Kaikohe East School

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School Context

Kaikohe East School is located in the Northland township of Kaikohe. Most of the nearly 300 Year 1 to 6 students whakapapa to the Northland iwi, Ngāpuhi. Whanau are closely involved in partnerships with the school that support positive learning outcomes for students.

The school’s vision is for students to graduate as “Proud, Prepared Learners”. The school’s charter identifies valued outcomes that encompass academic, social and cultural values, expressed as the four Tanga: manakitanga, whanaungatanga, kotahitanga, and rangatiratanga. A noteworthy feature of the school is its inclusive kaupapa, welcoming children with additional learning needs.

The school roll has continued to grow. An additional 60 children have enrolled since ERO’s 2015 review. The school is collaborating with local early learning centres, intermediate and secondary schools through the Te Arahura Kahui Ako|Community of Learning to support learners’ transition into, through and beyond school.

Previous ERO reports in 2011 and 2015 commented on the school’s respectful culture, the principal’s good leadership, and the well-resourced learning environments. These positive features continue to be highly evident. Recent retirements of senior staff have resulted in the restructuring of the school leadership team to build cohesive school-wide leadership.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • analysed outcomes for children who are in learning support programmes

  • progress throughout the year of children who are in target learning groups

  • participation, engagement and attendance patterns

  • analysed results from parent and staff surveys

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?

School and board leaders work positively towards equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Academic learning outcomes overall continue to improve. Progress, measured in relation to the National Standards to the end of 2017, showed improved outcomes over successive years in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is proud that the majority of children leave school in Year 6 achieving at and above expected levels in reading. However, school leaders note their concerns about persistent disparity in achievement between boys and girls. In 2018 the school established Poutama, a trial class of selected Year 3 to 6 boys, to address this pattern of under achievement.

Well-coordinated support is provided for children with additional learning needs. Many of these children have individual education plans. Their specific goals for progress are determined collaboratively by teacher aides, parents and specialist teachers. Children’s progress is measured and reported in relation to their individual goals.

Students who attend the school continuously from Years 1 to 6 generally make better progress than others. Teachers make good efforts to promptly engage learners who change schools during the year as these children tend to do less well overall. It would be useful to compare student achievement in the three Māori medium classes with that in English medium classes.

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

The school is becoming increasingly effective at responding to those students whose learning needs acceleration. Developing accelerated learning strategies has been a recent focus for teachers. Teachers in each classroom now provide additional teaching time for small groups of children who are just below their expected levels in writing. The progress of these children is monitored closely.

The school has good information about the progress of children in the targeted learning support groups. For example, of the 36 target boys and girls across the school in 2017, over 60% made accelerated progress in reading and 30% made accelerated progress in writing.

Interestingly, teachers noticed that while they allocated additional teaching time to focus on improving writing, children’s reading levels also improved. The principal’s analysis of variance reports provide the board with useful data about progress towards achieving the school’s goals and targets for improving student achievement.

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?

Leadership in the school is effective in strengthening conditions for equity and excellence. The long serving principal is a well-respected school and community leader. Following recent retirements in the senior leadership team, the board adopted a broader leadership structure. This has enhanced the potential and opportunity for the new leadership team to embed teaching and learning expectations school-wide, and utilise student achievement data for internal evaluation.

Purposeful, school-wide and strategically planned learning and development opportunities for teachers are helping to drive learning acceleration and the achievement of equity. Teachers‘classroom practices are designed to support children’s learning, particularly those whose learning needs to be accelerated. The current challenge for the new leadership team is to clearly document and embed teaching and other expectations, to support all teachers, particularly those who are new to the school.

The school’s curriculum is increasingly responsive to what teachers know about students’ interests and backgrounds. Learning programmes include relevant, place-based learning contexts. Whanau knowledge of Ngāpuhitanga is valued and reflected in children’s learning experiences. Discovery learning in Years 0 to 2 enables children to learn through play and helps them to grow their oral language and develop social skills.

Students are engaged in their learning and enjoy positive relationships with teachers. The more integrated learning approaches in Years 5 and 6 are helping to extend children’s thinking and advocacy skills. Children are learning about sustainability and increasing their physical wellbeing through their involvement in the school gardens. Across the school, the honouring of te reo me ona tikanga Māori ensures a culturally safe and meaningful environment.

The staff work in a collaborative and professional manner. They support all children, including many who have high learning and behaviour needs. Student management systems are based on restorative practices, whanau involvement, and focused on continued learning progress. Through the appraisal system, achievement data is being better used by teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their professional practice.

The school has sound governance. The board of trustees makes good use of professional advisers, including the NZ School Trustees Association. Trustees have clear and well documented systems. They make responsible decisions informed by the principal’s strategic reports and internal evaluation. Board operations and legislative compliance are guided and sustained through a reliable contracted secretarial service.

The school is attractively presented. The grounds and buildings are well maintained, and classrooms are regularly upgraded. Children have good access to equipment for physical activity, including all weather courts and bikes and a bike track. Sport and noho Marae are encouraged as part of the school’s broad curriculum. The school board values staff, and supports management decisions to improve outcomes for learners.

Teachers and students benefit from modern information technology resources in classrooms. Trustees should be preparing now for the introduction of the 2019 Digital Technology Curriculum. They should also consider conducting student surveys to ensure that they are fully informed of how students experience their learning and school culture.

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

To build on and sustain development, leaders and staff will continue to strengthen consistency of teaching practice, particularly in relation to promoting student agency in learning.

This could involve students:

  • having access to more visible indicators of learning success
  • setting individual goals that make use of the shared success criteria
  • assessing their progress in collaboration with teachers
  • self and peer assessing their learning competencies and tanga values
  • developing digital strategies for sharing learning and progress outcomes.

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:

  • connected and committed leadership that is embedding inclusive teaching practices to support equitable outcomes for all students

  • relevant and responsive learning programmes based on te reo me ona tikanga , enhancing children’s language, culture and identifyMāori

  • continued evaluation of new initiatives to create new learning through professional inquiry and staff collaboration.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to clarify and document the valued outcomes of the school’s curriculum

  • continuing to promote student agency in learning, including digital fluency and the use of shared indicators of learning progress.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

3 August 2018

About the school

Location

Kaikohe, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1021

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

299

Gender composition

Boys 159 Girls 140

Ethnic composition

Māori 96%
Pakeha 2%
other 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes, 3 bilingual classes at Level 2

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

3 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review May 2012
Education Review March 2009

Findings

The school’s focus on student wellbeing and learning success is designed to promote ongoing improvement. Trustees, leaders, and teachers are committed to raising student achievement. Students are increasingly becoming self managing and responsible learners in an environment that values their culture and prior knowledge.

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?

Kaikohe East School provides education for Year 1 to 6 students, most of whom are Māori. The school has an inclusive and accepting culture that supports students to become ‘Proud, Prepared, Learners’.

A continuing focus on promoting student wellbeing has seen increased sponsorship and support from a variety of community organisations. Through these schemes the school can provide students with regular food and support when needed.

Students can choose to stay with the same teacher for up to three years and have their siblings in same class. Whānau also have the option for their children to learn in the bilingual setting of Te Korowai o te Aroha, which has three classes.

The school has had positive ERO reports. External feedback is welcomed and used to strengthen the school’s self review. The 2012 ERO report noted that students worked in supportive and well resourced class environments and that the board and senior leaders were working collaboratively to raise student achievement. These features continue to be evident. The report recommended that the board and staff should improve analysis, use and reporting of student achievement information.

Over the past three years the board, the principal and staff have continued to develop and enhance provision for students’ education at the school. Teaching staff have taken advantage of professional development to improve student learning in numeracy and written language.

Most students come to the school with little formal early childhood education. The school’s plan to help establish a play group based on the school site is nearly achieved. This initiative is likely to support children as they transition to school, help to build relationships with parents, and further promote a sense of whanaungatanga in the school community. 

2 Learning

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

Teachers have worked well with external advisers who have guided them in assessing student learning. They are now using this information to plan programmes that are more targeted to students’ specific learning needs. Over recent years teachers’ professional learning has prompted changes to mathematics programmes and a more consistent approach to teaching writing throughout the school.

Since the 2012 ERO review, students appear to have a greater sense of purpose in their learning and to be more aware of their own achievement. Teachers now share achievement criteria and progressions of learning so students can identify their own achievement and next steps in learning. Leaders and teachers have made this initiative a continuing priority to build consistent good practices in all classes.

Teachers use a range of valid and reliable assessment strategies to form judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Data reported to the board show that just over half of the students are achieving National Standards in mathematics and reading, but that most students are not achieving writing standards. The school’s achievement is generally lower than regional and national levels of achievement.

The 2015 school charter includes a target to raise student achievement in writing, with a particular focus on boys’ progress. Leaders and teachers are now sharing responsibility for the success of this target. As they consider and research ways to better engage boys in learning, this knowledge is likely to also accelerate boys’ progress in other curriculum areas.

Teaching teams are now more regularly planning strategies together to support low achievers and students with special learning needs. These students are benefiting from tailored programmes that teachers have targeted to address specific learning needs. Students with special learning needs benefit from the commitment of the coordinator, teachers and support staff, who help them to gain greater confidence as learners. Teachers and support staff continue to increase their understanding of successful strategies to cater for these students’ diverse learning needs.

Parents receive useful information to help them understand their children’s progress and achievement. They have good opportunities to discuss their children’s achievement with teachers. Written reports state how well students are achieving in relation to each National Standard and include meaningful ways in which whānau can support children’s learning. Leaders are committed to further encouraging whānau to work with them as partners in supporting their children’s learning

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is effective in engaging and supporting students’ learning. It is closely aligned with the school’s strategic aim of preparing students to succeed in all aspects of learning.

Teachers value students’ perspectives. They focus on building students’ knowledge and skills, and helping to build students’ confidence in themselves as learners. An emphasis on the values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is evident in classroom programmes. Students learn cooperatively with other students and benefit from tuakana/teina relationships and role modelling.

Students benefit from the curriculum’s strong focus on literacy and mathematics. School leaders have restructured the school day to enable teachers to dedicate more time to these learning areas in class timetables. Other learning areas are integrated around an inquiry learning focus. Digital technologies are used well by students and teachers as an integral part of daily class programmes. These features offer students opportunities to learn within meaningful and connected contexts.

Teachers work collaboratively, regularly reflecting on the effectiveness of curriculum programmes and learning initiatives. They have developed shared expectations of effective teaching in this school. Recent initiatives include developing strategies that promote student-led learning. Student‑centred approaches to teaching and learning help to motivate students to take responsibility for their own progress. Teachers are developing practices that encourage students to become self managing and responsible learners.

To support students who have had little preschool education, teachers in junior classes continue to link teaching programmes with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. In recent years they have also taken a keen interest in integrating other early childhood philosophies into teaching practices. This has resulted in placing a greater emphasis on the experience and knowledge learners bring with them. Learning environments are adapted to offer spaces, resources and experiences that link to students’ interests and learning needs. This approach is being extended throughout the school to reinforce the school’s aim of student-centred teaching and learning.

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

The school’s culturally responsive environment has many features that support Māori students to enjoy success as Māori. These include:

  • promoting whanaungatanga at the beginning of each school day
  • promoting tikanga and te reo Māori through whole-school practices, including kapa haka
  • integrating te reo Māori and tikanga Maōri within the curriculum
  • providing student leadership opportunities in pōwhiri and kapa haka
  • sharing pepeha to identify whānau links for both teachers and students.

Adult speakers of te reo work with students in Te Korowai o te Aroha supporting them to participate confidently in a bilingual language setting.

The principal and some staff are long-standing members of the local community and have well established relationships with whānau. These relationships help give the school insight into whānau perspectives and aspirations for their children.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school operates effectively and is well placed to make ongoing improvements that impact positively on students’ learning.

The principal’s leadership continues to promote a collaborative and inclusive working environment. She recognises teachers’ strengths and offers many leadership opportunities. Leaders are consultative, collaborative and promote a professional teaching culture. They are sustaining successful teaching initiatives and managing the pace of change in teaching developments.

Coherent processes help to build teaching capacity to improve student learning. Teachers regularly reflect together on professional learning and on the impact of their practice on student learning. Teacher appraisal and inquiry processes are leading teachers to think more deeply about their practice.

The board works collaboratively with the principal and staff. Trustees have participated in governance training. Sound planning and reporting systems ensure that the board is well informed about progress towards the charter goals. The school charter is relevant and guides the school’s management programme and classroom practices.

Whānau have opportunities to offer their perspectives on school practices and developments. These include an annual survey, school events and student achievement conferences with teachers and their children.

Self review is becoming an increasingly effective part of the school’s culture and frequently draws on information from staff, students and parents. Self review is now more deliberate, planned and purposeful. Curriculum review is led by curriculum leaders and teams. These curriculum teams play a key role in sustaining, reviewing, and developing learning areas in each syndicate and across the school.

The principal encourages teachers to trial strategies and adapt practices in response to students’ interests and needs and community aspirations. She is committed to sustaining professional learning initiatives and continuing to grow teaching and leadership capacity.

ERO is confident that the school’s clear focus on student wellbeing and learning success will promote ongoing school improvement.

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

The school’s focus on student wellbeing and learning success is designed to promote ongoing improvement. Trustees, leaders, and teachers are committed to raising student achievement. Students are increasingly becoming self managing and responsible learners in an environment that values their culture and prior knowledge.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 June 2015

About the School

Location

Kaikohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1021

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

233

Gender composition

Boys 119

Girls 114

Ethnic composition

Māori 94%

Pākehā 2%

Cook Island/Māori 3%
other 1%

Special Features

Te Korowai o te Aroha – bilingual unit of 3 classes

Resource Teacher Literacy based on the school site

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

15 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2012

Education Review March 2009

Education Review May 2006