Kamo Intermediate

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Findings

Students at Kamo Intermediate School experience broad educational opportunities within purposeful and positive learning environments. The school’s inclusive culture and focus on students as individuals fosters their sense of belonging and engagement in learning. Staff cater effectively for intermediate-age students and promote their wellbeing, academic achievement and holistic success.

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?

Kamo Intermediate School, located in Kamo, Whangarei, provides education for students in Years 7 and 8. Māori students represent forty percent of the roll, with Pākehā students accounting for most of the remaining roll. The school has experienced significant roll growth since 2013. Trustees and school leaders are currently working with the Ministry of Education (MoE) regarding property development to accommodate this ongoing growth.

Since the 2012 ERO review the school has had changes in leadership as a result of the retirement of a long-serving principal and leadership team. The current principal was appointed in 2013, and the two deputy principals in 2014. They are experienced leaders with a strong focus on improvement.

The board, leaders and teachers promote close links between student wellbeing and learning. Positive, respectful relationships contribute to students’ sense of belonging and pride in the school. The physical environment is well cared for and ‘enviro’ programmes are enjoyed by students. Students have many opportunities to contribute to the daily life of the school and to take on leadership roles.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

School leaders make good use of student achievement information to monitor the progress and achievement of all learners and to set school-wide targets to further raise achievement. Good processes are in place to identify students not achieving at expected levels. Well considered interventions and targeted programmes are provided for students requiring additional learning support.

Teachers use a range of assessment tools to gather data on student achievement, to inform teaching programmes and to make overall judgements about students’ progress and achievement. School leaders have recently reviewed the use of assessment tools to strengthen the reliability of data. They are continuing to explore ways of working with local primary and secondary schools to share and moderate achievement information, and to provide continuity in students’ learning.

Clear information about student achievement in relation to the National Standards is reported to the board. Trustees use this information well to make decisions related to achievement goals and resourcing.

School achievement information indicates that the majority of students achieve at or above the National Standard in reading and mathematics. A focus on mathematics teaching has resulted in improved achievement in that area. The school now has a focus on teaching practices to raise student achievement in writing. School leaders are setting clear targets and implementing deliberate actions to reduce the disparity in achievement between Māori and non-Māori learners.

Students are becoming increasingly involved in guiding and monitoring their own learning. Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage students’ understanding and ownership of their learning goals, progress and achievement. Extending existing good practices to further develop student ownership of learning is an area of ongoing development in the school. Particular next steps include:

  • deepening teacher inquiry into practice, including the documentation of inquiry processes
  • extending the ways in which teachers use available information to make judgements about student progress and achievement
  • embedding current good teaching and learning practices consistently across the school.

Students appreciate the strong learning and pastoral support they receive. The school has a systematic approach to this, providing a wide range of strategies at classroom level, in withdrawal programmes and from external agencies. School leaders are considering ways they can evaluate the effectiveness of strategies used in various support groups and use this information to empower classroom-based teaching and learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The Kamo Intermediate school curriculum promotes and supports student learning well.

School leaders regularly review and updatethe school curriculum. Curriculum documents provide clear guidance for teachers about coverage and delivery in the essential learning areas of
The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). A wide range of learning opportunities is provided for students, including specialist programmes, opportunities for second language learning, and the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) skills. The after-school study centre provides additional support for student learning.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. They experience settled learning environments, participate confidently in classroom activities and are able to work independently and co‑operatively. The school’s “Channel K” and the school values (Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Diversity, Creativity, Innovation and Flexibility) are actively promoted and underpin all programmes and interactions. These values are well embedded in the school and contribute to its positive learning environment.

Teachers skilfully respond to the strengths and needs of emerging adolescent learners. They are developing an increasingly student-centred curriculum and processes that empower students to be self-directed learners. Good quality teaching practices promote students’ curiosity, thinking skills, independence and collaboration.

School leaders are implementing systems that promote teacher reflection and inquiry into practice. Well-considered professional development and improved appraisal processes support these practices and align with the strategic direction of the school.

Teachers provide many opportunities for student choice in learning and involvement in decision making. Programmes enable students to apply their learning in meaningful contexts within the school and the wider community. Students are confident learners who feel their voice is valued in the school. Good transition processes support students’ pathways into the school and on to secondary schooling.

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

Māori students in the school are well engaged in learning, in school activities and in leadership roles. Recent development of kapa haka and pōwhiri is providing opportunities for Māori students to be proud of their language, culture and identity, while also promoting bicultural practices in the school.

School leaders have introduced a number of strategies to promote success for Māori learners. Teachers use Ministry of Education (MoE) resources and collaborative approaches to help them include bicultural perspectives in their programmes. They are increasingly incorporating turangawaewae knowledge into curriculum and practices. Local iwi are involved in a school programme to support Māori students whose learning and achievement needs to be accelerated. Leaders are now considering ways in which they could extend this experience to all Māori students.

A specialist teacher of te reo Māori has been appointed to support students and teachers. School leaders are continuing to explore ways to increase opportunities for students to learn te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Using current staff strengths and building all teachers’ confidence and capability in te reo me nga tikanga Māori would benefit Māori students, as well as encouraging all students to better understand and value New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

School leaders, trustees and teachers value relationships with whānau. They have gathered whānau voice and input into school policy and learning programmes. Further promoting reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau of Māori students is a priority for the board and school leaders.

The school is becoming more deliberate and strategic in promoting success for Māori learners. Trustees and leaders could now more formally evaluate the school’s effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. Reference to school charter goals and relevant policies, and to MoE and other evaluation resources, would provide useful frameworks to guide this review and development.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Governance capability has been strengthened in recent years. Long serving trustees have a good understanding of governance and management roles. This expertise and good board processes should support the induction of new trustees. ERO endorses the board’s commitment to reviewing governance skills and accessing training and support to further build individual and collective capability.

A new framework for policies and procedures has been established. These now meet current requirements, reflect school practices and provide clarity to guide governance and school operations. Processes for regular policy review are in place. The school charter and strategic plans have been improved. Trustees agree that they could now develop more formal processes to record their ongoing review against annual goals and targets.

Improved reporting and effective quality assurance processes are enabling a more strategic approach to decision-making. The board has a clear focus on student achievement and invests in resources and personnel to support school direction and student success.

The experienced leadership team shares a strong vision and direction for the school. They are developing a culture of reflection and improvement supported by effective systems. Relational trust between staff is providing a good foundation for this developing culture of collaboration and inquiry. The leadership team has a good understanding of the school’s strengths, challenges, opportunities and potential. They are managing change strategically. It would be timely now to review the pace and impact of developments to ensure these are being consolidated with clarity of purpose, shared understanding and collective ownership.

School leaders and trustees use information from parents, whānau, staff and students to inform strategic decisions. They are continuing to trial strategies to further improve communication and consultation. In particular, trustees plan to increase learning-focused partnerships with families/whānau and better monitor board responsiveness to feedback.

To support sustainability and ongoing improvement trustees and school leaders agree that they should:

  • improve the documentation of some governance processes to support induction, succession and sustainability of good practices
  • extend ways of communicating and consulting with groups within the school community
  • develop a systematic approach to staff induction
  • evaluate change initiatives to ensure these are manageable, cohesive and coherent
  • continue to refine and strengthen internal evaluation.

Provision for international students

Kamo Intermediate School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. Systems are in place to monitor compliance with the Code, provide an appropriate education programme, and integrate international students into the life of the school. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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 at Kamo Intermediate School experience broad educational opportunities within purposeful and positive learning environments. The school’s inclusive culture and focus on students as individuals fosters their sense of belonging and engagement in learning. Staff cater effectively for intermediate-age students and promote their wellbeing, academic achievement and holistic success.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 August 2016

About the School 

Location

Kamo, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1029

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

671

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Girls       51%
Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
other

40%
55%
  1%
  2%
  2%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

19 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

August 2012
January 2009
March 2006

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Students at Kamo Intermediate School benefit from a well embedded vision and value system that supports their wellbeing and promotes their learning. Teachers, through the leadership of the principal and senior managers, promote a strong ethos of care for students, their parents and whānau. The school’s motto promotes high expectations for teachers and students. A highly respectful culture challenges and supports teachers and students to be innovative, and makes it safe for them to give things a go.

Students learn in classrooms with equal numbers of Year 7 and 8 students. This year-level structure gives older students opportunities to mentor younger ones. It also promotes the caring and supportive relationships evident throughout the school. Students enjoy participating in daily syndicate team activities. The team approach provides them with good leadership opportunities and supports their sense of belonging in the school.

The principal, senior managers and many teachers and support staff have been at the school for a number of years. This stable staffing supports the school to improve teaching and learning programmes over time. It also promotes the strong family connections that exist between staff, students and their parents and whānau.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students, including Māori students, are very well supported to be engaged in learning, make progress and achieve, and to be accelerated to and beyond expected levels of achievement. The school’s achievement information shows that students make very good progress during their two years at the school. Very good support and extension programmes make a significant impact on improving students’ achievement. These innovative programmes are personalised for identified priority students and support their engagement in learning.

Māori students are well represented amongst the highest achievers in the school, in extension programmes and in leadership roles. The school has very good systems in place to identify groups of students who require extra support to achieve to expected levels. These students make accelerated progress and achieve well over their two years at the school.

Teachers are increasing opportunities for students to understand their own learning, set learning goals and share this information with their parents. Parents receive useful information about their child’s progress in relation to nationally expected levels of achievement. The school is now developing ways to appropriately report to parents about their child’s achievement against National Standards.

The school sets appropriate targets for improving student achievement. School leaders identify the need to further strengthen teachers’ confidence and knowledge in making overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. It could be useful for the school to access external guidance to support leaders and teachers with this.

Students’ talents, strengths and skills are identified by their teachers and peers. Student successes are showcased and celebrated regularly and in many different ways within the school, and with parents, whānau and the wider community.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum is based on child-centred educational theories and approaches. School leaders promote a positive school culture and an environment that is emotionally secure for students and adults. As a result, students and teachers are able to take risks, try new approaches and be innovative in their curriculum design.

Kamo Intermediate’s curriculum is broad and flexible. It promotes opportunities for students to be capable, competent and confident learners. It gives them opportunities for choice and freedom throughout their learning day. Particular strengths of the school’s curriculum include:

  • high levels of challenge, critical thinking and problem solving
  • students and teachers learning from each other
  • well resourced indoor and outdoor learning environments
  • increased opportunities for students to learn a second language.

Teachers are enthusiastic and excited about teaching and learning. They motivate and inspire students and they promote programmes based on students’ needs, interests, strengths and talents. Students experience positive relationships for learning with each other and with their teachers.

Teachers keep abreast of current educational research and apply this thoughtfully to curriculum developments. They plan programmes that include Māori perspectives and themes, and support students to learn about New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

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

Māori students benefit from the wide variety of educational opportunities and the high levels of support and care available to all students at the school. Māori students appreciate their teachers and the exciting learning programmes that teachers create for them.

Senior managers, teachers and support staff engage parents and whānau of Māori students in ways that meet the differing needs of individual Māori students. The three Māori trustees on the board provide a Māori perspective to governance.

Senior leaders recognise the importance of working with teachers and staff to explore what Māori success as Māori means for Māori learners at Kamo Intermediate. This could include school leaders and teachers working in partnership with Māori parents, whānau and students to review and redesign their curriculum so that it specifically focuses on promoting Māori students’ language, culture and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Kamo Intermediate School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal’s strategic and collaborative approaches have ensured that his vision for the school is shared. The supportive and inclusive school culture enables teachers to perform at a high level. Teachers’ strengths are valued. They have very good leadership opportunities and are expected to share and promote good practices throughout the school. As a result, students benefit from a committed and capable teaching team.

Trustees bring to their governance roles a variety of expertise and cultural understandings. They use the school’s good self-review information to make decisions about the continued staffing and resourcing of worthwhile programmes and initiatives that are raising the achievement of priority learners. Trustees are managing the financial difficulty that has arisen from these staffing decisions.

The board needs to further strengthen its role as the school’s strategic decision-maker. Trustees should access external support to develop a strategic plan that appropriately reflects the school’s vision, sustains the future direction of the school and promotes Māori success as Māori. This plan could provide the opportunity to align Māori values and beliefs in their charter and in board practices. The board could also promote opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute to the development of policies and achievement targets. This type of parent and whanau involvement would help the school to sustain and improve its performance.

An important next challenge for the board is to appoint a new principal. Trustees recognise the importance of engaging an external adviser, and could also consider including staff, parent and student viewpoints, to support this appointment process.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of this review.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

During the review, ERO identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, must report twice a year to parents in relation to the National Standards [National Administration Guidelines].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

15 August 2012

About the School

Location

Kamo, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1029

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

Decile

5

School roll

541

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

other

61%

35%

4%

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

15 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

January 2009

March 2006

September 2004