Link to Royal Road School ERO Report

Royal Road School 16/01/2018

ERO’s Findings About The School

School Context

Royal Road School in West Auckland, caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The school roll is 303 with 39 percent of children identifying as Māori and 32 percent having Pacific heritage. The school’s overarching arching vision is, ‘Resilient, Flexible learners who can apply strong learning principles to any situation’. The school values are sustainability, pride, aroha, respect and Kia kaha (SPARK). The vision and school charter are underpinned by three goals:

  • students are self-motivated and connected to their learning pathway
  • students have a strong sense of who they are and where they come from
  • students are aware of their place in the community and the world.

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

  • progress and achievement for all students and for Māori, Pacific and other students whose learning needs acceleration
  • trends and patterns in relation to priority students
  • wellbeing and engagement with learning.

The school is a member of the Massey Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for the majority of students. Over the last three years achievement has improved for the majority of children in reading, writing and mathematics. This very good improvement trend continues into 2017.

The school’s 2016 achievement data show that while all children have made good progress in writing, disparity has increased for Māori and Pacific children. There is also disparity for boys in writing achievement.

Very good progress has been made in reading, with all children improving over time. The majority of Māori children achieved well in 2016 and this continues in 2017, with increasing parity evident. The majority of girls and Pacific students require further support to accelerate their learning progress in reading. This will enable them to achieve the accelerated progress that other groups are demonstrating.

The school’s 2014 to 2016 data show that the majority of children have made good progress in mathematics and all improved in 2016. There is increasing parity for Māori students, who are achieving well in mathematics.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Royal Road School responds well to those Māori and Pacific and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The school’s wellbeing and learning strategy of ‘Knowing the Learner’ underpins the school’s interaction with children and their whānau. A culturally responsive approach is having a positive impact on all children, most particularly those who are at risk of not achieving.

Children at risk of not achieving are monitored and their progress is tracked by senior leaders and teachers. Leaders have identified that more frequent scrutiny of information about children who are not making sufficient progress could support their acceleration. This scrutiny could help teachers to address disparities in writing achievement.

Teachers plan and teach in responsive ways, to accelerate children’s learning progress. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively alongside parents, whānau, teacher aides, community and external agencies to ensure learner centred relationships and responses are working for children.

School leaders and staff participate in professional development to support culturally responsive practices. This has impacted positively on Māori and Pacific children, as well as other children whose learning needs accelerating. Collaborative learning approaches support children’s participation and engagement in learning and are also having a positive impact on achievement.

Students achieve well in relation to the school’s three valued outcome goals in respect of self-motivation, sense of self, and awareness of community and the wider world.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s SPARK values are clearly understood by children and adults and unify the school community. The values are deeply embedded, and set clear and consistent social expectations to support good conditions for teaching and learning.

Best practice indicators inform high level curriculum design. The curriculum is responsive to the aspirations and ideas of children, parents and whānau. Learning environments encourage and support children’s participation. There are high levels of student engagement in learning across the school.

The board, leaders and teachers have a strengths-based approach to optimising potential for all children and creating pathways for children to succeed. To ensure this happens, school leaders use current research, and practice that is evidence based, to implement cohesive schoolwide interventions for improvement.

The board resources the school strategically by scrutinising priorities and ensuring that resourcing is allocated where it will have greatest impact for children. The introduction of digital technologies is an example of the board and leaders acting to ensure children’s and families’ interests are at the fore.

Effective school leadership has established a learning environment where the community is valued. The school has close relationships with whānau and the community, and a culture of trust and respect is well embedded.

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

To further develop the school’s practices for the achievement of equity and excellence school leaders agree to:

  • continue to promote te reo and tikanga across the school, honouring the school’s policy of bicultural practices for all children
  • continue to develop learner centred relationships with whānau and the community
  • continue to regularly and deeply scrutinise student achievement data
  • more fully engage in professional inquiry through deeper internal evaluation
  • implement a more robust and critical approach to performance management.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure that teacher appraisal processes meet the requirements of the Education Council of NZ.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a school culture where teachers know each learner well and undertake to provide a high level of responsive teaching for each child
  • leadership and stewardship that foster equity and excellence by enabling children to learn in a challenging, well-resourced learning environment that supports their wellbeing
  • a culturally located curriculum that is based on best practice and promotes good academic outcomes for all children
  • very well supported transitions from preschool, through the school, and on to secondary school.