Hare Krishna School

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Summary

Hare Krishna School has a roll of 75 children, most of whom are Indian or Pākehā. Since ERO’s 2014 evaluation the principal has worked collaboratively with the board of trustees and teachers to implement a new school vision. The school has responded well to most of the recommendations in ERO’s 2014 report. Teachers have been involved in a variety of professional learning opportunities that have helped them to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practices. The grounds and classrooms have recently been upgraded.

The school’s achievement information shows that children achieve well in relation to the National Standards in reading and writing, and especially in mathematics, by the time they leave the school. Between 2013 and 2015, there was an overall trend of improved achievement and most children made good progress during their time at the school.

In 2016, teachers worked with other schools to develop consistency in making overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards, with a focus on writing. An overall decline in achievement across the school in 2016 may be attributable to these more robust assessment practices.

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

Hare Krishna School is becoming more effective in responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s positive tone supports children to develop a strong sense of belonging and ownership of the school. Children form good learning relationships with teachers and each other.

The principal enacts a clear vision, which is supported by improved school processes. Children are learning to set personal goals and are beginning to talk about their progress in relation to these goals. The school’s curriculum is currently being reviewed to better support children to achieve the valued outcomes of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Trustees are committed to the school’s mission to ‘empower every child to discover their unique and extraordinary potential.’ The valued outcomes for learners are prioritised in the school’s vision and include wisdom, respect and joy. These values are evident and are a feature of the school.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement
  • need to continue to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Hare Krishna School is becoming more effective in responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Teachers have undertaken a wide variety of professional learning and development to help them adapt their practices to better meet the needs of learners. It is now necessary to embed this new professional learning across the school. It will also be important to more systematically evaluate the impact of these initiatives on children’s learning.

Teachers use a variety of standardised tools to assess children’s progress and achievement. They are making better use of this information to deliberately plan differentiated learning programmes for groups of children.

Children at Hare Krishna School achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading and writing, and especially in mathematics. Between 2013 and 2015, there was an overall trend of improved achievement. Most children, including identified target children, made good progress during their time at the school.

In 2016, teachers participated in moderation workshops with other schools to develop consistency, and improve their understanding about making dependable overall teacher judgements about achievement, particularly in writing. An overall decline in achievement across the school in 2016 could reflect these more robust assessment practices. The principal has identified that it would be useful for teachers to continue participating in moderation processes with other schools.

Next steps identified for future development include:

  • leaders improving the consistency of reporting to parents about children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards, particularly for children in Years 1 to 3
  • teachers recording information to inform their processes for making reliable overall teacher judgements
  • leaders and teachers working together to identify ways to evaluate children’s progress and achievement in a broader range of learning areas of TheNew Zealand Curriculum
  • teachers supporting children to develop knowledge about their own levels of achievement and next learning steps.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The principal has established a clear direction and intent to continue improving school processes that are increasingly helping to achieve equity and excellence for all children. The school processes that are currently most effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence are a clear vision, effective professional leadership and teacher development.

The principal has worked collaboratively with trustees, teachers and the community to build a shared understanding of the school’s new vision. He is also leading the integration of improved teaching pedagogy across the school. As a result, children can confidently share their knowledge about the school’s special character and demonstrate the school’s valued outcomes.Parents who spoke with ERO affirm how teachers model and reinforce these values in their interactions with children.

Teachers’ participation in professional learning has built their understanding of how to inquire into the impact of their teaching practices on children’s learning. This has helped them to focus on developing personalised learning approaches for each child. Children are learning to set personal goals for themselves and are beginning to talk about their progress. Innovative teaching practices are being used to support new entrant children to transition confidently into the school.  

The board, principal and teachers communicate well with parents. They now need to extend these positive relationships, and to continue developing partnershipsthat focus on teachers and parents working together to support children’s learning.

Trustees are developing an understanding of their stewardship role, and their responsibility to ensure that school systems meet statutory requirements. The board recognises that it is a priority to continue improving school resources and the learning environment to promote children’s engagement and learning.

Next steps identified include:

  • leaders and teachers reviewing and implementing an integrated inquiry-based curriculum that acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the unique place of Māori language and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • leaders ensuring that teachers develop a shared understanding of effective strategies to accelerate children’s progress and achievement
  • the board and leaders setting meaningful achievement targets that prioritise the progress of target students and improved achievement in reading school-wide
  • the principal ensuring that written reports to the board include evaluative comment about the impact of initiatives on children’s learning, to support the board’s decision making. 

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further developments are needed to strengthen aspects of curriculum and teaching and stewardship and internal evaluation. It is a high priority for the board and school leaders to:

  • build capability across the school to focus internal evaluation more explicitly on improved outcomes for children
  • improve school resourcing, equipment and the learning environment as a foundation to promote student engagement, learning and progress
  • establish practices and systems that demonstrate a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • continue building whole-school understanding of the curriculum direction, particularly in relation to ‘teaching as inquiry’ approaches, personalised learning programmes for children and supporting children to set, monitor, evaluate and talk about their learning goals and next steps for learning
  • support trustees to be more effective in their stewardship role and to meet statutory requirements.

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
  • 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. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to health and safety, reporting to parents and finance.

In order to address this the board must:

  • ensure school policies meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
  • report twice yearly to parents to show children’s progress and achievement in National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics
  • make clear in a written statement that parents may be asked for a voluntary donation towards general school activities but they do not have to pay this

Vulnerable Childrens Act, 2014, National Administration Guidelines 1(a), MOE circular 2013/06.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop systems and processes to ensure the board meets statutory requirements, including the regular review of board policies
  • ensure all issues raised in the 2015 auditor’s report have been addressed
  • ensure that systems for principal and teacher performance management meet the requirements of the Education Council of NZ
  • strengthen risk assessment and management systems for education outside the classroom experiences
  • provide a careers education and guidance programme for children in Year 7 and above
  • ensure that children in Year 7 and above have opportunities to learn a second or subsequent language as defined by TheNew Zealand Curriculum
  • consult with the school community every two years regarding the delivery and content of the health curriculum
  • appropriately document when the public is excluded from board discussions.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement.
  • need to continue to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning. 

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

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

19 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Riverhead, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

4204

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

75

Gender composition

Boys      40

Girls       35

Ethnic composition

Indian
Pākehā
other    

  52
  18
    5

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

19 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review Education Review          

  April 2014
  February 2011
  October 2007

1 Context

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

Students at Hare Krishna School have a strong sense of belonging in their school and to their cultural heritage and identity. They are proud of the special character of their school and their connections to the Hare Krishna way of living, spirituality and values. Twice weekly temple celebrations provide a good opportunity for students to come together as a whole school and to further experience the school’s special character. These celebrations also provide leadership opportunities for older students.

The school is located on the Hare Krishna community farm in Riverhead, West Auckland. Students value the peaceful rural environment and the learning opportunities it provides. Most students come to the school from across the wider Auckland area and take advantage of the bus system provided to transport them to and from school. The school celebrates the diverse cultural backgrounds of its students, most of who have English as a second or subsequent language, and provide good support for their learning.

The school builds strong partnerships with individual families and includes them in the Hare Krishna community. Students with special needs and those who are new to the school are warmly welcomed and are very well supported.

Since 2010, the board has appointed a new principal. The school also has a new board and some new teaching staff. Both the principal and the deputy principal are long-serving members of staff and the community. Teachers have participated in Ministry of Education (MoE) professional learning contracts in literacy, numeracy and blended e-learning. They have also been using strategies from Nurtured Heart, a positive behaviour management approach, in classroom programmes.

2 Learning

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

The school is making increasingly good use of student achievement information to promote student learning, engagement, progress and achievement. The principal has good systems for collecting and analysing student achievement information. School data show that most students achieve at the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Given that most students arrive at the school with first languages other than English, these results are particularly positive.

The school builds positive relationships with families and uses early assessment information very well to promote successful transitions for new entrant children.

The principal is using achievement information to set useful school-wide targets that are focused on improving the progress and achievement of students who are not yet achieving at the National Standard. He reports regularly to the board of trustees on the progress made toward achieving school targets. Teachers are beginning to use student achievement information to plan their teaching and learning programmes. They are establishing processes, such as the internal moderation of student work, to ensure that assessment information is valid, robust and reliable.

The principal and teachers are keen to increase the numbers of children achieving above the National Standard. They also identify that other useful next steps include:

  • tracking and analysing the progress and achievement of different groups of students as they move throughout the school
  • continuing to connect professionally with other schools to moderate student assessment
  • supporting students to understand their own progress and achievement and to establish and evaluate their learning goals.

3 Curriculum

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

Hare Krishna School’s curriculum promotes and supports students learning effectively. It clearly and thoughtfully aligns The New Zealand Curriculum with the school’s special Krishna character.

Students respond well to the high and consistent expectations that parents and teachers have for their learning and behaviour. Teachers’ continued focus on restorative and strength-based behaviour management approaches is having a positive impact on student engagement and learning. These approaches support students to be increasingly self managing. Students experience positive relationships with each other and their teachers.

Students have opportunities to participate in inter-school sports, and to have learning experiences such as gardening. Years 7 and 8 students now access the technology curriculum through a local intermediate school.

Teachers work collegially and collaboratively to plan teaching and learning programmes. Teachers’ participation in MoE professional learning contracts is strengthening literacy and numeracy learning as the foundation of the school’s curriculum. They are beginning to integrate different areas of the curriculum, and to make better use of computers as a tool for learning. They are also providing more opportunities for students to inquire into areas of interest, and to have more choice about what they learn.

The principal and teachers are excited about the next phase of curriculum development for Hare Krishna School, focused on strengthening student-centred teaching approaches and learning opportunities. The principal plans to access external facilitators to further improve teachers’ professional practice.

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

Māori students at Hare Krishna School are very well supported by their teachers to engage in learning. They make good progress, and achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are proud of their heritage. In 2013 a school welcome, combining Hare Krishna and Māori values was developed by whānau to support students’ start to the school year.

The board and principal agree that key next steps include:

  • developing the school’s bicultural curriculum
  • consulting with Māori whānau to promote a Māori perspective in the school charter, and aligning Māori values with the school’s special character values and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Hare Krishna School is well placed to sustain and continue improving its performance. The principal provides effective educational and spiritual leadership for students, teachers and the Hare Krishna community. He plans strategically and is developing clear systems, including appraisal, to improve teaching practice and promote student learning. He is reflective, recognises the value of external review, and has a good understanding of self review as a tool for school-wide improvement.

The principal recognises the need to grow teachers’ leadership based on their strengths and interests, and to promote the school’s curriculum development and strategic goals. Teachers, the principal and board agree that they should make use of the MoE resources, Ka Hikitia, Tātaioko and The Pacifika Education Plan, as key documents in their leadership process.

Trustees express their commitment to increasing their understanding of their governance role in order to fully support the principal. They have accessed useful external training and have good processes to manage meetings and maintain a strategic focus. They are continuing to give thought to developing a long-term property plan.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 April 2014

About the School

Location

Riverhead, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

4204

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

99

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 61 Girls 38

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Fijian

Filipino

Niue

Other European

Samoan

3

11

74

2

2

2

2

2

1

Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

7 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2011

October 2007

June 2005