Tisbury School

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School Context

Tisbury School is a semi-rural school providing education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a roll of 120 children, 17 of whom are Māori.

The school’s vision is for confident (Kia Kaha), resourceful (Kia Maia), life-long learners (Kia Manawanui). Trustees aim to achieve these outcomes by supporting effective teaching; cultural responsiveness, home-school collaboration and acceleration of learning for students not yet achieving at the school’s expected levels.

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

  • achievement and progress against New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading, writing and mathematics
  • development and demonstration of key competencies for learning
  • aspects of student wellbeing.

Teachers have participated in whole school professional learning on teaching of writing, cultural responsiveness and positive behaviour management. The school is a part of the Invercargill Kāhui Ako.

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 effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School information for the last three years shows:

  • most students achieve at and above the school’s curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics

  • most students make expected or accelerated annual progress in their learning

  • equitable outcomes for Māori and non-Māori students in reading, writing and mathematics

  • equitable outcomes for boys and girls in reading and mathematics, with some disparity for boys in writing

  • an increasing proportion of students achieving at and above expectations in writing over time (with the exception of 2019)

  • most students demonstrate key competencies for learning at appropriate levels

  • most students report positive wellbeing outcomes.

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

The school is effective in accelerating the learning of students targeted for this. School information for two of the last three years shows that the majority of students targeted for acceleration did so. However, annual school targets have been focused on one learning area at a time and hence reporting has not shown outcomes for all students below the school’s curriculum expectations. This has been addressed for 2020.

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 continue to benefit from a positive, caring and inclusive learning community. This effectively fosters their engagement in learning and sense of belonging and wellbeing. The positive school culture is intentionally nurtured through relational teaching approaches that emphasise the importance of students getting to know, and feeling known by, their peers and teachers. There is a strong focus on promoting students’ wellbeing and social and emotional competencies through targeted and whole-school health programmes. Teachers explicitly teach the school’s expectations for learning and behaviour, and recognise and celebrate students’ developing ability to demonstrate these.

Curriculum design is highly responsive to student and parent aspirations and well-focused on building students’ knowledge of themselves as learners. The curriculum reflects the school community’s priorities of physical and emotional wellbeing, resilience and cultural responsiveness. New Zealand’s bicultural heritage is increasingly visible and valued in learning environments, practices and programmes. Teachers are facilitating increased opportunities for students to follow their interests and direct their own and others’ learning. Students are actively involved in monitoring their own progress in becoming a successful, self-managing learner.

Teachers skilfully use a range of effective teaching strategies to engage students in thinking and learning. Consistent, coherent school-wide teaching practices are very well supported by clear, comprehensive guidelines and expectations for teaching. Learning information is well used by teachers and leaders to identify students’ next learning steps and teaching priorities. Students’ diverse learning and wellbeing needs are well known and responded to through a wide range of targeted programmes and initiatives. Strengthened practices for communicating and building learning partnerships with parents are in place. Teachers are open to learning and trialling new teaching approaches and strategies.

Since the July 2015 ERO review, the school has sustained its good performance. School leadership effectively promotes and enables equity and excellence for all students. Leaders set high expectations for teaching, learning and behaviour and promote collective ownership for student outcomes. School systems, structures, processes and practices are aligned and coherent and linked to student outcomes and strategic goals. Leaders actively promote and participate in teacher learning and development. They model and encourage critical reflection and engagement with internal and external evaluation processes to inform ongoing school improvement. They are effectively promoting educational partnerships and connections across the education community to support teacher development and positive outcomes for students.

Trustees, leaders and teachers use regular review and reporting processes effectively to know about student outcomes and aspects of teaching effectiveness, and to inform decisions about how to improve them.

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

A strength of the school is its purposeful curriculum design and the trialling of new approaches to accelerate learning for those who need it. School leaders and teachers now need to ensure that recent curriculum developments and initiatives are evaluated to know how effectively they are impacting on teaching practice and outcomes for students.

Trustees and leaders need to extend the way the school consults with and reports to whānau and iwi Māori on plans and actions to support Māori student success.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that school targets and systems for monitoring and reporting on the progress of students at risk of poor educational outcomes need to be extended to focus on all students achieving below the school’s achievement expectations.

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 Tisbury School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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:

  • provision of a positive, caring, inclusive learning culture that supports students’ engagement, wellbeing and social and emotional growth
  • a curriculum that reflects and responds to students’ and their families’ aspirations and interests and builds students’ ability to be successful, self-managing learners
  • school leadership which promotes the conditions conducive to effective teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring new curriculum developments and initiatives are evaluated to know about the impact on teaching and learning
  • extending reporting to whānau and iwi Māori on the school’s actions and plans to support Māori student success
  • extending targets, and systems for monitoring these, to include all children at risk of not achieving at expected levels.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

16 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Findings

The school provide a curriculum responsive to students’ interests, needs and cultures. Teachers know their students well as learners and students have a very good awareness of their achievement levels. School planning is based on identified key priorities with a specific focus on raising student achievement and ensuring a supportive and appropriate environment for 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?

Tisbury School is a small semi-rural school providing education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school’s vision is that with support of family its students will become confident, resourceful, life-long learners. The school’s curriculum places an emphasis on literacy and mathematical learning.

There were a number of changes in teaching staff at the beginning of 2015. The school is appropriately focusing on ensuring that teachers have a shared understanding of the school’s vision and how students are to be supported in their learning.

Since the last ERO review in 2012 all trustees on the board are new. The school has made significant progress with the recommendations made in the last ERO report. These include the development of the school’s curriculum and a more rigorous school-evaluation process.

Reports to the board show that most students are achieving well across the learning areas, including reading and mathematics. Achievement levels are lower for writing. The school has set an appropriate target to lift achievement in this area.

2 Learning

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

The school uses a range of achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to improve students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

Teachers know their students well as individual learners. They use achievement information effectively to:

  • identify students’ learning needs, interests and abilities
  • guide their planning and teaching
  • evaluate the impact of their teaching, especially in writing as this is a major 2015 focus area.

School leaders carry out comprehensive analyses of school-wide and cohort achievement data. This leads to:

  • identifying areas of need and setting targets to address these areas
  • purposeful performance-management systems, including relevant professional learning and development (PLD) and appraisal goals for teachers
  • useful evaluation of the impact of teaching and learning programmes across all learning areas
  • informed use of teacher aides and learning-support programmes
  • informative and useful reports to the board.

The board of trustees has an in-depth and relevant knowledge of student achievement and the work of the school. Trustees use this information effectively in their planning to improve outcomes for students.

Students have a very good awareness of their achievement levels in relation to what is expected of them. Some students carry out assessment of their own work and identify their next learning steps.

3 Curriculum

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

Students’ learning is promoted and supported successfully by the school’s curriculum and responsive teaching.

Findings to support this judgement

They use a teaching approach that makes purposeful links across curriculum areas. Students develop useful skills to access and process information, in particular about their inquiry topics.Students’ benefit from a broad range of experiences. Teachers seek and respond to students’ interests.

The school values are shared regularly with students, building their appreciation of what they mean in practice. The school is currently involved in a programme to enhance the school culture and create a more supportive environment for learning.

Further significant features of the curriculum include:

  • specific initiatives in oral language, mathematics and reading designed to address identified areas of need
  • purposeful use of teacher aides to support students’ learning
  • teachers using a range of appropriate and effective communication approaches to engage parents and families with their children’s learning
  • the school’s belief that kotahitanga/working together, whanaungatanga/developing relationships and ako/focused learning will benefit students’ learning.
Next step

School leaders acknowledge that teachers need to provide students with specific and useful feedback on their learning and next steps for ongoing improvement. This should contribute further to the school’s value of students taking responsibility for their own learning.

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

A significant number (13%) of students at the school identify as Māori. These students achieve very well in reading and mathematics, and slightly lower in writing.

Māori students are seeing and hearing their culture become part of school practices. This includes daily karakia, students knowing their mihi and a school kapahaka group.

The school has held hui to gather Māori whānau perspectives and aspirations. Ongoing school evaluations increasingly include reviewing school programmes and practices from a Māori point of view.

Teachers, leaders and trustees are committed to providing a culturally responsive curriculum. They recognise that this is an area for ongoing development.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has robust evaluation processes. This means that the school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. There is a strong alignment between governance, leadership, management, teachers, the curriculum and student learning. This gives the school a strong sense of purpose and a very close focus on the student's achievement and wellbeing.

Findings to support this judgement

The principal coordinates comprehensive and useful evaluations of learning programmes. These are informed by multiple perspectives from parents, students and teachers. The school collaborates with other schools and accesses external support to affirm and improve performance and expectations to ensure good student outcomes. Evaluation reports to the board include suitable recommendations with supporting action plans for implementation.

The board uses thorough processes to review its policies and its own performance.

Decisions made at board and school leadership levels are based on strong evidence. Evaluation findings lead to meaningful strategic and annual planning. The planning is based on identified key priorities with a specific focus on raising student achievement and ensuring a supportive and appropriate environment for learning.

The principal and board recognise and use the strengths and interests of people within the school community.

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 provide a curriculum responsive to students’ interests, needs and cultures. Teachers know their students well as learners and students have a very good awareness of their achievement levels. School planning is based on identified key priorities with a specific focus on raising student achievement and ensuring a supportive and appropriate environment for learning.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

1 July 2015

About the School

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

4029

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

110

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other

81%

13%

3%

3%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

1 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

2012

2010

2007