James Street School

James Street School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within 14 months of the Education Review Office and James Street School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

James Street School is located in Whakatāne and provides education for learners in Years 1 to 6.  The school prioritises inclusion and hauora for all and is proud of its diverse learning community.

James Street School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to ensure:

  • all students progress and achieve to their highest potential through quality teaching and learning, safe environments and positive relationships

  • Māori tamariki are engaged in learning and are enjoying and achieving educational success as Māori

  • students with additional learning needs are supported to access the New Zealand curriculum and achieve success

  • systems for assessment and internal evaluation are implemented and used effectively.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on James Street School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the effectiveness of assessment and evaluation systems in informing responsive and adaptive practice to meet the needs of all learners.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • to support increased responsive and targeted action to meet the needs of all learners

  • the difference it will make to a significant number of learners, particularly Māori learners and those learners at risk of underachieving

  • to strengthen systems and practices for assessment and evaluation to positively impact equity and excellence for all learners.

The school expects to see strengthened knowledge and consistency in gathering, analysing and using valid assessment to effectively respond to learner needs.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to improve knowledge and consistency in gathering, analysing and using valid assessment to effectively respond to learner needs:

  • collaborative leaders and staff, committed to improving outcomes for all learners

  • an established assessment tool with resources to support improvement

  • access to a professional network to support improved understanding and use of assessment

  • support through the Kāhui Ako and Ngāti Awa Iwi to strengthen culturally responsive pedagogy

  • positive family and whānau relationships.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise improving outcomes of equity and excellence for all learners through:

  • staff professional learning to strengthen knowledge and effective use of assessment tools for improvement

  • strengthening systems of collective responsibility for monitoring learner progress and responding to learner needs

  • supporting teachers to grow their confidence and capability in te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori to impact improved outcomes for Māori learners

  • continuing to prioritise a safe and inclusive environment for all.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

9 September 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

James Street School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of March 2022, the James Street School Board of Trustees has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact James Street School Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

9 September 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

James Street School - 21/02/2020

School Context

James Street School caters for Year 1 to 6 students and is located in Whakatāne. The current roll of 219 includes 159 who identify as Māori and 27 students receiving ongoing resourcing funding. Two high learning needs classrooms The school vison is ‘to provide specialist care and teaching for children with complex learning needs.develop in our children a love of learning enabling them to reach their potential as confident, contributing citizens secure in who they are and where they have come from’.

Since the 2015 ERO evaluation a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed and there have been significant staff changes. Trustees bring a wide range of expertise to their roles. The teaching and leadership teams have been involved in professional learning and development in culturally responsive and relational pedagogy, assessment tools and reciprocal teaching. The school is a participant in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics
  • engagement.

The school belongs to the Whakatane Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

Schoolwide achievement data for 2018, excluding those students receiving ongoing resourcing funding, shows that most students achieved at or above expected achievement levels in mathematics, just over half in reading and the majority of students in writing. Overall levels of student achievement increased significantly between 2016 and 2018 in mathematics and writing and decreased in reading for all groups of learners. School data for 2018 shows that a large majority of Māori students are achieving curriculum expectations in mathematics and writing and over half in reading. This data also shows Māori are achieving at similar rates to their peers in reading and writing but at lower levels in mathematics. In addition, girls are achieving at higher levels than boys in reading and at similar levels in writing and mathematics.

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

Teachers closely monitor individual data to show progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Strengthening the analysis of trends and patterns of all students who need to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics and reporting this to the board is a key next step.

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?

Students participate in a broad range of learning experiences within and beyond the school environment. Teaching strategies, interventions and innovations are focused on improvement for learning and wellbeing. A wide range of achievement information is used to plan programmes for learning. High levels of student engagement and willingness to participate in all aspects of school life strengthens students sense of belonging and motivation to learn.

Effective leadership has established a collaborative culture of learning that promotes staff and student wellbeing. The leadership team is building teacher capability through professional learning development and review to support teachers to reflect on and inquire into their practice. Trustees are committed to improving student well-being and achievement and are engaging in training to support their governance role.

A strong emphasis is placed on the importance of a safe and inclusive culture that supports students’ social, academic and wellbeing needs. Core values are embedded throughout the school that promote social competencies for student behaviour and learning. Students experience success within a caring, supportive school environment, underpinned by respectful and nurturing relationships amongst all stakeholders.

Students with high learning needs are well catered for in the two high learning needs classrooms and schoolwide. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively alongside parents and whānau to form productive and responsive partnerships for learners with additional needs. A large number of specialist teachers, teacher aides and volunteers work alongside external agencies to provide personalised programmes that meet the needs of individual students. Well-considered approaches for effectively transitioning learners with additional needs into, through and beyond the school are highly evident.

Staff provide a welcoming, family-like learning environment, where students successes and achievements are well celebrated. Parents ERO spoke to felt well informed. Their ideas are valued, and their expertise used, which enables them to be actively involved in school events and activities. Relational trust underpins interactions within the school and wider community.

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

ERO and school management agree there is a need to:

  • review the school’s curriculum to enhance culturally responsive delivery, local history and landmarks of significance
  • strengthen strategic and annual targets and reporting, to sharpen the focus on accelerating the achievement of all students below curriculum expectations
  • identifying intended outcomes to evaluate the impact of strategies, initiatives and interventions
  • formalise appraisals teacher aides and ancillary staff appraisals.

The board and leaders need to ensure that the school is are meeting all legislative requirements.

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • a school curriculum that focuses on student improvement for learning and wellbeing
  • an inclusive culture that caters for students’ social, academic and wellbeing needs
  • responsive partnerships that support personalised programmes for learners with additional needs.

Next steps

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

  • planning and reporting to sharpen the focus on accelerating the achievement of all students below curriculum expectations
  • internal evaluation to support sustainability and inform direction.

Area for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should develop, review and implement school operational policies, procedures and practices including those for health and safety.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

21 February 2020

About the school

Location

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

1755

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

219

Gender composition

Male 54%

Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 73%

NZ European/Pākehā 24%

Other 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

21 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2015

Education Review October 2012

Education Review December 2009

 

James Street School - 21/10/2015

Findings

James Street School provides highly inclusive learning environments for students and families. The board of trustees, principal and senior leadership team are providing high quality leadership and well-informed direction for the school. Students benefit from relationships with teachers focused on achievement with their learning and attention to their wellbeing.

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

1 Context

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

James Street School is a contributing Years 1 to 6 school set in suburban Whakatane. The roll of 229 students includes 182 who identify as Māori. The school is located in expansive and well-resourced buildings and grounds, which are well used by students, and accessible to the wider school community and whānau.

Since the last ERO review in 2012 school leadership has remained consistent and there have been minimal changes to the teaching team and board of trustees. Student learning has benefitted from a sustained programme of teachers’ professional development about teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics. The school has also had involvement with the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) Programme which has formed the basis for the school-wide Growing Great Learners initiative. This initiative is purposefully planned, evidence driven and supports students’ learning and well-being, in the context of social relationships that benefit children’s emotional, spiritual, physical and academic wellbeing and health. Ongoing review of the Growing Great Learners Programme and responsive systems for student pastoral care are enabling the school to realise its stated vision of developing a school culture where ‘quality and effective teaching and learning is taking place in a positive, consistent and inclusive environment’.

The school has made a successful start to introducing students to e-learning, which involves them making highly effective use of computer technologies to enhance their learning. There are plans to develop this initiative across all classrooms.

The school has maintained a strong focus on accelerating achievement for students achieving below expected levels. An extensive range of data is used to make decisions about special programmes and interventions designed to improve rates of student progress. Teachers, school leaders and support staff cater for students with high and complex learning and developmental needs in inclusive and supportive learning environments. A significant feature of the school is the culture of high expectations, where all students are valued as competent and successful learners.

The school has made very good progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the last ERO report and has a positive reporting history with ERO.

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 and efficient use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers and school leaders take considerable time to get to know students in their care and consequently know them very well.

Teachers gather information using a range of appropriate nationally referenced assessments. They use this information, along with data gathered from their observations of student learning, to make judgements about students’ achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School-wide data shows that in 2013 and 2014, while a majority of students achieved at and above the relevant National Standard, the proportion remains below national averages.

School data shows that a significant number of students achieving below expected levels made accelerated progress in 2014 in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers use achievement information in their classroom to:

  • establish flexible groupings for instruction in reading, writing and mathematics
  • identify students who require support and plan specific, targeted programmes to address these students’ needs
  • reflect on their professional practice and plan focused and deliberate teaching strategies to address ongoing student requirements
  • plan learning programmes collaboratively to ensure the best possible outcomes for students.

The school has identified that improving students’ knowledge of their achievement and learning progressions is a useful next step in helping students to become self motivated independent learners.

Leaders make effective use of achievement information in the following ways.

  • They identify school-wide levels of progress and achievement by carefully collating and analysing data gathered through a planned schedule of assessments.
  • The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) identifies all students who are achieving below expected levels and, in conjunction with the classroom teacher, ensures an appropriate support programme is provided. Each of these students has an individual education plan with relevant goals to accelerate their progress. These goals are closely monitored by the SENCO and classroom teacher to ensure a meaningful intervention and classroom programme is provided.
  • Information about student achievement is regularly reported to parents through a wide range of formal and informal methods. This enables parents to be well informed about their child’s achievement, levels of progress, and how they can continue to support their child at home. The school is continuing to explore ways to further engage parents in this learning partnership.

Trustees make effective use of assessment information in the following ways.

  • Trustees receive comprehensive information on a regular basis. This enables them to be well informed about overall levels of student achievement and progress.
  • Achievement information is thoroughly analysed and used by the board to make appropriate decisions about school resourcing, including the employment of additional support staff and allocating funding to support staff professional learning and development.
  • Achievement information is also used by trustees to set and monitor appropriate annual targets to raise student achievement with a particular focus on accelerating the progress of students achieving below expected levels.

3 Curriculum

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

The James Street School Curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. School values of respect, pride, perseverance and achievement are clearly reflected in the school’s guiding documentation, teachers’ practice and student behaviour. The curriculum clearly shows how it is giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculum, including an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics learning, broad coverage of other subject areas, and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

An important and positive aspect of the James Street School Curriculum is the over-arching focus on inclusion, particularly for students with identified learning and developmental needs. A special feature of the school is the special needs class, which caters for a large number of students with high and very high learning and developmental needs. Students in this class benefit from the high level of inclusion in the playground, school activities and opportunities to learn alongside other students in the school.

A planned programme of trips, camps and excursions outside the school is well supported by families, and provides students with rich and contextually relevant learning opportunities.

Students learn in safe and settled environments. In classrooms observed by ERO the following aspects of effective practice were evident:

  • very high levels of on task student engagement in purposeful learning
  • teachers deliberately engaging students in learning conversations that link to prior learning and challenge student thinking
  • a focus on the development of students’ oral language capability
  • positive, trusting and respectful interactions between teachers and students
  • ongoing affirmation of students’ ability, acknowledgement of students’ successes and regular feedback and feed forward to students
  • print rich learning environment that support students’ literacy learning
  • high quality resources to support teaching and learning programmes.

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

The school is highly effective in promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. The majority of students at the school are of Māori descent. The school’s curriculum is enriched with many Māori perspectives and strongly affirming of students’ language, culture and identity.

The culture within the school is underpinned by the values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and ako. Tuakana-teina relationships where older students support their younger peers is highly evident across the school both in classrooms and in the playground.

Te Reo and tikanga Māori is purposefully planned for as a valued part of the school curriculum. Teachers have had professional development about tikanga and te reo Māori and use the language in a natural way throughout the day. Teachers view Māori students as capable learners and have high expectations for their achievement and success. Students demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and pride in their school, and have many opportunities to undertake meaningful leadership roles.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance for the following reasons.

  • The principal and senior leadership team are providing high quality leadership and well-informed direction for the school. They have successfully established a strong sense of professional connectedness amongst leaders and teachers. Together they have embedded a culture of professional reflection and research focused on promoting students’ learning and wellbeing.
  • Trustees bring complementary skills and commitment to their governance roles. They have undertaken appropriate training and are well informed about student achievement and school operations.
  • Trustees work closely with the principal to consult with the school community and ensure that the school charter and curriculum includes community aspirations, and is focused on school improvement.
  • Teaching is highly effective in engaging students, improving achievement and promoting students’ wellbeing.
  • Trustees undertake effective self review to systematically critique and improve all aspects of board and school operations.
  • The school is highly inclusive of all students and families, including students with high and complex 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.

Conclusion

James Street School provides highly inclusive learning environments for students and families. The board of trustees, principal and senior leadership team are providing high quality leadership and well-informed direction for the school. Students benefit from relationships with teachers focused on achievement with their learning and attention to their wellbeing.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 October 2015

School Statistics

Location

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

1755

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

228

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

79%

17%

4%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

21 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

March 2007

January 2004