St Heliers School

Education institution number:
1489
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
563
Telephone:
Address:

126 St Heliers Bay Road, St Heliers, Auckland

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St Heliers School - 14/09/2017

Summary

St Heliers School is a full primary (Years 0 to 8) of 710 children. The school roll comprises 48 percent Pākehā, four percent Māori, two percent Pacific and the remainder is made up of children from a diverse range of ethnicities.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation professional learning and development for team leaders has focused on establishing a coaching approach to support and continually build teachers’ practice. St Heliers School is a member of the Glendowie Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

The board, senior leadership team and teachers have been responsive to areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report. As a result staff appraisal systems and the quality of internal evaluation have continued to improve.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

St Heliers School is highly effective in achieving equitable outcomes for children.

The school responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Many useful processes are in place to support children to achieve equity and excellence including effective pastoral care, leadership and governance.

Further developments to support the school’s ongoing improvement involve extending the use of innovative learning practices, refining strategic and annual planning, and strengthening bicultural practice.

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

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

St Heliers School responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The school’s 2016 student achievement data show that most children achieve very well in relation to National Standards. Over time achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics have continued to increase. Māori children achieve well above regional and national levels. Pacific children’s achievement is particularly high. The school leaders and teachers are aware of some disparity between Māori and non-Maori learners in writing and are focused on addressing this.

The inclusive culture of the school supports all children well to reach their potential. Children with additional learning needs are closely monitored. They benefit from interventions designed to meet their individual learning needs. Their progress is tracked to evaluate how effectively these interventions are accelerating their achievement.

Teachers use a variety of useful processes to ensure the dependability of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s achievement. Moderation within the CoL could further support the quality of OTJs.

Personal excellence, well rounded development and outstanding citizenship are identified as the school’s valued outcomes for children.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

St Heliers School has many useful processes in place to support children to achieve equity and excellence, including effective pastoral care, leadership and governance.

The school culture is very effective in supporting the wellbeing of children and their families. Senior leaders and teachers value the importance of knowing children and families very well. This in-depth knowledge and ethic of care is well modelled by the senior leadership team. Trustees and senior leaders attribute children’s success to the school’s ongoing connectedness with families, and the vision and values at the heart of the school.

The purposeful, settled, attractive learning environments promote positive outcomes for children effectively. Children are highly engaged in, and talk knowledgeably about, their learning. They have opportunities to learn individually and in groups through a variety of formal and informal settings.

The school is committed to adopting modern teaching practices while retaining the benefits of proven approaches. Children in the senior classes know about their achievement and progress, and manage aspects of their own learning. Senior leaders identify that extending this good practice to other class levels will be beneficial to children’s independence and learning.

Teachers provide high quality learning opportunities for children. They actively engage children in their own learning while adhering to the school’s expectations of structure and formality. Teachers use relevant contexts to make learning meaningful for children. Classrooms are positive and children and teachers share mutual respect. Children are well supported to become independent learners.

Leadership is distributed and highly visible across the school. Leaders practise improvement focused internal evaluation. They have developed systems and structures to promote teachers’ collective responsibility for those children most at risk of not achieving. Team leaders participate in ongoing professional development, which includes coaching, to extend the consistency of teacher practice and to realise school goals.

The school community has high expectations for all children with regards to their behaviour and effort to succeed. Positive relationships are a feature of the school. The school community has many formal and informal opportunities to have input into the direction of the school. Parents are involved in the life of the school.

Trustees are highly visible in their involvement around the school. They are proud of and committed to the school. Trustees bring expertise and skills to their roles and undertake relevant board training. They scrutinise the student achievement information they receive and focus on equity and excellence for all children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has many structures and processes in place to raise children’s achievement.The school is very well placed to continue making improvements that impact positively on children’s learning.

Agreed next steps include:

  • refine and align strategic and annual planning to clarify actions necessary to achieve desired outcomes

  • continue to develop and implement initiatives that promote Māori as tangata whenua and bicultural understandings for all

  • continue to extend the school wide pedagogy to promote innovative educational practices that extend student agency and the use of digital technologies.

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

  • 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 13 international students attending the school.

The school provides very well for the pastoral care of its International Students. Their well-being and progress are closely monitored. Very good help is offered to children whose first language is one other than English. Families of International students are supported to integrate comfortably into the community.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 2017

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1489

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

710

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
British/Irish
Chinese
Australian
Indian
Japanese
Pacific
other European
other Asian
other

4%
48%
14%
7%
4%
2%
2%
2%
10%
4%
3%

Number of International Students

13

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

14 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2014

February 2011

May 2007

St Heliers School - 21/05/2014

1 Context

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

St Heliers School provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The student roll has increased greatly in the last decade and enrolments are restricted to students who live within the school zone. Significant work on buildings and grounds has been completed in the last three years.

The school’s values of honesty, responsibility, diligence, self discipline, respect and care are integral to the school curriculum and are very evident in the school community. Positive relationships and staff knowledge of students and their families support student wellbeing.

The leadership structure of the school enables senior leaders to know about all aspects of school operations and to support one another to lead and manage the school. Senior leaders are experienced and have worked together for several years. Most trustees were new to the school governance role in 2013.

Teaching staff have participated in significant professional learning and development in the last three years. Topics include staff appraisal, the teaching of writing, and inquiry learning. This has resulted in an improved performance management system and the establishment of a school-wide approach to teaching students to learn through inquiry.

Years 7 and 8 students go to a local college for technology lessons. Since the beginning of 2014 older students have been offered Mandarin as an additional language.

The school’s 2011 ERO report identified several areas for review and development. These related to extending self review, developing a school-wide approach to teaching and learning, and increasing students’ engagement with their learning. Good progress has been made in these areas.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners. The board receives high quality student achievement reports from the principal. These reports provide a clear picture of student achievement in relation to National Standards. The reports show trends and patterns related to age groups, gender and ethnicity. School leaders and trustees use this information to set strategic goals and to allocate resources to support student learning.

The achievement and progress of individual students is well monitored by classroom teachers and this information is shared with other teachers in the same year level. It is used to identify students who would benefit from additional educational support. Experienced learning assistants provide high quality learning activities to accelerate the progress of these students and their progress is closely monitored.

The senior leaders are looking at ways of strengthening the assessment of student progress related to inquiry learning. Some achievement information in science is being gathered, using a tool that allows comparisons with the achievement of students nationally. The school is also developing a set of criteria to clarify their expectations of student inquiry learning at each year level.

Classroom observations and discussions with students indicate that many students are very engaged in their learning. Many students were able to talk about what they were learning and how they could apply their learning to new situations. The school could now consider how they might gather information about levels of student engagement. This information would be useful to evaluate the impact of teaching approaches, including inquiry learning.

Teachers write clear reports to parents that include information on how students are achieving in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders and teachers are working on ways of helping students to understand the levels of their own learning. Teachers support students to identify individual achievable goals and encourage them to reflect on their progress towards their goals.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes student learning effectively in a supportive and respectful environment. It provides students with a wide range of learning experiences that align to all learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers successfully engage students by choosing relevant learning contexts.

The inquiry approach that supports students to plan and conduct research into new areas of learning is relatively new but has been very successfully adopted by teachers and students. It promotes student thinking and helps them to learn new content and skills. It allows students to follow their own interests and to reflect on their learning.

The quality of teaching is consistently high. Teachers are encouraged to share ideas with each other and critique their professional practice with a focus on maximizing student learning. A renewed focus on the teaching of writing is in response to the analysis of student achievement information.

Children with special learning needs are well catered for. They are assessed and provided with appropriate support. Their progress is carefully monitored. Students for whom English is an additional language are well supported to improve their knowledge of English. The curriculum provides appropriate challenge for students who are achieving very well and those with special talents.

Staff recognise that wellbeing is strongly linked to success and take an interest in students as a whole. Relationships are positive. Strong, appropriate support helps students to develop resilience and good social and emotional competencies.

Students’ transitions into the school and on to secondary school are well managed. Special attention is given to students who might find the transition difficult.

The school charter includes statements about the school’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and to enabling students to understand and acknowledge tikanga Māori. Two staff members provide regular professional development for teachers to build their understanding in these areas. Some teachers now make good incidental use of te reo Māori during lessons. The challenge for senior leaders is to now extend this good practice to all staff.

Teachers could consider how they might provide more learning opportunities for students from other ethnic groups to learn about their identity, language and culture. During the review Pacific students expressed an interest in learning about the cultures and countries of their origins.

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

Thirty-five students at St Heliers School identify as Māori. Good levels of communication with the families of Māori students are maintained by the deputy principal. National Standards information indicates that Māori students are achieving well in reading, writing and mathematics.

Groups of Māori students are currently taking part in an enrichment programme that provides additional opportunities to build their skills and knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori. This is a recent initiative and its effectiveness has not yet been evaluated. The deputy principal provides good modelling in te reo and tikanga Māori, including practices that support Māori student wellbeing.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well led and governed and has systems in place to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees bring a useful range of skills to their governance role. They have taken part in significant professional development and have a very good understanding of their role. They take a keen interest in trends and patterns in student progress and achievement and make resourcing decisions based on the principal's student achievement reports. The school charter provides clear direction for the school and has a focus on ongoing improvement.

Senior leaders have complementary skills and work well together as a team to lead and manage the school. Self-review systems are effective in supporting continued improvements in the operation of the school.

The school has strong community partnerships that benefit students. An active PTA helps organise social and educational events for parents and helps with school resourcing through its fund raising activities. School leaders agree that further opportunities to meet with and consult both Māori and Pacific families would enhance home-school relationships and benefit academic outcomes for students.

During the review ERO and the senior leadership team agreed that school leaders should now:

  • continue to embed the new staff appraisal system
  • set strategic goals related to the Treaty of Waitangi and evaluate progress towards them
  • review how well the school supports the cultural identities of its diverse community
  • strengthen the quality of self review by evaluating and reporting the impact of school initiatives on students’ learning.

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 Action 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. It has systems and processes to provide for both long-term and short-term international student enrolments.

At the time of this review, seven international students were attending the school.

Students receive high quality pastoral care from an experienced, well qualified specialist team. International student managers work collaboratively with classroom teachers to ensure that the pastoral and academic wellbeing of students is appropriately supported.

Regular reports to the board provide assurances about the quality of pastoral care and the students' progress and achievement. International student managers use self review effectively to continually improve and monitor the school's provision in terms of the Code.

Students are well integrated into the life of the school and are enrolled in mainstream classroom programmes. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme provides language support for international and domestic students. Support is targeted according to each student’s needs.

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

21 May 2014

About the School

Location

St Heliers, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1489

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

723

Number of international students

7

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākeha

Māori

British/Irish

Chinese

Australian

Indian

Japanese

Pacific

Filipino

Latin American

Middle Eastern

Other European

Other Asian

Other South East Asian

Other

56%

5%

8%

5%

4%

2%

2%

2%

1%

1%

1%

8%

2%

1%

2%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

21 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2011

May 2007

June 2004