2015 ERO Report

At Anderson's Bay School we are very proud of our recent Education Review Office visit and subsequent report.  The current review from 2011 identified Anderson's Bay School as a very highly performing school which has been allowed a 4 - 5 year review cycle.  ERO identify the schools across New Zealand who attain a 4 - 5 year review cycle through the following phrase "Tukuna te paehiranga kia topa! - Let Excellence Soar!".  We are proud that the extremely high quality programmes, teaching and learning opportunities and our localised Anderson's Bay School Curriculum have been acknowledged and reflected in our recent review, as outlined below.

 

The ERO team said:

 

The school’s vision of ‘Absolutely the Best We Can Be’ is strongly evident in the high expectations of staff and students

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers use achievement information very effectively to make decisions that enable students to experience success as learners

Teachers have a deep knowledge of each student’s learning needs, strengths and interests. Reliable assessment systems and practices are evident.”

Students are very positive about their school, teachers and the wide range of learning opportunities. They benefit from a broad curriculum and the regular use of local resources and expertise.”

 

 

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Findings

Students achieve at high levels against the National Standards and benefit from a wide range of learning experiences across the curriculum. There is a caring and respectful culture across the school. The school is well led and governed. There is strong evidence of ongoing improvement in order to provide the best for students.

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?

The school’s vision of ‘Absolutely the Best We Can Be’ is strongly evident in the high expectations of staff and students. Students can confidently talk about the four ‘pillars’ of respectful, resilient, responsible and reflective behaviours. This is a direct result of a school-wide initiative to build a positive culture.

ERO noted very caring relationships among staff and between staff and students. There is a strong focus on valuing and involving parents in their children’s learning and school life. Parents in turn are very supportive of the school. The school has an experienced staff, many of whom are long serving.

Since the 2011 ERO review there have been a number of changes. The roll has grown and an enrolment scheme is being implemented. Some areas of the school have been upgraded or rebuilt to better reflect a modern-learning environment.

Anderson’s Bay School is part of a cluster of local schools. This relationship enables sharing of ideas and resources and access to additional learning opportunities and experiences for students.

The school has a strong reporting history with ERO. The recommendations in the 2011 report have been partially addressed.

2. Learning

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

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers use achievement information very effectively to make decisions that enable students to experience success as learners.

Across the school, there are very high levels of achievement against the National Standards. Approximately 90% of students achieve at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics.

Writing is closer to 85%. The school has set appropriate targets to lift the achievement of students who need extra help to succeed.

Most students can confidently talk about their goals and next learning steps and regularly review their progress against these. Through the school there was variability in students’ understanding about how well they were achieving and the frequency of opportunities to assess their own and their peers’ work.

Teachers have a deep knowledge of each student’s learning needs, strengths and interests. Reliable assessment systems and practices are evident. Teachers:

  • ensure students at risk with their learning are quickly identified and very well supported
  • can show that most at-risk students make accelerated progress
  • keep parents well informed about their children’s learning.

The senior leadership team keeps a tight overview of student progress and achievement, especially for students at risk with their learning. They actively promote effective assessment systems and practices.

Trustees receive regular and useful reports on student progress and achievement, especially in literacy and mathematics. They use this information very well when making resourcing decisions.

Key next step

Reports to the board about students’ progress and achievement could be improved to include recommendations as to what staff and/or trustees might do to address identified concerns.

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 are very positive about their school, teachers and the wide range of learning opportunities. They benefit from a broad curriculum and the regular use of local resources and expertise.

The school has detailed guidelines for curriculum planning and delivery. For example, the New Zealand Curriculum principles have been carefully described as to what they should look like in this school.

Students with special needs receive high quality support. A specialist teacher works closely with parents, classroom teachers and teacher aides to best support these students. The deliberate and detailed planning, teaching and monitoring ensure these students have many opportunities for success.

There is strong support for students who are at risk of not achieving. This includes a range of purposeful in-and-out of class interventions, supported by competent teacher aides.

Other curriculum strengths are the:

  • well-considered systems and practices to support a positive and inclusive school culture
  • range of opportunities to enrich and extend students with special interests and abilities
  • ongoing review of different initiatives and programmes.

The school has a major focus on increasing student and teacher competence in digital technologies. A specialist teacher provides deliberate instruction in digital skills for staff and students.

The school has a strong early-transition programme with well-planned initiatives to prepare children for school. The new-entrant teachers work closely with families prior to entry so that students settle quickly into school.

Teachers are expected to integrate a Māori dimension and some te reo Māori. However, the depth and frequency of this varies from class to class. Best practice was seen when teachers provided regular and increasingly challenging te reo Māori and found frequent opportunities to include a Māori perspective.

The school has identified its next steps are to:

  • increase the use of digital technologies
  • grow innovative and modern-learning practices through the school and develop a shared understanding about these.

ERO agrees with the school’s priorities, and next steps should include:

  • increasing opportunities for students to take responsibility for managing their own learning
  • extending curriculum reviews to include areas beyond literacy and mathematics.

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

About 13% of students identify as Māori. These students achieve very well. They achieve as well as their peers at the school. The school has high expectations for its Māori students.

Teachers have benefited from past work to build their language skills and understanding of core Māori concepts. Their appraisal includes consideration of these.

The school and parents of Māori students have identified some useful next steps. These include:

  • strengthening how the school gathers the views of whānau Māori
  • ongoing strengthening of how Māori language and culture are integrated into the school.

ERO recommends that the school develops action planning to ensure these things happen.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

This school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school is well led by a strong, collaborative and improvement-focused leadership team. The principal recognises and uses the staff strengths. He sets a tone of care and empathy for staff and students.

Throughout the school there is a strong focus on ongoing improvement. Effective leaders head each teaching team. Within the teams and across the school staff members work closely in order to provide the best for children.

Reflection and innovation are encouraged. For example, several junior school teachers are leading the introduction of a more collaborative approach to teaching. Other teachers are leading initiatives related to improving appraisal and better use of digital technologies.

Other factors that contribute to ongoing improvement are the:

  • well-planned implementation of new initiatives
  • rigorous appraisal system that has a strong focus on improving teaching practice.

The board is very focused on what is best for students now and in the future. It makes well-informed resourcing decisions with long-term sustainability in mind. Trustees have a sound understanding of governance. The board could simplify the school’s strategic and annual plans so that these better reflect the school’s key 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

Students achieve at high levels against the National Standards and benefit from a wide range of learning experiences across the curriculum. There is a caring and respectful culture across the school. The school is well led and governed. There is strong evidence of ongoing improvement in order to provide the best for students.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

9 October 2015

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3703

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

303

Gender composition

Boys: 55%

Girls: 45%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other

74%

13%

7%

6%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

9 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

February 2008

April 2005

ANDERSONS BAY SCHOOL REPORTS

 

92 Jeffery Street, Anderson's Bay, 9013 Dunedin
(03) 454 4413