates students' learning success. They feel well informed about their child's progress and value the school's procedures for transitioning children into the school as new entrants and for transitioning students on to secondary school.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

The school has worthwhile and ongoing initiatives in place for enhancing children's learning and accelerating their progress. Children's learning and wellbeing are central to all decision making. Leaders foster a school culture that is caring, affirming and respectful. There is a strong sense of collective commitment to raising children's achievement. Processes for identifying and monitoring overall achievement, and that of specific students, are well established.

School leaders and ERO agree that the next steps in school development to strengthen the school's capacity to provide well for children whose learning needs acceleration include:

  • reviewing long-term strategic planning and developing a clearer focus on accelerating learning
  • continuing to build a shared definition of acceleration across the school
  • continuing to develop the curriculum and teaching expectations to build greater coherence and ownership for the Redhill learner across Years 1 to 8
  • reviewing assessment systems and processes.

ERO affirms these next steps as beneficial for the future development of the school and for further strengthening its capacity to sustain and improve educational outcomes for students.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes.

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

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that school leaders work with teachers to develop a shared definition of acceleration and continue to evaluate the effectiveness of their current and future plans, programmes and strategies designed to accelerate children's progress. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 August 2016

About the school 

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1459

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

170

Gender composition

Boys      56% 
Girls       44%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Island Māori
Tongan
Samoan
Niue

71%
  5%
10%
  6%
  5%
  3%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

15 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2013
November 2010
December 2007

Redhill School - 14/06/2013

1 Context

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

Red Hill School is a small primary school in Papakura that opened in the late 1970s, serving the then developing settlement of Red Hill. The school enrols students from Years 1 to 8. The strong representation of Māori (seventy-five percent of the school roll identifies as Māori), together with children who have Pacific, European, Filipino and Indian backgrounds, is valued and embraced.

The school’s history of whānau and whakapapa is a source of pride for the board of trustees. Some students are the children and whānau of foundation pupils. Many trustees and members of staff also have a long association with the school. They take collective responsibility for the progress and achievement of all Red Hill School children.

The settled school environment provides families and children with secure surroundings in which to learn. A strong sense of whanaungatanga is evident in the school. School leaders continue to develop culturally responsive practices to support children’s learning and wellbeing. They are actively looking at ways to enhance connections with whānau to better support children’s learning at school.

Improving student progress and achievement remains a significant concern for the board and senior leaders. Small class sizes, the assistance of teacher aides, and the use of outside agencies, are benefiting children’s wellbeing and support their readiness to learn.

The principal, newly appointed at the time of the 2010 ERO review, is capably leading change in teaching and learning, along with the deputy principal and senior leaders. She is committed to sustaining reforms over time that could result in improved outcomes for children. On-going teacher professional development and curriculum review are supporting gains made in student progress and achievement in and since 2012.

School leaders and staff have made good progress addressing the recommendations and next steps identified at the time of ERO’s 2010 review.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders use achievement information well to track and monitor children’s engagement in learning, progress and achievement, particularly in literacy and mathematics. Data are collected, analysed and used well to inform programme planning and curriculum design. The board is regularly informed about how well children are progressing.

Robust assessment practices enable the leadership team to produce reliable data about the achievement of each child, year level and ethnic group in reading, writing and mathematics. School information shows that, while there have been some notable improvements, significant numbers of students are still achieving below and well below in relation to the National Standards.

Good use is made of data to develop an overall picture of Māori achievement across the school. Data show that Māori children, boys in particular, are over represented in underachieving groups. Charter targets for 2013 appropriately identify the numbers of Māori children who require specific, planned programmes to lift their educational achievement at particular year levels.

School-wide gains have been made in mathematics, especially in the senior school. Progress has also been made in reading in some year groups. Pacific student achievement data show that just over half this group is achieving at or above national expectations. There continues to be significant concerns about the progress and achievement of children in Years 2 to 4.

The progress of children identified with special learning needs is well monitored. Appropriate interventions are provided to support their learning. Children with English as a second or other language (ESOL) are identified early and suitable programmes are place to support and monitor their progress.

The board of trustees has identified appropriate achievement targets for 2013 in relation to the National Standards in mathematics, reading and writing. Comprehensive information about each child’s learning and progress is shared with parents and children. The principal has taken steps to ensure that written reports sent home to parents in 2013 will explicitly show students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards. The principal will further ensure that plain language is used more consistently in reports to parents.

3 Curriculum

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

The Red Hill School curriculum is beginning to promote student learning. Since 2010, the school has been involved in ongoing curriculum review and development. Work has been done to build a culture of learning in the school and to maintain a focus on improving children’s achievement in literacy and mathematics.

School leaders have identified the following priorities for continued development:

  • further teacher professional development in literacy and mathematics
  • the integration of science, e-learning, and aspects of the social sciences and the arts into the planned curriculum
  • a curriculum that is responsive and flexible enough to allow students’ interests and learning goals to be explored and extended.

Early indicators of the effectiveness of science and outdoor education activities in motivating and engaging children with learning are good. Broadening the curriculum to include all learning areas should result in further opportunities for teachers to draw on children’s own backgrounds and experience to help ensure that the programme is relevant and interesting to the students.

School leaders are focused on providing opportunities for children to learn more about their own heritage and culture through cultural groups, pōwhiri and karakia. They are committed to working with teachers to promote learning content that includes Māori, Pacific and wider community and environmental perspectives.

Children take pride in leadership roles, including kapa haka, sports, peer mediation and as house leaders. Senior school students capably talk about their learning and many confidently interpret assessment data that they use to monitor their own learning.

Strategic goals to promote student engagement include 'High Ten Learning', a Red Hill School initiative that gives students the tools to talk about and take greater ownership of their learning. High Ten Learner attributes are carefully linked to the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum and reflect school values.

The board has appropriately identified literacy and mathematics professional learning and development for staff in its 2013 strategic planning. Additional goals include further promoting the use of achievement information and the use of regular, effective feedback to children to support their learning. The scope and effectiveness of careers education provided for Years 7 and 8 students could be reviewed.

Examples of high quality teaching practice support the delivery of the curriculum. Good models of detailed planning and evaluation are being used as exemplars to help other teachers across the school.

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

Promoting success for Māori, as Māori, is increasingly apparent in school values and curriculum design. School leaders continue to work hard to improve educational outcomes for Māori students, as Māori.

Good strategies to promote Māori student success have been identified and documented in the school charter. Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education Māori Education Strategy, is also beginning to inform school planning.

ERO affirms the school’s identified strategies, which include:

  • incorporating tikanga Māori, such as karakia, basic te reo, kapahaka, pōwhiri and other cultural protocols in meaningful ways in the school curriculum
  • using whānau meetings, community liaison, hui whakatika and the Treaty of Waitangi to discover more about the views and concerns of the Māori community
  • further exploring and promoting the aspects of the school that reflect Māori values.

Students take pride in performing kapahaka and waiata, and confidently express their leadership and performance skills in pōwhiri. Some teachers are confident communicators in te reo Māori and encourage students to express themselves as Māori in classroom and other school contexts.

Greater steps could be taken to promote and affirm te reo and tikanga Māori across the school. In addition to identified charter strategies, leaders could consider providing opportunities for all staff to develop the skills and confidence to use te reo Māori. A planned, sequenced Years 1 to 8 te reo Māori programme could support more purposeful teaching and learning.

ERO and school leaders discussed the importance of giving more priority to the goals identified for Māori within the school's existing strategic plan. They are committed to the continued implementation of strategies to improve the achievement of Māori students.

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.

The principal, with the board of trustees, recognises the challenges and responsibilities involved in providing an environment at Red Hill School that supports learning and improves student progress and achievement. To achieve this, the principal has ably led the school through a period of significant change and development. Over the last three years she has built a new leadership team and provided inclusive, strategic leadership that promotes:

  • a culture of openness and inclusion at school
  • a commitment to developing genuine and reciprocal relationships with the community
  • a shared, school-wide focus on the use of data and current research to inform change
  • innovation that supports good practice in teaching and learning
  • professional development that provides staff with the skills and confidence to change teaching practices to benefit children’s learning.

Teacher involvement with the Papakura Achievement Initiative (PAI) in recent years, and good use of principal networks and literacy leaders, is ensuring that staff continue to receive targeted whole school professional learning and development.

Good quality self review, including a review of the staff appraisal process using Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners, has been used to inform school decision making. School systems have been reviewed and aligned. The findings and recommendations of formal, documented review are reported to the board. The complementary skills of, and distributed leadership within, the leadership team enable shared decision making. Staff are loyal, hard working and collegial.

The board of trustees includes experienced and newer members who are committed to the school and the community. The board chair has served in the role for over a decade. Relationships and communication between school leaders and trustees are positive and constructive. Additional board funding is contributing to the continued employment of teacher aides and additional teaching staff.

Next steps for the new board and principal include ensuring that:

  • the new board receives training to help trustees work together and develop good governance and self-review practices
  • charter goals and teaching and learning strategies more specifically address the underachievement of Māori students and, in particular, of Māori boys.

The board, community, staff and students have been involved in consultation about the rebuild and refurbishment of school buildings, planned to begin in 2013. This activity has promoted thinking about future learning. The senior leadership team, with the board, expects to maintain the momentum of recent progress in student learning while the construction of a new school is underway.

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 three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

14 June 2013

About the School

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1459

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

183

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Samoan

Niue

Tongan

Filipino

Indian

75%

5%

9%

5%

2%

2%

1%

1%

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

14 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2010

December 2007

June 2001