Waikaretu School

Education institution number:
2052
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
34
Telephone:
Address:

1448 Waikaretu Valley Road, Waikaretu, Tuakau

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Waikaretu School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within four months of the Education Review Office and Waikaretu School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

Waikaretu School is located in a rural, coastal setting in North Waikato, providing education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school has strong connections with the local community, including both local marae.

Waikaretu School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • raising achievement for all students

  • strengthening community connections to support learning

  • deepening and broadening the local curriculum to enhance critical thinking and innovation.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on its website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the effectiveness of targeted actions to raise achievement in literacy and mathematics for all students.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the priority to increase rates of attendance and achievement for all learners

  • the commitment to further develop practices and programmes for continual improvement

  • the opportunity it provides to strengthen quality partnerships for learning and meaningful engagement with the local Māori community.

The school expects to see planned actions implemented to enable improved achievement and increasingly equitable outcomes for all learners. In addition, enhanced partnerships for learning should further promote increased rates of attendance and progress in learning.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to meet the needs of all learners and raise achievement through effective teaching practices and partnerships in learning:

  • a collaborative learning culture that supports consistent school practices and continuous improvement

  • a range of systems and programmes that responds to students’ individualised needs

  • positive, caring relationships and community connections that foster a sense of belonging.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • implementing deliberate actions to increase achievement and equitable outcomes for all learners

  • extending opportunities for the school and community to be engaged in reciprocal, learning-centred partnerships to improve attendance and increase outcomes for learners

  • further strengthening internal evaluation practices to enable sustainability for continuous improvement.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 November 2023

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Waikaretu School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of July 2023, the Waikaretu School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact Waikaretu School, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 November 2023

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Waikaretu School - 18/10/2019

School Context

Waikaretu School is located, in rural Waikato, approximately 50 kilometres south west of Tuakau. It has students in Years 1 to 8, in two multi-level classrooms. The school’s current roll of 25, includes 11 students who identify as Māori. There has been significant roll increase since 2016.

The school’s mission statement is ‘to create an environment that challenges and supports students to be the best that they can be’. This mission is supported by the vision of ‘striving for excellence, prioritising the values of manaakitanga (respect), pono (responsibility) and rangatiratanga (resilience)’.

Current strategic goals are focused on student learning, digital technologies, engaging the community and families in developing reciprocal partnerships, and improving student outcomes.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the November 2016 ERO evaluation, the roll has continued to grow and additional teaching staff have been employed. Trustees fund learning support programmes for identified students. The board chairperson remains in the role. All other trustees are new following elections in 2019. Teachers have engaged in a variety of professional learning opportunities.

The school is a member of Tō Tātou Haerenga Kāhui Ako.

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 is yet to achieve equity and excellence for all students. The school’s end of 2018 student achievement data shows:

  • approximately three quarters of all students achieved at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics
  • non-Māori students are achieving at significantly higher levels than their Māori peers in reading, writing and mathematics
  • girls are achieving at higher levels than boys in reading and writing, although boys are outperforming girls in mathematics.

Changes to the composition of the roll have made it difficult for the school to report accurately on trends and patterns of achievement over time.

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

Data gathered by the school shows acceleration for some students including, those Māori whose learning was at risk in reading and writing, and limited acceleration in mathematics. The school is not yet systematically gathering, analysing and reporting information about targeted students’ progress and accelerated learning.

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?

The school’s curriculum promotes student engagement in learning. Students learn in authentic contexts in the local environment and alongside other rural schools. Parent and community volunteers provide support for specific programmes and environmental initiatives. Students experience a range of sporting and leadership opportunities. The use of digital technologies enhances student engagement in learning.

Teachers use effective strategies that enhance student learning in multi-level settings. Learning environments are calm and settled. There are warm and affirming relationships between teachers and learners. Assessment information clearly identifies students at risk of under achieving and differentiated programmes are developed to improve outcomes for these learners. Teachers ensure the purpose of learning is made clear to students. Many can speak confidently about their learning. The introduction of learning progression frameworks allows students to monitor their own learning and progress.

The school has an inclusive culture for learning. There is a deliberate and responsive approach to supporting students with additional needs. Parents and families are engaged with the school and well informed about their child’s level of achievement and ongoing learning needs. The school promotes opportunities for parents to constructively support children’s learning at home.

Trustees are well engaged with the school and provide appropriate resourcing to enable equitable opportunities for learning.

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

To support recent developments in teacher practice, there is a need to further embed strategies that enable students to be aware of their learning progress and next steps. These enhancements should enable students to more closely monitor their own progress and set meaningful goals to improve achievement. A consistent schoolwide approach to providing feedback and feed forward to students about their learning is also needed.

A more strategic focus on acceleration is needed especially for those students whose learning is at risk. This focus should include:

  • annual targets expressed in terms of accelerated learning

  • ongoing reporting to trustees throughout the year about the rate and pace of acceleration for these learners.

This reporting should enable trustees to more effectively evaluate the effectiveness of targeted teaching and interventions to accelerate progress.

Further develop and document a localised culturally responsive curriculum aligned to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. This should include communication and consultation with parents and whānau to establish agreed priorities.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • learning programmes and opportunities that support partnerships for learning

  • relationships that support student learning, belonging and wellbeing

  • a culture that supports the individual needs of students.

Next steps

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

  • teacher practice to build on and embed student understanding of their own learning

  • a strategic focus on accelerated outcomes to inform school internal evaluation and ascertain effectiveness

  • the development of a relevant local curriculum to enhance student learning.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • become familiar with the requirements of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education on the practice and procedure to be followed in relation to physical restraint by authorised staff

  • continue to develop school procedures for digital citizenship and online safety.

ERO recommends that the school seek support from Ministry of Education in order to bring about improvements in:

  • the development and documentation of a localised culturally responsive curriculum aligned to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Phillip Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services Central
Central Region

18 October 2019

About the school

Location

Waikaretu

Ministry of Education profile number

2052

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

25

Gender composition

Male 19 Female 6

Ethnic composition

Māori 11
NZ European/Pākehā 14

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

18 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2016
Education Review June 2013
Education Review June 2010

Waikaretu School - 22/11/2016

1 Context

Waikaretu School is located in an isolated, rural Waikato setting, approximately 50 kilometres south west of Tuakau. Nine of the 20 children enrolled identify as Māori. There is one multi-level classroom that caters for children from Years 1 to 8. In 2016 the school has experienced significant roll growth, with only a small proportion of children remaining from previous years.

The 2016 board of trustee election resulted in several new members joining the board. Since 2013, the school has had three principals. The current, new and first-time principal started at the beginning of 2016 and there has been a complete turnover of teaching, administration and support staff this year.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are for them 'to be the best they can be'. Values of Respect (Manaakitanga), Responsibility (Pono) and Resilience (Rangatiratanga) are promoted.

The school’s achievement information shows that there has been a significant decline in the number of children achieving at or above National Standards in reading writing and mathematics. However, trends and patterns of achievement 2013 to 2015 are not comparative due to significant changes in the student population. In 2016 the roll has increased from 8 to 20 and approximately two thirds of these children are new to the school.

Teachers moderate their judgements about children's progress and achievement in relation to National Standards using assessment information from an appropriate range of sources.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has introduced the following initiatives designed to achieve equitable learning opportunities and outcomes for children. Under the guidance of the new principal there has been:

  • establishment of base-line data in reading, writing and mathematics

  • implementation of timely identification of learning strengths and needs of new children

  • establishment of effective multi-level classroom organisation, routines and practices that are fostering independent learning

  • an intentional response by the board and principal that has embraced and built on the existing school vision and values.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school has developed effective strategies and practices for responding to the individual learning needs of children whose progress needs acceleration. These strategies include opportunities for Māori and other children to experience success and to understand and take increasing responsibility for their learning. Children benefit from opportunities to learn from one another through tuakana-teina interactions. The principal is also working hard to ensure that children with high learning needs receive appropriate support and interventions from external agencies.

The principal and part-time teacher use an appropriate range of assessment information to identify children's learning strengths and needs of children. As children enter the school, teachers effectively develop positive and learning-centred relationships with children and their families. Information gathered enables teachers to understand children's learning needs, group them for instruction in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers discuss and share ways to progress and accelerate the achievement of Māori and other children, particularly those at risk of not achieving at expected levels. The school reports that during 2016 a large proportion of Māori and other children in below categories in relation to National Standards are making positive progress, particularly in writing and mathematics.

Teachers have developed systems to track and monitor the progress and achievement of all children, including those at risk of not achieving National Standards. They now need to consider ways to more specifically monitor, track, and report progress and achievement of children needing acceleration.

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?

School leadership is clearly focused on achieving equitable and excellent learning opportunities and outcomes for Māori and other children.

The curriculum is clearly underpinned by the values of responsibility, resilience and respect. The curriculum offers many opportunities for children to engage in 'hands-on' learning at school and in the wider community. Children benefit from opportunities to learn alongside their peers in a caring, cooperative, learner-focused and family-like setting. Parents are well informed about their children's learning and partnerships for learning are being developed through child-lead conferences. Children enjoy school and confidently discuss their learning success and challenges with teachers, their peers, parents and other adults.

The new principal has successfully established relational trust at all levels of the school. Effective change management is providing greater clarity for systems and practices that ensure a settled and effective classroom and smooth day-to-day operation of the school. The principal is dedicated to minimising barriers and challenges associated with the school's isolated location and access to support services and communication infrastructure. His effective leadership of change is resulting in a positive school culture that is evident in children's sense of belonging, pride in their school and motivation to learn.

Teachers know children well, and understand their learning strengths and needs in literacy and mathematics. They now need to build on this knowledge and what they know about the most effective teaching strategies to strengthen other areas of the curriculum.

The board of trustees is representative of the school and wider community. They are committed to the success and sustainability of Waikaretu School. Trustees are supportive of the principal and staff. They are working closely with New Zealand School Trustees Association support and training personnel to further develop their roles, responsibilities and knowledge of effective school governance. This professional development should assist the board to develop more specific targets for children at risk in their learning, and with internal-review processes to evaluate the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued outcomes for Māori and other children.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child

  • need to ensure the school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

The principal, trustees and staff have been working hard to improve school organisation and levels of achievement. In order to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children, the school now needs to:

  • further develop trustee's understanding of strategic planning and internal evaluation

  • ensure ongoing support, guidance and mentoring for the new and first-time principal

  • continue to build teachers' practice, particularly in relation to assessment and tracking and monitoring children's progress and achievement, and making overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards

  • further develop the Waikaretu School curriculum

  • strengthen internal evaluation and inquiry into teacher's practice.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop more targeted planning that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement. 

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three 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 the school accesses appropriate support to assist the board and principal to respond to areas needing development. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

22 November 2016

About the school

Location

Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

2052

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

20

Gender composition

Boys 13 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

11

9

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

22 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

June 2010

June 2007