Brooklyn School (Wellington)

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Summary

Brooklyn School, in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There are currently 415 students, 7% of whom are Māori, 3% Pacific and 18% Asian. Trustees employ a teacher to support class programmes in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

There have been a number of new appointments to leadership roles and teaching staff since the 2014 ERO review. Major property developments are planned for several classrooms.

Recent professional development has focused on developing effective mathematics teaching practice through inquiry and exploring new teaching strategies. The school has recently participated in a Ministry of Education Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) project, in partnership with Massey University and three other schools. This project focused on developing effective co-teaching strategies to support learning.

The school has long collaborative associations with a cluster of local schools to support curriculum and school developments. It recently joined the Capital City Community of Learning.

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

Children are well engaged and show enjoyment and confidence in their learning. Overall, most achieve very well, particularly in reading. The school recognises there is disparity of achievement for some groups of children and teachers focus on supporting those who are at risk in their learning.

The school’s improved systems for tracking and sharing of achievement information support collective responsibility for students’ success. Ensuring systems and processes for setting, monitoring and reporting on targets should enable the school to better promote and demonstrate accelerated learning for students.

There is a wide range of effective processes and practices which foster equity and excellence. Trustees focus on improvement.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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?

Most students achieve very well, especially in reading. Substantial numbers of students achieve above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is a clear focus on supporting students who are at risk in their learning. The school recognises that Māori and Pacific students continue to be over-represented in the group of approximately 60 students who require accelerated progress to reach the Standards in the three learning areas across the school.

Targets appropriately focus on raising the achievement of these cohorts and reducing disparity for boys in writing. There is evidence of accelerated progress for some learners. Ensuring systems and processes for setting, monitoring and reporting on targets should enable the school to better promote and demonstrate accelerated learning for students.

Most students are successful learners and participate positively in classroom programmes. Their needs are clearly identified, and progress and achievement are tracked school wide. There is a focus on supporting Māori students’ identity and additional strategies are being explored to review and support their sense of belonging.

Targets are set to raise the achievement of Pacific learners. A next step is to develop strategic goals to promote strong partnerships with Pacific families and strengthen responsiveness to these learners through the curriculum.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported to participate in school life and to access the curriculum through inclusive practices. Well-considered, responsive provision is in place for these students, along with a collaborative approach to identification of needs and decision-making. A senior leader provides support for students, teachers and parents, and liaises with external agencies as appropriate.

Achievement information is appropriately used for intentional, targeted teaching of students. Deliberate strategies and improved systems have been developed for tracking and sharing student achievement and progress. These support teachers’ shared knowledge of the learner and foster collective responsibility for students’ success in learning.

A range of suitable assessment tools is used to inform teachers’ judgments about achievement in relation to the National Standards. There is some use of moderation for writing within and across syndicates. Robustness can be further strengthened by ensuring there are clear processes for regular moderation in each of the learning areas, and increased opportunities for external moderation.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a wide range of effective processes and practices that foster equity and excellence.

Teachers care about and promote students’ success and their meaningful participation in learning. Students show enjoyment and confidence and are well engaged. They are effectively supported to collaborate, know about and reflect on their learning.

Curriculum design is coherent and aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and the school’s vision for learning. Leaders and teachers work together to develop a shared understanding of an enacted curriculum which responds effectively to the needs, strengths and interests of children. Clear expectations are in place for the planning and assessment of literacy and mathematics.

Ongoing review of mathematics through externally supported professional development and inquiry is building a shared understanding of effective practice. Shifts in approaches to teaching and learning have resulted in improved student attitudes and engagement in mathematics.

Good relational trust is evident within a new team of leaders and amongst teachers. Leadership should continue to be developed at all levels to ensure a clear, cohesive approach to promoting equity and excellence, guided by internal evaluation and inquiry.

Professional learning opportunities and discussion, collaborative inquiry and an effective appraisal system support teachers to reflect on, share and improve their practice.

An improved range of communication strategies is in place to inform and involve parents in school life and curriculum developments. Teachers regularly share the learning and progress of each child with their families.

Trustees show commitment to undertaking their roles and responsibilities, and to improvement. They contribute a range of skills and expertise. Most are recent appointees who work collaboratively and are building a shared understanding of effective stewardship.

Coherence of vision and direction is evident. Trustees receive a range of useful and comprehensive information which they use to guide decision-making on school operations, practices and priorities. The board is clearly focused on providing improved communications with its local community.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further refining of systems for promoting and evaluating the acceleration of learners at risk is required.

A process is in place to assist teachers to inquire into how their practice supports targeted learners. Continued development of this process to determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies should support this improvement.

The planned review of curriculum documentation should focus on providing improved clarity and alignment in relation to:

  • newly developed, shared understandings of effective teaching and learning
  • cultural responsiveness, including a clear vision for success as Māori and integration of local and te ao Māori perspectives
  • ongoing review and evaluation of the implemented curriculum.

Further development of meaningful relationships with parents and the wider community should enable:

  • a shared understanding of aspirations and increased opportunities for input into decision-making and curriculum, particularly for Māori, Pacific and other cultural groups 
  • enriched information for internal evaluation.

Developing clear systems and processes for evaluation in all areas of school operation should assist in sustaining improvements and guiding decision-making.

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?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • ·refine systems for promoting and evaluating the accelerated progress of learners at risk
  • develop a strategic focus for increased responsive provision for Māori and Pacific students
  • enrich learning partnerships with families of all groups of learners
  • develop clear systems and processes for internal evaluation to sustain improvements and guide decision-making.

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

23 May 2017

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2816

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

415

Gender composition

Female 51%
Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 7%
Pākehā 69%
Pacific 3%
Asian 18%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

23 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

May 2014
April 2011
February 2008

1 Context

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

Brooklyn School is a Wellington suburban primary school with access to city amenities such as Te Papa. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The curriculum is enriched by a variety of trips, outings and competitions.

The wide range of culturally diverse groups is valued and celebrated. Māori students make up 5% of the roll. Trustees employ a teacher to support in-class programmes in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

All items identified for improvement in the 2011 ERO report have been actioned or are continuing to be addressed. The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

High levels of parent support and participation in school activities are evident. Transition of students from early childhood education, into and through the school, then on to secondary school is well managed.

2 Learning

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

Brooklyn School makes good use of achievement information for positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers use achievement information to:

  • identify and promote accelerated learning for students needing additional support and extra challenge
  • group students in classes for differentiated teaching according to need
  • inform planning, learning intentions and success criteria
  • report student progress to parents.

Collated and clearly analysed student achievement data is reported to trustees, including information about five-year-old and six-year-old attainment. The board uses this to set appropriate charter goals, student achievement targets and to resource identified professional development.

Achievement data shows that a majority of students achieve significantly higher against the National Standards than local and national levels. Achievement of girls is higher than boys in reading, writing and mathematics.

Senior staff are aware that they have yet to raise Māori student achievement to that of their peers.

3 Curriculum

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

This school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

A sound framework guides teacher planning and assessment. Features include:

  • clear expectations for teaching and learning
  • suitable emphasis on literacy and numeracy
  • high use of thinking tools to assist students develop skills for ongoing learning, inquiry and problem solving
  • Māori contexts for learning that are becoming increasingly integrated into the curriculum.

Programmes are cohesive across syndicates in mathematics, literacy and thinking skills. Senior leaders are aware they need to develop learning progressions in other areas such as science and te reo Māori.

Well-presented classroom environments support learning and promote student belonging and wellbeing. Most reflect the cultural backgrounds of the students.

Students are supported to learn through the use of effective teaching strategies. They are purposefully and actively engaged in their learning. Interactions are positive and caring. Learners treat each other respectfully. Students spoken with state that they enjoy being at school. They frequently refer to immediate learning goals and can discuss these with adults and each other.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. A variety of interventions are in place, including access to external agencies and personalised learning plans. Inclusive practice is evident. Staff take collective responsibility for each student.

Student leaders are trained for their roles. Mentors and buddy classes provide opportunities for Year 8 leaders. They actively participate in roles such as house captains and peer mediators.

Parents actively support their children’s learning by providing in-class additional help. This is to the benefit of children, parents and teachers particularly in the two junior syndicates.

Professional development is targeted to improve teaching and learning. Integrated use of information and communications technology is developing across all syndicates.

Brooklyn School has developed and is embedding a rigorous process for identifying gifted and talented students. This focus benefits improvements in teaching through providing teachers with new and innovative strategies to promote depth and complexity for student learning.

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

Māori students are fully engaged in the wide range of learning opportunities across the school.

Since 2011, school leadership has given te reo Māori an increasing curriculum focus. In 2014, all students receive tuition in te reo Māori. In 2013, two senior syndicates visited the Tapu Ta Rangi marae in Island Bay to experience authentic opportunities in Māori tikanga and kawa. Staff are aware of the need to develop schoolwide learning progressions.

Senior staff and the board chair have participated in recent professional development focused on Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 -2017.

The leadership team is exploring activities to extend staff knowledge of te ao Māori. These include:

  • re-introduction of whānau hui to provide opportunities to share aspirations and develop an understanding of what success for Māori at Brooklyn School looks like
  • developing staff and students appreciation of tikanga Māori through their te reo Māori language learning
  • planned professional development in Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori Learners
  • planning a structured self-review process through which to evaluate the impact of school wide initiatives in te reo me nga tikanga Māori, on Māori students' learning outcomes.

ERO’s evaluation supports these findings. A similar approach should be considered for engaging Pacific students and their families.

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 senior leadership team is a collaborative group. A climate of student-centred professional discussion is evident. The team is improvement focused and responsive to new ideas from students, parents and recent research.

Self review is well understood and the process used by the senior leadership team has led to improvement. While staff contribute to the process, their level of understanding about self review is not clear. A next step is to develop a shared understanding of self review for all staff.

A sound appraisal system is well implemented. Staff set suitable personal goals. Outcomes of observations promote consistency of practice through well-documented feedback and identification of next steps.

Trustees are well informed. Regular reporting assists decision making. The board plans strategically for investment of resources and staffing. Individual trustees are building capacity for and knowledge of their roles. Good communication with school personnel has led to improved understandings of their respective roles and stronger connections between trustees and management. Board newsletters inform the wider community about the board’s planning and achievements.

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.Image removed.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

20 May 2014

About the School

Location

Brooklyn, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2816

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

431

Gender composition

Female 50%

Male 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnicities

65%

17%

5%

4%

9%

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

20 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

February 2008

June 2002