Papanui Junction School - 06/08/2020

School Context

Papanui Junction School is a small rural school, located west of Taihape, catering for children in Years 1 to 8. Most students have attended Papanui Junction School for just over one year or less. At the time of this ERO evaluation, there were six children on the roll.

The school states that their overarching vision is to ‘offer quality personalised education in a secure environment, challenging and encouraging children to reach their potential in a culturally appropriate context’. The valued outcomes for students include them having personalised learning and resourcing to counter the effects of isolation.

Since the 2017 ERO evaluation, a new principal has been appointed who was previously the release teacher in the school.

The principal regularly reports schoolwide information to the board, about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

School achievement information shows that most students attending the school achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading. All achieve at or above in writing and the majority achieve at or above in mathematics.

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

The principal closely monitors and tracks achievement. Accelerating learning for those who need this is a clear focus. While longitudinal achievement information is not available for most students, the data shows an upward trend for those whose learning needs acceleration.

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?

The principal collects a wide range of data to determine each child’s learning needs. Through individual learning plans the principal, release teacher and teacher aide set appropriate expectations for each student’s learning. Students increasingly work with teachers to set their goals and understand more about what they need to know and learn.

Communication supports and strengthens learning-centred partnerships. The principal values the input of parents, whānau and the wider community by actively involving them in the life of the school. Encompassing te ao Māori within the school culture is strengthened through whānau engagement and participation of all students and staff to build capability.

The board is reflective of its community. Well thought out succession planning from a small pool of parents and families ensures that the board continues to operate. Trustees work collaboratively with the principal, staff and students to provide resourcing for a wide range of learning activities. The board actively supports students’ engagement in regular learning experiences with others from similar schools to mitigate isolation.

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

Continuing to develop the localised curriculum is a priority for the principal and trustees. When considering priorities for development the principal, teacher and trustees should consider how well the curriculum provided is enabling, future-focused and responsive.

The focus on student agency and goal setting to promote student ownership of their learning is an area for ongoing development. The board provides resourcing to support student learning, including a teacher aide. The principal and trustees should consider how best to use the teacher aide in the context of the modern classroom and creating flexible ways for students to learn.

While trustees demonstrate a commitment to ensuring children experience success there are some aspects of stewardship that require strengthening. Knowledge and clear understanding of legislation and expectations of the board to take all reasonable steps to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing requires strengthening.

The board must consider how well it scrutinises its performance in relation to goals and targets. Trustees should undertake internal evaluation to determine what works well for students to achieve and what more needs to be done. The board should also evaluate how effectively it is fulfilling its stewardship role and maximising effectiveness through ongoing training.

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 Papanui Junction School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

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:

  • leadership and trustees working together to provide an environment that assists students to be actively engaged in their learning in the classroom and alongside students from other schools
  • whānau and community engagement in the life of the school to provide the small number of students with a wide range of relevant learning experiences.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to strengthen te ao Māori to promote student’s language, culture and identity
  • designing a localised curriculum reflective of the school’s priorities, including culturally responsive pedagogy to challenge and further motivate students
  • continuing to develop and build students’ assessment and ‘learning to learn’ capabilities to foster independent learning
  • ensuring the board meets its statutory and regulatory responsibilities
  • developing evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building processes that assist the board to scrutinise its performance in relation to goals and targets.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • the board’s responsibility for ensuring that all education outside the classroom experiences follow the requirements as set down in legislation
  • the requirement to maintain regular testing of the school swimming pool.

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

  • comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees.
    [National Administration Guidelines 5 (c)]

Since the onsite phase, the school has provided evidence that they have undertaken training and reviewed their policy and procedures regarding the management of swimming pool testing.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

6 August 2020

About the school

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