The Terrace School (Waipukurau)

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of The Terrace School (Waipukurau)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is:  Developing.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

The Terrace School, in Waipukurau, caters for 139 students in Years 1 to 8 of whom 127 identify as Māori. Level 2 te reo Māori option is provided in three classes for students in Years 1 to 8.

The 2018 ERO report identified significant areas for improvement. Over the past two and half years the school has participated in an ERO evaluation process to support improvement.

There has been a complete change to leadership and teaching staff. Until the beginning of 2020 the school was governed by a Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed Commissioner. Trustees were elected at end of 2019 and took up their roles in 2020.

Leaders and staff have accessed appropriate external professional learning and development (PLD) to support them in their roles and practice. They have worked positively and shown a determined focus on improvement.

This ERO report evaluates the progress made and how well placed the school now is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The overall goal was to improve governance, school practice and operation to promote

positive learning outcomes and accelerate progress of all students. Areas of focus to support this have included:

  • continuing to raise student achievement
  • continuing to develop and document the school’s local curriculum, including the documentation of expectations for teaching
  • developing schoolwide consistency across the implementation and monitoring of the inquiry process
  • building sound stewardship practices to effectively govern the school.
Progress
School leadership is implementing processes that are contributing to positive change and improvement.

Leaders and teachers have developed and use a range of appropriate processes and systems to measure, track and document student learning. End of 2019 data indicates that a large majority of students achieved at or above expectation in reading with a smaller majority in mathematics and just under half in writing. This data was used to determine student achievement targets focusing on writing and mathematics for 2020 and PLD focuses for teachers.

Mid 2020 data shows that the majority of students are achieving at or above expectation in mathematics and reading and just under half in writing. Trends over time from mid 2019 and mid 2020 show an increase in the percentage of students achieving at or above expectation. Data for students identified in the school’s writing and mathematics annual achievement targets indicates over half have made accelerated progress in mathematics and some students in writing.

Deliberate strategies support all staff to work collaboratively to promote student learning and wellbeing. Relationships are respectful and culture, language and identity, and diversity are valued. Parents, whānau and the community are involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. Leaders and staff know students well and use a wide range of strategies to effectively engage students in learning.

School leaders are taking a measured and considered approach to developing a culturally responsive, localised curriculum, clearly aligned to the school’s values and identified priorities. This curriculum has been developed in collaboration with staff and whānau. Staff are developing expectations to guide effective teaching.

Useful frameworks support teachers to inquire into and reflect on their practice linked to the school priority of accelerating progress and achievement in writing. Teachers are supported by external PLD to reflect on and build their capability to promote positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for students. They use student achievement information to inquire into their practice, determine what is working well and what they need to do differently.

The board is well informed by the principal about student achievement, school goals, priorities, student learning and curriculum development. Trustees use this information to make evidence based decisions about school improvement.

All trustees are new to the board. They clearly understand that student wellbeing, learning, achievement and progress are their core business. Trustees continue to grow their understanding of their governance roles, responsibilities and obligations.

Key next steps

ERO and the board agree that key next steps for the school are to:

  • support students to have more understanding and ownership of their learning
  • embed the localised curriculum
  • continue to build teacher capability and use of inquiry to promote learning for all students.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has developed its capacity to improve, review and sustain its performance. The principal and board have worked in a systematic way to address areas identified in the previous ERO report and are working well together to lead the school forward. They are focused on continuing to improve student achievement. The school’s ongoing involvement in professional learning and development effectively supports leaders and teachers to promote positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for students.

As new initiatives are embedded it is appropriate to use school developed internal evaluation practices to evaluate their effectiveness and identify any changes for ongoing improvement.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

The school has developed its capacity to improve, review and sustain its performance. The principal and the board have worked in a systematic way to address areas identified in the previous ERO report and are working well together to lead the school forward. They are focused on continuing to improve student achievement.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of The Terrace School (Waipukurau)’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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

19 February 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

School Context

The Terrace School, located in Waipukurau, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There are 213 on the roll and 80% identify as Maori. The school has three bilingual classes, Te Aranga, that are taught in te reo Māori for at least 50% of the time.

In 2017, the school participated in the Ministry of Education initiative Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and Accelerated Learning in Literacy (ALL). The PB4L initiative will continue in 2018. The school has applied to participate in ALL in 2018.

The school’s vision is ‘Knowledge is Strength’. The new ‘WAKA’ values of wānanga, awareness, kaitiakitanga and achievement, were developed with support from the Resource Teacher Māori and will be implemented in 2018.

The charter goals are aligned to the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) and government priorities.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school wide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of the Ruahine Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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?

Overall achievement levels have remained variable over the past three years. School reported data shows that just over half of students are achieving success in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders report that more accurate assessment of writing led to lower achievement being reported at the end of 2016.

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

Leaders and teachers are not yet responding effectively to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Mid-year 2017 assessment data was incomplete and does not show a clear picture of sufficient progress being made for these students.

The writing intervention (ALL) focused on a group of students in Years 4 to 8. The outcome was positive, with many of these students making accelerated progress in 2017.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Principles of te ao Māori and culturally responsive practise are well embedded. Children have regular opportunities to learn te reo Māori and participate in kapa haka and pōwhiri. Māori students’ culture language and identity are affirmed.

The WAKA values will provide a platform for ongoing curriculum development.

Collaboration is beginning to develop among teachers. This is promoted through the school’s involvement in PB4L. Some useful professional learning and development is being implemented to build teacher capability and raise student achievement in writing and reading.

Regular communication with whānau is integral to the bilingual unit. Students participate and learn in a kaupapa Māori setting.

Some useful processes have been developed to support students who require additional learning support to engage in learning. Their progress is regularly monitored by teachers and support staff.

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

The school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence of student outcomes are not sufficiently developed. Urgent improvement is needed in leadership and stewardship to bring about the required improvements in student learning and wellbeing. This should include developing:

  • school wide systems and processes to identify, track, monitor and report students’ progress and achievement

  • annual targets for students’ achievement, that are focused on those students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration

  • assessment practices that enable teachers to make robust and dependable judgements about student learning

  • a collaborative approach to implementing the curriculum to ensure a shared understanding of teaching expectations

  • a performance management process that effectively supports teachers’ professional growth and development including the use of teaching as inquiry.

The board and principal should develop a strategic plan clearly focused on raising student achievement. A more coherent approach to raising achievement should be developed through aligning the school curriculum and processes to improvement targets.

Developing a robust governance policy framework that clearly informs school operation, is required. This should include regular policy and procedure review.

School wide processes to undertake evidence-based internal evaluation are not in place. Knowledge of what works and what needs to change is required to support improvements in school operation and student outcomes.

2 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.

At the time of the review ERO’s evaluation identified many policies and procedures were not in place to support school operations.

Appraisal audit

Developing a robust appraisal system that meets the education council requirements and supports teachers’ professional growth and development is a key priority for action.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to assessment information and ongoing programme of self review, health and safety and personnel management.

The board should take urgent action to ensure the school is meeting its legislative requirements by having suitable policies and procedures.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • maintain an on-going programme of self-review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of good quality assessment information on student progress and achievement[National Administration Guideline 2]

  • provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students

  • comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees [National Administration Guideline 5]

  • develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of students

  • be a good employer as defined in the State Sector Act 1988 and comply with the conditions contained in employment contracts applying to teaching and non-teaching staff.

[National Administration Guideline 3]

3 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • culturally responsive practices

  • the outcome of recent professional development in writing

  • processes to support students requiring additional learning support.

Next steps

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

  • establishing assessment processes, to enable trustees, leaders and teachers to reliably know about the needs, achievement and progress of all students

  • professional leadership, to build the capability of teachers to effectively respond to the learning needs of students

  • governance, to ensure the school is meeting its legislative requirements and that the school’s vision for children is achieved.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • professional leadership including developing teaching and learning

  • governance including internal evaluation, strategic direction, personnel management and health and safety.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

11 January 2018

About the school

Location

Waipukurau

Ministry of Education profile number

2702

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll

213

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 80%
Pākehā 20%

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

3

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

51

Number of students in Level 2 MME

51

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

11 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review November 2011
Education Review December 2007