Churton Park School

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School Context

Churton Park School is located north of Wellington. The roll of 387 reflects a growing cultural diversity, with increasing numbers of Asian and Māori students enrolling.

The school’s vision for learning is to empower children for lifelong learning through their being connected to learning, excellence, the future, and community. There has been a recent focus on building resilience in children.

Current goals and targets are to continue to focus on the overall achievement of Māori, Pacific and special needs students, and the literacy and numeracy achievement of Asian students.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Māori and Pacific achievement over time
  • achievement of year cohorts
  • specific interventions
  • wellbeing and attendance.

Professional learning and development in mathematics has been sustained over three years. Developing a collaborative approach to teaching and the use of coaching strategies have been a recent focus for teachers. The school participates in the Northern Zone Schools cluster.

There has been one recent change to the well-established senior leadership team and, in 2018, a number of changes in staff. A mix of experienced and new trustees make up the board. Extensive property development is planned and about to commence.

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?

High overall levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics continue. Students achieve above expected curriculum levels in all three areas, especially in reading.

Most groups of learners achieve at equitable levels. Māori and Pacific students achieve well in reading and increasing achievement for Māori in writing over time is evident. There is a reducing level of disparity in achievement for boys in writing. While levels of achievement for Asian students remain high, the school has noticed and is addressing a slight downward trend in some areas of achievement for these students.

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

There is evidence of accelerated learning for students at risk, including Māori and Pacific. A clear shared focus on improving outcomes for these learners is evident.

Good practices for supporting and promoting positive outcomes for priority learners are in place. Improved systems for identifying needs and monitoring achievement are helping teachers to reflect on and share the progress of these students.

The school continues to refine its processes to better identify and promote accelerated progress for all learners at risk.

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?

Staff demonstrate care for the wellbeing and learning success of their students. There is a strong focus on monitoring and improving achievement for all learners, particularly for those at risk in their learning.

The senior leadership team collaboratively promotes improvement and leads change through:

  • establishing priorities for development
  • fostering relational trust
  • regularly gathering and communicating a range of information about school developments.

Senior leaders build the capability of staff through a range of useful systems, practices and professional learning opportunities. They provide well-considered, responsive support to improve teacher effectiveness. A robust, collaborative appraisal process is well used to promote teachers’ development. Teachers are supported to share practice and trial initiatives. Opportunities for them to lead development in areas of interest are encouraged and fostered.

Warm, respectful relationships are evident. Teachers actively promote students’ participation in learning through a range of well-considered strategies. They effectively provide support for children to engage in and share their thinking, and build on their ideas to enhance understanding. A thoughtful approach to resourcing and teaching strategies enable students to be successful in their learning. Student agency and collaboration are promoted.

Students with additional needs learn alongside their peers in an inclusive environment. Their needs are well known. Appropriate planning and resourcing supports their engagement in learning. The Special Education Needs Coordinator is improving systems to provide: a more coherent approach to identifying and responding to learners and their needs; ways of measuring the impact of the initiatives and programmes provided. There has been a continuing focus on supporting the transition of children into the school.

A useful framework is in place to support a systematic approach to internal evaluation. Leaders undertake evaluation of key initiatives to understand their impact. This process is well supported by established systems for monitoring, analysing and sharing information about achievement and engagement. There are increased opportunities for gathering students’ and parents’ perspectives. Leaders work with teachers to effectively analyse and inquire into data to identify areas for improvement. Further support for strengthening teacher inquiry is planned to promote understanding of effective strategies for accelerating learning.

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 planning to refresh its vision and values, in consultation with its community. Continuing to develop cohesive curriculum documentation to reflect both the school’s and community’s vision and aspirations for learners is a next step. This should support the integration of:

  • expectations for culturally responsive teaching
  • all The New Zealand Curriculum principles
  • te ao Māori and significant aspects linked to local history, culture and identity.

The Whānau Group promotes a sense of belonging and identity for Māori and Pacific students. This enables them to connect and learn from each other and explore aspects of their cultures and languages. A next step is to further develop the strategic approach to continue to strengthen the school’s responsiveness to Māori and Pacific students and their families. The school recognises the need for specific planning to develop partnerships with whānau Māori, Pacific families and the further building of teachers’ and trustees’ knowledge and capability.

The leadership team is working to deepen teacher inquiry to facilitate a collaborative approach to improving outcomes for learners. Ensuring greater clarity and alignment of strategic goal-setting and curriculum priorities should enable the school to better evaluate actions for promoting acceleration, equity and excellence.

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:

  • a range of well-considered teaching approaches that promote students’ active participation and success in learning

  • responsive, timely support for teachers that promotes their professional development and growth

  • well-established processes for monitoring, analysing and sharing information about achievement and initiatives that support decision-making and improvement.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring cohesive curriculum documentation to reflect the school’s and community’s vision and aspirations for learners

  • implementing a more strategic approach to strengthening the school’s responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families and students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

28 January 2019

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2824

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

387

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
Pākehā 46%
Chinese 15%
Indian 14%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

28 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014
Education Review August 2011
Education Review September 2008

Findings

Most students at Churton Park School achieve at or above the National Standards. School community members share high expectations for student learning and achievement. Wellbeing and success are promoted through rich curriculum opportunities. Students are highly engaged, self‑directed learners. The culture is inclusive, responsive and improvement focused.

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

1 Context

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

Churton Park School caters for Years 1 to 6 students who live in the local community. While mainly from New Zealand European backgrounds, the roll includes groups of students who identify as Chinese, Indian and Māori.

The school has a good ERO reporting history. The August 2011 report affirmed the quality of education provided and signalled next steps as strengthening; teaching practice, cultural responsiveness and self review.

Changes since then include review of the vision and strategic direction around connections to learning, excellence, the community and the future. Implementation is supported by developing curriculum and skills, using information and communication technologies. The school is well resourced for digital teaching and learning. All students in Years 4 to 6 work on individual devices.

Classes are organised to support students at their different stages of learning. Years 2 to 5 students learn in composite groups for two years to establish relationships. Years 1 and 6 students are placed with their year group to assist smooth transitions into school at age five and on to Year 7.

The school community works collaboratively to promote student achievement and wellbeing. The culture is consultative and inclusive.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers gather data regularly, analyse it well and use the findings effectively to promote learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Information is used to identify trends and patterns, plan for improvement and provide additional support or challenge.

Most students achieve at or above the National Standards in literacy and numeracy. High overall performance has been sustained in reading and mathematics from year to year. The school has focused on raising the achievement of boys in writing to align with girls and their achievement in other curriculum areas. Since 2011, overall Māori student achievement has trended upward and is now on a par with schoolwide performance. There are no significant differences between any ethnic groups.

The board, community and parents receive appropriate information about student learning, progress and achievement. Trustees know how effectively board investment in programmes, interventions and professional development has made the intended difference for students.

Parents receive full reports about their child’s learning across the learning areas and wider curriculum. Students, teachers and parents make good use of technology to discuss learning and wellbeing.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum promotes students’ individual learning and personal development effectively. Over the six primary years, students develop and consolidate the habit of taking responsibility for learning in partnership with teachers.

Students are supported to engage with school expectations for achieving personal excellence and participate in the many opportunities to enjoy success. These include programmes for enrichment, skills building and leadership.

Programmes incorporate The New Zealand Curriculum principles and competencies and school values. Priority is given to establishing sound foundations in literacy and numeracy to enable inquirybased learning in integrated curriculum studies.

Professional development is guiding teachers in catering for more personalised student inquiry pathways. Documentation for curriculum design is under review to link the essential learning areas to the vision for being ‘connected’.

Teaching observed by ERO was of high quality. Teachers are accountable for planning and preparing well for instruction. Practice assists students to learn cooperatively and independently in purposeful environments.

Students requiring additional support or specific intervention are provided for effectively. Teachers, learning assistants, families and specialists work collaboratively with the special needs coordinator to develop and implement individual plans. Leaders and teachers know students well and ensure their progress is ongoing.

Students and teachers work comfortably across the curriculum using both traditional resources and modern technologies.

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

Twenty-five students identify as Māori. Leaders are responsive to the aspirations of their parents and whānau. Consultation is regular, formal and informal. Feedback acknowledges the improved levels of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and opportunities tamariki have to develop talents and be leaders.

Leaders and teachers have worked with Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to be more culturally responsive. Continued development in response to self reflection and the findings of appraisal is planned.

Being Māori is affirmed through curriculum experiences that recognise Māori as tangata whenua. The school has fostered links with Ngati Toa and Maraeroa Marae to support provision. Further development of te ao Māori in curriculum design, in particular, learning about local iwi history, is being explored.

Progress information shows that significant gains have been made by individual Māori students to achieve at or above the National Standards by the end of 2013. Student survey information indicates students are proud of their cultural identity and their achievements. The school is promoting Māori success effectively.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain its performance. Self review is effective in informing improvement over time. The principal leads steadily-paced school development and review. Processes and practices are understood and systematic. They include:

  • a planned triennial governance review cycle to check accountability in relation to the National Education Goals and National Administration Guidelines and report progress toward strategic aims and annual goals
  • termly student progress monitoring
  • analysis of varied sources of information, including research and the views of staff, parents and students
  • responsiveness to emerging issues
  • evaluation of evidence gathered against relevant criteria to make decisions confidently in the interests of students.

Teachers are supported to reflect individually and collectively on data. They evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching, in particular, to identify which strategies are accelerating the progress of those students who are not meeting the National Standards. This learning needs time to be more incisive and embedded.

An inclusivity review has highlighted the value of feedback from special needs students in effecting change. The special needs coordinator plans for this to be a regular practice.

The board works strategically to improve outcomes for students. Trustees seek to be well informed about the impact of curriculum and promotion of wellbeing to realise the school’s vision. Community members are actively involved in school life.

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

Most students at Churton Park School achieve at or above the National Standards. School community members share high expectations for student learning and achievement. Wellbeing and success are promoted through rich curriculum opportunities. Students are highly engaged, selfdirected learners. The culture is inclusive, responsive and improvement focused.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

5 August 2014

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2824

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

355

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Māori

Indian

Other ethnic groups

62%

16%

7%

7%

8%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

5 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

September 2008

October 2005