Parkvale School

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1. Context

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

Parkvale School caters for students from Years 1 to 6 and is located in the outskirts of Hastings. The school roll continues to increase. Of the 563 enrolled, 26% identify as Maori and 3% are of Pacific heritage.

Changes to school organisation have occurred to provide more targeted and appropriate curriculum experiences in response to identified needs. Foundation learning is a focus for programmes in Years 1 to 3, and future-focused learning opportunities support students in Years 4 to 6. Students learn in a positive, stimulating and supportive environment.

Well-informed trustees and a stable leadership team provide a clear vision to guide development and improvement. In 2015, there have been seven new teacher appointments. Active involvement of their school community is valued and encouraged.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. School strengths identified in the 2011 ERO report have been sustained and built upon.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used effectively to bring about improved outcomes for students.

Leaders and trustees analyse and inquire into achievement data to make strategic decisions and set specific targets for improvement. School leaders build teachers’ developing capacity to use data to focus their teaching.

Recently introduced data walls provide opportunities for teachers to discuss and moderate judgements about achievement, monitor individual students’ progress and inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching.

School data shows that most students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for 2014 shows significant improvement for Māori students in reading and writing. Recent improvement in rates of progress and achievement in Years 1 and 2 has been sustained.

School targets continue to appropriately focus on raising achievement for students when transitioning from Years 3 to 4 and improving writing for boys at risk of underachieving. Increasing the achievement of Māori boys in writing should remain a key focus. Further refining of systems for promoting accelerated progress for targeted groups of students is a recognised next step.

A well-planned programme is effectively implemented to accelerate the writing progress of students in Years 1 to 3. They receive daily support to build their writing strategies and skills. The programme is appropriately targeted, well resourced and aligned to the foundation learning curriculum focus for junior students. A next step is to clearly identify the key successful strategies from the programme. These should then be built on as students transition to Year 4, to ensure those at risk of underachieving continue to progress.

There is a well-considered approach to providing support for students with specific learning needs. A range of responsive and targeted interventions promotes learning and engagement for identified students.

A number of useful strategies are in place to promote involvement of students and families in assessment and learning. This includes regular learning conversations and opportunities for information sharing, and shared access to students’ learning through student and classroom blogs.

3. Curriculum

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

A clearly articulated and shared vision provides the basis for teaching and curriculum development. The curriculum supports students, including Māori and Pacific learners, to be successful and confident leaders of their learning. A recognised next step is to strengthen how the curriculum responds to and promotes their language, culture and identity.

Positive environments are well resourced and organised. Students benefit from supportive, respectful interactions. High levels of engagement in learning are evident.

The vision for growing confident, connected, creative, collaborative lifelong learners is clearly visible in the curriculum, and in the ways teachers and students work alongside each other. There are good supports and systems for students to know about their learning. Teachers deliberately support students to be self-managing, and to reflect on and talk about their learning. This continues to develop across the school.

Curriculum implementation is well managed and coherent. There are clear expectations and practices for planning and teaching. Ongoing review of the curriculum is undertaken to align with school priorities and aspirations for learning.

Building a future-focused aspect into teaching and learning is a clear priority for Years 4 to 6 students. Modern learning environments and teaching approaches provide a vehicle for enacting curriculum aspirations for learning. Students demonstrate confident use of digital tools to support their learning.

Processes to support students and their families to transition to school successfully have been strengthened. A well-planned, deliberate approach has been put in place for 2015. This is guided effectively by a clear vision for development and improved outcomes.

The transition programme is well-managed and strategically implemented. It provides a range of opportunities for enriching partnerships between home and school. As these processes are embedded and reviewed, successful practices and relationships should be built on and sustained as students continue through the school.

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

Maori students engage positively and successfully in learning.

The school recognises the need for stronger relationships with Māori whānau and iwi. Recent actions have focused on making families welcome and valued members of the school community. Whānau hui offer opportunities for dialogue and sharing of aspirations for learning and success.

Developing a vision with whānau to lead and drive the promotion of success for Māori is an important next step. This should support schoolwide practices and curriculum design to better respond to and promote the language, culture and identity of Māori students and their families.

Consideration should be given to reflecting the school’s local context and whakapapa within the curriculum and how to build leaders’ and teachers’ understanding and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Development should be guided by Kā Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013‑2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

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. School leaders and trustees have a strategic focus on building schoolwide capacity to use evaluation and inquiry to guide decision-making and improvement.

Senior leaders and trustees seek out solutions from a range of sources and engage actively with their school community and wider educational community. Trustees are very well informed about school operations, curriculum and student achievement.

Senior leaders know their teachers well. They promote innovation, risk-taking and encourage openness to change and improvement. They work responsively and collaboratively to support teachers by:

  • providing well-structured opportunities for collaborative and focused professional learning through sharing of practice and targeted support
  • modelling and strengthening teachers’ capacity for inquiry into teaching practice and evaluation of effectiveness
  • providing support for new leadership to lead change.

There is a strong commitment to supporting student wellbeing. A recent review of the effectiveness of strategies has provided useful baseline information to plan for improvement.

School leaders and trustees are aware of the need to continue to embed new professional development initiatives and curriculum development, then systematically monitor the impact of these on students’ experience and 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.

Conclusion

A clearly articulated and shared vision for learning guides curriculum and decision-making. The curriculum supports students to be confident leaders of their learning. Students are successful learners. School leaders and trustees support capacity building and innovation and foster a schoolwide culture of inquiry and improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 September 2015

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2641

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

563

Gender composition

Female 51%,

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 63%

Māori  26%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 8%

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

15 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2011

Education Review July 2008

Education Review October 2005

Findings

1. Context

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

Parkvale School draws its students from Hastings, Havelock North and the local rural community. It is inclusive of a range of cultures and 21% of the students identify as Māori.

The school's values of striving for personal best, respect and responsibility, integrity, determination and enjoyment (PRIDE) are interwoven into all aspects of its life, particularly through interactions between teachers and students and among students.

The school is technology rich. The board of trustees and parents have funded a range of information and communication technologies that are used effectively to enhance student learning and engagement.

All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure a safe and inclusive environment. Students spoken with by ERO say that they feel safe and staff actions and planning focus on the children’s interests. Well-maintained grounds and buildings contribute to physical activity and play.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well engaged in learning and make good progress over time. Information for 2010, showed that, for the whole-school population, the large majority of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in mathematics, reading and writing.

Collated school-wide data are well analysed and reported to trustees against the National Standards with recommendations for resourcing, extra staffing and professional learning and development.

For 2011, the four student achievement targets in reading, writing, vocabulary and mathematics are appropriate. They are specific, measurable and informed by data. The overall mathematics target is differentiated to meet the learning requirements of identified target students.

Teachers make sound judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. The school is implementing a comprehensive assessment and reporting schedule using nationally normed tools. Teachers report to parents on student achievement in relation to National Standards twice a year, and in the three-way conversations with parents and the student.

Teachers use achievement data to inform planning and grouping of students for teaching and learning. Information is also well used to identify those with special needs and abilities. The school implements a wide range of appropriate interventions for both of these groups, whose progress is wellmonitored and reported to the board.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Overall, in 2010, the clear majority of Māori students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics and at a similar level to the whole-school population. Teachers use strategies such as cooperative learning and mentoring to support and improve Māori student achievement.

The school has reviewed its Māori achievement action plan based on the values of Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success/Māori Education Strategy. It continues the aim to raise Māori student achievement through the integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori within the classroom and school environment and to build closer relationships with the Māori community. The changes are in the early stages of implementation, but the plan's impact is evident in some rooms.

The board employs a te reo Māori teacher who works with students and also tutors the teachers in tikanga within the classroom setting. This is enhancing all students’ cultural awareness.

As part of its analysis, the school has recognised that the attendance of Māori students, as a group, is lower that of their peers and the number of unexplained absences is higher. Strategies are in place to improve the engagement of the students concerned.

3. Curriculum

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

The principal, staff and board have carefully considered and developed the school's curriculum based on the principles, values and key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum and on school needs.

The PRIDE values framework is used to reinforce learning and attitudes and is evident in a range of ways.

  • The values are displayed in every classroom and frequently referred to.
  • Students are encouraged to demonstrate the values in their interactions and behaviour, and in their attitude to, and the presentation of, their learning.
  • The board has embraced the concept and has developed expectations accordingly.
  • Students keep PRIDE books. These contain samples of learning and the teachers have identified the students’ levels of achievement and their next steps. Students self assess, often based on criteria that are made available to them. They contribute well to class learning conversations. They have a clear idea of the learning expectations and reflect on their own learning.

The curriculum is integrated so that learning is authentic and meaningful for the students. The high quality resources, facilities and provision for learning support enhance student engagement and achievement. Teachers and students make full use of the wide range of technology available.

The school has a culture of learning from the board to the students. Teachers have many professional learning and development opportunities to meet their individual needs and as part of addressing a whole-school professional development target.

Teachers work together to enhance their practice through:

  • planning cooperatively as a team and reflecting on how they can support students' learning. Planned themes are then adapted for individual classes
  • developing programmes that cater for a variety of learners
  • discussion to develop shared responses to potential learning difficulties
  • timetabling to prioritise literacy and numeracy learning
  • coaching and mentoring each other
  • engaging together in genuine learning conversations
  • reflection by using a teacher inquiry model.

Each student has a portfolio that documents school expectations of achievement based on the National Standards. The student’s learning is tracked through her/his time in the school. Portfolios are used to highlight current achievement in literacy and numeracy, and provide next learning steps. These formative documents inform the student, the parents and future teachers of the student’s learning pathway.

The school’s curriculum offers many opportunities for students to take meaningful leadership roles, both within the classroom and in school events. Students' success in a wide range of activities is celebrated and shared.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school's sound governance and management, well-developed policies, procedures and routines, mean that it is well-placed to continue to develop and provide a positive learning environment for all of its students.

Governance

Trustees bring a range of individual skills to the board. Participation in a wide range of professional learning and development has led to a clear understanding of their roles and portfolios. A wellconsidered governance manual outlines roles, responsibilities, strategies and review programmes. A strong strategic focus is evident in good links between the strategic plan and other documentation.

The board is a cohesive team committed to students' progress and well-being. Trustees are well informed and have a good understanding of student achievement and the National Standards. Staff acknowledge and appreciate their good support.

Self review

Elements of good self review, including action research and reflection by teachers, contribute to improvement. An appropriate self-review policy is based on the National Administration Guidelines. It has the strategic plan as the focus, with clear consultation and reporting outlined. All policies are on an annual review cycle. High level board self review to explore questions of whole-school effectiveness and inform decision making for continuous improvement is a next developmental step.

Leadership and management

The principal’s leadership is visionary, strongly strategic and supportive of staff initiatives. This has played a key role in the development of a school culture in which there is an expectation that all students will experience success in learning. It has entailed a measured approach to managing change in a range of areas such as effective teaching and curriculum development. School leadership is distributed among senior teachers, drawing on their interests and strengths.

The newly developed appraisal process supports the development of teaching practice, including the sharing of strategies amongst staff.

Community engagement

The board, principal and staff undertake ongoing consultation and communication with the community. Two-way discussions strongly support the community to be part of the school. Classroom blogs provide opportunities for students to share what they are working on with their families. Each blog is overseen by a teacher for safety, but is student driven and a celebration of the activities and programme in the classroom.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • 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 four-to-five years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services Central Region

14 September 2011

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2641

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

5

School roll

494

Gender composition

Male 54%

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic groups

71%

21%

8%

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

14 September 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2008

October 2005

September 2002

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrate schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides