Kilbirnie School

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School Context

Kilbirnie School, in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai, caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll is 205, of whom 9% are Māori and 5% are of Pacific heritage.

The school’s motto is ‘Whaia te iti kahurangi’, encouraging and supporting learners to strive to be the best they can be. The ‘CARE’ values of: confidence, achievement, respect and empathy are an integral part of the curriculum.

Three strategic goals for 2019 focus on students’ progress, achievement and wellbeing, engagement, needs and interests.

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

  • achievement in literacy and mathematics
  • schoolwide targets and areas of school development
  • student wellbeing.

In 2018, staff worked with an external facilitator to focus on teaching reading, and leaders and teachers worked to develop a shared understanding of developing innovative learning environments. Progressing the process of teachers inquiring into the effectiveness of their practice was an emphasis in 2017 and 2018.

A new principal and deputy principal were appointed in January 2017.

The school belongs to the Kāhui Ako Motū Kairangi.

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?

Achievement data from 2015 to 2018 shows that most students achieve at and above The New Zealand Curriculum expectations in writing and mathematics, with almost all achieving at and above expected levels in reading.

Between 2015 and 2018 the percentage of boys and girls achieving at and above expected levels in reading has increased. At the end of 2018, the number of Māori children achieving at and above expected levels in writing was lower than in 2017. Pacific students’ results were high in reading and writing at the end of 2018.

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

Leaders have clear expectations that all students, including those at risk of not achieving, will be supported to make accelerated progress. In reading and writing, two thirds of students achieving below expectations at the start of 2018 made accelerated progress during the year.

School achievement information from 2018 shows that many students moved from achieving at the expected level to above this level during the year in reading and writing.

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?

Children are engaged, active learners. They talk confidently about their learning and progress. Children know about and demonstrate the CARE values. A sense of belonging is clearly evident.

Respectful interactions are an integral part of the school culture. Teachers are responsive to students’ interests and holistic wellbeing. They know the students well and build positive and affirming relationships.

Leaders have established robust systems for making decisions about student achievement. Leaders and teachers make effective use of nationally normed assessment tools to identify individual student’s next learning steps and track their progress. Teachers discuss data and moderate overall teacher judgements for consistency. The board receives comprehensive achievement reports from each teaching ‘hub’.

The broad curriculum provides a wide range of learning opportunities for students. A graduate profile has been developed collaboratively, providing well-defined expectations for outcomes at year six. Leaders and teachers have developed and documented expectations for teacher practice to guide student learning and development. There is a considered approach to coverage of The New Zealand Curriculum and students’ interests inform their inquiry and authentic contexts for learning.

Well-considered theory and practice to guide the development of innovative learning environments is in place, supporting current and future teaching and learning. This includes increased emphasis on student choice.

The school’s bicultural policy sets high expectations for leaders and teachers to emphasise Māori culture and language. A bicultural curriculum is evident, and the school is extending and further developing this emphasis.

Leadership has ensured that structures, processes and practices promote ongoing learning and development for teachers. A robust appraisal process, teaching as inquiry, and professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities, are appropriately aligned with school strategic developments. Teaching as inquiry is a well-structured, thorough process in which teachers use data and new learning to investigate the success of teaching to promote positive student outcomes.

Focused community collaboration contributes to positive outcomes for learners. Parents’ views are sought and valued and contribute to school direction. There is a wide range of ways for parents and whānau to receive information about and discuss their child’s learning and progress, and to engage in the life of the school.

Trustees and leaders drive the clear vision for school direction and continual improvement. Strategic and annual planning, PLD, appraisal and teachers inquiring into their practice are well aligned. Policies and procedures are regularly reviewed. A governance manual clearly documents trustees’ roles, board meeting processes and procedures. The board reports regularly to the school community.

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

Leaders have identified and begun to work towards strengthening the strategic focus on decision making to further promote Māori success as Māori in 2019. Working collaboratively with whānau whānui to develop a plan that articulates how trustees, leaders and teachers will work towards defining Māori success as Māori at this school is a planned next step. ERO’s evaluation supports this emphasis.

Continuing to increase evaluation capability has also been identified by leaders as a school focus for 2019. ERO’s evaluation supports that further development of a shared understanding of internal evaluation is an appropriate focus. Continuing to strengthen the evaluation of the impact of teaching programmes in relation to valued outcomes for students is a priority identified by leaders.

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 Kilbirnie School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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:

  • a clear, schoolwide focus on achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for learners
  • a well-considered curriculum
  • structures, processes and practices that support a clear vision of continual improvement.

Next steps

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

  • working with whānau whānui to define Māori success as Māori
  • continuing to increase leaders and teachers capability to evaluate the impact of teaching programmes.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

2 May 2019

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2880

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

205

Gender composition

Boys 54%, Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
NZ European/Pākehā 76%
Pacific 5%
Other ethnic groups 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

2 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015

Education Review November 2011

Findings

The board and senior leaders set clear and positive direction for promoting student learning, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive school. The curriculum provides an extensive range of experiences to motivate and engage learners. Students are confident, respectful and active in school life. The tone is settled and there are strong partnerships with parents and the community.

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?

Kilbirnie School, in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai, caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school enrolment scheme has maintained the roll at approximately 220. Most students are New Zealand European and 9% identify as Māori. About 23% of the roll comes from other ethnic groups.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The long-serving senior management team has provided stability and a strongly structured platform for continuing progress. Senior leaders and trustees have responded to the areas for development in the November 2011 ERO report.

A settled, respectful and inclusive tone is evident.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Students are confident, capable learners.

Teachers use a range of assessment tools ably to inform their overall judgements of student achievement in relation to the National Standards. The moderation process for writing is rigorous and facilitates schoolwide consistency.

Overall, students perform very well. Most students achieve at and some achieve above the National Standards. Senior leaders recognise that teachers could challenge more students to achieve at a higher level, particularly in writing and mathematics, where smaller proportions feature above the Standards.

Those students at risk of not meeting the National Standards are identified and well supported. All teachers have focus groups of students whose learning they work to accelerate. Accelerated progress is evident and regularly reported.

Teachers monitor student progress closely and analyse achievement data. The principal collates this information and uses it to provide the board with regular reports on movement toward strategic targets. Parents are well informed. Some work in partnership with the teachers to support their child’s learning.

Most Māori students achieve the National Standards. The few at risk of not meeting these expectations benefit from specific initiatives to accelerate their progress. The next step is for teachers to challenge the majority to achieve above the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The well-considered curriculum successfully promotes and supports student learning. Senior leaders consult widely to regularly review the programme to ensure it is relevant and meaningful for students. Teachers are highly reflective and provide interesting programmes to enrich learning.

Curriculum design is responsive to students’ interests and needs, and parents’ wishes. It is strongly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum, the school’s charter and strategic plan. The CARE values: Confidence, Achievement, Respect, Empathy, are well embedded. Each term, one element is a school focus.

Teachers make very good use of the local environment and resources to make learning meaningful and fun. The wide range of opportunities, including the enrichment programme, enables students to pursue interests and develop leadership skills.

Literacy and mathematics are given daily priority. Teachers are focused on improving teaching and achievement in writing. They have taken part in professional development that is having a very positive impact on students’ learning and writing achievement. Valued teacher aides effectively support students’ learning programmes.

The school has sound and sensitive processes to transition children smoothly into the new entrant classroom. Teachers know the children’s interests, strengths and areas for further growth. They settle well and there is valuable dialogue between the teacher and parents.

Similarly good processes support transition through the school. The relationship between the school and local intermediate is strong. Student graduation is celebrated and enhancement of success is likely through the planned introduction of the graduate profile.

The board and senior leaders have recently reviewed the bicultural programme. As a result, the school has a stronger commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. The school policy has been rewritten as an over-riding policy for all school procedures. Many initiatives to promote the programme have been introduced. The board has continued to fund a teacher to lead cultural activities and teach te reo Māori to all students and teachers.

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

The school fosters the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Clear principles have been established based on Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017. This provides a well-considered foundation for purposefully promoting success for Māori as Māori.

Plans to support Māori students are well embedded in school and class practice through the promotion of te ao Māori in the curriculum.

Analysis of Māori student achievement data is reported to the board to inform decisions about the development of programmes required to enhance student learning and engagement. Generally these students achieve well.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Kilbirnie School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Governance and leadership are highly effective. High quality review processes and systems are used strategically across the school to promote continuous improvement.

Planning at all levels is well aligned with the vision for school direction. The sound teacher appraisal process facilitates a schoolwide consistency of purpose. The board is regularly informed about intended outcomes and makes decisions in response to this information.

Parent partnerships are valued. Families are actively encouraged to engage in their children’s learning and the life of the school. They are well informed about the school’s education approaches and requirements. School and teaching team newsletters, along with portfolio entries and interviews, provide a range of opportunities for parents to engage with students’ learning and progress. Many surveys are conducted to include student and parent views. Sharpening the focus on student outcomes is likely to enhance this feedback process.

The school website is informative and blogs facilitate up-to-date communication between teachers and home. The board’s regular newsletter and appropriate policies on the website serve to enrich the open communication between school and community.

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

The board and senior leaders set clear and positive direction for promoting student learning, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive school. The curriculum provides an extensive range of experiences to motivate and engage learners. Students are confident, respectful and active in school life. The tone is settled and there are strong partnerships with parents and the community.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

17 February 2015

Image removed.About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2880

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

227

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

68%

9%

9%

4%

10%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

17 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

June 2008

November 2005