Kutarere School

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Findings

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

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

1 Background and Context

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

Kutarere School is situated beside Ohiwa Harbour in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The school provides education for children from Years 1 to 8. Year 1 to 3 students have a focus on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa curriculum with students from Years 4 to 8 transitioning to the New Zealand Curriculum. All of the school’s 23 children are Māori, most of whom whakapapa to local iwi.

Since the previous ERO review in 2017 there has been several changes in leaders and teachers. In Term 4 2019 a new principal was appointed. The board comprises a mix of new and experienced board members, and a new board chairperson has been elected.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development
  • strengthen leadership and stewardship to ensure charter achievement targets are more clearly focused on students most at risk of underachieving
  • strengthen planning to systematically and deliberately accelerate progress of identified at-risk learners
  • strengthen the capability of leaders, teachers and trustees to interpret achievement information, and use it more effectively to improve outcomes for all students
  • build teacher capability in the planning and use of deliberate acts of teaching to accelerate the learning of students who need this
  • strengthen systems for tracking and monitoring children's progress and achievement over time
  • continue focused internal training for the board to enable trustees to strengthen systems and practices for school governance and operation
  • teachers continue to strengthen learning partnerships with whānau, particularly for students most at risk. 
Progress
Stewardship and governance.

The majority of the board are newly elected trustees, including the chairperson. The board have been involved in training and development provided by the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA). This has assisted the board to strengthen their understanding about their roles and responsibilities. The board have strong connections with the community and are identifying ways in which to engage with them more effectively. Trustees have yet to receive ongoing student achievement data and they have set this as a priority.

The school has made progress in the development of their school charter and annual plan. There are clear targets for student achievement in 2020. However, at the time of this ERO report these documents had not yet been ratified by the board.

Developing educationally powerful relationships with whānau and iwi

Leadership has prioritised making connections with whānau and iwi. Deliberate, planned consultation has been supported by spontaneous opportunities to seek the views and aspirations of the community. There is increasing evidence that leadership is becoming an area of strength for the school. Whānau feel more valued and included and are engaging more with the school. These key relationships need to be further strengthened.

Building leadership and teacher capability to improve student outcomes.

The new principal has been extremely focused on developing new systems and processes to meet the needs of all students. Assessment practices have been reviewed and there are clear systems to administer assessments, and to track and monitor progress. These systems have yet to be fully embedded or evaluated. There is no accurate historical data that allows for the ongoing analysis of trends and patterns of student achievement. In Term 4 2019, the school sourced external expertise to work alongside teachers to assess achievement levels. Professional learning and development (PLD) has been identified to further strengthen leaders’ and teachers’ capability to manage and use student achievement information effectively.

In recent years the reporting of student achievement and progress has been inconsistent. The new principal has made progress with parents receiving one end of year report in 2019. A new reporting process has been put in place for 2020. The school will need to evaluate how effective the reporting process is for students and whānau.

Teachers must formalise their planning to make sure they are clearly identifying and responding to needs of target students. This will allow for consistent tracking and monitoring of student progress and achievement.

The school is in the process of defining and formalising their localised curriculum. A great deal of thought and research has gone into developing Upokoheretanga. However this now needs to be shared and agreed upon by the community before it is implemented.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Since Term 2019, there has been significant progress made in many of the areas identified for development. However, a large number of these have yet to be fully embedded or evaluated. As a result the school is unable to show how effective they have been in improving student outcomes.

There is evidence that the governance and leadership of the school have made a number of improvements to school operations. These have yet to be fully implemented and evaluated.

Key next steps

In order to sustain improved student achievement, the school needs to:

  • regularly review school policies and procedures, and address areas of non-compliance identified in this report
  • further develop systems to collate, analyse and report student achievement information
  • plan more effectively for targeted students
  • implement the localised curriculum
  • embed new policies, procedures, systems and practices
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the changes against the annual plan.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to annual reporting, consulting with parents, aspects of health and safety and principal appraisal.

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

  • ensure the annual report is consistent with the legislative requirements
    [Section 87(2)(e) Education Act 1989]
  • complete consultation with the community regarding the delivery of its health curriculum every two years
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  • receive reports assuring the Board of Trustees of Health and Safety requirements
    [NAG 5]
  • ratify the child protection policy
    [Children’s Act 2014]
  • make policies available to the community
    [NAG 5]
  • complete principal appraisal process
    [NZ Ed Gazette: Primary Principal Collective Employment Agreement]
  • inform the community about the school donation scheme.
    [Sections 79A and 79B Education (School Donations) Amendment Act 2019]

4 Recommendation

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends the continuing support from the Ministry of Education senior advisor.

Conclusion

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

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

3 July 2020

About the school

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

1 Context

Kutarere School is situated on Ohiwa Harbour Eastern Bay of Plenty near Opotiki. Up until 2016 the school was providing a dual medium learning environment. From the beginning of 2016 the school began the transition into a single mixed-aged group rumaaki reo classroom for all children, operating solely in their local curriculum that reflects and endorses 'Upokorehetanga' under Te Marautanga for all children. The school provides education for children from Years 1 to 8 in a composite rumaaki reo Māori context, with English language transition offered in Year 8. Most of the children are second language learners and do not have te reo Māori as their first language at home. All of the schools 29 children are Māori, most of whom whakapapa to local iwi.

Since the previous ERO review in 2013 leadership has remained the same and there have been some changes to the teaching team. A new board of trustee's chairperson has recently been appointed.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to understand and demonstrate:

  • manaakitanga
  • whanaungatanga
  • matauranga
  • Upokorehetanga

These values are underpinned by the schools whakatauki 'Kapohia te matauranga ki tona hohonutanga, ki tona whānuitanga'.

The school’s achievement information shows that from 2013 to 2015 almost all children were achieving below National Standards for mathematics. Approximately half of the children were meeting National Standards in reading and writing at the end of 2015, slightly less than the number achieving at the end of 2014. By the end of 2016, significant improvement in achievement resulted in National Standards for reading and mathematics.

The school's achievement information using Ngā Whanaketanga, shows that from 2013 to 2015 one third of children were meeting expectations for pānui and tuhituhi with less than half of the children meeting expectations for kōrero and pāngarau. The 2016 interim and end of year data reports that many of the children below the expected standard in Ngā Whanaketanga are making good progress, particularly in tuhituhi, pānui and pāngarau.

A range of assessment tools and approaches are used to make overall teacher judgements. However, moderation processes and practices need further development. 

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has accessed professional learning and development for teachers in:

  • teaching and learning in maths and pāngarau,
  • engaging children in blended e-learning and digital technologies
  • specific assessment and evaluation tools appropriate for rumaaki reo Māori environments
  • implementing a responsive teaching and learning programme across the school under Te Mārautanga.

In addition, the principal has undertaken professional learning in leadership. She has an external facilitator from Kia Ata Mai Trust to support her in building leadership capability, to raise student achievement and improve learning outcomes for all children.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is beginning to develop specific systems and strategies in order to respond well to children's identified needs.

Leadership and teachers have recently introduced the tuakana/teina collaborative learning environment for Years 1 to 8 children. Teachers are beginning to discuss and share ways to support individual children at risk of not achieving expected levels in Ngā Whanaketanga. Since ERO was on-site, 2016 school achievement results showed significant improvement in National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga.

School leaders and teachers have implemented initiatives that support whānau to contribute to, and assist their children's learning at home. A kaiawhina and a literacy resource leader work alongside children to support and progress their learning and achievement within the classroom.

The school now needs to place priority on:

  • setting specific targets in the school's charter that focus on accelerating the achievement of children at risk in their learning
  • building teacher capability, to assess and teach deliberately to raise achievement
  • closely monitoring the progress of children at risk of underachieving throughout the year and report this information to the board of trustees to support their decision making
  • continuing to build children's knowledge of their achievement and specific learning needs
  • documenting a deliberate systematic process of internal evaluation to support continuous improvement, focussed on accelerating achievement for all students.

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 leaders and trustees have yet to develop effective targets for equity and excellence to inform the school's curriculum and other processes and practices.

The principal and teachers are focussed on providing a curriculum that supports children's language, culture and identity. A clearly documented overview of the curriculum across all learning areas provides opportunities for children to extend their learning where te reo Māori is the main language of instruction. A special feature of the programme is the transition as a whole school into rumaaki reo Māori alongside the natural inclusion of a curriculum strongly linked to the local context. School participation includes events of significance to local marae and iwi. Kaumātua and whānau lead, guide and promote tikanga Māori appropriate to Upokorehetanga and Hahi Ringatu.

Children explore and experience education outside the classroom with a successful implementation of a putaiao programme based on kaitiakitanga on the Ohiwa Harbour planting and heritage projects.

Groups of targeted children experience success with learning support programmes, particularly in reading. Transitions to secondary schooling is supported through the introduction of an English transition class for Year 8 children. Consideration should be given to embedding the learning progressions across all learning areas so that children are able to confidently identify their learning needs, and better understand their next steps.

Through her leadership, the principal models the values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, and Upokorehetanga. A high level of commitment to tikanga and te reo Māori, and the implementation of Ngā Whanaketanga is evident. Effective leadership of change is resulting in a positive school culture that is evident in children's language, culture and identity.

The principal has engaged in a robust external appraisal process and is developing effective systems to assist teachers to reflect on their practice.

Trustees provide supportive governance focussed on equitable outcomes for all children. Positive relationships with whānau are developed and members of the community with specific skills have been co-opted. On-going internal training for the new board chairperson and trustees enables them to strengthen organisational capacity and effectiveness. Trustees need to review charter targets and identify specific numbers of children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Whānau and parents have opportunities to participate in the learning of their mokopuna and tamariki. They have participated in initiatives such as 'reading together' and a 'maths at home' programme to support their children's acceleration in learning. Whānau receive regular reports on children's achievement and attend regular hui, which inform them about progress and achievement. Strengthening partnerships with parents of at risk children, so that they know how to help their child at home, is an area for ongoing development for teaching staff.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it. 

Current strengths are:

  • a curriculum that identifies the language, culture and identity of the Upokorehetanga learner
  • that whānau and the wider community are involved in the school's cultural activities and events.

In order to sustain improved student achievement in 2016, or those needing acceleration, the school needs to:

  • strengthen leadership and stewardship to ensure achievement targets in the charter are more sharply focussed on students most at risk of underachieving
  • strengthen planning to systematically and deliberately accelerate progress of identified at risk learners
  • strengthen capability of leaders, teachers and trustees to interpret achievement information and use It more effectively to improve outcomes for all children
  • build teacher capability, especially to target and plan individual deliberate acts of teaching to accelerate target  and other identified children
  • strengthen systems for the monitoring of children's progress and the collation of achievement data
  • continue focused internal training for the board to enable trustees to strengthen systems and practices for school governance and operation
  • teachers continue to strengthen learning partnerships with whānau, particularly for children at most risk.

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

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that Ministry of Education and NZSTA consider providing support for the board of trustees to improve governance and leadership practices. This is in response to the 2016 action plan, and areas for improvement identified in this report. 

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Opotiki

Ministry of Education profile number

1786

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

29

Gender composition

Boys 18
Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Maori

29

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

15 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2013
February 2012
February 2008