Homai School

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Education institution number:
1317
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
355
Telephone:
Address:

89 Browns Road, Manurewa, Auckland

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1 Context

Homai School is located in Manurewa, South Auckland and caters for Year 1 to 6 children. Children who identify as Māori make up 37 percent of the school's roll and 44 percent are from Pacific cultures. Both the board and staff reflect the diverse ethnic make-up of the school community.

In recent years the Ministry of Education has provided professional learning and development support working with senior leadership on systems and processes that support student achievement, acceleration and leadership. In 2015 the school developed a 'community of practice' with three other local primary schools with a focus on collaboratively raising the achievement of students across this group.

Since 2012 the board has managed the appointment of a new principal, a new senior leadership team and a significant number of teaching staff.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are centred on the core values of 'Homai G.I.V.E.S - guardianship, integrity, vigilance, empathy and success'. This is aligned to the school vision 'All people taking responsibility for the well-being and mana of the learner'. These values are underpinned by the school mission statement of 'one vision, one journey, one people' and align with the school culture of promoting student and staff wellbeing.

The school's achievement information showed a significant drop in student achievement in 2014 and 2015 against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, for Māori and Pacific students. However, 2015 Achievement information for reading shows that overall students are beginning to make progress. Achievement information for writing shows a consistent decrease in overall student achievement from 2013 to 2015. There is also a 23 percent disparity between male and female achievement in writing in 2015. Senior leaders and teachers are addressing these issues. They have put specific strategies in place to reduce the gender disparity. In addition, they report that strategies to accelerate the progress of targeted Māori and Pacific children are showing success and a good number of these children have now reached the appropriate Standard in reading, writing and mathematics.

School-wide systems and processes that support teachers to make robust and consistent achievement judgements against the National Standards are much improved. Moderation practices have been implemented within and across the levels of the school. School leaders acknowledge that it is now timely to develop a set of moderation guidelines and consider moderating with other schools to enhance the dependability of student achievement data.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has focused on developing consistent and sustainable systems and practices to improve learning outcomes for children and to accelerate their learning progress. These practices include:

  • ongoing professional learning development to support teaching and learning
  • beginning to develop a responsive curriculum which reflects the local context of the school using and reflecting student, staff and whānau voices
  • increasing teacher collaboration and establishing collective responsibility for student achievement
  • providing teachers with opportunities for leadership across the school
  • increasing the emphasis on students leading their learning to enhance student agency and achievement.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Evidence over the last year shows the school is now responding more effectively to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Strategies and action plans to accelerate student achievement have been established with Ministry of Education professional learning and development support. There is also a clear focus on promoting educationally powerful links, connections and relationships with Māori whānau and the wider school community. Furthermore, the growth of staff knowledge, confidence and appreciation of te ao Māori is underpinned by a strong bicultural understanding. This is helping teachers to support students to experience success as Māori and to make accelerated progress in their learning.

Senior leaders and teachers are creating a school culture of aroha, diversity and acceptance. There is a strong sense of mahi tahi (working together) throughout the school. Teachers work alongside whānau to develop learning-centred partnerships. These help teachers to understand each child's learning needs, interests and strengths.

Positive shifts in student learning are a result of regular professional conversations among school leaders and teams of teachers who focus on how they can best coach and support Māori students who need to make progress. Teachers identify children whose progress needs acceleration and use an inquiry approach to identify which strategies are having the most impact to support children and accelerate their progress. This approach is aligned with teacher appraisal and the school's strategic and annual plans.

The board is committed to raising student achievement and providing resources that help teachers to support Māori children. They are building relational trust in a culturally responsive way that promotes transparent sharing of knowledge to improve student outcomes.

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

The board, senior leaders, teachers and staff use the same good quality processes and practices to support the learning of Pacific and other groups of children, as they do for Māori. Provision for children who require learning support is responsive to their needs. An inclusive approach to diverse individual needs ensures children participate in appropriate programmes and make progress.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are effective in developing and enacting the school's vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

The school is improvement focused. Senior leaders, teachers and staff work collaboratively to embed and extend new systems and practices which support school-wide sustainability.

There is a strong emphasis on building relationships and promoting a strengths-based approach to student and staff learning. The concepts of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, mahi tahi and ako feature significantly throughout school's systems and practices. Parents, whānau and the school community are involved in activities as respected and valued partners in children's learning.

Senior leaders are building collective capability for both teachers and students. Teachers' professional and curriculum capability is supported through ongoing professional learning about biculturalism, curriculum and teaching, and assessment moderation. A growing culture of high expectations and success for students promotes student ownership of learning and encourages them to set holistic and genuine goals. Students' contributions are valued and their thinking is clearly visible in the senior classroom.

School leadership is focused on building interpersonal trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community. Senior leaders have introduced a number of new initiatives to strengthen teaching and management processes. These include ongoing external professional development with Ministry of Education support, a new leadership structure and a focus on strengthening student voice. As a result of these strategies, positive outcomes for students are very likely to be strengthened.

The school provides a learning environment where children feel included, and safe and secure in their language, culture and identity. This is an increasingly supportive environment that is beneficial to student learning and wellbeing.

Trustees represent and serve the school and wider community effectively. New and experienced board members have a commitment to raising student achievement. The board receives regular and useful reports on student achievement and acceleration. The board supports the senior leadership team in establishing good foundations which will strengthen student achievement and acceleration.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Homai School is well placed to embed and deepen systems and practices to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Foundations have been established to that will help with the implementation of ongoing school-wide development. A range of increasingly effective interventions and strategies are in place to ensure that children progress and achieve. There is a strong focus on student and staff wellbeing and gathering student, staff and parent/whānau input.

School leaders and ERO have identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • continuing with external Ministry of Education support to deepen and sustain the positive lifts in student achievement and to increase accelerated progress
  • continuing to embed new initiatives including internal evaluation, to support culturally responsive student-led learning
  • implementing systems and processes to strengthen the board's stewardship of the school.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

To improve current practice, the board should implement internal evaluation processes to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that school leaders continue to embed and sustain new school-wide systems and practices. 

Graham Randell Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 November 2016

About the school

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1317

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

326

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Indian

Asian

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other

37%

2%

23%

13%

9%

6%

3%

5%

2%

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

23 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

October 2009

August 2007

1 Context

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

Homai School in Manurewa provides high quality education for children up to Year 6. It is part of an extensive learning community that shares a commitment to supporting families and raising educational achievement in Manurewa. The board of trustees and school leaders promote the idea of a village taking responsibility for the education of its children. The school works effectively to build and maintain a positive, constructive learning environment for all, and adapts to meet the evolving needs of the community of learners that it serves.

In 2011 an early childhood centre was established in the school grounds, alongside a classroom allocated to an adult literacy class. The school also hosts an after-school programme for students. Community groups use school facilities and Manurewa High School grounds back onto the Homai playing fields. Homai students have sense of identity and responsibility as members of their immediate environment and the wider Manurewa community.

School practices recognise and celebrate te Ao Māori and the place of Māori as tangata whenua. The organisational structures of Ngā Waka (syndicates) and Ngā Whare (the house system) are based on the story of the naming of Manurewa. Children have contributed to this story being depicted in the school environment. Whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, aroha and turangawaewae are positive features of the school.

Thirty-eight percent of students are of Māori descent, forty-one percent are from Pacific nations and ten percent are Indian. The positive relationships between staff and families, the inclusive nature of the school and the way that the curriculum is implemented, ensure that children and families are able to bring aspects of their many different cultures to the learning process. The board, school leaders and teachers listen carefully to families’ and children’s views so the school can be responsive to its community.

The school is led by three directors of learning, team leaders in each waka, and four groups that review teaching practice, curriculum implementation and student achievement. ERO’s previous reviews show that school leaders have had an ongoing focus on learning and improvement.

2 Learning

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

There is a purposeful focus in the school on raising expectations of achievement and increasing engagement and success in learning for all students. Students are achieving well in reading in relation to National Standards. School data also show that increasing numbers of students are on track to achieve at National Standards in mathematics and writing. Good progress is being made with accelerating progress for those at risk of not achieving well. School leaders are now focusing on ways to sustain gains in achievement over time.

Students generally engage well in the learning process. They are confident contributors in classrooms, willingly share their ideas and consider different views in their learning. They know about their assessment information, progress and achievement levels, and what they need to do to improve.

Trustees are well informed through regular, detailed reports that allow them to monitor the impact of school initiatives and progress against achievement targets. School leaders use assessment information effectively to identify where they should focus their attention and adapt practices to reach school goals for improving student outcomes. They target programmes and initiatives to minimise barriers to learning and to respond to students’ specific abilities and needs. Flexible programmes and holistic approaches support those who have special learning needs and provide extended learning opportunities for students who are achieving particularly well.

Teachers and school leaders monitor progress and achievement closely, analyse information collected, and celebrate when improvements are made. They are beginning to gather data that will enable them to identify the progress and achievement of individuals and groups of students during their time at Homai School.

The school community shares a collective responsibility for improving levels of achievement. In addition to raising achievement, there is a strong commitment in the school community to fostering positive attitudes to learning. Trustees, school leaders, teachers and family members are involved in learning alongside children. They model enthusiasm for learning. Several successful initiatives have helped families to become more confident in supporting children’s learning at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The Homai School curriculum invites increased participation from children and their whānau, and clearly reflects the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Curriculum development has been collaborative and continues to evolve in response to teachers’ self review, and student, whānau and community input. It is highly effective in promoting learning through contexts that are relevant for students and their whānau and that reflect the connectedness of this community.

Literacy and mathematics are well integrated across the curriculum. The school’s curriculum design is underpinned by a sense of continuity through the school and emphasises the development of skills that will help students to successfully access the wider curriculum and to be successful members of their community. Teachers monitor the implementation of the curriculum, and help each other to implement strategies for deepening students’ learning.

Strategies for helping whānau to become more involved in the school and to understand curriculum practices have been worthwhile. Reports to whānau show that teachers know children well, celebrate their strengths, progress and achievement, and clearly identify next steps for learning.

Meaningful contexts for learning have enabled students to extend their investigations into the community and to recognise their ability to make positive contributions. Teaching and learning through differing cultural perspectives has increased students’ awareness and understanding of others’ cultures. The school has taken steps to ease children’s transition into the school and continues to reflect on ways that curriculum practices can enhance this process.

Teachers are enthusiastic, receptive to new ideas and provide good quality teaching programmes. They are continually challenged, and work in focused, collegial groups to deepen their thinking about their practice and how this relates to raising student achievement. They are very well supported to improve their practice through mentoring and targeted professional development. Support staff also benefit from professional development to strengthen their capacity to make a positive impact on learning.

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

The good practices identified throughout this report are having a positive impact on Māori students’ engagement and success in learning, and on their sense of pride in being Māori. Whānau report a sense of inclusion in the school. They appreciate the commitment of teachers and school leaders to helping children achieve success. Tikanga Māori is threaded, in natural and respectful ways, throughout school practices and expectations. Children are well supported to feel successful as learners in an environment that celebrates Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and continue building on current good practices. Positive features that provide this assurance include:

  • community connections, collaboration and commitment that promote engagement in learning for students and their families
  • a variety of effective practices that are likely to continue helping to foster success for Māori students and those of Pacific nationalities, and for students who are at risk of not achieving
  • a well-established culture of improvement-focused reflection at all levels, so that self review is used effectively to sustain and continually build on school practices
  • well established organisational processes, specific targets for improvement, clearly identified strategic direction and regular monitoring of progress
  • very good systems to increase the capacity of trustees, leaders, teachers and support staff to meet students’ diverse needs and raise achievement levels in the school.

Strong professional leadership is demonstrated and nurtured across the school. ERO’s 2009 report commented on the positive impact of the principal’s emphasis on developing leadership capacity in the school. She has continued to strengthen this feature of the school, extending leadership across teaching and support staff, and including students, whānau and trustees. The board and school leaders are confident that the school will maintain its momentum for improvement and its focus on high quality teaching, management and governance.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Makere Smith National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

1 October 2012

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1317

School type

Contributing

School roll

275

Gender composition

Boys 143, Girls 132

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Indian

Asian

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

38%

5%

22%

12%

10%

5%

4%

3%

Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

1 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

August 2007

February 2003