Vogeltown School

Education institution number:
2258
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
381
Telephone:
Address:

37 Huatoki Street, Vogeltown, New Plymouth

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Vogeltown School - 13/12/2017

School Context

Vogeltown School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Of the 367 students enrolled, 22% are Māori and 2% of Pacific heritage, mostly Cook Island Māori. Significant increase to the roll has occurred over the previous three years. The junior and senior school are located on two separate sites.

The school’s vision is for students to: make the best choices they can, become confident learners with the courage to seek a better world and aspire to heights beyond the horizon. Manaaki Tangata, Manaaki Whenua and Haere Whakamua - caring for people, caring for the land and going forward - underpin a culturally responsive curriculum.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school goals
  • patterns and trends in student attendance and behaviour
  • progress toward annual and strategic goals.

Teachers have participated in two Ministry of Education professional learning and development programmes: Accelerated literacy Learning; and Accelerated Learning in Mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

The school is continuing to improve student achievement, and is seeking to address in-school disparity for Māori students in reading and mathematics, and for boys, especially in writing.

Information reported at the end of 2016 shows that the majority of students achieved well in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieved similar outcomes to their non-Māori peers in writing. Midyear 2017 data indicates achievement is likely to improve for Māori students and boys targeted in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of the year.

The school enrols a small number of Pacific students. Their achievement is suitably tracked, monitored and reported to the board.

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

The school’s response to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration has been recently strengthened by the introduction of better processes to identify, track and monitor students at risk.

Reported information indicates that most targeted students, involved in specialist reading, writing and mathematics programmes, make accelerated progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Students benefit from a wide range of curriculum experiences, including academic, sporting, cultural and educational experiences outside the classroom. Promoting student agency and encouraging greater choice in what and how children learn is being implemented in the junior school.

Students identified with complex learning needs are well catered for. Individual education plans suitably reflect appropriate goals, developed with external agency specialists, parents and school staff. Transition to and from school is well planned to support individual students.

Teachers and leaders are highly collaborative. They regularly explore ways to improve student opportunities to learn and adapt programmes to strengthen delivery of the curriculum. Classroom environments promote the conditions to support positive student participation and engagement in learning. Learning conferences purposefully engage parents and whānau in knowing and setting shared goals to promote the achievement of their child.

Trustees provide appropriate school governance and significant resourcing to promote student achievement and engagement. Purposeful community engagement promotes high levels of involvement at school.

The school promotes appropriate educational partnerships. Engagement with local early childhood services and the intermediate school ensures positive transition for children. The school is seeking to promote collaborative relationships through participation in a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

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

Introduced inquiry models contain useful prompts for evaluation to identify the strategies that are most effective in accelerating student achievement. Improving the collective understanding and effective use of these models by leaders, teachers and trustees should promote a better understanding of which targeted actions make the greatest difference in achieving equity and excellence for students.

Staff have developed a planned response for development of culturally responsive practice for Māori success. Refining and deepening leaders’, teachers’ and trustees’ collective understanding of the approaches contained in this plan, should support further development of practice and an improved overall response to Māori learners’ culture and language.

Teacher appraisal meets the requirements for issuing and renewing Practicing Teacher Certificates. Developing consistency in the use of this process is required to better monitor and build teacher practice.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the school’s clear vision and values for learner engagement and success, together with systems and processes to identify and track the progress of students at risk

  • a culture of collaboration between leaders, teachers and trustees that promotes and guides ongoing school improvement.

Next steps

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

  • strengthened use by leaders and teachers of processes to comprehensively address in-school disparities in student achievement

  • internal evaluation processes and practices, to better understand the ways and extent to which students’ progress is accelerated within and across learning areas.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

13 December 2017

About the school

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2258

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

367

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
Pākehā 69%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

13 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2014
Education Review June 2011
Education Review November 2007

Vogeltown School - 20/10/2014

Findings

A broad curriculum provides appropriate opportunities for all learners to achieve success. Responsive teaching programmes encourage high levels of learner engagement, progress and achievement. A collaborative leadership team promotes teacher reflection and inquiry. Trustees and leaders have high expectations for schoolwide improvement. Further development of evaluative review and inquiry is a next step.

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?

Vogeltown School caters for students in Years 1 to 6 on two sites in suburban New Plymouth. The senior school accommodates Years 3 to 6 classes, the administration block, library, hall and swimming pool. The junior school is situated across the street.

Since the June 2011 ERO report the roll has grown, with a small increase in the percentage of students identifying as Māori. While the percentage of other ethnicities has decreased, 10% of the roll comes from Asian, Pacific and other cultures. The school reports that increasing numbers of students are entering at all year levels.

Both sites have large outdoor spaces and age-appropriate playground facilities which are used to promote student wellbeing, learning and imaginative play. Staff and students interact regularly for professional matters and whole-school activities.

School values and beliefs, including high expectations, respect, responsibility, and caring for each other underpin the Vogeltown School Way (VS Way). Mixed-age whānau groupings are used to promote student leadership, inclusion and mutual respect. Parents and other community members support learning programmes, sporting activities and cultural events.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers analyse a wide range of reliable student achievement data to drive schoolwide improvement. The information is used effectively to:

  • identify and monitor the progress of students needing support and extension
  • develop action plans and evaluate the impact of targeted strategies and resourcing
  • support reviews and set school priorities
  • inform parents and trustees of progress and achievement.

The principal leads the assessment and monitoring of all and targeted students. As a result of thorough, professional processes across the school, students' learning and progress is well known to leaders and teachers. Priority learners are targeted and monitored to accelerate their progress. Leaders report on progress of groups as a result of targeted intervention programmes to the board. Deeper evaluation of effectiveness of strategies and resourcing to accelerate overall progress of priority learners in writing is a next step.

Overall student achievement levels in relation to the National Standards are above national percentages in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve on a par with their New Zealand European school peers in reading and mathematics and above this group for writing. However, fewer Māori students perform in the above National Standards level in each area. Further exploration of ways to extend achievement levels in this group is needed.

The performance of Asian and Pacific students is very good. The small numbers in these groups impacts on the validity of in-school comparisons.

Critical reflection and analysis promote ongoing school improvement. Based on reviews of students’ results and surveys, leaders have determined that mathematics programme development is a priority. Teachers monitor and record students’ progress, engagement and attitudes to new approaches to mathematics.

Parents and whānau and are actively involved in their children's learning and progress. Reporting conferences are held twice a year. Students have opportunities to share their progress and goals.

A well-considered and coordinated approach is used to respond to students with special needs.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has developed clear expectations and guidelines for implementing the curriculum with appropriate integration of local contexts. Teaching programmes are flexible and responsive to student interests and abilities and are likely to foster success for learners at all levels.

Schoolwide expectations for learning and behaviour support and encourage high levels of student engagement in mixed-age classes. Teaching and learning are well managed with appropriate differentiation and strategies to match learners’ ages and needs.

Meaningful integration of literacy and mathematics across the curriculum engages students and supports them to learn. Teachers are trialling new strategies for teaching mathematics, with emphasis on practical and authentic applications. Teachers report these initiatives have increased levels of engagement and understanding of concepts and facts for many students.

Effective syndicate planning and communication provide consistency and coherence to classroom learning. Teachers reflect on the quality of programmes and make adjustments to suit students’ interests. Individualised and group planning are deliberate, responsive and promote improved rates of achievement. Productive relationships and communications between syndicates, teacher aides and external specialists effectively support students with language, learning and behaviour needs.

Classroom environments and extension programmes promote high levels of exploration and creativity, in line with the school's core beliefs. School-based problem-solving projects challenge students' thinking and creativity skills. Learning is shared and celebrated through appealing displays of students' work samples, high quality presentations and resources.

Well-considered strategies and external specialists are used to ensure transitions into and through the school are effectively managed. Proactive communications and sharing of student information supports Year 6 students’ transition to intermediate schools.

Teachers are developing their skills and confidence to promote and integrate te reo Māori and tikanga Māori into classroom programmes. Teaching topics are making increasing use of bicultural contexts and perspectives.

Teachers should continue to develop:

  • their inquiry into the impact of teaching on accelerating student achievement
  • students’ learning of new skills including goal setting, self assessment and next learning steps.

Senior leaders should consider and implement ways to actively engage parents of targeted students in collaborative strategies that accelerate their progress. Further development of student reports to include ways parents can support their child's learning should assist this collaboration.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for its Maori students. Teachers are building their capability and understanding to make Māori culture more visible in the school environment, learning and routines. Current initiatives to promote tikanga Māori and te reo Māori include:

  • powhiri for welcoming new students at the beginning of year
  • saying school karakia daily
  • carvings installed to embody Māori tipuna
  • ongoing provision of noho marae.

Trustees and leaders have made valuing biculturalism and further integration of tikanga Māori into the teaching programmes and school activities a strategic priority. Trustees and leaders should implement action plans to further develop working relationships with whānau. This should foster a stronger education partnership for defining, promoting and monitoring success for Māori as Māori.

The principal and lead teachers are committed to using Tātaiako; cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners as a tool to increase awareness, capability and accountability. ERO's evaluation supports the ongoing implementation of this competencies framework.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school implements sound systems and processes to sustain and improve its performance. A representative and responsive board of trustees set high expectations and is well informed through training and regular reports from the principal. Trustees are improvement focused.

Teachers and leaders use self review effectively to improve the quality of education. They are actively involved in ongoing reflection and review of programmes and practices to promote student learning and wellbeing. They increasingly use inquiry and research to help inform important planning and resourcing decisions.

The principal’s professional leadership and involvement in supporting effective practice is valued by staff. Strong collaborative relationships across the leadership and teaching teams promote a shared understanding of priorities and values.

A positive school culture and shared beliefs promote students’ learning and wellbeing. Students experience a sense of belonging and demonstrate pride and respect for the VS Way.

Professional learning and development initiatives and performance appraisal processes are appropriately focused on teaching practices and strategies to improve outcomes for students. The principal works closely and regularly with syndicate leaders and teachers to monitor and promote improved achievement and success for all learners.

High levels of community engagement and support of school practices foster learning partnerships. Parent and student input and feedback are sought and responded to, especially through learning conferences, parent and student breakfasts and surveys. A strong sense of community commitment and contributions to the ongoing successes of the school is evident.

Next steps to support ongoing school improvement are for trustees and leaders to;

  • more clearly link annual targets and goals to longer term strategic priorities
  • strengthen inquiry and self review by developing measures of success that are more outcomes focused.

These measures should assist trustees and leaders to more accurately monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the school. This should enable it to build on its current good performance and continue to address needs related to the changing school population and community expectations.

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

A broad curriculum provides appropriate opportunities for all learners to achieve success. Responsive teaching programmes encourage high levels of learner engagement, progress and achievement. A collaborative leadership team promotes teacher reflection and inquiry. Trustees and leaders have high expectations for schoolwide improvement. Further development of evaluative review and inquiry is a next step.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

20 October 2014

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2258

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

302

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

23%

67%

10%

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

20 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

November 2007

October 2004