Taihape Area School

Education institution number:
549
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
263
Telephone:
Address:

26 Huia Street, Taihape

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Taihape Area School - 02/05/2018

School Context

Taihape Area School is located in Taihape and provides education for students in Years 1 - 13. Students remain in the junior school until they graduate to the senior school in Year 9. There are253students on the roll, of whom59%identify as Māori. A small number of other ethnic groups are enrolled. The school has an attached farm, used for educational purposes.

The school’s vision is “Leading Me to Lead My Learning”. Its values of manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga and wairuatanga guide school operations and practices. A calm and supportive school atmosphere is evident.

The school has an established partnership with Mōkai Pātea Services, an iwi collective who hold mana whenua for the geographical area. Mōkai Pātea have an active role in governing the school and providing support for the school’s curriculum.

Staff and the community provide considerable support for student participation in a variety of academic, sporting and cultural activities. Many senior students are positive role models, enthusiastically involved in leadership opportunities. Success is acknowledged through school celebration assemblies, the school newsletter and local media.

Over the past few years a number of positive initiatives to enhance student achievement and to address areas identified for development in the July 2014 ERO report have been introduced.

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

  • Mōkai Pātea Matauranga partnership initiatives

  • student wellbeing

  • student achievement and progress in literacy and mathematics (Years 1 – 10) and National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results

  • progress towards the school’s strategic goals.

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 2017 almost all students achieved the NCEA Levels 1 and 2 in Years 11 and 12. Less than half achieved Level 3 NCEA and University Entrance in Year 13 that year. Māori achievement was similar to that of their non-Māori peers in NCEA in 2017.

In Years 1 to 8 most students achieved at expectations in reading and mathematics with a majority achieving in writing. Māori and male students achieve at lower levels in writing and mathematics in the junior school.

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

The school continues to develop effective practices and processes to address the equity of outcomes for all learners.

Improvement for some students is evident over the past three years. Acceleration occurred for some students, including Māori, in 2017. There is improved achievement for Māori overtime at NCEA Levels 1 and 2.

Leaders have identified writing as a key area for raising overall student achievement in the junior school and have set targets to achieve this in 2018. In the secondary area, NCEA level 3 and University Entrance achievement are appropriately targeted.

Students with additional needs are well supported by teachers and their classmates to participate in all aspects of school life. Staff work collaboratively with parents and specialist staff to provide the support these students require.

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?

Culturally responsive pedagogy supports and promotes students’ learning. There is a strong, well-established partnership with the local Mōkai Pātea iwi group. The board and leaders focus on building relational trust with local iwi, hapu and marae to ensure active participation in the school and learning-based initiatives.

There is a strong focus on supporting all students to achieve, to be proud of their local community and to have confidence to contribute to the wider New Zealand society. A localised, learner-centred, connected curriculum that is responsive to students’ individual needs has been developed in partnership with whānau and students.

Learning is personalised, particularly in the senior school. This assures future pathways, both academic and vocational, are available to all students. In the junior school, the curriculum is inquiry based. It has an appropriate focus on literacy and numeracy.

The school has clear expectations for student engagement and participation based on the school values. These are visible throughout the school environment, are well known, understood and enacted by students and teachers.

Leaders work effectively and collaboratively with the school’s community to provide a positive environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes student wellbeing and success. They proactively build networks and community partnerships that extend and enrich the curriculum and increase learning opportunities. These collaborations enhance opportunities for students to become confident, connected and actively involved in their learning and potential pathways.

Trustees are well informed about initiatives and student outcomes. They are strongly focused on student engagement and wellbeing and are strategic in their approach to change and development.

Leaders have a systematic approach to self-review. They use a range of evidence to identify areas for improvement that support student learning and wellbeing. They put in place new initiatives to address the identified areas. They identify actions that have been effective and possible next steps for improvement.

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

Teachers are encouraged to be, and are increasingly reflective. They inquire into how new learning impacts on classroom practice and programmes. They should continue to develop this to better identify how change in classroom practice impacts on student outcomes. Teacher inquiries should be focused on accelerating the learning of all priority students.

Appraisal processes have been reviewed and aligned to the new Standards for the Teaching Profession. Implementation should be strengthened through the incorporation of clearer feed-back that informs next steps for development.

Leaders should consider ways they can set targets to accelerate the learning of students at risk of under achievement. A stronger focus on measuring and documenting the impact of actions and initiatives should further enhance leaders’ capability to evaluative practice and inform decision making.

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:

  • a personalised curriculum that maximises student interests and opportunities for learning

  • partnerships with local iwi, community and families that support positive outcomes for students

  • well established school values that underpin school expectations and operation.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the implementation of appraisal processes to better support growth in teacher practice

  • focusing teacher inquiry on the impact of new practices on student achievement to better understand how they are accelerating the learning of priority students

  • measuring and documenting the impact of actions and initiatives to further enhance leaders’ capability to evaluate practice and better understand their impact on student achievement.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

2 May 2018

About the school

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

549

School type

Area School (Years 1-13)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Maori 59%
Pākehā 37%
Pacific 2%
Asian 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

2 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014
Education Review November 2012
Education Review September 2011

Taihape Area School - 07/11/2014

1 Background and Context

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

Taihape Area School is a composite co-educational school for students in Years 1 to 13. At the time of this review, in September 2014, it had a roll of 287 students. Sixty-five percent of students are Māori. Students come from a large geographical area and many travel each day by bus. Facilities are of high quality and there is extensive use of digital resources.

Ngā Iwi O Mōkai Patea hold mana whenua for the geographical area students come from. Mōkai Patea have an active role in governing the school and guiding the school’s curriculum. The values of manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga and wairuatanga are increasingly linked to the local context.

A calm and supportive school atmosphere is evident. Many senior students are positive role models, enthusiastically involved in leadership opportunities.

Staff and the community provide considerable support for student participation in a variety of academic, sporting and cultural activities. Success is acknowledged through school celebration assemblies, the school newsletter and local media.

In the past two years the school has responded positively to the areas for improvement identified in the November 2012 ERO report. External involvement, professional development and refocusing on achievement priorities have increased the capability of the board, senior managers and teachers to improve outcomes for students.

An improved financial position is beginning to provide the board with greater flexibility in resourcing teaching and learning.

This report evaluates the progress that has been made since 2012 and the likelihood that the improvement will be sustained.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Action plans have been developed to respond to the priorities identified from the previous review. The areas identified were:

  • improving student achievement
  • building teacher capability through professional learning opportunities and performance management processes
  • more fully engaging teachers in practices that support teaching and learning for all students and in particular Māori
  • developing a more cohesive and positive school culture
  • embedding schoolwide self-review processes.
Progress

Trustees, leaders and teachers have addressed the priorities for development and progress has been made in most areas. Improved engagement in learning is contributing to better outcomes for students.

Schoolwide, there is an increased focus on those learners requiring additional assistance to experience academic and social success. Tracking includes more consistent use of data to identify strengths and weaknesses and regular parent involvement. Responding to individual priority learners is making a genuine difference for students.

Professional learning for teachers of Years 1 to 8 is building understanding of effective teaching and assessment practice. A range of achievement information informs National Standards judgements. The school recognises the need to continue to build confidence in making these judgements. Next steps should include documenting specific expectations in curriculum delivery for reading, writing and mathematics and implementing more rigorous moderation processes.

Teachers share information about student achievement, progress and practice. There is a better awareness of students’ learning needs. Using assessment information more deliberately to show progress in literacy and mathematics as students move from Year 1 through to Year 10 is an appropriate next step. This will also assist teachers to know more about the impact of curriculum and teaching.

In 2013, there was a significant improvement in the proportion of school leavers who had gained at least National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2. Eighty-three percent of students reached this level.

Board improvement targets give priority to the national goal of leavers gaining NCEA Level 2. Teachers and managers effectively monitor student progress towards NCEA qualifications. Programmes are responsive to the individual situations of students. Ensuring as many as possible gain NCEA Level 1 in Year 11 should support students to have stronger pathways as they continue through the school and beyond.

The productive educational partnership between Ngā Iwi O Mōkai Patea and the school has resulted in improved teacher understanding of the importance of mana whēnua, and relationship and place‑based teaching. Ngā Mokai Patea personnel work with staff to develop their te reo Māori and perspective of te ao Māori. Lessons and classroom practice increasingly reflect the learning that has taken place. Greater inclusion in visual displays of significant features for iwi promotes Mōkai Pateatanga and a sense of belonging.

Māori students have established a rōpū, Mauri Oho, to contribute their ideas and aspirations for the curriculum. These rangatahi are positive role models and committed to improving outcomes for the younger students in the school. Their work has contributed to the re-establishment of kapa haka and enthusiasm for noho marae. Students learn about the whakapapa of the rohe in meaningful contexts.

Provision of progressive te reo Māori learning and offering te reo at NCEA levels continues to be a challenge for the school. Leaders and the board recognise this and are considering how to respond. ERO encourages the school to act with urgency to achieve the language aspirations the school, iwi and community have for their learners.

The school should continue to establish structures or processes that build on the current momentum for supporting Māori success. This includes continuing to involve Mauri Oho and whānau in influencing ongoing curriculum decision-making.

Trustees are strongly student-focused and demonstrate genuine commitment to school and community. They have benefited from intensive training to clarify the governance role and review meeting procedures. The principal’s reports to the board are based on annual goals. Trustees have a greater focus on strategic direction and student achievement.

An improvement-focused performance management process for teachers and the principal is now in place. Goals are developed in relation to school priorities. The impact of the process should be increased by:

  • ensuring consistent implementation

  • better use of evidence in considering the impact of teaching on student learning.

Professional discussions help teachers to share their practice. The current focus on building positive behaviour to support learning contributes to greater collegiality within staff and more consistency. Student wellbeing and learning is seen as a collective responsibility.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The 2012 ERO report identified the need to develop self review with a clear focus on improving student progress, achievement and engagement.

Progress

The school has developed its capacity to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Self-review practices are developing and contribute to strengthening sustainable practice. Trustees, leaders and teachers have benefited from the external support provided. A cycle of planning and improvement is implemented.

Board structures should contribute positively to sustainability. Appropriate priorities and direction have been set in the strategic plan to move the school forward. Policies and procedures are in place to guide response to emergent issues.

School managers demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. Deliberate actions are taken to embed values, build leadership and foster relationships and shared responsibility for improving student learning.

The board, school managers and staff should continue to build capacity to reflect, plan and act, using evidence which includes student achievement information.

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.
  • In order to improve current practice, analysed attendance and stand-down and suspension information should be provided regularly to the board.
Conclusion

The school has made significant progress in most areas identified by ERO in 2012. Students are generally engaged in their learning and a calm, supportive atmosphere is evident. Improved monitoring has contributed to better achievement outcomes, particularly for senior students. Embedding current initiatives should contribute to further improving outcomes for students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

7 November 2014

About the School

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

549

School type

Composite (Year 1-15)

School roll

287

Gender composition

Female 53%,

Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 65%

NZ European/Pākehā 33%

Pacific 1%

Asian 1%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

7 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2012

Education Review September 2010

Education Review June 2007