Bankwood School

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Education institution number:
1693
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
343
Telephone:
Address:

152 Bankwood Road, Chartwell, Hamilton

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School Context

Bankwood School is located in the north east of Hamilton city and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 355 includes 165 Māori and a significant number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, including 50 Pacific students. There is a significant number of English language learners. The school reports that the roll tends to fluctuate, with a high number of students enrolling and leaving throughout the year.

Since the 2015 ERO review the principal and deputy principals have remained the same and there have been some changes to the teaching team. There have been new trustees elected, including the board chairperson.

The school’s main vision statement is ‘Being the Best we can Be’ and aims to promote respect-whakanuia, responsibility-kawenga, creativity-auahatanga and learning-akonga. The school’s charter states its main focus for 2018 to 2020 is to strengthen and grow teacher and student capability and community engagement.

Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in writing and restorative practice. The school is a member of the Te Pae Here Community of Learning|Kahui Ako.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • student wellbeing.

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 working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

In 2017 the large majority of students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics, and the majority in writing. This data also indicates that Māori and Pākehā now achieve at similar levels in reading and mathematics. Pākehā outperform Māori in writing. Pacific students achieve at higher levels than all other groups in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls and boys achieve at comparable levels in reading and writing. In mathematics girls and boys achieved at the same levels in 2015 to 2016. However, in 2017 boys achieved at significantly higher levels.

Information gathered for all students between 2015 to 2017 shows student achievement has declined in reading and writing, and to a lesser extent in mathematics. The school has information to show that an increasing number of students enter at five years of age with low levels of literacy.

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

Leaders collated additional information about accelerated learning during the ERO review. The school is effectively accelerating achievement for some Māori and other students who need this.

This data shows effective acceleration for at-risk learners, including Maori and Pacific in reading, mathematics and to a lesser extent in writing. This includes effective acceleration for a large group of students who have not yet reached expected levels but have made more than a year’s progress within a year. Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning and behaviour goals. Leaders now need to further develop systems to report school-wide information that shows the rate and pace of acceleration for all at-risk students.

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 have developed relational trust at all levels of the school community. They work collaboratively to maintain a caring and inclusive school culture. Leaders ensure students with additional learning needs are well supported. Systems and processes are clear for student identification, and effective input from external agencies is accessed where appropriate. There is a planned approach to building leadership and teacher capability through appropriate professional learning and development, and a continued focus on robust appraisal processes. Leaders are well supported by the board of trustees. They have strong professional networks within the local kāhui ako which is supporting equity and excellence for all students.

The school’s curriculum is broad and responsive to students’ interests. There are many opportunities for students to be engaged in authentic and interesting learning activities that reflect the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum. Authentic learning experiences naturally integrate reading, writing and mathematics. There is a proactive approach to using external educational and community initiatives to enrich student learning. Relationships with whānau and the wider community support student engagement and creativity. Programmes are differentiated to meet learner needs and accelerate progress for students, including those who are at risk.

Teachers have respectful relationships with students. They use a range of positive and inclusive practices to support learner diversity. Teachers provide orderly and productive environments for students and they know their interests and learning needs well. They naturally integrate aspects of culturally responsive practice into the daily teaching and learning programmes. The well-embedded school values contribute to equitable outcomes for all students.

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

Leaders, trustees and teachers need to implement a more aligned approach to accelerating learning for all at risk-students.

This should include:

  • developing specific and measurable targets for all identified groups of at-risk learners and reporting regularly to the board and parents how effectively their progress is being accelerated

  • teachers more consistently using their knowledge of the learner to plan specifically to meet their needs

  • strengthening students’ understanding of their learning pathways, particularly their progress and next learning steps.

In addition, priority needs to be given to the school’s identified next step for implementation of a consistent school-wide approach to teaching te reo Māori that will strengthen language, culture and identity for all 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 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:

  • leadership that builds a positive, inclusive culture for teaching and learning

  • responsive learning environments that focus on student interests and learning needs.

Next steps

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

  • school-wide target setting and reporting that includes all at-risk learners

  • practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning progress

  • strengthening the school-wide approach to teaching te reo Māori.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

18 December 2018

About the school

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1693

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

355

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 47%
Pākehā 23%
Pacific 14%
Other 16%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review October 2011
Education Review October 2008

Findings

Teachers place high priority on building caring and respectful relationships with students. Diversity is valued and accepted, leading to high levels of student self esteem and belonging in this school community. Students enjoy going to school and attend regularly, which contributes to high levels of student engagement and success in learning.

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?

Bankwood School is located in the north east of Hamilton city and provides education for student in Years 1 to 6. There are 307 students on the roll, and 46% are of Māori descent. The school’s population is very multi-cultural, which enriches the unique character of the school. A significant number of students are English as second language learners.

The experienced and well-respected principal continues to provide effective leadership for the school community. She is ably supported in this role by two deputy principals. They work collaboratively to provide well-informed professional leadership for the school. There has been minimal change to the makeup of the teaching team since 2011. The school employs several teacher aides who work mainly in classrooms to support student learning.

Since the 2011 ERO review, there has been considerable change to board membership. The board chairperson is new to this position and is being well supported by the previous chair and the principal, in her role as professional advisor to the board. The Māori community is well represented on the board, and there have been some appointments that have enhanced this representation on the staff. The board and staff are committed to the development of an inclusive culture for learning that reflects and promotes Aotearoa/New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage.

Teachers have undertaken ongoing professional development. This is in relation to literacy, mathematics and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), a Ministry of Education programme that has supported the school to manage behaviour positively and in ways that lead to respectful relationships. The very positive level of teacher commitment to professional learning, and consistent practice between teachers, is leading to very high levels of student engagement in learning.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. The leadership team has continued to review and develop the school’s curriculum over the last four years. There is a strong focus on the ‘learning to learn’ principle of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Teachers are continuing to develop and implement strategies that involve students as active participants in their learning as they progress through the school.

The school provides a warm, caring environment for students and families. A collaborative culture for learning is a feature of this school. The values of respect, responsibility and creativity are clearly articulated and understood by students, parents and staff. The shared expectation of ‘being the best we can be’ is integral to the life of the school.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information from a range of sources is very well used to make a positive difference to the engagement, progress and achievement of students. School leaders have well-developed systems and practices in place that ensure effective management and use of achievement information. There are clear expectations to guide the assessment practices of teachers across the school. In accordance with the school’s assessment schedule, they gather an appropriate range of assessment information from their day-to-day observations, as well as from formal tests and standardised assessment tools.

The school’s three senior leaders of learning (principal and two deputy principals) make very good use of school-wide data. It is well analysed for patterns and trends of achievement for year level cohorts, gender and ethnic groups. This achievement information is shared with staff in a range of professional learning forums, and reported to the board throughout the year, and annually to the community. Trustees are able to use this information to inform their decision making about the allocation of resourcing to support learning and teaching. Professional development for teachers is planned in response to identified learning needs of students, this approach evidenced by the strong focus on professional learning in writing and mathematics.

The deputy principals lead literacy and mathematics respectively, and in these roles they provide many opportunities for teachers to meet and discuss achievement information. The recently introduced data boards are making student achievement and progress more visible, and providing a forum for tracking rates of individual progress. Teachers are supported to share and reflect on teaching strategies that are likely to lead to improved outcomes for individuals.

High priority is given to the provision of additional learning support designed to meet the identified needs of students. Students who are at risk of not achieving expectations are identified and their progress is closely monitored throughout the year. Teacher aides provide valuable in-class support for both teachers and students, which is contributing to increased levels of learner confidence.

The principal recognises the need to build the capability of teachers to use achievement information more diagnostically. This should enable them to plan more specifically and teach more intentionally to accelerate the progress of students, particularly those who are at risk of not achieving expected standards. Teachers, with support from leaders are increasingly inquiring into the effectiveness of their practice. This reflective practice, coupled with more in-depth interpretation of achievement information should enhance teaching practice and raise achievement levels of individuals and groups of students.

In addition, the school’s senior leaders now recognise that there would be value in developing more specific and measureable targets in the annual plan, and documenting explicit and deliberate strategies in relation to these targets, to accelerate the progress of at risk learners in particular. Aligning these targets with teachers’ inquiries and appraisal goals will make the targeting of at risk learners across the school a more cohesive process.

The school has developed robust moderation processes in relation to National Standards. Leaders have provided ongoing professional development for teachers about literacy and numeracy progressions and the use of assessment tools. This up-skilling, coupled with support from external facilitators and moderation sessions with other schools, is enabling teachers to make increasingly valid and reliable overall teacher judgements.

The overall levels of achievement in reading and mathematics in relation to National Standards are comparable with national and regional comparisons. Achievement levels for Māori are similar to that of other groups in the school. Leaders have responded to the significant drop in the overall levels of achievement in writing in 2014, through focused professional development in this area. The school’s progress data at the end of term two 2015 is showing that most students are progressing well towards achieving the relevant National Standard in writing by the end of the year.

Developing partnerships for learning with all parents/whānau, and most particularly with parents of students who are ‘at risk’ of not achieving expectation is an agreed area for development. Reviewing the systems and practices of reporting to parents will be a worthwhile part of this process.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad, rich curriculum provides an effective and relevant education for students who come from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. There is a strong transition programme into the school for five year olds, setting early foundations for home-school partnerships.

The school’s curriculum is well documented and provides clear guidelines and expectations for teachers. Priority is placed on literacy and mathematics. The school’s integrated approach is making learning relevant and meaningful for students and contributing to their participation and enjoyment in the programme. There is recognition of the language, identity and culture of Māori students and their heritage. However school leaders acknowledge the need to consistently implement a sequential te reo Māori programme.

School leaders undertake ongoing curriculum review, which includes parent and student voice. In response to parent/whanau aspirations there has been further development of student emotional, social and physical wellbeing. In addition, the board are allocating more resourcing to information and communication technologies (ICT) in the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning. Increased use of digital technology is proving to be motivational for students. Teachers have recognised its value in ‘hooking in’ reluctant learners, particularly boys.

The principal, and deputy principals are continuing to take a collaborative approach to leading learning. More recent and very worthwhile areas of focus have been about the:

  • relevance and usefulness of feedback to students
  • culturally responsive practice
  • teaching strategies to involve and engage students as active participant in their learning (self-managing learners).

These continue to be priority areas for ongoing teacher development.

In keeping with the strategic plan, the principal is leading the review of the school’s appraisal process. There is an increased emphasis on practices that are contributing to a reflective culture for learning and a shared responsibility for raising student achievement. However, there is now a need to develop appraisal goals that align closely with charter targets and include formal observations with targeted feedback that is both critical and constructive. Once fully embedded, these appraisal practices are likely to bring about consistently high levels of teaching practice and performance.

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

The school’s 2013 and 2014 achievement information indicates that Māori students are achieving as well as their non-Māori peers in the school, and at levels that are at and above national comparisons in reading and mathematics. Māori culture is celebrated in a variety of ways, including curriculum contexts, school events, and observation of protocol. A deliberate strategy has been through the establishment of a Māori team that is inclusive of staff, parents and trustees. Parents appreciate and value the whakawhanaungatanga that is fostered by the board, senior leaders and teachers. The Māori team has focused on increasing the profile of the school's Māori culture. The school now needs to take a more strategic approach to enhancing educational outcomes for Māori and fostering reciprocal partnerships with whānau. This is most likely to empower whānau to further support their children’s learning.

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 because:

  • the board is governing effectively and trustees are focussed on equitable opportunities for students
  • the principal is continuing to provide well-informed and responsive professional leadership
  • the principal, in collaboration with the deputy principals, has established a high level of relational trust with students, staff, parents and trustees
  • teachers are knowledgeable and reflective practitioners, committed to improving their practice
  • there are sound self-review systems in place leading to continuous school improvement
  • leaders, teachers and board members have high expectations for student behaviour and achievement
  • student success in a variety of contexts is recognised, valued and regularly celebrated
  • parents and whānau continue to provide a high level of support for the school.

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

Teachers place high priority on building caring and respectful relationships with students. Diversity is valued and accepted, leading to high levels of student self esteem and belonging in this school community. Students enjoy going to school and attend regularly, which contributes to high levels of student engagement and success in learning.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

29 July 2015

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1693

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

307

Gender composition

Boys 54%

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

European

African

Indian

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island

Other Pacific

Other

46%

23%

5%

5%

3%

3%

2%

3%

10%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

29 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

October 2008

August 2005