Central Normal School

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Education institution number:
2418
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Normal School with Model Classes
Total roll:
476
Telephone:
Address:

201 Featherston Street, Palmerston North

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School Context

Central Normal School – Te Kura Tuatahi o Papaioea – is located in Palmerston North. At the time of this review there were 435 children in Years 1 to 6 enrolled. Over 50% of the roll identify as Māori. An immersion and bilingual hub, Te Arawaru, comprising six classes is a key feature of the school.

Te Arawaru provides immersion and bilingual education for students in Years 1 to 6. The team has undergone recent changes. Level 1 immersion education for students in Years 3 to 6 is now included. A recent, important focus for teachers has been the implementation of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in consultation with whānau. Many students across the team are first time learners of te reo Māori.

Leadership has sought the aspirations and perspectives of the Central Normal School community. These have been collaboratively developed into the school vision, values and learning dispositions.

The 2019 strategic plan gives priority to ongoing improvement for students in engagement, learning and wellbeing. Current goals and targets include a strategic focus on raising achievement for Māori and accelerating learning in reading and mathematics.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Since the May 2015 ERO report, Central Normal School has experienced significant changes in leadership and staff. A new leadership team, Manawatū, has been formed. This includes five new leaders in the school. A number of new teachers have been appointed. Longstanding and newly elected members make up the board of trustees.

The school operates in close partnership with Massey University through its education and teacher training courses. It is also a fund holder for students with special education needs, providing inclusive programmes for learners who require additional 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. There is a strategic focus to promote equity of outcomes. At the end of 2018, the majority of all students in the Auraki area of the school achieved at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Both Māori and Pacific students’ achievement was lower than their peers and there was significant disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement in writing.

All in-school disparity is well known by trustees, leaders and teachers and strategies are in place to address this.

Midyear 2019 data provided by the school indicates improvement for Māori in reading and small gains made for Pacific students in mathematics. At the time of this review, school achievement data in mathematics, shows that most students are on track to achieve at or above The New Zealand Curriculum expectation by the end of 2019.

Teachers are in the initial stages of gathering dependable longitudinal data of progress and achievement over time for Te Arawaru. Midyear 2019 data in Te Arawaru shows that most students are achieving at or above expected levels in pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau in relation to their years in immersion.

The recent revision and focus on the school values has contributed to increasingly positive outcomes for engagement in learning.

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

The school is strengthening its effectiveness in accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who are at risk of underachievement. The school identified specific cohorts and groups of children to accelerate learning in reading and mathematics in 2019.

For those Māori students targeted in the school’s 2019 annual plan, a large majority show acceleration in reading and mathematics.

Outcomes for second language learners in reading show nearly all these students make accelerated progress.

Children with additional and complex learning needs have learning plans linked to their very specific individual strengths and needs. Progress and strategies for support are regularly reviewed. School provided data for 2019 shows progress for many and acceleration for some students in other targeted interventions.

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?

Leadership systems and practices, promote, strengthen and sustain professional learning and collaboration to improve teaching and student outcomes in achievement and engagement.

Manawatū, the school leadership team, demonstrate an understanding that growing teacher capability is a key for improving all students’ learning outcomes. Professional learning and development is aligned to the strategic goals and responsive to teacher development needs that focus on student outcomes. Leadership sets a clear direction for systematic and well-paced school development. Collaborative opportunities include coaching, modelling and sharing of practice. Knowledge building and inquiry are promoted and supported at every level of the school. The deliberate selection and use of the schoolwide student tracking and management system enables analysis of relevant student data and information about teaching practices and is used effectively to evaluate and inform goal setting.

Students learn in settled environments that reflect respect for all. Teaching and learning experiences are managed effectively to promote participation and engagement in learning. Positive attitudes, increased engagement and ownership of learning is evident. Te ao Māori is woven into school life and fostered throughout classes. Te ao and tikanga Māori are authentically reflected through the students’ participation in schoolwide practices.

Children with additional learning and behaviour needs are well supported within an inclusive environment. A robust pastoral system combines effective systems and processes with a range of innovative programmes to maximise wellbeing and learning outcomes. Appropriate planning for students with complex needs are inclusive of parent input and incorporate external agency support. Thoughtfully planned transitions in, across, and out of school enable cohesion for students and families.

Partnerships with iwi have been strengthened. Connections with iwi and whānau promote engagement and provide further learning opportunities for students that positively support success for Māori, as Māori.

Whānau and community are actively encouraged and involved in the life and work of the school. Ongoing communication, formally, informally and digitally continues to strengthen learning partnership. Children have deliberate opportunities to share their learning with parents and whānau.

Internal evaluation contributes effectively to school improvement. Purposeful surveys and reviews are carried out and whānau and the community are regularly consulted. Staff and student voice is collected and used to determine future actions. Systems, processes and practices are subject to ongoing scrutiny and evaluation to promote positive outcomes for students.

The board draws on their expertise and networks to strengthen their organisational capacity and effectiveness. They have undertaken training and provide competent oversight of school operation. There are sound systems and procedures to support students’ safety and welfare.Trustees maintain a strong focus on equitable resourcing for the school to maximise student outcomes.

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

The schoolwide internal evaluation process has informed many decisions and changes. A next step is to extend the use of achievement and progress information, for evaluation that defines what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed. Setting specific, identified targets should support this process.

Continuing to review and refine the documented curriculum, and delivery guidelines, should ensure the school’s vision for successful learning is enacted.

To support the ongoing development of Te Arawaru, teachers should adopt a strategic approach to the implementation of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. This should include:

  • ongoing professional learning and development for teachers in second language acquisition theory, teaching and learning
  • collaboration with immersion teams of a similar nature and external expertise to strengthen moderation and assessment practices and build collective capacity.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

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

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • leadership processes and practices that promote, strengthen and sustain professional learning and collaboration to improve teaching and learning
  • a rich curriculum and learning environments that are successfully developed to enable increased student collaboration, participation and engagement
  • comprehensive systems and practices that are in place to promote equitable outcomes for all students.

Next steps

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

  • revising and strengthening current annual achievement targets to more clearly identify those students in need of acceleration
  • planning a strategic approach to the implementation of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa that should support the vision and aspirations of whānau to be fully realised.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

30 October 2019

About the school 

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2418

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

435

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 53%
NZ European/Pākehā 30%
Pacific 10%
Asian 5%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

6

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

30 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2015
Education Review, May 2011
Education Review March 2008

Findings

The school provides a high quality curriculum with positive outcomes for students. A special feature is the enactment of bicultural values, including the bilingual unit. Leaders, teachers and trustees use achievement information well to promote student learning and progress. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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?

Central Normal School – Te Kura Tuatahi o Papaioea - provides education for 429 students in Years 1 to 6. Almost half of those enrolled identify as Māori. A bilingual unit, Te Arawaru, comprising six classes is a significant feature of the school.

The school was the first to be established in Palmerston North, and its long history is valued and celebrated by students, teachers, parents and whānau. As a Normal school, it operates in close partnership with Massey University’s education and teacher training courses. It is a fund holder for students with special education needs, providing inclusive programmes for learners who require additional support.

The school culture is underpinned by values and graduate profiles developed in consultation with students, staff, parents, whānau and the local community. Te ao Māori is woven throughout the curriculum and environment.

Staff turnover is low, with many leaders, teachers and support staff having been in the school for over ten years.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the 2011 review, trustees and leaders have continued to develop and refine systems and processes for supporting and lifting students’ learning and wellbeing.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers effectively use achievement information to promote students’ learning and accelerate progress.

Data from a range of reliable sources is systematically collated and analysed to identify trends, patterns and specific learning needs. Appropriate improvement targets are set, to plan and implement actions for raising the achievement of individuals and groups in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers use assessment data to design programmes matched to students' needs. They formally inquire into the impact of their teaching strategies on learning outcomes for targeted students.

Progress over time is carefully monitored and meaningfully reported to the board. Information is used by trustees to guide their allocation of resources for learning support. Reports to parents are regular, clear and informative. Leaders continually review and strengthen processes for improving students’ achievement.

At the end of 2014, most students were at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieved at similar levels to their peers.

Teachers in Te Arawaru are meeting the challenge of gradually integrating Ngā Whanaketanga as measures of achievement for students who learn through Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, the curriculum designed for Māori medium teaching.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum consistently promotes students’ engagement and learning.

The WISE values of whanaungatanga, integrity, show respect, and excellence are prominent. They are well known, embedded and understood schoolwide. Recently-developed graduate profiles reflect these values. The graphic representation of these as korowai highlights the prominence given to aspects of te ao Māori and in particular the sense of belonging and pride associated with the traditional garment.

Year 6 students have a graduation ceremony when they move on to intermediate school. Each student is gifted a taonga and an individualised citation celebrating their time at Central Normal. Transitions into the school are managed with care. A well-considered, sequential programme of preparation for children and their parents leads up to new entrants’ full integration.

Curriculum documents provide clear guidance for teaching and learning. High expectations are articulated for students and teachers. A key priority, which was identified through the recent curriculum review, is helping students become self-directed learners. In Years 5 and 6, students know what they need to do to become more independent and take increasing responsibility for their own progress. In other areas of the school, self-directed learning skills are introduced gradually.

Students enjoy a rich bicultural curriculum, with tikanga Māori embedded and enacted schoolwide. Teachers should continue to build consistent use of te reo Māori in classroom programmes and further integrate te ao Māori into teaching and learning.

In Te Arawaru, teachers are developing shared understandings about how they can best align teaching practice to both The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in the bilingual context.

Professional learning and development for teachers and teacher aides is well resourced and suitably aligned to strategic priorities and annual targets.

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

The school successfully promotes educational success for Māori students, as Māori.

Overall, Māori learners’ achievement in relation to the National Standards exceeds national averages for all students. Educational success for students in Te Arawaru is at similar levels to that for Māori students in Te Kura Auraki mainstream classes.

Leaders and teachers are highly responsive to the aspirations of parents and whānau for their tamariki. A team of staff and parents, Te Ohu Panoni, focuses on developing and monitoring strategies to raise and accelerate the achievement of Māori students, as Māori. Cultural competencies are well understood by teachers and increasingly reflected in classrooms.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are embedded in the life of the school. Māori students experience a sense of belonging in an environment where their language, culture and identity are valued and authentically integrated. Role models foster engagement, learning and wellbeing.

Māori success is a strategic priority for the school.

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.

The key factors contributing to this positive picture are:

  • well-embedded, high quality self review that informs change and improvement
  • effective senior leadership committed to fostering leadership capabilities among teachers and students
  • robust, supportive systems for monitoring, developing and enhancing teacher performance
  • fruitful engagement in reciprocal partnerships with parents, whānau and community
  • well-informed, knowledgeable board members who demonstrate sound understanding of their governance responsibilities in relation to student achievement and wellbeing.

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 was one international student attending the school.

Systems to support student wellbeing, inclusion and education are sound.

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

The school provides a high quality curriculum with positive outcomes for students. A special feature is the enactment of bicultural values, including the bilingual unit. Leaders, teachers and trustees use achievement information well to promote student learning and progress. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 May 2015

About the School

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2418

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

429

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boy 50 %,

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

47%

40%

4%

3%

6%

Special Features

Te Arawaru Bilingual Unit

Fund holder school for students with special education needs

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

March 2008

March 2005