Linden School

Education institution number:
2890
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
121
Telephone:
Address:

Ranui Terrace, Tawa, Wellington

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Linden School - 21/06/2017

Findings

Linden School has made significant progress in improving systems and processes that impact on student learning. All students are well known by teachers and leaders, who monitor and track their progress. Those who are not yet making sufficient progress are provided with specific teaching and interventions.  Raising student achievement is a priority.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Linden School provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this ERO review the roll was 92, with 25 students identifying as Māori and 22 of Pacific heritage. Learners with high needs are supported by teachers and teacher aides in classrooms.

In May 2015, ERO reported the need for urgent action to:

  • redevelop the school curriculum
  • improve teachers’ use of achievement information for making appropriate teaching decisions
  • refine processes for teachers to examine their own practices.

ERO determined that the school needed ongoing support and a longitudinal review process was begun. The Ministry of Education appointed a Student Achievement Facilitator (SAF) who assisted in supporting improved classroom practices. This support cycle is now completed.

There have been significant numbers of staff changes since ERO’s 2015 review. The senior leadership team currently includes the principal and two acting deputy principal teachers.

The board of trustees is a newly formed stewardship group.

Linden School is one of a group of schools in the Tawa area working within a Kāhui Ako / Community of Learning.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The priorities for review and development during ERO’s two year review process were to:

  • redevelop the school curriculum to reflect the New Zealand Curriculum and the aspirations of its community
  • improve the gathering, monitoring, tracking and use of progress and achievement information for teaching
  • refine teaching as inquiry practices and strengthen the appraisal system
  • improve school practices to promote Māori as Māori at Linden School.
Progress

Significant improvements in systems and processes that impact on student learning are highly evident in management and operation.

Over time the curriculum has been redeveloped and is now presented in a useful document. Its content is localised and culturally responsive to the students and families of the school community. Plans are in place for ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the curriculum, reviewing how well it promotes engagement, progress and achievement. There is a focus on ‘building a community of learners who engage in their learning, strive hard during their learning and then thrive on their successes.’

Classroom teaching and use of student achievement information has improved. Timely professional development, especially in literacy teaching, has helped to support teachers. Student progress and achievement information is discussed in designated meetings when teachers share strategies for focused teaching. A collective vision for implementing programmes that lead to positive outcomes for students is evident. As a result, some students make accelerated progress.

Within the school, moderation of students’ learning and achievement in relation to National Standards is improving. Now teachers should focus on the progress students make within programmes, strategies and initiatives.

Deliberate strategies to further develop teachers’ competency in teaching Māori students is in place. This includes teachers developing and evaluating personal professional goals and the implementation of a schoolwide project to expand teachers' knowledge of te ao Māori. A visit with local iwi to places of significance is valued by staff.

It is an ongoing challenge for leaders and teachers to accelerate the progress of some Māori and Pacific students. It is necessary to further focus on these students so their potential is realised and reflected in relation to the National Standards. A planned review of the styles of delivery, especially in the senior school should support this commitment to Māori and Pacific students’ success. Accelerating their progress is an agreed school priority.

Students with additional needs are well supported in the classroom, so they can participate in and contribute to schoolwide learning opportunities.

The appraisal system and the inquiry cycle for teachers to consider their practice has been strengthened. To further build a positive, professional teaching culture these processes should be a deliberate strategy for schoolwide improvement.

Over the course of this review the principal’s reporting to the board and to ERO demonstrates a commitment to accelerating students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Key next steps

teachers should continue to focus on accelerating the progress of students who identify as Māori or Pacific so that all children achieve at expected levels.

leaders and teachers should monitor student progress within strategies and initiatives, to track the usefulness and effectiveness of these programmes.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Linden School is well placed to continue to improve and review its performance.

Students continue to be nurtured. Successes are celebrated. A positive school culture is evident and teachers relate well to students. The values of HEART; helpful, empathy, aroha, respect and trustworthy, guide expectations for how people work together.

Families and children are well known by the principal and teachers.

The school’s written and implemented action plans and systems support ongoing improvement.

Openness to ongoing learning by staff is strong, through improved focus on the use of student achievement data and evidence-based decision making and planning.

Systematic analysis of information is helping the school to focus teachers' attention on students who have not yet enjoyed equitable outcomes at school.

Trustees are building their understanding of the role of stewardship. They gain support from external expertise and are active in Tawa based school initiatives. It is necessary to prioritise principal appraisal so it is well managed for ongoing improvement and professional growth.

Leaders, staff and trustees are to continue to seek appropriate support to embed and continue to evaluate the initiatives in place that support students’ ongoing learning and school experiences.

Many of the improvements are new and require consolidation to ensure they are sustained. 

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

Linden School has made significant progress in improving systems and processes that impact on student learning. All students are well known by teachers and leaders, who monitor and track their progress. Those who are not yet making sufficient progress are provided with specific teaching and interventions. Raising student achievement is a priority.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

21 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Tawa, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2890

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

92

Gender composition

Male 55, Female 37

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

25
22
22
23

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

21 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2015
May 2012
November 2008

 

Linden School - 26/05/2015

1 Context

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

Linden School provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review the roll was 88, with 28 students identifying as Māori and 20 from Pacific nations. Learners with high needs are supported by teachers and teacher aides in mainstream classes.

The senior leadership team has experienced considerable change. The current principal took up the position in January 2015. Two deputy principals were employed at Linden School as classroom teachers before moving into their leadership roles. The school has had four principals over seven years.

Curriculum priorities are literacy and numeracy. Pastoral care is an important aspect of school operation. Community and family presence is visible on a daily basis. They help and support staff and students in a wide range of ways.

2 Learning

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

Improvement in practices to gather and use progress and achievement information is needed.

The school reports that many students are at the National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. According to the data, Pacific students are achieving well in comparison to other students in the school. Although some Māori students are progressing well, teachers have yet to get this group of learners achieving as expected. Ongoing teacher development in the use of National Standards should provide more accurate information about student progress and achievement.

Information gathered about progress and achievement is understood by senior leaders. However, this information needs to be more deeply analysed for improved monitoring and tracking of students’ progress and for making appropriate teaching decisions in the classrooms. Teachers should use the range of available data to inform them of students’ progress, or lack of, so that appropriate action is taken.

The senior leadership team knows that current initiatives are not accelerating students’ progress and achievement. Developing a collective understanding of what accelerated progress is should be addressed with some urgency and initiatives scrutinised.

In 2015, teachers are involved in setting schoolwide targets and they have identified the actions to be taken for students to make expected progress. These actions require frequent monitoring and review so that the needs of students at risk of not achieving are speedily addressed.

Families are regularly informed about students’ progress through formal reporting against the National Standards and through ongoing informal conversations. Parents report that teachers consider family aspirations for their children. They share information about students’ knowledge and interests. This includes information about possible learning opportunities for teachers to consider.

The positive school culture and the recent focus on students’ engagement in learning are reflected in the respectful relationships between staff and students.

Key next steps

The principal and staff should:

  • gather, analyse and use sufficient student progress and achievement information to improve learning for all students
  • further refine teaching as inquiry practice
  • understand what accelerated progress is and make changes to teaching practice and programmes of learning accordingly
  • evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, what works and what does not, and adapt for learners.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum has been under review for a considerable length of time. Guidance for teachers to implement a schoolwide curriculum is insufficient.

The re-development of a Linden School curriculum that reflects The New Zealand Curriculum and the aspirations of its community is a priority. Rewriting of this guiding document should include specific reference to students’ languages, cultures and identities, and ways the school will provide a curriculum that supports all learners.

Newly implemented initiatives, including e-learning and student self-directed learning, should be included in the curriculum document.

Most students experience positive learning in small-group situations, where teachers use effective teaching strategies to engage and interest them. All students benefit from the school’s connections with te ao Māori and Pasifika performance group activities.

A culture of celebrating students’ successes and progress is highly valued. This is particularly strong when considering the progress of students with high needs.

Key next steps

The principal and staff should:

  • establish expectations for teaching, learning and assessment through a written, comprehensive and well-understood curriculum that reflects the aspirations of its community andThe New Zealand Curriculum
  • deepen the use of self review to evaluate how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes students’ learning.

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

Overall, improvement is needed in school practices to promote success for Māori.

The May 2012 ERO report identified the following areas for improvement to support Māori students. These continue to be priorities:

  • further the school’s focus on engagement and consultation with whānau
  • further improve achievement levels
  • align school documents and teaching practice with Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

It is timely for staff, with whānau, to collaboratively determine what success for Māori as Māori is at Linden School. Use of resources such as Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017 should assist review to ascertain if current practices sufficiently acknowledge students’ language, culture and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees, the principal and staff want ongoing improvement in students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Positive factors that contribute to school performance include sound governance practices, community participation and good relationships between staff and families. The principal has a well‑considered plan that looks to the future. The operational framework should assist in clarifying school direction, which is to better support the learning of all students.

Trustees are improvement focused and use student achievement information to make resourcing decisions. They expect positive outcomes for all.

Key areas where improvement is necessary include:

  • embedding initiatives and developments undertaken by staff and evaluating the effectiveness of these
  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of leaders to support schoolwide changes
  • further strengthening appraisal by linking outcomes to school direction
  • ensuring staff learning from professional development is evident in classroom practice
  • more robust systems for tracking, monitoring and evaluating student progress so that data is used more effectively in decision making
  • using the outcomes of self review for ongoing improvement.

Areas for development need to be clearly communicated and deliberately led through a united approach to school improvement. Better and deeper inquiry into data is likely to improve the quality of information generated for making decisions most significant for promoting student success.

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.

Since the onsite phase of the review, the board has established and implemented procedures for the police vetting of employees and contractors.

Conclusion

The recently appointed principal, teachers and trustees are improvement focused. Key developments are needed in curriculum and the accuracy and use of achievement information. The board and staff are committed to make the necessary changes to improve student outcomes.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 May 2015

About the School

Location

Tawa

Ministry of Education profile number

2890

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

88

Gender composition

Males 45,

Females 43

Ethnic composition

Māori 28

Pacific 20 

Asian 20 

NZ European/Pākehā 17

Other ethnic groups 3

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

26 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2012

Education Review November 2008

Education Review February 2003