Paparoa Range School

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School Context

Paparoa Range School operates over two sites, one at Dobson and the other at Blackball, on the West Coast of the South Island. The school provides education for 79 students from Years 1 to 8.

The school’s vision is to “Create successful citizens empowered to learn”. The vision is supported by a set of school values: Matatika (Honesty), Manaakitanga (Respect), Auahatanga (Creativity) and Hiringa (Perseverance).

The current strategic goals of the school include:

  • ensuring reliable data for student achievement, progress and attitudes to students’ learning is gathered, collated and analysed

  • updating the strategic plan to reflect current school priorities and to meet new reporting requirements

  • embedding teaching as inquiry and spirals of inquiry across the school

  • implementing the positive behaviour for learning programme across the school

  • reviewing and updating the school curriculum

  • building leadership across the school.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • behaviour and wellbeing initiatives
  • the programmes in place for children with additional learning needs.

Since the 2015 ERO review there have been several changes in staffing, and a new principal was appointed mid-way through 2018.

The school is an active participant in the Māwhera Kāhui Ako. Recent professional learning and development has focussed on positive behaviour for learning, boys’ education, writing, literacy, mathematics and wellbeing support.

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.

Achievement information from 2016 - 2018 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics.

The majority of students achieved above expected curriculum levels in 2016 and 2017 in writing, and less than half achieved at or above expected levels in 2018. Boys’ achievement in writing is not as strong as that of girls. Improving achievement in writing is a target for the school and the Kāhui Ako in 2019.

The school’s information shows that there is disparity in achievement for Māori students across reading, writing and mathematics over time.

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

The school is having some success accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this.

School data shows that approximately one third of targeted students, including Māori, made accelerated progress in reading and writing across 2016 - 2018. Almost all targeted students made accelerated progress in mathematics in 2018.

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 and learn in caring, supportive and inclusive learning communities. The recent focus on student wellbeing through the positive learning behaviour and school values programmes are making a positive difference at all levels of the school.

Students engage and progress across the breadth and depth of the New Zealand Curriculum. A range of appropriate assessment tools are used to identify learning goals for students and to inform the development of appropriate plans to support their learning. Organisational structures are enabling teachers to work collaboratively across the two school sites and to align practices and learning opportunities that work towards the school’s vision and values.

Teachers and students make good use of a variety of communication tools to keep parents and whānau informed, and to support them to feel welcome and involved in school activities. Celebrations of students’ learning in relation to school values are held fortnightly, alternating across both school sites. Beyond the school, effective learning partnerships with local schools, the Kāhui Ako and the wider education community provide opportunities for teachers to share ideas about practice and participate in professional learning.

The principal and the leadership team have focused on establishing clear and consistent social expectations that are designed to support teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers have established learning-focused relationships with parents, whānau and the school community. They are increasingly seeking out the perspectives of students, parents and whanau, and are using these to review the effectiveness of programmes and inform future directions.

Trustees and leaders are well informed and improvement focussed. They make good use of external expertise to build capacity and capability across the school. Leaders make recruitment and resourcing decisions that support school priorities and the needs of the students.

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

The school’s curriculum design needs to be reviewed to set challenging and appropriate expectations for learning. This review should include:

  • considering which aspects of the existing curriculum plan are relevant and continue to support the school’s priorities as they move towards a more student-directed approach to learning

  • an increased focus on practices that support Māori students to achieve success as Māori, and culturally responsive practices that engage whānau in reciprocal, learning-centred relationships

  • opportunities for students, parents and whānau to participate in the design of the local school curriculum.

Leaders and teachers should continue to strengthen strategic planning to:

  • allow the school to focus on a smaller number of goals and targets that are likely to have the most significant impact on improving valued student outcomes

  • ensure that these goals and targets are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound

  • include purposeful evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building practices to confirm the effectiveness of improvements and innovations in achieving positive outcomes for all learners.

Data management processes need to be refined to better identify the progress of all priority students and improve the monitoring and reporting of these students’ progress over time.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Paparoa Range School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

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

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • trustees and leaders are well informed and improvement focused
  • students participate and learn in caring, supportive and inclusive learning communities
  • organisational structures enable teachers to work collaboratively across the two school sites.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing the school’s curriculum
  • refining data management processes to better identify and monitor the progress of all priority students
  • increasing the focus on practices that support Māori students to achieve success as Māori
  • strengthening strategic planning.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region 22 May 2019

About the school

Location-

Greymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2106

School type

Full Primary

School roll

79

Gender composition

Boys 44, Girls 35

Ethnic composition

Māori 12

NZ European/Pākehā 67

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

22 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015

Education Review February 2010

Education Review February 2007

Findings

Paparoa Range School has classrooms at Dobson and Blackball. Strong leadership, management and curriculum practices, and high expectations empower all students to be capable learners and leaders. Teachers are developing their culturally responsive practices. Recent developments in school-wide systems are supporting the school to sustain and improve its performance.

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?

Paparoa Range School has five classrooms in Dobson and two classrooms at Blackball. The board, principal and staff promote a good sense of belonging amongst students and families.

Since the previous ERO review in 2010, there have been significant changes to staffing and the board. A new principal was appointed in 2014.

The principal and staff have recently made good progress in addressing the recommendations from the 2010 ERO review. This includes setting suitable targets for students and improved assessment processes.

The school has recently joined a local community of schools to share and develop professional knowledge and learning.

2 Learning

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

The school is making good use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, and progress.

Senior leaders and teachers have high expectations for student learning, progress and achievement.

They effectively support and guide teachers by:

  • effectively using assessment information over time to identify trends and patterns
  • identifying appropriate resources and interventions to better support students requiring additional support
  • encouraging the deliberate use of the language of learning when teachers are talking with students.

Teachers are developing effective systems for tracking and monitoring the progress of students achieving below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This includes:

  • planning for individual students and identifying specific strategies to lift achievement
  • regularly reflecting on the effectiveness of planned teaching actions and adapting teaching practices
  • using a range of effective ways to increase student engagement.

The senior leaders and teachers actively promote positive inclusion of all students, including those with special education needs.

The senior leaders have identified that the key next step is for teachers to further develop students' confidence and understanding of what it means to be a resilient learner.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning and wellbeing.

The well designed curriculum is responsive to community needs. The school makes good use of the local environment and expertise to provide students with a broad range of interesting learning experiences.

There is strong alignment between the school vision and values and the New Zealand Curriculum. The vision and values of the school are well understood and used by students and teachers as an effective learning and assessment tool.

Senior leaders and teachers make good use of student and parent surveys to adapt and improve programmes. Well-organised classrooms, good quality resources and useful prompts help students with their learning. There is an increasing focus on the provision of technologies such as computers for research for senior students, and the use of blogs and class websites to inform and engage parents.

There is a strong focus on empowering students as capable learners and promoting student leadership in a range of contexts. Students have many opportunities to work collaboratively in these leadership roles, including through regular sporting and cultural events.

Inquiry learning integrates mathematics and literacy in ways that are meaningful to students and give them access to a well balanced curriculum.

Areas for review and development

The senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that priority should now be given to:

  • continuing to review the curriculum
  • increasing the involvement of parents in student learning
  • raising student achievement for literacy
  • fostering and promoting New Zealand’s unique bicultural heritage in all documentation.

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

The school is at the early stages of promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori.

The principal is beginning to make good use of Ministry of Education resources, such as Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako, to help staff develop culturally responsive understandings and skills. Some individual teachers are making these good practices evident in their work with students in the classroom.

A feature of the school is the strong focus on empowering student leadership. Māori students have opportunities to regularly lead aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori. The Māori concepts of tuakana teina and ako are reflected in the ways that students support the learning of one another. Kapa haka is led by students for students.

The key next steps are to:

  • identify what success as Māori means for the school, and for Māori students and parents and whānau
  • consult with Māori whānau to determine their aspirations for their tamariki to succeed as Māori
  • continue to build capability and capacity amongst staff.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is becoming well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The senior leadership team provides strong leadership and teaching knowledge to guide staff. Leaders actively promote a shared vision and strong focus on improvement. They have high expectations and are working well with teachers to make purposeful changes. The strengths of individual teachers are valued and well used to build the capability.

The board is well informed about student learning and wellbeing from the detailed and specific reporting that the principal provides. Trustees are supportive of the principal and staff.

Recent developments in school-wide systems provide better alignment between strategic priorities, annual actions, and professional development. New appraisal processes are beginning to provide evidence of teachers reflecting on and growing their practice.

Self review is becoming established and includes student, teacher and community views about the impact of practices and programmes on student learning and wellbeing. This includes good systems to promote students' safety and help them develop positive social relationships.

ERO has identified that the key next steps to build sustainable practices are for the board to:

  • increase its own capability through targeted professional development and training
  • further develop understandings and use of school internal evaluation
  • promote success for Māori as Māori.

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

Paparoa Range School has classrooms at Dobson and Blackball. Strong leadership, management and curriculum practices, and high expectations empower all students to be capable learners and leaders. Teachers are developing their culturally responsive practices. Recent developments in school-wide systems are supporting the school to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

9 June 2015

About the School

Location

Greymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2106

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

103

Gender composition

Boys 59

Girls 44

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnicities

20

90

3

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

9 June 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

February 2007