Lochiel School

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School Context

Lochiel School is a Years 1 to 8 rural school in Lochiel, Central Southland. It has a roll of 80 children. The roll has steadily increased over the last three years. A significant number of students arrive or leave during the school year.

Since the 2015 ERO review, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed, and there have been changes within the board.

The school’s vision is to provide a school environment where its children will develop into well-balanced citizens. They want to empower their children with skills to contribute positively to their world now and in the future. The school values are based around four Cs:

  • care-manaaki

  • co-operation-paheko

  • confidence-whakamanawa

  • curiosity-whakamaremate.

Leaders and teachers regularly report school-wide information about outcomes for children to the board for achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 achieving positive outcomes for its students.

Overall student achievement for 2015-2017 shows:

  • most children have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for reading and mathematics

  • the majority of children have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for writing.

School leaders and teachers have identified there is disparity for boys in reading and writing, and a small disparity for Māori children in reading, writing and mathematics. They are actively addressing this.

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

The school effectively identifies, tracks and monitors any Māori and other students who need their learning accelerated. The principal is developing ways to implement a school-wide system that will better measure the impact of programmes put in place to support these students.

Leaders now need to collate, analyse and report information to better show accelerated progress for all these students. This will support planning and resourcing decisions with more accurate information.

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?

School leaders and staff promote a positive, inclusive school culture. Respectful learning partnerships between the school and families and whānau assist in enacting the school’s refreshed vision and values.The values are highly evident in interactions in and out of classrooms. Children are confident and well-informed about their learning.

A responsive, authentic and localised curriculum supports students’ engagement and builds learner-centred relationships with the community.Learning in the school and wider community provide children many opportunities to learn through authentic contexts of high interest to individual students.The school’s leadership has effectively evaluated and improved the curriculum design. A strong focus has been placed on establishing consistency of curriculum delivery across the school, to ensure coherence across year levels and support integration of programmes.

Children with additional needs are very well provided for. The school has developed strong partnerships with external agencies and external education providers. This has helped provide both support and extension to those students who require it.

Teachers use appropriate assessment tools and share information and data to inform professional conversations for promoting children’s learning.

The school is well managed.Trustees are providing well-informed governance and direction for the school. They undertake regular consultation, are representative of the school community and have accessed training to strengthen their effectiveness.The trustees have a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities and have developed a strong succession plan to support long term sustainability. They have strategically funded extra staffing hours to support the school during times of roll growth.

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

School-wide student learning information needs to be better used to enable the achievement of equity and excellence. Leaders and teachers nowneed to develop specific targets that focus on those children who need their learning accelerated.This would help them to:

  • know the impact of new learning initiatives on student achievement

  • track students over time to see if progress is being sustained and improved

  • ensure targets and associated action plans are more specific

  • clearly show the sufficiency of progress for target students.

Aspects of internal evaluation need to be developed further in the school. The school does have good information and now needs to use this to clearly show what is working well and what needs improving. Leaders and teachers now need to:

  • ensure reports to the board are evaluative rather than descriptive

  • know what is benefiting students’ learning and engagement and what needs further development.

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 inclusive culture that supports learning and wellbeing

  • a localised curriculum that has strong community support

  • effective governance practices that are contributing to improved learning outcomes.

Next steps

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

  • the alignment of school-wide target setting and internal evaluation
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

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

  • the use of student achievement information.

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 Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

8 August 2018

About the school

Location

Central Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

3977

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

80

Gender composition

Female: 38

Male: 42

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 63

Māori 9

Other ethnicities 8

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

8 August 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: February 2015

Education Review: October 2011

Education Review: June 2008

Findings

The school’s values strongly support students’ learning. Students have positive relationships with one another and with teachers. Most students achieve well. Students needing to make faster progress are effectively supported. Teachers provide very good learning opportunities for students to experience success. The principal leads purposefully. The school welcomes and involves parents positively.

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

1 Context

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

The school’s values of care/manaaki, cooperation/paheko, confidence/whakamanawa, and curiosity/whakamaremate are evident in the ways students learn and interact. Students get on well with one another and enjoy positive relationships with teachers.

Student-achievement information shows about two thirds or more of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The number of students enrolled at the school is stable, at about 60. Most students travel to school by bus. Students come from an increasingly diverse range of cultures. Some students arrive at mid-year as a consequence of changes in farming-related employment. Students are celebrated as unique individuals within the school.

The school shows a commitment to ensuring all families are welcomed with a cake and a personal visit from the principal. Trustees and teachers want new students and their families to feel a part of the school’s supportive community.

A group of enthusiastic parents support the school with extra resources and encourage other parents to become more involved in the school.

Since the 2011 ERO report, new classroom teachers have been appointed and aspects of the school’s curriculum have been reviewed. The board and principal responded positively to areas for improvement identified by ERO in 2011.

2 Learning

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

The board, principal and teachers make very good use of a range of learning information to make positive changes for the benefit of students.

The principal and teachers use achievement information to:

  • identify, at an early stage, students who need extra challenge or support
  • monitor the progress students have made
  • identify what is going well and what needs to be improved
  • decide how they can change their teaching approach to better meet students’ needs.

The next step for teachers is to find more ways to support students to have a greater awareness of how they are achieving against the expectations for their year level. Students would then be more able to demonstrate what the school expects of them as self-regulated learners.

The next steps for the principal and teachers are to:

  • strengthen the focus on progress students make over time when they analyse achievement information and report to the board
  • clarify the plain language reporting to parents for students who are not yet at the standard in reading, writing and mathematics, especially at mid-year.

3 Curriculum

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

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

Students enjoy and benefit from:

  • a range of experiences across the curriculum, including trips into the community, camps, and enviro-school projects
  • the use made of the local environment and invited experts to enhance their learning
  • the sense of fun included into much of their learning, while maintaining an efficient use of learning time
  • the way ICT is integrated into teaching and learning, especially in the senior class
  • the positive impact of the purposeful teaching they experience.

Students value the way their opinions and ideas are gathered and used within the classroom and in the wider life of the school.

The principal and teachers specifically plan support for students who need help with their learning. These students make good progress. An enthusiastic, capable teacher aide is well guided to support individual students while allowing teachers to work with other groups of students.

Teachers make effective use of well-considered guidelines for good-quality teaching and learning. Professional learning is targeted to respond to areas requiring improvement in teaching and learning. Currently teachers are reviewing how well the integrated-learning approach gives students sufficient opportunity to achieve in science.

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

The school effectively supports Māori students to make good progress with their learning. There are targets for some Māori students to make accelerated progress.

The school is:

  • ensuring the curriculum is increasingly reflective of concepts that are important to Māori
  • celebrating the way all students are part of the kapa haka group
  • responding to the principal’s identification that te reo Māori learning needs to become more obviously progressive through the years
  • seeking the voice of whānau and iwi to determine any new curriculum direction
  • developing a shared understanding of what Māori success will look like at this school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain what is going well and make improvements where they are needed.

There are strong links between well-considered strategic planning and annual plans to implement key priorities. The board reviews school effectiveness well. Trustees are well informed by:

  • monthly reports with a clear focus on student learning and community engagement
  • mid-year reporting from the principal about student achievement and progress
  • end-of-year analysis against the annual student-achievement targets
  • curriculum effectiveness reporting with full coverage of all curriculum areas over time.

The principal has strengthened the appraisal system for teachers. There are useful practices for teachers to document the way they inquire into their practice with a focus on how they are meeting the school’s expectations for high-quality teaching and how to improve outcomes for students.

The principal is highly reflective about the quality of the school’s performance and is leading the school well. He:

  • has developed useful systems to continue to improve outcomes for all students
  • maintains a very collaborative staff culture
  • leads a process to identify and support expectations for good-quality teaching
  • has worked to establish positive relationships with parents and the community.

The board:

  • is well served by comprehensive guidelines for the work of trustees
  • has improved the financial position of the school
  • funds extra teacher-aide support for students at risk of not making sufficient progress.

The next step is for the principal to report to trustees about how well resources to help targeted students are accelerating their progress.

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’s values strongly support students’ learning. Students have positive relationships with one another and with teachers. Most students achieve well. Students needing to make faster progress are effectively supported. Teachers provide very good learning opportunities for students to experience success. The principal leads purposefully. The school welcomes and involves parents positively.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern Select Region

11 February 2015

About the School

Location

Lochiel, Central Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

3977

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

62

Gender composition

Female: 31 Male: 31

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Asian
Māori
Samoan
Other

42
10
8
1
1

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

11 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

June 2008

January 2005