Ngaruawahia School

Ngaruawahia School - 11/12/2017

School Context

Ngāruawāhia School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 135 includes 128 Māori children, the majority of whom whakapapa to Tainui. The school is a provider of Year 7 and 8 technology programmes for students from surrounding contributing schools. Since the 2014 ERO review there have been changes to board membership, the leadership team and teaching staff. The recruitment of suitable teachers for this school’s context is an ongoing challenge for the board and leaders. The school continues to experience a high rate of transience and there has been some roll decline.

Teachers have participated in professional development focused on literacy and student assessment practice with external providers. The board is also undertaking training in governance.

The school’s child-centred vision is to work in partnership with whānau to promote learner success. This is underpinned by the whakatauki:

Kotahi to kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero. A muri I au kia mau ki te ture, ki te whakapono, ki te aroha.’

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading

  • writing

  • mathematics.

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?

Raising overall levels of achievement must be an ongoing focus for the board and school leaders.

The overall pattern of achievement from 2014 to 2016 has remained constant. Approximately half of all children are achieving at or above the national curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s 2016 data shows some gender disparity. While girls and boys achieve at similar levels in mathematics, boys are achieving at lower levels in reading and writing.

Students experience success in relation to the school’s valued outcomes in a range of sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities.

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

The school’s response to accelerating the achievement of at-risk Māori and other learners needs strengthening.

Mid-year data (2017) indicates that in reading, approximately half of Māori and other students achieving below expected levels, made accelerated progress. The proportion of students making accelerated progress in writing and mathematics was slightly lower.

The development of more specific and measureable targets would enable leaders to more effectively monitor and report the rates of progress for at-risk learners.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The principal provides well-informed professional leadership. Clear expectations guide the work of teachers in planning and assessment. The principal has introduced a useful process that supports teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice in accelerating the progress of at-risk students.

The curriculum is culturally responsive. It supports the unique place of Kingitanga and Turangawaewae in children’s lives and learning. Children demonstrate pride in their identity and confidence to participate in the life of the school.

The school makes good provision for students with special needs. Teachers access specialist services for children with learning and behavioural needs. Parents and whānau are involved in the development and implementation of individual education plans (IEPs). There is ongoing monitoring of children’s progress in relation to IEPs. This responsive and well planned approach is contributing to the confidence of these children and their ability to access the curriculum.

The board is committed to improving educational outcomes for all children. The principal keeps trustees well informed about levels of achievement. Trustees are becoming increasingly confident to question and understand school data. They engage in ongoing professional learning and development to strengthen their understanding of governance responsibilities.

The school has made good progress in responding to areas for development in the 2014 ERO report.

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

Establishing stability within the teaching team remains a priority for the board and principal. The current staffing situation is impacting on the time available for the principal to lead learning across the school.

Consolidating and embedding effective teaching practice in literacy and mathematics is essential, particularly as new teachers are brought into the team. Careful consideration must now be given to:

  • the use of assessment information to more specifically guide planning and teaching

  • embedding the newly implemented appraisal process to enable teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice

  • strengthening the role of parents in supporting their children’s learning.

Targeted action to raise achievement requires further development. Trustees need to set specific and measureable targets for the number of students whose learning requires acceleration.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • professional leadership that provides clear direction for learning and teaching

  • culturally responsive curriculum that values Māori students language, culture and identity.

Next steps

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

  • school-wide professional learning and development to build teacher capability

  • growing leadership for learning to enable all teaching staff to teach effectively in this school’s context

  • 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

11 December 2017

About the school

Location

Ngāruawāhia

Ministry of Education profile number

1849

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

135

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 93%
Pākehā 6%
Pacific 1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

11 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014
Education Review October 2011
Education Review October 2008

Ngaruawahia School - 07/11/2014

Findings

Ngāruawāhia Primary School is situated near Turangawaewae Marae. 96% of students identify as Māori and there is a strong focus on Tainuitanga, kingitanga, inclusion and holistic well-being. The board and senior leaders recognise the need to continue accelerating students’ academic progress.

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?

Ngāruawāhia Primary School was the first school to be established in Ngāruawāhia. It provides education for 152 students in Years 1 to 8. The school is situated near Tūrangawaewae Marae, which is in the heart of the kingitanga movement. 96% of students on the roll identify as Māori. In its curriculum the school has a strong focus on Tainuitanga and kingitanga. It is a provider of technology for Years 7 and 8 students from 12 contributing schools.

Since the 2011 ERO review, a new assistant principal and senior teacher have been appointed and there have been a number of other staff changes. Teachers have engaged in professional development in mathematics, reading assessment and positive behaviour for learning. The 2011 ERO report identified many positive features that have remained evident throughout the school. Senior leaders and teachers have responded proactively to address the areas for development identified in that review.

The school’s motto of Mana te Tuatahi – be proud of who you are – along with the values of mana motuhake, manaakitanga, kotahitanga, whakapiringatanga underpin the school’s positive culture and expectations for behaviour and learning. These have been developed in consultation with the community and are explicitly promoted in class displays, newsletters and in the charter. Students demonstrate a strong sense of pride and belonging in the school.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of assessment information to improve students’ progress and learning. Since the 2011 ERO review, teachers have improved their understanding and use of assessment results. They use this information to:

  • plan teaching programmes that address students’ assessed learning needs
  • decide which students require extra help with their learning
  • determine and moderate students’ achievement levels in relation to National Standards
  • provide written reports to parents and discuss students’ progress at three-way interviews among teachers, parents and students.

School-wide National Standard data shows improved student achievement and progress from 2012 to 2013. However, senior leaders recognise the need to continue to accelerate progress and achievement for a significant number of students. Further next steps are to:

  • continue to develop and use explicit achievement expectations to support teachers’ and students’ judgements about progress and achievement
  • make more specific use of writing assessments to identify individual learning needs and improve students’ individual progress
  • regularly monitor the achievement of targeted students and report their overall progress to the board
  • assess the achievement of students in Years 1 to 3 against National Standards on the anniversaries of their entry to school.

Addressing these next steps is likely to assist the continued acceleration of students' progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning. There is a strong focus on literacy, mathematics, Tainuitanga, local culture, enviro-schools and opportunities for education outside the classroom. School-wide expectations for planning and assessment are well monitored. Senior leaders and trustees are considering how to extend students’ use of digital devices as tools for learning. Students in Years 7 and 8 benefit from a well-considered and interesting technology curriculum with many opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.

Effective teaching practices observed by ERO include maintaining positive interactions and relationships with students, effectively using resources and activities to promote independent learning and celebrating student success in attractive, educationally stimulating classrooms.

Next steps

Senior leaders acknowledge the need for further development, review, and alignment of curriculum expectations, especially in relation to e-learning, instructional writing, and the deliberate provision of extension challenges within class programmes.

A further next step is to formalise expectations for 'teaching as inquiry' that focuses on strategies to improve the progress of targeted students.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori. As 96% of students at this school identify as Māori, all of this report is about their educational progress and achievement.

The culture and identity of Māori students is continually promoted throughout the school. Māori trustees and staff share their cultural knowledge and are positive role models for students. They value Tainuitanga and te reo Māori and ensure that these are integrated within the life of the school. Students participate in koroneihana activities, kapa haka, and waka ama. They also have a range of leadership opportunities. Teachers recognise and value students' culture, language and identity.

Next steps are to:

  • incorporate the goals and expectations of Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success into school-wide strategic planning and review
  • incorporate Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners into the appraisal process
  • ensure that Māori whānau are informed each year about the school-wide progress and achievement of Māori students in relation to National Standards.

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 because of the following factors:

Trustees are experienced and committed to supporting the principal, staff, students and community. They are representative of the school community and regularly informed about student achievement. The board provides support and funding for raising achievement.

School leaders are focused on raising student achievement. The principal is experienced, approachable, and well known in the community. She provides direction for curriculum and maintains an inclusive, caring and positive school culture.

Members of the senior leadership team support the principal and take responsibilities in the wider school. They assist with school-wide organisation and systems. Senior leaders have had robust appraisals from an external consultant. Teaching and learning are closely monitored.

There is a strong focus on the holistic well-being of students to maximise learning.

Community partnerships are actively promoted. Parents are increasingly involved in learning partnerships with teachers and students.

Recommendation

In order to continue to raise student achievement, the board and senior leadership should seek support to assist in reviewing and strengthening school-wide self review. In particular attention should be given to:

  • regularly monitoring the acceleration of progress and achievement for students who are at risk of underachieving
  • community consultation about the curriculum and further parent education opportunities
  • linking teachers’ inquiries about the progress of targeted students to staff appraisal
  • developing systems for the appraisal of teacher aides and teachers with management responsibilities.

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

Ngāruawāhia Primary School is situated near Turangawaewae Marae. 96% of students identify as Māori and there is a strong focus on Tainuitanga, kingitanga, inclusion and holistic well-being. The board and senior leaders recognise the need to continue accelerating students’ academic progress.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 November 2014

About the School

Location

Ngāruawāhia

Ministry of Education profile number

1849

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

152

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cambodian

95%

4%

1%

Special Features

Technology provider for 12 contributing schools

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

7 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

October 2011

October 2008

December 2005