Wyndham School

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School Context

Wyndham School is a Year 1 to 6 contributing school in rural Southland. It has a roll of 99 children.

The school’s vision is to inspire children to want to succeed and aim high. The school aims to support children to be respectful, considerate and responsible – to develop self-belief, make the right choices, strive to be their best and to reach their goals.

In order to achieve these outcomes the school has the following strategic priorities:

  • to accelerate the learning of those children not yet at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics and to promote children’s engagement in learning
  • to build 21st Century skills – including digital literacy and self-management for learning
  • to establish a safe and inclusive learning environment for all children
  • to provide ongoing professional development for teachers.

To know about the school’s performance, the board receives regular school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement against New Zealand curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement outcomes for children participating in interventions to accelerate their learning
  • aspects of student wellbeing and safety.

Since the school’s last ERO review in 2015, teachers have participated in Ministry of Education professional development programmes on how to accelerate children’s learning in writing and mathematics, and on building a positive learning culture.

The school is a member of the Lower Mataura Valley Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL), along with four other local schools.  As part of the CoL, teachers are participating in professional development on the greater integration of digital technology in teaching and learning.

The school has an experienced board of trustees with most members having served for the past four years.

The school has a high number of children with additional needs. Some children enrol in and leave the school throughout the year.

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 progressing towards equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School information for the last three years shows that most children achieve at or above the school’s expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.  These achievement levels have been well sustained over time. While there is some disparity in outcomes for Māori children in writing, and mathematics over time, this was reduced in 2017.

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

This school is effective in accelerating the learning for children who are below expected achievement levels in reading and writing. There is a strong focus on accelerating children’s progress in writing. This has resulted in teachers developing shared understandings of effective practice in writing across year levels.

Interventions to accelerate children’s learning in mathematics have had more variable results. There is evidence that a school initiative to accelerate children’s progress in oral language is successful.

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 curriculum effectively reflects the vision and values of the school. The school’s values are highly visible and evident in curriculum planning and delivery. There is a positive learning environment where children feel valued and secure. Positive relationships between teachers and students are evident and senior students value the opportunity to be role models to younger students.

Children’s learning is supported by effective and responsive teaching and learning approaches. Teachers closely monitor individual children’s progress, achievement and development. They identify and respond quickly to children’s learning needs.

Children with additional needs are well catered for and supported to participate in learning alongside their peers. The school effectively works with external agencies to provide support for students who have identified needs. It works closely with the adjacent secondary school to plan for children’s transitions and to improve alignment of teaching and assessment practices.

Teachers are well supported by relevant and collaborative professional development. A school-wide focus on 21st Century teaching is promoting greater collaboration for planning and teaching. Children have equitable access to digital learning tools and equipment to enhance their learning. The principal and teachers are involved in leadership roles in the local CoL. They are working collaboratively with other leaders and teachers on developing and sharing effective practice. The school has extended the way it involves parents and whānau in children’s learning, through the use of digital technology. 

School leadership ensures an orderly and supportive environment that effectively promotes student learning and well being. The principal has built relational trust at all levels of the school community. Leadership has high expectations for student achievement and behaviour. The principal has established clear systems and guidelines for teaching and learning and behaviour management to support these expectations.

Trustees have a well-developed strategic plan that effectively guides the direction of the school.  Parents’ views are regularly sought to inform the school’s direction and future planning. Trustees scrutinise the effectiveness of the school in achieving student outcomes. They make strategic resourcing decisions aimed at improving outcomes for all children. The school is well supported by the local and parent community. This is evident in the provision of resources and the development of school facilities. 

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

The board, leaders and teachers need to strengthen internal evaluation to ensure there is a systematic process for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of programmes, practices and policies.

Leaders needs to develop a system for monitoring the sufficiency of progress children make over time at a school-wide level. This will enable better tracking of trends and patterns for key groups of children.

Leaders and teachers need to extend and embed the new template for planning to accelerate the progress of individual children. This will provide assurance that all priority children are being planned for and will help leaders and teachers to know what works for whom.

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:

  • effective school-wide processes and practices that sustain a safe and inclusive learning environment for children
  • useful collaborations that support learners and learning
  • experienced and effective governance that guides the school.

Next steps

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

  • systems for better school-wide monitoring and reporting about student progress to ensure sufficiency and rates of progress are clear
  • making internal evaluation more systematic so that it best supports decision making.

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

14 May 2018

About the school 

Location

Wyndham

Ministry of Education profile number

4054

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

99

Gender composition

Boys:   57

Girls:   42

Ethnic composition

Māori:     15

Pākehā:  78

Pacific:     2

Other:      4

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

14 May 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review:   February 2015

Education Review:   October 2011

Education  Review:  May 2010

Findings

Many practices are improving at Wyndham School. Students enjoy caring and affirming relationships with each other and their teachers. Student achievement has improved significantly school wide. Students who need extra support in their learning take part in very effective support programmes and make accelerated progress. The principal and board ably lead and manage the school.

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?

Students at Wyndham School enjoy caring and affirming relationships with each other and their teachers. The school has implemented a programme that promotes positive behaviour. Students who spoke with ERO said that this is a friendly and welcoming school and they feel safe here.

The school draws students from a wide rural area with 60% travelling by bus. It has a growing roll and manages well the changing group of students as families move in and out of the area for work.

The principal and most teachers are new to the school since the last ERO review in October 2011. The school has come through a period of being governed by a Commissioner and Limited Statutory Manager. The new board and principal are committed to upholding the vision of ‘helping students to want to succeed’ and values of ‘respect, responsibility and consideration’. These underpin what happens for teachers and students and provide a strong base on which to build students’ self esteem and sense of belonging.

The school benefits from strong support from the local community and close links with Menzies College - (for example, sharing expertise and the use of the community swimming pools).

In 2014, the board began improving infrastructure and resources to enable better ICT learning for students.

The school has successfully addressed the recommendations in relation to the National Standards in the last ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement are being made through the use of achievement information.

Teachers use a range of assessments to help them make reliable judgements about the achievement of their students. Student assessment results are tracked and show progress over time. Teachers use this information to identify students who need extra support to succeed in their learning.

The principal collates and analyses school-wide student achievement data well. She interprets trends and patterns over time and reports this information to the board showing the effectiveness of programmes and what actions may be taken to improve.

Students who need extra support in their learning take part in effective intervention and support programmes. The purpose of these programmes is for students to enjoy learning and make accelerated progress. This is closely monitored and continually reviewed so that school resources are used to best effect. School information shows that students who have been included in the ‘Boost’ programme in particular, have made significant gains and most have now reached the National Standards in mathematics and literacy.

Trustees make decisions for staffing and resources based on students’ achievement information. Since mid 2013, student achievement has improved significantly school-wide.

Areas for review and development

Teachers across all classrooms need to:

  • more fully analyse assessment data so that it becomes meaningful information that they can use to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning
  • consistently share achievement information and next steps for learning with students to further empower them as learners.

3 Curriculum

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

Students take part in a wide variety of interesting activities that promote and support their learning.

The school has detailed and useful guidelines to support teachers in their work. These should help build consistently high-quality practice across the school. The school values are a focus for learning and developing life skills in students. The senior student graduate profile shows an intention for students to be well-rounded, confident learners.

Students, particularly senior students, have some choice in what and how they learn and in key developments in the school environment. They take leadership roles such as leading whānau groups, ICT presentations and road patrols.

Teachers in all classrooms have established very good relationships with their students. Students are learning to manage aspects of their own learning, such as working cooperatively and independently, being ready and willing to learn and believing in themselves as learners. Teachers make the learning clear for students.

The professional development programme is further building teachers’ capacity in curriculum delivery and teaching practice. The principal has established a collegial, collaborative culture among staff.

Next Steps

To continue to improve students’ learning:

  • they need a greater understanding of, involvement in and ability to clearly articulate the learning and assessment processes and the part they play in them
  • the curriculum could be made more relevant by better linking learning with the local and cultural contexts
  • the quality and consistency of teaching practice could be raised across the school so that best practice becomes common practice.
How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

In a short period of time the school has significantly improved the ways in which Māori students are supported to engage and achieve in their learning. In 2013 the overall level of Māori achievement in reading, writing and mathematics improved markedly.

The school’s valuing of the language, culture and identity of Māori students and their whānau has become more visible. The new board and principal have created an inclusive school environment and meaningful relationships with staff, students and families/whānau. Māori students have a strong sense of belonging and of being known and cared for. With support from the local high school, Māori language and culture is being increasingly well integrated into the life of the school. The involvement of Māori whānau/families has increased considerably.

The school’s 2014 data still shows a lower rate of progress for Māori students. A next step for teachers is to more regularly and clearly show how well classroom teaching and learning supports the board’s targets for lifting Māori student achievement. The board could now define and develop understandings of success as Māori and include this in the strategic planning.

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.

The new trustees have been through an effective programme with the commissioner and School Trustees Association to inform them about the efficient workings of a school. They are very clear about and highly engaged in their governance roles and responsibilities.

The school is involved in helpful, collaborative networks with other primary schools, as well as the local high school and preschools. These connections provide ongoing support as Wyndham School considers developing modern learning environments and developing consistently effective teaching practices.

The principal and board regularly gather information from the parent community. There are useful systems, processes and guidelines to support rigorous review. The principal’s reports to the board are informative and useful, of very good quality and easy to understand. Trustees receive very informative reports on the impact that support programmes are having on accelerating students’ achievement. The principal is capably leading the school. She has effectively improved communication between the school, parents and wider community.

She invites parents into the school so they can become familiar with the environment and contribute to making decisions about what happens for their children. She values and is valued by students, staff and trustees. She is strategic in her management of change and is building consistent practices for staff.

Area for development

The principal agrees that she will ensure the strategic goals are monitored and reported on regularly to the board.

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

Many practices are improving at Wyndham School. Students enjoy caring and affirming relationships with each other and their teachers. Student achievement has improved significantly school wide. Students who need extra support in their learning take part in very effective support programmes and make accelerated progress. The principal and board ably lead and manage the school.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern Select Region

18 February 2015

About the School

Location

Wyndham, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

4054

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

114

Gender composition

Boys: 56% Girls: 44%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

African

Other

78%

18%

2%

2%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

18 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

May 2010

April 2007