Waiau School

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Education institution number:
3566
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
37
Telephone:
Address:

11 Montrose Street, Waiau

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Findings

Waiau School has made sufficient progress in relation to the key next steps identified in ERO’s December 2019 report. The school will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement approach.

1 Background and Context

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

Waiau School in North Canterbury provides education for students in Years 1 to 6 from Waiau and surrounding rural areas. It has a roll of 35 students, 38% of whom identify as Māori. The school is an active member of Tipu Maia Kāhui Ako.

Since the school’s December 2019 ERO review, it has received support from a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function practitioner and liaison manager, and targeted professional learning and development from programme providers. Over this time, the school’s leadership and teaching staff have remained stable.

The board of trustees has set strategic priorities focused on learning, relationships, environment and wellbeing. The school’s vision is Kia ū ki te ako (Learning for Life). The key values for realising this vision are: Community Nō Ūkaipo; Growth – Te Kunengatanga; Success – Te Angitū; and Future – Me Tiro Ki Muri.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The December 2019 ERO report identified that improvements were required in:

  • raising student achievement
  • curriculum development
  • the quality of teaching
  • responding to and valuing the language, culture and identity of Māori students
  • policies, systems and practices
  • schoolwide capability to undertake evaluation for improvement.
Progress

Schoolwide achievement has improved, and the large majority of students are now achieving at or above curriculum expectations. Systems to identify, support and monitor the progress of all students have been established and are understood by teachers. Targeted support programmes are in place for students at risk of underachievement. Students identified for support in reading, writing and mathematics have made accelerated progress. Teachers and leaders are improving their ability to provide accurate achievement information to the board to support understanding, discussion and decision making.

The school’s curriculum framework has been further developed, and aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum and the school’s valued outcomes for student learning. The learning programmes include goals identified in consultation with the community. Programme planning includes local community links that provide opportunities for students to interact with the people, places and events that are important to them.

The quality of teaching and learning practices have improved. Teachers have created an orderly learning environment that promotes student wellbeing and learning. External facilitators have supported teachers to design learning programmes that, with guided support, encourage students to take an active role managing their own learning in appropriate ways. Teachers are taking individual and collective responsibility for improving the achievement and progress of students.

Teachers and leaders acknowledge the language, culture and identity of Māori students in culturally appropriate ways. They are committed to valuing and providing learning opportunities for all students in tikanga Māori and te ao Māori. They have prioritised student learning about te ao Māori themes as part of integrated units of learning. Links with manawhenua have begun to be developed to further build culturally responsive capabilities and strengthen local curriculum.

Clear and effective lines of communication have been established between school leaders and the community. Community aspirations are sought and parents/whānau are actively involved in discussions and decisions about school priorities for improvement. The board has made good use of external expertise and training to implement consistent policies, policy review and the prioritisation of improved student learning outcomes.

The school has adopted and implemented a useful model for schoolwide evaluations. Evaluations of school priority areas have supported the school’s understanding of what needs to change and enabled leaders and teachers to improve aspects of practice to achieve valued outcomes. Teachers engage in professional discussions and reflection to initiate ideas and generate solutions to challenges. They draw on research evidence to improve their teaching and learning practices.

Key next steps

Leaders and teachers need to consolidate and embed:

  • assessment practices, analyses and evaluations to clarify and further improve the progress of all students over time, and the impact of the actions taken to achieve the school’s valued outcomes
  • the local curriculum, including the integrated inquiry learning approach
  • appropriate schoolwide responsiveness to the language, culture, identity, learning and wellbeing needs of Māori students, by strengthening relationships with manawhenua.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. Progress towards embedding systems, processes and practices identified for improvement continues to be made.

Established systems are supporting leaders and teachers to improve schoolwide achievement and to report it accurately to the board. The local curriculum reflects the aspirations and input of families/whānau and provides opportunities for students to initiate and manage learning that meets their needs. The language, culture and identity of Māori students are being appropriately recognised and valued. Teacher planning is increasingly focusing on te ao Māori learning themes. The board has improved its communication about systems, policies and schoolwide practices so that the community is better informed about them. Trustees, leaders and teachers have adopted a useful model of evaluation to continue the process of schoolwide improvement for better student outcomes.

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

Waiau School has made sufficient progress in relation to the key next steps identified in ERO’s December 2019 report. The school will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement approach.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

14 December 2021

About the school

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

School Context

Waiau School provides education for students in Years 1 to 6 from Waiau and surrounding rural areas. It has a roll of 37 students, 14 of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘Learning for Life’, and for its students to be confident lifelong learners who are respectful, responsible and resilient. To support the school’s vision and values, the strategic goals are for the provision of quality education and to enhance teaching and learning environments.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing and engagement.

Since the ERO 2017 review there have been ongoing changes in leadership including the recent appointment of a permanent principal. The school has continued to provide a range of support for children and families as they recover from the 2016 earthquake. A community pool has recently opened on the school site.

Waiau School is a member of Tipu Maia Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

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?

In 2016 and 2017 outcomes for students were moving towards being equitable and excellent.

In 2018 achievement levels were significantly lower, with some emerging disparity in achievement for some groups, especially for some Māori children.

Over time, there has been a decline in achievement for all, including Māori children in reading, writing and mathematics.

The board is not confident that the achievement information it has received in recent years is reliable.

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

The school is unable to provide sound evidence of accelerating learning for those students who need this.

In 2018 and 2019 several teacher interventions were implemented to accelerate the literacy and numeracy learning of a group of students. Reporting to the board on these interventions did not evaluate the sufficiency of progress made by these students or the impact of the resourcing decisions.

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?

Students learn in an environment that builds resilience through active play, inclusive relationships and community engagement. They enjoy a sense of belonging and build friendships at school. Senior students experience increasing levels of responsibility.

Parents are involved and informed about their children’s learning. Transitions into the school, and on to Year 7, are well managed. Community connections provide opportunities for students to become confident and connected and enhance their learning.

The board actively represents and serves the school and community in its governance role. Trustees have initiated the sharing of responsibilities, reviewing their own practice, and succession planning. They proactively access external support for relevant advice and resources as needed.

The new principal is well supported to effect change for equity and excellence. Having resolved recent property, financial and personnel priorities the board is now prepared to sharpen its focus on improving of learning outcomes for all students.

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

Trustees and the principal need to embed and sustain the school’s vision and values by implementing coherent organisational conditions that include:

  • using quality achievement information to inform the learning community about student progress and acceleration

  • setting explicit targets for groups of students whose learning needs acceleration, and reporting on the outcomes of these and any interventions

  • aligning curriculum development and delivery with community aspirations

  • developing guidelines for teachers that reflect high expectations for students’ learning and behaviour

  • building students’ knowledge and management of their own learning

  • ensuring the language, culture and identities of Māori students are valued and positively responded to in school-wide practice

  • developing clear and consistent systems, policies and practices that are widely understood by the school community through consultation and communication

  • building trustees’, principal’s and teachers’ capacity to undertake internal evaluation for improvement and to inform future decision making.

Trustees need to ensure policies and procedures are aligned to the school’s context and practices. While policies are in place and available to parents electronically, not all policies are consistently followed. Policies should be routinely reviewed by the board, with community consultation.

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 Waiau School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • its future-focused board that is building its governance capability for improvement of student outcomes
  • its community connections that enhance students’ learning opportunities

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in embedding and sustaining the school’s vision and values by implementing coherent organisational conditions that include:

  • prioritising student achievement and acceleration through effective strategic planning

  • aligning curriculum development and delivery with community aspirations, high expectations for students, and learner agency

  • ensuring the language, culture and identities of Māori students are valued and positively responded to in school-wide practices

  • developing clear and consistent systems, policies, and practices that are widely understood by the school community

  • building trustees’, principal’s and teachers’ capacity to undertake internal evaluation for improvement, and to inform future decision making.

Trustees need to ensure policies and procedures are aligned to the school’s context and practice. Policies should be routinely reviewed by the board, with community consultation.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consulting with the school’s Māori community.

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

  • consult with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students [NAG 1e)].

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to bring about improvement in its policies and procedures, particularly for aspects of governance and health and safety.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

3 December 2019

About the school

Location

Waiau, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3566

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

37

Gender composition

Male 20, Female 17

Ethnic composition

Māori 14
NZ European/Pākehā 23

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

3 December 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review August 2017
Education Review July 2013