Drummond Primary School

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Summary

Drummond Primary School has 53 Year 1-8 children. Almost a quarter of children identify as Māori. Some children are second language learners. A third of the children at the school enter or leave during the school year, due to local industry.

Since the last ERO review in 2014, there have been some changes in teaching staff. Internal evaluation practices have significantly improved. Between 2014 and 2016, the school has maintained good levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics against the National Standards (NS). The school has addressed the recommendations from the 2014 ERO report.

For different groups of children there is some variability in levels of achievement. Over time, English language learners (ELLs) make accelerated progress and catch up with their peers. The school responds with urgency to children transferring from other schools to lift their achievement and support their wellbeing.

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

The school provides timely and appropriate support to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School systems and practices are effective in addressing equity and excellence for most children. Children experience a broad and responsive curriculum. The curriculum effectively supports the development of the attitudes and skills identified as important by the school community.

Sound internal evaluation practices are used to inform decisions and ongoing school improvement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effectively responding to those Māori and most other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

At the end of 2016, close to 80% of children achieved at or above the NS in reading and mathematics. Writing was lower for boys. Māori children achieved well in reading and writing.

Achievement for children arriving or transferring from other schools is variable. However, the school can show that over a period of six months to one year, most of these children make expected or accelerated progress.

The school has sound moderation practices, resulting in teachers making reliable assessment judgements.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

School systems and practices are effective in addressing equity and excellence for most children in the school.

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

The school has a welcoming, inclusive, family-like culture. New children quickly settle into the school and take on the school values. The school’s curriculum effectively supports children to develop the skills and attitudes valued by the school community – to dream, persevere, and succeed.

Children benefit from a broad and responsive curriculum. In response to children’s particular needs and abilities, special programmes are developed and adapted over time. The board ensures that all children have equitable access to learning experiences beyond the classroom. Children have regular opportunities to learn about aspects of Māori and other cultures in the school.

The school has strong evidence that it successfully achieves its vision and values. A strong emphasis is put on children understanding and managing their own learning, developing leadership and values of respect and responsibility.

Irrespective of how long a child is at the school, there is a determined effort to lift their achievement. Individual learning plans are developed for any child below the NS and families are involved in supporting their child. There are sound systems to identify, track and monitor individuals and groups of children’s progress and achievement over time.

Transitions in and out of the school are well considered. This includes a carefully planned transition to school programme, with a focus on early literacy. Children transferring from other schools are quickly assessed and appropriately supported. As children move through the school they are progressively introduced to the skills and dispositions necessary for high school and adult life.

There is a strong focus on school improvement. The principal promotes and participates in a coherent approach to professional learning and practice. Achievement information and student progress is well used by the board, the principal, and teachers to evaluate the impact of learning programmes.

There is clear alignment and coherence between the school’s vision and the strategic and annual plans. This is carried through to school systems, documents and the day-to-day curriculum.

Trustees demonstrate a very good understanding of effective governance. They make well-informed and well-considered decisions. There is a strategic focus on supporting Māori children to experience success and to strengthen biculturalism in the school.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

Trustees, the principal and staff are improvement focused and have good internal evaluation processes. These are effective in identifying practices that are working well and those that need to be further improved. 

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

The next step is to continue to build teacher capability to address disparities in achievement. In particular leaders and teachers need to develop shared understandings about effective practices in literacy to lift achievement for boys.

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. 

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are:

  • to continue to build teacher capability to address disparities in achievement
  • continue to develop an understanding of culturally responsive teaching practice.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

8 September 2017

About the school 

Location

Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

1650

School type

Full Primary (Year 1-8)

School roll

53

Gender composition

Females: 29 Males: 24

Ethnic composition

Māori 14
Pākehā 32
Pacific 1
Other 6

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

8 September 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review May 2014
Education Review June 2011

 

1 Context

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

Drummond School is a small, rural school. Students learn in multilevel classes. The board has responded to the wishes of the community and funded an extra teacher so that class numbers remain low. The board also ensures that the school is well resourced with outdoor equipment, learning aids and skilled staffing.

Students benefit from caring, nurturing relationships with each other and their teachers. Their learning receives a high level of support from the whole community. Students come from a range of cultures and backgrounds. The recent change in the farming community to include dairying has led to the school managing the advantages diverse cultures bring and the challenge of families on the move.

Parents’ and students’ ideas are regularly sought and considered carefully by the board and staff. This has helped all involved to have a shared understanding of the journey the school has been on and the direction it is taking.

The school has successfully addressed the recommendations from the June 2011 ERO report. Of particular note is the significant gain in student achievement in mathematics following a focus on this. Since the 2011 ERO review, there has been a complete change of teachers and some change of trustees.

2 Learning

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

The board, principal, teachers and students use achievement information well to support student success and wellbeing. The principal, teachers and trustees are focused on students making accelerated progress, whether they have yet to reach the National Standards or be further extended. The school’s assessment data from 2013 shows that most students achieve very well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. As a result of assessment information, writing was a major focus for 2013 and will continue to be so in 2014.

The board uses achievement information constructively to:

  • make strategic resourcing decisions
  • evaluate the effectiveness of interventions/support programmes.
  • The principal and teachers use achievement information effectively to:
  • identify students who need support or extension
  • decide on focus areas and set targets
  • identify teachers’ appraisal goals and professional development priorities to support focus areas and targets
  • identify and promote learning for all students as individuals
  • provide students with constructive feedback and inform the next learning and teaching steps
  • report to parents and the board.

Students use achievement information to:

  • make choices about their learning where appropriate
  • know how they are achieving in relation to the National Standards
  • self and peer assess and set useful learning goals.

3 Curriculum

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

Drummond School’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The curriculum reflects the school community’s values and aspirations. Contexts for learning are linked to students’ daily lives, interests and abilities. Students take part in a wide range of experiences related to specific learning areas of the curriculum and to wider activities including Agriclub, rural safety days, excursions and sporting exchanges. The curriculum is modified as a result of self review and teacher assessment. The principal and teachers modified the writing programme with a particular emphasis on improving boys’ writing.

Values are an important component of the curriculum and are clearly evident in how adults in the school and students treat each other. Student wellbeing is seen as a collective responsibility where all teachers know all students and all students know all teachers.

Strong relationships and concern for students’ wellbeing underpin interactions and are clearly evident in practice. Tuakana-teina practices where older students support younger students are enjoyed by both groups and contribute to the leadership role senior students take. The leadership programme is highly structured and parents, teachers and students say there is a marked increase in students’ confidence and competence as a result.

There is a strong focus on students regulating their own learning. Students are expected to become self-motivated learners and make good choices about their learning. They are provided with a framework that fosters this independence.

Good quality teaching is supported by detailed guidelines and expectations. Well trained, skilful teacher aides support learning for individuals as needed.

Area for review and development

The principal has identified, and ERO agrees, that a next step for the school is to build a clearer picture of what a competent Year 8 student should be capable of, particularly in understanding the learning process and the part they need to play, in order to be life-long learners.

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

The school effectively promotes success for Māori students. At the time of the review, there were seven Māori students on the roll. The views of the parents of Māori students are regularly sought to ensure that the school is meeting their children’s needs. Māori culture, identity and language are valued. All students benefit from a regular, progressive and well-planned te reo Māori programme and all take part in Kapahaka. The strategic appointment of a teacher with skills, knowledge and competence in tikanga Māori is of great benefit to all students. The principal is well aware that responding to the strengths and needs of Māori students is an ongoing process.

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. A capable principal and able board manage and govern the school so that students’ progress, achievement and wellbeing are always the priority. The community support for the school is demonstrated by the high proportion of parents who stood for the 2013 board elections.

Trustees take a carefully considered strategic approach to making decisions that will benefit the school and students. A good example is their preparation for the possibility of a significant roll change in mid-year as a result of families moving in the dairy industry. Trustees see their own training and upskilling as essential and appreciate the support and skill of their training providers.

There are well-established systems for the smooth running of the school. These systems ensure that the board is well informed about student progress and achievement.

Self review is methodical and leads to positive changes. A 3-year cycle is followed and appropriately adapted to include emergent reviews. A useful format helps support the review process and good review practice in one area is transferred to others.

Areas for review and development

A next step for the school is to review policies and practices through the lens of wellbeing so that the importance and significance of student wellbeing becomes increasingly visible in documentation and aligns with its strength in practices.

There is also room to develop further how teachers’ reflections about their practice and students’ learning contribute to whole-school self review.

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.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

9 May 2014

About the School

Location

Drummond, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

1650

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

47

Gender composition

Girls: 24 Boys: 23

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Filipino

Sri Lankan

36

7

2

2

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

9 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

November 2007

October 2004