Plimmerton School

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Summary

Plimmerton School caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there were 506 students on the roll with 10% identifying as Māori, 4% Pacific and 5% of students receiving additional English language support.

A technology centre on site provides tuition for Year 7 and 8 students from the school and six other local schools.

Since the 2014 ERO review there have been some significant staff and board changes. At the start of 2017 a new principal was appointed. A new chairperson, some new trustees and a whānau parent representative were elected at the 2016 board elections.

Teachers have had professional learning and development (PLD) in Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL), and in digital learning. This year’s PLD focus on mathematics is linked to the school’s annual improvement targets.

The school is a member of the North Porirua Community of Learning.

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

Students achieve well at Plimmerton School. At the time of this evaluation, National Standards data indicates that most students are achieving at or above in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students achieve well. There is some disparity between the achievement of Māori students and that of their peers, but most Māori students are achieving at or above National Standards. Moderation practices ensure greater dependability of achievement information.

Trustees and senior leaders are focused on achieving positive outcomes for all learners. Students identified as not succeeding are known and strongly supported to achieve, with evidence of accelerated progress for many students at risk of not achieving.

Strengthening internal evaluation and aspects of the curriculum should assist the school to further promote equity and excellence for all learners.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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?

The school effectively responds to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Since the previous ERO review, schoolwide achievement has remained stable and shows that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In the last four years at least 85% of Year 8 leavers were at or above the National Standards. There is some disparity between the achievement of Māori students and their peers but most Māori students achieve at or above the National Standards.

As a group, most Pacific students achieve well. It is timely to consider how effectively the school promotes Pacific students’ culture and identity.

Trustees, leaders and staff are focused on improving student outcomes. All students at risk of not achieving the National Standards are clearly identified and closely monitored by leaders and classroom teachers. Teachers know the strengths, interests and needs of their learners well. Classroom teaching and initiatives are in place to promote accelerated progress. Programmes to support these students are regularly reviewed to ensure their effectiveness and value. School reported data indicates that many students made accelerated progress in 2016.

The purpose and process of moderation is well understood and provides useful information for teaching and learning. Students are regularly assessed using appropriate informal and standardised tools. The school has identified that building consistency across the school to support greater dependability of teacher judgements is a priority.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Effective processes and practices promote the achievement of equity and excellence.

Students are actively engaged in learning. Classrooms are welcoming and purposeful. Positive relationships contribute to productive learning. Student feedback on learning and wellbeing is sought and valued.Classroom environments are managed in ways that encourage participation and promote student agency. Strategies to support learning and achievement are carefully considered. Digital tools are integrated into the programme and support student engagement, enrichment and learning.

All students experience authentic opportunities to learn through te ao Māori perspectives.

Teachers build expertise through targeted PLD informed by student data and the school’s annual targets. They work together to extend the range of strategies that support targetstudents. Usefulimprovement guidelines are in place to assist teaching and learning. Provisionally certificated teachers are well supported.

PLD builds leadership within the school. School leaders promote good practice, actively support teachers and have high expectations for success. They ensure that an orderly and supportive environment, conducive to student wellbeing and learning, is maintained.

The board sets appropriate annual targets based on accelerating student progress. In 2017, these targets include a focus on educational success for Māori students. Trustees should receive regular progress reports to support resourcing decisions. Student wellbeing, achievement and progress is prioritised by the school’s trustees.

The board is in the process of revisiting the school’s charter. Consultation with the community, staff and children is planned.

Strong relationships are evident between the school and parent community. There is a positive approach to collecting information from families which may contribute to ongoing improvement of student learning. Written reports and information sharing interviews, provide parents with a range of information about their child’s learning and progress.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

School leaders and ERO agree on the following key areas for ongoing development to achieve equity and excellence.

Reviewing the appraisal to contribute more effectively to continuing teacher improvement, including:

  1. expectations for each component of the process

  2. building cultural competence for teachers of Māori learners

  3. a process for judgements about how well the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) is linked to student outcomes

  4. supporting, acknowledging and building leadership across the school.

Further developing the connection with Ngāti Toa and reflection of local traditions, stories and histories in the curriculum.

Teachers and leaders strengthening their use of progress data to evaluate the impact of initiatives and programmes and enable more effective responses to the needs of students. The current inquiry model is likely to contribute to this process.

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. 

Provision for international students

The school is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to review the appraisal process, extend links with iwi and strengthen internal evaluation.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

6 September 2017

About the school 

Location

Porirua City

Ministry of Education profile number

2960

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

506

Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
Pākehā 79%
Pacific 4%
Asian 5%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Special features

Technology Centre

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

6 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2014
Education Review, May 2011
Education Review, November 2007

 

1 Context

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

Plimmerton School is a large primary school on the coast just north of Porirua City. Most of the 506 Years 1 to 8 students enrolled at the time of this review were from New Zealand European backgrounds. Some of the 12% who identified as Māori are affiliated with the local Hongoeka Marae, with which the school has had a long association.

Staff turnover is low. The principal, one deputy principal and many members of staff are longserving. The school’s reporting history with ERO indicates continuing high community expectations and positive performance.

Since the May 2011 ERO report, steps have been taken to strengthen school culture, curriculum provision, assessment practices and student selfmanagement. School leadership is distributed across a larger team. Members have been participating in coaching for building capability across the school.

The community is closely involved with school life. The parent-teacher association is a highly active group that raises substantial funds to contribute to specific local curriculum activities.

The school mission is ‘to provide a learning environment that will prepare students for life’. Facilities supporting curriculum delivery include a hall, an indoor pool, large playing field and technology centre. The local beach is used for extending confidence in water activities.

2 Learning

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

Assessment information is regularly gathered to make National Standards judgements and moderated to test their reliability. Data is collated schoolwide to monitor performance, identify learning areas that need development and students requiring additional challenge or support. The board and community are fully informed about performance trends and how well students are achieving.

Students achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics. Information reported for 2013 shows that most students achieved at and above in relation to the National Standards, with high proportions judged to be above in these three areas.

Progress is evident over time. National Standards data gathered since 2011 indicates that the good performance in reading has been sustained and improved in writing and mathematics. Cumulative data for Years 4 to 8 students, in reading and mathematics, shows the performance profile is trending upwards.

Programmes and interventions for students with specific needs are well coordinated and an inclusive approach is evident. Monitoring information shows that students make gains as a result of resources invested.

The 2014 targets, for accelerating the progress of small groups across the school, specify the individual students in classrooms and syndicates.

Next steps for refining how leaders and teachers work with progress and achievement information are to:

  • monitor and analyse to determine the difference made for each individual and groups of students over time
  • use information to identify more specifically what contributes to success and extend successful practices to other curriculum areas.

Parents are regularly and well informed about the progress and achievement of their children. They have termly opportunities to discuss their child’s learning and progress in relation to the National Standards, their child’s agreed goals and any other significant matters. The mid and end-of-year discussions are accompanied with written reports that contain good quality comments and suggestions.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum offers a diverse and interesting range of opportunities for learning. Provision is planned for balanced coverage over eight years. Topic contexts make use of local history, the environment and students’ personal experiences. Students make choices within their classroom and other activities. Some students achieve recognition in a range of regional events and international academic competitions.

Classrooms are settled teaching and learning environments. Relationships are positive. Students interact respectfully. Student needs and abilities are considered in programme planning. Most engage readily in tasks and work well, either independently or as group members. They enjoy sharing the results of their efforts.

Students are encouraged to be reflective learners. More student involvement in co-construction of their learning is likely to support ownership. Consistency in teaching processes is targeted through syndicate leaders’ expectations and monitoring.

Over several years, leaders and teachers have promoted the key learning competencies. In 2014, the focus is on developing resilience.

  • To know more specifically how well curriculum impacts on students’ learning and prepares them for their next education experiences, students’ perspectives should be gathered and evaluated.

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

Most Māori students perform at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2013, proportionally more Māori students were above against the National Standard for writing. Analysis shows these are mostly girls. A goal has been set to continue to raise achievement by increasing the proportion of Māori boys achieving above expectations for all three Standards.

Māori students see acknowledgement of their language, culture and identity through school kawa, language and cultural programmes. A kapa haka group supports the practice of pōwhiri for welcoming new staff, students and families to the school. Māori students have their mana affirmed through leading these activities and through supporting others in basic or extension te reo Māori classes.

Links with the Hongoeka Marae have continued to develop through staff and trustees. A member is co-opted to represent local iwi on the board. Annual noho marae are held for learning purposes, sharing of achievement information and input into curriculum.

Trustees employ a tutor for guiding staff and students in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Continued development is planned for growing teachers’ confidence and skills in strengthening provision of a culturally responsive curriculum.

  • To assist monitoring this development it would be useful to refer to the indicators provided in the Registered Teacher Criteria and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue improvement. Governance is informed and effective. The board brings diverse skills and knowledge to the role. Responsibilities are understood and a business-like approach is evident though responsively planned and resourced priorities. Trustees enjoy mutually respectful working relationships with the principal, staff and community.

School culture is focused on high expectations for student learning, self management, success and wellbeing. Aspirations and expectations are communicated clearly through the shared vision, values and goals, planned actions and well-defined expectations for curriculum.

School development is informed through a systematically managed process of information gathering, reflection and next steps or review.

The school runs smoothly and efficiently. It is well structured for managing curriculum and daytoday business. Operation is effectively led by the principal and other leaders. They are an enthusiastic and committed team who are learning together.

Next steps for their work are to:

  • use school systems and processes for monitoring quality and identifying opportunities for individual and whole-school development
  • agree on what will count as evidence of quality
  • inform these processes with knowledge of best education practice.

Communication with the community is regular, full and takes many forms. Partnerships in learning are encouraged and participation is high.

Provision for international students

The school is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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)

27 May 2014

About the School

Location

Plimmerton, Porirua City

Ministry of Education profile number

2960

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

506

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Female 51%

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

12%

85%

3%

Special Features

Attached technology centre

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

27 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

November 2007

November 2004