Glenham School

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School Context

Glenham School is a small, rural Year 1-6 school located in Glenham township. The current student roll is 15. The overarching vision for the school contains the concepts of learning for self, community, and excellence. Combined with key competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum, these concepts form the basis of valued outcomes for students.

The school states that the current goals for improving student outcomes are:

  • high expectations for all children (including accelerating learning for identified students in reading, writing and mathematics)

  • to further enhance Glenham teaching and learning practices

  • to engage parents so they are confident with skills to support their children.

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

  • outcomes related to progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • valued outcomes in relation to key competencies, with particular emphasis on self-management of learning

  • progress of children needing additional support (currently mid and end of year reporting to the board)

  • outcomes related to engagement and well being

  • Ministry of Education (MoE) funded initiative for Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL) report for writing.

Since the last review, the board, school leaders, teachers, students and the community have worked together on the local, school-initiated Glenelgin environmental project. A new principal was appointed in 2015.

The school participated in the MoE funded ALL project in 2016 and 2017. This included professional development for staff on aspects of teaching writing.

The school is a member of the Mataura Valley Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

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 effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most students.

School achievement information for the period 2015 to 2017 shows a consistent pattern of achievement over this time. Most children are ‘at’ or ‘above’ expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

There are no evident learning disparities for students.

According to the school’s achievement information, 50% of students are working ‘above’ expectations for reading.

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

The school has some practices which are effective in accelerating learning for identified students.

According to the school’s progress and achievement data, some students who require additional support with learning, are making accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Other students, whose learning requires extension, are making very good progress. This is particularly evident in the school’s reading data which shows a number of students moving from ‘at’ to ‘above’ expectations for reading.

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?

This board is well placed to provide effective governance that promotes equity, excellence and acceleration of learning. The board is well managed, improvement focused, and actively represents and serves the school education community. Strategic planning is effective and there is good alignment within plans to guide and maintain a focus on learning and improvement. There are positive and collaborative relationships between board members, school leaders and the community. The board has recently undertaken a very thorough self review of its performance against School Trustee Association (STA) indicators.

The school’s curriculum is thoughtfully designed to provide equity of learning opportunity. Students experience a broad range of curriculum opportunities within and outside of the classroom. Teachers use technology to enhance learning opportunities, make learning accessible, and provide a mechanism for sharing learning between students, teachers and home.

Teachers consistently use processes to foster independence and self management of learning. This includes goal setting in partnership with students, teachers and families. Students have opportunities to assess their own learning, as well as the learning of others. There are multiple opportunities for students to share ideas about their learning and to follow their interests. Tuakana-teina relationships create a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment. Many of the innovations related to self management of learning are relatively new but are providing opportunities for students to access and contribute ideas to learning and develop key competencies.

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

Some aspects of cultural responsiveness require strengthening to ensure that the needs of Māori students are met and that bicultural practices are progressing. This includes extending curriculum planning so that there are explicit references to teaching bicultural perspectives progressively across a range of learning areas.

Some aspects regarding the development of student agency and self management of learning need strengthening, especially for those students whose progress needs to be accelerated. In particular:

  • feedback and feed forward to students needs to be explicit, in writing, and appropriately detailed

  • expected progress and achievement needs to be clearly identified for students to assist them in self monitoring their learning

  • teacher planning needs to identify those skills which are part of an effective student inquiry process, and plan to systematically develop them supported by explicit feedback to students.

School leaders and teachers need to implement robust internal evaluation practices:

  • curriculum reviews should focus on how well the curriculum is meeting the needs of all learners

  • those strategies which have proved to be most effective in engaging students and accelerating learning need to be identified

  • the appraisal process requires strengthening with the inclusion of targeted teaching observations aligned to personal goals and effective teacher practice.

Effective internal evaluation needs further strengthening in order to understand the impact of teaching practices and innovations on student outcomes, particularly for targeted students.

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:

  • an effectively-managed, strategic and improvement-focused board

  • a curriculum that is localised, emphasises student engagement and agency, and meaningfully involves the local community

  • effective use of technology to inform and engage the community

  • implementation of new systems and processes to support teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • extending bicultural practices to make explicit reference to bicultural perspectives across curriculum areas

  • ensuring that self-directed learning opportunities are more deliberately planned to identify specific skills for systematic teaching related to inquiry

  • strengthening internal evaluation knowledge and practices to understand how well specific teaching practices and innovations are improving learning outcomes for students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 June 2018

About the school

Location

Wyndham

Ministry of Education profile number

3954

School type

Contributing Year 1-6

School roll

15

Gender composition

Boys 9 : Girls 6

Ethnic composition

Māori 3

Pākehā 11

Other ethnicity 1

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

13 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015

Education Review August 2010

Findings

The school is effective in promoting student learning. Teachers make good use of their knowledge of students to support their learning and develop their interests. Relationships at the school are positive and friendly.

There is good support from the local community. The school regularly communicates with parents. Learning programmes are planned well and include making use of local contexts and opportunities.

Trustees work well with school staff and focus on continuing improvement to students’ learning outcomes, resources to support learning and the environment.

1 Context

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

Glenham School is staffed by a sole charge teaching principal with a part-time teacher providing release time. Students are taught in a single classroom with separate library and resource room. The school is well resourced and the environment is attractive and well maintained.

Most students travel to school by bus. There is significant family mobility mainly associated with the dairying industry. This means that a substantial proportion of the students change each year.

The principal is new to the school since the 2010 ERO review. She has worked closely with principals of schools in the local area as part of a learning cluster to develop processes and practices to support improved student outcomes. The board is in the process of appointing a new principal to commence in Term two, 2015.

The school is well supported by parents and is well regarded in the local community.

Trustees and staff have taken significant steps to address the issues identified in the 2010 ERO review. These included:

  • greater inclusion of Māori perspectives in programmes
  • use of more specific student learning goals and student choice
  • improving aspects of self review and appraisal.

2 Learning

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

Teachers monitor students’ ongoing learning to determine progress and adapt programmes to address needs. They skilfully plan learning tasks to cater for the range of ages and learning levels in the class.

Students have good access to information technologies and use these confidently to support their learning. Older students particularly, show that they are self-motivated, independent learners. They are encouraged to support each other with their learning.

Students know their learning goals and how well they are progressing with these through self-monitoring as well as teacher feedback. Teachers use a range of good-quality assessment information to inform their judgements about student achievement. They are starting to compare their judgements about student achievement with teachers from other schools to increase consistency.

Teachers know the students well. Relationships in the classroom are positive and friendly.

Trustees are kept informed about student achievement in literacy and mathematics. Most students achieve well in relation to the National Standards in reading and writing. The principal and trustees have identified that mathematics achievement needs to improve. In 2015 there is a focus on professional development and resource allocation in the area of mathematics to improve teaching and outcomes for students.

Areas for review and development

ERO recommends that staff and trustees:

  • more specifically define annual student achievement targets to focus on those who need to be accelerated in their learning
  • include in reports to parents information on students’ achievement in learning areas in addition to literacy and mathematics
  • develop skills in evaluating the effectiveness of teaching, particularly for lifting the achievement of targeted students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has a well-documented curriculum plan for literacy and mathematics. This provides good guidance to teachers for promoting and supporting student learning in these areas.

The curriculum plan appropriately recognises local priorities identified through consultation with parents. Students have input into their learning programmes through making choices on topics to learn about.

Teachers use effective strategies to encourage students to extend their thinking and problem-solving skills. Each year, students are provided with valuable learning experiences outside of the school. These extend their interests and knowledge and provide stimulus for ongoing learning.

Areas for review and development

ERO, trustees and staff agree that:

  • curriculum plans should be extended to provide comprehensive guidelines for teachers across all areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.

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

Teachers are taking useful steps to improve bicultural aspects of programmes. They have had some professional development to improve the use of te reo Māori. Students are proud to learn their mihi.

Area for review and development

ERO recommends that:

  • school leaders investigate ways to make increased use of local Māori resource people to assist bicultural development and Increase the use of te reo Māori in classroom interactions.

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.

Good working relationships are evident between trustees and staff. A clear set of governance procedures provides trustees with expectations to assist in carrying out their role. All board members are relatively new to school governance. They have participated in some board training and are developing useful connections with other school boards.

Trustees have used effective strategies to inform and engage parents in school matters. Parents were surveyed about their preferred methods of communication and learning priorities for their children.

The principal’s appraisal includes the involvement of an external appraiser. Teacher appraisal is thorough. Both include appropriate reference to registered teacher criteria.

A priority for the board is to ensure that student roll numbers are maintained.

Trustees intend to work with the School Trustees Association trainers to further develop their understanding of governance roles and responsibilities. This is likely to be useful in leading to stronger self-review processes, including reviewing aspects of board operations.

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 effective in promoting student learning. Teachers make good use of their knowledge of students to support their learning and develop their interests. Relationships at the school are positive and friendly.

There is good support from the local community. The school regularly communicates with parents. Learning programmes are planned well and include making use of local contexts and opportunities.

Trustees work well with school staff and focus on continuing improvement to students’ learning outcomes, resources to support learning and the environment.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

21 April 2015

About the School

Location

Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

3954

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

19

Gender composition

Boys 9;

Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

18

1

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

21 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review 

August 2010

September 2007