Arakura School

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Education institution number:
2802
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
132
Telephone:
Address:

209 Wellington Road, Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt

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Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Arakura School’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?

Arakura School in Wainuiomata caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 152 students includes 48% who are Māori and 13% who are of Pacific heritage.

The November 2017 ERO report identified concerns related to assessment, student progress and achievement, the curriculum and evaluation.

Arakura School began the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme in 2017. Leaders and teachers have worked with professional development facilitators to focus on the curriculum and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A Student Achievement Facilitator has supported the school’s improvement journey and the school also engaged with Leadership Advisor Support. The board of trustees has been working with the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

At the time of this review, the long-standing principal had recently retired and the deputy principal was currently acting in this role. A new principal has been appointed to begin in 2021.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The November 2017 ERO report identified that the school needed to strengthen the following areas:

  • leadership which promotes aligned actions for improved student outcomes

  • effective use of achievement information to accelerate student achievement

  • further building and implementing a responsive curriculum, particularly for Māori learners

  • developing a cohesive approach to school improvement, review and evaluation.

Progress

Progress has been made in all identified areas.

The Arakura School Annual Plan is pivotal in effectively aligning school priorities, annual targets, curriculum expectations and appraisal. The PB4L MANA values are integral to the Learner Vision. These values are: Make positive choices, Act with respect, Never give up attitude, Always show empathy.

Leaders and teachers have reviewed and improved systems for the collection and analysis of assessment, student progress and achievement. Moderation of assessment has increased the consistency of achievement judgements. The Arakura Support Model outlines how teachers identify and support children at risk of underachieving. Regular reports to the board inform trustees of schoolwide achievement and the progress of priority learners.

End-of-year student achievement information from 2019 showed that approximately half of students achieved at or above expectations in mathematics. Less than half achieved at or above expectations in writing and reading. There continues to be some disparity between the overall achievement of Māori students and NZE/Pākehā students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Between Term 2 2019 and Term 2 2020, there has been an increase of 13% in the number achieving at or above expectations in reading. There was a small increase in the number of Māori students achieving well in reading.

Approximately 40% of priority learners have made accelerated progress in the first two terms of 2020 in reading, writing and mathematics.

Positive, respectful interactions are evidence of well-developed teacher-student relationships. Children are active learners and work collaboratively at their tasks. Teachers communicate clear expectations for learning. ERO observed some examples of effective teacher questioning. Continuing to develop these skills is likely to promote increased student agency.

Appropriate appraisal processes and documentations support all staff to inquire into and further develop their practice. Leaders have begun the process of embedding the new Professional Growth Cycle model.

One of the school’s strategic aims is to develop and implement a responsive curriculum. Significant progress has been made with this. Learners are beginning to have opportunities to pursue their interests and goals. This is likely to enable them to experience a broad, rich curriculum with connections to their cultures and local community. Leaders have identified that their next steps are to:

  • further develop the school’s learner vision

  • embed the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to further strengthen relationships with whānau.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is making good progress with developing sound processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Learner-focused internal evaluation processes are in the early stages of being implemented by trustees, leaders and teachers.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that a next step is to embed a shared understanding of internal evaluation. This should guide ongoing school development, including further acceleration of student progress and achievement.

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

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Arakura School’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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 October 2020

About the school

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

Summary

Arakura School, for students in Years 1 to 6, is situated in Wainuiomata. Of the 192 students enrolled, 46% identify as Māori and 13% are of Pacific heritage.

The vision defined by the school for all children is “the best for all students”. The school’s values are being redeveloped as part of 2017 professional development (PLD) on Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). There is a strong focus on relationships.

Since the September 2014 ERO evaluation, the school has enhanced Māori and Pacific student engagement and developed focus groups to engage with its community and promote parent partnerships.Teachers have had PLD in mathematics and aspects of literacy with the support of external facilitators. The school has documented actions taken that focus on Māori children’s achievement and wellbeing.

Some members of the senior management team are new to their roles in 2017. There is minimal staff turnover.

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

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school needs to improve conditions and further build teacher capability to better support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement. School processes to address concerns are not having a sufficient impact. Boys are achieving at much lower levels than girls, particularly in reading and writing. The school has yet to effectively address Māori student achievement in literacy and improve attainment for these children as a group in reading and mathematics.

There is a clear focus on children’s wellbeing that is increasingly supported by the school’s involvement with PB4L.

At the time of this review, the school was not well placed to raise achievement and reduce in-school disparities.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Arakura School is not effectively responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement require acceleration. At the time of the review, there was significant disparity between the achievement of Māori learners and others in the school, particularly in reading and mathematics.

Although a small number of children make accelerated progress in their learning, the majority are not making sufficient progress each year. More effective use of assessment data is required to enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate the impact of programmes and interventions on student achievement.

Teachers are aware that many children need to make greater progress to meet their year-level expectations and are working collaboratively to seek solutions. Continuing to improve in-school moderation processes in writing and mathematics is a focus of the 2017 Annual Plan.

Schoolwide assessment data shows achievement patterns for students have fluctuated without a consistent pattern of improvement over time. Urgency is needed to address the disparity for Māori children and between girls and boys. Fewer than half of the children are meeting expectations in reading and writing in relation to the National Standards. Pacific children’s achievementis similar.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

There is a clear focus on children’s wellbeing that is increasingly supported by the school’s involvement with PB4L. Active collaboration with the kohanga reo is promoting the wellbeing and cultural identity of Māori children.

The value of self review to inform improvement is recognised. The recent Māori Achievement Plan outlines actions the school has taken as teachers have focused on Māori children’s wellbeing and achievement. It identifies conditions needed for Māori children to meet with success. Consistency of practice to support student wellbeing is evident.

School systems appropriately identify children who need learning assistance and support required for English second language speakers. Trustees fund additional teacher aides to enable teachers to spend more time with priority learners.

process provides guidance for teacher improvement through professional learning, coaching and inquiry into practice.Teachers work collaboratively. They are using a coaching model as they share and inquire into strategies they are using to raise the achievement of most at risk students. Opportunities to build their leadership skills are in place. The newly redeveloped appraisal

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School systems need strengthening to support the achievement of equity and excellence for all children. The Māori Achievement Plan includes strategies to improve student achievement in literacy and mathematics. The impact of these actions will need to be closely tracked and carefully evaluated.

The board, leaders and staff need to develop ashared understanding of accelerated learning for equity and excellence in student outcomes. School priorities, annual targets, curriculum expectations and the appraisal system are not clearly aligned.

Strengthening professional leadership should assist in building capacity to do evaluation and use inquiry for sustained improvement. The curriculum should be reviewed and developed tobe more inclusive of te ao Māori. Strategies learned by staff through PLD and known to be effective for children at this school should be used consistently.

Cross-moderation with other schools to further promote thedependabilityand consistency of teachers’ judgements about achievement should be explored. A key improvement to be made,is the use andreporting of achievement data to enable trustees, leaders and teachers to sharpen targets, then measure the impact of programmes and interventions on student progress and achievement.

Trustees shouldregularly monitor student achievement by receiving more frequent reports, with supporting analysis, to enable them to gauge progress with school improvement targets and the impact of resourcing decisions.

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.

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, conditions for learners to achieve educational excellence and to address in-school disparities require improvement. The main areas of concern are:

  • the lack of progress of students at risk of not achieving

  • the limited development and implementation of some school systems and processes.

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • build whole school knowledge and capacity to address the needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • improve practices to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • improve school operation to be well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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

Recommendations

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

  • student achievement

  • professional leadership for more effective:

    • development of a responsive curriculum

    • support for consistency of teacher practice to address government priorities

    • data literacy

    • reporting to trustees

  • internal evaluation that informs learning, teaching and future planning.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

3 November 2017

About the school

Location

Wainuiomata

Ministry of Education profile number

2802

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

192

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 46%
Pākehā 36%
Pacific 15%
Asian 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

3 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review March 2012
Education Review August 2009