Longford Intermediate

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Education institution number:
3979
School type:
Intermediate
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
84
Telephone:
Address:

5 Wayland Street, Gore

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School Context

Longford Intermediate has a roll of 196 students from Gore and the surrounding rural areas. Almost a quarter of the students identify as Māori.

The school’s mission statement is to ensure an inclusive community for all its students. Its vision is that Longford learners are responsible, respectful and safe. School values are: Perseverance; Resilience; Integrity; Diversity; Excellence (PRIDE).

Longford Intermediate’s strategic priorities are:

  • student achievement (that students are open minded; show a growth mindset; are critical thinkers and creative problem solvers)

  • identity and wellbeing (learners develop resilience and a sense of identity; take responsibility for their own and others’ wellbeing)

  • community (students are team members; respect themselves, others and their environment; and form positive relationships with a range of people)

  • to improve mathematics achievement.

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

  • progress against school achievement targets
  • Term 1 mathematics achievement
  • students’ wellbeing.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been changes in leadership and the board. The principal was appointed toward the end of 2017. Early in 2019, a new leadership team, including a new deputy principal and team leader, was established. The board of trustees includes newly elected and experienced trustees.

Teachers have participated in professional learning to improve teaching in science, literacy and mathematics. The school is part of the Eastern Southland Kāhui Ako | 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?

Since 2017, school leaders have not gathered or reported to the board sufficiently detailed and analysed achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics. For some groups and school-wide insufficient achievement information makes it difficult for ERO to determine how well the school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Achievement information provided to ERO indicates that most students achieve at expected curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. This also shows that boys achieve less well in reading and writing. Māori student achievement overall is similar to other groups for reading and writing. However, there is disparity for Year 8 Māori students against some other groups of students in mathematics.

In 2018, about a third of Year 7 students and over half of Year 8 students achieved at Level 3 of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) in Science, an indication of progress towards expected levels.

A recent school survey showed that most students felt safe and positive about their school.

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

Reports about the impact of professional learning in writing and science show that the school was very successful in accelerating the progress of students in 2018.

Most students in the writing target group made accelerated progress, with over half reaching the expected curriculum level by the end of the year. Over three quarters of Māori students and boys below expected levels made accelerated progress.

In Science in 2018, most students across the school made accelerated progress in 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 culture is inclusive and caring. Students know the school values and expectations for behaviour. Students learn in settled and well-managed classrooms, where they support each other and take increasing responsibility for their learning. They have meaningful opportunities to take on leadership roles. Māori students feel a valued part of the school.

Strong pastoral support systems help students to be ready to learn. Deliberate practices contribute to the positive culture and help students to have more equitable access to the curriculum. The school works effectively with external agencies to support students’ wellbeing.

Children who need extra help with their learning are well supported in the classroom. Teachers know these students well as learners. They deliberately adapt their teaching to better meet individual needs and find ways to engage and excite students in their learning.

Teachers have benefitted from relevant profession learning in science and literacy. This has led to changes in teaching that has had a positive impact on student learning. Leaders provide useful feedback to teachers and foster collegial discussion about strategies to better support learners.

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

School leadership needs to be further strengthened to ensure there is sufficient monitoring by leaders of student progress and achievement. Leaders now need to clarify roles and responsibilities and would benefit from support to build leadership capability and effectiveness across the school.

Leaders need to implement systems to better know and monitor students below expected levels in their learning and ensure appropriate support. Since 2017, the board has not received adequate mid and end of year information about the progress and achievement of different groups of students across the school in reading, writing and mathematics.

Internal evaluation systems and practices need to be developed, so that leaders and trustees know what is or is not going well and what changes are needed. This includes providing the board with evaluative reports about progress towards implementing the annual plan, the impact of interventions, the effectiveness of curriculum implementation and the analysis of student engagement and attendance.

Leaders need to complete the review of the school curriculum guidelines. These need to be explicit about valuing te reo and te ao Māori, local priorities for learning, teaching expectations in core learning areas and assessment expectations. In classrooms, not all students have equitable opportunities to learn te reo Māori or about te ao Māori.

Strategic and annual planning needs to have a stronger focus on equity and excellence. Charter targets to lift the achievement of students below expected levels, do not have sufficient baseline information, such as groups of concern within the target. Leaders need to regularly report to the board about the rates and sufficiency of progress that target students make.

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 Longford Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • its caring and inclusive school culture that helps students to be ready to learn
  • strong pastoral support for students’ social and emotional wellbeing
  • effective teaching that engages and promotes students’ learning
  • relevant professional learning that has led to improved student achievement.

Next steps

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

  • continue to implement systems to identify, monitor, support and report on the progress and achievement of students across the school, so that leaders and the board can make well-informed decisions to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • strengthening internal evaluation so that leaders and the board know what is going well, what is not and what actions need to happen
  • completing the review of the school curriculum and guidelines to better guide teaching, learning and assessment across the school
  • ensuring all students have meaningful opportunities to learn te reo Māori and about te āo Māori
  • strengthening strategic and annual planning so it has a stronger focus on equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • consultation with the school’s Māori community

  • analysis and evaluation of good quality assessment information.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students [National Administration Guideline 1 (e)]

  • through the analysis of good quality assessment information evaluate the progress and achievement of students, giving priority first to student progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy [National Administration Guideline 1 (c)].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

  • in-committee procedures are followed
  • they receive reports about other student outcomes, such as analysed attendance data, stand downs and suspensions, accidents and incidents
  • there is a school-wide programme for the provision of career education and guidance for all students in Years 7 and 8
  • there is a coherent and progressive second-language programme being taught to all students.

Since the onsite stage of the review the board have responded positively to ensuring the compliance issues are being addressed.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • school leadership, including its role in the gathering, analysis and use of reliable student progress and achievement information, to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
  • the board’s understanding of its oversight of student progress and achievement and compliance.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

28 November 2019

About the school

Location

Gore

Ministry of Education profile number

3979

School type

Intermediate

School roll

196

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
NZ European/Pākehā 72%
Other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

28 November 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review February 2015
Education Review November 2011
Longitudinal Review August 2010

Findings

Longford Intermediate is a high-performing school. The curriculum is making a significant difference to students’ learning, achievement and progress.

The principal and teachers are committed to best outcomes for all students. Governance, leadership and school management systems are high quality and support school operations very well. Students’ wellbeing is very effectively supported. This impacts positively on learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Students at Longford Intermediate School attend from a wide geographical area and within the local town of Gore.

Home-school partnerships are very well developed at this school. There is frequent and effective communication with families and whānau. Teachers and the principal make themselves available to parents. Families feel welcome at the school. They are encouraged to participate in celebrations of their children’s learning. There are positive and caring relationships with students and their families. Staff make good use of links with the local community to support students in their learning.

The principal effectively drives an unrelenting focus and belief that all students can and should succeed. Students are actively encouraged and taught how to be responsible citizens. Students and staff value people’s differences. A culture of care is highly evident in the way adults interact with students and their families. Staff provide intensive support for individual students when this is required. This support can be social, emotional, pastoral or academic. Staff know students very well, as individual students and as learners.

Students benefit from the strong focus this school places on managing behaviour positively. Teachers and leaders consistently use a system of rewards and recognition as part of this. Staff make good use of an ongoing professional development programme that supports this.

There has been ongoing progress since the November 2011 ERO review. Significant progress has been made in the understanding and implementation of self review. There is strong evidence that students’ learning needs are being well met.

2 Learning

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

This school uses student achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Student achievement and progress. The principal and teachers demonstrate the importance and urgency they place on accelerating students’ learning. All students are expected to make accelerated progress in their achievement. There have been outstanding shifts in students’ achievement in writing. In 2014 almost all students made accelerated progress. Students achieve well in reading in relation to the National Standards with most being at or above. Student progress and achievement in mathematics in 2014, has not matched that of reading and writing. This is an area of ongoing focus for teachers.

Use of student achievement information. Students have an excellent understanding of their role in the learning process. They know:

  • how well they are achieving and progressing
  • what they need to do to improve their learning (next steps)
  • how to assess their own performance using comprehensive assessment methods (success criteria).

Teachers use student achievement information well to inquire into their teaching practice. They:

  • have meaningful conversations with students and provide useful written feedback about their next learning steps
  • make very successful use of professional learning and development to identify and target students who need to make accelerated progress in writing
  • use effective assessment practices to ensure the reliability and consistency of their assessment decisions
  • frequently report to parents on the progress targeted/at-risk students are making.

The principal uses student achievement and progress information very well to:

  • target students who need to make accelerated progress
  • comprehensively analyse data to identify gaps in students’ understanding
  • evaluate the success of current programmes and adapt them to improve student achievement and progress
  • inform school-wide self review.

The board and principal make strategic resourcing decisions based on well-analysed student achievement and progress information.

Next step

The principal and teachers should review half-yearly reporting to parents with particular reference to student achievement against the National Standards in mathematics.

3 Curriculum

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

This school’s curriculum is highly effective in the way it promotes and supports students’ learning. The principal and teachers ensure that all students have equitable opportunities to participate in learning experiences.

Classroom environments are settled and students are well engaged in their learning. The school’s PRIDE values (perseverance, respect, integrity, diversity, excellence) are integrated into the day-to-day life of the school and explicitly taught to students.

This school’s curriculum is very well-developed and defined. Curriculum guidelines are detailed and provide very useful support for teachers to meet the high expectations there are for teaching and learning.

Teachers and leaders adapt the school curriculum to best meet students’ needs, abilities and interests. There is a dedicated class to provide appropriately for gifted and talented students. Some learning programmes are selected to support students’ wellbeing and safety. Students make appropriate choices in what and how they learn.

Students are learning how to care for the environment through the enviro-schools programme. There are strong bicultural elements evident in the school’s curriculum. Teachers are making effective use of the local environment and outside expertise to make students’ learning relevant and authentic.

Curriculum reviews are useful, well structured and lead to changes in practice and improved outcomes for students.

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

The principal, other leaders and teachers are intent on enabling Māori students to succeed. The board, principal and teachers have high expectations for Māori students academically and socially. They are focused on raising Māori student achievement particularly in reading, writing and mathematics. Close monitoring of Māori student achievement has shown that most students have made accelerated progress.

All adults value and promote te ao Māori as part of the school curriculum. This is done with varying levels of understanding and competence. Māori students are supported in their language, identity and culture. Kapahaka provides high-quality opportunities for all students to learn waiata, haka and some tikanga Māori. Māori students are experiencing success as Māori through this programme and the growth in their confidence and self belief is clearly evident.

Students benefit from the positive two-way relationships that exist between adults in the school, students, whānau and the Māori community.

The principal has developed a plan to further promote Māori student achievement. She is in the early stages of consulting with the board, teachers, parents and the Māori community about the content of this document and its intentions.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain the things that are going really well and to continue to improve what happens for students.

Governance. Trustees are well supported in their roles and responsibilities by detailed, useful guidelines. They are very well informed about student achievement and use this information effectively to make strategic decisions that will improve outcomes for all students. The board, principal and teachers understand the importance of rigorous self review.

Self review. The board, principal and teachers focus on providing the best outcomes for students. Informal and formal self review is well embedded in many practices within the school. There is a clearly defined, systematic process for robust review including gathering the opinions of students, teachers and parents. This helps the leaders to access the information they need and then to make well-informed plans to improve.

Leadership. The principal provides highly effective leadership. This can be seen through her:

  • high expectations and the establishment of school goals
  • guidance of strategic resourcing
  • planning, coordination and evaluation of teaching and the curriculum
  • participation in professional learning and development programmes
  • management of and support for staff and students
  • genuine care for and knowledge of every student at this school.
Area for review and development

The board and principal have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely to review and refresh the school’s strategic plan to ensure it reflects all of the school’s current priorities.

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

Longford Intermediate is a high-performing school. The curriculum is making a significant difference to students’ learning, achievement and progress.

The principal and teachers are committed to best outcomes for all students. Governance, leadership and school management systems are high quality and support school operations very well. Students’ wellbeing is very effectively supported. This impacts positively on learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

10 February 2015

About the School

Location

Gore, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

3979

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

165

Gender composition

Boys: 52% Girls: 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other

76%

20%

3%

1%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

10 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

August 2010

June 2009