Waitetuna School

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Summary

Waitetuna School caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 51 includes 17 Māori children. Since the previous ERO review in 2014, there has been a significant increase in the number of Māori children attending the school. A new principal has been appointed and there has been some changes to teaching staff and roles.

The board chairperson and some trustees are new to their governance roles. A planned programme of board training is needed to build trustees’ knowledge of internal evaluation.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is responding well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Many school processes are effective in promoting excellence and equity.

Further development is needed in practice related to teacher inquiry and assessment for learning.

At the time of this ERO review school data shows that most children, and nearly all Māori are achieving National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop and embed teaching as inquiry to include a stronger focus on achievement data and teaching practice to accelerate progress for at risk learners

  • build consistency in formative assessment practice

  • develop and embed the local curriculum, which is responsive to the aspirations and agreed priorities for education in this school community.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is responding well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Data gathered and reported by the school in 2016, in relation to National Standards, shows that most children, and nearly all Māori learners, achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Data also shows that girls’ achievement in reading and writing is above that of boys but similar in mathematics. Accelerating achievement in mathematics is a priority for the school in 2017.

The school gathers achievement information using a range of appropriate tests and strategies. They use this data, along with information gathered during teaching, to make overall judgements about each child’s achievement in relation to National Standards. Teachers are continuing to strengthen moderation processes to make these judgement more consistent, schoolwide.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Many school processes are effective in achieving excellence and equity.

Governance processes are contributing to the success for all children. Trustees closely scrutinise assessment data to make evidence-based decisions about programmes and resources to support excellence and equity.

Collaborative professional learning processes are evident among teachers. These processes contribute to consistency of practice and alignment of school targets with teacher professional development programmes, appraisal goals and initiatives to improve outcomes for children.

Parents, teachers and children are engaged in reciprocal, learning-centred relationships. These partnerships are particularly strong for parents and whānau of children whose learning is at risk. Parents are kept well informed about each child’s level of achievement and progress, and are involved in decisions about learning support interventions.

Teachers have good understanding of assessment information, which is well used to group children and plan programmes that respond to children’s ongoing learning needs. Teachers and leaders have established effective processes to identify children whose learning requires acceleration and provide appropriate interventions.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The current approach to professional inquiry needs to be more strongly focussed on building teacher capability through a systematic, evidence-informed approach. Achievement data is not consistently considered as part of teachers’ documented professional inquiry processes. It is important that teachers identify and embed teaching strategies that enable at risk learners to make accelerated progress.

A shared understanding of formative assessment practice amongst teachers is yet to be developed. In addition, agreed process for monitoring children’s progress and closely targeting each child’s immediate next learning steps needs development. Teaching practice to enable children to develop as self-directed learners, is yet to be embedded.

The school’s curriculum is being reviewed to establish agreed priorities of the parent and wider community. Consultation is in progress, and development and implementation is evolving.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop and embed teaching as inquiry to include a stronger focus on achievement data and teaching practice to accelerate progress for at risk learners

  • build consistency in formative assessment practice

  • develop and embed a local curriculum, which is responsive to the aspirations and agreed priorities for education in this school community. 

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

23 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Waikato, near Raglan

Ministry of Education profile number

2071

School type

Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 27 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 33
Māori 15
Cook Island Māori 2
Other 1

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

23 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review May 2008

 

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Waitetuna School is located near Raglan and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 48, of whom seven identify as Māori. The roll has remained stable since the 2011 ERO review, with some annual fluctuations. The school has three multilevel classrooms, with two teachers operating a job share in the senior room. There is an attractive new front entrance and a contract has been confirmed for a new classroom and toilet block.

A new principal and two new teachers have been appointed since the previous review. All trustees were newly elected in 2013 and bring a range of expertise to their roles. There has been a recent change of chairperson.

After community consultation, trustees and school leaders revised the school values and reaffirmed the whakataukī ‘Naa too manaaki, naa tooku manaaki, ka puawai mai ngaa kakano’ (together we grow the seeds of success). Students benefit from the Waitetuna Way, which continues to underpin all aspects of school culture and practice.

The principal has participated in first-time principal and management development. Professional development for teachers has included blended e-learning, writing and numeracy. A priority for staff and trustees has been extending and strengthening community partnerships that include connections with the mana whenua and Whaingaroa community.

The school has responded positively to areas for improvement in the 2011 ERO review in relation to assessment and learning progressions.

2 Learning

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

Leaders, teachers and the board use achievement data well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers gather and analyse sufficient data, from a range of sources, to make considered evaluations about individual achievement. They use this information to group students for further learning, identify target groups of priority students in their class, and plan appropriate programmes. Teachers share information with students in modelling books and individual folders in order to identify achievement levels and next steps. They monitor progress and make overall judgements about student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

School leaders analyse school-wide data to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and determine priorities for teacher support and development. Assessment information is used to develop annual goals to further raise students’ achievement levels. The principal maintains comprehensive records of individual education programmes for students in need of additional help. The board of trustees is well informed about school-wide achievement and make appropriate resourcing decisions to support staff and students.

The school’s 2013 data shows that a high proportion of students, including Māori, are achieving at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These results are above regional and national comparisons. The school recognises that girls continue to achieve, on average, at higher levels than boys in all curriculum areas. Parents receive comprehensive information about their children’s achievement and progress through written reports and student-led conferences.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s wide and inclusive curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students have access to a broad range of academic, sporting, cultural and social learning experiences, within a rural context. A recent highlight was the ambitious school circus production presented in the ‘Big Top’ at the school.

The well-resourced school curriculum is underpinned by The New Zealand Curriculum and prioritises literacy and numeracy. Students experience other learning areas through a school-wide integrated topic each term. They also have increasing use of e-learning as tools and strategies to enhance their learning. New entrants are assisted in their transition to the school through a supportive Koru Programme.

The school and ERO have identified the need for more formalised provision and evaluation of programmes for students with special abilities, and inclusion of second language opportunities for Years 7 and 8 students.

Mutually respectful relationships among students, staff and families are evident throughout the school. Older students demonstrate considerate and caring attitudes to younger students. School values are consistently promoted through planning and programmes, and recognised through reward systems. Teachers know students and their families well, and support students to be fully involved in all school activities. School leaders recognise that students would benefit from greater opportunities to have input into decisions that affect them.

ERO observed some examples of good teaching practice where teachers:

  • establish high expectations for learning and behaviour
  • demonstrate good levels of curriculum knowledge
  • use a range of effective strategies to engage students
  • share the purpose of learning with students
  • use learning progressions, known in the school as ‘mountains’, to model and monitor student achievement of learning goals.

Leaders and teachers work and plan collegially, and engage in professional conversations and development to improve practice. As part of this process, they are developing an electronic performance management system for ongoing reflection of their teaching.

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

There are a variety of activities and practices that support Māori to experience success as Māori. These include waiata, karakia, pepeha and kapa haka. All students participate in noho marae and students have recently constructed tukutuku panels for the local Te Kaharoa marae.

Students have benefitted from an increased focus on Te Ao Māori. The new principal, who is affiliated to Ngāti Kahangungu, has been pivotal in increasing the awareness of Māori culture, language and identity. She has strengthened partnerships with the local marae and iwi, and increased student and staff confidence in protocols such as powhiri.

The next steps for the school are to develop and implement a sequential programme for te reo Māori across all classes, and make the Māori dimension more visible in the school.

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:

  • it is well governed. Trustees have a constructive relationship with the principal and staff, and a clear priority on promoting student success
  • the principal is providing strong educational leadership for the staff and wider community
  • teachers have established their classrooms as settled, productive learning environments
  • students are supported in their learning and development by parents and frequently incorporate personal learning experiences into their education
  • self-review and performance management systems are supporting ongoing improvement
  • the extended local community, beyond current parents, maintain an identification and pride in the school, and support its activities.

Areas for review and development

  • ERO, the board and school leaders agree the priorities for ongoing development are to:
  • strengthen strategies to support students to lead their own learning
  • formalise the design and documentation for curriculum delivery in all curriculum areas, including expectations about best teaching practice.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

19 May 2014

About the School

Location

Raglan, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

2071

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

48

Gender composition

Girls 28 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other European

39

7

2

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

19 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

May 2008

June 2005