Ashley Rakahuri School

Education institution number:
3285
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
158
Telephone:
Address:

Boundary Road, Ashley, Rangiora

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Ashley School - 25/02/2020

School Context

Ashley School is a primary school in North Canterbury catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 180 students.

The school’s visionis for students to have ‘A strong sense of belonging in a dynamic community.’ This is supported by the school’s desire to offer the best possible education for students in partnership with parents and the local community.The school’s ‘Reach’ values are respect, excellence, aroha, courage and honesty.

The school has set specific annual targets for 2019 in relation to literacy 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
  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs.

Since the 2016 ERO review, a new leadership team has been appointed. There has been significant rebuilding of classroom blocks. The school has a newly elected board of trustees.

The school is part of the Puketeraki 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 equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

A large majority of students are achieving at or above New Zealand Curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is ongoing disparity for boys in reading and writing and for some students who identify as Māori in mathematics and reading, compared to all students. Student achievement information over the past three years shows a slight downward trend in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

School achievement information indicates moderate success in accelerating learning for Māori and other students who need this. 2019 school information shows positive improvements in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

A localised curriculum enables students to engage in learning that the whole community values. The curriculum is aligned closely to the Ashley School values, and references bi-cultural themes and ways of working. The school identifies, monitors and provides programmes and support for children whose learning requires additional support. Leaders and teachers now need to ensure that the progress of identified groups of students is specifically reported to the board, over time. School structures and curriculum opportunities enable students to make decisions about their learning and demonstrate leadership throughout the school.

Leaders actively involve the wider community in the life of the school. They seek input from parents into strategic planning and initiatives and consult regularly with stakeholders. Improved communication about school programmes has been prioritised. Leaders and teachers foster a reciprocal and collaborative approach to relationships that support positive learning outcomes for students. Students are confident and engaged, working and playing together respectfully in a calm, well organised and inclusive environment.

Teachers are engaged in individual inquiry topics and a range of professional learning opportunities, aligned to the school’s strategic priorities. A strengthened appraisal system is supporting teachers to reflect on their practice and develop their capability and capacity. Increased opportunities in middle leadership are available to teachers.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to develop a framework for, and a shared understanding of, internal evaluation at all levels of the school. This will help to build an understanding of the impact of programmes, practices and interventions on student outcomes and ensure sustained improvement.

Leaders and teachers need to build capability to effectively use progress data along with other school information and report on this regularly to the board.

Change management practices are yet to be embedded so that staff are well supported as new initiatives, systems and processes are introduced. It would be timely to use anonymous, research-based surveys at regular intervals to assist with this process.

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 Ashley School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • a localised curriculum, providing a learning environment which encourages participation and engagement for students, closely aligned to the school’s values
  • a culture of collaboration and relational trust that actively involves the wider community
  • professional learning opportunities to develop capability and capacity in teachers and leaders.

Next steps

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

  • implementing a rigorous framework of internal evaluation to understand which programmes, practices and strategies are working effectively to promote learning
  • increasing data literacy and improving reporting to ensure the board receives useful student achievement and progress information to support strategic planning and decision making
  • improving change management practices used in the implementation of initiatives and systems.

Actions for compliance

  • ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the delivery of a careers education programme for Years 7 and 8

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

ensure the delivery of a career education and guidance programme for all students in Year 7 and above [NAG 1(f)].

  • ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the attestation of teachers

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

ensure that school processes for the issue and renewal of practising certificates meet Teaching Council requirements[Part 31 Education Act 1989].

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

25 February 2020

About the school

Location

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

3285

School type

Full Primary

School roll

180

Gender composition

Girls 52 %, Boys 48 %

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

NZ European/ Pākehā 81%

Asian 4%

Other ethnicities 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

25 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016

Education Review May 2015

Ashley School - 19/10/2016

Findings

Ashley School is moving ahead positively. Student culture, wellbeing and learning are at the centre of improvement initiatives and approaches. The board, principal and senior leaders make the most of their collective professional knowledge, experience and skills to sustain and build on recent initiatives. Positive relationships are promoted across the school. Very useful external expertise has helped to strengthen a number of school practices. Further improvements are likely to be gained from addressing the next steps in this report.

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

1 Background and Context

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

The May 2015 ERO report for Ashley School identified a number of areas where processes needed improvement. These included governance and leadership, achievement, curriculum, compliance and bicultural perspectives.

Since the 2015 review, there have been some changes to the senior management team and teaching positions. The board that had been newly appointed at the time of the last review, has remained stable and been an active part of the significant progress that has occurred at the school in the last 18 months. Many of these improvements are now sustaining and building on the positive features of the school.

The board, senior leaders and staff have been very responsive in addressing the recommendations from the 2015 ERO report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Significant progress has been made in addressing all the priorities identified for review and development in the 2015 ERO report.

Progress
Bicultural perspectives

The board, principal, senior leaders and staff have developed an increasingly strong focus on te ao Māori and established positive relationships with Māori who have expertise in te reo and tikanga Māori. The knowledge shared with staff has increased the cultural aspects of the programmes and practices. Consultation with and feedback from parents of Māori students has informed the school’s actions in this area. The new initiatives are well led within the school, and keenly championed by the principal.

Māori students experience their language, culture and identity being valued. All students have opportunities to hear, learn and use te reo Māori and to experience tikanga Māori in meaningful contexts. This includes: mihi whakatau, karakia, whakataukī, pepeha, waiata and haka. More than half of all students at the school are involved in the kapa haka group.

ERO and the senior leadership team agree that the development of a Māori action plan would be useful to help sustain and build on what the school currently has in place.

Governance

The board actively represents and serves the school and education community in its stewardship role. The principal and board have worked closely with the school community to develop a new charter and refresh the school’s vision, values, and strategic direction. They have had good access to targeted professional development to support them in their roles. This includes opportunities to work with other boards and school leaders within the local cluster of schools. Additional improvements include:

  • better understanding of roles, responsibilities and reporting systems
  • improved management of governance processes, particularly finance and health and safety
  • review and revision of school policies and procedures to reflect the expectations of Ashley School’s community and current legislation requirements
  • increasing alignment to and monitoring of strategic planning, school-wide priorities, principal appraisal and professional development.

ERO, the board and the senior leadership team agree that the development of a governance handbook would assist the new and existing board members in their roles.

Leadership

The principal and senior leaders work collaboratively and effectively to strengthen leadership across the school. Factors contributing to this include clear leadership expectations and responsibilities and distributing leadership more widely. Senior leaders are increasingly making more strategic use of staff strengths. Some useful key actions that have been taken include:

  • specific professional development to grow leadership capacity and teacher capability
  • an improved appraisal process for the principal, senior leaders and teachers
  • promoting teacher inquiries that align to the school’s goals and annual plan
  • fostering a reflective culture that is focused on ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for students.
Achievement

School leaders, teachers and learning assistants are developing a collaborative approach and shared responsibility for student learning, achievement and behaviour. A number of well-targeted and evidence-based initiatives are building the conditions necessary for promoting equity and excellence for all students. Positive improvements to data analysis and use by teachers are evident. Deliberate actions that have been taken to improve this practice include the:

  • targeted professional development that is well-aligned to strategic goals
  • focus on increasing teacher confidence with OTJs and moderation
  • better use of data to inform achievement targets for students whose learning is at risk
  • specific strategies and programmes for target students
  • regular reporting of student progress to the board to inform resourcing decisions.

ERO and the senior leadership team agree that:

  • student achievement targets could be further refined to be more specific to the needs of students who are most at risk of not achieving
  • further analysis of classroom data is needed to identify accelerated progress and the strategies that made a difference to student achievement over time.
Curriculum

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environments. Relationships between staff and students are respectful and productive and diversity is valued. The recently reviewed and refreshed vision, values and key competencies incorporate aspects of Māori concepts and are well used to promote students’ sense of wellbeing and pride in their school. Teacher collaboration to improve learning outcomes for students is especially evident in the:

  • positive response to targeted professional development and discussions
  • growing of collaborative teams and ways of teaching and learning
  • focus on reflective practices and good use of teaching as inquiry
  • increased use of digital tools that engage students in their learning and promote increasing student agency.

In the junior area there has been a change in staffing and in the classroom philosophy. The students' individual interests, strengths and capabilities are well considered as they transition into school. They benefit from an appropriate child-centred learning programme.

ERO and the senior leadership team agree that development of the curriculum should reflect the unique characteristics of Ashley School.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Findings

ERO’s evaluation of progress has confirmed that the school is moving ahead positively and is in a stronger position in most areas to sustain and improve its performance. Students’ learning and wellbeing needs are at the centre of the school’s strategic priorities and actions for improvement.

Under the leadership of the board, principal and senior leaders a number of school systems and practices have been strategically restructured to more effectively address areas identified for improvement in the 2015 ERO review. High quality external support has had a noticeable impact on building a more collaborative, learner-centred environment that values the language, culture and identity of students.

Key next steps

ERO, the board, principal and senior leaders agree that the key next steps are to:

  • continue to consolidate and refine new initiatives
  • develop and implement an internal evaluation framework
  • further develop the documented curriculum
  • strengthen appraisal processes to better align to the expectations of the Education Council
  • regularly ensure that the board has reliable ways of being assured about staff and student wellbeing, especially during a time of change and redevelopment.
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.

Not applicable, no recommendations.

Conclusion

Ashley School is moving ahead positively. Student culture, wellbeing and learning are at the centre of improvement initiatives and approaches. The board, principal and senior leaders make the most of their collective professional knowledge, experience and skills to sustain and build on recent initiatives. Positive relationships are promoted across the school. Very useful external expertise has helped to strengthen a number of school practices. Further improvements are likely to be gained from addressing the next steps in this report.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

19 October 2016

About the School

Location

North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3285

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

161

Gender composition

Female 55%; Male 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

14%

86%

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

19 October 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2015

February 2012

November 2008