Waerenga-O-Kuri School

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Education institution number:
2712
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
38
Telephone:
Address:

1763 Tiniroto Road, Waerengaokuri, Gisborne

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School Context

Waerenga-O-Kuri School is a two teacher, full primary school situated southwest of Gisborne. At the time of this review there were 44 children on the roll, 11 identifying as Māori.

The school’s vision statement, Growing Confident Learners Together, Whakatipu tahi i ngā ākonga māia is underpinned by the school’s recently redeveloped values: respect, achievement, honesty, persistence and self-esteem.

The 2019 strategic plan gives priority to ongoing improvement in student outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 for all students in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum
  • Māori student progress and achievement
  • progress in intervention programmes including Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) and Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL)
  • attendance.

Professional learning and development (PLD) for all staff contribute to curriculum approaches. These include, ALiM in 2019, ALL in 2018 and 2019 and developing student agency throughout 2019. This will continue in 2020.

The school is part of the Kāhui Ako.Taha Tinana

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?

Data shows the school has maintained high levels of achievement for most groups across reading, writing and mathematics since the last review.

End of year data for 2019 indicates most children including Māori, achieved at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Boys achieve slightly lower than girls across these areas.

Attendance is regularly monitored and reported to the board. There are high levels of attendance.

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for those students who are at risk of underachievement.

An improvement focus for all students is evident. Tracking and monitoring systems reflect this focus. The school identifies and prioritises students for targeting and acceleration of achievement.

Data from 2018 for students targeted in specific interventions such as ALIM and ALL shows many made acceleration to either be at, or closer, to curriculum expectation.

In 2019, a group of students at risk of underachievement in reading were identified. Most of these students have accelerated their progress.

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?

The school environment has a positive tone. Relationships are respectful. Students experience a broad curriculum and have opportunities to learn in authentic contexts. Students are involved in a range of enrichment opportunities provided through school and community connections. Digital tools and resources are used appropriately to promote children’s thinking and learning.

There is a strong focus on student engagement and participation. Students are encouraged to be self-managing. Collaborative learning is promoted across the school. Teachers use a range of effective practices to engage and teach students.

Teachers and leaders are collaborative and collegial. Processes and practices strengthen and sustain professional learning and collaboration to improve teaching and learning.

Assessment systems and practices have been developed and implemented to promote reliability and consistency across the school. Leaders and teachers engage in regular reflection and consideration of ways to improve outcomes for students.

Established systems and processes provide an overview of students with additional learning needs. Internal and external expertise is sought to provide appropriate inteventions and programmes and support teachers in developing strategies and programmes to assist teaching and learning.

Learning relationships have been well developed with parents and whānau and promote learning opportunities and transitions for students.

The board bring a variety of strengths and skills. They have undertaken training and provide competent oversight of school operations. Trustees maintain a strong focus on equitable resourcing for the school to maximise student outcomes.

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

Leadership has a strong focus on equity for all children’s opportunities for learning. Clearly identifying achievement targets to address the disparity for boys in achievement should continue to promote this strategic intent.

The school should continue to develop and document their localised curriculum and delivery guidelines. These should reflect the school values, current practices, and connections to place and context to achieve its vision for successful learning.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Waerenga-O-Kuri School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • tracking, monitoring and assessment systems that are effectively support student’s progress and achievement
  • learning environments that are effectively enabling increased student collaboration, participation and engagement
  • relationships and connections from community, resources and expertise that support learning and teaching opportunities for all students.

Next steps

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

  • sharpening current achievement targets to more clearly identify those students in need of acceleration and achieve equity for all groups in the school
  • continuing to document the curriculum and then effectively implementing this to enact the school’s vision for teaching and learning.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • document its lockdown procedures to reflect current school practices
  • develop a checklist for safety checking to ensure all steps are documented
  • fully document in committee minutes
  • review all procedures to ensure they are up to date.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

17 February 2020

About the school

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2712

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

44

Gender composition

Female 22, Male 22

Ethnic composition

Māori 11

NZ European/Pākehā 33

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

17 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2016

Education Review October 2013

Education Review June 2009

1 Context

Waerenga-O-Kuri School is a two-teacher full primary school situated 30 kilometres southwest of Gisborne. Six of the 38 students identify as Māori and 32 are Pākehā. The school is part of the Tairawhiti Community of Learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to:

  • excel in learning,
  • be innovative, creative, and develop inquiring minds
  • be positive in their own identity, and to respect all others
  • be empowered to be lifelong learners.

The school's values have RELATIONSHIPS as an acronym to remind the community of: Respect, Empathy, Leadership, Achievement, Thoughtfulness, Independence, Optimism, Nurturing, Self-Esteem, Honesty, Integrity, Persistence.

The mission of 'positive attitude, maximum achievement' is prominently displayed around the school.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls achieve better than boys.

The school's information shows students make good progress during the year with some making significant progress in particular aspects of the curriculum. Student achievement has been consistently high over recent years.

Teachers use a range of assessment information, including from standardised tests, to inform their overall teacher judgements about students' achievement. The teachers regularly discuss schoolwide student progress and, especially in writing, moderate sample work to facilitate consistency in assessment. Some sharing of samples has occurred with other schools but this is not regular practice.

Since the October 2013 ERO evaluation, the school has placed greater focus on individual student achievement by providing differentiated instruction and resources. The principal and teachers have built learning focused relationships with parents and whānau and have engaged extra support for targeted students.

The school has addressed the concept of success for Māori as Māori. Through a consultative internal review process, it has developed a framework to improve students' academic and cultural outcomes and to facilitate a sense of belonging for all students.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds appropriately to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

All students are well known and through a well-developed assessment system students at risk of not achieving the National Standards are identified early, given support and monitored. Some accelerated progress is evident, particularly in Years 1 to 3 where thorough analysis of data informs teaching and learning for all students and particularly priority learners. Good use is made of external agencies to support targeted learners.

Students have a good understanding of their learning. The informative feedback they receive, particularly in writing, enables them to identify their next learning steps.

A review of the use of assessment information in Years 4 to 8 is likely to better inform teaching and learning and overall teacher judgements. This will be further supported by seeking regular external moderation opportunities.

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 school curriculum and organisational process and practices support the enactment of the school's vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

The board and principal recognise that this will be further enhanced with a revised approach to setting targets in the annual plan. They have agreed to establish targets for all students to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. The next step is for the teachers to identify what constitutes accelerated progress for each targeted student.

The board has recently reviewed the charter. The annual plan provides clear direction for ongoing progress. The board has established a sound governance model and trustees have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. The board regularly reviews its practices and policies and is well informed about student progress.

The students are active, respectful, learners who model the school's values. A local curriculum is being developed to enhance the students' sense of identity and belonging.

Teacher appraisal is robust and is consistent with the Education Council expectations. The experienced teachers contribute to the welcoming school environment and the provision of a stimulating curriculum.

ERO's October 2013 review noted that self review would be enhanced by establishing a clear framework to guide the process and strengthening the quality of evidence gathering for evaluating effectiveness. Some progress has been made but there is still a need to document a clear framework for internal evaluation.

The principal and trustees are improvement focused. Regular surveys of parents and whānau are supplemented by the principal actively promoting parent and whānau engagement and seeking their perspectives and aspirations to incorporate into the vision, values and school curriculum. Collaborative school culture is evident.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

In this small rural school teachers know the students well. They identify and strongly support learners who may need strategies and resources to meet National Standards. Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environment. They make progress, and with continued targeted teaching even more students at risk of not achieving National Standards are likely to demonstrate accelerated progress.

The board has sound stewardship procedures and is capable of sustaining the good performance evident.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop more targeted planning to further accelerate student achievement. Planning should show how processes and practices will respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

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

7 Recommendation

ERO and school leaders agree that key next steps are to:

  • review charter goals to reflect school expectations that all students at risk of not achieving National Standards should make accelerated progress
  • document procedures for internal evaluation to facilitate consistent practice
  • further develop assessment practices and establish an external moderation programme. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

7 December 2016

About the school

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2712

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

6

32

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

7 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

October 2013

June 2009

February 2006