Granity School

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Education institution number:
3192
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
25
Telephone:
Address:

83 Torea Street, Granity

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School Context

Granity School provides education for Year 1-8 students from a rural area north of Westport. At the time of the review the roll was 27 students.

The school’s mission statement is ‘All children at Granity School will be respected as individuals, their learning needs identified to ensure they reach their full potential as lifelong learners, fostered by competent staff, in a caring, co-operative environment, with the support of the community.’

The school’s belief statements are:

  • we believe that all students are unique and they have the right to reach their full potential
  • we believe that Granity school has a vital role in the community
  • we believe learning is a journey of discovery
  • we believe in providing high quality education
  • we believe every child should be safe in our school environment
  • we believe that learning should be an exciting and interesting process
  • we believe Wahi/Place, Tikanga/Practices, Tangata/ People and Kaupapa Ako/Programmes is where the curriculum rests.

The current key curriculum goals are:

  • continue to develop digital literacy capabilities for students in relation to skills and inquiry learning.
  • continue to promote effective spelling teaching across the school.
  • continue to promote effective reading teaching across the school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information in the following areas:

  • mathematics, reading, writing and spelling

  • attendance.

Granity school is close to the beach and is the hub of the small community. Teachers use the local environment within the curriculum.

The school is a member of the Westport Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

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?

The school is working towards providing equitable opportunities for its students. However, there is little evidence that this is leading to excellent outcomes.

Māori students are generally achieving at higher levels than other students, but still at levels lower than national expectations.

The majority of students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading. In mathematics, the majority of girls are achieving below expected levels. Less than half of all students are achieving at expected levels in writing.

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

The school does not have effective systems to track progress, analyse achievement and show acceleration for the target group of students. ERO was unable to identify any instances where accelerated achievement had occurred.

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?

Students take part in activities that make good use of local resources and provide relevant learning contexts. Teachers organise many excursions into the community. They make use of local people and places to enrich the curriculum. The current focus on the environment and using digital technologies provide interesting learning opportunities.

Students participate and learn in a caring, inclusive environment. There are opportunities for students to have a say about their learning. Teachers and students are respectful of one another. Older children help younger children in the small family-like atmosphere.

The school actively promotes community involvement. There is good attendance at school events. The school and community work together to provide opportunities for local gatherings, such as the recent night market. A parent group has recently been formed. The purchase of a school van has provided the opportunity for greater use of the local environment.

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

Leadership is not yet providing effective planning, coordination and evaluation of the school curriculum. There is a lack of cohesion and consistency in curriculum design and delivery across the school. It is unclear what the school’s expectations for students are, in terms of the valued learning outcomes they will achieve while at the school.

School attendance is low. Specific targets for attendance, engagement and the acceleration of students who need it, especially in mathematics and writing need to be developed.

Leaders and teachers have yet to engage in robust inquiry and evaluation to improve outcomes for students. Decision making around learning programmes and resources need to be based on rigorous analysis of a range of evidence. Current reports to the board are based on a single assessment of one aspect of mathematics or literacy.

There is no regular process of review of how well learning areas are being covered and how effectively the curriculum is meeting the needs, interests and abilities of the students. Trustees need a much more comprehensive picture of school-wide achievement, and what is working, or not, to raise achievement.

Trustees are not yet fully aware of, or carrying out their roles and responsibilities as stewards of the school. There is a lack of rigour in policy review. It is not clear when the school’s charter was last comprehensively reviewed by the key members of the school and its community to determine whether it is meeting current needs.

There have not been any recent anonymous surveys of staff, students and parents to monitor the wellbeing of children and staff. Trustees are not sufficiently well informed to take an active role in making resourcing decisions for the school.

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:

  • positive relationships between teachers, students and school/community

  • use of the local environment and people to provide meaningful contexts for learning.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for students in terms of attendance, progress and achievement

  • curriculum development, so that the curriculum is based on clear school-wide expectations for learning and other valued outcomes for students

  • school leadership, so that the board and parents can be assured of the quality of teaching and learning programmes

  • board governance, to enable trustees to fully participate in their role as stewards of the school.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • student achievement

  • curriculum development

  • school leadership and management

  • governance.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in the governance of the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

11 February 2019

About the school

Location

North Westland

Ministry of Education profile number

3192

School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

27

Gender composition

Boys 16 ; Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori 12

Pākehā 13

Pasifika 2

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

11 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2017

Education review August 2015

Education Review May 2012

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

The 2015 ERO report identified significant areas for review and development. They were:

  • student achievement
  • curriculum development
  • bicultural perspectives
  • planning and evaluation
  • appraisal.

At the time of the 2015 review there had been a number of changes on the board and in the school. Limited progress had been made since the 2012 ERO review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

The board, principal and teachers have made good progress in addressing the areas for review and development from the 2015 ERO review. However, internal evaluation and continuing to raise student achievement remain areas for development.

Student achievement
Progress

The board, principal and teachers have a clear focus on raising student achievement through the charter and strategic plans. Deliberate teaching approaches and using teaching as inquiry to evaluate these strategies has led to improvements in student achievement from 2015 to 2017. Children can talk about their learning and achievements are celebrated.

Children with additional needs are responded to well through individual learning plans and close monitoring of their achievement.

A few children remain well below the National Standards in writing and mathematics. These children are in the targeted groups to accelerate their learning. They are closely monitored and have classroom and external support.

Professional development with local schools through the Buller Kāhui Ako Community of Learning (COL) is improving teachers' understanding of assessment and moderation.

Key next steps

Leaders and teachers now need to sustain the focus on accelerating student achievement across the school. This includes the setting of additional targets focusing on attendance and engagement of children.

Teachers are yet to develop a broad range of assessment tools to support the moderation of teacher judgements for the National Standards. They need to continue to work with the COL to improve validity of their teacher judgements.

Curriculum Development
Progress

Teachers and leaders have made good progress in updating the school curriculum. It is research based and has clear links to the New Zealand Curriculum and the school values.

Children are benefiting from the implementation of this newly-developed, place-based school curriculum. This document gives clear direction and expectations for teaching and learning programmes. They are localised to the children’s community and cultures. Children are offered a rich range of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Teachers have been using a well-designed reflection tool to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practice. This is beginning to have a positive impact on the strategies teachers use to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

Key next steps

The principal and teachers now need to fully implement the curriculum across the school. This includes extending it consistently to all learning areas. Teachers now need to develop a curriculum review programme to show the impact of the new curriculum on student learning and achievement.

Bicultural perspectives
Progress

Bicultural perspectives are becoming better integrated across the school. Children and teachers regularly use te reo and tikanga Māori in classrooms and in the playground.

The principal and board members are successfully building capacity of the teachers and the community in te reo and tikanga Māori. They are embedding bicultural perspectives into all aspects of the school’s curriculum.

Planning and evaluation
Progress

The charter and other operational documentation now provide clear direction, expectations of roles and responsibilities and timelines.

The school’s vision and values are clearly stated and linked to the school’s curriculum.

The comprehensive charter has clear student achievement targets based on valid data and information about children's learning and progress. The evaluation of the 2016 targets provides a good model for internal evaluation.

Key next steps

The principal and teachers should review the charter to ensure priorities and reporting practices are more manageable and student focused. Goals and targets should be reported against success indicators to make reporting easier.

Leaders need to involve all stakeholders, including student voice, in the further development of the school’s charter and targets.

Appraisal
Progress

The principal and teachers have made very good progress in developing a robust appraisal system. It is focused on raising achievement through targeted teaching and learning strategies. This appraisal system covers all staff and has clear timelines for implementation.

This appraisal system includes:

  • a focus on accelerating student achievement
  • a collaborative inquiry model that helps teachers evaluate their effectiveness
  • classroom observation and critical feedback
  • clear evidence for Education Council registration and attestation
  • summary information shared with the board.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is better placed to continue to improve and review its performance. The board is now stable and has planning systems and processes in place to ensure continuity in governance practices.

Findings

The board and school leaders have a focus on raising student achievement across the school. They are responsive to the identified needs of each child. Reports to the board are more comprehensive and focused on reporting against the student achievement targets.

The board has made good use of training by the New Zealand School Trustees Association to ensure that board documentation is in place and board members are better informed about their roles and responsibilities.

The principal has some good examples of internal evaluation processes that provide good information on achievement and next steps for reporting and planning purposes.

The school has high levels of community support that provide many rich learning opportunities for children. School events are well attended with support from parents and the wider community.

Key next steps

The board and principal need to ensure:

  • principal reports to the board are better focused on achievement targets and identified school priorities
  • that they draw together existing internal evaluation processes into a cohesive plan focused on student achievement and the school values
  • regular school-wide analysis of achievement is reported to the board
  • all policies relating to the Vulnerable Children’s Act are in place
  • that they complete regular anonymous surveys of children, staff and parents.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association support the board by completing a Health and Safety Audit and supporting new trustees with their roles.

The Ministry of Education provide support with raising student achievement and the further development of the school’s curriculum.

Conclusion

The board, principal and teachers have made good progress against the priorities from the 2015 ERO report. To continue this progress:

  • ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning
  • the board requested and ERO agreed to provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

ERO will review the school on the regular review cycle. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

30 June 2017

About the School

Location

Granity

Ministry of Education profile number

3192

School type

Full Primary

School roll

39

Gender composition

Girls 18; Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

14
24
1

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review 

August 2015
May 2012