Stanley Avenue School

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1 Context

Stanley Avenue School is located in the Waikato town of Te Aroha and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The school was last reviewed by ERO in 2011. Since then there have been significant changes in school governance, leadership and teaching staff. Roll increases have led to the introduction of two more classrooms.

A large recreation centre, new playgrounds, and other building upgrades have improved facilities for teachers and students. All members of the leadership team were appointed to their current positions in 2015. The school is very well supported by its community.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to educate lifelong learners. The school's recently revised values are Whaia kia u - strive to succeed, Hau Ora - wellbeing, Kaiwhiriwhiri - inquirer, Manākitanga - team player. The school has clear goals and targets for raising the achievement of Māori and all children who are yet to achieve National Standards. Strategic goals promote the unique position of Māori culture, acknowledge New Zealand as a bicultural nation and recognise the importance of all cultures in the school.

The school’s achievement information indicates that in 2015, some targeted Māori children and other students made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. However, end-of-year data showed that 27 out of 81 Māori students were yet to achieve National Standards in reading, and nearly half were yet to achieve National Standards in writing and mathematics. Sixty-four out of 147 boys in the school were below National Standards in writing. School-wide information also demonstrates the need to accelerate progress in mathematics for a significant numbers of students throughout the school.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, the school has responded to identified teaching and learning needs by providing professional development in literacy and mathematics. The school continues to increase its capacity to support digital learning, which can now be shared with parents. There has been a school-wide focus on improving strategies to influence positive behaviour. School leaders have worked with a local consultant to develop a Māori Conceptual Framework, which is in the early stages of implementation. They have also begun to review and develop school-wide curriculum expectations. School leaders have recently clarified and implemented school-wide expectations for identifying, targeting and monitoring students who are yet to achieve National Standards.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Senior leaders and teachers use achievement information effectively to identify Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. School-wide expectations for improving and monitoring the progress and achievement of Māori students have been strengthened. Recent initiatives to increase learner engagement include providing targeted digital programmes that support learning. Improving progress for targeted learners is also included in appraisal goals for leaders and teachers.

Trustees strongly support achievement targets, regularly scrutinise school-wide achievement information and allocate resources to address learning needs. The school is beginning to implement more effective systems and processes to accelerate the progress of Māori learners who are yet to achieve National Standards.

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

Senior leaders and teachers effectively identify other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. As for Māori children the same successful responses and processes are adopted. School-wide expectations have been strengthened, targeted digital programmes increase learner engagement, and improving progress for targeted learners is also included in appraisal goals for leaders and teachers.

Trustees strongly support achievement targets, regularly scrutinise school-wide achievement information and allocate resources to address learning needs. The school is beginning to implement more effective systems and processes to accelerate the progress of all learners who are yet to achieve National Standards.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

Senior leaders and the board use their complementary skills and expertise to collaboratively develop and implement processes that effectively reflect the school's vision and targets for equity and excellence. These processes include:

  • significantly increasing a school-wide focus on accelerating achievement for children who are not yet achieving National Standards
  • ensuring the continuity of constructive and supportive school-wide relationships within a positive school culture
  • maintaining high expectations for learning and behaviour
  • providing a wide range of curriculum experiences and resources to engage children's interest, challenge their thinking and develop their confidence as capable learners. Extra learning opportunities are offered in technology, sports, music and the arts
  • increasing parent engagement as partners in their children's learning
  • using nationally referenced assessments and moderation processes to make regular judgements through the year about children's progress in relation to National Standards
  • engaging in professional development focused on improving teaching practices to address deficits in school-wide achievement information
  • developing networks with other local schools and early childhood education services that support smooth transitions to and from primary school.

The school's vision for acknowledging Māori as tangata whenua within a bicultural nation is reflected in the Māori Conceptual Framework, which gives direction for school protocols and learning about the Māori language, history and culture within the local community context. Regular whānau hui provide opportunities for Māori families to understand how they can be partners in their children's learning. Throughout the school there are many opportunities for tuakana-teina relationships to develop and excel. Older children confidently undertake leadership roles.

These positive factors provide a sound basis for realising the school's targets for the accelerated progress and achievement of Māori and all students who are yet to reach National Standards.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to ensure the school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Leaders and teachers have reflected on past practices and implemented new and more specific systems and processes to meet the learning needs of each child. They are committed to achieving and sustaining equitable outcomes for all students. The board and senior leadership team have identified strategic goals to establish a momentum of improvement in accelerating progress and achievement for children who are yet to achieve National Standards. ERO agrees with these goals, which are to:

  • further develop and document the school's local response to The New Zealand Curriculum, including teachers' shared understandings and expectations for best practice in literacy and mathematics teaching
  • strengthen children's self assessment and determination of next learning steps in relation to progressions of learning that align with appropriate curriculum levels and National Standards
  • further align teaching as inquiry and teachers' accountability for the accelerated progress of targeted children with the school's appraisal process.

ERO has also identified the need to:

  • make National Standards indicators and exemplars more explicit so that children know what they need to learn in order to achieve them
  • develop a framework and processes for strategic internal evaluation
  • ensure school planning and review considers Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success for Māori Students and Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop more targeted planning that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board in order to bring about the following improvements:

developing and documenting school-wide expectations for Stanley Avenue School's response to The New Zealand Curriculum. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

28 June 2016

About the school

Location

Te Aroha

Ministry of Education profile number

1967

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

280

Gender composition

Boys 56% Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other European

Pacific

Indian

Other

56%

28%

5%

4%

3%

2%

2%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

December 2008

January 2006

 

 

1 Context

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

Stanley Avenue School is located in the rural town of Te Aroha. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The school’s community takes pride in developments that have happened over the last three years. Two new classrooms have been added as a result of recent roll growth and the library has been refurbished. Throughout the school, the well-presented and resourced environment provides a welcoming and stimulating place for teaching and learning. Attractive and well-organised classrooms display students’ work and prompts to support learning. Since the last review, the board has appointed a new deputy principal and funded an additional teacher to reduce class sizes.

The board and principal have set a clear strategic direction, focused on enhancing student learning. One emphasis is on increasing the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool for learning and teaching. A variety of appropriate equipment has been purchased for student use, and the school is implementing an additional ICT system to add to students’ opportunities to share their learning.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The school’s rich range of achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics indicates that most students are achieving according to expectations based on national norms and curriculum levels. The school has data demonstrating that, overall, students are making expected progress. Māori students as a group are achieving at levels comparable to their non-Māori peers.

Teachers identify students needing additional support for their learning. These students benefit from appropriate interventions, and from programmes that enable them to build their confidence and the necessary skills to achieve success in their learning. Able students have additional learning opportunities and, for mathematics, work in groups that extend their achievement.

The school is making good progress in developing practices for assessing and reporting student achievement in relation to National Standards.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school is continuing with a deliberate approach to the inclusion of Māori perspectives in the curriculum and environment. The kapa haka group continues to perform regularly, and also offers students experience with tikanga and te reo Māori. Teachers are being well supported to increase their awareness and understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

3 Curriculum

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

In consultation with the community, the school has designed and developed a broad curriculum that integrates all learning areas and prioritises literacy and numeracy. It is focused on developing students as lifelong learners who are confident in using a range of ICT tools.

The school has a strong vision about learning and teaching that it is clearly expressed in its model for the Stanley Avenue Learner. This model is guiding teaching practice and continues to be reviewed and further developed. Teachers are working conscientiously to develop the characteristics of the Stanley Avenue Learner, with particular emphasis on critical thinking and self management. Teachers use a range of effective strategies that enable students to revisit prior learning, understand its purpose, and involve students in decision-making. Teachers actively involve students in their learning and assessment, and this aspect of the Stanley Avenue Learner should continue to be an agreed priority for ongoing development.

Students benefit from positive, supportive school environments that motivate them as learners. They are able to participate in a wide range of sporting, cultural and academic activities and events within and beyond the school. Students have many opportunities to accept challenge, take leadership roles and assume responsibility.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is in a strong position to sustain and improve its performance:

  • the board’s governance is effective and its decisions are based on thorough self review
  • the principal’s leadership is forward looking, well informed and focused on students as competent learners who can contribute to their community
  • the school’s vision for school direction and development is clearly expressed, widely owned and drives development
  • the school’s culture is welcoming, respectful and has an inclusive approach to all stakeholders
  • the teachers’ professionalism is well supported by their commitment to continually reflecting on and refining their practice to improve student achievement
  • the community’s support for, and pride in, the school’s programme, events and activities continue to be strong.

The school has a rich range of analysed student achievement information. ERO considers that the school would benefit from a more explicit and documented interpretation of the progress made by cohorts and groups of students as they move through the school. Sharing the interpretation of this information would strengthen teaching as inquiry, critical self review and decision-making.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

1 December 2011

About the School

Location

Te Aroha

Ministry of Education profile number

1967

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

Decile

5

School roll

272

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

South East Asian

Other

Other European

Samoan

62%

23%

6%

4%

2%

1%

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

1 December 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2008

January 2006

September 2002