Welcome Bay School

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School Context

Welcome Bay School is located in Tauranga for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 338, includes 123 students who identify as Māori and 21 of Pacific heritage. The school is experiencing roll growth and a satellite class from Tauranga Special School is on site.

Since the August 2015 ERO report, a new principal has been appointed, collaborative learning hubs have been extended across the school and science developed as a conceptual integrated curriculum approach to learning.

The school vision ‘Ma te hurhuru ka rere te manu (adorn the bird with feathers so that it can fly)’ links to the Welcome Bay Learner and is woven into everyday learning.

The teaching and leadership team have been involved in professional learning and development in science, collaborative learning hubs and a digital curriculum. The school continues to participate in the Positive Behaviour for Learning Initiative, the Welcome Bay Way.

The board has responded positively to the previous ERO report and actively resources a wide range of initiatives for student wellbeing and holistic development.

A strategic achievement target in 2019 is ‘to raise students’ ability in thinking and behaving scientifically’.

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

  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • science

The school belongs to the Tauranga Peninsula Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. Student achievement data for 2018 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above expected achievement levels in reading, writing, and mathematics. These levels are comparable with 2017 achievement information. There is significant disparity for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students’ progress is well monitored and they are achieving positive outcomes. Girls achieve at significantly higher levels than boys in reading, higher in writing and at comparable levels in mathematics. Most students in Years 4 to 6 achieve at or above national norms for scientific thinking with evidence.

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

The school is effectively identifying and monitoring those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. While ERO was on site senior leaders were able to collate and analyse schoolwide data to show how effectively the school was accelerating achievement for students at risk with their learning in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for these students indicates that in 2018 most made accelerated progress in reading, almost half in mathematics and some in writing. Half of those students who made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics were Māori.

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?

A strong, cohesive teaching team has been established. Positive, mutually respectful teacher and student interactions contribute to settled learning environments. Teachers know students and their families well and plan appropriate programmes to accelerate the learning of at-risk students. They use a useful range of standardised and other assessment tools. Teachers are involved in ongoing reflections and professional discussions about effective teaching strategies. Progress and achievement data guide teacher planning for groups and individual students. High levels of student engagement are evident.

An inclusive culture is evident, where diversity is appreciated and celebrated. Senior leaders and staff continue to maintain a welcoming, family-like learning environment. Parents and whānau, spoken to by ERO, value the approachability of staff and feel well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. Students with additional needs are well supported by leaders, teachers and teacher aides in an inclusive and nurturing environment. These learners are making progress against their individual learning goals and some show accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. The school actively engages with whānau, specialist support agencies and external experts to provide wraparound pastoral and learning support for those students who need it.

The senior leadership team is collaborative and reflective and promote clear school direction and a shared vision. These leaders provide opportunity for relevant professional development to build teacher capability. Effective internal evaluation informs school improvement and programme innovation. Senior leaders work alongside a cohesive teaching team to prioritise student learning and achievement with a focus on the acceleration of priority students.

An integrated curriculum focuses on science and play-based learning to provide authentic contexts for learning. Classrooms are well resourced, stimulating and literacy rich. The school has enriched their bicultural curriculum through connections with local iwi, kapa haka and senior students’ weekly marae visits. Students are engaged in a variety of academic, cultural, and sporting learning experiences.

The board understand and support the strategic direction of the school. Trustees make well-informed resourcing decisions in response to student achievement information and consultation with parents and whānau. A high trust model between the board and school leaders promotes collaborative and open relationships. Trustees are focused on student learning, well-being, achievement and progress.

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

ERO and the school agree that further priorities are to:

  • review the use of annual targets focused on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students in reading, writing and mathematics
  • continue to build student capabilities to enable them to articulate their progress, celebrate achievement and identify next learning steps.

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 Welcome Bay School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • positive, mutually respectful teacher and student interactions that contribute to settled learning environments
  • a highly responsive curriculum that focuses on raising student achievement
  • a collaborative and reflective senior leadership team that promotes clear school direction and a shared vision.

Next steps

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

  • annual targets to focus on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students
  • building student capabilities to enable them to articulate their progress, celebrate achievement and identify next learning steps.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 October 2019

About the school

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

2076

School type

Primary Years 1 to 6

School roll

353 students

Gender composition

Male 56% Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 46%
NZ European/Pākehā 37%
Pacific 7%
Asian 5%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

10 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review June 2011
Education Review March 2008

Findings

Welcome Bay School continues to be an innovative place of education focused on raising the achievement of all students. Learners are immersed in a learning culture that permeates nearly all aspects of the school and its community. The principle of ako (reciprocal learning) and teaching, is evident throughout the school.

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?

‘Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu, Adorn the bird with feathers so that it can fly’

Welcome Bay School continues to be an innovative place of education focused on the educational outcomes for all students. The ongoing commitment by the school to work in a strong and collaborative partnership with parents, whānau, and the community is a significant aspect that contributes to positive educational outcomes for students. The strategic direction is underpinned by the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Adults and young people share their understandings and knowledge about learning. The following are features that contribute to students’ engagement in learning:

  • A focus on parents and whānau as having a crucial role in supporting their child’s enjoyment of learning and ensuring there are seamless transitions for children into and from the school.
  • Students have a strong sense of belonging and are encouraged to develop their identity and culture. Their successes are supported and celebrated by teachers, parents and whānau.
  • The ‘Welcome Bay Way’ where all people involved in the school share common understandings and values to support learning behaviours that encourage positive educational outcomes for students.
  • The ‘Welcome Bay Learner’ is a concept that focuses on the integration of literacy and mathematics across all subject areas through the key attributes of Matuku Moana, Kia Maia (stand proud); Toroa, Whaia te pae Tawhiti (seek adventure); Kea, Tuku patai (ask questions) Kereru, Kai manawanui (have a heart); Karearea, Kia kaha (show courage).

The school recognises that powerful connections and relationships with parents, whānau and communities provide access to a greater range and depth of resources to support and enhance outcomes for all students. Trustees are committed to developing individual children’s strengths and interests in a cultural environment based on the concept of whanaungatanga. This ensures all students in the school are able to learn about themselves and achieve success.

Students experience a safe learning environment in a community where the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi are honoured and taught. Equitable partnerships are promoted and support a collaborative approach to ongoing learning that fosters sharing of knowledge and experiences.

At the beginning of 2012 a new Principal started and continued to build on previous strengths within the school. He has extended self review and implementation of school-wide initiatives, particularly in the continuation and implementation of the school’s curriculum.

Welcome Bay School is situated in a southern suburb of Tauranga and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school roll has increased in recent years and there are now 322 students of whom 156 of are of Māori descent. The board of trustees is currently in negotiation with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to establish new classrooms. In addition, the Kaka Street Special Education School selected Welcome Bay School as a location for a satellite unit in the school grounds. The unit opened in February 2015 and plays a vital role in the holistic school culture.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information indicates that most students are achieving at levels above national comparisons. The strong focus on accelerating learners’ engagement, progress and achievement is likely to enable the school’s to reach the Ministry of Education goals in the near future.

School leaders, teachers, students and parents make effective use of achievement information to promote student engagement in learning. A wide range of assessment tools support teacher judgements. Parent and student comment is purposely sought and highly valued by teachers. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and make good use of this information to inform resourcing decisions that benefit all students. Teachers, parents and students regularly and frequently use the school information and communication technology (ICT) systems to monitor student progress and achievement over time.

Students benefit from teachers sharing their achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. They have a strong sense of ownership and are focused on achieving their own learning goals. Students have many opportunities to self-assess and peer-assess their work. They are able to reflect on their progress and achievement, and report this information to their parents and whānau. This sense of responsibility and use of achievement information by students is one of the most powerful factors, which contributes to the positive changes they experience as learners.

High needs students benefit from a ‘Special Advisory Group’, which includes the deputy principal, Child Youth and Family, police, MoE Special Education, and Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB). This group coordinates support for students and works closely with their parents and whānau. This initiative recognises 20% of students in the school and the group is strongly focused on raising their levels of engagement, progress and achievement. Recent information from each student’s individual education programme (IEP) suggests that nearly all are experiencing accelerated success in their learning, especially those who have been involved for some time.

Robust monitoring and assessment practices guide effective self-review processes and ensure that no student is left behind. Learning goals and associated measurable targets for each student is carefully recorded and teachers collaborate to ensure they are working together in the best interests of each individual. Māori students are achieving at levels below non-Māori students. However, current 2015 school mid-year data indicates that nearly all these students who are below or well below are making accelerated progress.

Parents and whānau have a clear understanding of student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. They are frequently provided with very good information through individualised portfolios, recognise that every child is different and have high expectations of the school staff. This learning partnership between home and the school ensures that parents, teachers and students are fully informed and focused on learning.

School leaders have a well-developed, research approach to teaching as inquiry to promote teacher knowledge, progress and achievements. All students have targets, and teachers frequently and regularly monitor their progress. This has strengthened internal systems and the capability of teachers to effectively align their goals to school-wide achievement goals, which has resulted in improved learning outcomes for students.

3 Curriculum

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

Students at Welcome Bay School benefit from a curriculum that is designed to promote and support their individual learning needs. The school’s integrated curriculum is well designed, takes account of students’ interests and is underpinned by an inquiry base for learning. It enables them to make meaningful links to the world in which they live and encourages them to understand, discuss and take ownership of their learning

Students enjoy a sense of belonging and realise their potential as learners in an environment that supports their interests, needs and culture. The curriculum is coherent and meaningfully designed, planned and responsive to students and whānau aspirations, within the local context. It effectively draws on their combined knowledge. Consideration has been given to resources and facilities that foster student engagement both inside and outside the classroom. All learners have the opportunity to work collaboratively with one another, and participate and implement the school's values and expectations.

A significant feature that is contributing to effective teacher practice is the implementation of the ‘Hub’ concept and the role of Leaders of Learning (LoLs). Teachers and LoLs promote and design purposeful and authentic learning experiences for students who are encouraged to monitor and extend their progress.

Teachers in their respective ‘Hub’ areas have a collaborative responsibility for all learning. Relationships and partnerships are built between students, their parents, whānau and teachers. Teachers have in-depth knowledge of each child’s personal learning needs, how they may need to respond to individuals. This contributes to the calm and settled learning environment.

Teachers promote concepts about health, wellbeing and caring for the environment through role modelling work alongside students. In addition, students in ‘Hub’ areas benefit from literacy rich and well-resourced environments where they are encouraged to confidently express their ideas, opinions, and explore aspects of literacy, mathematics, science and digital technology. Students are proud to share their work and enjoy it being celebrated by the wider school community during weekly assemblies and on classroom displays.

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

The school has established a curriculum that promotes success for Māori as Māori. Staff work hard to ensure that equity and excellence for Māori students is a feature of the curriculum.

Māori tamariki come from all over the Te-Ika-A-Maui Aotearoa and many have links to Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngai te Ranginui through local Marae. There are established links with Whetu Marae and the relationship continues to be strengthened. Every year tamariki are hosted at a noho marae occasion and the Kapa haka group supports the school at pōwhiri and whakatau. A tutor teaches both junior and senior Kapa haka. The school has gained considerable support from tangata whenua for their participation in the Rawhakangahau event.

Identity and belonging are prominent features within the school. Māori students have many opportunities to be rangatira and contribute to a strengthening partnership with whānau and tangata whenua.

There is a high level involvement with local kura kaupapa Māori. A Kaumātua from Whetu Marae recently gifted a school karakia and ‘Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu’ whakataukī. The school environment supports, values and celebrates te Ao Māori. A waharoa and a carving created by a local master carver (amo) feature on a new whare pukapuka.

Te Reo instruction for all students occurs in all ‘Hubs‘, once a week, and is supported by follow up lessons during the week by teachers. It is the intention of the school to build on this current practice. A draft 2015 Māori Success Action Plan is well aligned to the MoE documents of Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako.

A wero expressed by Māori whānau was for the school to increase the level of te reo Māori. A more frequent and sequential programme should increasingly build student’s ability to kōrero in te reo Māori as they move through the school from Years 1 to 6.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A high priority for this school is promoting and sustaining productive and collaborative relationships among trustees, teachers, children, parents, whānau and the wider community. Comprehensive thoughtfully planned self review is reflective, and questions and informs decisions about changes in all areas of the school. Spontaneous reviews are undertaken in response to specific events and incidents. This approach to self review has significantly enhanced learning outcomes for students, teachers, parents and whānau.

The principal and deputy principal provide well-informed and strong educational leadership for the school. They are experienced and highly reflective teachers who lead by example, model 'best’ practice, and effectively guide and support other teachers. A collaborative approach to school development enables each teacher to contribute their strengths, talents and ideas. They work together from a basis of mutual understanding about high quality education and care for all students.

Teachers use a collaborative approach to assess students. A strong school-wide assessment system effectively monitors student engagement, learning, progress and achievement. They plan and implement an authentic curriculum platform that allows children naturally to make links to the world in which they live.

Students are immersed in a learning culture that permeates nearly all aspects of the school and its community. The principle of ako, reciprocal learning and teaching, is evident throughout the school.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Welcome Bay School continues to be an innovative place of education focused on raising the achievement of all students. Learners are immersed in a learning culture that permeates nearly all aspects of the school and its community. The principle of ako (reciprocal learning) and teaching, is evident throughout the school.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

12 August 2015

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

2076

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

322

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 48%

Pākehā 42%

Other European 3%

Other Ethnicities 3%

Tongan 2%

Cook Island 1%

Samoan 1%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

12 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2011

Education Review March 2008

Education Review October 2004