Port Ahuriri School

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School Context

Port Ahuriri School is located in the port area of Napier and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Approximately 14 percent of the current roll of 265 students are Māori. The school vision - empowering learners in an inclusive, stimulating environment, is supported by the values of kindness, respect and learning (Kia Ngākau Mahaki, Kia Ngākau Whakaute, Kia Whai Kaha Ki Te Ako). Long-term priorities and goals are documented in the school charter and aligned to a focus on improving outcomes for all learners.

The school comprises three age-related learning hubs. The junior hub, Poipoi, where the focus is ‘to nurture’, the middle hub, Piki, where the focus is on ‘knowledge building and aiming high’, and Aoraki, where senior students are focused on ‘reaching for the peak in their learning’.

A Year 1 to 6 class provides learning based on a self-directed Montessori approach. In this class curriculum and assessment expectations are the same as for other classes, and these students are fully integrated into the wider school for general school activities and events. Since the previous ERO review in 2015, the experienced principal continues in his role, a new deputy principal has been appointed and there have been some other changes to the teaching team. A new chairperson is providing leadership for the board and some trustees are also new to their governance roles.

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

  • 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 is making effective progress towards achieving equitable outcomes for all of its students.

School data for 2018 shows that most students achieved at expected curriculum levels in reading and writing, and almost all students in mathematics.

Data gathered over the last two years shows generally increasing levels of achievement across all core curriculum areas. The data also shows Māori students are achieving at similar levels to non-Māori in reading and writing. Although Māori achievement has increased in mathematics, non-Māori continue to achieve at higher levels.

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

The school is able to show effective acceleration for Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs this. School data about rates of acceleration for at-risk learners shows that during 2018 rates of acceleration were generally higher for Māori than for other students in the school.

The school also has information that shows effective acceleration for boys in writing that has been sustained over time.

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?

Leadership is effective in enabling continual improvement, sustainability and the promotion of equity and excellence. A well-considered strategic approach to change management and high expectations for teachers and students are evident. Leaders have designed and implemented robust performance management systems and curriculum delivery processes that are focused on continual improvement in outcomes for learners. These systems and processes are resulting in clear direction for improved teaching and learning across the school. Senior leadership’s support for building leadership capability across the school is evidenced by an environment of empowerment and collaboration, capitalising on teachers’ strengths and interests. Leaders also play a key role in consulting widely with parents, whānau and the wider school community to establish school priorities and direction.

The school’s local curriculum is well developed, providing clear guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning. The curriculum includes coverage of all learning areas and continual review to support the needs of students and the school community, and reflect current best practice. There is a responsive and individualised approach to supporting students and whānau at key transition points in the school, when entering the school and when moving on to year seven. Well-developed, collaborative and inclusive practices and strategies are also in place to support parents, whānau and students with additional learning needs.

The management and use of achievement information is effective in accelerating progress and learning. Teachers and leaders closely monitor and track the progress of all students with a focus on those whose progress requires acceleration. Teachers’ use data as part of ongoing reflections about their teaching practice through professional inquiries. High levels of collaboration and continual reflection among teachers enable them to identify specific teaching strategies, interventions and programmes that are effective for target learners. This work is building teachers’ capability to personalise teaching for students requiring acceleration. Leaders use data to make decisions about schoolwide teacher professional learning priorities and determine overall programme effectiveness. Trustees scrutinise data reported to them to make resourcing decisions that support school initiatives to improve outcomes for learners. Data is also well used to keep parents informed about their child’s level of achievement, successes and challenges.

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

The school should continue to make use of current self-review information in the school to develop an increasingly fine grained approach to ongoing inquiry/internal evaluation.

The school has prioritised the development of the local place-based curriculum as part of ongoing curriculum review and development.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

The school’s procedures for reviewing the Code are well developed. Systems to monitor the pastoral care of international students are thorough and the small number of students enrolled enjoy the same experiences as other students in the school. First language support is available where appropriate.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that is contributing to effective change management and ongoing improvement in outcomes for students
  • a responsive local curriculum that enables students to achieve their potential
  • use of assessment information that is improving outcomes for all learners.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to build on the teacher inquiry focus to support ongoing internal evaluation.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 May 2019

About the school

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2648

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

265

Gender composition

Male 51% Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%
NZ European/Pākehā 71%
Pacific 3% Asian 6%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review February 2012
Education Review March 2009

Findings

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Most students are successful learners. Many of those leaving Year 6 are achieving at high levels. Parents and the community are active participants in programmes to support learning. Critical reflection and self review contributes effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Port Ahuriri School caters for Years 1 to 6 students in Napier. Strong involvement with its local community is a feature of the experiences available for students. There is a high level of participation in cultural and sporting activities.

The school vision - to be the best we can - is regularly articulated and celebrated.

A Year 1 to 6 class provides learning based on a self-directed Montessori approach. Curriculum and assessment expectations are consistent with those in other classes. Students are integrated into the wider school for non class-based activities.

The experienced principal returned to the school at the beginning of 2015 after a two year secondment at the Ministry of Education. In his absence other staff took on more senior roles.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is well used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

National Standards data indicates that most students make at least expected progress each year. Many of those below expectation in reading, writing or mathematics make accelerated progress as they move through the school. Most of those leaving at the end of Year 6 achieve at high levels.

A range of appropriate assessment tools is used from the time students start school to determine their achievement and progress. Individual progress is tracked and monitored by teachers and leaders. Teachers have good understanding of students’ current learning levels and next steps to improve. Achievement data is well used to determine priorities for future learning.

Students requiring extra assistance with their learning receive support and generally make positive progress. Actions to accelerate student progress are well considered. Whole-school professional development has increased the range of strategies used by teachers to accelerate learning for underachieving students.

Appropriate annual targets to improve achievement are set by trustees. Parents and trustees are knowledgeable about the programme and progress for the target groups of students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum consistently promotes and supports student learning.

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Distinctive features include:

  • explicit teaching to build learning behaviours and social skills
  • students’ culture and language integrated into class and school programmes, particularly through the arts
  • extensive school and class gardens providing practical experience and increased understanding of environmental sustainability
  • deliberate extension of the opportunity to increase science understanding and knowledge.

Students are enthusiastic and successful learners. A caring and positive environment supports wellbeing and learning. Students are confident and respectful.

Guidelines and expectations for effective teaching and learning are clearly stated. A considered approach to building the curriculum is extending students’ strengths and interests. Additional staffing and a range of planned activities challenge more able students.

Students with more complex needs are identified. Appropriate interventions are put in place. The progress of these students is well monitored.

Teachers have high expectations of sustained engagement and achievement. They successfully use a range of strategies to engage students in purposeful learning. Students are encouraged to lead aspects of their learning.

Classroom environments are conducive to learning. Relationships are respectful and affirming. Students work effectively together. Well-resourced facilities support students to make choices about the learning approaches that best suit them.

Well-considered transition into and within junior classes supports students to begin school positively. Parents are encouraged to participate in their children’s learning. Patterns for successful learning are established early on.

Parents are active participants in programmes to support children’s learning. They are regularly involved in conversations about children’s learning. Reporting systems ensure parents are well informed about achievement and progress, and next steps for learning are effectively shared.

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

Māori learners are actively engaged in their learning and progress, and achieve well. The school continues to build its capacity to cater for the strengths and promote the identity of Māori students.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into class and school activities. Kapa haka has been reestablished. Marae visits are included as part of the curriculum. Whānau and iwi contribute to programmes and are involved in decision making.

In 2015, staffing is allocated to further develop the te reo Māori programme across the school. Continuing to build collaborative partnerships with whānau and iwi has been identified by school leadership as a next step. ERO’s evaluation supports this intent.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Critical reflection and self review contribute effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

Effective professional leadership supports teaching and learning and promotes improvement. High expectations for student learning and wellbeing are evident. Deliberate, well-considered review and decision making focuses on improving student outcomes. Leaders have a collaborative approach. Opportunities are provided to build leadership skills across the school.

Teachers are reflective and collaborative. They are able to lead developments in areas of strength and interest. Well-targeted and effective professional learning has added to teachers’ strategies to respond to students’ needs.

Performance management processes support teachers to reflect on their own teaching practice and the differences they make for identified students. It includes a teaching inquiry related to a schoolwide professional development priority. Ongoing review and development of the appraisal system is likely to ensure the process continues to cater for teachers' changing needs.

The school charter sets out long-term goals supportive of student achievement and wellbeing. Annual targets clearly establish current priorities and are set to accelerate the learning of students identified as less likely to achieve.

Clear guidelines effectively support trustees to undertake their roles and responsibilities. They are well informed about student progress and curriculum.

Provision for international students

The school is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Most students are successful learners. Many of those leaving Year 6 are achieving at high levels. Parents and the community are active participants in programmes to support learning. Critical reflection and self review contributes effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.Image removed.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 April 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2648

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

250

Gender composition

Female 51%

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

77%

15%

4%

1%

3%

Special features

Montessori class

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

2 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

March 2009

August 2006