Taoroa School

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School Context

Taoroa School is located in a rural setting in the Taihape district. The current roll is 28, with all students identifying as Māori. The board of trustees funds transport for the many students who travel from Taihape to attend.

The school’s goals and targets are focused on improving learning for students. The stated valued outcomes for students is that they will experience life-long learning through the ‘Play is the Way’ programme to support them to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

The school aims to have all learners able to access The New Zealand Curriculum as evidenced by achievement in relation to national expectations.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • whole-school improvement, trends and patterns over time for reading, writing and mathematics.

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 effectively supports the achievement of equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Māori students achieve well. Schoolwide 2017 achievement data indicates that most achieved at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Reading achievement information over the past three years shows a consistent increase in the numbers achieving at or above expectation. The trend is variable in writing and for mathematics.

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

During 2017, the school effectively accelerated learning for most of students identified in achievement targets to be achieving at expectation by the end of the year. The school has used this achievement information to develop 2018 annual targets for identified students achieving below expectation. Deliberate strategies and actions have been identified 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?

Students learn in a positive, inclusive environment where their relationships with adults and peers are warm and respectful. Their wellbeing is a key priority. Staff know students and their whānau well. They work collaboratively to provide appropriate learning opportunities for students.

High expectations for learning and practice are clearly evident. Teachers use a range of effective strategies to respond to the needs of individuals and groups of students. Students are highly engaged in their learning, work well together and are keen to share their learning with others.

Staff use data to inform teaching and learning. A focus on improving achievement in writing in 2017, resulted in a significant increase in those achieving at or above expectation. The mathematics programme, adapted for 2018, reflects a focus on personalised learning for each student and is beginning to impact positively on student engagement and learning.

Students receive and respond well to feedback from their teachers. They are able to talk about what they have learned and are beginning to make decisions about and take more responsibility for their learning.

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

The school’s curriculum has been reviewed recently. It needs further development to ensure that it reflects and guides current priorities, programmes and practice.

New programmes have been recently implemented. Staff and trustees should use the considerable information about student achievement and progress, along with other relevant information that is available to them, to:

  • evaluate the effectiveness of practice, curriculum and initiatives on student outcomes

  • further build their knowledge of practices and strategies that work best to promote and accelerate improvement and equitable outcomes for students.

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.

Appraisal audit

The endorsement process for renewing and issuing of practising teacher certificates was not sufficiently implemented to meet Education Council requirements.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to appraisal.In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. implement a performance management system for the principal and teachers that is evidence and inquiry based and linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession [s77c State Sector Act 1998; (NZ Gazette No 180: Dec 1996)]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • an inclusive and caring environment that effectively promotes learning, wellbeing and a sense of belonging

  • a strong culture of collaboration amongst staff that promotes high expectations for learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • further development of the curriculum so that it better reflects current priorities, programmes and practice

  • strengthening appraisal and 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

On receipt of a suitably responsive action plan, 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

6 June 2018

About the school

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

2463

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll

28

Gender composition

Female 15, Male 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 28

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

6 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2015
Education Review January 2012
Education Review September 2008

1 Context

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

Taoroa School is a small school located in a rural setting in the Taihape district.

At the time of the 2012 ERO review, the predicted roll was 4 students. Due to rapid roll growth across all levels, the school now has a roll of 32 students. A majority of students identify as Māori and there are strong whānau links between families.

Since the previous review, a new principal has been appointed. There have been changes to the board of trustees in the last round of elections. This year’s roll growth has resulted in the appointment of a second classroom teacher. The board and principal have been working alongside a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function practitioner to develop and implement a change and improvement plan.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement data effectively to indentify and respond to the needs of all students. The principal and teachers analyse, track and monitor students' achievement and progress over time. Most students achieve at or above National Standards expectations in reading and writing. Mathematics continues to be a focus for improving students’ progress. Moderating teachers’ judgements of achievement levels in reading and mathematics should continue to be strengthened.

Students with specific learning needs are identified, and appropriate interventions to support and accelerate progress are implemented. The school accesses on-line resources to support students who are achieving above expected levels in specific learning areas.

Transitions into and beyond the school are well managed. All new students’ learning needs are assessed in a timely manner. Senior students access careers and vocational pathways programmes.

Parents receive clear information about students’ progress against the National Standards expectations. There is a considered approach to ensuring parents understand how their child is progressing.

Teachers should strengthen how they inquire into their teaching practice. This should deepen their understanding of how programmes and interventions impact on student achievement outcomes and accelerate progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The Taoroa School curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. There are clear guidelines for curriculum delivery and assessment procedures. As the roll grows, and staff numbers increase, expectations of effective practice should be consolidated.

Students’ wellbeing has a strong focus. This is supported through deliberate and considered programmes, such as ‘Breakfast in Schools’. External agencies supplement the school’s interventions. Partnerships with families and whānau are valued. An after school homework club was set up as a result of parents seeking guidance to support learning at home. Parents and whānau are actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of the school. They provide voluntary support within and beyond the classroom.

Teaching programmes are relevant to identified needs of students across all learning areas. Contexts of study relate to issues and themes in the wider community. The school has a continued focus on developing student inquiry learning. Strengthening this should allow for increased students’ voice and self-directed learning.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Maori. Many students who identify as Māori achieve at or above the National Standards expectations. Te ao Māori is valued and enhanced through increased opportunities for students to express cultural identity, such as kapa haka and pōwhiri protocols. Consultation with parents and whānau is undertaken in informal settings, centred on school events. The school continues to look at ways of engaging with all parents and whānau. The principal has a clear focus on strengthening conversations with parents and whānau about learning and accelerating student progress and achievement.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees are well informed about developments within the school. Decision-making processes are well considered and relate to addressing emerging needs. Principal’s reports to the board provide them with useful information about student achievement. Trustees make informed decisions about resourcing classroom programmes to meet individual needs.

In response to rapid roll growth, it is timely for the school to develop and strengthen self review practices. This should allow for the board to gain insights into the impact of the decisions made to accommodate the roll growth. The focus of development and review should continue to be on:

  • accelerating student progress and achievement
  • teaching as inquiry
  • student inquiry learning
  • planning for staffing, property and finances.

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

Taoroa is a rural school with significant roll growth in 2014. Most students identify as Māori. They make good progress in relation to National Standards in reading and writing. Their cultural identity is well supported by the curriculum. Continuing to develop some teaching and learning, and selfreview practices should further enhance student progress and achievement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

2 March 2015

About the School

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

2463

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

32

Gender composition

Female 16, Male 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

28

2

2

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

2 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2012

September 2008

June 2005