Sir Keith Park School

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Education institution number:
1483
School type:
Special School
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
School for pupils with intellectual impairments
Total roll:
170
Telephone:
Address:

33 Robertson Road, Mangere, Auckland

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School Context

Sir Keith Park School (SKPS) provides individualised learning programmes for students aged five to 21 years who have complex learning needs. Approximately 17 percent of students identify as Māori and 70 percent have Pacific heritage.

The base school is located in Mangere. Eight satellite classes operate in four local schools, including primary schools and a secondary school. The school employs a team of specialist health professionals that provides ongoing therapy and support for students and their whānau. All students have Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding. SKPS operates an outreach programme for supporting ORS funded students enrolled at local schools.

The school’s whakatauki is ‘the result of one’s work and achievement is the product of many hands’. This is underpinned by the key values of whanaungatanga (teamwork), manaakitanga (respect) and ngākau pono (integrity). The mission statement is to provide a learning environment that empowers students, through respect, teamwork, and specialised education, to realise their potential.

Since the 2016 ERO report, school leadership has been reviewed. The leadership team is multidisciplinary and includes a health/therapy professional leader. Schoolwide professional learning has focused on Universal Design for Learning and flexible options for personalising learning. 

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

  • progress and achievement in relation to individual goals

  • engagement

  • progress in the Sir Keith Park School curriculum.

The school is a member of the Whakatipu Akoranga Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

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 is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. School leaders and teachers have consistently high expectations for learning. All students have learning goals within individualised education plans, and their progress is measured against these.

School achievement data indicates that:

  • most students make progress against their individual goals over their time at school

  • all students make progress in the school’s supporting curriculum programmes, including sensory and therapy programmes

  • the majority of students showed progress in the 2018 writing programme

  • all classes show an increase in engagement for learning.

Learners achieve well in the school’s wider valued outcomes. Many students are confident in their cultures and languages. They enjoy a sense of belonging and connection to the school.

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

The school is effective in supporting students’ progress. Over time, students make good progress against their individual learning goals at a pace appropriate to their individual strengths and needs.

The school identifies priority students who are not yet achieving 80 percent of their learning goals. The multidisciplinary team and specialist interventions provide personalised support for students to achieve expected outcomes over time.

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?

Leaders, staff and the board of trustees have a deep commitment to and understanding of students’ learning complexities and the community they serve.

The school is well led by an experienced principal and leadership team, who have high expectations about the quality of teaching and learning. Leaders are strong advocates for the rights of all students and their families to have equitable and excellent learning opportunities and outcomes. They enact the whakatauki, vision and values of the school and develop relational trust with students, staff and whānau.

The leadership team has built a responsive, collaborative school culture and a supportive learning environment conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing. As a result, students engage and learn in caring and nurturing environments. Students have access to a wide variety of communication tools to support their learning. They experience positive and respectful relationships with adults. Opportunities for students to have choice and a voice in programmes are actively promoted and continue to be an ongoing focus for staff.

Teaching staff and specialists work collaboratively and cohesively. They know students’ abilities and needs and contribute to students’ individual learning plans. Thorough systems and processes are in place to track and monitor students’ holistic progress and for reporting formally and informally to parents and whānau about their children’s progress. Pastoral care systems and high levels of support promote students’ wellbeing and engagement in learning.

The school’s curriculum offers appropriate challenge for students and reflects the school’s mission, vision and values. It incorporates the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the school’s supporting and transitional curriculums. The transitional curriculum guides education programmes for students aged between 18 to 21 years. Leaders are currently reviewing the curriculum and the pathways offered to senior students.

Recognition and celebration of students’ cultural identities and languages are features of the school. Students, whānau and teachers from the base and satellite schools regularly come together for pōwhiri, kapa haka, and to celebrate learning. These events help build strong partnerships with whānau and provide opportunities for students to participate meaningfully with their family and school community.

Leaders widely research learning programmes and teaching resources. They seek relevant professional learning programmes and resources for innovation and continuous improvement to teaching and learning practices.

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

Leaders are reviewing and rationalising policies and procedures in readiness for an online system that can be easily accessed by all staff at the base and satellite schools. The new system will build coherence across sites and would be useful for inducting new staff.

Appraisal procedures have been reviewed. Leaders and teachers are now using an online system for their appraisal reflections and teaching as inquiry documents. Leaders agree that these changes to the appraisal systems and processes now need to be embedded.

The board has been managing considerable property and building challenges for many years. Trustees, staff and parents continue to work with the Ministry of Education regarding a long overdue rebuild of the base school. Trustees remain optimistic about the rebuild and the enhanced learning opportunities this will bring for students.

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’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Sir Keith Park School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a school culture that places students and learning at the centre
  • a multidisciplinary team of specialists, teachers, and teacher aides committed to equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • a collaborative team, open to new learning and innovation to improve outcomes for students
  • a holistic curriculum that responds well to students’ strengths, needs and interests
  • effective school organisation systems and processes.

Next steps

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

  • review, refine and update school policies and procedures
  • embed the new appraisal framework
  • review systems and processes for the induction and support of new staff.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

14 February 2020

About the school

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1483

School type

Special School

School roll

165

Gender composition

Boys 68% Girls 32%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%

NZ European/Pākehā 3%

Samoan 36%

Tongan 21%

Cook Island Māori 10%

Asian 6%

other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

14 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016

Education Review December 2012

Education Review February 2010

 

Findings

The school’s curriculum supports students’ learning very well. Leaders and staff have high expectations that students will be successful in their learning. Personalised learning pathways, curriculum programmes and therapy are supporting students’ strengths and needs. Teachers collaborate with whānau and ensure that parents’ aspirations are respected.

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?

Sir Keith Park School in Mangere provides education and care for students from age five to 21 years who have special learning needs. The base school operates 11 classrooms, including transition facilities for the older students. Seven satellite classes operate at four host schools in the local area, and some students in mainstream schools are supported by Outreach teachers.

The school has a culture of high expectations, inclusion, extensive pastoral care and positive relationships between staff, students and families.

All students receive funding from the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS). Teachers are supported by a team of therapists, specialist teachers and teacher aides. The staff reflect the multicultural diversity of the school community. The majority of students are Māori or Pacific.

The school has continued to progress well since the last ERO review in 2012. The effective practices identified in the 2012 report continue to be features. School leaders have reviewed and improved the process for developing individual education plans (IEPs). Staff have benefited from professional learning that promotes greater student understanding of their learning.

School leaders have also revised staff induction processes and provided extensive targeted professional development for staff. Te reo and tikanga Māori have been strengthened in the school curriculum and the school has achieved Kauri status in the Health Promoting Schools programme.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement data very well to foster students’ engagement, progress and achievement. Learning for all students is guided by IEPs and their individual ‘Pathways to Successful Learning’. Families, teachers and specialists collaborate to develop relevant goals that reflect students’ abilities and their social and developmental needs. Learning at Sir Keith Park School is integrated well with therapy, personal routines, and social development.

Teachers use appropriate assessment tools to carefully monitor students’ progress steps. Analysis of goal achievement in 2015 indicates that, overall, students achieved well in their goals. Very good progress is evident towards reaching the school-wide target of 80 percent goal achievement. The achievement rates for Māori and Pacific students and for boys and girls are similarly positive.

Achievement information is shared with families to enhance students’ learning. IEP goals are closely monitored and reviewed each term. Team leaders, teachers, and therapists discuss each student’s progress, and potential learning barriers, successful strategies and possible initiatives to support further learning. This ongoing monitoring contributes to students’ success and ensures that next learning steps are meaningful.

Learning is personalised and responsive to each student’s needs. Well considered class placements and integration of specialist programmes ensure that students benefit from individualised, age-appropriate experiences in their peer group. While learning often occurs through planned whole class topics, teachers adapt tasks to match students’ individual goals.

Students have a sense of belonging and engagement in their class programmes. They respond well to teachers’ prompts and encourage each other to participate in activities. Older students are supported to become increasingly independent and many take on leadership responsibilities in the school. Leaders and staff have high expectations that students will be successful in their learning.

Parents and whānau are active partners in their children’s learning. Beyond their involvement in IEP development, parents participate in school events and are consulted through Family Network meetings. They are kept well informed through electronic communications, monthly newsletters and ready access to school leaders and teachers. Parents appreciate the school’s assistance in accessing external health and social agencies.

The school reports achievement to parents in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Teachers use narrative assessments that align students’ learning with key competencies and learning areas and in the NZC. They also report progress against the National Standards. In this way parents are assured that learning outcomes are meaningful and reflect the national curriculum. Therapists also provide individual reports for students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum supports students’ learning very well. Teachers integrate IEP goals with literacy and mathematical tasks and topic studies. They also integrate activities that value Māori concepts and reflect other students’ home cultures.

The transdisciplinary approach and a diverse range of special programmes and resources support teachers to implement the curriculum. The collaboration between teachers, teacher aides and therapists results in meaningful learning tasks and inclusive learning environments for students.

The board resources the curriculum well. It provides many resources and facilities that support students' physical, social and creative development. Beyond regular classroom materials, teachers use specialised equipment, including sensory rooms and communication technologies that assist students to develop their capabilities and gain pleasure from their learning. For example, digital devices are enhancing students’ interest in learning.

Teachers’ professional learning is having a positive impact on classroom practices. Teachers are now using explicit learning intentions and are more deeply analysing their teaching practice. Continued involvement in digital technology learning is likely to support the ongoing development in this area.

Teachers and teacher aides are well supported to develop professionally. Coherent appraisal systems are followed, induction processes are systematic, and professional development is relevant. Teachers appreciate increasing opportunities to take on leadership roles. They regularly reflect on teaching and learning challenges and share new initiatives and successful strategies.

School leaders plan to refine the appraisal system to achieve a better balance between the teachers’ personal goals and the Practising Teacher Criteria. They could also evaluate the effectiveness of ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ strategies on student outcomes.

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

Students are very well supported to be successful as Māori. They achieve goals at a similar rate to other students and there are many opportunities for them to be confident in their language, culture and identity.

Initiatives such as a Te Ao Māori curriculum and Matariki celebrations are becoming embedded in school practices. Students take leadership roles in pōwhiri, including te karanga, whaikōreo and kapa haka.

The school has established a relationship with the local marae. Kaumatua and kuia participate in school events and support teachers with waiata, karakia and programme activities.

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 board of trustees is committed to providing responsive education for students and to supporting the work of staff. The principal keeps the board informed about the school developments and student outcomes. Trustees are proud of the school’s achievements and they actively support school property and staffing initiatives.

The principal provides effective leadership. In recent years management changes, including the appointment of a specialist team leader, have brought new experience and enthusiasm to the leadership team. Senior leaders promote distributed leadership to build on the capabilities of all teachers.

The board collaborates with the principal to provide clear alignment between the mission statement, the charter, school values and the curriculum. A range of effective communication strategies enables the board to consult with parents and keep them well informed.

The principal took sabbatical leave in 2015 to study the international growth of Innovative Learning Practices (ILP) and environments in Special Schools. The board agrees that implementing some of the findings from this study would be a positive development for the school.

Informal self review is ongoing at all levels of the school, including many consultation surveys. Leaders agree that they could now develop a more systematic record of self-review findings and school-wide expectations for self review. They recognise that organising and documenting self review is an important next step. The board acknowledges the need to rationalise and update policies and procedures, including the school’s health and safety handbook.

In preparation for the upcoming board elections, the board could consider succession planning to support the future governance of the school. This could include reaching out to the wider community to source potential new trustees.

Considerations for the new board could include: 

  • training for trustees with a focus on their stewardship roles and responsibilities
  • reviewing the board’s performance with reference to the School Evaluation Indicators
  • establishing expectations for the documentation of board meeting 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

The school’s curriculum supports students’ learning very well. Leaders and staff have high expectations that students will be successful in their learning. Personalised learning pathways, curriculum programmes and therapy are supporting students’ strengths and needs. Teachers collaborate with whānau and ensure that parents’ aspirations are respected.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2016

About the School

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1483

School type

Special School

School roll

143

Gender composition

Boys 65% Girls 35%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other

24%

7%

25%

20%

12%

7%

5%

Special Features

Seven satellite classes Outreach service in five schools

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

February 2010

February 2007