Tiniroto School

Tiniroto School - 23/05/2018

Findings

The school has strengthened a range of processes and procedures to support schoolwide improvement since the 2016 ERO review. Student achievement has improved. Further development is required in curriculum and internal evaluation. ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Tiniroto School is a rural, full primary school located between Gisborne and Wairoa. The school recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.

There are 15 students on the roll and eight identify as Māori.

A Ministry of Education (MoE) senior adviser and the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) have provided support and guidance over the past two years.

The experienced principal, who was newly appointed prior to the August 2016 ERO report, has worked with the board of trustees to address the issues identified in that report.

The school’s strategic goals are aligned to those of the Wairoa Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The August 2016 ERO review identified a number of key areas for ongoing development. These were to:

  • provide robust assessment, analysis and reporting of student achievement
  • identify students who are at risk of not achieving and accelerate their progress
  • review the school curriculum to reflect the school’s culture
  • ensure regular trustee meetings focus on the goals of the school
  • organise and review policies, procedures and actions so that there is clarity about the health and safety conditions that support students and staff 
  • develop more evaluative self review
  • over time, evaluate the effectiveness of school stewardship.

ERO also:

  • discussed the school’s view of the Kāhui Ako
  • followed up the board’s response to ERO Board Assurance Statement
Progress

The school's values are evident in practice. Students learn in a positive environment.

Students are achieving and making progress. In 2017, the majority of students achieved at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Levels of achievement have remained stable. Girls achieve better than boys, especially in writing. Boys' achievement in reading and mathematics has been identified as a focus for 2018. Some Māori students have yet to reach school expectations. In most cases, those not meeting the school's expectations have made accelerated progress.

Teachers provide individualised programmes and targeted teaching for students at risk of not achieving. The teachers have identified oral language as an area for development for some students. Robust inquiry shows evidence that accelerated progress in the acquisition of oral language has led to improved writing competence for students identified at risk of not achieving.

Well-considered informal and formal assessments are used to identify, track and monitor student achievement and acceleration. A tracking system enables leadership and teachers to measure rates of progress and the impact of initiatives. Shared expectations of student progress and achievement over time are used to moderate and facilitate the validity of teacher judgements.

Teachers know their students and their learning needs. Children with additional needs are well supported. External agencies are accessed as appropriate. Student-led learning is valued. Learners are able to visually track their progress and show that they understand what they are learning and what they need to learn next.

The curriculum has been revised to reflect the school’s culture. It is an area of ongoing development. Through community consultation, the school has updated the mission, values, key competencies and principles. A student graduation profile has been developed and a review undertaken of the literacy and mathematics programmes. As part of curriculum development, the place -based approach to learning is to be documented. ERO recommends that as part of this update, statements related to career education, languages and technology are added.

Most trustees were newly elected just prior to the 2016 ERO review. They have since been well supported by NZSTA to develop appropriate governance practices. They have a key focus on student achievement and this is evident in board meetings where progress against annual targets is discussed and trustees ask challenging questions of the principal. They support learning through resourcing decisions. Trustees are collaborative, support newer members and value the skills, knowledge and experience each brings to their stewardship role.

Trustees reflect the community and communicate well with school families and the wider community. The 2018 charter is the result of consultation and careful consideration. This is supported by an annual plan that has identified key aims and targets that focus on accelerated achievement for every student in the school.

The reviewed policies and procedures are current and support students’ emotional and physical wellbeing. A suitable review cycle has been developed.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Staff and trustees have established systems and processes to sustain ongoing improvement. Student achievement information is recorded electronically and data can now be accessed to identify progress over time.

Evaluative internal review has strengthened. Teachers, through their inquiry into the impact of their practice, have identified strategies that are making a difference for each child. The next step is to ensure the initiatives are making a positive impact on student learning by sharpening the focus of internal evaluation.

As part of the trustees’ role, the board should conduct an evaluative self review of its own performance. The board has requested an ERO workshop on internal evaluation.

Key next steps

Key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • continue developing the curriculum and associated programmes to further enhance student learning opportunities
  • improve the use of internal evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of teaching programmes, initiatives and strategies.

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

The school has strengthened a range of processes and procedures to support schoolwide improvement since the 2016 ERO review. Student achievement has improved. Further development is required in curriculum and internal evaluation. ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

23 May 2018

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2705

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

15

Gender composition

Girls 9, Boys 6

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

8
7

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

23 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

August 2016
May 2013
April 2012

Tiniroto School - 04/08/2016

1 Context

Tiniroto School is a rural, full primary school located between Gisborne and Wairoa. There are 11 students on the roll and four identify as Māori.

There has been considerable change since the May 2013 ERO report. A significant proportion of students and their families have left the district. A teaching principal was appointed in 2014. Before and after her employment there were emergency staffing principals leading the school. In February 2016, the current principal was appointed.

The board of trustees has also experienced a change in membership. Many changes in governance and management personnel have stalled the ongoing development of sustainable school conditions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children are to develop as active thinkers, able empathisers and self-directed, empowered young adults who are well equipped to succeed and thrive in our ever-changing world.

The values of respect, integrity, self-management, empathy are known as RISE and are shared as "Together we rise to great heights."

Longitudinal achievement outcomes for students are unclear. There have been several systems and methods of recording student achievement leading to confusion regarding validity of data.

There is a lack of clarity around the 2015 student achievement information. Early in 2016 the current principal assessed student achievement to establish base-line data. This shows that most students achieve at the National Standards in writing and mathematics. Further work is needed to ensure teaching strategies and approaches to accelerate the achievement of Maori students are effective and embedded.

A cluster of schools from the Wairoa Community of Learning (CoL) plan to moderate achievement information in 2016. Currently, the teaching principal and release teacher moderate within the school.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, the school has focused on improving learning outcomes for all students. In 2014-2015 the principal collated, analysed and reported student achievement information regularly to the BOT. However the impact of initiatives on current students is not clear.

The current principal and release teacher bring to the school knowledge from previous professional development opportunities over the past few years. These include participation in a literacy contract, accelerated learning in mathematics (ALIM), and a writing initiative. In 2016, staff are engaging in an oral language intervention.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Analysed achievement information has not always been well used to effectively inform consistent teaching and learning. This is due to the changes in personnel and school leadership.

In 2014, an individual tracking and monitoring system was introduced. Teachers identified children whose learning and achievement needed acceleration. In 2016, this has been picked up again by the principal for the eleven students who attend the school.

In the short time the principal has been in the school, students who identify as Māori have had their interests and needs considered in the classroom. Staff are engaged in personal study on how to be more responsive to Maori learners and which strategies should accelerate their learning.

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?

The curriculum, organisational processes and practices do not sufficiently reflect the school's vision, values, goals and targets.

The documented school curriculum urgently requires a shared approach to implementation. The principal recognises the need for improved planning, coordination and evaluation of this guiding document to support improved student outcomes. Learning contexts need to be closely considered to better meet the school vision and values. The emerging strategies for teaching and learning should be embedded within the classroom. The adoption of the draft curriculum document should assist this to happen, so all children engage in effective teaching and learning opportunities.

The principal is making decisions about student learning based on achievement data. However, understanding and use of internal evaluation should be broadened to support a more comprehensive approach to school decision making. Better evaluation practice is likely to assist teachers and trustees to achieve desired results.

Families and the community are welcomed to school activities. In 2016, specific events have been well attended. It is timely to review reporting to families to ensure reports are simple and clear. Trustees and the principal agree on the importance of supporting the community's active participation in school life.

Trustees should access support to understand their governance role. This includes:

  • organising and reviewing policies, procedures and actions so that there is clarity about the health and safety conditions that support students and staff
  • accessing student achievement information to make appropriate resourcing decisions, particularly for learners at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • ensuring regular trustee meetings focus on the goals and targets of the school
  • over time, evaluating the effectiveness of trustees' role in governing the school.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • have yet to adequately build their knowledge over time of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • have yet to adequately establish ongoing, necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • are now working to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Trustees plan to undertake training to enable them to understand and meet their governance responsibilities.

Long term, systematic, sustainable practice for school operation is needed.

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

In order to improve practice, the board should review health and safety guidelines to ensure they meet compliance requirements and that trustees' understanding and implementation of agreed and effective practices is consistent.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the principal and board ask for support from the Ministry of Education to:

systematise the collection and maintenance of records of students' progress and achievement and overall longitudinal data, so that when staff change, this information remains available for continuity of students' learning and ascertaining school effectiveness

  • implement the draft school curriculum and through internal evaluation ascertain its effectiveness.
  • The board should seek support of the New Zealand School Trustees Association to:
  • assist trustees to understand their governance role
  • develop a firm understanding of internal evaluation. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

4 August 2016

About the school

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2705

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

11

Gender composition

Female 6, Male 5

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

4

7

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

4 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

April 2012

May 2008