Levin East School

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Summary

Levin East School has approximately 400 children in Years 1 to 6 and most are Māori. Additional enrolments comprise 20% Pākehā, 9% Pacific children and a growing number of diverse ethnic groups. A significant number of children have additional or high learning needs.

Since the May 2014 ERO report, there have been changes of principal. Changes to the senior leadership are ongoing. Most trustees are new to the board.

Connections with Te Iwi Muaūpoko are valued and supported. The school is a member of Taitoko Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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

Student achievement data over time shows approximately two-thirds of learners, including Māori and Pacific, continue to achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in all three areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Although some children make accelerated progress, the school recognises there is insufficient evidence of improvement over time for those achieving below National Standards.

Teachers focus on supporting targeted learners through a range of well-considered approaches. Māori children are supported to be successful learners and achieve at expectations.

Good processes and practices are in place for communication and meaningful consultation with the school community on a range of school matters and decision making. There is a considered approach to developing learning partnerships with whānau Māori.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO. 

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?

Targets are set to accelerate student progress in response to achievement data. Some children make accelerated progress. The school recognises there is insufficient evidence of improvement over time for those learners achieving below National Standards.

Student achievement data over time shows approximately two-thirds of children, including Māori and Pacific, continue to achieve at or above the National Standards in all three areas of reading, writing and mathematics. There is continuing disparity for boys in literacy. Pacific children demonstrated good achievement in reading in 2016.

There is a deliberate focus on supporting Māori children to be successful learners and achieve at expectations. In partnership with Muaūpoko iwi, the Tūinga te Koingo initiative was provided. This provides children with targeted support for learning and additional programmes that affirm their culture, language and identity, and build positive learning relationships. There is a considered approach to developing rich learning partnerships with whānau Māori.

Teachers work collaboratively to support targeted learners through a range of well-considered approaches, including:

  • establishing and building on strong relationships with the student and their whānau

  • providing additional strategies and tools for learning

  • careful scrutiny and regular monitoring of student progress

  • sharing and reflecting on teacher practice for improving student outcomes.

Further use of achievement information to promote, measure and evaluate the accelerated progress of all children at risk of poor educational outcomes is a next step.

Children with additional learning needs are well provided for. Considered processes and systems support their learning, development and wellbeing. Inclusion is promoted and highly evident across the school.

The school has developed useful matrices to measure student progress and guide learning for each curriculum area. Progress in relation to National Standards is tracked by teachers and discussed in team meetings.

Moderation for writing has occurred to strengthen teachers’ judgments about achievement. A next step is to develop consistent schoolwide practice and clear systems for making valid and dependable judgments in relation to National Standards in all three areas, including regular internal and external moderation. The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) is being explored by leaders to support teacher judgments. 

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Children are well supported to participate positively in school life and be successful in their learning. Positive relationships facilitate children’s confidence and a strong sense of belonging. Wellbeing is an important focus, supported by effective systems and practices. Staff nurture and care for children.

There is a strong commitment to working effectively in partnership with families to promote positive outcomes for all children. Good processes and practices are in place for communication and meaningful consultation on a range of school matters and decision making. Iwi participation in curriculum and school life is welcomed, nurtured, and well established.

The school is responsive to children’s emerging needs through carefully considered curriculum initiatives. These are well supported by staff professional learning and development and appraisal.

Teachers are responsive to learners’ interests, strengths and needs. They provide meaningful learning experiences for children that connect to their world, cultural identities and prior learning. Teachers work to build children’s understanding of Muaūpokotanga and te ao Māori perspectives, including links to local, significant landmarks.

There is a strong focus on collaboration as teachers build a shared understanding of effectiveness. They share their learning and successful strategies to improve practice. Teachers’ strengths are identified and developed through a range of leadership opportunities. A comprehensive, robust and supportive appraisal process supports teacher development and capability.

Trustees represent and actively serve the school community. They foster and facilitate positive, productive partnerships with community leaders, iwi, agencies and organisations. Board practices and processes are appropriately guided by a comprehensive guidebook and strategic planning.

The board receives good information about school activities and achievements, and curriculum initiatives. Student achievement information is properly scrutinised. The board should seek better analysed data to inform decision making.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

A new senior leadership team is being built. Further developing their capability and shared understanding of their role in promoting equity and excellence is part of this team building. Leaders’ focus on improving outcomes for children should include:

  • deeper analysis and inquiry into data to promote equitable outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of actions in accelerating achievement

  • a greater understanding of and systematic approach to inquiry and internal evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives and inform decision making

  • monitoring and promoting of coherent and consistent practice schoolwide. This should include the development of appropriate procedures to guide health and safety practices. 

TheNew Zealand Curriculumprinciples are embedded. There is ongoing promotion of student agency and future focus aspects of the curriculum through the use of digital tools. Staff should continue the development of curriculum by providing an overarching document to record valued outcomes for learners, guide teaching and learning and support internal evaluation.

Next steps include:

  • further use of student achievement information to promote, measure and evaluate the accelerated progress of all children at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • development of an overarching curriculum document to articulate valued outcomes for learners, guide teaching and learning and support internal evaluation
  • fostering a cohesive approach and shared understanding of the role leaders and trustees have in promoting equity and excellence
  • building understanding of and establishing a systematic approach to inquiry and internal evaluation.

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. 

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with the community about the health curriculum. In order to address this:

the board must adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community. [Section 60B Education Act 1989; Sexuality education: a guide for principals, boards of trustees, and teachers, 2015]

To improve current practice, an immediate priority for the board of trustees is to ensure that health and safety policies align with the school’s culture, values and practices.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to further build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

22 August 2017

About the school 

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2886

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1-6)

School roll

411

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 58%
Pākehā 20%
Pacific 9%
Asian 4%
Other ethnic groups 9%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

22 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review January 2011
Education Review, October 2007

 

1 Context

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

Levin East School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this ERO review, the school had 379 students enrolled, including 57% who are Māori.

The principal was appointed at the beginning of 2013 and there has been significant restructuring of the leadership team. Appointments since the January 2011 ERO report include the deputy principal in charge of curriculum and the special education needs coordinator (SENCO). Team leaders each oversee a team of teachers. There has been little staff turnover in recent years.

The school community is redeveloping the school’s vision, curriculum and strategic direction. The school community has been involved in developing the vision statement of “Switched-on learners”. This reflects a shared intent to develop teaching and learning strategies which enhance the engagement of 21st century learners.

The principal, staff and trustees value the contribution parents, whānau and the wider community make in supporting the culture of the school and outcomes for students. Strong partnerships exist between the school, local iwi, community organisations, external agencies and other schools.

2 Learning

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

School leaders are working to strengthen assessment practices to extend the ways teachers use achievement information to improve learning and accelerate progress for students.

Trustees receive regular, well-analysed, information about student achievement. They demonstrate increased awareness about their roles and responsibilities in lifting student achievement. There is ongoing monitoring of annual plan achievement targets. These targets are now more specific and appropriately focused on priority learners. Recent achievement data demonstrate that girls achieve significantly higher than boys in reading and writing. Trustees and leaders are aware that boys’ engagement in literacy learning is an urgent priority to address.

Writing has been a professional development focus for teachers in 2013. Improved processes in this curriculum area include:

  • teachers’ knowledge and use of National Standards' assessment
  • identification, monitoring and planning for students in target writing groups.

A focus on teaching practices that help students to have understanding and ownership of their learning has resulted in the development of the Levin East Poutama. These are visible learning pathways to make learning progressions clear for students and their families.

Teachers use assessment information to group students according to their literacy and numeracy levels, within and across classes. Some teachers use student-centred assessment strategies well, particularly in writing. They support their students to be clear about what they are learning and what their individual next learning steps are.

Some schoolwide achievement information, including school entry assessment and Reading Recovery data, shows that many students make good literacy gains over time.

Processes to support students with higher learning needs have been strengthened. The newly appointed SENCO oversees the Whare Manaaki programme. Assessment effectively informs the individual education plans for these students. Teacher aides work with teachers to plan for and monitor progress towards students’ goals.

The principal and deputy principal in charge of curriculum are increasing expectations for higher achievement and accelerated progress.

Next steps for strengthening use of assessment information include the following key areas.

  • The development of teachers’ formative assessment strategies:
    • all teachers need to be clear about the specific learning needs of their students and help them to develop responsibility for their own learning with effective use of the Poutama
    • planning for classroom teaching should target individual needs and strengths.
  • The implementation of an effective system to identify, plan, monitor and evaluate successful strategies to accelerate progress for target students. This should:
    • be extended to include target students in reading and mathematics
    • make use of teachers with curriculum area expertise to support teachers to effectively target students 'needs.
  • Teachers should continue to develop their practice in making overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards, particularly in reading and mathematics.

3 Curriculum

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

Leaders, teachers and trustees have begun a well-considered process to review the school’s vision, values and curriculum to reflect the aspirations of families. Recently developed guiding documents appropriately reflect the new vision of “Switched-on learners” and communicate clear expectations for teachers.

There has been a sustained focus on creating a positive learning environment to support student wellbeing. Students display a strong sense of belonging. They are welcoming and interact well with adults and peers. In some classes ERO observed, students were highly engaged in their learning. Many staff members demonstrate warm and positive relationships with students.

Students enjoy a range of opportunities for leadership. A student council ensures student voice contributes to decision-making.

Teachers have engaged in professional learning and development which is responsive to student achievement information, particularly in writing. This has resulted in the establishment of some effective teaching models and schoolwide monitoring processes. These provide a valuable model for future developments in reading and mathematics.

A recent initiative for students of Pacific heritage, Pasifika House, has enhanced a sense of cultural identity for students. Leaders report that the teaching approach recognises the cultural experiences that students bring and has improved students’ achievement and attitudes to writing and mathematics in 2013. Leaders should explore ways to ensure the strategies and the success of this programme are extended throughout the school.

School leaders identify the need for the implemented curriculum to be more student-centred, culturally responsive, inclusive and enact its vision of “Switched-on learners”. Improvements should include:

  • more real-life and interest-based learning experiences for students
  • higher expectations for student success
  • increased opportunities for students to understand, lead and make choices about their learning
  • more response to the cultural backgrounds and strengths that students bring.

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

There has been a renewed focus on improving the quality and nature of education for Māori learners and their families. The Whānau Group has been supported to take a lead role in welcoming new whānau and helping them to contribute to school direction. Partnerships are being fostered with local iwi.

Maōri staff have responded to whānau aspirations with the development of a strategic plan to build language, culture and identity within the curriculum. They are also supporting other teachers to increase their skill and confidence with Māori language and culture. Recently there has been a significant increase in the number of students participating in kapa haka.

Teachers need to continue to develop their knowledge and confidence of te reo and te ao Māori so that their teaching practice and the taught curriculum becomes more responsive to the language, culture and identity of Māori learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to continue to improve its performance.

The principal leads a strategic approach to bringing about positive changes for student learning and wellbeing. This includes an appropriate focus on growing professional leadership for team leaders. The principal’s self review has effectively identified key next steps for the school.

The board is made up of experienced and new trustees. They have recently participated in governance training to further clarify their roles and to develop a policy framework. Trustees understand the importance of making sound decisions to accelerate the progress of students who need additional support. There is an increased focus on monitoring the progress of achievement targets and goals, through evidence-based review.

There have been significant improvements made to the staff performance management framework. These include an increased evidence-base for appraisals, sharing of practice and clarification of expectations for teachers.

Historical high levels of engagement with parents, whānau and the community continue. Family involvement at school events and consultation processes is evident. Views of families are heard and responded to. Teachers and leaders work closely with external agencies to support the wellbeing of students and their families.

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)

21 May 2014

About the School

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2886

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

379

Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

57%

33%

8%

2%

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

21 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2011

October 2007

August 2004