Kumeroa School

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Education institution number:
601
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
40
Telephone:
Address:

Cnr Township & School Roads, Kumeroa

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School Context

Kumeroa School, a rural school close to Woodville, has students in Years 1 to 8 and a roll of 46. The school’s overarching vision is to develop future-focused learners who ‘GROW’. This is supported through the valued outcomes for students to: ‘guide and lead others, be reflective, resilient and reliable, open to lifelong learning and willing to learn independently and collaboratively’.

Since the August 2016 ERO evaluation extensive property development has occurred. The principal was appointed in 2018 and a new teaching team established at the beginning of 2019. A core group of experienced trustees has provided continuity of stewardship in a time of staffing change.

Current strategic aims are to further develop the curriculum, student engagement and achievement, wellbeing and effective governance for sustainability. There is a particular focus on accelerating progress for identified students in literacy and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Teachers are engaged in professional learning to strengthen school wide assessment practices.

The school is part of the Tararua Kāhui Ako.

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 continues to focus on attaining excellent outcomes for children. Schoolwide end-of-year achievement information for 2018, indicates that most students achieved at or above expectations in reading, with a high majority in writing. Over time, achievement in mathematics has been variable with the majority of students achieving at or above expectation. Māori learners achieve as well as their school peers in reading, writing and mathematics.

Achievement overall has remained relatively consistent over the past three years, particularly in reading. Boys are achieving less well in reading and writing. The school is aware of this disparity and there is evidence that this is reducing over time.

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

Of the students identified in 2018 as needing accelerated learning, most made progress, with some showing acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students whose learning requires acceleration are identified, monitored and well known to staff. Deliberate and targeted teaching strategies are actioned to accelerate their learning. A range of interventions are responsive to the needs of individual students.

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?

Collaboration and a strong sense of community successfully foster students’ engagement in their learning. They experience positive relationships within a welcoming environment, well aligned to the school’s vision and values. Students work well together and confidently articulate their learning. They regularly share their achievements with parents, whānau and community.

Student-led learning is successfully promoted through meaningful projects that draw on their life experiences and are responsive to their strengths and interests. Students have authentic learning opportunities through the ‘Agri curriculum’. They make links to relevant community expertise to enhance and support this learning.

Students benefit from a curriculum that increasingly incorporates aspects of te ao Māori. Whānau, Māori, parents and teachers continue to support the school to develop appropriate tikanga such as pōwhiri, waiata and haka that reflects the school community. Students have ongoing opportunities to participate in kapahaka.

A strategic and well aligned approach to change and improvement is informed by a process of ongoing review and inquiry. Student achievement and wellbeing is given priority and whānau, parent and community perspectives are valued to support ongoing improvement. The principal is actively involved in a range of professional learning and development opportunities to grow leadership. The strengthened appraisal process provides a useful framework to support staff inquiry into the effectiveness of their teaching linked to student outcomes.

The board actively represents and serves the school community. A consistent approach to upholding the school’s vision has successfully contributed to sustainability of school operation during times of change.

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

The review of the documented curriculum is underway to reflect the enacted, evolving curriculum and to support consistency of practice across the school. Guidance should include:

  • capturing the localised ‘Agri Curriculum’, place-based education and integration of te ao Māori concepts
  • formalising guidelines for teaching, learning and assessment practices
  • showing clearly the alignment to the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • provision for career education, learning and second language options for students in Years 7 and 8.

Trustees and leaders engage in reflection and inquiry to inform decisions for improvement. To further support this process, trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation. This should enable them to evaluate the effectiveness of newly implemented processes and practices in relation to improving outcomes for students.

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 Kumeroa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • a responsive curriculum that ensures students experience a wide range of authentic learning opportunities
  • sustained and knowledgeable stewardship that is committed to upholding the school’s vision and values
  • continued community engagement that supports student learning.

Next steps

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

  • formally documenting all aspects of the current curriculum for continuity and consistency of teacher practice
  • having a shared understanding of internal evaluation to further support trustees, leaders and teachers to measure the effectiveness of systems, processes and teaching practices on learner outcomes and consequently inform ongoing decision making.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review the child protection policy to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014 and provide teachers with relevant training.

Phillip Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services
Central Region

31 May 2019

About the school

Location

Kumeroa

Ministry of Education profile number

601

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

46

Gender composition

Male 34, Female 12

Ethnic composition

Māori 5

NZ European/Pākehā 41

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

31 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016

Education Review May 2013

Education Review December 2009

1 Context

Kumeroa-Hopelands School is located in a rural farming community northeast of Woodville in the Tararua district. At the time of the review, the roll was 48 students and 11 identify as Māori.

The school continues to benefit from a high level of parent and community support. Attractive classrooms, a well-maintained physical environment and spacious grounds have been well used to develop a schoolwide focus on sustainability, including the construction of a greenhouse from recycled bottles in 2015.

There have been two changes of principal and all staff are new to the school since the May 2013 ERO report. The current principal was appointed Term 4, 2015. While there are pending changes to the membership of the board, many trustees remain on the board from 2013. Trustees continue to be involved in external professional development to support their stewardship role.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are within the GROW acronym: Guide; Reflective, Resilient, Reliable; Open to learning; Willing to learn independently and collaboratively. A matrix, developed with students, illustrates these expectations at
4 levels - hatching, exploring, gliding and flying. Students use the matrix to track their development as they progress through the school.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Some gains in Māori student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics were evident in 2015.  Addressing disparity between Māori students and boys, compared to other students remains a next step.

Teachers regularly assess student learning. They use a range of processes to support their overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. They are refining their use of assessment to further increase the reliability of judgements through moderation within the school and with neighbouring schools.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, teachers have been involved in externally-led professional learning and development (PLD) for writing (2014). The staff also undertook PLD in assessment and leadership in 2015. Teachers are currently involved in PLD for reading and teacher inquiry. This has improved schoolwide consistency in planning and helped to develop teachers’ understanding and use of data to better identify students’ needs.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

There is an increasing response to students who need their achievement accelerated. The school identifies those students who require additional learning support and puts actions in place to address their needs.

The school has successfully implemented a range of strategies and interventions. These include:

  • aligning school and classroom processes to better focus on underachieving students
  • strengthening teachers' inquiry into the impact of their practice on student outcomes
  • revisiting the curriculum to better focus on a hands-on approach in contexts relevant to students
  • placing a greater focus on teaching practices better matched to student needs
  • resourcing reading material of higher interest to boys
  • strengthening tracking and reporting of student achievement at school and class levels.

The board funds additional staffing for smaller classes.

School information shows some positive impact on student achievement. However, more specific inquiry into what is working best, and for which students, is a next step.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

School processes and the curriculum have been strengthened in order to promote equity and excellence.

Trustees and community members want students to have strong rural links and to be aware of, and equipped for, the wider world when they leave school. A revision of the school charter has identified the need to create a local curriculum that better represents the community and student interests.

The school's AGRI curriculum, offers students a range of relevant and motivating learning opportunities. They have been involved in many hands-on projects where they grow their knowledge of agriculture and horticulture. Continued curriculum development, including delivery plans for all learning areas, is a next step.

A strong platform has been developed to integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into the curriculum. There is increased Māori whānau engagement and support for school activities. Next steps include strengthening these developments and building closer relationships with local iwi.

Students are actively engaged in their learning. Positive relationships between students, staff and families are evident. Parents receive useful reports that show children's progress, next learning steps and how to support the learning of their child. Students are supportive of their peers and have many opportunities to develop leadership skills. Classroom tone is positive and a sense of fun is evident. Teachers use a range of appropriate teaching strategies and tasks are relevant. There is a collective responsibility for the progress of students.

Teachers are reflective and highly engaged in professional learning that supports their ability to evaluate practice. Continuing to implement and strengthen inquiry practices should help them to better understand the impact of teaching programmes on student outcomes.

A suitable appraisal process has been developed over time. It is aligned to school goals, teachers' professional development and student needs. Teacher reflection and building of cultural competency is encouraged. A next step is to make more deliberate links to Practising Teacher Criteria and to consistently implement the process.

Leaders are improvement focused, have a clear vision for the school and are strategic in their decision making. They are collegial and collaborative and seek to continually improve their knowledge of their roles through ongoing professional learning.

Experienced trustees are have a sound understanding to their roles. They are strongly focused on raising student achievement and the sustainability of the school. Student achievement information informs decision making that supports identified needs and priorities. School goals and achievement targets are appropriately focus on acceleration.

A useful policy framework and cycle of review is evident. Trustees are aware of the need to update some policies in order to incorporate recent legislative changes. Strengthening internal evaluation is a next step.

5 Going forward  

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

The school is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place and yet to build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

Strengthening inquiry and evaluation processes will assist trustees and leaders to identify and implement the most effective practices for promoting equity and excellence. 

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement Plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers should:

  • develop the local curriculum and continue to refine schoolwide assessment practices
  • strengthen and consistently implement appraisal
  • build teacher inquiry processes and schoolwide evaluation to more closely identify the impact of curriculum and teaching practices on raising student achievement. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 August 2016

About the school 

Location

Tararua District

Ministry of Education profile number

601

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

48

Gender composition

Male 29, Female 19

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

11
36
  1

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

15 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2013
December 2009
April 2006