Paparoa School

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Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Paparoa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Paparoa School is a small rural Northland school that provides education for Years 1 to 6 students. The school has a roll of 55 students. Most students are Pākehā, and Māori students make up 16 percent. Students learn in junior, middle and senior multi-levelled classrooms.

ERO’s May 2018 review identified several areas for improvement. These included improving the school culture and community engagement, student achievement and aspects of governance and leadership. Significant progress has been made in most of these areas.

The board of trustees appointed a new principal in Term 4, 2018. There have been some changes to the board and teaching staff.

Trustees have been proactive in working with the principal to regain the support of the local community. They have also worked with staff, parents and whānau to refresh the school’s vision, values and strategic direction. The principal has demonstrated a commitment to implementing the long-term vision for the school.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

Agreed priorities for school review and development identified from ERO’s 2018 report included:

  • governance and leadership
  • school culture and community engagement
  • raising student achievement.

The principal, teachers and trustees have made significant progress in all priority areas.

Documented action plans and regular reporting have helped the board of trustees to gauge progress in relation to the agreed priorities. Leaders and teachers are committed to professional learning and working collaboratively to sustain improvement.

Progress
Governance and leadership

Leadership and governance capability and capacity have been significantly strengthened. Trustees and staff have worked collaboratively to improve areas of governance and management, including:

  • developing processes for regularly reviewing and updating policies and procedures
  • developing processes for the regular reporting by the principal to the board
  • the scrutiny of achievement information to monitor student progress and achievement
  • decision making informed by student learning, wellbeing and achievement information.

Trustees have strategically resourced targeted initiatives designed to improve student outcomes. Considerable upgrades and maintenance to the school buildings and environment have enriched learning opportunities for students. The board is well placed to sustain progress made and continue to strengthen governance processes.

Trustees have benefitted from support and guidance provided from the New Zealand Trustees Association (NZSTA) and the principal. They continue to seek relevant external advice and resourcing to maximise their effectiveness. Trustees could now further support the principal to ensure school policies and procedures are coherent and fit for purpose.

Teachers and the principal work collaboratively. Teachers have participated in professional learning focused on accelerating student achievement and strengthening teachers’ inquiry practices. The principal has developed strong professional networks. The school is part of the Twin Coast Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

School culture and community engagement

Students learn in well-resourced classrooms. They actively engage in activities and can talk about their learning in a purposeful way. Relationships and interactions between students and teachers are respectful. Students with additional needs are well supported. The learning environments are managed in ways that promote student participation and engagement.

Leaders and teachers work together to build and sustain a positive school culture. Children are developing confidence in their culture and identity. A strong focus on reinforcing and embedding the school values and initiatives support positive behaviours for learning.

Students participate in several school and community events that enhance their sense of belonging and connection to the school. The Paparoa community, parents and whānau are regularly involved in school activities and events. Parents and whānau are positively re-engaging with the school.

Raising student achievement

Student achievement information shows that overall, most students are achieving at curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics. The data show that Māori students have made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics over time, and good progress in writing. Boys are making good progress in reading.

The learning and progress of priority learners and students with additional needs are well monitored. Intensive literacy support programmes are having a significant impact on the achievement of those learners who need to make accelerated progress.

Schoolwide approaches to planning and assessment have been developed. The use of standardised assessment tools is informing baseline achievement information. Leaders and teachers have implemented systems and processes to better track and monitor student achievement. Achievement information is informing teachers’ planning and the board’s achievement targets.

Teachers share and implement effective teaching practices. Learning intentions and goals are visible in classrooms. Constructive and timely feedback is provided to support students’ progress. Teachers promote improved learning outcomes for all students. They prioritise students’ potential and success across the curriculum.

A progression of learning and progress indicators is helping to build consistency of teacher practice across the school. Teachers are increasingly inquiring into their own practice to support ongoing improvement.

Teachers are designing and delivering a future focused, responsive curriculum. A Paparoa Graduate Profile has been developed in consultation with students, parents and whānau. This profile reflects the school values and is a foundation document to guide curriculum decision making.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Paparoa School is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its practice.

Effective leadership is evident. The principal and teachers have developed strong collaborative relationships across the school community. Leaders, teachers and trustees are proactive and highly engaged in professional learning and development.

Staff have worked successfully with the additional support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to improve teaching practice and raise student achievement. Teachers and leaders continue to strengthen their capability to sustain and improve student achievement through targeted professional learning and collaboration.

Processes have been developed for a sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and internal evaluation. Purposeful internal evaluation enables school leaders to make informed decisions for improvement. Leaders use a range of evidence from evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building activities for the purpose of selecting and developing strategies for improvement.

The school is well supported by the local Paparoa community. Trustees are actively involved in community groups and events. The school roll has grown, and continued roll growth is predicted.

Key next steps

To sustain and build on school improvements, leaders and trustees should continue to:

  • build learning partnerships with parents and whānau
  • use the teaching as inquiry approach to strengthen teachers’ professional practice
  • embed internal evaluation processes to inform strategic planning for 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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Paparoa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: https://ero.govt.nz/how-ero-reviews/schoolskura-english-medium/school-evaluation-indicators is available on ERO’s website

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

20 May 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

School Context

Paparoa School is a small rural school in Northland for students from Year 1 to 6. The school currently has three multi-levelled classes. Most students are Pākehā. Māori students make up 22 percent of the school roll.

The school has expansive school grounds, a swimming pool, a large field and paddock that provide scope for students to experience many learning related opportunities. The school is an Enviroschool, and a Duffy Books in Homes member.

In recent years there have been challenges in school culture, community engagement and leadership. Since the 2015 ERO review there have been two changes in leadership. The board of trustees is in the process of appointing a new principal. Trustees are working with an external adviser to support its engagement with the community and the appointment of the new principal. In Term 4, 2017, an interim principal was appointed by the Ministry of Education.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The interim principal regularly reports to the board about outcomes for children with additional learning and behavioural needs and outcomes related to student wellbeing.

The school is a member of the Twin Coast Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL)

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?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Approximately half of all students achieve curriculum expectations in reading, and writing. This is a good foundation for building further improvement. The majority of students are achieving curriculum expectations in mathematics.

The school is working to increase the parity of achievement for Māori students, particularly in reading and writing. Some gender disparity has been identified in mathematics.

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

The school is developing ways of responding to those Māori and other children who need to make accelerated progress, but it is too early to evaluate the outcomes of these approaches.

The interim principal has introduced new systems and processes to identify and better respond to students’ learning needs. Newly introduced individual learning plans should support students to attain or achieve at expected curriculum levels in the future.

The recent establishment of a reading recovery programme has led to accelerated progress in reading for some students. The interim principal and staff are proactively working with external agencies to support student engagement and learning.

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?

The interim principal has positively influenced the culture and climate of the school. A clear sense of direction and greater collective responsibility for student achievement is now evident. Together with teachers, she is working to establish clear and consistent teaching expectations to support students’ learning and achievement.

New school values of Resilience, Respect and Responsibility have been introduced. These values along with the deliberate promotion of student leadership and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) strategies are helping build a more positive culture in the school.

Some effective teaching practices are evident. Staff are now working collaboratively to ensure that student achievement and wellbeing are better supported. Teachers and teacher aides work together to cater for students with additional learning needs. Teachers now have opportunities to participate in professional learning that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

The board is committed to the ongoing improvement of learning outcomes for equity and excellence. Trustees respond positively to, and provide resourcing for individual students who need additional support. They have increased their communication with the school community, and keep them updated with significant developments. The board is proactive in seeking support and advice from external agencies, including the New Zealand School Trustees’ Association (NZSTA). The board has plans for NZSTA training for the board after the current election of new trustees.

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

The school is developing its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

The interim principal is establishing good relationships with staff, the board and local community. Parents and teachers who spoke with ERO respect her professional knowledge, her commitment to raising student achievement and her positive influence on school culture. The challenges for the school will be embedding and sustaining new initiatives and the appointment of a permanent principal.

The interim principal and trustees agree that ongoing support will be needed to consolidate initiatives, strengthen school leadership and raise student achievement.

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:

  • undertake a comprehensive review of policies and procedures to ensure that all policies are updated and meet current legislative requirements

  • make the process for managing complaints available for all parents.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective teaching practices, that respond to students’ learning needs

  • the new foundations initiated by the interim principal, to support improvement and a positive school culture.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are to continue building:

  • school leadership to improve outcomes for student learning and wellbeing

  • a school culture that reflects and celebrates the key school values

  • students’ understanding and use of their own achievement information

  • teachers’ understanding and use of strategies to accelerate learning

  • community engagement and confidence in the school

  • internal evaluation and inquiry that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that MOE consider providing support:

  • by appointing a Student Achievement Function (SAF) for the school in order to support the school in raising student achievement and accelerating progress for students at risk of not achieving well

  • to improve capability in leadership, building positive organisational culture and educationally powerful connections.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 May 2018

About the school

Location

Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1077

School type

Contributing Primary

School roll

46

Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other

10
32
4

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

31 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2015
May 2012
March 2010