Frasertown School

Frasertown School - 25/10/2019

School Context

Frasertown School is a Year 1 to 6 rural school located on the outskirts of Wairoa. Currently 124 students attend the school and 56 % identify as Māori.

The school vision for learning is: ‘Framing the Future – preparing rural school students for their future’. The overarching value of aroha is underpinned by the values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and ako.

Current goals are focused on building a solid framework for lifelong learning within a supportive and culturally responsive environment in partnership with parents and whānau. Targets and actions are focused on reducing disparity in achievement and accelerating learning in literacy and mathematics for those students who need it.

Professional learning and development in 2019 is focused on developing mathematical inquiry communities (DMIC) and mana enhancement and identity.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is a member of the Mata Nui o Kahungunu 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 school is continuing to strengthen their effectiveness in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. These outcomes are consistently good, but with some variation.

At the end of 2018, the school reported that most students achieved at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. This pattern has been consistent over the past three years with some minor variation in writing.

Outcomes for Māori learners in writing have improved. There is evidence that disparity in learning outcomes for Māori children has reduced in writing. However the achievement of non-Māori dropped.

The school is well aware of the variation in achievement for Māori learners and boys in reading, writing and mathematics. The 2019 achievement target is focused on addressing this.

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

The school is improving its effectiveness in accelerating the learning of those students who need this.

At the end of 2018, the school reported that it was successful in accelerating the achievement of a few target students including Māori children and boys in at least one curriculum area of reading, writing or mathematics.

The mid 2019 school achievement data shows that of the 31 students identified in the target, the school has been effective in accelerating two thirds of the students in at least one curriculum area of either reading, writing or mathematics. This includes 16 Māori learners and 13 boys. Some students have accelerated their learning in more than one curriculum area.

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?

Trustees, leaders and staff work collaboratively to develop and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. The vision is clearly promoted through long-term strategic goals that are given priority in the annual plan through a range of actions. Progress in relation to these goals is regularly monitored and reported. The board is well informed about the impact of actions to progress strategic priorities.

The school’s approach to change and improvement is well considered and informed by inquiry. This enables trustees, leaders and teachers to make decisions about appropriate innovations and staff developments. Improving outcomes for students and the commitment to realising the vision are at the centre of all decision making.

The local curriculum ‘Te Hikoi ō Mātauranga’ provides a carefully considered pathway to realise the school’s vision for students. It describes an holistic approach to learning underpinned by kaupapa Māori values. It recognises the significance of learning connections in local contexts to develop the skills for lifelong learning.

Students learn in a positive, caring and supportive learning environment where they are acknowledged for who they are and what they bring. There are high expectations for them to achieve well. They are highly engaged in purposeful learning through authentic learning contexts that are responsive to their interests. Students work well together and support each other. They are developing a positive sense of themselves as a learner and are growing their understanding of what it means to be successful. They express pride and a strong sense of belonging to their school.

Teachers are collaborative, and improvement focused. Current professional learning and development is strengthening their understanding of how students learn and their role as teachers in supporting them to be successful learners. They closely track and monitor the progress and achievement of all students, especially those most at risk. Strategies for teachers to inquire into and improve their practice are well developed. They regularly discuss the impact of their teaching strategies and programmes on how these are promoting the achievement of target students.

Parents, whānau and community are respected and valued partners in learning. A range of appropriate and effective communication strategies are used to communicate and engage with them. They value that their children are able to interact with students from other schools through a wide range of curriculum activities. Learning-centred partnerships continue to be strengthened as a result of deliberate strategic actions.

Experienced trustees have a clear understanding of their stewardship role and responsibility to enable equity and excellence for student learning. They are well informed about school operation and achievement that enables them to make decisions that support positive learning outcomes for students.

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

For on-going curriculum implementation, the school has prioritised:

  • developing guidelines for teaching and learning for each essential learning area

  • articulating how the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum are reflected.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation, including using the evidence of outcomes for students to know the impact of new developments and initiatives to advance equity and excellence for students.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Frasertown School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a shared understanding and a commitment to realising the vision that prepares students for the future
  • the local curriculum that is underpinned by kaupapa Māori values and promotes the achievement of the vision
  • well informed decision making that has improving outcomes for students at the centre.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring a shared understanding of internal evaluation, using evidence of outcomes for students to know the impact of decision making to advance equity and excellence.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

25 October 2019

About the school

Location

Wairoa

Ministry of Education profile number

2562

School type

Contributing (Years 1 - 6)

School roll

124

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 56%
NZ European/Pākehā 44%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

25 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2016
Education Review November 2013
Education Review December 2010

Frasertown School - 01/11/2016

1 Context

Frasertown is a Year 1 to 6 rural school on the outskirts of Wairoa. The roll at the time of the review was 117 of whom 62% identify as Māori.

Since the 2013 ERO review a new principal has been appointed and there have been staffing changes.

The school is currently part of a Learning and Change network and the Wairoa Community of Learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to educate rural students for the future, by 'framing the future'. This will be done through valuing learning, respect for themselves, others and the environment, relationships with whānau, school and the community.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students achieve at and above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since 2012, the percentage of students achieving National Standard expectations has plateaued. Disparity exits between Māori and Pākehā students. Trustees, leaders and teachers are putting in place strategies to improve equity for Māori learners.

The mid 2016 achievement data shows some good progress in moving target students from below to at, in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school uses a wide range of assessment tools. Internal moderation is a planned process and occurs in reading, writing and mathematics. This contributes to the reliability of teachers overall judgements about students' progress and achievement.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has: 

  • taken deliberate actions to engage with parents and whānau
  • developed a localised curriculum
  • strengthened processes around the collection and analysis of student achievement information
  • increased resourcing and student access to digital technologies
  • had a focus on raising student achievement in writing. 

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers know who these students are and their levels of achievement.

There is a strategic focus on accelerating the achievement of Māori learners and Māori students success, as Māori.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are well informed about the numbers and needs of those Māori learners whose achievement needs to be accelerated. In response, they have developed a plan for improvement. This plan is linked to Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. It identifies specific actions that teachers will take to raise achievement of Māori learners. Better alignment to the strategic plan should enable the school to evaluate the impact on student achievement.

The principal has begun to make meaningful connections with local marae to further develop community partnerships. This continues to be a priority.

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

There are sound systems and processes to track and monitor the progress and achievement of students in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers are focused on raising student achievement. Students learning needs are identified and action plans formed. A suitable range of strategies and interventions is used to support learning.

Charter targets in reading, writing and mathematics are focused on accelerating achievement of all students. These should be refined to more clearly identify those students most at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes.

Students requiring additional learning support are known to teachers. Staff work collaboratively with parents, whānau and external agencies to implement programmes and initiatives to support students' participation and engagement in learning.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The curriculum effectively promotes the school's priorities and targets for equity and excellence. It has been reviewed in consultation with parents, whānau and the community. The strengths are that it: 

  • is clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum principles, values and key competencies
  • reflects the valued outcomes identified by the community
  • provides student choice and increasing ownership of, and engagement in learning
  • provides opportunities for students to learn in relevant and authentic contexts
  • is culturally responsive to Māori through using local contexts and community resources
  • integrates digital technologies. 

The school environment features a positive tone and respectful interactions. Students have opportunities to be physically active and student leadership is fostered.

Promoting positive learning partnerships with parents and whānau is a strategic focus. Trustees and leaders value and consider the aspirations of parents and whānau. They are regularly consulted and contribute to plans for improvement. They are well informed about their children's progress and achievement.

New trustees bring a good range of skills and experiences to the board. Their understanding of the stewardship role is developing through a well-planned induction process. Raising student achievement is a priority. They are regularly informed about student achievement and the progress of target students. Trustees use this information to prioritise resourcing to improve teaching and learning.

Teachers work collaboratively. There is a collective responsibility and strong focus on student learning and wellbeing. They inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching strategies on improving student outcomes. The appraisal process requires further development to align school priorities, student achievement, teaching as inquiry and links to the Practising Teacher Criteria. It should then more robustly contribute to teachers' ongoing professional growth and development.

Leaders are reflective and have high expectations for students and staff. There is a well considered approach to change and improvement. Further developing understanding and use of internal evaluation is likely to strengthen decision making and enable staff to recognise what works best and for which students. This should increase effective practice to promote equity and excellence.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers: 

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. 

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a clear focus on those students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. They have planned actions to respond to these students. Strengthening evaluation is a next step.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

7 Recommendation

Trustees, leaders and teachers should strengthen processes for appraisal and their understanding and use of internal evaluation to guide change and improvement.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 November 2016 

About the school

Location

Wairoa

Ministry of Education profile number

2562

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

117

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

62%

37%

1%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

1 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

December 2010

May 2007