ERO Report

Below is the latest Aberfeldy School ERO Report

Aberfeldy School – 18/08/2017


Aberfeldy is a small rural school, north of Whanganui. It caters for Years 1 to 8 students from local rural families and urban families who choose to send their children to a smaller rural school.

The roll recently dropped to 15 when families left the district. This has meant the initial charter targets have had to be revised to meet the current student needs. The roll is made up of 40% Māori and 60% Pākehā.

The physical environment reflects the projects undertaken as part of being an enviro school.

Since the May 2014 ERO report the school has re-established itself after considerable disruption due to flooding isolating the school.

Aspects of self-review and appraisal identified as areas for development in the previous review have not been fully addressed. There is also a need to review and update the local curriculum and some policies and procedures.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

The school is responding well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School achievement information shows all current children are on track to achieve at or above the National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is evidence of improvement in children’s achievement over time. Often accelerated progress is evident.

Agreed next steps are to review and strengthen:

  • internal evaluation
  • performance management systems
  • the school’s curriculum
  • some policies and procedures.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Aberfeldy School was effective in responding to those children whose learning and achievement needed acceleration in 2016. At the time of this review achievement information indicates all children will achieve National Standards expectations by the end of 2017.

In 2016, student achievement information showed almost all students achieved at or above the National Standards expectations for reading, writing and mathematics. Girls achieved better than boys, and all girls met the expected Standard for mathematics. There was disparity between Māori and Pākehā students in 2016. However, most Māori students achieved at or above the National Standards expectations.

Mid year data for 2017 show all Māori students are achieving at a similar or better level than Pākehā in reading, writing and mathematics.

The principal and board are revising the charter. The challenge now is for those who are at the expected National Standards to accelerate to be above by the end of 2017.

The school has well-developed processes for moderating teacher judgements, in relation to National Standards which supports dependability of decisions about learner achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

All children and families are well known to the teachers and each child’s needs are catered for on an individual basis. Children know where they are at and what they have to do next to improve.

Learners take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available and are able to participate at their level. They are challenged and their success is affirmed. Appropriate digital technology tools are used to support learning. The teaching principal supports their learning with well-considered prompts, strategies and feedback.

Children work cooperatively and high expectations for learning are evident. A positive school tone is apparent. The classroom is a settled, learning-focused environment. Relationships between teachers and students, and the students themselves, are respectful and supportive. Learners are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning within an inclusive classroom culture where their views are valued.

All children are familiar with te ao Māori. The school’s bicultural curriculum includes elements such as pōwhiri, noho marae, waiata, karakia, pepeha and te reo Māori as a subject. This is enhanced with the funded board support of a kaiako, support teacher.

The principal’s leadership actively promotes the vision and values of respect, relationships and resilience. They are evident in practices.

The principal and board are reflective and improvement focused. The board has sound procedures and practice to effectively meet its stewardship role. It is well informed of student achievement and progress towards meeting its charter goals. Trustees appropriately scrutinise this information and resource accordingly.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

Further development is needed in internal evaluation practices to sustain equity and excellence.

Performance management is not being fully implemented. Since the previous ERO review, the principal’s appraisal is more robust, but the teacher’s appraisal is not adequate. There needs to be stronger documentation to show how each Practising Teacher Criteria is met annually. A more detailed reflection on teacher inquiry is needed.

The school’s documented curriculum does not reflect the current good learning opportunities evident in this school. The local curriculum should better reflect the place-based and enviro practices.

Some policies and procedures are not consistent with current good practice and need to be reviewed and updated to provide better guidelines for teachers and the community.

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
  • 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.

Appraisal audit

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review and document updated performance management procedures
  • continue to improve performance management processes, in particular teaching as inquiry.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop the local school curriculum
  • review and update some policies and procedures
  • improve the quality of internal evaluation.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

18 August 2017

About the school 

Location Whanganui
Ministry of Education profile number 2330
School type Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)
School roll 15
Gender composition Male 11, Female 4
Ethnic composition Māori 6
Pākehā 9
Provision of Māori medium education No
Review team on site June 2017
Date of this report 18 August 2017
Most recent ERO report(s) Education Review, May 2014
Education Review, March 2011
Education Review, May 2008
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