Arthur Street School

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Education institution number:
3706
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
179
Telephone:
Address:

26 Arthur Street, City Rise, Dunedin

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School Context

Arthur Street School is an inner-city school in Dunedin. At the time of this review there were 187 Years 1 to 8 students, with 31 identifying as Maori, nine as Pacific and 45 as Asian. The school has a diverse community with many ethnicities represented on its roll.

Since ERO’s 2015 review, there has been significant roll growth and many changes of teaching staff and at the senior leadership level.

The school’s vision is that in a supportive environment students will gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be ‘learners for life’. The school’s valued outcomes are the ‘3Rs’ of respect/whakamana; responsibility/whaimana and resourcefulness/pukumahi. To support these outcomes the school’s current goals are to:

  • enact the New Zealand Curriculum to meet the needs of individuals

  • provide opportunity for all students to progress and achieve in their learning

  • welcome community participation in the life of the school.

Over the last three years the school has set targets to accelerate the progress of identified groups of students 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 at mid-year and end-of-year

  • mid-year progress and end-of-year achievement in relation to school’s charter targets.

For the past three and a half years there has been whole-school professional learning and development in the teaching of science. School leaders have been working with a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function Practitioner (SAF) to develop school-wide practices in assessment and extend the use of achievement information for planning and evaluation.

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, with variable success, towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. The increase in diversity of students has impacted on some achievement levels over recent years.

School information for the last three years shows:

  • the majority of students achieved at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics

  • a declining proportion of students achieving at expected levels in reading

  • most Māori students achieved at or above school expectations in reading and there was an increasing proportion achieving school expectations in writing and mathematics

  • a growing disparity of achievement for girls in reading and mathematics

  • an increase in the numbers of boys achieving at or above expectation in writing and mathematics.

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

Learning information from over the past three years shows an improving trend in writing and mathematics for those students identified as needing their achievement accelerated, as outlined in the charter targets.

The school is being supported by the SAF to develop processes to fully analyse its data to show the amount of progress of all students who need to accelerate their learning.

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 school has strengthened its focus on the learners, in particular those learners at risk of not achieving. Leaders have introduced useful school-wide systems, which include regular planning for and evaluation of learning and teaching. Teachers have an increased shared responsibility for students’ progress and achievement. They are working collaboratively to determine appropriate teaching strategies for individual students and groups of students. In response to reports to the board:

  • school targets were adjusted appropriately to sharpen the school’s focus on students with learning needs

  • trustees are funding extra teaching and teacher aide hours.

In 2017, leaders identified two areas needing development; revitalising the ‘3Rs’, and strengthening the support for Māori learners.

As a result, leaders and teachers have a clear school-wide vision and set of expectations of how the school provides for Māori learners within their culture. This vision extends to all students learning te reo and tikanga Māori through a supportive and progressive programme.

Teachers, students and parents have a shared understanding and application of the ‘3Rs’ valued outcomes across the school.

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 deepen the analysis and use of students’ progress and achievement information, in order to:

  • be better assured that all children are making sufficient progress
  • more effectively evaluate what is and what is not working to improve outcomes for children.

ERO agrees with the school that they would benefit from continuing to work with the SAF to support them in the above area.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were five international students attending the school.

International students are well supported in their education and to be part of the Arthur Street School community. The school has good processes to monitor the wellbeing of these students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a school-wide focus on equity for all learners

  • increased collaboration within the teaching teams

  • reflective processes to identify areas in need of improvement.

Next steps

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

  • closer scrutiny of progress and achievement information to know about the sufficiency of progress for all students

  • evaluating the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes to better know what is working well and what needs improvement to raise achievement overall.

ERO will regularly discuss progress in these areas with the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

28 September 2018

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3706

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

187

Gender composition

Boys: 59% Girls: 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 17%
Pākehā: 43%
Pacific: 5%
Other ethnicities: 35%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding(ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

28 September 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: August 2015
Education Review: July 2012
Education Review: April 2009

1 Context

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

Arthur Street School is an inner-city school providing a rich and broad education for students in Years 1 to 8. Students travel from a wide geographical area to attend the school. The current principal had been at the school ten weeks at the time of this ERO review.

The school has a diverse community with many ethnicities represented throughout the year levels. The students’ cultures are recognised and celebrated within classrooms and at whole-school events. Students with English as a second language (ESOL) made up 20% of the school roll.

The school is located in close proximity to several secondary schools and the University of Otago. Students, with their teachers, make good use of the facilities and expertise that their community has to offer as part of the school’s technology, arts, physical education and science programmes.

Students are respectful and supportive of each other. They enjoy caring and positive relationships with their teachers.

Teachers work as one teaching group to collaboratively plan units of work and ensure assessments are consistent across the school.

Since the last ERO review in 2012, the school has made good progress in the areas identified for improvement.

The school’s vision is for students to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes within a supportive environment, to enable them to be learners for life.

The 2014 achievement information shows about three quarters of the students were achieving at or above National Standard expectations for reading and mathematics. Achievement was lower for writing. Of note is the significant overall progress made from the 2013 achievement levels, especially for writing and mathematics.

2 Learning

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

The school effectively uses achievement information to make positive changes to students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

In general, students know how well they are achieving against the expectations the school has for them. They are able to talk about what they have to do next to improve their work.

Teachers make careful use of achievement information to:

  • identify students’ learning needs
  • inform their planning and teaching
  • monitor and report progress and achievement to students and their parents, and to the board
  • evaluate the success of their teaching and identify next learning directions for the class and/or groups of students.

School leaders use achievement information well to:

  • monitor, review and report progress and achievement across the school and for cohorts of students
  • appropriately timetable the specialist teacher and teacher aides to ensure maximum benefit of these resources.

School leaders are beginning to use achievement information effectively to evaluate the impact of school programmes on the desired student outcomes.

Trustees regularly receive well-analysed achievement information. They use the information purposefully to:

  • set strategic direction and achievement targets
  • monitor school-wide progress
  • inform their resourcing decisions.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

Students benefit from their involvement in a broad range of interesting learning experiences. Teachers use a teaching approach that makes purposeful links across subject areas. Students are well supported to develop useful skills to access and process information, in particular about their inquiry topics. Students appreciate their choice they have in learning within a given theme.

Students have increased opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning. For example, they:

  • set goals showing what they want to achieve
  • work with their teachers to determine how they will achieve their goals
  • assess their own work against criteria they have worked with the teacher to develop.

Student voice is gathered and responded to at many levels of the school’s operation, including when school leaders are reviewing curriculum programmes. Students have many opportunities to develop and show leadership, especially in the senior year levels.

Curriculum guidelines are well designed. They provide clear expectations for what students are to learn and how they will be taught. For many of the learning areas they include progressive pathways for learning through to Year 8. This coherence helps ensure smooth transitions of learning as students move through the school. The guidelines are well aligned to the school vision, especially for developing students’ skills for learning.

Students at risk of poor education outcomes are well supported. Purposeful interventions and learning support from a specialist teacher and teacher aides supplement classroom teaching. The ESOL teacher works closely with class teachers to help these students succeed in their class programmes. The teacher has regular contact with parents, including providing support material in their first language.

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

Māori students are effectively supported to engage and achieve in their learning, particularly in reading and mathematics. The progress they make in their learning is closely monitored by their teachers and school leaders. Students who need extra help are quickly identified and supported.

The school shows a strong respect for the language, culture and identity of Māori students and their whānau. This is evident in the way:

  • all students' sense of belonging to the school and their own unique identity is fostered
  • te reo and tikanga Māori are celebrated at whole school events, such as assemblies
  • students have wider opportunities to learn te reo and tikanga Māori, such as through kapa haka and marae visits
  • teachers are seeking to further develop their own skills, knowledge and competency using te reo and tikanga Māori
  • school trustees are aligning school practices with Māori cultural concepts.

The principal acknowledges the need to strengthen how the views of Māori whānau are gathered. This will help school leaders to evaluate how well current practices are achieving the school’s aims and goals for Māori student success.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Findings to support this judgement

There is strong alignment from the school’s strategic and annual planning through to professional learning and development, resourcing and classroom programmes. The strategic direction responds suitably to community input and achievement information. The principal has introduced a helpful method to monitor and report progress against annual goals and achievement targets. In some instances the impact of the actions on the desired outcomes has been evaluated.

The school has effective systems in place to build best practice in teaching and to increase learner-focused outcomes.

Trustees, school leaders and teachers carry out useful evaluations of policies, curriculum programmes and charter targets. They gather relevant perspectives from a range of groups. Teachers, students and parents are surveyed about their satisfaction and asked what could be improved. A summary includes recommendations and what needs to be done next. Best practice was seen when it was clear how the recommendations had been followed up. This review identifies the need for reviews to be more evaluative against the desired student outcomes and aims, as stated in the school’s guidelines for self review. Next steps

School leaders and trustees need to:

  • include in their reviews and reports, evaluations of how well actions and programmes are contributing to the desired outcomes for students as expressed in the school’s vision and curriculum statements
  • put in place a system that ensures review recommendations are appropriately followed up.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review four international students were attending the school. All students were living with their parents.

The education, involvement and integration of international students into the school and its community are closely monitored and supported. Students benefit from high-quality pastoral care.

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 diverse cultures represented at the school are celebrated and valued. All students benefit from a broad range of interesting learning experiences. Students with identified learning needs and ESOL students are well supported. The school has effective systems in place to build best practice in teaching and increase learning-focused outcomes for students.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 August 2015

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3706

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

133

Number of international students

4

Gender composition

Boys: 60%

Girls: 40%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Asian
Pacific
Other

57%
16%
18%
7%
2%

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

14 August 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2012
April 2009
December 2005