Brightwater School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Brightwater School is a contributing primary school located in Tasman, close to Nelson city. The growing roll of 330 includes approximately 10% of students who identify as Māori. Most students remain for six years of schooling.

The school’s valued outcomes for students are for them to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners through the school’s recently developed learner qualities. The vision is supported by school-developed values and competencies.

School targets for 2019 are to raise the achievement of students at risk of not reaching curriculum expectations 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 in relation to curriculum expectations
  • attendance.

There is a long serving principal and stable staffing and trusteeship. A new deputy principal has recently been appointed. Teachers have engaged in a range of externally and internally led professional learning and development (PLD). Current PLD includes mathematics and ‘Poutama Pounamu’ to support culturally responsive practice.

The school is a member of the Waimea Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning in which it contributes to leadership roles.

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 school curriculum level expectations in reading, writing and mathematics, with many achieving above expectations, especially in reading. Similar patterns of achievement are evident over time.

The school recognises that disparity persists for boys in writing, and for Māori students in the three core areas, particularly writing. Nearly all Pacific students achieved at expectations in 2018.

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

Some target students make accelerated progress. The school has identified the need to be more effective at accelerating progress for identified students, particularly for Māori students.

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?

There is a clear focus on supporting students who are at risk of underachieving to meet curriculum expectations. Teachers work collaboratively to engage students in learning and to respond to their interests and individual needs.

Responsive support is provided for students with additional learning needs. Appropriate agencies are accessed as required, and families are involved in planning decisions.

Students engage positively and confidently in the life of the school. Positive relationships are evident. Classrooms are well organised and learning-focused.

An appropriate range of assessment tools is used to identify and monitor student achievement. Schoolwide achievement data is regularly reviewed to support decision-making.

Teachers regularly engage in professional discussion to improve their practice and share strategies and approaches to support student learning. Relational trust is fostered, and teachers are empowered to innovate and lead. They participate in regular, meaningful PLD aligned to strategic priorities.

The school values its community. Families’ involvement and input is regularly sought and responded to. The welcoming and inclusive culture is characterised by strong relationships and respectful interactions. A sense of belonging and connection is strongly promoted.

Trustees are improvement-focused and set a clear direction for school. They receive detailed reports about operations and achievement and provide responsive resourcing to support school priorities and positive student outcomes.

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

Developing a clearer picture of rates of progress for students at risk of not achieving expectations is a next step. This should help with monitoring and evaluating the success of targeted actions, in relation to specific targets, to accelerate progress for these learners.

Leaders and teachers are appropriately reviewing and redesigning their curriculum to better support learners to progress and more closely align with the school’s vision for learning and improvement. They are working to strengthen a localised focus that better reflects Te Tiriti-based practice and parent aspirations.

The process should include:

  • further developing expectations and capabilities for effective teaching and culturally responsive practice

  • providing increased support for students to understand and make decisions about their learning.

The implementation of appraisal should be strengthened to better support teacher growth and development.

Leaders, trustees and teachers should continue to build shared understandings and effective use of inquiry and evaluation to better measure the success of innovations and actions in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Brightwater 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:

  • identifying and supporting students who are at risk of underachieving to meet curriculum expectations
  • leadership and staff that develop trusting and collaborative relationships and support a sense of belonging and connection for students and their families
  • an improvement-focused board that values its community and their involvement.

Next steps

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

  • developing a clearer picture of rates of progress for students at risk of not achieving, to effectively evaluate and promote their progress
  • reviewing and redesigning a localised curriculum to better align with the school’s vision for learning and improvement and supports learners to make accelerated progress
  • continuing to build understanding and effective use of inquiry and evaluation to better measure the success of actions in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure all policies and procedures are made available to parents and caregivers.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Tini Southern Region

27 September 2019

About the school

Location

Brightwater

Ministry of Education profile number

3183

School type

Contributing primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

330

Gender composition

Males 52%, Females 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
NZ European/Pākehā 84%
Pacific 3%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

27 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2014
Education Review January 2010

Findings

The school’s values and attitudes strongly promote a positive school culture. Students achieve well in reading and mathematics. Positive relationships enhance learning and teaching. Students’ learning is greatly supported by the range of stimulating experiences they have in the classroom and in the community. The school is very well led and governed.

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?

The school’s values strongly promote the positive and inclusive school culture. This culture also effectively supports students’ engagement, achievement and wellbeing. The high levels of student achievement overall, reflects the school’s focus on learning and behaviour.

Since the January 2010 ERO review, the school has put programmes in place to specifically meet the needs of high achieving students and students with special abilities. Programmes, resources and learning experiences beyond the school are also well supported by the board.

The school continues to have strong links with its local community. The waterwheel in the school grounds was provided by the community. It symbolises the school’s values and focus on learning. The board and staff make good use of school events, newsletters, emails, consultation and reports to regularly engage with the community.

The board and staff have maintained the many strengths outlined in the school’s previous ERO report. Leaders and staff have made significant progress in improving those areas needing review and development. The staff continue to effectively work together to enhance the quality of education for all students.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders and teachers effectively use achievement information to identify the learning strengths and needs of students.

Student achievement continues to be at high levels. Many students are achieving at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. A significant number of students are achieving above expectations in reading. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels to their peers. Programmes for students with high ability are effectively meeting individual needs. Students who are not achieving at expected levels in writing are well supported by good quality learning support. Positive relationships between the school and early childhood services help children’s smooth transition to school.

Area for review and development

Students with high abilities have opportunities to extend their own learning through the class topic. To further enhance the capabilities of these students, teachers should provide opportunities for them to take a greater role in leading their own learning by:

  • selecting topics of personal interest to study
  • planning and developing their own learning approaches
  • preparing and share their learning with others
  • reflecting and evaluating the quality of their learning
  • identifying their own next steps in learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum strongly promotes student learning. Senior leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of what effective teaching is in this school. Class programmes reflect the school’s high expectations for learning and behaviour. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has positive benefits for students and teachers.

Teachers provide stimulating class environments and use a range of strategies that effectively engage students in learning. Students’ learning is greatly enhanced by the range of experiences they have beyond the classroom. High achieving students are well motivated and challenged in their thinking, by the programmes provided for them.

Area for review and development

Teachers provide good information for parents about how well their children are achieving against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The next step is for teachers to report to parents on how well their children are achieving in each of the other learning areas of the curriculum.

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

The board and staff actively promote opportunities for Māori students to achieve success, as Māori. The teacher in charge of the Māori programmes effectively uses his Māori cultural background to support the school’s programmes. Students and staff experiences include:

  • building cultural knowledge through participation in pōwhiri and visits to the marae
  • learning te reo Māori through waiata and class lessons.

Area for review and development

Teachers should consider ways to purposefully include Māori perspectives in their topic studies. They should also actively build their confidence in using te reo Māori where appropriate, in their class programmes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The principal and senior leaders provide strong, professional leadership. They have high expectations for teaching that lead to high levels of student learning and achievement. The school’s management structures ensure the sustainability of effective practices. A variety of opportunities enable staff to use their strengths, follow their interests and undertake leadership roles.

There is a strong focus on school-wide professional learning and development for teachers. This approach effectively builds collegiality and consistency in what teachers do. Teachers are highly reflective about their work. They identify the strategies that positively impact on student learning, engagement and achievement, and share these with their peers. Teacher appraisals are robust and reflect the school’s focus on ongoing improvement.

The board and principal work closely together. Trustees have a range of skills and experiences that help them to effectively carry out their role. Board roles and responsibilities are efficiently carried out. Self-review practices provide the board with useful information to inform their decisions.

Strong relationships between the school and the community result in high levels of support for student learning, engagement, achievement and wellbeing.

Area for review and development

To further enhance the quality of their self review, the board could regularly evaluate its own performance in governing the school.

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

The school’s values and attitudes strongly promote a positive school culture. Students achieve well in reading and mathematics. Positive relationships enhance learning and teaching. Students’ learning is greatly supported by the range of stimulating experiences they have in the classroom and in the community. The school is very well led and governed.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

28 July 2014

About the School

Location

Brightwater, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3183

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

283

Gender composition

Boys 58% Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

NZ European Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Asian

Other Ethnicities

86%

8%

1%

1%

4%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

28 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2010

April 2007

August 2004