Normandale School

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School Context

Normandale School is located in Lower Hutt. At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 196 Years 1 to 6 students, of whom 18 identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is to provide a foundation for all students in an environment that is inclusive, future focused, fun, challenging and supportive. Its key value of Respect|Whakaute is supported by its recently revised TREE values of: Thoughtfulness|Kohuki, Resilience|Manawaroa, Empathy|Aroha, Enthusiasm|Whakarira.

Valued outcomes are to:

  • enable all students to access The New Zealand Curriculum with focus on literacy, numeracy and health
  • support students’ progress, achievement and wellbeing in an inclusive environment
  • empower students to be self-motivated and enthusiastic learners who have the confidence and skills to achieve.

The schools current goals and targets for improvement in student outcomes are:

  • raising the achievement of boys in writing
  • groups of students in Years 1 to 5 in writing
  • maintaining high achievement for Māori students.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing and attendance.

Since the December 2014 ERO report, changes in staffing have occurred. Three new leaders have been appointed. Additional teachers have also been appointed as a result of significant roll growth.

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 outcomes for all students in literacy and mathematics. School leaders report that in 2018 most students including Māori achieved at or above their respective curriculum levels in writing and mathematics. Almost all achieved at these levels in reading.

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

Acceleration is evident in boys’ writing and girls’ mathematical achievement in 2018. Lower achievement was evident for boys in writing and girls in mathematics in the school’s 2017 achievement data. Progress was made in 2018 to address this disparity. Most students make expected progress.

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?

Learners and their families are well known. Students whose achievement requires acceleration are identified and their needs considered. They are given ongoing support and sufficient opportunities to revisit and consolidate learning over time. Their progress is regularly monitored, discussed and reported to parents and trustees.

Students with additional needs are well supported. Teachers effectively identify their needs, develop programmes to address these and track progress towards individual goals. External agency support is accessed when required.

Students experience a broad curriculum designed to engage and interest them. It includes a focus on individual children’s needs and interests through authentic contexts and hands-on experiences.

Clear and comprehensive documentation guides the delivery of a learner focused curriculum. It effectively captures the contexts for learning overtime while allowing freedom to follow current events and children’s passions and emerging interests. Assessment processes were reviewed in 2018 and a new framework adopted. Processes are in place to support teachers’ understanding of new expectations.

A strategic and effective approach to building and supporting teachers’ capability is in place. There is a clear focus on building common understandings to ensure sustainability of effective teacher practices with changes of staff. A comprehensive teacher inquiry process is being used. Teachers are being supported to deepen their understanding and use of this process to better understand the impact of their practice on children’s learning and how to adjust practice to best meet individual children’s needs.

A strong, coherent appraisal process has been effectively implemented. Developmental goals are purposefully aligned to school-wide strategic priorities and focus on raising student achievement. The need for appraisal to reflect improvements in cultural responsiveness in classrooms is acknowledged.

Strong systems and processes support decision making and ensure smooth day to day operations of the school. Trustees effectively support the principal to pursue the school’s vision, implement its revised values and set the direction of the school. Progress towards school goals is formally monitored and regularly reported on to the board by the principal.

Leaders and trustees are improvement focused. They are transparent and considered in their decision making and have identified areas for ongoing growth within the school. They are focused on student achievement and responsive to identified needs of children. They ensure that parents are regularly consulted on school practices and the curriculum.

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

The school’s strategic plan identifies broad outcomes. Clearer identification of the outcomes desired and more specific, measurable steps directed to achieving these outcomes is needed. The board acknowledges a need to strengthen strategic planning and target setting and has a programme of review in place for 2019 to address this.

Since the previous ERO review steps have been taken to strengthen cultural responsiveness. Rich cultural acknowledgement is evident in activities at a whole school level. Leaders have identified a need to further develop classroom practices to reflect the documented curriculum, implement whānau aspirations as identified in their recent hui and reflect elements of this through the appraisal process. ERO agrees this is a key next step.

Teachers and leaders are reflective and seek to understand new initiatives. A next step is to continue to deepen understanding of, and strengthen their practices in, internal evaluation.

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 Normandale 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:

  • leadership and stewardship that is consistently focused on improving student outcomes
  • a coherent and strategic approach to professional development that supports teachers to develop their professional practice
  • review and development of the curriculum that supports teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening strategic planning to better identify desired outcomes and steps to be taken to achieve these
  • increasing teacher capacity to better integrate te ao Māori into classroom programmes
  • strengthening understanding and implementation of internal evaluation to better identify the impact of initiatives on student outcomes.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

21 May 2019

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2930

School type

Contributing primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

196

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
NZ European/Pākehā 77%
Samoan 4%
Other ethnicities 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

21 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review November 2011

Findings

Normandale School is soundly led and governed. Students, including Māori, achieve well across learning areas. They experience a rich, responsive curriculum. Students communicate widely through digital technology and share their learning through individual and class blogs. Teachers’ professional development is having a positive impact on student learning. Review processes result in school improvement.

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?

Normandale School, in the Hutt Valley, caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll of 161 students includes 7% who identify as Māori. Significant roll growth has resulted in an additional class being established and maintained.

Since the November 2011 ERO review there have been changes in the leadership team and teaching staff. A special needs co-ordinator position has been established to support and track student achievement.

Teachers have engaged in professional development, which has led to substantial changes in teaching practice in areas of writing and e-learning.

Staff and students know each other well. Students interact across the school, in both learning and social contexts.

2 Learning

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

Data is used well to support student learning and progress.

School-reported achievement information shows that in 2013, the majority of students achieved at or above National Standards expectations in reading and mathematics. The information shows that many students also achieve at expectation in writing. Writing is a focus area for teacher development and changing practices are beginning to impact positively on student achievement. The 2013 school-reported achievement information indicates that Māori students are achieving above their peers overall in literacy and mathematics.

Teachers use data well to group students and to plan teaching programmes. They actively reflect on their practices and work collaboratively to support students at risk of not achieving. Students identified as having specific learning needs are appropriately catered for.

Leaders also use information to identify groups of students in need of additional teaching and to track progress. Staff have reviewed their understanding of National Standards to maintain consistency of teacher judgements.

Parents receive timely information about their child’s learning. They have regular opportunities to discuss current learning priorities with the student and their teacher. Open communication and a family-friendly environment contribute to warm relationships and positive partnerships for learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum provides students with opportunities that effectively promote and support their learning. There is an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics.

The New Zealand Curriculum is the basis for the school’s curriculum. Students engage in a wide range of learning experiences within and outside the classroom, particularly local settings. Documentation has been recently reviewed in consultation with parents, staff and students. A clear rationale for choices made in the design of the curriculum is evident

Learning is integrated across curriculum areas in authentic, interesting contexts. Teachers’ strengths and interests support and strengthen delivery. E-learning practices are woven seamlessly into the curriculum, used to share student learning across the wider world and to share student e-portfolios with parents.

Teachers make consistent use of effective teaching strategies to promote student engagement, learning and progress. Classrooms have a positive working tone. Lessons are well paced and learning environments are vibrant.

Many students take ownership of their learning. They are encouraged to articulate its purpose, the support they need and their next steps to make progress. They share their learning with parents on personal and class blogs and take an active part in the reporting process.

Students’ efforts are acknowledged and celebrated. Respectful reciprocal relationships are evident between students and with teachers. The school environment is inclusive of all learners.

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

Māori students have opportunities to take on leadership responsibilities within cultural activities.

Whānau of Māori students are consulted for their views about what the school is doing well and how it can strengthen what it is doing for Māori learners. Partnerships are developing between school, whānau and the wider Māori community. Teachers and students are supported to develop their confidence and competence in the understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers continue to develop the curriculum to respond to Māori students' strengths.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and strengthen its performance. Internal review processes result in school improvement.

The principal provides effective leadership. She grows the leadership capabilities of staff. Well considered communication processes are evident. Senior leaders and teachers are reflective and responsive to the needs of students and their families. An effective learning community is established.

A robust appraisal process supports teacher development. Professional learning focuses on identified needs, interests and school priorities. This is having a positive impact on student learning. Teachers' inquiry processes are well developed. They focus on target students and result in meaningful changes to teacher practice.

Trustees are well informed about school operations. They have clear documents to guide practices and use appropriate processes for decision-making. A board review schedule informs policies and charter development.

Trustees are knowledgeable about student achievement. They receive useful, analysed reports which are used well to inform decision-making, set appropriate targets and monitor progress in student achievement.

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

Normandale School is soundly led and governed. Students, including Māori, achieve well across learning areas. They experience a rich, responsive curriculum. Students communicate widely through digital technology and share their learning through individual and class blogs. Teachers’ professional development is having a positive impact on student learning. Review processes result in school improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

23 December 2014

About the School

Location

Hutt City

Ministry of Education profile number

2930

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

161

Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

7%

83%

4%

6%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

23 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

December 2008

February 2006