Renwick School

Renwick School - 14/07/2017

Summary

At the time of this review, the Renwick School roll was 535 including 77 Māori children.

Overall the school has maintained very good to high levels of student achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics from 2009-2016. Since the 2012 ERO review there has been continuous improvement of the school’s effective systems and practices for leadership, assessing and monitoring of student achievement, the curriculum and wellbeing. Significant focus has been given to integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into the curriculum and improving Māori achievement.

Staffing has remained stable with many long-serving leaders and teachers. The board has a mix of experienced and recently-elected trustees.

The school is a member of the Piritahi Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) and the principal is a co-leader.

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

The school is strongly focused on providing equitable outcomes for all children, particularly those groups of children whose achievement needs acceleration.

The school has many effective systems, processes and practices that are enabling achievement of equity and excellence. Of particular significance is the leadership of the school and the well-considered strategic direction. The school has very effective systems and processes to achieve its vision for high quality learning and teaching for all children.

Internal evaluation is very well used to refine and improve school operations. Trustees, leaders and staff strongly promote a bicultural learning environment that will benefit Māori and all children. The school has established strong learning partnerships with children and their families.

Participation in the Piritahi Kāhui Ako is having a significant and positive impact on the school achieving its vision for student achievement and high quality learning and teaching.

The school needs to further evaluate the outcomes and impact of programmes and initiatives, particularly in relation to Māori succeeding as Māori.

Children are achieving very good educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has continued to improve the way it is addressing in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

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

The majority of children achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics. Boys are achieving less well, particularly in writing.

There is a small disparity in the National Standards achievement of Māori children.

The school makes very good use of internal evaluation to refine its effective systems and practices for responding to children whose achievement needs to be accelerated. Teachers have an in depth knowledge of each child. They successfully use this information to provide programmes to engage children whose achievement needs to be accelerated. These children are targeted through well-defined, specific teaching approaches that incorporate their interests and make learning relevant.

Children’s progress and wellbeing are closely monitored and reported by a group of teachers (whānau group). Teachers collaboratively identify approaches which are most effective and make changes to their teaching as needed, usually in consultation with the child.

The school has effective assessment and moderation processes. This year teachers are beginning to use a national moderation tool to further strengthen their judgements. They are also working with colleagues from other schools in the Piritahi Kāhui Ako to improve consistency across the schools.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has effective high quality processes to support equity and excellence.

Children and parents are valued and respected as partners in learning. Leaders and teachers use a range of appropriate and effective strategies to communicate with parents and whānau. They provide many opportunities for parents to provide feedback on their child's learning. Children are regularly consulted about their learning. Children provide very specific feedback to teachers on the best ways that they can help them learn and experience success. Learning is shared and well supported by teachers, children and whānau.

The school's curriculum is highly responsive to children's needs, interests and abilities. Children have an in depth knowledge of what they are learning and what they want to achieve. They are actively involved in decision making for what and how they learn. Teachers effectively take collective responsibility for the learning and wellbeing of all children in their whānau group.

Transition into school is well planned and successfully utilizes children’s prior knowledge and ways they have learnt through play in their early childhood centre. Children are highly engaged and confident that they will succeed in their learning.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are becoming well integrated into all aspects of school life. Māori values are well understood and integrated. Whānau groupings are used well to promote the ways that Māori children learn best. Teachers are making good progress in integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into all aspects of the curriculum. Leaders provide teachers with ongoing, high quality professional development. Effective, culturally responsive teaching strategies support and promote student learning.

Leaders have a highly strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability and collective capacity. Systematic, collaborative inquiry processes and challenging professional learning opportunities are well aligned to achieve the school vision, values, goals and targets.

Leaders, trustees and teachers share high expectations for children’s learning, progress and wellbeing. The school’s well focused approach to professional learning and robust systems to evaluate current practices are improving the quality of teaching and learning for all children.

School leadership provides highly focused strategic direction to ensure all children experience equity and excellence in their learning and wellbeing. All teachers are viewed as successful, effective leaders. Their strengths are valued and well used.

The strategic plan effectively guides teaching and learning to improve outcomes for all children and particularly children who need their achievement accelerated. The plan’s implementation is closely monitored and adapted as needed to get the best results for children. Leaders and teachers skillfully identify what has achieved the best outcomes and what needs to be done next.

Involvement in the Piritahi Kāhui Ako is a catalyst for change and ongoing school improvement. School leaders effectively use opportunities that the Kāhui Ako provides to direct and plan improvement, participate in high quality professional development and learn from and support other schools within their community. These growing professional partnerships are helping to promote the conditions for all children to benefit from the expertise and collective ownership that membership of the Kāhui Ako brings.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has many high quality systems and processes in place. These could be further enhanced by improving aspects of internal evaluation and cultural responsiveness.

Leaders are aware of the need to give sufficient priority to evaluating the impact of the actions it has taken to improve equity and excellence. The impact on student outcomes for some initiatives needs to be determined. For example, the school does not yet have good information about how well it is promoting success for Māori children, as Māori.

The detailed action plan in place for 2017 provides a robust framework for improving 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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

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 very good educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school is successfully addressing in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are:

  • making more use of the school’s high quality systems and practices to more clearly identify how implementation of the strategic goals is improving outcomes for Māori children, particularly succeeding as Māori.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

14 July 2017

About the school 

Location

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

2978

School type

Full Primary

School roll

535

Gender composition

Boys: 49%

Girls: 51%

Ethnic composition

NZ European Pākehā 82%

Māori 14%

Pacific 1%

Other 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

14 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2012

Education Review September 2009

Education Review October 2006

 

Renwick School - 14/06/2012

1 Context

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

Renwick School is a large, semi-rural, full primary school located near Woodbourne Airforce Base in Marlborough. It has been long-established in its small, but expanding, community and in 2011 celebrated its 150-year jubilee. The board has recently implemented an enrolment scheme to manage roll numbers. Transitions into the school, from year to year and on to college are thoughtfully planned.

The school was developing well at the time of the 2009 ERO review. Changes in school leadership and trustees had led to a refocus of expectations for achievement and long-term direction. At that time, ERO considered that development was needed in self review and in raising the profile of Māori. Since then there has been continuity of governance and management personnel.

The property is spacious and attractive, with buildings, grounds and resources providing well for the learning and recreation of all age groups. Further development has been planned to accommodate roll expansion and curriculum needs. Many aspects of the school environment reflect the school motto, ‘Learning is strength – be the best you can be’ and the ethos of care and respect. These take the form of celebration gardens, artworks, artefacts and visible evidence of recognition of success. Biculturalism and Māori identity are symbolised in these features.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are highly engaged in all aspects of school life. They are proud to be Renwick students and appreciate what it offers them in terms of facilities, resources and opportunities. They conduct themselves with dignity and show respect for others.

Students are confident learners. They talk knowledgeably about their learning, progress and achievement. Their demeanour and comments indicate strong ownership of the school targets for raising achievement and the significance of the motto for their personal attitude and effort.

School systems and processes for gathering, analysing and evaluating assessment data are robust. Information is of high quality. Individual and school-wide progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics are reported in relation to the National Standards. Progress of all students, including Pacific and students with special needs, is closely tracked.

Māori student achievement has trended upward in reading and mathematics and most significantly in writing. Tracking information shows that progress has been greater than the rate of other student groups. More work is needed to have Māori students achieve as well as other students in mathematics. School targets aim to maintain accelerated progress for the small group working toward the Standards and increase the percentage achieving at and above.

Students who need to make accelerated progress to improve their ability to access the curriculum are identified, targeted and appropriately catered for through a wide variety of strategies and programmes. These include flexible grouping, specific classes for boys in writing and additional learning support.

The impact of school development is evident in raised student achievement in literacy and mathematics. While systems for collation and analysis of information have changed since the implementation of National Standards, year-to-year data show a:

  • steady upward trend for students overall
  • significant increase in writing performance by boys and Māori students
  • steady improvement for all groups in mathematics
  • overall sustained performance in reading
  • gains for students receiving learning support through the special needs programmes.

In 2009, the school reported that about 60% of students performed at or above the national average band in reading and mathematics. No collated information was available for writing. Subsequent assessment information indicated performance in this area was weak and development of writing was targeted, particularly for boys in boys’ writing classes.

The reported end-of-year National Standards data for 2011 showed overall performances of 83% at or above the Standards for reading and mathematics, and 71% in writing, an increase of over 20%. Comparison of the March 2011 data with March 2012 results shows continued improvement in writing and sustained performance in reading and mathematics. Boys’ results have improved and in some areas are now sitting above girls’ results. The 2012 targets aim for between 85% and 90% of students to be at or above National Standards in the three areas, with extension planned for those already exceeding expected levels.

3 Curriculum

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

Students are successfully motivated to engage and learn. Curriculum programmes provide sound and interesting learning across a variety of contexts. These incorporate inquiry in and outside the classroom, around and beyond the region. Learning is planned to be well rounded, balanced and focused on needs.

Teachers foster progression over the years through an emphasis on key curriculum competencies. The school’s approach to inquiry learning is under review. The process could include consideration of how the competencies can be used to involve students in programme design so opportunities to pursue interests or passions are extended.

Teachers know their students well and are thoroughly prepared for instruction. They work with a range of assessment information to form their National Standards judgements. These and overall teacher evaluations are used to set goals and next steps for each student. Individual plans form the basis of partnerships with students and parents to support learning. Goal evaluation is part of the annual cycle for reporting individual progress and achievement. Leaders and teachers are working to clarify how precisely school expectations for achievement and the National Standards are aligned and what accelerated progress looks like.

Teaching is effective. Teachers share expectations for achievement, work and interactions using a variety of strategies. They encourage students to become intrinsically motivated, self-monitoring learners. Activities and resources are selected according to needs and learning styles. Programmes for students with special needs are well coordinated and monitored to determine their effectiveness. Effort and success are recognised through systems for feedback, awards and celebrations.

Classrooms are orderly, visually attractive and feature meaningful displays that reinforce striving for personal best and raising achievement. Relationships are positive for learning. Classroom tone is happy, industrious and focused.

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

The presence of Māori in the school is valued. Cultural identity, potential and success are promoted and supported. Teachers commit to development initiatives.

Iwi and whānau are well informed about Māori student engagement, achievement and success. They participate in setting and monitoring the high expectations for students to achieve, to step up to leadership and take responsibility. In addition to the range of awards available to all students, the Omaka Marae has donated a trophy to be awarded to the top Māori student each year.

School capacity for supporting success for Māori as Māori is being strategically developed. Links with the Omaka Marae are used for learning in tikanga and curriculum design. The board has employed a school kaumatua to grow capability and confidence in using te reo me ngā tikanga Māori through developing cultural understanding. Within the staff team is a small core of Māori teachers who act as motivators and supporters for their colleagues.

All students celebrate the identity of their Māori peers through mass assemblies for waiata, karanga and haka. Ruia te Kakano, a growing student group, has performed for parents and whānau and in the regional kapa haka festival. The principal takes a lead role in whole-school involvement and is a role model for all students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The vision, values, direction and high expectations for achievement are responsive to community aspirations for student success and well-being. They are clearly communicated by the board, principal and staff. They are collectively and individually owned through a partnership of commitment and action.

Decision-making is responsible, student-centred and informed by the findings of self review. The board monitors attendance, achievement and school tone closely. It allocates resources to support the agreed priorities and the targets for identified areas. Trustees are well informed about progress toward school goals. Relationships with staff and the community are respectful, harmonious and constructive for achieving the vision. The board takes action to sustain sound governance through planned succession and induction of members.

The principal is highly visible, motivates others and leads evidence-based reflection. Self review is well established and continues to evolve with ongoing reflection. Flexibility is built into the process for responsiveness and risk taking. Change is thoughtfully managed to embed and sustain development.

Leadership is promoted across the school. Organisational roles, structures and systems support the quality of teaching and learning, curriculum management, student success and pastoral care. Students are encouraged to have a say in school matters and undertake responsibilities. Fostering personal qualities, skills and competencies is part of the school culture.

Teachers engage in targeted professional development programmes and in professionally focused meetings. Ongoing reflection within each team and as a whole school clarifies and deepens new understandings and strengthens practice.

Community participation in school life is encouraged. Parents have and take up many opportunities to be well informed, consulted, give feedback and share in their children’s learning and activities. The board and principal have focused on strengthening connections with the local marae and whānau over the past three years. Parent involvement is evident in classrooms and around the school. Those parents spoken with during the review expressed high levels of satisfaction with the quality of educational experiences and care provided by school personnel, from entry at age five, to transition to secondary school.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students 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
  • 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 four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

14 June 2012Image removed.

About the School

Location

Renwick

Ministry of Education profile number

2978

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

Decile

8

School roll

468

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

83%

13%

2%

1%

1%

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

14 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

October 2006

September 2003