West Park School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

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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Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

West Park School is in the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville. At the time of this review, the roll was 409 students in Years 1 to 6, with 48 identifying as Māori and 26 as of Pacific heritage.

The school’s shared vision is that: ‘Every student matters, every moment counts’. This guides teaching and learning. Values are for students to be: leaders of their learning; critical thinkers; happy, confident and engaged; risk takers; creative; skilled in literacy and mathematics; and prepared for the future.

The school’s current achievement aims are to increase the percentages of students achieving at or above the expected curriculum levels for their year groups in reading, writing and mathematics. Supporting targets state expectations for each year group.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • engagement and wellbeing
  • outcomes for learners with complex learning needs.

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?

There are areas of strong achievement in the school, but consistently equitable and excellent outcomes for all students are yet to be achieved.

In 2017, most students achieved at or above expectations in reading and mathematics, and a large majority of students achieved at or above expectations in writing.

The majority of Māori students meet expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement for Pacific students is variable. Although the majority achieved in reading, the proportion of Pacific students achieving in writing and mathematics is lower than that of their peers within the school.

The data shows ongoing disparity for boys, who achieve less well as a group than girls in writing, with a small disparity in reading.

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

The school has yet to consistently accelerate the progress of students identified as at risk of not achieving.

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?

The school’s overarching focus on the learning, achievement and wellbeing of students is well supported by the board’s stewardship and governance and by school leadership. Approaches are highly collaborative. Trustees bring a useful range of skills and receive informative reports that guide strategic resourcing for improved student outcomes. Capability building for leadership and teaching across the school contributes to achieving the school’s vision, values and priorities.

School conditions are caring and inclusive and promote learning and wellbeing. Students learn in a range of open and more traditional learning environments. Positive, respectful and productive relationships are highly evident. The curriculum has a clear focus on integrating the school values. A well-considered, collaborative approach appropriately supports students’ transition into, through and out of the school.

Teachers use a range of strategies to engage students well in their learning. Students are provided with purposeful opportunities to grow their leadership capability and contribute meaningfully to the school’s vision. Children with diverse learning needs are well identified and supported through regular classroom programmes and use of external expertise.

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

The recently updated annual plan identifies explicit targets to promote equity and excellence. This should support the planning and implementation of actions that focus specifically on accelerating the learning of groups of students who are underachieving, particularly Māori students, Pacific students and boys.

Overall, the school’s curriculum guides and supports teaching and learning well. However, it is now timely for leaders and teachers to further review the curriculum through the lens of identity, culture and language so that it better reflects the school and community context. Consultation through whānau Māori hui and engagement with Pacific families should support this aspect of further development.

Self-review processes are well established. Leaders and teachers gather and analyse a wide range of useful information to inform decisions for change and improvement. A next step is to further explore the use of internal evaluation, for systematically determining how well, and in what ways, teaching practices and learning interventions have positive and equitable impacts on outcomes for all students.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

Since the onsite phase of the review the school has formalised goals and targets for Māori achievement.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should, improve its consultation with the Māori community, to inform specific goals and targets for raising Māori achievement in keeping with the requirements of National Administration Guideline (NAG) 1, e.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a strong culture of collaboration amongst trustees and leaders that supports achievement of the school’s vision, values and priorities for students
  • an inclusive and caring school environment and teaching strategies that positively promote students’ learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • a curriculum that reflects the school and community context, including students’ identity, culture and language
  • more targeted planning to accelerate learning for those groups of students who need this, and to address remaining areas of disparity [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]
  • schoolwide internal to determine the impacts of initiatives and inform decisions for ongoing improvement. [The school has requested and ERO has agreed to provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]evaluation,

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

29 June 2018

About the school

Location

Johnsonville, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2867

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

409

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 38%

Asian 34%

Pacific 6%

Other ethnic groups 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review April 2010
Education Review April 2007

Findings

Students are successful learners. Teachers and senior leaders make good use of achievement information to identify students’ learning needs and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Agreed vision and values underpin teaching and learning. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in the life of the school.

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?

West Park School, located in Johnsonville, has a roll of 373 students. They represent 52 ethnicities, including 12% who identify as Māori, 4% as Pacific and 21% as Asian. The roll continues to grow and contains increasing numbers of English language learners.

Since ERO's 2010 review, there have been significant changes to leadership. The new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2014. A new deputy principal and team leaders were appointed at the beginning of this year, expanding the senior leadership team.

The school’s vision and values have been recently reviewed. The new vision ‘every student matters - every moment counts’ is beginning to underpin teaching and learning and the culture of the school.

Positive relationships with whānau and the wider community support students’ involvement in a range of academic, sporting and cultural activities that cater well for individual interests and abilities.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The board and senior leaders have responded positively to the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is using student achievement well to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement.

Student progress in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, is closely monitored. The school reports that the majority of students are achieving at or above standards with a significant percentage achieving above in reading.

Leaders and trustees use achievement information to make suitable decisions about improvement targets, resourcing, professional learning priorities and teachers’ professional learning and development (PLD).

Students with identified needs are prioritised in professional discussions. Their needs, progress and achievement are shared by teachers in syndicate and whole-school staff meetings. This process is resulting in a more collective response to the learning of all students by all staff. Teachers use a wide range of tools to inform overall judgements about students’ progress and achievement.

Parents receive useful information about their children’s learning. This includes indication of achievement for literacy and mathematics in relation to National Standards, and progress in other curriculum areas. Judgements are well supported by evidence in students’ portfolios.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum promotes student learning, engagement and achievement.

The school has started to review its curriculum to reflect a whole-school approach and direction. The collaboratively developed vision and values are clearly evident in all aspects of the environment. Staff have recently reviewed the mathematics curriculum. Useful guidelines outline schoolwide expectations for assessment, planning and teaching. This framework should be useful to guide curriculum development for other learning areas.

School leaders have identified the need to:

  • continue to collate curriculum information to create a coherent overview that informs consistency of teaching and learning across the school
  • include local contexts for learning in the curriculum.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies to engage students in learning. They effectively support students to independently take responsibility for and ownership of their learning. Respectful relationships and positive interactions are evident among teachers and students. Information and communication technologies are used effectively to enhance learning, make connections and access the wider world.

Te reo Māori is evident in classroom environments. School leaders acknowledge a need to continue to build teachers’ confidence and competence in using te reo Māori and to more explicitly include te ao Māori contexts in teaching and learning.

It is timely for the school to consider ways to acknowledge the diverse cultures of the local community within the school environment.

A flexible and responsive process is in place to assist children and their parents to transition into the school and on to further education. Well-established relationships with local early childhood services and intermediates support the development of this approach.

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

The majority of Māori students achieve at and above National Standards in reading and mathematics. Overall writing achievement is slightly lower.

A considered approach to raising the profile of Māori in the school resulted from community feedback. The need to continue to identify and address the specific needs of Māori students in planning and class programmes has been identified.

To further promote success for Māori as Māori the school should:

  • undertake training for staff in relation to Te Tiriti ō Waitangi and cultural responsiveness
  • consult with whānau to ascertain their aspirations for success for their children
  • develop a suitable strategic plan
  • as part of curriculum review, include learning contexts that reflect te ao Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Trustees have actively responded to key messages from community consultation, analysis of achievement data and curriculum review to inform decisions about school direction. Clear charter and strategic goals guide practice and operation.

The principal has high expectations of staff and students. He is focused on promoting success for every student. The recent restructure of the leadership team is contributing to increased cohesion and consistency of practice. Leadership capability is well supported through focused professional development. The principal, with support from senior leaders, should continue to explore strategies that effectively engage all staff in initiating changes that benefit students.

An improvement-focused appraisal process supports leaders’ and teachers’ learning and effective practice. The 2014 appraisal of the principal was a comprehensive, robust process. The development goals of teachers and the principal are aligned with school focus areas and priorities.

Self review is used well to identify development needs and sustain and improve the school’s performance. ERO has identified, and school leaders agree, that strengthening evaluative inquiry into the quality of curriculum, programmes and teaching should further support sustainability and improvement.

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

Students are successful learners. Teachers and senior leaders make good use of achievement information to identify students’ learning needs and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Agreed vision and values underpin teaching and learning. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in the life of the school.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 April 2015Image removed.

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2867

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

373

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

12%
42%
21%
4%
21%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

April 2007

August 2004