Coastal Taranaki School

Coastal Taranaki School - 11/10/2019

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers have responded positively to the need for improvement. A culture more supportive of student learning and wellbeing is in place. Relationships within the school and with the community have been strengthened. Curriculum development is an appropriate current focus. Processes continue to be developed and embedded to further improve outcomes and ensure sustainability.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Coastal Taranaki 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?

Coastal Taranaki School is a Years 1 to 13 school in Okato, Taranaki. It provides education for 271 students and 33% identify as Māori. Sixty-two of the students are in Years 9 to 13. A recent period of roll decline has been reversed and the number of students has increased since 2017.

Taranaki Iwi are mana whenua. The school is successfully building relationships based on partnership with Puniho and Parihaka marae.

Regular involvement in the local community and wider region extends learning opportunities and supports student interests. Friends of Coastal Taranaki School successfully raise funds to extend facilities that are available within the school.

A revised vision and associated values have been collaboratively developed and successfully integrated into school practices. The vision of Mā te whānau te tamaiti e puawai (Through collaboration the learners will thrive) emphasises the importance placed on establishing and maintaining purposeful, reciprocal relationships. The identified key values of ‘Ako (Empowering learners), Whanaungatanga (Collaboration), Manaakitanga (Care)’ are included as part of learning programmes and are the basis of the board of trustees’ strategic goals.

The annual plan for 2019 prioritises improving learning (particularly for those at risk of underachievement), strengthening engagement with a range of stakeholders and growing leadership capacity across the school.

Since late 2017, Coastal Taranaki School has been involved in a second one-to-two-year review with ERO to support school improvement. Regular relevant documentation and meetings involving the principal, leadership team, board of trustees and the Ministry of Education has assisted ERO’s ongoing evaluation of progress.

A new principal, since the start of 2018, has focused on sensitively introducing change to establish a more locally-based, student-centred curriculum to enable greater learner success. There have been several changes in teaching staff since the August 2017 ERO report. Significant professional learning and development to build teaching and leadership capacity has taken place. Staff are well supported to carry out their role and to develop their own professional practice.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The key areas identified for improvement in the 2017 ERO report included:

  • more effective principal leadership of improvement and change

  • improving some board practices

  • increasing student engagement and achievement, particularly for boys and for those in Years 8 to 10

  • implementing effective behaviour management school wide to ensure a culture more focused on promoting learning and wellbeing

  • developing teaching practice that is more responsive to the cultural knowledge of students

  • establishing a collaborative environment involving trustees, leaders and staff that successfully supports positive wellbeing and appropriate achievement outcomes for all students

  • building more positive relationships with the community

  • extending evaluative capacity.

Progress

Trustees, leaders and teachers have developed systems and refined previous practices to support improved outcomes for students. A collaborative environment involving the community, trustees, leaders and staff, able to promote positive wellbeing and achievement outcomes, has been established. The school continues to strengthen their effectiveness in supporting ongoing improvement and sustainability.

The principal demonstrates the necessary educational leadership to address the range of areas needed to place the school in a better position to improve outcomes for students. He is strategic in his approach, student-focused and relationship based.

School leadership is developing and effectively implementing processes that contribute to positive change and improvement in the school. In the past 18 months the focus has been on:

  • re-defining the school vision and values as a basis for future curriculum development and identifying valued outcomes linked to capabilities for living and life-long learning

  • developing a localised, personalised, seamless (Year 1 to 13) curriculum

  • promoting relationships to more effectively support wellbeing and learning

  • more effectively identifying, tracking and reporting achievement and progress.

The school effectively responds to a range of needs and aspirations of students in the senior school. Most school leavers achieve at least NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) Level 2. NCEA Level 1 success improved in 2018. Gender and ethnic groups achieve at similar levels in NCEA Level 1. Females achieve more highly than males and NZ European/Pākehā students higher than Māori at NCEA Levels 2 and 3. Targeting of some students to respond to these disparities and promote greater success is in place.

There is an increased focus on collecting more dependable data in Years 1 to 10. The school has identified a range of assessment tools that enables achievement to be monitored, including for target students. Effective processes for ongoing tracking of student progress are in place. Data is collated to assist analysis of the achievement and progress of individuals and groups, including those at risk of underachieving.

School-provided data for 2018, based on key literacy and mathematics assessment tools indicates, most students in Years 1 to 10 made at least expected progress over the year. In reading and mathematics less than half of those below expectation for their year level made accelerated progress. In writing the majority of those below expectation made accelerated progress.

Engagement in learning and support for wellbeing has improved, as evidenced by improved learning behaviours, attendance and student feedback. Teachers and leaders are responding more effectively to the learning, social and emotional needs of students.

A more positive tone in the school supportive of learning is evident. A significant contributor to this is the introduction of multi-level (Years 1 to 13) whānau classes in 2019. Mentoring, relationship building across age groups and promotion of the key values are a focus within these classes.

The school reaches out to its local community and values their input and involvement.Positive and collaborative relationships with parents, whānau and the wider community that support learning and future pathways for students have been successfully built.Connection to the local area is prioritised in contexts for learning and effectively promotes belonging and identity. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is more strongly reflected in the curriculum and wider school activities. Teachers are well supported to build their knowledge and understanding of the local area and relevant kawa (protocols).

Collaborative review of the curriculum and professional learning is developing a shared understanding of high quality, future-focused teaching and learning priorities. Students experience a range of learning opportunities linked to The New Zealand Curriculum that are enhanced by some subject specialists working across a range of year levels. Curriculum development promotes learning across the school that is contextually relevant, purposeful and responsive to the community. Innovation is encouraged and the impact of initiatives are monitored.

Senior courses respond effectively to the identified pathway interests of individual students. All students are involved in work experience or tertiary education courses as part of their regular timetable. In 2019, improved tracking has been introduced to more effectively monitor progress towards achieving NCEA and to support students to move to positive pathways after school.

A range of interventions are in place for students with additional learning, social and emotional needs. Systems in place support both teachers and students to effectively respond to the range of identified needs. Students are well-monitored and information is shared with families.

Targeted professional learning is building teacher capability and encouraging whole school approaches. Greater collaboration includes sharing of effective practice and developing shared understandings that promote learning. Opportunities are provided for staff to build their leadership capability.

Leaders have continued to refine the teacher appraisal process. Clear expectations and guidelines provide teachers with clarity and enable the process to meet Teaching Council expectations. A focus on shifts in practice linked to outcomes for students and board annual targets is promoted, but still to be embedded.

Trustees confidently carry out their role and responsibilities. They are focused on providing conditions supportive of student wellbeing and achievement, including for those at risk of underachievement. Reporting to trustees assists them to effectively monitor and respond within the various areas of their stewardship role.

The charter provides a focused direction forward and links to the recently revised vision and values. Strategic goals include a focus on target learners, improving engagement and ensuring effective communication. 

Significant property development has taken place since the previous ERO review. An improved financial position and processes has enabled increased resourcing to support improved student outcomes. Policies and procedures are appropriate, fit for purpose and well implemented.

Key next steps

Key next steps for the school are:

  • making greater use of progress data to consider the effectiveness of teaching and interventions is an agreed next step and should contribute to further improvement in achievement

  • achievement in relation to curriculum expectations at each year level are included in reporting to parents. Leaders and teachers should continue to develop and document shared understanding of processes to support dependability of overall curriculum judgements in reading, writing and mathematics from Years 1 to 10

  • continuing to develop quality teacher guidelines should assist teachers to more effectively develop and sustain high quality practices to support student learning across the school

  • trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to build evaluative capacity to consider impact of decision-making and identify areas for continuing development.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Practices and processes have been improved and position the school well to continue to improve. The school has:

  • developed its capacity to reflect, plan, act and report to its community using evidence which includes student achievement and wellbeing information

  • developed a sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and self review

  • built capability to enable it to continue to improve student achievement

  • developed the capacity to respond effectively to any current or emergent issues

  • established a foundation of values, tone and relationships likely to continue to improve 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

Trustees, leaders and teachers have responded positively to the need for improvement. A culture more supportive of student learning and wellbeing is in place. Relationships within the school and with the community have been strengthened. Curriculum development is an appropriate current focus. Processes continue to be developed and embedded to further improve outcomes and ensure sustainability.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Coastal Taranaki School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

11 October 2019

About the School

Location

Okato

Ministry of Education profile number

551

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

271

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā

33%
67%

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

11 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2017
October 2105
November 2012

Coastal Taranaki School - 22/08/2017

Findings

Progress has been made in some areas since the school commenced this one-to-two year ERO review at the beginning of 2016. However, the school has not yet adequately established the conditions needed to improve and sustain performance for all students. Lack of continuity of leadership is a contributing factor.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

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

Coastal Taranaki School is a rural area school in Okato, Taranaki. It provides education for 253 students from Years 1 to 13, 29% of whom identify as Māori. Fifty-six students are in Years 9 to 13. The overall roll has decreased significantly from the 323 students at the October 2015 ERO review.

A new principal was appointed for the start of 2016 and has led the school during this one-to-two year review. She recently resigned and an acting principal is currently providing leadership. In 2017, there have also been changes in membership of the board of trustees, including a new chairperson.

Progress has been made in areas identified for development in the previous 2015 ERO report. Priorities have been determined and actions are in place to support better outcomes for students. However, significant areas continue to require improvement. Lack of continuity of leadership challenges the school's capacity to respond effectively to the areas needing development.

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

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Since the previous ERO review, the priorities have been to improve achievement, especially in Years 7 to 10, through strengthening:

  • the analysis of achievement information in order to enable better evaluation of the effectiveness of responses to individuals and groups
  • review and development of the curriculum to ensure programmes are relevant and personalised
  • targets, so they focus on specific groups and individuals likely to be achieving below expectation
  • promotion of Māori language, culture and identity across the school
  • the quality of classroom teaching and teachers’ inquiry into their practice, so there is greater impact on student learning.
Progress

National Standards 2016 achievement reported for students in Years 1 to 8 indicates approximately 70% of learners in reading, writing and mathematics are at least at expectation for their year level. Writing achievement has improved. Reading and mathematics overall results have remained stable over the last three years.

The achievement of Māori students as a group has improved in all three learning areas and significantly in writing. Boys achievement overall remains below that of girls. Many students in Years 1 to 5 achieve at or above in relation to the expected National Standards. Many students in Year 8 are not achieving at the expected level.

Outcomes for Year 9 reported at the end of 2016 in literacy and mathematics indicated many students were below expectation and had made insufficient progress during the year. Better progress was made by Year 10 learners. Leaders and teachers are continuing to build the dependability of achievement decisions in Year 9 and 10. This should assist more reliable reporting of student academic outcomes.

Achievement in Years 1 to 10 continues to require improvement. Systems introduced in 2017, particularly in relation to targeting, should promote a greater focus on acceleration of progress. As well as improving achievement overall, this should assist the impact of curriculum and teaching to be a greater focus in internal evaluation.

Most students in Years 11 to 13 achieve the relevant National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The focus on individuals achieving successful outcomes in the senior school has been strengthened through:

  • ensuring programmes are individualised, flexible and related to relevant pathways through and beyond school
  • close tracking and monitoring through the year
  • availability of career education and guidance programmes that often involve parents and whānau. 

Comprehensive tracking of students targeted for acceleration at all year levels is now in place. Teachers and leaders collaboratively develop strategies to respond to the needs of these learners. More regular reporting to the board on the progress of targeted students should assist resourcing decisions and the ability to consider the impact of interventions and developments.

Review of the curriculum has sought to ensure programmes are relevant, personalised and flexible to support increased engagement in learning. Recent developments have included introducing a ‘learning through play’ programme in Years 1 and 2 and changes in how the Years 7 and 8 classes are set up.

A range of strategies are in place to respond more effectively to students in Years 7 to 10. However, in some of these classes there continues to be variable student engagement, progress and achievement. Ensuring the curriculum, pastoral systems and current initiatives effectively support these learners is a continuing priority for teachers.

Integration of te ao Māori and culturally appropriate teacher practices across the school is an ongoing focus for teachers, leaders and trustees. Māori tikanga is reflected in school practices. Local contexts are increasingly reflected in the curriculum. Māori whānau and local iwi have greater involvement in school activities and discussion about future direction.

Expectations that students are respectful, responsible and ready to learn are clearly articulated and understood. Embedding COASTAL values is prioritised. The school has identified the need to ensure schoolwide positive behaviour management systems are consistently implemented.

Student surveys and high numbers of stand downs and suspensions indicate that teaching and leadership have not had sufficient impact on aspects of wellbeing and ensuring a learning culture is consistently in place.

The principal has led positive developments to the teacher appraisal process. Expectations are clear for teachers and leaders. The process is focused on teacher improvement and meeting accountabilities. Teachers set goals that are aligned to school priorities for raising student achievement and growing teacher practice. Inquiry into aspects of practice to improve outcomes for students is encouraged.

Professional learning and development (PLD) is aligned to teacher and school needs. Current PLD priorities include teaching as inquiry, raising Māori achievement, written language and positive behaviours that support learning. Shared understanding of good practice is developed through PLD and has the potential to improve student wellbeing and achievement.

The strategic and annual plan clearly define the direction for improvement in a range of areas. The new board and chairperson are building a greater understanding of their role. The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) policy framework has been adopted by the board and school procedures have been updated to reflect good practice. A work plan is in place for 2017 that includes a range of appropriate activities and review.

The principal’s reporting to the board includes regular updating in relation to the charter goals. Reporting to trustees continues to be refined to assist them to effectively monitor and respond to their stewardship role as it links to student wellbeing, achievement, finances and property. 

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Despite progress in some areas, the school is yet to adequately develop and embed processes and practices to improve performance and support sustainability school-wide. Lack of continuity of leadership also presents challenges to ongoing improvement.

Aspects of school climate and relationships require further strengthening to establish a culture of learning schoolwide. Teachers and leaders need to more effectively increase engagement in learning and achievement levels of some students, especially in the middle school.

Establishing a collaborative environment involving trustees, leaders and staff that successfully supports positive wellbeing and appropriate achievement outcomes for all students is still to be achieved.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • receive regular reports on patterns of attendance, that include the impact of interventions for students whose absences place their learning at risk
  • develop a procedure linked to surrender and retention of student property
  • document the police vetting procedure more fully
  • review and revise practices associated with responding to complaints, filing and recording of in-committee business. 

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • continuity of leadership
  • ensuring a consistent schoolwide learning culture
  • embedding sustainable practices to improve outcomes for students.

Conclusion

Progress has been made in some areas since the school commenced this one-to-two year ERO review at the beginning of 2016. However, the school has not yet adequately established the conditions needed to improve and sustain performance for all students. Lack of continuity of leadership is a contributing factor.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years. 

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

22 August 2017

About the School 

Location

Okato

Ministry of Education profile number

551

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

29%
69%
2%

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

22 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2015
November 2012
November 2009