Napier Central School

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School Context

Napier Central School is located in Napier and caters for students from Years 1 to 6. Of the 300 children enrolled, 14% are Māori.

The school’s valued outcomes for learners are currently under revision. The established RIPE values promote Respect, Integrity, Perseverance and Empathy. Future-focused learning and teaching and self-directed learners are key drivers for development.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and maths

  • achievement in relation to charter targets and target learners.

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?

School reported information shows that most students continue to achieve at expectations for reading and writing. There is sustained high achievement in mathematics. Māori students as a group achieve well and better than their peers in writing and mathematics.

The school recognises that, as a group, boys’ achievement in literacy continues to be lower than girls. Achievement in writing for boys has been slow to improve and there has been a recent decline in boys’ reading. The school is tracking year cohorts to show progress over time.

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

The school is establishing systems, processes and practices to promote accelerated progress for learners who need this. There is evidence of accelerated progress for some students.

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?

Leaders are improvement-focused and working to align practices and systems to promote successful outcomes for learners. They demonstrate a measured approach to change. There is a focus on strengthening consistency of practice, communication and collaboration.

Provision for students with identified learning needs is supported through coordinating and monitoring external agency support and assisting teachers with appropriate strategies. Teachers have inclusive practices to support these learners.

There are increased opportunities for teacher leadership. Well-considered professional learning and development supports leader and teacher growth. An improved appraisal process is in place that is appropriately aligned with Education Council requirements. The process is well implemented, effectively supports teacher development and useful for promoting consistent practice across the school.

Trustees take a strategic and considered approach to change and direction-setting. They scrutinise the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes, especially student achievement. They conscientiously undertake their responsibilities, strengthening their policies and practices and ensuring health and safety is a priority. They seek to improve their knowledge, build sustainable practice and are working to improve communication with all stakeholders. Trustees are well informed of school successes and challenges.

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

The school is aware of the need to strengthen cultural responsiveness to Māori and promote Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success strategies. Improvements to aspects of bicultural practice have occurred. Whānau voice and leadership within the school have recently strengthened and a strategic action plan has been developed to guide improvement. Further building of relationships and partnerships through meaningful, ongoing consultation to define aspirations and inform curriculum is a next step. This should assist in establishing a clear vision for success as Māori and evaluating effectiveness of actions in promoting culture, language and identity. Building staff and trustees’ capacity and knowledge is important to help in demonstrating culturally responsive practice.

The curriculum is currently under development to ensure it appropriately reflects aspirations for children as 21st Century learners. Reviewing the vision, values and principles is underway. Establishing key outcomes for learners through further consultation and review should assist in establishing a cohesive, locally-based curriculum and support responsive, consistent teaching and learning.

Developing greater clarity about students’ ongoing progress and acceleration is a next step. This should include refining target-setting and analysis of assessment information to more clearly show acceleration. Tracking progress over time should support evaluation of actions taken to promote equitable outcomes for groups and individuals. Continuing to develop teacher inquiry should assist in building an evidence base to show how well strategies have improved outcomes for at risk learners.

Promoting student wellbeing is a focus. Some deliberate strategies and actions occur to promote positive relationships and wellbeing of students. It is timely to evaluate the effectiveness of these.

There is evidence of good practice in transitioning children with high needs into school. Teachers communicate with parents about learning programmes and strategies. Continuing to develop two-way partnerships and evaluating the effectiveness of provision are next steps.

Leaders are developing practices and systems to support inquiry and effective internal evaluation. The school seeks feedback from families and students on school initiatives and practices. A next step is to develop a shared understanding and a clear process for internal evaluation to strengthen knowledge of effectiveness and decision-making.

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:

  • developing leadership that is focused on promoting collaborative, consistent practice

  • improvement-focused trustees who scrutinise school performance and make informed decisions.

Next steps

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

  • establishing a cohesive, locally-based curriculum that supports effective teaching and learning

  • strengthening cultural responsiveness to Māori students and their families through meaningful, ongoing consultation to define aspirations and inform curriculum

  • developing a shared understanding and a clear process for internal evaluation that strengthens decision-making and knowledge of effectiveness.

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

23 May 2018

About the school

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2618

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

299

Gender composition

Female 53% Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%
Pākehā 86%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

23 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015
Education Review May 2011
Education Review June 2008

Findings

Students are enthusiastically involved in the broad range of well-considered curriculum opportunities. Most achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s learning. Defining and embedding shared expectations of effective teaching would support further school development.

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?

Napier Central School is a long-established Years 1 to 6 school in central Napier. At the time of this ERO review the student roll was 334, with 11% identifying as Māori. An enrolment scheme is in place to assist the management of a growing roll.

Students enjoy the many academic, cultural, sporting and beyond-the-school experiences available to them. The values of respect, integrity, perseverance and empathy are a school focus. Students are confident, friendly and welcoming. Leadership opportunities are provided, particularly for those in Year 6.

Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities and accept the many opportunities to be partners in contributing to children’s learning.

The appointment of a new principal in Term 4, 2014, has ended a year of regular changes of leadership. During this period, positive learning opportunities for students and schoolwide initiatives have been maintained.

2 Learning

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

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

Most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The current board priority is improving boys’ literacy achievement to be on a par with that of girls'. A higher proportion of students reach National Standards expectations as groups move through school. A significant number of those leaving at the end of Year 6 achieve at high levels.

Support for students not achieving against the Standards is given priority. Extra teacher time, teacher aides and at times, referrals to outside agencies, contribute to improvement. Teachers meet regularly to monitor progress and share strategies that successfully support the achievement of identified students.

Teachers build positive relationships with parents to support student progress. Specific information is provided to assist parents in supporting learning at home. Enhanced relationships have contributed to the progress of targeted students. The school is continuing to build relationships for this purpose.

Parents are well informed about their children’s achievement and progress. Students themselves are increasingly involved as participants in this reporting.

Schoolwide analysis of assessment information focuses on progress and achievement. Future targets and resourcing are based on consideration of this data. Achievement information should be used more to consider the effectiveness of strategies in promoting student progress, including for those who require acceleration.

3 Curriculum

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

The Napier Central School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The curriculum successfully provides students with a range of academic, sporting and cultural learning opportunities. Reading, writing and mathematics are appropriately prioritised. The Napier Central School model of student inquiry has been recently developed. Students are encouraged to decide for themselves the questions and learning necessary to enhance their knowledge and understanding in a variety of areas. Teachers intend to increase the extent to which students lead their own learning.

Other recent developments that have enhanced the quality of the curriculum include:

  • increased focus on te reo Māori learning at each year level
  • timetabled play-based learning becoming an integral part of the junior curriculum
  • increased awareness of responding to the specific needs of boys.

A plan to support greater use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching and learning is being developed. Blogs effectively share and celebrate learning.

Positive and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to a positive tone that promotes learning. Students are generally well engaged in classroom programmes. As part of strengthening teachers' inquiry into practice, it would be timely for school leaders and staff to establish shared understandings and expectations of effective teaching and learning.

Students with special needs are well catered for. An inclusive approach supports their involvement in the full curriculum. Parents contribute to the education plans for their children and are well informed of the progress they make. A collaborative approach successfully supports meeting the needs of these learners.

A well-considered process successfully supports new entrants' transition to school. An interview with parents shortly after starting school enhances the learning partnerships established. Continuing to build these relationships is a school-identified priority, confirmed through ERO’s evaluation.

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

The school is building the extent to which there are opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori. Recent developments include:

  • resources for teaching te reo Māori across the school
  • integration of te reo Māori into regular school events
  • growing numbers of students involved in kapa haka.

Increased valuing and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori affirms the identity of Māori students.

The school continues to consider ways it can promote the involvement of Māori whānau and Ngati Kahungunu in decision making.

The board and teachers should use resources such asKa Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to consider how they might further support Māori success, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The focus on improving student learning is supported by schoolwide reflective practice that is increasingly informed by data. Strengthening indicators for success within improvement plans would increase the robustness of review and enable better evaluation of the impact of developments.

Ongoing professional discussions, evidence-based inquiry and reflection, often related to the Registered Teacher Criteria, are an integral part of the appraisal process. Further development of appraisal should include greater consistency of implementation across the school and more emphasis on next steps for teacher improvement.

Professional learning and development (PLD) is appropriately linked to school priorities for improvement. Recent PLD has contributed to improving outcomes for students through increased targeting of specific needs of learners and greater, in-depth teacher reflection.

Trustees bring a range of relevant skills and expertise to their governance roles. They access training and support to increase their understanding of good governance. The charter provides clear strategic direction through its identified goals. Recent review of the charter has included consultation with students, parents and staff.

Reporting to the board includes regular analysis of achievement information. Discussion centres on where strengths lie and which areas need development. The board's decisions focus on improved student outcomes.

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.

Through completing the Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists, the board identified some areas requiring policy development and others where more thorough reporting to the board is required. The areas identified are being addressed to improve current practice.

Conclusion

Students are enthusiastically involved in the broad range of well-considered curriculum opportunities. Most achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s learning. Defining and embedding shared expectations of effective teaching would support further school development.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

23 February 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2618

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

334

Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

87%

11%

2%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

23 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

June 2008

May 2005