Worser Bay School

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Education institution number:
3077
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
127
Telephone:
Address:

168 Seatoun Heights Road, Seatoun, Wellington

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School Context

Worser Bay School caters for Years 1 to 6 students. At the time of this review there were 211 children on the roll with 10 identifying as Māori and two as Pacific. Children from other countries make up a third of the roll.

Since the October 2014 ERO report there have been some changes in staff and board membership.

The school is located on a significant Māori pā hill site, named Whetūkairangi, the Stargazers. The legend of Tane’s journey through the heavens gathering ngā kete wananga, the baskets of knowledge, is used by the school to acknowledge the past, tangata whenua and the importance of learning. The school’s overarching vision is threefold: it values the whole child; supports knowledge building and inquiry; and embraces collaborative learning. This is underpinned by ‘manaakitanga’, and ‘respect for ourselves, each other and our environment.’ Valued outcomes for students are the schools ‘Learner Attributes: I am a thinker, I am connected, I am powerful and I am a goal setter.’

To improve student outcomes in 2018, the school has identified key targets in writing and mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement in relation to school targets

  • participation in specific initiatives and interventions

  • valued outcomes in learner attributes, key competencies, engagement and wellbeing

  • outcomes for those with additional learning needs.

The school is a member of Wellington East Kāhu Ako.

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?

Most students achieve at or above National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement levels have remained stable over time with a slight decrease in writing and mathematics.

2017 achievement data indicates that:

  • girls achieve better than boys in reading and writing

  • boys achieve better in mathematics

  • Māori students achieve less well than their peers.

The board and leadership have identified these as key areas for acceleration in 2018.There are suitable processes to track and monitor Māori and Pacific learners.

Student wellbeing and acquisition of Learner Attributes are measured by students and teachers using a range of thoughtfully considered matrices.

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

The school is continuing to develop its effectiveness in responding to students whose learning needs acceleration.

While some students make accelerated progress, leaders and teachers have identified that schoolwide achievement and acceleration for groups of students requires strengthening. A range of strategies is used to identify and track students at risk of not achieving at expectation. They are working to further develop school processes to better identify and measure learner acceleration.

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?

The board is strategic, responsive and well informed. Trusteesare consultative, proactively seeking and valuing input from the community. This is used to guide decision-making about school operation, practices and priorities. Trustees bring a range of expertise and knowledge and are suitably focused on student learning, wellbeing and achievement. They demonstrate confidence in the school’s leadership and strategic direction.

The principal and the leadership team are highly reflective and model the school’s ‘Learner Attributes’. Teacher capability is fostered. Trustees and the leaders support teachers to build their expertise through targeted professional learning and development (PLD), informed by student data and the school’s annual targets. The range of well-considered, sustained PLD opportunities and support for teachers’ inquiry promotes change and improvement.

The newly developed curriculum enables students to learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth of The New Zealand Curriculum. It reflects the aspirations of the community and uses the unique context of the school’s location to enrich and enhance student learning.

Teachers care about and promote students’ success and their meaningful participation in learning. Deliberate evidence-based strategies promote the engagement, participation and achievement of all children, including those at risk of underachieving. These initiatives are developed and enacted through teachers’ practice-based inquiries and regular opportunities provided to purposefully discuss effective teaching and student achievement. Leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Students engage fully and positively in learning tasks in stimulating classroom environments. Digital tools are integrated into the programme and support student engagement, enrichment and learning They are effectively supported to know about and reflect on their learning and respond well to positive and constructive feedback from their teachers and peers. Their strengths, interests and needs are well known and responded to by classroom teachers. Positive respectful relationships are highly evident..

Students with additional learning needs are supported to access the curriculum and participate in school life. There is a collaborative approach to the identification of needs and appropriate responsive provision is in place for these students. Regular review of learning programmes with students, families and colleagues supports planning and teaching. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) provides additional support for students, teachers and parents and liaises with external agencies as appropriate. Effective systems are in place to support transitions to and through school, including those for learners with additional needs.

Through the school’s 10 Year Vision for Māori, there is a considered approach to the acknowledgement of identity, language and culture of all students and their families. Understanding and meaningful connections are promoted through language programmes, inquiries and blogs. The school has prioritised strengthening teachers’ cultural competence to support positive outcomes for Māori students. There is a deliberate focus on integrating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and place-based learning into the school’s curriculum. The value of manaakitanga is evident and enacted by students in their day to day interactions. The school has identified the need to work more closely with whānau to inform decision making and programmes of learning.

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

Trustees, school leaders and teachers are using internal evaluation and inquiry to reflect on practices and systems. The next step is to deeply analyse all information and evidence gathered to ascertain the impact of strategies, ask what is making the most difference and decide on next steps.

Further refining of systems for promoting and evaluating the acceleration of learners at risk is required. Continued development of this process to measure and determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies on acceleration should support this improvement.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • strategic direction setting by the board and leadership, well informed by broad consultation and high level information, that establishes challenging targets for student achievement and closely monitors progress

  • a shared understanding between students, staff, the board and parent community of the school’s ‘Learner Attributes’, that equip children to develop their competencies as powerful, connected, capable and goal setting thinkers

  • programmes designed to develop children’s sense of hauora, wellbeing, that increase each child’s sense of self-worth, confidence, independence and agency.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation schoolwide, so that trustees, leadership and teachers inquire, deeply analyse and evaluate student achievement information and the impact of teaching programmes to specifically target and resource student learning

  • further strengthening school tracking and monitoring systems that measure the rate of student achievement and acceleration, so that the leadership and teachers gain in-depth information about improved student outcomes, what works and why

  • building on well-established positive relationships with whānau Māori, that further promote Māori success as Māori.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

8 June 2018

About the school

Location

Miramar, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

3077

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

211

Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pacific

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

5%

2%

83%

10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

8 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2014

Education Review June 2011

Education Review June 2008

Findings

At Worser Bay School, collective responsibility is taken for the continuous improvement of all students’ learning, wellbeing and holistic development. An inclusive environment is evident. Students experience positive outcomes through their participation in the school's curriculum. The majority achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Worser Bay School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this ERO review, there are 197 students enrolled, including 15 who are Māori. Students learn in attractive, open-plan environments, with team teaching in multi-level situations.

The school is located on a site of significant importance to Māori and the community: Whetukairangi, in Miramar, Wellington. An integral part of the school’s localised curriculum is instilling in students a sense of responsibility or kaitiaki for the unique space that the school occupies, the surrounding bush and the coast.

School staff work collaboratively and with families and whānau to develop educational relationships that support students' learning. There is a strong focus on fostering students' wellbeing. In 2013, the school reviewed student wellbeing in Years 3 to 6. The review affirmed what was working well for students and identified areas for further investigation, teacher inquiry and changes to practice.

Shared, collaborative leadership, and a focus on continuous improvement to all aspects of its practice, are embedded in the school's culture.

The June 2011 ERO report identified that the school’s self review affirmed good practice and identified appropriate priorities for ongoing improvement. These good practices have been sustained and extended.

2 Learning

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

The broad collection of data, using a valid range of assessment tools, contributes positively to informing teachers' judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards. Assessment information is well used to determine achievement levels and to analyse the performance of specific groups of students, including for year levels, gender and Māori.

Data reported by the school at the end of 2013 showed that the majority of students, including Māori, achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall, students achieve at higher levels in mathematics and reading, than in writing.

Priorities to raise achievement in 2014 are informed by thorough analysis of data. Annual targets and supporting plans focus on improving outcomes for all, and for specific groups of students whose learning is a priority.

Individual students who are identified as requiring additional support are well catered for through interventions and targeted, in-class support. Productive partnerships between the school, external agencies and families support learners' holistic and academic progress.

Teachers have identified, through the teaching as inquiry process, that they could extend their use of assessment information to identify how well programmes and specific teaching strategies have supported students' progress and achievement. This information could then contribute as evidence to support school self review and decision making. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience positive outcomes through their participation in the Worser Bay School curriculum.

The school’s vision and values aspire to see children valued as individuals who are motivated and inspired to participate and experience success, and have their achievement celebrated. These aspirations are an integral part of students' schooling experience. Students actively participate in a range of meaningful opportunities across the curriculum that motivate their engagement in learning.

A focus on literacy and mathematics learning reflects national priorities and is supported by clear curriculum statements that guide teaching practice. Strong links between the school’s curriculum and the key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum are evident.

Strategies that promote a sense of belonging and wellbeing among students are well considered. Students make two transitions through the open-plan learning areas during their time at the school. Teaching staff in each area plan for and assess learning together. Leaders regularly reflect on what they think is working well and where further improvements to programmes and teaching can be made.

An integrated curriculum approach, and inquiry learning through authentic experiences that are of high interest to students, supports their learning about science, the social sciences, technology, health and physical education, the arts, and aspects of te ao Māori.

The school is well resourced. A strategic approach to the use of digital technologies has been supported by ongoing professional learning and development (PLD). Teachers and students have had opportunities to explore and experiment with these tools to enhance teaching and learning.

Parents’ and whānau input at school is valued. Opportunities are created for them to contribute to aspects of students' learning and to be informed about students' progress and achievement. School blogs and digital newsletters provide parents and the wider community with a ‘window into the school’. Learning journals, interviews and conversations between teachers, parents and students promote a shared knowledge of students’ learning journeys.

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

The previous ERO report acknowledged the school’s commitment to the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Many positive actions have occurred since then to further support the inclusion of culturally responsive practice for Māori learners.

"Celebrating our place" is a strategic goal for the school. This focus on a place-based education approach has potential to enhance Māori learners' culture, language and identity. A plan is in place to support leaders and teachers to include te ao Māori across the curriculum. Te reo Māori learning is both timetabled and integrated. Teaching staff and Year 6 leavers are expected to have conversational fluency in te reo Māori. A culture of care and relationship-based teaching underpins interactions between teachers and students.

Developing productive educational partnerships with Māori whānau is a focus. It is timely for teachers, in partnership with whānau and iwi, to further explore and express the agreed aspirations, vision and values they share for Māori learners. A next step is to further strengthen planning by including indicators of good practice and more specific timeframes for outcomes.

These actions should provide a more cohesive framework for measuring the extent to which teachers' practice, the school’s curriculum and programme initiatives are responsive to and reflective of te ao Māori. As part of this process, the school should continue to build teachers' knowledge and capability in relation to success for Māori as Māori through their relationships and engagement with Māori learners and their whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain improvement and further promote curriculum outcomes for its students.

Trustees govern the school well. They demonstrate relevant knowledge and skills, engage in suitable training and receive useful information to support their work as the board. Strategic and annual planning is well informed and supports the achievement of planned developments. The principal reports to trustees on the progress of the priority learners identified in annual targets.

Trustees, school leaders and teachers are improvement focused and work collaboratively as a community of learners. Self-review practice continues to improve and is well used by trustees, school leaders and teachers to inquire into a wide range of school practices.

Inquiries into specific aspects of the curriculum enable teachers to implement a range of strategies and initiatives to enhance students' learning. A professional coaching observation approach and targeted PLD supports continuous staff development, deeper levels of reflection on and improvements to practice.

The school is in a good position to extend its self-review practices to identify how effectively or to what extent curriculum programmes and initiatives, including teaching and learning practices, support students to accelerate their progress and 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

At Worser Bay School, collective responsibility is taken for the continuous improvement of all students’ learning, wellbeing and holistic development. An inclusive environment is evident. Students experience positive outcomes through their participation in the school's curriculum. The majority achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

8 October 2014

About the School

Location

Miramar, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

3077

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

197

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

European

Other ethnic groups

8%

69%

9%

14%

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

8 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

June 2008

May 2005