Ruakituri School

Education institution number:
1675
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
14
Telephone:
Address:

1607 Ruakituri Valley Road, Ruakituri, Wairoa

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Ruakituri School - 19/06/2018

School Context

Ruakituri is a small rural school 45 kilometres northwest of Wairoa. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Currently 14 students from Years 1 to 6 attend. Most students identify as Māori. The roll has increased since the June 2015 ERO report, however this fluctuates. All students come from the surrounding farming community.

The school’s vision is to create active, positive and confident learners – ‘kia tupu, kai manawanui, me ngā akonga pai’. The stated valued outcomes for students are: ‘respect, pride, integrity, excellence, responsibility and courage’. These are strongly underpinned by the five key competencies outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum.

The principal regularly reports to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school expectations.

The school is part of the Mata Nui o Kahungunu Kāhui Ako. It is also part of Enviroschools and a member of the West Wairoa Cluster of rural schools.

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 successfully supports the achievement of equity and excellent outcomes for most students. School achievement data for 2017 indicates that most achieved at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement in writing is a strength across the school.

Achievement information over the past three years has remained consistent, however the roll has fluctuated over that time.

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

During 2017, most of the students identified in the achievement target accelerated their progress to be achieving at expectation by the end of the year.

The school has used achievement information to develop the 2018 annual target for identified students achieving below expectation in reading. Deliberate strategies are being actioned to accelerate the achievement of these students.

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?

Collaboration and a strong sense of community is highly evident across all levels of the school. It is a valued community resource and is the focal point of community life. A positive, inclusive learning environment supports students through warm and respectful relationships with adults and their peers. Tuakana teina relationships are strongly evident.

Staff have high expectations for students’ learning. The school is well resourced and staff use a range of teaching strategies and differentiated learning tasks to successfully respond to the individual interests, strengths and needs of students.

Students access a wide range of rich authentic learning opportunities within the school and wider community. The curriculum prioritises literacy, mathematics, science and the key competencies. These are well integrated throughout the programme. Students’ identities, and whānau and community knowledge, language and culture are well represented in the curriculum.

Students are confident and can clearly articulate their learning and next steps. The school’s relationship with the West Wairoa Cluster of rural schools, provides regular opportunities for them to engage in social and cultural activities and build relationships with other students.

The school works well with external agencies and parents of students requiring additional learning support, to promote their participation and engagement in the programme alongside their peers. Staff use a range of appropriate teaching strategies and actively seek other learning opportunities in the wider community to respond to students’ interests, strengths and needs.

The principal has developed strong professionally focused relationships with other educational and community institutions to increase opportunities for student learning and success. Trustees are actively involved in the life of the school and are well informed about student achievement, curriculum and school operation and practices.

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

The school has developed a framework to support staff and trustees to reflect on, monitor and review their practice. This is focused on improving outcomes for students. It is now timely to shift the focus from reflection and review, to inquiry and internal evaluation. This should enable the school to evaluate the effectiveness of systems, processes and teaching practices on promoting equity and excellence and acceleration of learning.

The appraisal process requires review to align with current legislative requirements.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to surrender and retention of property and searches of students.

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

  1. develop a policy and procedure on the surrender and retention of property and searches of students.
    [The Education Act 139AAA to 139AAF]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review the behaviour management policy and procedures to include statements about managing challenging behaviour and using restraint that is consistent with the guidelines; and ensuring parents, students and staff know the school’s policies related to this

  • document procedures for managing parents who are subject to court orders who have day-to-day care of, or contact with, a child at school

  • review the anti-bullying policy to include a focus on the prevention of all forms of bullying.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • providing an inclusive and caring environment that effectively engages students, and promotes their learning

  • curriculum responsiveness that ensures students experience a wide range of rich and authentic learning opportunities

  • strong networking and educationally-focused relationships

  • continued community engagement and support for the school.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing the appraisal process to align with current legislative requirements

  • internal evaluation processes and practices to enable trustees and staff to evaluate the effectiveness of systems, processes and teaching practices on promoting equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning

[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.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

19 June 2018

About the school

Location

Wairoa

Ministry of Education profile number

1675

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

14

Gender composition

Male 7, Female 7

Ethnic composition

Māori 13
Pākehā 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

19 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review September 2012
Education Review May 2009

Ruakituri School - 18/06/2015

Findings

In this small, rural school all students make considerable academic and social gains. A culture of care, with deliberate teaching for success is highly evident. Students interact well with each other and staff. The board of family and community members governs effectively. Next steps are to collate a curriculum document and use self review for improvement.

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?

Ruakituri is a sole charge rural school. Currently seven children from Years 1 to 3 attend. Two children have support for specific special needs. Six pupils identify as Māori.

The teaching principal is assisted by a teacher aide, an administrator and a principal release teacher.

The board of trustees comprise of parents and members of the community. Rich locally based activities, farming experiences, and cultural and historical resources add value to the school curriculum.

The areas for review and development in the September 2012 ERO review, have mostly been addressed. Trustees participate in training. Families engage in partnership with the teacher about their child’s learning. Student achievement information is used to inform teaching programmes. Appraisal is implemented with the principal appraisal focusing on the teacher role and that of school leader. Self-review practices for improvement and the development of a documented school curriculum are yet to be addressed.

The school tone is welcoming, friendly and there is a culture of high expectations for success.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used daily in the classroom. Pupils make considerable progress within well-considered junior school programmes in priority areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Students are often taught individually and provided with clear, suitable activities to reinforce learning. Students demonstrate a high level of self motivation and independence. They are eager to learn. They can describe what they are doing and how it will help them improve.

Families, whānau and staff expect students to succeed. Those identified as having specific learning needs are involved in all class programmes. The teacher plans differentiated activities for them. These plans are implemented in the classroom by an experienced teacher aide who knows the students well. The students make significant social and academic progress.

The teacher collaborates with colleagues from other schools to moderate student achievement information to test the reliability and validity of achievement judgements for Ruakituri students. These professional conversations include the making of overall teacher judgements (OTJs). It is expected that all students will attain at or above National Standards by the end of their first year at school. Progress of students to reach this expectation is reported to the board.

Families receive regular and useful information about student progress, both formally at appointed times and informally as required.

3 Curriculum

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

Students participate in a broad curriculum. They often meet with students from other schools to engage in purposeful learning opportunities. The wider school community is effectively used as an environment for learning. This includes appropriate, well-planned trips to places of significant interest. Staff continually draw on their knowledge of students, families and community. Families avail themselves of opportunities to know more of what their child is learning.

The enacted curriculum appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. It aligns closely to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Students access and use a range of well-considered resources, including digital technologies to help them understand the world they live in. Teaching staff continually reflect upon the content and method of delivery of the curriculum to maximise student learning opportunities.

A bicultural curriculum is woven throughout the day, ensuring students engage with activities that support their language, culture and identity.

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

All findings in this report relate to the accelerated progress of Māori students. Students learn in an environment that respects them as individuals. Deliberate, well-considered teaching strategies stimulate and challenge them to achieve accelerated progress throughout their schooling. Staff are relentless in providing the best environment for students to learn. Although students whakapapa to different iwi there is a strong sense of belonging to the school and its locality.

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.

Systems and processes in the school, used by staff and trustees, are evidence of a well-organised, future-directed learning environment focused on students and their needs.

Māori are acknowledged for their contribution to the class. They are encouraged to take on meaningful leadership roles. The current students’ learning and achievement is positive in literacy and numeracy within te ao Māori.

Students with specific needs receive considerable support so that their progress is accelerated appropriately. Staff connect with educational based agencies to seek guidance and support.

Staff are focussed on improvement. This is demonstrated by their commitment and participation in ongoing professional learning. The caring, experienced principal is responsive to community and the families. She always focuses on what is best for students’ learning needs. Her role as a teaching principal is suitably supported by staff and trustees.

The board is comprised of new and more experienced members. They work cooperatively acknowledging the strengths of each other, to effectively govern the school. Charter values and statements provide a clear framework for the school. Target students, their progress, and resourcing decisions to support them are priorities. They provide a foundation for sustaining and improving the school outcomes for students.

Families and whānau continue to play an active part in the school and what it provides. A tone of collaboration is highly evident in the school.

Next steps, agreed by the principal and the board are to:

  • collate the school curriculum in a document that brings together in a coherent, useful way all aspects of the wide reaching activities that currently engage students in learning
  • build and use self-review processes to critically and actively inform ongoing 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.

Conclusion

In this small, rural school all students make considerable academic and social gains. A culture of care, with deliberate teaching for success is highly evident. Students interact well with each other and staff. The board of family and community members governs effectively. Next steps are to collate a curriculum document and use self review for improvement.

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

Image removed.Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 June 2015

About the School

Location

Wairoa

Ministry of Education profile number

1675

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

7

Gender composition

Male 4, Female 3

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

6

1

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

18 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2012

May 2009

April 2006