College Street Normal School

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Education institution number:
2353
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Normal School
Total roll:
581
Telephone:
Address:

402 College Street, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North

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School Context

College Street Normal School is a large Years 1 to 6 school situated in Palmerston North. The school community is ethnically diverse. Of the 593 students enrolled, 13% are Māori students and 4% are of Pacific heritage. Rangitāne is acknowledged as mana whenua.

The vision for students is encapsulated by the three overarching concepts of: Engage, Explore and Empower. Curriculum design and delivery promotes personalised learning for students.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing, and mathematics in relation to curriculum expectation
  • progress and achievement of target learners, including Māori and Pacific students.

The principal and several teachers undertake leadership roles as part of the school’s involvement in the Te Oro Karaka Tahi 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 effective use of systems, processes and practice achieves equity and excellence for most students.

Positive achievement outcomes are generally maintained overtime. At the end of 2018, over a third of students were above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics. Achievement outcomes reported midyear 2019, shows a slight disparity for Māori students in reading and writing and Pacific students in writing at the end of 2018, is being effectively targeted and addressed. Nearly all student are on track to achieve curriculum expectations.

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

The school responds effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most students targeted in reading, writing and mathematics in 2018 made progress, with many showing acceleration in achievement. In 2019, nearly all Māori and Pacific learners, are on track to achieve expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Organisational systems and practice are effective in achieving the valued outcomes of the school. Leaders demonstrate collective capability and capacity to guide future developments toward the school vision for learner success. Trustees use a range of relevant skills that supports purposeful governance. Whānau hui has been established to purposefully contribute their voice to the strategic direction. Well established educational partnerships contribute to leadership of professional knowledge and practice.

Responsive systems, processes and practice effectively support students identified with additional and complex learning needs. Comprehensive monitoring and the effective use of assessments support a timely response to learners requiring their achievement to be accelerated. Parent access to student achievement and progress data promotes their inclusion in a well-informed learning partnership.

A wide range of curriculum experiences develop relevant skills and promote the development of individual competencies. Innovative curriculum design and delivery is increasingly promoting self-directed learning aligned to the school vision. Students are active participants in their learning, promoting purposeful engagement in class. Parents contribute their knowledge and time to support delivery of the curriculum. Participation in kapa haka, pōwhiri and culturally relevant contexts for learning are suitably strengthening the school’s response to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity. Cultural diversity is valued, with opportunities for learners to share and celebrate events of cultural significance.

The inclusive school environment fosters positive student engagement. Reciprocal relationships between individuals, peers and staff ensures purposeful engagement of learners in classrooms and across the school. Students identify a strong sense of belonging. The young leaders’ group contributes purposefully to the positive school culture. Gathering of student wellbeing information should further inform evaluation of current practice and guide future developments.   

Efficient coaching and mentoring effectively guides teaching and learning toward expected practice. Professional learning and development is well aligned to school priorities. Collaborative teacher inquiry has been introduced to ensure the impact of changes to curriculum practice are understood to support ongoing development. Appraisal processes are robust, monitoring and guiding teacher practice. Leaders are currently revising performance management documentation to reflect current practice.

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

Strategic and annual planning provides clear and detailed direction to guide continued curriculum development, including increasing the response to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity. Leaders have identified further development of systematic evaluation as part of the implementation of the curriculum innovations. Strengthening this process should establish how well introduced strategies and practices contribute to achievement of the school vision and further promote equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students (Code of Practice 2016 (the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code.

At the time of this review there are ten international students attending the school.

Processes for induction and orientation to the school are well considered. Systems for identifying and responding to individual needs and interests are effective. International students’ welfare needs are well supported and they benefit from an inclusive environment. They participate in a broad range of academic and social activities at the school.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of College Street Normal School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • comprehensive systems, processes and practices that contribute to achieving equity and excellence for learners
  • curriculum provision that meets the emerging and developing capabilities of learners
  • effective organisational capability and capacity that sustain the valued outcomes of the school and strategically guide ongoing development
  • inclusive environments that foster the purposeful engagement of students at school.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to strengthen the curriculum and teacher capability to further extend the response to Māori students’ culture, language and identity
  • extending systematic evaluation to establish how well curriculum changes promote equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

20 August 2019

About the school

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2353

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

593

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
NZ European/Pākehā 48%
Pacific 4%
Asian 29%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

20 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review May 2011
Education Review May 2008

Findings

Many students are highly successful learners. They engage in challenging programmes responsive to their strengths and needs. Students at risk in their learning are very well supported to make accelerated progress. The values of respect, kindness and responsibility are embedded. High expectations, robust systems and a strong improvement focus enable the school to be very well placed to provide positive outcomes for students.

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?

College Street Normal School is a large, Years 1 to 6 multicultural school in central Palmerston North. Regular use is made of the many community facilities in easy reach of the school. Eight per cent of the 522 students are Māori. Rangitāne is acknowledged as mana whenua.

The shared philosophy of ‘Go for Gold’ is aimed at every student becoming a confident and successful lifelong learner. Many opportunities are provided for students to be involved in a range of academic, cultural, sporting and community activities.

Enhancing student learning outcomes through improving the quality of classroom instruction is prioritised. Well-implemented systems support teachers to build their capability.

The school has a very positive reporting history with ERO. Continued improvement remains the overriding focus of students, teachers, school leaders and trustees. The school’s high performance has been sustained since the May 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is very well used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Many students are very successful learners. A high proportion achieve at or above in relation to the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Students make good progress as they move through the school and many leave Year 6 above National Standard expectation. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similarly high levels to other groups.

Assessment data is regularly collected, collated and analysed to inform the focus for teaching. The extent of student progress is carefully considered and programmes are modified for individual students if necessary.

A range of programmes effectively supports students at risk of achieving below expectation. Willingness to use staff flexibly assists responsiveness to the needs of students. Many target students show substantial gains in their learning. Intervention programmes for reading and writing in junior classes are strengths.

Effective processes support teachers to make judgements about students' achievement. These decisions are regularly reviewed to ensure they are reliable.

Assessment data is well analysed and used to inform decisions about future learning programmes for individuals and groups. Charter targets increasingly support trustees and leaders to look more deeply at the impact of teaching strategies on particular student’s learning. Improved achievement has resulted from a recent focus on writing.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum is consistently effective in promoting and supporting student learning. A wide range of opportunities is provided for students to engage in purposeful and challenging programmes that respond to their strengths and needs.

The school’s curriculum is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Students are encouraged to develop as thinkers and learners. Attitudes to learning based on 'Habits of Mind' are a key contributor to this. Enabling students to build effective learning habits and be active participants in their programmes are priorities.

Skills are developed that enable students to be successful independent learners across the curriculum. Useful tools assist them to understand and speak confidently about their learning and progress.

An emphasis on ensuring students' progress in literacy and mathematics is evident. Ideas across a range of curriculum areas are explored through an integrated approach. Students are able to develop and apply knowledge and develop a range of skills in meaningful ways. ‘Thinking like a scientist’ is a current focus.

Clear guidelines for teaching and learning are successfully implemented. High expectations for student engagement and teaching are well established. Teaching approaches are learner centred. Regular reference to relevant contexts and prior knowledge fosters learner interest and participation in class programmes.

A considered approach to the development of e-learning ensures it increasingly supports understanding of and learning with digital technology.

Students with special needs and abilities are well provided for. Enrichment activities successfully assist more able learners to develop their strengths.

A range of opportunities is provided for parents to participate in their children’s learning and the life of the school. Effective transition practices support students and parents new to the school. Parents are well informed about curriculum activities and student achievement. Children’s next learning steps and ways parents can help are specific and clearly shared. The school is continuing to seek ways to build connections with parents and the community.

Shared responsibility for the wellbeing of students is based around the ‘Habits of Heart’ values of respect, kindness and responsibility. These values are modelled, explored and well embedded. Respectful and affirming relationships are evident and contribute to students’ positive sense of belonging.

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

The school continues to build the extent that it promotes success for Māori as Māori. Recent developments include:

  • re-establishment of a kapa haka group
  • increased reflection of tikanga within school activities
  • teachers increased knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • te ao Māori being increasingly reflected within classrooms
  • greater connections with whānau.

A next step is to review current provision for Māori learners through reference to best practice guidelines for developing teachers’ cultural competencies. Further unpacking of these should continue to strengthen the extent the language, culture and identity of Māori students is promoted.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Key contributing factors include:

  • high expectations for students' success from parents, trustees and teachers
  • deliberate strategic decision-making, responsive to review
  • comprehensive and responsive planning and evaluation to support developments and initiatives
  • robust systems and practices that support teaching and learning and promote student achievement.

Comprehensive, shared expectations and guidelines support teaching practice and increase teacher capability. Teachers and leaders work collaboratively with colleagues to share strategies likely to provide the best outcomes for students. Robust performance appraisal and development processes focus on improvement and building consistent, effective classroom practice across the school.

The principal is a strategic, innovative leader who has established a clear vision for the school. Effective leadership at all levels is built and sustained through well-established processes. The senior leadership team is collaborative and clearly articulates high expectations for students and staff. Leaders use effective systems and practices to monitor and support high quality student outcomes. Continuing to build the quality of teaching is a focus for all involved in leadership roles.

Experienced trustees are well informed about curriculum and achievement. The impact of interventions and initiatives is effectively monitored. The charter clearly indicates the board’s priorities for promoting successful learning outcomes for all students. Resourcing decisions reflect the emphasis on building the capability of teachers to promote student achievement.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were five international students attending the school.

ERO's investigations confirmed that the school's review of practices to support the learning and wellbeing of international students is ongoing and thorough. The education programmes provided for these students are appropriate for their needs and effectively promote their learning. International students are well integrated into the academic and social life of 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

Many students are highly successful learners. They engage in challenging programmes responsive to their strengths and needs. Students at risk in their learning are very well supported to make accelerated progress. The values of respect, kindness and responsibility are embedded. High expectations, robust systems and a strong improvement focus enable the school to be very well placed to provide positive outcomes for students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

25 May 2015

About the School

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2353

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

522

Number of international students

5

Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

8%

57%

21%

2%

12%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

25 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

May 2008

May 2004