Internal evaluation processes

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


You can never be complacent. You are never done.

Evaluation and review are the engine room that drives the improvement agenda forward, involving all within the learning community in an ongoing cycle.

Key messages:

  • The strategic vision for the school provides the basis for ongoing evaluation
  • Strategic, regular and emergent evaluations are underpinned by an ongoing process of gathering, interrogating and making sense of the data
  • A range evidence is used, including the voices of children, teachers, parents and community, depending on the context for the evaluation
  • The approach to professional learning involves teachers in an ongoing inquiry process
  • The implementation of action plans is accompanied by ongoing inquiry and evaluation 

Things to think about:

  • Who do you involve, and what is the range of evidence that you draw on to drive your school evaluation processes and improve outcomes?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 1: Stewardship
    • Evaluation indicator
      • The board scrutinises the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

(The video opens on a man sitting in an office, speaking into the camera. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Laurie Thew, Principal, Manurewa Central School”. As he says “constantly”, the camera changes to a scene in an office where Laurie sits at a table with two women. They talk amongst themselves as they look through folders and papers, but we can’t hear what they say. Laurie continues to speak in voiceover.)


Once you decide what kind of school you want and how you want it to operate you're constantly judging whether or not that's working.


(The camera closes-up on one of the papers on the table and one of the women points to it with a pen.)


And are we getting the achievement results we want? Are the children engaged the way we would want? What are they doing in the playground? What are they doing in the classroom? We're constantly talking about that.


(A woman’s voice takes over the voiceover as the scene continues.)


Self-review is review and evaluation.


(The video now shows the woman who is speaking, sitting in front of a window covered by a blind. Text on the bottom of the screen reads, “Michelle Dibben, Deputy Principal, Manurewa Central School”.)


So we see is two parts of the same process.


(The camera now shows two women in a classroom, discussing something as one points to a paper on the table in front of them.)


We involve as many people as possible in the review process.


(The scene continues as Laurie’s voice returns in voiceover.)


We are making a decision about which stakeholders are important in this particular setting or this particular context.


(The camera closes-up on one of the woman’s faces. She smiles and nods. As he says “team level” the video returns to Laurie in his office.)


What we do and what we think depends on what the teachers and their teams say when they discuss at a team level.

It also depends on what the children say when we get the feedback from student voice. And then we have our community feedback.


(We return to Michelle Dibben very briefly before we are back to the meeting with Laurie. He flips through a document.)


From that we're able then to put together an action plan of where we want to go next. The evaluation part comes in when you've got that action plan that feeds into the overall strategic plan.


(As she says “working” the scene changes to the outside of a building. Through the window we can see a meeting taking place inside. The camera then shifts to indoors and we see Laurie taking a seat. The camera pans across the meeting as people listen to a man who is speaking.)


And then you evaluate through the year to see what's working and what isn't. And at different points in time we might actually ask the students again: how's it going? Go back to the parents ask them: how's it going? So it involves everybody.


(The voiceover changes to a woman’s voice as the meeting continues. When she says “data” the camera switches to show the speaker sitting in an office. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Sandy Griffin, Deputy Principal, Manurewa Central School”.)


In our review process there's opportunities to stop and take breathe and to catch ourselves to collect some data, to unpack that data, and to see what those figures tell us.


(She continues to speak in voiceover as the video returns to the first meeting, where Laurie sits at the end of the table. The camera switches between people’s faces as they speak.)


And to have those round the table discussions based on what we've done, what we currently doing, what the data is telling us. It's all those pathways of inquiry, really.


(The camera briefly shows Sandy again then Michelle as she speaks into the camera. We then return to the meeting.)


We have three review processes-- the strategic review which is done at board level, it includes things like policies, budgeting, and reviewing the training of the board. Then we have our major reviews.


(We are back with Michelle.)


This year it's been maths and literacy, in particular writing.


(The camera closes-up on a door with a plaque reading “Deputy Principal”. It then pans out to show Michelle sitting at her desk, typing into her computer.)


And then we have minor reviews.


(The camera zooms in on her face, then shows her writing something down.)


So a problem may arise-- an example of this is we had some questions over the validity of how teachers were analysing their reading data.


(The camera zooms into the desk, panning across the spines of folders sitting next to the computer. It pauses on three labelled, “Student and Community Engagement”, “Teaching as Inquiry Curriculum and Assessment” and “Priority Learners Maori and Pasifika”.)


So it wasn't something that was planned for, but we knew it was something that needed to be addressed.


(We now see Sandy Griffin speaking into the camera.)


It's not static. It's always changing. It changes with our community. It changes with changes in technology. It changes with the level of the skill base and the interests of staff. It changes with the needs and the requirements in the achievements of the students that we work with.


(The camera returns to Michelle in her office.)


So we'll start with the bigger picture stuff.


(Her voiceover continues as the scene shifts to the round table meeting. Laurie writes something down as a woman talks.)


What does this mean across the school or across Year groups?

And then we'll drill down a little bit deeper and say: OK, so what are these results actually telling us about groups of children? And what does it mean for individuals? Each term we track individual progress, based on standardised assessments. But we're also tracking progress in terms of what they're doing in the lessons as well.


(They talk among themselves and then we close-up on Laurie.)


So the formative stuff as well as the summative stuff.


(The video returns to Michelle.)


We knew that our writing results weren't as favourable as our reading and maths.


(Her voiceover continues and the camera changes to two women in a classroom, sitting at a desk. One points to something on a piece of paper and the camera closes in on their faces as they discuss something.)


So we set about getting student voice. We did a teacher survey. We looked at books. We did book trawls. We looked in classroom environments-- to gather as much data as we could about writing and where we felt our strengths were. And where we felt our areas of development were.


(We return to Michelle briefly before seeing the women once more.)


At the same time we were really having a focus on introducing our own model of Teaching as Inquiry into the school. So we developed a professional learning journey, that would take us through the review of writing.


(The camera is back on Michelle.)


So that the teachers could see what an inquiry process looked like.


(Back to the women and their discussion. One of them points at a paper and the other nods.)


And how we were gathering all of this information, and how we put it all

together into an action plan.


(As she says “formative” the camera shows a close-up of a printed spreadsheet as someone flips through the pages. It then returns to the women.)


So when we got all the data together what was interesting was formative assessment came over strongly from the teachers feeling that they wanted more PD support in formative assessment. And we weren't seeing it in books in the way perhaps that we'd like to.


(The video returns to Michelle, closing-up on her face.)


The students couldn't really answer the questions in the way that we would have expected them to about their learning. So when we put all that together and triangulated it we thought: OK, it's formative assessment we need to try and focus on first, which we did through 2015.


(We now very briefly see Laurie, speaking into the camera. He stands outside with a playground in the background.)


And every year it's a new cohort of people.


(Laurie now stands on a street corner wearing a neon yellow safety vest. Cars zip past between him and the camera.)


Every year there's 100 new five-year-olds walk in.


(Looking outward from the school gates, we can see adults cross a road at a crossing as they escort students to school.)


Every year the requirements of the government and the ministry change, the parents, the community has changed. You're always chasing your tail. You can never be complacent.


(The camera shows the scene from a different angle, facing the school. There is a war memorial in the foreground that reads “Their name liveth for evermore” in big bold letters. Students walk past it and down the path towards the school.)


You're never done.