Korokoro School

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School Context

Korokoro School, located above Petone, is for students in Years 1 to 8. Of the 187 children enrolled, approximately 11% are Māori. The school has experienced roll growth since the June 2015 ERO report.

The school’s vision aims to develop lifelong learners who have the skills, values, knowledge and confidence to fulfil their potential, enjoy personal happiness and make a positive contribution to society. The TRIBE values – Teamwork, Resilience, Integrity, Broad-mindedness and Excellence - underpin a focus on maximising the potential of all students, empowering them to be critical thinkers who are capable of making good life choices.

Achievement targets are focused on improved attainment of all students in literacy and numeracy, and to accelerate progress of priority learners.

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

  • progress achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in relation to the school achievement targets

  • wellbeing and attendance.

Two deputy principals have been appointed since the previous ERO review. Longstanding and recently-elected members make up the board of trustees.

Teachers are involved in a range of professional learning and development through external and internal initiatives to promote positive learner outcomes. Some teachers have collaborated with other schools through the Teacher Led Innovation Fund on transition to school and student agency.

A number of property developments occurred in 2017 to refurbish classrooms.

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 successfully promotes equity and excellence in valued outcomes for all groups of students.

Reports from the end of 2017 show that nearly all students achieve well in reading and mathematics and most achieve in writing in relation to curriculum expectations. Achievement for Māori learners is above their peers in these curriculum areas.

Over time the school has sustained high levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. A positive trajectory of improvement in writing is evident, particularly for boys.

Children with additional needs are well known and supported appropriately to access the curriculum. External expertise is sought as required.

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

School reported data in 2017 shows that many students accelerate their learning in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Trustees, leaders and teachers work strategically and collaboratively to enact their shared vision of equity and excellence for all students. They are improvement focused and committed to responding to learners’ needs. Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on accelerating learning and improving outcomes for students at risk of underachievement. Targets to accelerate the learning of those students who are not succeeding at expected levels are appropriately set by trustees and leadership. There are high expectations for student success and wellbeing. The school has improved and aligned systems and processes to focus on responding more deliberately to support learners at risk.

The school’s curriculum successfully promotes students’ interest and engagement in learning. Teachers purposefully select learning opportunities to stimulate student curiosity and exploration. Rich learning experiences provide meaningful connections across a range of learning areas. These are well supported by external expertise and school-based, digital and local resources. The TRIBE values are actively promoted and highly evident. These underpin the positive school culture, respectful and productive relationships and children’s ongoing development as learners.

An appropriate range of systems, processes and strategies are used to identify, track and monitor the individual needs of students at risk of not achieving at expected curriculum levels. The school has revised its assessment practices and continues to explore ways to show rates of progress and acceleration. Teachers work collaboratively to support consistent teaching practice across the school and enhance the response to student needs.

Well-organised environments effectively support children to engage positively in learning. Students demonstrate confidence and make appropriate choices about their learning. They are increasingly supported to know about their progress and next steps. Purposeful opportunities support learners to grow their leadership capabilities and contribute to a positive school culture.

Leaders ensure an orderly and supportive environment is conducive to staff and student learning and wellbeing. Building teacher capability is suitably supported through professional learning and appraisal, aligned to school priorities. Leaders and staff recognise and embrace their role in fostering key connections between families and within the community.

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

School practices and processes focus on achieving equity, excellence and acceleration of learning for all students. The school has worked to strengthen aspects of te ao Māori within the curriculum. Children have increased opportunities for learning about te reo me ngā tikanga Māori through external expertise and classroom programmes. It is timely to ensure that expectations forculturally responsive practices are clearly articulated throughout the documented curriculum. The school recognises the need to further engage with Māori whānau to enhance decision making and strategic direction, especially for Māori learners.

Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly reflect on their practice to support decision making for ongoing improvement. A next step is to build on regular reflection and implement a clear process for ensuring robust internal evaluation better supports the school to know what works and what is needed to sustain ongoing improvement.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the school’s shared strategic vision that focuses on learner success and wellbeing

  • a culture of collaboration among trustees, leaders, teachers and parents for continuous improvement of teaching and learning

  • a rich curriculum that promotes high expectations for teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • documenting the school’s expectations for culturally responsive practices, to ensure shared understanding and further support teaching and learning

  • continuing to build internal evaluation processes and practices to sustain ongoing improvement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 August 2018

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2883

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll

187

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%
Pākehā 78%
Other ethnic groups 11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

1 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2015
Education Review, June 2012
Education Review, June 2009

Findings

Korokoro School is inclusive, community-based, and focused on improving achievement and curriculum opportunities. There is a clear emphasis on increasing students’ ownership of learning, use of digital technologies and strengthened relationships with families. Participation in a Learning Change Network has positively impacted on school operations. Building on current initiatives should enhance student outcomes.

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

1 Context

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

Korokoro School caters for Years 1 to 8 students in a hillside suburb overlooking Lower Hutt. Students benefit from a well-resourced school that encourages physical activity and challenge and fosters an appreciation of the surrounding natural environment.

Since the June 2012 ERO report, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. A focus on growing school leadership and professional practices, contributes to staffing stability and promotions. Community involvement and partnerships for learning are positive school features that are continuing to develop. Students and their families are well known. Their views are valued and responded to.

A recent review of the school values has resulted in five key areas under the TRIBE umbrella of: teamwork, respect, integrity, broad mindedness and excellence. These values serve to focus teaching and learning.

Teachers are extending the range of meaningful leadership experiences for students. Current strategic aims include increasing the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT), students’ role in learning and extending community partnerships. Positive developments are evident in these areas.

Korokoro School is one of the six local schools involved in the Seaview Learning and Change Network (LCN). Participation in regular LCN meetings and professional learning sessions has positively impacted on the school’s strategic direction and operations. Staff are also part of cluster of three nearby schools focused on improving mathematics teaching and learning for 2014 and 2015.

2 Learning

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

Teachers are using achievement information more effectively to accelerate the progress of learners who require additional support. Improved processes for identifying, planning and monitoring are in place.

Parents receive clear information about how they can assist their children at home. New ways for collecting and responding to parents’ views and aspirations are increasing teachers’ knowledge about each student’s strengths and next steps. Teachers value better information sharing that enhances their knowledge of learners and their families.

Student achievement in writing lifted during 2014, as a result of actions taken to support a school improvement target. Teachers identified students not at the National Standard and considered the effectiveness of their teaching strategies.

The 2015 target and action plan is building on the successful approaches developed. All students who need extra help in writing are part of the school improvement goal for 2015. Students not yet at the National Standard are closely monitored by teachers. Parents and students are well informed and involved in these processes.

End of year 2014 student achievement information shows that the majority of students are at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students’ achievement is similar to their peers, particularly in reading and mathematics. There is a clear focus on improving student achievement across the school for all groups of students, including those requiring extension or extra help.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported by deliberate strategies and appropriate use of external expertise. Inclusive practices are highly evident.

New systems to motivate students to write are developing well. This includes helpful feedback, encouragement and helpful next steps from their teacher, parents and peers. Learning goals are being set with students and discussed in three-way conferences with parents. Parents receive two written reports a year, and have ongoing opportunities to discuss progress with their children and their teachers.

Teachers participate in regular moderation of their assessment judgements about students' achievement in writing, both in the school and as part of the LCN programme. This contributes to sharing good practice and developing shared understanding.

Professional development is planned with a smaller group of schools to strengthen mathematics teaching and learning. Considering the robustness of teacher's assessment judgements in mathematics is included.

Key next steps for school leaders, staff and trustees include:

  • extending the use of internal and external processes to moderate reading and mathematics

  • extending strategies to increase the role of students in leading and managing their learning, including self assessment.

3 Curriculum

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

The recently developed TRIBE values contribute to ongoing improvements in the school curriculum. Students learn in carefully considered programmes in literacy, mathematics, science, music and other key learning areas.

There is a sustained focus on student wellbeing and physical activity. Students have more opportunities to celebrate te ao Māori. Students are making more individual choices about how they best learn.

School expectations for effective teaching strategies are evident in classrooms. Positive relationships encourage students to take risks, to persevere and to help each other. Students and teachers are enthusiastic about learning. Older students work alongside younger students in buddy roles. Students are well engaged and motivated.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are being integrated in a considered manner. Students purposefully use digital technologies. Trustees and teachers continue to review school systems and resources to ensure they enhance engagement and learning.

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

The school has a sound platform of bicultural practices. A local tutor supports schoolwide kapa haka, and te ao Māori. Classroom environments reflect teachers’ commitment and progress in using te reo Māori. More opportunities for Māori students to lead and celebrate their language, culture and identity are provided.

Trustees regularly consult the school’s Māori community through a survey and are well-informed about their progress as learners. Staff plan to continue to increase culturally-responsive opportunities for Māori students through using positive information-sharing practices with whānau.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, key next steps to continue progress in accelerating Māori success include:

  • leaders, staff and trustees reviewing their understanding and response to the Treaty of Waitangi and considering their strategic response to the Ministry of Education Māori education policy document, Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance through skilled governance.

A very experienced board chair person and trustees with complementary skill sets are focused on improving the quality of learning opportunities. A clear and responsive cycle of policy and procedure review is in place. Trustees reflect the wishes of the Korokoro School community.

The school leadership team is working collaboratively to engage students in meaningful learning opportunities. Processes to grow leadership, use teacher strengths and to mentor new teachers are well in place.

Staff collegiality contributes to the sharing of good practices. Teachers are critically reflective and open to change. They value being part of a network of schools and participating in shared professional learning and development activities.

The increasing use of inquiry and review contributes to an awareness of which strategies contribute to students’ wellbeing and learning. Student achievement information and other performance measures are proactively used by trustees. Strategic direction is clearly informed by students’ learning needs and interests.

There is stronger alignment between what is happening for students in classrooms and the strategic focus of the school. High retention of students and longstanding family relationships encourage a strong sense of community by building a platform for the future.

The recently revised appraisal process links directly to teachers’ focus on students who need focused teaching to reach the National Standard. Increasing the range of appraisal evidence to include critical reflection, research and observations should make the process more robust.

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

Korokoro School is inclusive, community-based, and focused on improving achievement and curriculum opportunities. There is a clear emphasis on increasing students’ ownership of learning, use of digital technologies and strengthened relationships with families. Participation in a Learning Change Network has positively impacted on school operations. Building on current initiatives should enhance student outcomes.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central 

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2883

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

143

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnic groups

  8%
80%
  4%
  8%

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
June 2009
June 2006