Rolleston 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.

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Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Rolleston School is an urban school for students in Years 1 to 8. It has 750 students, 60 of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is to help children become EXPRESS learners: Engaged, Experimental, Persistent, Resourceful, Excellent, Self-Managing and Successful. It supports students to demonstrate responsibility and respect in their work and relationships.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • physical education, health and wellbeing
  • use of digital technology for learning.

A new principal began in February 2019 and since ERO’s 2015 review there have been significant staffing changes. The school has undertaken a major building programme to accommodate the roll growth.

The school belongs to Ngā Peka O Tauwharekākaho 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 achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

The school’s 2018 data shows that most students achieved the school’s expectations for reading, writing and mathematics. An upward trend in all three learning areas is evident, particularly in 2018. Over the last three years, student achievement in writing has been consistently lower than in reading and mathematics.

There is disparity for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve at slightly lower levels in relation to school expectations. The data also shows that some disparity exists for boys in literacy.

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

The school is able to show it has accelerated the progress of those Māori and other priority students who were supported through intervention programmes, in some cases significantly. It is currently not collating data at a whole-school level to show how effectively it has accelerated the progress of other students who were below expectations but not part of the target groups.

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 strong professional leadership team ensures an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing. Students work in settled classrooms with well-established routines and expectations which support learning.

Teachers know their students’ strengths, interests, abilities and needs well. Their inclusive practice enables all students to access learning and take part in school life and activities. They are reflective practitioners who regularly adapt their practice and programmes in response to their students’ learning needs.

Detailed curriculum guidelines support teachers to meet school expectations and have contributed to a consistent approach. New staff are well inducted into the routines and expectations of the school.

Students experience a broad, integrated curriculum where contexts for study are influenced by students’ and teachers’ passions, interests and provocations. Through this, students engage in purposeful and challenging learning opportunities that relate to real-life contexts, issues and experiences. They work collaboratively to decide on topics of study and the process they will follow. Key competencies are a major component of the learning. Students ERO spoke with said they appreciate having a voice and choice in programme design.

There is a systematic approach across the school for identifying students who are at risk of not achieving well, and then providing them with an appropriate intervention programme and specialist teacher. Teachers, youth workers and learning assistants provide a broad spectrum of support for students who need extra help to succeed. These students have their learning and progress closely monitored and tracked. At the classroom level, individual students with identified needs are specifically planned for.

Teachers work collegially in a respectful, trusting environment. They feel safe to seek help if needed and to try new approaches. A purposeful professional learning and development programme (PLD) aligns with the strategic goals and is strongly focused on the current needs of the school.

Leadership opportunities, with courses to support, are provided for staff and students in order to grow leadership skills.

A rigorous appraisal process meets Teaching Council requirements and supports ongoing upskilling of teachers. Teachers have undertaken PLD to manage their responsibility in the appraisal process. They appreciate regular observations and feedback about their practice from their team leaders and senior leaders.

Since the 2015 ERO review, te ao Māori has been given greater prominence and value and is becoming an integral part of school life. The Ahurea management team has developed an action plan to continue to build the Māori profile within the school. There is greater use of te reo Māori at whole-school level, and a greater inclusion of Māori perspectives in some documentation is evident.

The board is strongly committed to raising student achievement, especially for those students who require extra support to succeed. To help achieve this, it has employed a specialist teacher and learning assistants.

Trustees ensured that the focus was kept on teaching and learning during a period of significant growth and overseeing the provision of new buildings, extra staffing and equipment. Because of the changes to the community and school leadership, the board and senior managers are planning to refresh the vision and values of the school in consultation with the community to consider the future direction of the school.

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

The leaders need to analyse more deeply the student assessment data to identify trends and patterns that may need to be addressed. This includes showing how effectively the school has accelerated the progress of all students who are at risk of not achieving well.

The process of internal evaluation could be strengthened by being more evaluative rather than descriptive. The leaders and teachers could also consider evaluating elements of teaching practice and the impact of these on students’ learning across the curriculum.

There is potential for students to know more about their learning, including their achievement, progress, goals, next steps and how to achieve these.

The school needs to continue to develop Māori perspectives so that they are fully embedded in the curriculum and culture of 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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

  • an integrated curriculum which fosters in students collaborative decision making, motivation for learning and provides a context for their voice
  • a strong leadership team that has a focus on raising student achievement and supports teachers to grow their practice
  • an inclusive, caring culture that nurtures students’ wellbeing and helps teachers to do their best for students’ learning.

Next steps

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

  • deeper analysis of data that will help identify trends and patterns of achievement over time
  • strengthening internal evaluation to better know the impact of specific intervention programmes and teaching practices
  • providing students with the learning tools and information to take increased responsibility for their learning.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

24 May 2019

About the school

Location

Rolleston

Ministry of Education profile number

3488

School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

750

Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
NZ European/Pākehā 79%
Other ethnicities 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

24 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review December 2015
Education Review November 2012
Education Review June 2009

Findings

Rolleston School is welcoming and supportive of all students. The teachers' approach to the Reggio-inspired curriculum helps to ensure all students are engaged and enjoying their learning.

The board, leaders and teachers need to strengthen evaluation, assessment and analysis of learning and teaching. This should provide more accurate information for them to make decisions to improve student achievement.

1 Context

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

Rolleston School provides for students from Years 1 to 8. Students are organised in five teams. It is a large school that has experienced, and continues to experience, significant roll growth over a number of years.

The school provides a welcoming and supportive environment for all students and their families. Parents are highly supportive and actively involved in the school.

Older and younger students have many opportunities to work and play together. Students with diverse needs are well integrated into class programmes and within the school.

A Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning is effectively integrated into the curriculum. Classroom environments successfully show students’ involvement and enjoyment in learning. These environments show students' interests and promote depth of thinking, problem solving and inquiry.

The school is making progress in meeting the recommendations in the 2012 ERO report. The teachers have been well supported by professional development. Teachers are including more aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori into school programmes and events. The school is aligning its assessment practices to the National Standards. However, assessment remains an area for ongoing development.

2 Learning

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

The school is making some progress in using achievement information to make positive changes to learner engagement, progress and achievement.

Students are engaged and active participants in their learning. Teachers make good use of their knowledge of individual students to provide programmes of interest and make learning meaningful.

School achievement information shows that students achieve better in reading and not as well in writing and mathematics. The school needs to improve the achievement levels of a number of Māori students.

Teachers have good knowledge of students and use this information effectively to plan detailed programmes in literacy and mathematics. Students’ progress in these curriculum areas is carefully monitored at classroom level.

Teachers effectively identify individual students who are at risk of not achieving. Specific strategies and programmes promote successful outcomes for these students. Those students who will benefit from additional support are identified early. Specific individual plans and programmes are put in place, closely monitored, and regularly evaluated.

Senior leaders ensure support staff are provided with helpful ongoing training. Teacher aides provide good levels of support for individual students within classes and as needed.

Areas for review and development

The senior leaders and ERO agree that assessment and analysis of student achievement needs to be strengthened. This includes:

  • defining assessment practices and criteria to ensure they are robust and reliable
  • ensuring Years 4 to 8 mathematics teachers strengthen judgements by using a nationally standardised test
  • developing moderation practices across and beyond the school.

3 Curriculum

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

Many aspects of the school’s curriculum effectively promote and support student learning.

Reggio-inspired approaches underpin learning and teaching beliefs. This provides a curriculum that:

  • is flexible and responsive to the interests, needs and abilities of individual students
  • encourages complexity and depth of student thinking
  • is well documented and displayed to show student learning in action, including the many ways learning is occurring, challenged and supported by teachers
  • provides rich learning environments and opportunities that are well resourced, meaningful and based on student learning and ideas.

Teachers use an extensive range of teaching strategies to extend learning, build student confidence and skills in managing their own learning and behaviour.

Students participate and learn in caring and collaborative environments where it is safe to take risks and learn from their mistakes. Teachers model the behaviours and expectations that they expect of students in their learning and relationships with others.

Students have many opportunities for leadership (tuakana teina, and ako). They have a wide range of learning opportunities, including cultural and sporting, within and beyond the school.

Area for review and development

The leaders, teachers and ERO agrees that the key next step for improving the curriculum and student learning is to further review the impact the Reggio-inspired approach has had on student learning and achievement.

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

The teachers in charge of Māori are steadily increasing Māori success as Māori. This team has clear expectations for the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori. Team members readily work with other staff across all teaching teams to build capabilities and confidence.

The teaching and learning Reggio-inspired approach supports Māori student learning, promotes tuakana teina and encourages a sense of belonging and student confidence.

Kapa haka involves a large numbers of students. Student leadership of the kapa haka group is recognised and valued.

Areas for review and development

The next steps to further promote Māori success as Māori include:

  • ensuring bicultural concepts and Māori values are evident within the curriculum and other key documents
  • continuing to build relationships with the school’s Māori community and the local marae.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has a number of systems and practices in place to help it sustain and improve its performance.

The board, senior leaders and staff work very well together and share a strong focus on providing positive outcomes for all students, including their learning and wellbeing.

The board is kept well informed about school programmes and events. Trustees make good use of this information to fund additional staff and programmes, to support students who are at risk of not succeeding.

The senior leadership team knows teachers’ strengths, and provides many opportunities for leadership within teaching teams. Leaders have ensured that teachers receive suitable professional development to promote changes in practice and to develop more consistency across the school.

The board is highly committed to the development of the school. This is evident in the time trustees have given over a number of years to the building projects that are part of the significant and continuing roll growth.

Areas for review and development

The senior leaders and teachers need to extend school evaluation to include reviewing the quality and impact of learning and teaching.

The trustees need to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the board’s performance in its governance and stewardship role.

The board and senior leaders need to:

  • regularly survey students and families and consult with the community
  • revise appraisal procedures and practices to ensure that they reflect the current requirements and guidance from the Education Council.

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.

The board and senior leaders need to evaluate procedures and guidelines for education outside the classroom to ensure students are safe at all times. [5(a) National Administration Guidelines]

Conclusion

Rolleston School is welcoming and supportive of all students. The teachers' approach to the Reggio-inspired curriculum helps to ensure all students are engaged and enjoying their learning.

The board, leaders and teachers need to strengthen evaluation, assessment and analysis of learning and teaching. This should provide more accurate information for them to make decisions to improve student achievement.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

2 December 2015

About the School

Location

Rolleston

Ministry of Education profile number

3488

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

792

Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 77%

Māori 11%

Pacific 2%

Asian 1%

Other ethnicities 9%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

2 December 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review November 2012

Education Review June 2009

Education Review June 2006