Deanwell School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Deanwell School is a contributing primary school located in Hamilton, catering for students in Years 1 to 6. It has a diverse ethnic roll of 353 students, including 197 Māori and 24 from Pacific heritages.

The school’s whakatauki is ‘Mā tatou anō tō mātou korowai e whatu’ (We will weave our own korowai). The school values are:

  • Tū Pono - We stand tall and proud
  • Mahi Ngātahi - We work together
  • Manaakitanga - We care and show respect
  • Aumangea - We are brave and resilient.

Deanwell School’s strategic goals for 2019 are to:

  • inspire self-motivated learners
  • uplift the capability of teaching teams
  • honour the physical and emotional wellbeing of the adults and children in their school community
  • embed sound stewardship that meets legal responsibilities.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • behaviour for learning trends and patterns.

Since the previous ERO report in 2015, there have been a number of personnel and organisational changes. A new principal began at the school in July 2017 and a review of the leadership structure has resulted in changes to the senior and middle leadership teams. Several new trustees have joined the board and the chair is new to the role. The school has adopted a whānau organisation of learning teams, and students are grouped into Ohu (learning groups) where they move from class to class within the same Ohu throughout their time at the school.

The school is a member of the Te Kaahui Ako o Mangakootukutuku| 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 yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

The school’s achievement data since 2016 shows a decrease in achievement levels over time in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement data for 2018 shows that half of all students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics, and less than half of all students are achieving at or above expected levels in writing. Approximately one third of boys are achieving at or above expected levels in writing.

The school’s achievement data shows that there is significant disparity between boys and girls in reading and writing, where boys achieve less well than girls. There is also disparity in achievement between Māori and non-Māori students in reading and mathematics where Māori are achieving less well than their non-Māori peers. These patterns of disparity have continued over time.

The school’s data shows a significant decrease in the number of escalated behaviour incidents since the start of 2018. This has been attributed to the strategic priority that has been given to school-wide behaviour for learning.

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

The school is accelerating the progress of some students whose learning is at risk, including Māori students.

The school’s data shows that over the last three years, approximately one third of at-risk learners made accelerated progress in writing, and fewer at-risk students made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics.

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?

There is a strong, school-wide focus on inclusive practice. A clear strategic commitment to bi-culturalism is evident in the range of strategies being utilised by trustees, leaders and teachers to enable authentic integration of tikanga Māori in many aspects of school organisation and practice. The whānau grouping is providing for individual learning needs and strengthening relationships between teachers and students and their whānau. Parent and student views are collected and valued. Students whose first language is not English and students with additional learning and behaviour needs are supported appropriately.

Students learn in an orderly and positive environment. The school has implemented a culturally responsive approach to behaviour for learning which is integrated into the school’s localised curriculum. Explicit teaching draws on the key competencies to support the development of students’ social and self-management skills. Teachers use appropriate strategies to promote positive behaviour and respectful relationships are evident. Classes are well managed and students are settled. A range of teaching strategies are used to engage learning.

Leadership collaboratively develops a shared vision and direction for the school. There is a collective approach to building employee capability. The provision of a wide range of professional learning opportunities for teachers and other school employees is developing a consistent understanding of school priorities and practices. Consultation is wide ranging and regular, and includes gathering whānau aspirations to inform school direction. Trustees receive regular information on strategic goals.

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

There is a need to develop a more targeted approach to accelerating learning for all at-risk students.

Leaders need to:

  • extend targeted action to include reading and mathematics
  • evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives.

Teachers need to:

  • strengthen the use of assessment practices to respond effectively to students’ needs
  • develop explicit teaching strategies focused on accelerating learning.

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 Deanwell School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • an inclusive culture that creates a sense of connectedness and belonging
  • an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning
  • collaborative leadership that develops and pursues a shared vision for the direction of the school.

Next steps

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

  • targeted action to accelerate the progress of all students whose learning is at risk
  • internal evaluation to inform strategic planning with a focus on equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners
  • building professional capability and collective capacity to respond effectively to the learning needs of all at-risk students.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

21 May 2019

About the school

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1710

School type

Contributing School (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

353

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 56%
Pākehā 24%
Indian 6%
Other 14%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

21 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review August 2009

Findings

Deanwell School has a strong tradition of explicitly promoting its school values to provide a purposeful culture for learning. There has been significant recent progress in assessment and curriculum development. Pastoral care, inclusiveness, parent participation and a strong focus on raising student achievement, are positive school features.

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?

Deanwell School is a contributing primary school located in south-west Hamilton. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Of the 380 students on the roll, 52% are of Māori descent and 13% are from Pacific heritages.

Since the previous ERO review, the roll has remained stable and students and families have benefited from consistent staffing. The experienced principal has continued to provide strong and supportive leadership for the school and its community. The senior leadership team has been restructured and two new deputy principals have been appointed. Teachers have engaged in both external and internal professional development to accelerate students’ literacy and mathematics learning and achievement. The board, led by an experienced and supportive chairperson, continues to provide effective school governance.

School leaders, teachers and trustees have responded positively to development areas identified in the 2012 ERO report, particularly in relation to leadership for learning and strengthening the use of assessment information to improve students’ progress and achievement. There is a more coherent and aligned approach to strategic and annual planning to guide school operations and resource allocation.

The school’s values as expressed in ‘Deanwell Cares’ are consistently promoted. These shared values contribute to a calm, affirming and inclusive culture that supports students’ engagement in learning. Many parents/whānau are actively involved in the life of the school. They provide valued support for class programmes and school-wide activities and events. Grounds and facilities are well maintained, resourced and presented.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The school’s 2014 achievement information indicates that approximately two thirds of students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders have a clear focus on accelerating students’ progress and raising overall levels of achievement.

Senior leaders have developed and continue to refine systems that support teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to National Standards. They have a strong focus on monitoring the progress and achievement of individuals and groups of students over time. The school’s achievement data shows that many students make better than expected progress during their time at Deanwell School. School leaders make particularly effective use of achievement information to:

  • identify students requiring additional support
  • monitor the effectiveness of learning programmes and initiatives
  • identify areas for teachers’ professional learning and development.

Teachers use achievement information to identify the learning needs of groups and individuals, and to plan programmes that address these needs. A recent initiative has been the identification of a small group of at-risk students in each class, who are benefitting from targeted teaching to accelerate their progress. A strength of this initiative is the systematic teacher reflection and professional sharing of effective strategies that have improved students’ learning. All students with identified learning needs are well supported through a range of programmes and interventions provided by trained teacher aides and specialist teachers.

Parents receive comprehensive information about their students’ progress and achievement. They have opportunities to participate in student-led conferences, and receive two detailed written reports each year.

The board receives regular and useful reports about school-wide student achievement from senior leaders and teachers. This information guides appropriate annual target setting, which is focused on raising achievement.

To further develop current practices, consideration should now be given to extending the use of curriculum learning progressions to support students in identifying their personal achievement levels and their next steps for learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports and promotes student learning. Senior leaders provide clear guidelines with a strong emphases on literacy and mathematics. This is resulting in a consistent school-wide approach to teaching and assessment. Teachers are collaboratively developing a new learning framework based on broad concepts that provide meaningful integrated learning experiences across subjects. The curriculum also includes opportunities for:

  • students’ culture and identity to be valued and celebrated
  • student leadership
  • creative expression and performance
  • sports and physical activity
  • education outside the classroom
  • environmental sustainability education.

Effective teaching practices observed during this ERO review included:

  • establishing warm and positive class relationships
  • a range of strategies that promote student engagement in learning
  • facilitating opportunities for cooperative learning
  • maintaining attractive and stimulating displays of student learning

In addition, students benefit from access to a well-stocked and attractively presented library, an established native bush area, extensive grounds, and a covered court area.

Senior leaders are continuing to review the school’s curriculum. As part of this ongoing review, considerations should be given to:

  • further developing and integrating the use of digital technology as a tool for learning
  • providing guidelines for the identification of, and provision for, students with special abilities
  • further developing expectations for the teaching and use of te reo Māori in class programmes.

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

Deanwell School effectively promotes educational success for Māori students as Māori. The school’s achievement information indicates that Māori students achieve as well as their non-Māori peers at this school, and better than regional statistics for Māori students in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has taken deliberate steps to build partnerships with its Māori community. This has included regular whānau hui, where information about school-wide achievement is presented and discussed, and whānau have opportunities to share their aspirations for their tamariki.

A significant initiative has been the involvement of a respected and knowledgeable kaumātua to advise the school about tikanga Māori. Students demonstrate confidence in participating and accepting leadership in pōwhiri, class karakia and waiata.

Whānau Māori and their tamariki feel valued as Māori at Deanwell School.

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:

trustees have a strong commitment to promoting equitable outcomes for all students, by giving priority to the school’s vision of ‘every day, every child, every opportunity’

the principal and deputy principals bring complementary professional skills and experience to school leadership. The principal strongly models a culture of care for students, parents/whānau and staff. The deputy principals contribute in-depth curriculum and assessment knowledge as key leaders of learning

senior leaders work collaboratively with staff to share good practice and build teaching capability

the performance management system has been strengthened to provide teachers with regular and robust feedback about the effectiveness of their practices

parents are well supported to be partners with the school in the education of their children.

the school is implementing a range of evidence-based self review processes leading to continual school development.

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

Deanwell School has a strong tradition of explicitly promoting its school values to provide a purposeful culture for learning. There has been significant recent progress in assessment and curriculum development. Pastoral care, inclusiveness, parent participation and a strong focus on raising student achievement, are positive school features.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 November 2015

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1710

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

380

Gender composition

Boys 52%  Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Indian

Other

52%

22%

13%

6%

4%

3%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

23 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

August 2009

October 2006