Akaroa Area School - 01/12/2017

Summary

Akaroa Area School has a roll of 127, catering for learners from Years 1 to 13. 31 children identify as Māori.

Since the last ERO (2013) review the school has experienced a number of staff changes. The board have been strategic in addressing these changes.

The school is part of Tipu Maia Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL) and is also working collaboratively with local schools and some other area schools.

Good progress has been made on identified areas for development in the school’s last ERO report.

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

The school has some effective practices to enable the achievement of equitable outcomes for learners.

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for children and older students who need it.

School leaders have identified that disparity in achievement for some Māori and other learner’s remains. They have implemented systems and programmes to monitor and improve the achievement and progress of these children.

At the time of this review, the board and school leaders acknowledged concerns from some staff and some members of the community about aspects of the school. The board and senior leaders are proactively taking measures to address these concerns.

Overall learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by mostly effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are for the board and senior leaders to:

  • build internal evaluation capacity across the school

  • further analyse achievement information in Years 9 and 10

  • continue to address disparity

  • continue working with external experts to further analyse and continue building a positive culture and climate.

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?

The school is responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Senior leaders and teachers have good systems in place to identify Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration. They have implemented a range of targeted programmes to support these children and older students.

Recently-improved tracking and monitoring systems, including reporting to the board on learner achievement and progress, gives leaders, teachers and the board improved information about the effectiveness of programmes and interventions.

Most children in Years 1 to 8 achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. However for some children, achievement is low. Teachers have identified that in-school disparity in achievement is evident for boys in reading, writing and mathematics.

The progress and achievement of learners in Years 9 and 10 is closely monitored at an individual level. This achievement information is used to predict achievement at NCEA level and develop authentic pathways for future learning. Their next step is to further analyse this information to formally evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning in this area.

Learners achieve very well at Levels 1-3 of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Trends over time for NCEA Levels 1 - 3 and University Entrance show sustained levels of good achievement.

Leaders and teachers have recently begun work with a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function practitioner (SAF) to continue to improve learners’ achievement through in depth internal evaluation.

Learners who require additional learning support are planned for well and are appropriately challenged. It is now timely for teachers to develop a process to show how each of these learners is progressing against their personal learning goals.

School leaders have improved assessment practices. Teachers have made some good improvements in the ways they make judgements about achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has some effective school practices to enable equity and excellence for all children.

The recently reviewed curriculum is broad and future focused. It enables learners to develop the skills and competencies to succeed at and beyond the school. There are improved opportunities for learners to develop ownership of their own learning. This is giving opportunities for all children and older learners to achieve equitable outcomes.

There has been a school-wide focus on building collaborative practice. Teachers are working collaboratively and are implementing teaching practices that enable greater personalisation of learning for children and older students.

Trustees are regularly reviewing polices to ensure transparency and confidentiality. Trustees are aware of some concerns in the community and are working towards resolving these through improved processes and practices. They have recently commissioned an external evaluation of their complaints policy and practices to ensure that school procedures are fair and robust for everyone.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has recently introduced a range of initiatives based on current best practice aimed at achieving equity and excellence. The school needs to continue to implement, embed, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives.

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

Trustees and leaders continue to make ongoing use of internal evaluation to be assured that polices and processes are implemented in an open and transparent way.

The school needs to continue developing internal evaluation to enable the board and school leaders to measure how well the school is achieving its valued outcomes for learners, staff and the community. This includes meeting good employer requirements around ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.

While teachers’ performance goals and inquiries are aligned to the school’s strategic goals and targets, school leaders have identified the need to develop appraisal processes further so that there is a shared understanding of accelerating progress and raising achievement.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • continue to develop and implement an ongoing programme of internal evaluation

  • meet good employer requirements around ensuring the health and safety of all students and staff

  • continue to review and develop policies and procedures.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory of 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.

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school provides good quality education and pastoral care for international students. An inclusive environment ensures that students have opportunities to be fully involved in all aspects of the school and local community.

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 learners. However, disparity in achievement for some learners remains. Leaders and teachers are actively addressing this.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to further build leader and teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • have an evaluation workshop

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board and senior leaders:

  • build internal evaluation capacity across the school

  • further analyse achievement information in Years 9 and 10

  • continue to address disparity

  • continue working with external experts to further analyse and continue building a positive culture and climate.

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

1 December 2017

About the school

Location

Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

350

School type

Composite School

(Year 1-15)

School roll

127

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnicities

Provision of Māori medium education

0

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

1 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

21 October 2013