Kelson School

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Education institution number:
2877
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
301
Telephone:
Address:

52 Taieri Crescent, Kelson, Lower Hutt

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School Context

Kelson School, catering for children in Years 1 to 6, is located on the Western Hills of Lower Hutt. Of the 253 students enrolled, 15% identify as Māori, and 5% as learners of Pacific heritage.

The vision of Developing Young Achievers is underpinned by the RITE values of: Resilience, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence. The school’s whakatauaki: ‘Me mahi tahi tātau mō te oranga o te katoa |Working together for all to succeed, nobody is left behind’, was gifted by the whānau group and aligns to the vision and values.

The school’s strategic goal is to deliver 21st century programmes that are informed by high quality assessment data, which meet individual learning needs and ensure success for all students. High expectations for learning and behaviour, and excellent school, family and whānau relationships are also identified goals for the school.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in targeted programmes

  • wellbeing and attendance.

The principal has been with the school for five years. There is a newly established senior leadership team. Since the July 2016 ERO review, there has been a significant turnover of staff. The school has experienced substantial roll growth in the last three years and is in the process of implementing a school enrolment zone.

Kelson School is an Enviroschool, and has implemented the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme.

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?

The school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Achievement information from 2017 and 2018 indicates that almost all students achieve at or above the school’s expectations in reading. Most students, with almost all Māori learners, achieve at or above expectations in writing and mathematics.

Māori students achieve better than their peers across all three core learning areas.

Learners with additional and complex needs are appropriately identified and relevant programmes of support put in place. External expertise suitably supports this provision.

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

The school effectively responds to those students whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Information for 2018 shows that many students, including the school’s targeted students, made accelerated progress and are now on track to achieve at expected levels.

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?

Trustees and leaders strongly promote equity and excellence for all students. An improvement-focused strategic vision supports learners to meet their full potential. Robust achievement targets, clearly aligned to school priorities, focus on acceleration for students at risk of not achieving and extending those learners already meeting curriculum expectations.

Teachers use a useful range of nationally-referenced and school-developed assessment tools to gather achievement data. Students at risk of not achieving are well known. Sound moderation practice supports teachers to make dependable judgements about students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students are respected as competent leaders of their learning. Their voice is regularly and purposefully gathered to inform decision making. A number of initiatives are responsive to students’ strengths and interests. A range of opportunities promote children’s leadership development.

The senior leadership team effectively works together to promote learning, achievement and wellbeing across the school. A highly collaborative, reflective and strongly improvement-focused approach is promoted. Developing leadership capability has been identified as a priority, and opportunities for distributed leadership are evident. Positive collegial relationships are evident between staff, children and whānau.

Strategically focused community consultation and ongoing engagement informs school-wide priorities. A well-established whānau group actively supports and promotes te ao Māori.

A well-considered appraisal framework effectively develops teacher capability and promotes positive learning outcomes for students. Goals are clearly aligned to strategic priorities. Comprehensive, well-evidenced teaching as inquiry is appropriately focused on promoting achievement of students whose learning requires acceleration.

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

The school has identified that the documented curriculum needs further review and development. This should better reflect current priorities and initiatives, and more effectively guide teaching and learning. A clearer focus on the local context and the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand should be captured. Further development of the curriculum is important to ensure that students’ cultures, languages and identities are represented.

Leaders and teachers are reflective and gather a comprehensive range of information to inform decisions for improvement. Developing an internal evaluation framework and a shared understanding and use of this tool is a key next step. This should better support trustees, leaders and staff to clearly know what has the most significant impact on valued outcomes and what is needed to sustain ongoing improvement.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • an improvement focused strategic vision that supports learners to meet their full potential

  • robust assessment that ensures student achievement is well known

  • leadership that is effectively collaborative, to promote learning across the school

  • meaningful community consultation that informs school-wide priorities

  • a well-considered appraisal process that effectively develops teacher capability.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to review and enhance the school’s local curriculum, ensuring it is culturally responsive and reflects the bicultural nature of Aotearoa,to better guide teaching and learning

  • strengthening internal evaluation processes and practices to better determine the effectiveness of teaching programmes and learning initiatives on valued student outcomes.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure documented records are kept of minor illnesses and injuries to more effectively respond to trends and patterns.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

10 June 2019

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2877

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%

NZ European/Pākehā 60%

Pacific 5%

Indian 7%

Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

10 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016

Education Review March 2013

1 Context

Kelson School is located on the western hills of the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of the review the roll was 177 students, with 10% identifying as Māori.

There is a welcoming, community atmosphere. Levels of parent, family and whānau support have increased and their participation in school events and activities is highly evident.

Since the March 2013 ERO report a new principal and leadership team are in place. In 2016, the school is taking part in the Ministry of Education Learning with Digital Technologies initiative.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that learners in this community aspire to achieve excellence in learning for future challenges. This will be seen through students:

  • attaining excellence in essential leaning areas
  • taking responsibility for their own learning
  • experiencing strong learning focused partnerships between home and school
  • having a positive self-image
  • having high expectations.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students achieve at or above National Standard expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Consistently high levels of achievement have been maintained over the last three years. Good progress is evident over time with increased Māori student achievement in relation to their peers.

In 2015, the achievement levels of some Pacific students was below that of their peers in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders have identified this as a priority goal for 2016.

Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools to inform judgements made in relation to National Standards. Syndicates consistently identify the next steps in learning for groups of students who need targeted support. To further strengthen overall teacher judgements the school should extend their assessment practice to include whole staff discussions and moderation of assessment judgements beyond the school.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has

  • joined an externally facilitated mathematics professional learning and development cluster with local schools focused on strengthening effective teaching in this area
  • introduced schoolwide teaching as inquiry in 2015 to assist teachers to better evaluate their practice
  • introduced a student management system to enable more effective use and access to data
  • established a whānau group in 2015 to strengthen learning partnerships.

The previous ERO report identified the need to build a shared understanding of what constitutes success for Māori, to better align systems and processes in the school and to evaluate the impact initiatives have on outcomes for students. These remain a priority.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school appropriately identifies Māori students whose learning needs acceleration. A group of teachers is exploring culturally responsive teaching strategies to more purposefully respond to the individual learning needs of Māori students. This is likely to further support their progress.

A highly valued te reo Māori programme assists all students and teachers to be active in te ao Māori culture. A recently established whānau group is creating opportunities for all students and their families to experience different aspects of Māori culture.

Most Māori students achieve at and above the National Standards expectations. To ensure sustainability of equitable outcomes for all students in this school it is timely to evaluate the impact programmes and initiatives have on Māori students' ongoing progress and achievement. This should help to build a shared understanding of effective teaching practices for Māori learners that enhance these positive outcomes.

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

The school is developing its response to the identified target children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

A range of interventions and classroom strategies is in place to support those students whose learning needs acceleration. Teachers are beginning to explore effective strategies to raise student achievement and engagement. Tracking and monitoring of learners is developing. These practices are aligned to the strategic goals of the school to improve student achievement.

To enable sustainability of positive outcomes the school should continue to:

  • refine, extend and embed strategies to promote more culturally responsive and targeted teaching approaches
  • improve the systems and processes that support a coherent response
  • strengthen internal evaluation practices, so that there is clarity about what works well and for whom.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

Trustees bring a range of knowledge and expertise to their roles. They effectively communicate, are reflective and improvement focused. There is a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities and distribution of tasks. Information shared with them is explored and discussed in-depth. More frequent monitoring of the targeted students' progress should help trustees to know which strategies are successfully raising achievement.

School leaders continue to build their understanding of effective leadership. They have focused initially on building a collegial and collaborative team across the school. Leadership should more clearly align student learning needs and teacher professional learning goals. Incorporating these as part of appraisal would strengthen the processes and support more robust endorsements for certification.

Teachers and leaders know their students well. Parents, families, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. Continuing to maximise opportunities to enable the engagement of parents and whānau in reciprocal learning-centred partnerships should enhance positive outcomes for all learners.

Effective teaching promotes learner wellbeing, achievement and progress. Students can discuss their learning and their improvement goals. Within learning syndicates, teachers collaboratively plan and share ideas about how they will respond to students' needs. Fostering students' leadership of learning should help to contextualise the curriculum to their passions and interests.

Achievement of desired learning outcomes for students should be further strengthened through extending the current syndicate models to a cohesive schoolwide approach. This should include:

  • building a local contextual, culturally responsive curriculum that is meaningful and further engages the learner
  • developing the shared understanding of effective teaching strategies that supports each child's engagement, progress and achievement.

Trustees and leaders should engage with, use and learn through internal evaluation, to assist them to further evaluate how well the vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence are enacted.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The key next steps for the school are to:

  • strengthening the alignment of strategies and processes to better support accelerated progress of students
  • continue to build understanding implementation of effective evaluation processes to identify the impact innovations and initiatives are having on enhancing positive outcomes.

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

6 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 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

  • Processes for appointing staff

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • Attendance

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • Provision for international students

  • Provision for students in school hostels.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. To meet requirements trustees must:

  • ensure the professional leaders of the school appraise staff in teaching positions based on the Practising Teacher Criteria established and maintained by the Education Council for the issue and renewal of practising certificates.[Section 31, Education Act 1989]

To improve current practice the board of trustees should:

  • access support from New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to ensure policies, procedures and practices within the school meet legislative requirements, including: the process for appointing staff; the appraisal of the principal, teaching and non-teaching staff; surrender and retention of property and searches; and the stand down and suspension of students.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers use internal evaluation to support a cohesive and evidence-based approach to sustaining equitable and excellent outcomes for students. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

12 July 2016

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2877

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

177

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākeha

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

10%

69%

9%

12%

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

12 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2013

February 2010

February 2007