Woodville School

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We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

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Findings

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Woodville School, a full primary school, has students in Years 1 to 8. Of the 86 students who are enrolled, 43 identify as Māori.

There have been changes to teaching staff over the past two years.

The May 2017 ERO report identified significant areas for improvement. Over the past two years the school has participated in an ongoing ERO evaluation process to support improvement. During this time trustees and staff accessed appropriate external professional learning and development (PLD) to support them in their roles and practice. Following the previous ERO report, a plan was developed for review and development to guide improvements in priority areas.

This ERO report evaluates the progress made since 2017 and how well placed the school now is to sustain continuous improvement.

The school is part of the Tararua Kāhui Āko.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

A plan, outlining key priorities for improvement, was developed. This outlines and monitors actions taken and outcomes achieved throughout the process.

The overall goal was to improve leadership, governance, school practice and operation to promote positive learning outcomes and accelerate progress of all students. Areas of focus to support this have included:

  • review and development of the school’s curriculum to be culturally responsive and include parent aspirations to support children’s authentic learning through a balanced curriculum
  • building effective teacher capability to promote and accelerate student learning
  • strengthen the appraisal process, ensuring alignment of student learning needs, teacher professional learning goals and understanding and implementation of teaching as inquiry
  • evaluate the effectiveness of actions to accelerate progress and achievement outcomes, to inform decision making and regularly report this information to trustees
  • ensure the school can attest to meeting its legislative requirements.

Progress

Staff have made effective use of their learning from PLD to build their capability. Students are positively engaged in their learning through the provision of purposeful instruction, activities and contexts relevant to their needs. Teachers support students to know the purpose of learning and appropriate success criteria to better promote good quality work.

School achievement targets for 2019 focus specifically on accelerating learning for individuals and groups of students identified as achieving below expectation. Trustees have received information about the processes and identification of target students.

Teachers have individual inquiries related to target students for reading and mathematics. A schoolwide, collaborative inquiry supports writing across the school. Teachers reflect on their practice with a focus on learning and progress of identified students. They use this effectively to inform changes to their practice, set goals for students’ next learning and share practice.

Most target students have made progress in literacy and mathematics, with some having made accelerated progress.

School reported student achievement data for the end of 2018, indicates that majority of students, including Māori, achieved at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. There is continued disparity for boys in literacy.

Mid 2019 student achievement data reported to trustees shows that trends identified at the end of 2018 remain. There is disparity between Māori students and their peers in literacy and mathematics and continued disparity for boys in writing.

School leaders are working with an external provider to review and develop the school’s curriculum. They are consulting with the school’s community to determine parent aspiration to inform curriculum development. From this school leaders have identified key priorities to inform ongoing development of the school’s localised curriculum.

The reviewed curriculum currently includes the school vision, values and priorities aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Some work has been undertaken by leaders and teachers to identify what effective teaching looks like at Woodville School and the development of a graduate profile. Collation and making sense of this information should enable leaders and teachers to identify and have a shared understanding for and guide effective teaching and learning at Woodville School.

As the curriculum is being developed staff and trustees should consider the school’s articulated priorities and develop the curriculum collaboratively with a shared understanding of approaches that support learning at this school. This should promote coherence of curriculum delivery, practice and learning for students across the school.

The board has met legislative obligations in relation to the principal’s appraisal. A suitable process has been implemented that links to the school’s strategic priorities. An external appraiser continues to provide ongoing mentoring and feedback. Processes for teacher appraisal have been developed and implemented. Teachers’ goals are linked to current school priorities and student outcomes, through an inquiry approach.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has developed processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve its performance. A useful self-review framework supports staff to reflect, plan, identify actions and make changes for improvement.

Useful systems and processes guide leaders' and teachers' practice to improve the school’s performance. The school has developed an inquiry process and framework that supports teachers to improve the learning and wellbeing of all students.

Trustees are committed to achieving success for students. They have engaged with New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to support them in their stewardship role. Strategic and annual plans identify priorities for improvement. Systems and processes continue to be developed to promote ongoing improvement across the school.

The policy framework and the management of policies and procedures are being revised. This should further strengthen meeting legislative requirements. There is still work to do to ensure the organisation of policy documents is finalised and available for parents to access.

Key next steps

To further support improved outcomes for students’ school leaders and trustees need to:

  • prioritise review of policies and procedures linked to health and safety and personnel, to ensure there is a shared understanding of how these are contextualised to this school to guide practice and operation

  • continue to build their shared understanding of effective leadership and governance for ongoing improvement and sustainability.

  • build their capability to evaluate the impact of the curriculum and teacher practice on student learning 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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the NZSTA continues working with the trustees and school leaders to further support building an understanding of governance and leadership responsibilities and obligations that promote improvement and sustainability.

Conclusion

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

21 October 2019

About the School

Location

Woodville

Ministry of Education profile number

2742

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

86

Gender composition

Male 46, Female 40

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Asian

43
33
2
8

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

21 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2017
June 2014
December 2012

Summary

Woodville School caters for children in Years 1 to 8. Of the 96 children enrolled at the time of this review, 52 are Māori.

Since the June 2014 ERO evaluation, roll numbers have declined and are now increasing. Staffing is stable. Teachers have had professional development in mathematics over the past two years, following on from earlier literacy development.

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

The school needs to improve conditions and further build teacher capability to support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement. The school has not sufficiently reduced disparity of achievement between groups of children. Girls are not achieving as well as boys in writing and mathematics. Positive gains in achievement for Māori children have not been sustained.

A clear focus on providing a positive learning environment, supported by respectful relationships, is evident.

Leaders and the board have a number of legislative and operational matters to address including policy development and curriculum consultation and review. Systems and practices in place at the time of the previous review have not been consistently enacted or sustained to promote improvement.

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to reduce in-school disparities.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years. 

Equity and excellence

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

The school is not yet effectively accelerating the achievement of Māori and other children who are require significant improvement to meet expectation.

Approximately 75% of students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, the school recognises disparity of achievement for groups of students.

In 2014 and 2015, Māori children made significant gains to achieve better than their peers. Data from 2016 shows that the school has not managed to sustain these gains and Māori achievement has dipped. Girls and boys achieve at similar levels in reading. A recent improvement for boys in writing is evident. In mathematics, the majority of boys achieve well, however significant numbers of girls do not. Teachers need to focus their evaluative inquiries on the reasons for, and ways to reduce, these disparities.

Teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools to support their overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards. Although regular in-school moderation occurs, it is timely to moderate judgements with other schools to promote the dependability of achievement information.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

A clear focus on supporting positive behaviour has been developed to promote a safe environment in which children can learn. Students are regularly surveyed to check perceived levels of bullying. The school has revised its vision and values to reflect its commitment to student wellbeing.

Children work in settled classes where relationships are positive and respectful. They engage in dialogue and participate in group-based learning activities. Teachers seek to provide authentic learning contexts that take into account children’s interests. Children spoken with by ERO talked positively about their learning activities. The school has identified the development of children’s understanding and ownership of their learning as a next step.

Twice yearly reports to parents clearly show how their child is achieving in relation to National Standards. However, parents would benefit from anniversary reporting for their child’s first three years at school.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Monitoring of school systems is needed to ensure that guidelines are appropriately implemented to support positive outcomes for all children. This includes ensuring that there is rigour in evaluating the impact of actions taken to accelerate the learning of target students and that this process is well documented.

Leadership needs to ensure alignment of student learning needs, teacher professional learning goals and processes for teacher appraisal and attestation, to improve teacher capability. Appraisal development should include regular feedback to teachers, including progress against their annual development goals and next steps to increase the effectiveness of their practice. Further understanding and implementation of teaching as inquiry is required.

Although the board has systems in place for policy review, the level of school self review reported in the 2014 ERO report has not been sustained. Leaders and teachers need to meaningfully evaluate the effectiveness of actions to accelerate progress and achievement outcomes, to inform their decision making. They should regularly report this information to trustees. In addition, the school must report Māori achievement overall to the Māori community at least once each year.

The local curriculum needs review and development to:

  • be culturally responsive to better support the language, culture and identity of Māori children
  • include the aspirations of the broader Woodville parent and whānau community in order to support children’s authentic learning
  • show trustees and the community how children are experiencing a balanced curriculum that aligns with The New Zealand Curriculum.

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. 

Appraisal audit

Although the appraisal process has links to the Practising Teacher Criteria, it is important that sufficient evidence is gathered each year, regular feedback is given, and the process fully implemented. 

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the curriculum and some key policies and procedures.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. comply with the requirement to consult with the school community about the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years 
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  2. develop the school’s localised curriculum in line with TheNewZealandCurriculum
    [The New Zealand Curriculum]
  3. report at least annually to the school’s community on the achievement of Māori students [NAG 2(c)]
  4. provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Years 7 and 8
    [NAG 1 (f)]
  5. ensure that all teachers are fully appraised annually
    [77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]
  6. develop a policy on surrender and retention of property and searches of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff members
    [Vulnerable Children Act 2014 Section 139AAA- 139AAF]
  7. establish and implement procedures for the police vetting of employees.
    [Education Act 1989 Section 78C to 78D]

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • consult with the school’s Māori community, develop plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students
  • provide staff training to deal with bullying
  • offer opportunities for student in Years 7 and 8 for learning second or subsequent languages
  • ensure they have adequate procedures for the management of crisis situations including pandemic planning, emergency management and lock down procedures
  • keep documented evidence that trial evacuations have occurred with not more than six months between evacuations.

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are:

  • sustaining the achievement gains for groups of students, particularly Māori, and accelerating progress for students identified at risk of underachievement
  • leadership to improve teacher capability including alignment of appraisal and inquiry processes with students’ needs
  • consistent implementation of school systems and processes
  • use of internal evaluation to drive improvement
  • ongoing training for trustees so that they fully understand their stewardship role.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years. 

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

16 May 2017

About the school

Location

Woodville

Ministry of Education profile number

2742

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

96

Gender composition

48 boys, 48 girls

Ethnic composition

Māori    52
Pākehā                  44

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

16 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review  June 2014
Education Review  December 2012
Education Review  August 2010