Fitzroy School

Education institution number:
2167
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
387
Telephone:
Address:

Barriball Street, Fitzroy, New Plymouth

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Fitzroy School - 05/05/2017

Summary

At the time of this evaluation, 403 students were enrolled at Fitzroy School and 103 identify as Māori, nine as Pacific and 23 Asian. A small number are from other ethnic groups and a few are English language learners. The school has experienced considerable roll growth in the past few years.

Since the May 2014 ERO report, teachers have undertaken professional learning and development related to literacy, mathematics, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and teacher appraisal. Leaders and teachers are currently exploring modern learning practices. Next steps identified in the previous report have been addressed through these developments.

Staffing remains stable and new teachers have joined the ‘Fitzroy Family’ as a result of roll growth. Trustee elections in 2016 resulted in some new members joining the board.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a cohesive approach to responding to all students whose learning and achievementneed acceleration. They pursue equity and excellence for Māori and other learners who are not achieving in relation to National Standards.

Since the previous ERO report, leaders have used findings from effective internal evaluation and inquiry to build knowledge to inform and drive school improvement. Teachers respond positively to schoolwide development to continue enhancing outcomes for students.

At the end of 2016, most students were at and above the Standards for reading, mathematics and writing. The school has yet to have Māori students achieving as well as their peers. Examples of acceleration for Māori and other students below and well below in relation to National Standards are evident across the school. At the end of 2016, all Year 6 students achieved at or above the Standard for reading.

Agreed next steps are to: ensure teaching as inquiry has a stronger focus on accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement; and further develop schoolwide systems to show the rates of acceleration and effective strategies for cohort groups over time.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school has a cohesive approach to respond to Māori learners and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most students achieve at and above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The data shows that Māori learners are not yet achieving as well as their peers and more boys are below the Standards for reading and writing compared with girls. Leaders and teachers give priority to improving the achievement of these learners. Pacific and Asian students achieve well. At the end of 2016, approximately half of all students achieved above the Standard for reading, two-thirds for mathematics and a quarter for writing. At the end of 2016, all Year 6 students achieved at or above the Standard for reading.

Teachers know the students well. Achievement plans are prepared for each child and some models include the rate of acceleration expected. Syndicate meetings give priority to discussing particular teaching strategies that enable improvement. The rate of progress each child makes is regularly reviewed against expectations with examples of acceleration evident.

Student progress is well monitored at class and syndicates levels. A schoolwide process for tracking cohort groups over six years of schooling is in the development phase. Leaders are aware that this would better show the rates of acceleration for each targeted student.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School trustees and leaders set high expectations and pursue the achievement of equity and excellence. A range of processes effectively support this.

Students experience differentiated programmes that target their identified needs. They are challenged and supported in an inclusive, responsive learning environment. Appropriate external support and specific interventions are provided and teacher aides are used effectively in classrooms. Students actively engage in their learning, class tone is settled and rooms are attractively presented. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and behaviour. The school’s values of respect, integrity, excellence and resilience are actively promoted.

Leaders and teachers engage in positive relationships with parents, whānau and the community. Parents and whānau have opportunities to meet with teachers, discuss their child’s progress, and gain knowledge about how they can support learning at home.

The curriculum is coherent, inclusive and culturally responsive. Priority is given to literacy and mathematics and ensuring students have opportunities to pursue their strengths and interests across the curriculum. Te ao Māori and knowledge of mana whenua is well integrated. The te reo me ngā tikanga Māori programme is well planned and values such as manaakitanga, rangimārie, ako and hūmārie are understood by students and teachers. Ka Hikitia: Māori Achieving Educational Success as Māori, is used well to guide development.

The board has student learning, wellbeing and achievement as its core concern. Strategic, annual planning and target setting is coherent and aligned to the vision and values. Trustees have clear expectations for reporting student achievement and receive good information to make decisions to improve outcomes for Māori and others below Standards.

School leaders are collaborative and knowledgeable. They implement a well-considered approach to pursue the board’s goals and targets to accelerate the learning of students at risk of underachievement. Emphasis is given to growing the capacity of teachers as leaders to promote improved teaching and learning. Māori achieving success as Māori is promoted and valued.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Findings from the school’s internal evaluation and ERO’s external evaluation identify aspects of school development that require strengthening to achieve equity and excellence.

The appraisal system is well considered and supports teachers to inquire into and improve their practices. Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Māori Leaners, has assisted this development. The next step is to strengthen the appraisal process. Goal setting and teaching as inquiry need to be more responsive to accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement, particularly for Māori and boys.

A system is needed to assist the board, leaders and teachers gain better knowledge about the rates of acceleration for cohort groups over six years of schooling. This should show trends and patterns over time and enable identification of the most effective teaching strategies and actions for improvement.

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building is systematic and coherent. Leaders have strengthened internal evaluation and findings are used to inform and drive school improvement. Including specific success indicators as part of evaluation and inquiry processes is likely to assist the board, leaders and teachers to better gauge the effectiveness of programmes designed to accelerate achievement.

Learning-centred relationships with parents and whānau are promoted. Strengthening reciprocal learning partnerships with parents and whānau to accelerate progress for students at risk is a next step.

Good assessment practices and internal moderation are evident for reading, writing and mathematics. This supports the dependability of National Standard information. Consideration should be given to moderating the judgements teachers make in relation to National Standards with other schools to grow this practice.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen teaching as inquiry with a stronger focus on accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachievement

  • develop schoolwide systems to show the rates of acceleration and effective strategies for cohort groups over six years of schooling.

The board, leaders and teachers have a relentless focus on accelerating the achievement of Māori students through the very good school conditions to achieve the board’s vision ‘for students to aspire for, and achieve, personal excellence with the support of the Fitzroy Family.’

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

5 May 2017

About the school

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2167

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

403

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%

Pākehā 63%

Asian 6%

Other ethnic groups 6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

5 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2014

Education Review, March 2011

Education Review, April 2008

 

Fitzroy School - 20/05/2014

1 Context

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

Fitzroy School caters for Years 1 to 6 students in Fitzroy, New Plymouth.

A steadily growing roll has resulted in an enrolment zone for the school. Of the current roll of 384 students, 78 are Māori and 14 are Pacific. The largest year groups are in the junior school. The increasing roll has prompted a number of property developments, including two new classrooms, and presented challenges for staffing and use of space.

Many staff are long serving, and several new teaching positions have been established. School and board leadership is stable. The established Fitzroy Family concept continues to underpin school values.

2 Learning

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

A focus on identifying and monitoring the achievement of students who require additional support to be successful is highly evident in the school.

Assessment information is used to appropriately identify students not achieving in relation to the National Standards and to set achievement targets. These are shared with teachers. School data shows most students, particularly Pacific, achieve well in reading. Although most students achieve well in writing and mathematics, data shows there are groups of students who do not achieve the standards.

Team leaders monitor students’ progress towards set targets throughout the year and undertake an annual review of achievement to report to the board. Further inquiry into trends and patterns in achievement data by teachers and leaders should help to focus strategies to improve outcomes for students.

A range of programmes is provided for learners with additional learning needs. A new role of literacy support teacher has been developed. Teachers track the learning support provided and levels of achievement for these students.

Important next steps are to establish a shared understanding of accelerated learning and clear expectations for effective, focused response to underachieving students. This should assist leaders to make clear judgements about the success of interventions in promoting progress. Teachers should also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching strategies.

Useful guidelines assist staff to make overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards. Increased moderation opportunities should strengthen consistency and robustness of judgements.

Three-way conferencing promotes students' involvement in their learning. Written reports to parents provide some useful next steps and information about how parents can help at home.

3 Curriculum

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

Recent development of the curriculum to integrate learning areas and incorporate an approach to support students’ thinking skills is highly evident in the school. Teachers are developing consistent use of models and practices to ensure cohesive curriculum implementation.

Students confidently participate in learning. Classes offer opportunities for students to collaborate and support each other. Teachers provide small group teaching in mathematics and literacy and support the focus of learning with related independent tasks.

Provision is made for all students to learn te reo Māori. Classrooms promote a sense of belonging and are busy, attractive and orderly environments. Positive relationships are evident.

Student leadership is fostered and many students take on a range of prominent roles and responsibilities within the school. Students clearly understand expectations for positive behaviour. Values and principles promoted through the Fitzroy Family concept underpin school activities and interactions.

A recent review of this concept sought the views of teachers and students to establish common understandings. Further review should include analysed input from parents, whānau and other groups, to ensure diverse perspectives are represented.

Recently introduced professional learning groups provide opportunities for teachers to share strategies and build professional knowledge. These should support teachers’ growing understanding of effective teaching and learning, and assist them to inquire more deeply into their teaching practice.

It is timely to review the curriculum in partnership with parents, whānau and the wider community, to ensure it reflects their aspirations. Review should consider how well the curriculum responds to the local context and to the cultural diversity of students and their families.

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

The school is strengthening its provision for Māori students. Funding of external expertise supports curriculum delivery. Te reo Māori me ngā tikanga lessons and kapa haka provide opportunities for students to make connections with their identity, language and culture. Additional opportunities are provided for some students to enrich their te reo learning through extension classes.

The Māori curriculum team provides good support for the development and implementation of the te reo Maori me ngā tikanga programme. Team members are improvement focused. They set direction, reflect on provision and initiate change.

Establishing a more strategic and cohesive plan for development should ensure efforts are coordinated and aligned. This should be guided by a clear vision of success for Maori, as Māori, developed in partnership with local iwi, hapū and whānau, and Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 20132017. Use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners should support the development of teachers’ capacity to be more culturally responsive in their practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Good relationships are evident throughout the school. Trustees have a range of expertise and experience and work collaboratively with school leaders. Staff value and support each other.

The use of external appraisal and professional development for the senior leadership team provides appropriate support for their development as managers and professional leaders. Teachers have a range of leadership opportunities in curriculum and syndicate teams. Developing clear expectations of roles and responsibilities is a next step.

Established practices to support student wellbeing are evident in the school. A number of school staff provide highly responsive care and support for students and liaise with families. Ensuring there are clear, coordinated systems with defined responsibilities for identifying needs, accessing and monitoring support, and evaluating outcomes for students should strengthen practice.

School leaders use planned, regular self review and a schedule provides for the evaluation of a wide range of school activities and initiatives. Review promotes reflection on practices through useful questions and clear indicators of success. Student and teacher perspectives are well represented.

Next steps should include:

  • a more evaluative approach to the focus of review to determine significance, impact or effectiveness
  • greater consideration of the sources of information and who might be involved
  • deeper analysis and interpretation of data
  • clear evaluative judgements from findings.

Results of review, including annual planning outcomes, should be shared with the community and inform ongoing strategic goals and priorities.

School leaders recognise teacher appraisal needs strengthening. Further development should include: setting of relevant and specific goals; observations of practice with specific feedback to guide improvement; and clear links to teachers’ roles in promoting students’ progress. Planned developments include the use of a portfolio to provide evidence of progress towards goals and support teachers to systematically inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching.

Trustees have focused on ensuring school staffing and property is adequate for new enrolments brought about by increased numbers of students, particularly in the junior area. Senior leaders have recognised the need to review school practices and systems as the school develops.

Improving systems for managing documentation to support self review, accountability and communication should support this. Increased partnerships with parents and whānau in decision-making and goal-setting should also be promoted through review.

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.

In order to improve practice, trustees should ensure minutes of board meetings are properly kept and available for public viewing. [Good practice; Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, Public Records Act 2005]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

20 May 2014

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2167

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

378

Gender composition

Female 48%, Male 52%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Indian

Other ethnic groups

68%

20%

4%

4%

2%

2%

Special Features

Resource Teacher of Literacy

Reading Recovery Centre

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

20 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

April 2008

April 2005