Kaurilands School

Kaurilands School - 14/08/2015

1. Context

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

Kaurilands School, in West Auckland, is a large urban primary school that caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The welcoming and inclusive school culture provides many opportunities for parents to be involved. Parents particularly appreciate that their child is not ‘lost’ within the large school setting. The school community is proud of their school.

Environmental education is a feature of the school. The native plantings and natural features of the school grounds provide authentic contexts for students’ interest in the environment. Students have many opportunities to learn about aspects of sustainability through the school’s involvement in programmes to minimise waste and to grow and cook food.

Senior students learn in classrooms that have been refurbished to provide modern learning environments. The board plans to extend this model of learning to other levels of the school.

Significant professional development has been undertaken to support the school direction. School leaders have high expectations of teachers to incorporate new strategies into their practice. As a result the impact of professional development is clearly evident in teaching and learning programmes.

A very affirming 2012 ERO report noted the school’s supportive learning culture and its highly effective leadership, governance and teaching practice. These positive features continue to be consistently evident across the school. Good progress has been made in reporting on student achievement in National Standards to parents.

2. Learning

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

School leaders and teachers make good use of student achievement information. They know students well as individuals and as learners. There is a strong focus on supporting identified groups of students to make accelerated progress and to ensure others are extended.

Students value education and are highly engaged in their learning. They are confident and articulate in conversations with their peers and adults. Students have high self belief as learners. Positive and respectful relationships between teachers and students are evident throughout the school.

Data provided by the school shows that student achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics is at a higher level than other schools in the local area and nationally. Following a review of assessment practices, senior leaders have reduced the number of ways used to measure student achievement. They plan to continue to use nationally recognised assessment tools that provide good information to guide and support teacher judgements about students’ achievement.

Senior leaders set targets for student achievement. These targets identify students who are currently achieving below the relevant standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Being more specific about the groups of students being targeted and the accelerated progress expected would help the school when reviewing how successful initiatives have been for particular groups of students.

Teachers use good systems to track the progress and achievement of students who have been identified for closer monitoring. Regular professional conversations between teachers provide good opportunities for them to reflect on the impact of their teaching practice on students and for sharing effective practices.

Children with special needs are well included. The school has good systems for providing these students with additional help with their learning. Teacher aides participate in good quality professional development to build their understanding of the students and their individual learning needs.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very well.

The school values based on whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga, ako,manaakitanga and kotahitanga strongly influence learning priorities and contexts. The curriculum provides clear guidelines and expectations about how teachers will foster this learning. Social skills, te reo Māori, science, reading, writing and mathematics are all prioritised. Cultural diversity is affirmed and the addition of a Pacific culture group has further enriched the curriculum, bringing a heightened appreciation and awareness of their language, culture and identity of the schools’ Pacific students.

Teachers collaborate well to plan programmes of work, to share their expertise and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes. They make good use of students’ learning time during the school day. Teachers plan appropriate activities that engage students. They make the purpose of tasks clear for students and provide helpful feedback and areas for development. Classrooms are well organised and attractive, with many displays of students’ work, especially art work. These elements promote the value of education and maintain a focus on learning.

Teachers participate in professional development that is aligned to school goals and facilitated by staff with expertise and external providers. The planned implementation of new initiatives, together with expectations leaders have of teachers, means professional learning has a significant and positive impact on the quality of teaching. This helps ensure students experience good consistency of practice when they move to new classes.

Teachers and students in Year 5 and 6 classes have successfully taken on board a range of specific teaching approaches that reflect modern theories of learning. Students in these classes are developing a good understanding of the learning process. They work in conjunction with teachers, taking personal responsibility for planning for their learning. They use information from assessment tasks to help them identify gaps in their learning, and to set goals and develop learning tasks that are likely to result in improved outcomes. Students speak very positively about the difference this style of teaching makes to their learning. Senior leaders and ERO agree that broadening and accelerating the implementation of modern learning practice that fosters student ownership of learning to other year levels is a next step for the school.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori, very well. It values New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and Māori as tangata whenua. Kaumatua, other experts and key teachers support teachers well to promote te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

Te reo Māori is an important priority for the school. Every class has focused te reo lessons on a weekly basis. Māori language is also used incidentally throughout the day, integrated into topics and visible in displays. Students’ confidence in using te reo in conversations is the result of the school’s progressive and school-wide Māori language programme.

Māori students report a sense of pride in te ao Māori being highly visible in their school. They see the school pepeha, waiata and two kapa haka groups as affirming their language, culture and identity. Older students have opportunities to lead the younger group. The well supported Matariki celebration is a further example of the acknowledgement of te ao Māori by the whole school.

As a group, Māori students achieve at a higher level in National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics than Māori students in other schools in the local area and nationally.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. It is led by highly professional school leaders and governed by capable trustees. The school’s direction and values provide clear signposts for expectations and decision making. Consequently there is a well considered approach to the adoption and implementation of new initiatives.

The principal provides strong leadership for the school. She is well respected and highly regarded by the school community. The school leadership team works well together to ensure its high expectations are met and school directions are promoted and embedded.

Teachers collaborate well to provide students with a very consistent and effective learning culture across the school. Decisions about teacher professional development are well considered and aligned with school goals to provide best outcomes for students.

School leaders are closely involved in classrooms and team discussions. This helps them to know what is happening for students as individuals to provide support and guidance for teachers. Senior leaders provide good opportunities for teachers to develop leadership in their areas of strength or interest.

Trustees are future focused and think strategically. They are well informed, understand their roles well and value the insights they have gained into governance through their training. They have a good understanding of the groups of students that are priority learners in their school. Trustees promote student wellbeing and success for all students.

Self review is planned and responsive. Parents, teachers and students have opportunities to contribute their ideas and suggestions. As a result, decision making is considered, based on evidence and aligned to the school values. Trustees, senior leaders and teachers should continue to use the school’s good self-review processes to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of programmes and initiatives in promoting positive outcomes for students.

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

Kaurilands School has a welcoming and inclusive culture. The school values permeate all aspects of operations. The curriculum prioritises science, te reo Māori and environmental education. Students achieve well. The board is committed to future focused learning. The school is professionally led and well governed.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 August 2015

About the School

Location

Titirangi, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1328

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

701

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 74%

Māori 14%

English 2%

Indian 2%

Samoan 2%

other 6%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

14 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2012

Education Review July 2008

Education Review August 2005

Kaurilands School - 06/03/2012

1. Context

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

Kaurilands is a large, urban school set against the backdrop of the Waitākere ranges. Teachers and students use the natural environment of the school as a learning resource and to strengthen links with local history. Many staff, members of the board of trustees, and families of children enrolled have had a long association with the school. A strong sense of community and high levels of parent and family pride, commitment and involvement support the school.

Since the 2008 ERO review, there have been a number of changes in the organisation of the school. The new principal, appointed in 2009, provides high quality professional leadership. A review of the curriculum resulted in a strategic, school-wide focus on developing the teaching of reading and writing. Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development with external facilitators. Practices for teaching and learning have been strengthened and improved.

The school has been restructured into junior and senior syndicates so that teachers can better cater for student learning. A board initiative has been to establish smaller classes across the school in order to maximise students' learning opportunities. Students benefit from increased provision of digital learning resources. Significant improvements to the school website help to keep parents informed about student progress and school events.

The high standards of education noted in previous ERO reports continue to be evident. An integral part of the school culture is a focus on nurturing students' potential and self esteem and fostering success for all. The well maintained environment supports students' wellbeing, safety and learning.

2. Learning

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

Students consistently show high levels of motivation and engagement in learning, both in classroom programmes and the broader aspects of school life. They are keen to contribute to class discussions and share their learning with others.

Students achieve very well. The majority of students in Years 1 to 6 are achieving at or above national expectations for their age in reading, writing and mathematics.

The analysis and use of achievement data is robust and in-depth. The principal and senior leaders have a very good knowledge of how well students are achieving and progressing during the year and over time. Thorough data analysis in reading, writing, mathematics and spelling enables senior leaders to review trends and patterns in achievement for the whole school, year level cohorts and Māori and Pacific students.

The school provides high quality learning programmes to extend more able students and to target and support students who are underachieving. Teacher aides, who are involved in their own professional learning and development, provide good in-class learning support for children. Clear analyses of achievement data, at classroom, syndicate and school-wide levels, are used to inform programme planning and teaching strategies, and to monitor the effectiveness of extension and support programmes.

Pacific students are well engaged in learning. In reading, writing and mathematics, they achieve at levels that are similar to those of other students in the school. Pacific students have opportunities to participate in a Pacific cultural group each week. The principal has initiated plans to focus on success for Pacific students. This focus includes building relationships with Pacific families and strengthening their engagement in the school.

The school's charter meets current Ministry of Education requirements. School leaders and trustees have set targets for the small number of children in Years 3 to 6 who are achieving below or well below the National Standards in reading and numeracy. The school has yet to report in writing to students and their parents on students' progress in relation to the National Standards.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school has a high level of commitment to promoting Māori students' success and their success as Māori. Māori students provide confident and skilled leadership in welcoming protocols and in other areas of the school. The majority of Māori students achieve at or above their age-appropriate levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Their levels of achievement are comparable with those of other students in the school.

Since the 2008 ERO review, the principal has significantly increased the school's commitment to Māori students' success and to their success as Māori. Strong relationships have been established with Māori parents and whānau to promote their engagement in the school. High numbers of Māori parents and whānau attend whānau hui that are held in the school. Te reo and tikanga Māori have been prioritised in the school curriculum. Findings from consultation with Māori parents and whānau in early 2011 have led to a number of new initiatives in the school, including new school signage.

The school has a high quality te reo Māori programme. It is tailored to meet the needs of both students and teachers and is underpinned by sound principles of second language acquisition. Lessons are well planned and resourced. All teachers receive regular professional learning and development in te reo Māori. The school has a requirement that all students will learn te reo Māori for a minimum of 30 minutes each week. All students have opportunities to be involved in and learn about pōwhiri, kapa haka and Matariki, the Māori New Year.

Senior leaders have developed a school-wide plan that combines all current initiatives to promote Māori student success and the engagement of whānau. This plan could also be used as a tool for ongoing self review.

3. Curriculum

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

The Kauriland's School curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting student learning.

The school's curriculum provides educational opportunities that promote engagement, progress and achievement for all students. The curriculum is responsive and well matched to student interests, prior knowledge, learning capabilities and needs. Students benefit from a broad curriculum that includes a range of learning opportunities in science, the arts, sports, as well as learning contexts that draw on the school's natural environment. The local environment is well integrated into the school curriculum and is used to promote respect for the environment, as well as concepts such as conservation and sustainability.

Many examples of very good quality teaching practice are evident across the school. Teachers know students well and have high expectations for their learning and behaviour. They plan collaboratively and draw on expertise amongst the staff to enhance areas of curriculum delivery. They use effective teaching strategies and are skilled at having conversations with students about their learning. Teachers use good questioning techniques to encourage high levels of student engagement. Learning programmes are well planned and differentiated to meet students' varied learning needs and abilities. Recent professional learning and development on the teaching of science, reading and writing has continued to build teachers' professional skills.

Classrooms are well resourced and displays encourage students' interest and support their learning. Teachers develop a positive culture of respect and trust so that students can take risks with their learning. Students work cooperatively, learning is well paced, and learning time is maximised.

Some sound processes for working with the National Standards in mathematics are evident. The mathematics curriculum team provides good leadership and guidance for the design, implementation and review of the mathematics curriculum in the school. Teachers give an appropriate balance to numeracy and other strands of mathematics, depending on the year level. Teachers continue to work together to build their confidence in making overall teacher judgements against the National Standards. Strategies include the use of a range of assessment information and day to day observations of student knowledge and understanding.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain current good practices and to continue to improve its performance. Self review is well established and is used effectively to determine strategic priorities for student learning, curriculum design and implementation, and teacher professional learning and development needs.

The school benefits from high quality professional leadership. The principal has led a number of changes in the school effectively, including an increased emphasis on evidence-informed teaching and learning practices and the use of data to inform decision making. Senior leaders are collaborative, open and collegial. They make best use of their individual skills to improve student learning and to build teacher capability. Senior leaders know teachers well and support them to reflect on and inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Clear expectations are established for programme planning and implementation. Good quality assurance processes are in place to monitor teacher effectiveness and the quality of teaching and learning programmes. Performance appraisal is aligned to school priorities for learning. Senior leaders know the community well and are highly responsive to aspirations of parents, whānau and the community.

Trustees are knowledgeable and future focused. They provide good strategic governance and work supportively with the principal and senior leaders to focus on curriculum priorities and improving student outcomes. Policies are regularly reviewed. Since the 2008 ERO review, the board has overseen a number of property developments, including provision of a modern and spacious staffroom. Other developments include a multipurpose learning space, a new playground for senior students, the refurbishment of nine classrooms and the building of a new classroom.

A culture of inclusiveness, respect and acceptance permeates all aspects of the school. Relationships between staff, parents and children are respectful, caring and supportive. The school's values, tone, climate, culture and community engagement and relationships provide a strong foundation for sustaining and improving student learning.

Provision for international students

The 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.

No international students were enrolled at the time of this 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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

In order to meet its legal obligations, the school board, with the principal and teaching staff, must report in writing to students and their parents on the students' progress in relation to the National Standards, [National Administrative Guidelines 2A (a)].

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)

6 March 2012

About the School

Location

Titirangi, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1328

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

8

School roll

752

Gender composition

Boys 53%

Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Samoan

Niuean

Tongan

other ethnicities

74%

15%

4%

3%

1%

1%

2%

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

6 March 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

July 2008

August 2005

October 2001

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.