Puni School

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Education institution number:
1455
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
246
Telephone:
Address:

Waiuku Road, Puni, Pukekohe

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School Context

Puni School is a contributing primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 6. It is located in a semi-rural area 6km west of Pukekohe. There are currently 223 students enrolled. Approximately 30% of these are Māori.

Puni School aims to create a learning community which is energetic, enterprising, inclusive and future focused. It promotes the REACH values of respect, ears and eyes for learning, acting safely, challenging oneself and having control over one’s actions.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board giving school-wide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics.

An experienced principal continues to lead the school. The board chair is also experienced. There is a mixture of both long serving and new trustees on the board.

The school belongs to the Pukekohe Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

While the majority of students at Puni School are achieving at or above national expectations, the school’s overall achievement is below national comparisons in writing and mathematics and equivalent in reading. This is a continuing pattern over a number of years except in writing where achievement has steadily declined. There is significant disparity for Māori students and for boys. 

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school needs to strengthen its response to Māori and boys who are underachieving, particularly in writing.

The school’s data for Year 3 to 6 students in both literacy and mathematics for 2017 shows acceleration. Of the Māori students identified as at risk at the beginning of 2017, nearly all made accelerated progress in mathematics and reading, and about one third did so in writing. Of the other students who were identified as at risk at the beginning of 2017 just over half made accelerated progress in mathematics and reading, and about one third did so in writing.

The school has not been collecting acceleration data long enough to determine whether these gains have been sustained over a longer period or whether those who have made accelerated progress but are not yet achieving at expected levels are on a trajectory to be ready for transition to secondary schooling in Year 9.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Leadership builds relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community. Leaders are approachable and highly responsive to parent and whānau concerns, ideas and initiatives. Students participate and learn in a caring environment that promotes wellbeing in a holistic way. Relationships between teachers and students positively support learning. Teachers work well as a team. Their openness to change supports ongoing improvement.

There are many well-considered opportunities for children to experience success in a wide range of curricula and extra curricula areas. A set of interventions support children at risk of not achieving. Gifted and talented children have many opportunities to be challenged and progress in their learning. Teachers recognise the importance of student and community voice and use it as a key resource in developing a responsive curriculum. Māori content and perspective is becoming more visible in the wider school curriculum and there are plans in place to increase this in the coming year with a focus on local iwi history.

A number of initiatives within the school effectively engage parents and whānau as partners assisting in their children’s learning, particularly for children at risk of not achieving and for children with additional learning needs.

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

There needs to be a sharper focus on the groups and cohorts of students in the school who are at risk of not achieving. Leaders need to:

  • strengthen and align systems and processes, in particular, professional development, that promote consistent, high-quality teaching practice
  • review internal evaluation systems, such as assessment processes and teaching as inquiry, to ensure there is a focus on the progress being made by at risk students.

The collation and use of assessment data needs to be strengthened in order to ensure students’ specific learning needs are identified and to maximise the impact of targeted actions:

  • board targets need to focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are at risk of not achieving
  • teachers need to strengthen the way they use literacy and mathematics progressions to identify students’ specific learning needs and show clearly how they are responding to these through deliberate acts of targeted teaching.

The quality of formative assessment needs to be more consistent across the school.

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. 

Appraisal audit

ERO’s audit of the school’s appraisal system found that strengthening was required in a number of areas. School leaders need to ensure that teachers are appraised and attested in relation to current Education Council teacher standards, ensure teacher appraisal goals focus on student progress and achievement, and feedback and feedforward is focussed on improving teacher practice. 

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to teacher appraisal.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. ensure that teachers are appraised each year in accordance with Ministry of Education requirements.
    [State Sector Act 1988, s77C]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that builds relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community
  • a learning environment that is caring and promotes wellbeing
  • a broad curriculum that provides opportunities for students to experience success in a wide range of curricula and extra curricula areas
  • initiatives that effectively engage parents as partners in their children’s learning.

Next steps

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

  • building a comprehensive and strategic approach to support teachers to maintain a focus on accelerating those groups within the school most at risk of not achieving
  • strengthening the collation and use of assessment data to ensure students’ specific learning needs are identified and responses are seen to be having an impact on progress
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]
  • internal evaluation processes and practices

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

5 February 2018

About the school 

Location

Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1455

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

223

Gender composition

Boys      48%
Girls       52%

Ethnic composition

Māori                   29%
Pākehā                 52%
Pacific                  10%
Indian                     4%
Other                      5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

5 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

December           2014
October               2011
November           2005

  

Findings

Puni School effectively promotes student learning and wellbeing. The school’s responsive curriculum ensures students have access to, and engage well in, school programmes. Leadership is effective and parent partnerships are valued. The board provides very good governance and is considering further ways of supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori.

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?

Puni School is a medium sized, semi-rural school located in Pukekohe, Auckland. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6 and has a culturally diverse roll, with 23% of students identifying as Māori.

Since the 2011 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed. The new principal is committed to providing strong guidance to staff. He promotes leadership opportunities for both staff and students.

Operations emphasise the school's core values. As part of this emphasis the room and syndicate names have been changed to represent local geographical features of significance to Māori.

The school has a positive and affirming atmosphere. It continues to celebrate its rural uniqueness with the local community and receives strong community support.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. The areas of good practice identified in the 2011 ERO report, such as the high expectations of students and a strong commitment by the board of trustees to high quality governance, continue to be evident.

2 Learning

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

Puni School uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students are confident, articulate and enjoy positive relationships with adults and peers. Senior managers use successful approaches to support students’ transition into school. The board, principal and teachers focus on increasing student engagement in their learning using a variety of strategies. These include monitoring and reporting student attendance to the board and increasing guidance for students to self monitor their learning progress.

School data shows most students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There has been a significant lift in achievement results for Māori students in reading and mathematics during 2013. Pacific students are making good progress with reading and mathematics. The board has a strategic focus on raising student achievement in writing. To enable the board to plan more accurately for emerging achievement trends and patterns it would be useful for it to receive information about students' progress in relation to National Standards over their time in the school.

Teachers use a wide range of appropriate assessment tools to inform and plan for ongoing student learning. They moderate results across syndicates and year levels to increase the reliability of results.

Students have begun to develop and monitor personal learning goals identified from their assessment results. The principal has introduced parent, teacher and student conversations about student’s progress against learning goals. This is a way of strengthening parent partnership with the school. Parents receive two written reports per year. These could now be reviewed to improve their readability for parents.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The curriculum is well resourced and well planned to enhance students’ interests and learning. Trustees receive regular achievement information about student progress. They use this information to make resourcing and professional development decisions to extend the curriculum. There are many opportunities for students to participate in a variety of learning experiences in classes and outdoors. Parents spoken to by ERO were enthusiastic about the high quality of extra-curricular activities and sporting options offered by the school.

Pacific students make up 12% of the school population, with the majority being of Tongan descent. The board has considered the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017. They are now better placed to use the plan to complement school initiatives and inform the school’s strategic direction.

Teachers plan integrated programmes of learning that incorporate a variety of learning areas. Topics of study reflect both the teachers’ strengths and students’ interests. Programmes are differentiated to cater for the range of learning needs within the class.

The school’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) promotes many opportunities to enhance the progress of students requiring extra support. The board provides appropriate resourcing to support this work. Children with special abilities are catered for mainly through external opportunities. The school could now consider ways to further promote and extend the progress of children with special abilities within class programmes.

Teachers receive professional learning opportunities from both within and outside the school. They have continued with the focus on developing positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) approaches since the 2011 ERO review. The PB4L programme is well embedded throughout the school and teachers model its principles well. It is now time to direct the professional learning emphasis on other areas of identified need.

The school operates three syndicate areas and these teams work well together. Teachers have opportunities to enhance their leadership skills by advocating for areas of personal interest. Teachers within the syndicates are guided by experienced and confident leaders who contribute positively to the senior management team. Syndicate leaders ensure there are consistent good teaching and learning practices throughout each of the teams. A next step is to share these good practices school-wide.

The board has an increased emphasis on providing information and communication tools (ICT) for students. The challenge now is to enhance teacher understanding of the place of ICT tools in enriching and enhancing teaching and learning programmes.

The principal and trustees agree that it would be useful to review how well all students engage with the curriculum. This review could usefully cover the level of challenge provided for students, and how well teachers maximise students learning time.

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

Puni School continues to develop effective strategies to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. Teachers are increasing their capacity to advance the language, culture and identity of these students. Te reo Māori is clearly evident and promoted in the environment.

Teachers have high expectations for students’ learning. Achievement information shows upward trends. Māori students and achievement is higher than local, regional and national levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school experiences strong whānau support and relationships. It continues to participate in the local Te Huarahi initiative and is participating in the Mahi Pai programme. Both of these initiatives focus on increasing whānau support and awareness of local iwi protocols and dialect.

Parent leaders support and promote Te Ao Māori and teachers continue to build their confidence in using te reo Māori in class programmes. Parents support the school with powhiri, poroporoaki and kapa haka where Māori students are able to feature in leadership roles.

To further promote progress in this area the board and senior managers agree that they should continue to:

  • build closer relationships with parents/whānau
  • gather parent/whānau aspirations and include this information in strategic planning
  • increase the breadth of te reo Māori use in classes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board has a suitable balance of newly elected and longstanding trustees. Trustees bring good professional knowledge and skills to their role. They make use of the training offered to retain these strengths. Trustees are discussing how the board can plan to help ensure experience and knowledge remains with the board over time.

Good leadership is promoting ongoing school improvement. The new principal provides inclusive and distributed leadership and clear direction for staff. The senior leadership team works collaboratively and is supportive of the principal.

The school has many well developed self-review processes. There is extensive evidence of teachers’ reflective approaches and the board timetables policy and curriculum reviews. These good practices could be strengthened by evaluating the outcomes of the reflections and developing action plans for the implementation of next steps. The principal agrees that self review should be manageable and meaningful at all levels of school operation.

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 in the school 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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should undertake regular consultation with their Māori community to gather parent and whānau aspirations for their children and the school.

Conclusion

Puni School effectively promotes student learning and wellbeing. The school’s responsive curriculum ensures students have access to, and engage well in, school programmes. Leadership is effective and parent partnerships are valued. The board provides very good governance and is considering further ways of supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

22 December 2014

About the School

Location

Puni, Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1455

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

213

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 54%, Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Maori

Indian

Tongan

Chinese

Other Pacific

55%

23%

7%

7%

3%

5%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

22 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

November 2008

November 2005