East Gore 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

East Gore School provides education for students from Years 1-6. There are 126 students attending the school, 40 of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision states that it aims to empower children with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to successfully meet all of life’s challenges, and provide all children with the opportunity of reaching their full potential.

The school is committed to the achievement and success of all students in its care so that they will be confident, have a good work ethic and strong communication skills, and be responsive citizens, problem solvers, team players and life-long learners.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • intervention programmes.

The school has had significant staffing changes. It is currently in an appointment process for key teaching and leadership positions. The school provides education for a high number of children who need additional support and has a large pool of teacher aides who work with these students inside the classroom, and across the school.

The school is a member of the Eastern Southland 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?

East Gore School is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students. The majority of its students are achieving at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. From 2016 – 2018 there has been a steady upward trend in reading achievement, and a downward trend in mathematics, and from 2016-17 a downward trend in writing. Mid 2019 school achievement data indicates that the school is on track to continue an upward trend in reading and making improvements in mathematics.

The school is yet to address ongoing and significant disparities for Māori students and boys and in reading and mathematics. Achievement for boys in writing continues to be lower than girls.

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

The school’s achievement data shows that over 2018 and to mid-2019 the school has had limited success in accelerating the progress of those students who need this, particularly in writing.

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 learn through a curriculum which provides them with a wide range of interesting learning experiences. Teachers make good use of local features and expertise to enhance contexts for learning. They have useful guidelines for all learning areas, and clear and well-thought-out learning progressions for each level.

Teachers are adapting programmes and teaching strategies to meet the learning needs of their students. For example, they are trialling strategies to better engage boys in writing.

School leadership ensures that policies and practices promote students’ wellbeing and engagement in learning. This is driven by a commitment to removing barriers that could hinder children’s learning. The school has a very strong pastoral care programme that includes both in-school and external support.

Students with additional needs are very well supported to participate in class and whole school activities and learning experiences. Teacher aides provide a valuable service and enable teachers to focus on students who need additional help.

There is a very inclusive school culture that fosters positive relationships between children. Leaders and teachers work closely and effectively with external agencies to ensure students’ wellbeing remains a strong focus 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 board, principal and teachers have identified the need to redevelop the strategic plan to better reflect the school’s current priorities and better align strategic direction with policies, processes and practices.

The board, leaders and teachers need to strengthen evaluation practices to better know what is/is not working well and the impact of initiatives and programmes on students’ learning.

The principal and teachers need to strengthen moderation practices to ensure the validity of student achievement information.

It would be timely for the principal and teachers to access professional development to help them in accelerate the progress of those students who need extra support to succeed.

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 East Gore 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:

  • the pastoral care and support of students and families to give students equitable opportunities to learn
  • the inclusive culture of the school community that allows the leaders and the board to make decisions and improvements that have the wellbeing and children’s learning as their shared focus
  • the support provided for students with additional needs that builds children’s readiness to learn.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in the board, principal and teachers:

  • redeveloping the strategic plan to reflect the school’s current priorities
  • strengthening evaluation practices
  • further strengthening moderation practices
  • accessing professional development to help them to accelerate the progress of those students who need extra support.

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the Ministry of Education in order to bring about improvements in:

  • student achievement.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

14 February 2019

About the school

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

3946

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

141

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 36%

NZ European/Pākehā 57%

Other 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

14 February 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Longitudinal Review December 2016

Education Review April 2015



Findings

The school is very effectively addressing its priorities for improvement. Trustees, the principal and teachers have created a strong culture of collaboration and improvement. Children are benefiting from the more consistent and stronger focus teachers have on children’s learning needs. The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and evaluate its performance.

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?

This report covers the school’s progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in ERO’s 2015 education review report. That report identified the need for trustees, school leaders and teachers to develop their evaluation and improvement practices, in particular self-review and appraisal processes, and alignment from long-term goals to related plans. It also identified the need for leaders and teachers to develop school curriculum guidelines and increase the analysis and use of learning information.

The trustees, principal and teachers have sought a range of support to provide targeted development in each of the identified areas. They have a sound understanding of the need for strong alignment of school plans to provide a focused approach to identified school and learning priorities. They have developed rigour in their analysis and use of learning information.

This ERO review has found that the board, school leaders and teachers have made significant progress in the areas identified in ERO’s 2015 report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The last ERO report recommended that the trustees, principal and teachers:

  • increase the analysis and use of assessment information
  • develop school curriculum guidelines
  • increase understanding and use of self review for school improvement.
Progress

The principal, school leaders and teachers have significantly improved the gathering, analysis, recording, reporting and use of assessment information for individual children and school wide. The greater scrutiny of data has led to:

  • trustees, leaders and teachers making better informed decisions for teaching, resourcing, future target setting, and professional learning and development
  • leaders and teachers having a greater awareness of achievement levels of individual children, groups of children and school wide
  • deeper reflection by teachers on the impact of their teaching on outcomes for children.

The principal and teachers are showing greater confidence in the judgements made of students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has used a planned approach for curriculum development that is leading to a very coherent curriculum. School leaders have made effective use of external expertise to guide this development. The completed sections of the curriculum provides clear guidelines and expectations for teachers. Children’s learning is enhanced through the consistency and coherence of expectations for teaching and learning.

Teachers and leaders regularly share and discuss information about the achievement and progress of each child. This collaboration is building a shared responsibility between all staff for improving the learning outcomes for all learners.

The principal has thorough systems to ensure that the curriculum developments are being embedded into teaching practice and that they are working. These include class observations, and discussions with teachers about their planning and their use of school planning formats.

The strategic plan carefully sets out the community’s goals for the school. These goals provide guidance for annual planning, target setting, teachers’ goals and professional learning and development. The principal has put in place a more robust appraisal process that meets requirements and supports teachers to build their professional practices.

Key next step

The principal and teachers need to more explicitly analyse and report on the sufficiency of progress children have made, in particular in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 and evaluate its performance. This judgement is based on the:

  • trustees’ and principal’s strong commitment to providing excellent education for all children
  • capacity to reflect, plan, act and report to the board using evidence that includes achievement and progress information
  • building of capacity within the teaching staff to sustain and continue to improve children’s achievement
  • improved teacher-appraisal process being implemented.

Key next step

School trustees and leaders need to be more systematic in their approach to evaluation. This could include identifying key elements of effective internal evaluation and ensuring reports have a statement about how well a planned action or intervention has impacted on improved outcomes for children.

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 is very effectively addressing its priorities for improvement. Trustees, the principal and teachers have created a strong culture of collaboration and improvement. Children are benefiting from the more consistent and stronger focus teachers have on children’s learning needs. The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and evaluate its performance.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu Southern

1 December 2016

About the School

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

3946

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

117

Gender composition

Boys: 57%; Girls: 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

36%

59%

5%

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

1 December 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Longitudinal Review

Education Review

April 2015

September 2011

August 2010