Upper Hutt School

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Education institution number:
3053
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
397
Telephone:
Address:

49 Martin Street, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt

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Findings

Classes are settled, with students on task and engaged in their learning. Lessons and class environments are appropriately focused on literacy and mathematics. Relationships among students and teachers are positive and respectful. The new leadership team is working collaboratively to improve aspects of curriculum, assessment and teaching practice.

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

1. Context

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

Upper Hutt School is located in central Upper Hutt, north of Wellington. At the time of the review the roll was 345 students, with 23% identifying as Māori and 7% as Pacific.

There have been significant changes to school leadership and staff. A new principal and two new deputy principals were appointed at the start of 2015. A number of new teachers have joined the senior syndicate team.

The school has a number of professional development initiatives aimed at growing staff capability and enhancing learning partnerships with families and whānau. Regular whole school professional development seeks to enhance teacher practice, assessment practices and student learning and achievement.

2. Learning

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

Senior leaders have identified that improving the validity, interpretation and use of student achievement information is a priority. Teachers' assessment judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards have not been consistently reliable. Since taking up their roles in 2015 senior leaders have:

  • developed a comprehensive assessment schedule
  • reviewed and refined moderation processes
  • led schoolwide professional learning on data interpretation.

Schoolwide inquiry and self review are informing and guiding changes in the use of assessment information by leaders, trustees and teachers. Specific plans are in place to begin monitoring, tracking and reporting on the progress of individual target students, groups and cohorts.

The Team 10 centre caters for students with specific learning needs. Programmes are effective, based on individual strengths, and provide students with both mainstream and centre learning. Families are highly engaged and they work with teachers in support of the students.

Achievement targets in the 2015 school charter were developed collaboratively by the staff and are appropriately based on the previous year’s data. Year 1 targets are designed to give students a sound foundation for ongoing learning. Three-way conferencing involving parents, students and teachers helps to grow learning partnerships and encourage students to take increasing responsibility for their own goals and development.

Leaders and ERO agree that newly developed and implemented systems and processes should enable the use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ achievement. It is important that ongoing review and evaluation of progress identifies, embeds and sustains practices that support improved outcomes for students.

3. Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum does not consistently meet the diverse learning needs of all students.

Senior leaders and staff recognise the importance of reviewing and documenting the Upper Hutt School curriculum to better reflect The New Zealand Curriculum and integrate local themes and contexts. The new curriculum action plan provides a useful framework to guide this review. Key aspects for development include:

  • providing clear expectations for assessment, teaching and learning
  • having a strategic approach to the introduction of digital technologies and teaching practices
  • promoting student ownership and personalising learning
  • integrating te ao Māori in all aspects of the curriculum.

Classes are settled, with students on task and engaged in their learning. Lessons and class environments are appropriately focused on literacy and mathematics. Relationships among students and teachers are positive and respectful. There are many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities.

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

Māori students participate fully and enjoy success in all aspects of school life. Previous years’ National Standards data shows that Māori students achieve at comparable levels to their peers in the school.

External expertise supports kapa haka and provides regular instruction in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori for all students. The principal has initiated and promoted hui to encourage meaningful and regular engagement between the school and whānau. Growing this partnership is identified as a priority.

School leaders are committed to the development of a culturally responsive curriculum and teaching practice that reflects and promotes the language, culture and identity of Māori whānau and their children. ERO's evaluation confirms this as an important next step.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is better placed to sustain and improve its performance through recent changes to leadership, a focus on inquiry and evaluation, and the introduction of new systems and processes.

The new principal, well supported by the senior leadership team, is appropriately focused on:

  • setting and driving a clear vision for change
  • growing a staff learning culture
  • developing evaluative inquiry as a key tool for ongoing improvement
  • supporting the board to develop its capability to better use data to make resourcing decisions and review outcomes of strategic goals.

There is an appropriate, increasing focus on growing and strengthening learning partnerships with students, parents, whānau and aiga. Regular consultation ensures community voices are sought, valued and responded to.

Leaders have reviewed and redeveloped the appraisal and attestation systems that aim to more effectively support and grow teacher capability. Teacher reflection and inquiry are key aspects of the process.

Trustees and school leaders recognise, and ERO also finds, that there is an urgent need to review, update and share governance and operational policies and procedures.

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

Classes are settled, with students on task and engaged in their learning. Lessons and class environments are appropriately focused on literacy and mathematics. Relationships among students and teachers are positive and respectful. The new leadership team is working collaboratively to improve aspects of curriculum, assessment and teaching practice.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 July 2015

About the School

Location

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

3053

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

345

Gender composition

Male 53%,

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

56%

23%

7%

14%

Special Features

Resource Teacher: Literacy Supplementary Learning Support Teachers Special Needs Facility - Team 10

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

29 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

July 2009

July 2006

1. Context

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

Upper Hutt School presents a pleasant, welcoming environment. Low staff turnover enables staff to get to know families well. Students are positive about the opportunities the school offers.

A specialised facility catering for students with additional learning needs is an integral part of the main school. This enables students to have regular contact and helps them develop empathy for others.

2. Learning

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

The majority of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Robust expectations and processes promote students’ engagement in their learning.

Transition into school and early assessing of student need is very well managed. Learning support is highly effective and well-monitored. A wide range of strategies and multiple layers of early response nurture and meet the learning needs of individual children.

Good processes are in place for accelerating priority learners. Teachers identify, monitor and plan for the needs of target students. This focus extends to supportive discussions within each teaching team.

Teachers are at the beginning stages of reflecting on their own practice. ERO agrees with this direction for continuing improvement of teaching.

Through self review school leaders have identified that, although they have reported in writing to parents and students on their progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards, these reports could be improved to provide further clarity.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum appropriately reflects an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. Planned professional development to support the strategic teaching of writing has contributed to increased teacher confidence in assessment. Curriculum statements are a useful guide for teachers to support their practice within the classroom and are aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) principles.

Teachers use well-planned strategies to engage students in purposeful, productive learning. Students work cooperatively.

Teachers generally meet the school’s expectation of good practice. They are beginning to develop and reflect on their practice through their performance appraisal process.

Trustees, managers and teachers use student achievement information to make decisions about resourcing and provisions to support student learning progress, achievement and engagement. Managers set relevant targets.

ERO, board and managers agree that developing a culturally responsive and place-based curriculum is likely to progress and enhance school performance. Attention should be given to increasing the knowledge base of teachers and students, and developing progressions of learning for Years 1 to 6 and a graduate profile. Developments should be responsive to whānau aspirations and increase the involvement of students in their learning.

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

Students’ academic achievement is well monitored for all priority groups including Māori learners. Managers set appropriate annual targets in response to noticed trends. Māori students are progressing well in literacy and mathematics.

The renewed kapa haka group performances support some students to experience success.

It is timely now for managers to capitalise on this recent resurgence by developing an implementation plan for ongoing partnerships with whānau, to better respond to their aspirations and promote success for Māori learners as Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Well-linked strategic and annual plans effectively guide board operations and goals. A useful governance manual, regularly reviewed, sets out roles clearly. Trustees regularly receive extensive information about student achievement to inform decision making. The principal’s performance appraisal could be strengthened by including goals derived from school targets for priority learners.

A very experienced senior management team actively supports teachers in developing consistent practice through involvement in suitable professional development and observations of planning and lessons. Leaders are improvement focused, initiating interventions for identified target groups of learners. They are open to staff requests, suggestions and ideas.

Managers gather information from a range of sources and provide some analysis. This leads to setting suitable school-wide targets and goals within the annual plan. Analysis exposes aspects for further consideration.

Review processes can be strengthened by a greater level of evidence gathering and deeper questioning of data to determine what has had an impact on student learning. This gives a more valid basis for meaningful evaluation.

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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the School

Location

Wallaceville, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

3053

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile*

6

School roll

335

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

66%

25%

4%

3%

2%

Special Features

  1. Resource Teacher: Literacy
  2. Supplementary Learning Support Teachers
  3. Special Needs Facility (Team 10)

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

15 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

July 2006

November 2003

* School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides