Ebbett Park School

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Summary

At the time of this ERO evaluation, 152 students were enrolled at Ebbett Park School. Sixty-nine percent identify as Māori and fourteen percent as Pacific. Six percent of the students are deaf. The school is part of the Hastings West Community of Learning. The school has experienced considerable roll growth since the June 2014 ERO report.

The board has undertaken training and are working with a consultant to assist with strategic and annual planning. A new principal started in term two, 2014. Since that time, four of the seven teachers have been appointed and a new leadership team established.

Ebbett Park School has received support from a Ministry of Education (MoE) student achievement function practitioner and participated in a MoE contract to accelerate literacy learning. Teachers are continuing professional learning and development in literacy with an external consultant. Positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) has been sustained and strengthened.

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

Leaders and teachers work well as a team towards achieving equitable outcomes for all children. Most students enter school with low literacy and numeracy skills. Early intervention is promoted, especially in the first three years of schooling.

National Standards data shows improvement. At the end of 2016, approximately two thirds of the students were at and above the Standards in reading, mathematics and writing. Overall, Māori and Pacific students achieved as well as their peers, boys achieved less well in writing and girls less well in mathematics.

A range of effective school conditions promotes the achievement of equity and excellence. Trustees are committed to enhancing outcomes for students. Leaders are improvement focused. The curriculum gives appropriate priority to literacy, numeracy and key competencies. Positive relationships are encouraged and students learn in caring, inclusive classrooms.

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity of achievement for some students remains.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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 is focused on increasing its effectiveness in responding to Māori, Pacific and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

National Standards data shows that many students make good progress over time, with evidence of accelerated progress for some students. Teachers use a good range of assessments to identify each child’s strengths and next learning steps. Assessment information is used to identify students whose learning requires acceleration, plan and monitor programmes, and report to parents and the board. Leaders have identified the need to improve moderation within and outside the school to strengthen the dependability of the National Standards data.

Very good provision is made for students with additional learning needs. Appropriate support is provided by external agencies. Specific individual education plans are developed and monitored for these students. Deaf students are well supported by the resource teacher of the deaf, class teachers and teacher aides who communicate using sign language.

PB4L is well embedded, regularly reviewed and evaluated. Clear behaviour expectations are consistently implemented and monitored. As a result, students learn in calm, settled classroom environments.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a range of effective processes to support acceleration and the achievement of equity and excellence.

  • The board is committed to supporting leaders and teachers towards achieving the school’s vision and valued outcomes. Trustees undertake training to assist shared understandings about their role and responsibilities. They are presented with student achievement information related to reading, writing and mathematics, including programme interventions. They ask questions about the effectiveness of these programmes to make resourcing decisions.
  • Leaders are improvement focused, work well as a team and complement each other’s knowledge and skills. They ensure an orderly and supportive environment that assists students’ learning and wellbeing. Leaders participate in professional learning and development, build trust and work effectively with all members of the school community. They give teachers helpful feedback and provide them with opportunities to lead curriculum developments.
  • Appropriate priority is given to literacy, numeracy and key competencies in the curriculum.
  • Well-planned, schoolwide professional learning and development for leaders and teachers is aligned to school priorities and personal goals. Teachers are encouraged to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice through the appraisal process.
  • Effective communication with parents, whānau and aiga. Positive changes have been made to processes for reporting to parents. Digital devices and applications are being used to enhance and strengthen two-way communication. Families receive regular information about their child’s learning and behaviour, and partnerships between home and school are encouraged.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Through regular reflection, inquiry and review, the board, leaders and teachers have identified the need to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation practices to better determine the effectiveness of strategies, programmes and interventions to sustain improvement. This should assist trustees and leaders to gain greater knowledge about progress ‘to challenge students to excel and provide them with all they require to become life-long learners’
  • review the school’s curriculum to ensure it is culturally responsive and provides good guidance for all essential learning areas. This review should include consulting with Māori and Pacific families to seek the aspirations they have for their children to achieve success related to their identities, languages and cultures.

ERO’s evaluation affirms these developments. In addition, leaders and teachers should:

  • sharpen the board’s annual achievement targets to focus the attention on the acceleration of the progress of students identified at risk of underachieving
  • enable clear alignment between the board’s annual achievement targets, development plans, and teaching and learning programmes
  • ensure more regular monitoring and reporting to trustees about the progress and achievement of students identified for acceleration.

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?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children.  However, disparity of achievement for some children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to continue building teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school. 

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

22 May 2017

About the school

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2554

School type

Contributing School (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

152

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                    69%
Pākehā                                 17%
Pacific                   14%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

22 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review April 2011
Education Review April 2008

1 Context

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

Ebbett Park School caters for 104 children from Year 1 to Year 6, with 72% Māori and 6% Pacific. Almost all children entering the school have participated in early childhood education. At the time of this review the school was about to have a change of leadership with a newly appointed principal starting in Term 2, 2014.

The school has a family-like atmosphere in which the values of 'excellence, pride and spirit' are fostered. Senior students are encouraged to be role models and have opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

2 Learning

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

The principal regularly reports achievement information to the board and provides trustees with comparative reports on how students are achieving and progressing in relation to National Standards. School reported information shows that at the end of 2013 close to 75% of students were achieving at or above National Standards expectations in reading and mathematics. About 66% of students were at or above National Standards in writing.

Māori students perform slightly lower than their peers. Raising Māori achievement is appropriately included in the school’s charter targets. Increased monitoring and reporting of target students' progress is likely to assist decision making.

Teachers collect a variety of assessment data. This is used to identify students at risk, and for class grouping. In 2014, an additional teacher is working with groups of students to provide them with extra support primarily in literacy and mathematics.

Parents receive a comprehensive range of information about their child’s achievement in reading writing and mathematics. Students' understanding of their own learning is evident through self reflections in learning sample portfolios and participation in student-led conferences. While reporting contains a useful range of information it needs to more clearly and consistently show progress in relation to National Standards, and in plain language.

3 Curriculum

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

The Ebbett Park School Curriculum is appropriately aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Curriculum review involved consultation with staff. Documentation needs to include all eight essential learning areas to more accurately reflect programmes.

There are expectations for data to be analysed for planning and teaching individualised programmes. This expected practice, to help accelerate the progress of students who have not yet met National Standards expectations, is not consistently adhered to. A more in depth focus is required to determine strategies that support and respond to identified needs. Teachers are beginning to examine how changes to their own practice can more effectively assist young learners.

There are small numbers of Pacific students in the school. However, staff and trustees should familiarise themselves with the government’s strategic plan for Pacific students to ensure that these students are well catered for.

Students identified with special needs are well supported through individual education plans developed with teachers, whānau and specialist personnel. A Resource Teacher for the Deaf works in the school daily.

Senior staff have visited local early childhood centres to develop purposeful relationships that may support families prepare their children for school. Investigating early childhood assessment practices should strengthen the approach to supporting transition to school.

A range of carefully considered initiatives support student wellbeing. Considerable fundraising is undertaken to enable all children to participate fully in the life of the school. Positive and consistent strategies are developing to support children’s social competence and wellbeing.

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

Since the April 2011 ERO report, teachers have had a greater focus on te ao Māori to assist Māori learners develop pride in their whakapapa. Teachers used Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017 as they considered how to improve outcomes for Māori. Planned professional development for teachers about Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should help staff determine how culturally responsive they are and where improvement is needed.

A Māori education strategy was developed by staff prior to the previous ERO review and is still in the early stages of implementation. This needs redeveloping, in consultation with whānau, and putting into practice to ensure it appropriately supports the needs of Māori learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Ebbett Park School requires further development to ensure that improvements made are sustained. The retiring principal has been instrumental in maintaining the tone and focus of the school. With a change in leadership it is timely for school leaders and trustees to clarify the relationship between governance, leadership and management. Seeking additional training is likely to be helpful.

Trustees regularly receive student information to inform their decision making. A recent initiative has been to upgrade the infrastructure for information and communication technologies to be a more effective tool for learning.

Systems are in place for formal policy and curriculum review. Regular community surveys provide useful responses that inform decision making at board and curriculum levels. Continuing to make self review more evaluative should assist staff and trustees to measure the impact of initiatives against expected outcomes.

The special education needs coordinator is working with a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour to re-establish the special needs register. The board should receive regular reports on the outcomes of programmes to support students with special needs.

A new appraisal process is being systematically implemented over two years. This should support teachers to better reflect on their practice and make appropriate adaptations. The process provides for ongoing constructive feedback from the appraiser. A next step is to include teacher aides in the appraisal process to identify their professional development needs.

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.
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

9 June 2014

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2554

School type

Contributing

School roll

104

Gender composition

Female 56%, Male 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Indian

75%

15%

6%

4%

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

9 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

April 2008

April 2005