Patricia Avenue School

Education institution number:
1891
School type:
Special School
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
School for pupils with intellectual impairments
Total roll:
194
Telephone:
Address:

20 Patricia Avenue, Hamilton East, Hamilton

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Patricia Avenue School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report 

Background

This Profile Report was written within 6 months of the Education Review Office and Patricia Avenue 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

This report is part of a nationally coordinated evaluation of 27-day specialist schools during the second half of 2023. This included the development of day specialist school evaluation indicators by ERO with significant input from principals, staff, and the Special Education Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SEPAnz).

Context 

Patricia Avenue School, in Hamilton, is a specialist school dedicated to meeting the unique learning needs of students aged from 5 to 21 years. All students have Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding. Students learn across a range of settings, including 12 classes at the base school, 18 satellite classes in 8 host schools and a transition unit for older students in a community-based setting. 

Specialist therapy services provide transdisciplinary support for learners’ wellbeing and access to learning. A specialist teacher outreach service works with ORS funded students and staff in local schools.

The school continues to navigate and manage roll growth pressures along with the employment and property demands associated with this.

The school’s mission – ‘Learning for Living,’ underpins the vision to enhance students’ learning, building on their needs and respects their dignity, challenging them to achieve personal standards of excellence and to reach their potential.

Patricia Avenue School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • building networks which maximises students’ opportunities to gain experience skills
  • developing students’ independence and self-esteem
  • enabling students to make significant personal decisions affecting their own future and wellbeing.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well the curriculum is promoting clear and coherent pathways to inform teaching and learning that enables all learners to reach their potential and achieve success.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is: 

  • leaders have identified the need to strengthen the school’s localised and holistic curriculum to provide clear direction for teaching and learning while giving priority to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The school expects to see a holistic, coherent, and relevant curriculum that:

  • provides clear direction for effective teaching and learning 
  • identifies and supports meaningful pathways for ākonga success 
  • is reflective of and responds to the diverse needs of learners. 

Strengths 

The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to evaluate how well the curriculum is promoting clear and coherent pathways to inform teaching and learning that enables all learners to reach their potential and achieve success.

  • Clear systems for tracking and reporting students’ progress with individual goals that promote students seeing themselves as successful learners.
  • A culture, climate and positive relationships promote wellbeing and care of all in the school community. 
  • Distributed leadership is highly responsive and sustains conditions for improving outcomes learners including provision of staff professional learning and development opportunities.
  • Collaboration and coordinated staff planning for learning and wellbeing effectively responds to individual learner needs and promotes their success and wellbeing. 
  • Staff teamwork that consistently demonstrate and enact high expectations for learners and their success. 
  • Leadership that focuses on creating conditions for innovative solutions to sustain and improve outcomes for learners.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise: 

  • completing and implementing the literacy curriculum
  • embedding the mathematics curriculum
  • developing documentation to support planning over time
  • reviewing and strengthening assessment processes and documentation 
  • developing partnerships with mana whenua and extending community connections. 

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. 

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 May 2024

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 

Patricia Avenue School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2024 to 2027

As of May 2024, the Patricia Avenue School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

No

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Actions for Compliance

ERO and the board have identified the following area of non-compliance during the board assurance process: 

  • identity checks as part of workforce safety checking 
    [Children’s Act 2014 - Safety Checking of Workforce].

The board has since addressed the area of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Patricia Avenue School Board.

The next School Board 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.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 May 2024 

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

Patricia Avenue School - 29/06/2017

Findings

Patricia Avenue School has established positive partnerships with iwi, the local community, parents and whānau. Children and young adults are encouraged to be confident and self-managing, to enjoy success in a learning environment that is inclusive. Learners’ achievements have consistently improved over recent years and their successes are recognised and celebrated.

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?

Patricia Avenue School is located in Hamilton East. It provides holistic care and education for children and young adults with additional learning needs between 5 and 21 years of age. The school also operates, governs and manages nine satellite units in primary and secondary schools, and one for young adults. These satellite units are located in Hamilton, Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

Participation with Waikato-Tainui Kawenata ō Te Mana Mātauranga 2016 to 2017, Ngāti Wairere iwi, hapu and whānau are an integral part of the school’s vision to build positive relationships with tangata whenua. These partnerships promote a sense of belonging for Māori and all learners in the school.

The school’s vision that every child and young adult are enabled to maximise their learning potential is underpinned by an holistic approach to education for all learners, collaborative teaching teams, multi-disciplinary approach, specially designed work spaces, and specialised resources specific to learners' physical and emotional needs.

The school’s mission statement ‘Learning for Living’ aims to provide education, which is respectful and enhances learning and builds on learners' specific needs. All learners are supported to achieve personal standards for excellence and reach their full potential.

Patricia Avenue School has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the 2014 ERO review the roll has increased and the school has appointed a new principal and restructured the leadership team. The board of trustees, led by a new and experienced board chairperson, is supported by elected trustees who have overseen building renovations, and the completion of a new administration block. 

2 Learning

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

The school’s holistic approach to learning is effective in making positive changes to the engagement, progress and achievement of learners. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) involve teachers, parents, whānau, therapists, and other specialist and community agencies working together to develop specific goals for each learner. The school monitors the individual progress and achievement of each learner and measures their progress against their personalised IEP goals. These goals are collaboratively agreed to between school and family, and prioritised to support learning across all areas, including appropriate literacy and mathematics. Teachers skilfully use a wide range of strategies to promote learning and plan children's progress.

Effective assessment, planning and evaluation practices capture children’s personalities and preferred styles of learning. The use of a credit, strengths-based model of assessment within individual portfolios shows the complexity of learning. Children and young adults’ participation, individual progress and achievement are documented and celebrated. School achievement information is evaluated against personal goal attainment.

Reciprocal relationships with parents, whānau and carers are a significant feature in the education of all learners. These partnerships are built on mutual trust and respond to the educational aspirations of parents, whānau and carers. There is a high frequency involvement of parents, whānau and carers with the school. This contributes to the overall wellbeing of children and young adults, and their enjoyment and sense of connection in their learning and achievement.

The board represents and promotes the aspirational wellbeing and learning needs of children and young adults. Trustees are informed by senior leaders about school targets and the progress children and young adults make in relation to IEP goals and literacy and mathematic skills. Trustees are using this information to inform and allocate appropriate specialised resources aligned to the needs of children and young adults.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effectively promoting and supporting student learning. Teachers, therapists and teacher aides respond to each child’s and young adults social, emotional, physical, intellectual and cultural needs. Purposeful planning for individual's physical health needs, emotional wellbeing and future development as they transition into the wider community. Parents, whānau and carers are active members of the school community and play and important role in the curriculum.

The key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum provide a useful framework to support teaching and learning. The importance of communication and/or language development is recognised and the successful implementation of aided language provides a meaningful bridge to literacy, oral language and mathematics for learners. Quality teaching practices and the effective use of a range of tools contribute to children and young adults sustained learning and engagement in the curriculum.

Staff notice, recognise and respond to the diverse needs of children and their families. They have close and trusting relationships with learners. Teachers use their knowledge of learners to develop strategies, meet individual needs of children and young adults, and share these with parents. These effective teaching strategies contribute to learner's engagement and enjoyment in learning. These include:

  • innovative specialised teaching tools that enable all learners to experience a wide range of learning opportunities, which include sensory, music and physical activities
  • teams made up of therapists, specialists, parents, whānau, teachers and teacher aides working together to provide positive learning outcomes for all learners.
  • learning scaffolds that are specific to each learner
  • flexible and adaptive teaching practices that are responsive to learners emerging interests and appropriate teachable moments as they arise
  • encouraging learners to choose learning pathways that build their independence as self-managing learners
  • recognising the importance of learners feelings and motivations.

Learning environments are designed to meet the needs of learners. Staff build strong links with the community and use local facilities to enrich the curriculum. Digital technologies are widely used by learners throughout the school and contribute to their learning and independence. Activities such as excursions into the wider community libraries, swimming pools, museums, shopping centres, Special Olympics, horse riding, learning in mainstream classrooms contribute to learning.

Transitions to and within base school and satellite classrooms are personalised to ensure children and young adults receive quality education and feel cared for, and a sense of inclusion.

The establishment of a city-based satellite facility provides young adults between the ages of 18 to 21 years with an authentic, purposeful learning environment. The programme includes self-management opportunities, a range of learning pathways designed to enable each individual to reach their potential, and become contributing members of the wider community.

The restructuring of the school management system has provided opportunities for leadership and collaboration. This approach continues to build the capability of staff. Targeted professional learning and development is resulting in improved shared understandings and expectations for teaching and learning. Teachers are sharing their reflections and effectively work together to ensure positive learning outcomes for all children and young adults.

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

The school is effectively promoting education success for Māori. The principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi are more deliberately enacted in school, and teaching and learning programmes.

The school has had a focus on promoting educational successes for Māori.

Staff are more aware of the strengths, needs and agency with respect to the teaching of Māori learners.

Being Māori is valued within the school and its wider community. The concepts of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga affirm and reflect the identity, language and culture of Māori learners.

A wide range of professional learning and development, particularly in te reo and tikanga Māori for leaders, teachers, learning support assistants, therapists and other specialists is a feature of the schools focus for the ongoing improvement of learners.

Te Roopu Whangai Te Tangata is the name given to the Roopu by Ngāti Wairere Kaumātua. This gift provides all staff with a clear purpose to build their capabilities in te reo and tikanga Māori.

Kapa Haka, waiata, karakia, mihi, korero are supported by lessons using te reo for Māori children and young adults preferred ways of learning are contributing to their language development, sense of identify and belonging.

Teachers are reviewing their own capabilities using Tātaiako competencies.

Māori children and young adults benefit from the school's te reo and tikanga Māori programme. The school has identified that it is important to continue to build their bicultural journey in te reo and tikanga Māori.

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.

The school uses a range of consultation processes to engage with iwi, the wider community, parents and whānau to review curriculum delivery and design. The curriculum provides children and young adults with equitable opportunities to achieve their potential in an environment that is meaningful and authentic. In addition a range of transition learning pathways focus on self-management and employment skills contribute to the confidence of young adults as they move into society.

The school’s evaluation assessment data provides valuable information to guide teaching and learning levels for children and young adults. Productive and collaborative relationships among trustees, teachers, children, parents, whānau and the wider community are significant factors, which contribute to the sustainability of school development and learner success.

The senior leadership team is collaborative and promotes well-informed educational leadership for the school. Leaders are experienced and highly reflective professionals who lead by example, model 'best’ practice, and effectively guide and support other teachers and staff. Staff are encouraged to contribute their strengths, talents and ideas. Leaders share mutual understandings about high-quality education and care for all learners in the school.

Internal evaluation is increasingly reflective. It questions and informs decisions about changes across the school. The approach to internal evaluation is well supported by trustees and is inclusive of the views of learners, teachers, parents and whānau. These views are valued and contribute to school developments.

A strong commitment by trustees and staff to build trusting relationships is aligned to the educational aspirations of parents, whānau, carers and with tangata whenua to build a bicultural community for all learners.

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

Patricia Avenue School has established positive partnerships with iwi, the local community, parents and whānau. Children and young adults are encouraged to be confident and self-managing, to enjoy success in a learning environment that is inclusive. Learners’ achievements have consistently improved over recent years and their successes are recognised and celebrated.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

29 June 2017

About the School 

LocationHamilton
Ministry of Education profile number1891
School typeComposite (Years 1 to 13)
School roll193
Gender composition

Boys 71%

Girls 29%

Ethnic compositionMāori 
Pākehā
Samoan
Fijian 
Pacific 
Indian
Chinese
South East Asian 
European
Other
37%
40% 
3% 
3%
2%
1%
1%
5%
4%
4%
Special FeaturesSpecial School
Review team on siteMay 2017
Date of this report29 June 2017
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review
Education Review 
Education Review
June 2014
April 2010 
June 2007

 

Patricia Avenue School - 24/06/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

The school provides highly effective education and care for students with intellectual and/or multiple disabilities. Students benefit from individualised teaching in small classes with skilled teachers, support assistants and therapists. The school is highly inclusive and warmly welcomes students and their families.

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?

Patricia Avenue School is a specialist school catering for students with intellectual and/or multiple disabilities between 5 and 21 years of age. It is located in Hamilton East and has sixteen satellite classes in Hamilton, Cambridge and Te Awamutu. Four of these classes are new since the 2010 ERO review. The school also provides a specialist teacher service for students in mainstream schools in the Waikato area.

Since the 2010 ERO review, the school has appointed a new principal and made changes to the leadership team. The board has had a change of membership and chairperson. The school has accessed extensive professional learning, including a focus on building leadership capacity and on aspects of specialised teaching. It is currently awaiting the commencement of a major building project that will upgrade the facilities at the base school in Patricia Avenue.

The school aims to provide ‘learning for living' education that builds and respects students’ dignity and challenges them to reach their full potential. A special feature of the school is the highly intentional approach to the inclusion of all students and their families/whānau. The school’s roll has risen slightly to 158 students, including 52 who are identified as Māori and 6 identified as Pacific. In addition to employing classroom teachers, the school also employs therapists, specialist teachers and learning support assistants. Students are placed in very small classes, with high adult-to-student ratios.

2 Learning

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

The school uses student achievement information effectively to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers work with parents, therapists and specialist staff to develop specific learning and care plans that identify individual students’ strengths, achievements, and development goals. They use this information to develop programmes that respond effectively to students’ individual needs and reflect parent aspirations. These are regularly reviewed, and progress is reported to parents and senior management.

Recently, the school has introduced valuable individual portfolios. These enable parents, students and teachers to recognise, document and celebrate students’ participation in their learning and successes.

School leaders use achievement information to support teachers and therapists to improve the quality of individual programmes and outcomes for students. The board is well-informed about student achievement in the programme, and uses the information to allocate resources.

Students are transported to school using Ministry of Education funding.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in promoting student learning and development.

The school’s broad and responsive curriculum prioritises:

  • developing meaningful literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge
  • developing students’ self-care skills
  • providing opportunities for participation in real-life learning experiences
  • including students in community and host school programmes and activities
  • implementing well-managed and planned transition processes at all levels of the school.

These features support students to participate to their full potential in community life.

Skilled, focused teachers maintain positive, responsive relationships with students that are caring, nurturing and supportive. They use a wide variety of highly effective strategies that engage and motivate students to learn. Therapists and specialist teachers provide systematic and intensive programmes to meet each student’s development and learning needs. Students and teachers benefit from knowledgeable learning support assistants who work intensively with individuals and groups of students. Teachers make good use of computers and other technologies to enhance students’ learning opportunities and communication skills.

Professional learning leaders support the practice of teachers and therapists at the base school and in the satellite classes. Senior leaders need to develop clear guidelines and expectations to assist these important leaders of learning to enhance their professional leadership.

Comprehensive guidelines that reflect The New Zealand Curriculum support teachers to develop and extend students’ social and self-management skills. Teachers implement effective strategies that promote a positive tone and culture for learning. Staff and students are equipped with well-chosen, specialised equipment, resources, and multiple learning spaces. ERO observed students interacting positively and encouraging each other to participate in class life and celebrate their learning.

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

The school has had a recent focus on strengthening Māori perspectives. Regular meetings are held with whānau to build partnerships and gain their aspirations. The principal has recently met with representatives of Tainui to establish relationships and has led the development of Māori protocols, such as pōwhiri to welcome guests. Teachers are implementing programmes that promote students’ understandings of tikanga, te reo and important Māori celebrations. Many students enjoy participating in kapa haka, and singing waiata in the daily programme.

ERO and school leaders agree that to further promote success for Māori as Māori, there is a need to further strengthen:

  • links with the local marae
  • Māori dimensions in classroom programmes and school environments.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Patricia Avenue is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • trustees provide effective and supportive governance for the school
  • the knowledgeable principal and senior leaders are focused on school improvement and on working in partnership with parents and staff to provide effective outcomes for students
  • staff members work collaboratively in the best interest of students and their families, and have a special understanding of their students’ abilities and needs
  • the school maintains close relationships with its parent community and receives a high level of support from the wider community
  • the board, leaders and staff are reflective about their practice and focused on sustaining and improving student learning.

The school has recently introduced a new teacher appraisal system. ERO and senior school leaders agree that there is a need to continue to review and develop this system. The review should focus on the effectiveness of the process to further strengthen teaching practice, and to include regular, ongoing, documented feedback to teachers.

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

The school provides highly effective education and care for students with intellectual and/or multiple disabilities. Students benefit from individualised teaching in small classes with skilled teachers, support assistants and therapists. The school is highly inclusive and warmly welcomes students and their families.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

24 June 2014

About the School

LocationHamilton East 
Ministry of Education profile number1891 
School typeSpecial School 
School roll158 
Gender composition

Boys 110

Girls 48

 
Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Fijian

Samoan

Chinese

South East Asian

Other European

Other

52

80

3

3

3

7

3

7

Special Features16 Satellite Classes 
Review team on siteMay 2014 
Date of this report24 June 2014 
Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

June 2007

June 2004