Amuri Area School - 04/12/2017

Summary

Amuri Area School has a roll of 326 children. This includes 44 Māori children and 5 Pacific children. There are also 37 Asian children attending the school. A number of students have English as a second language. The school roll has been increasing since 2014.

A new principal started at the school in 2015. There is a mix of experienced and newer trustees on the board.

The school is part of Tipu Maia Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (Col). This Col includes local primary schools and some other area schools.

The school has made significant progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2013 ERO review.

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

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for most learners. The school is effective in responding to the learning of those Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

At the time of this review the school has a wide range of effective systems in place to support the learning and wellbeing of learners. The curriculum is responsive to individual student’s learning pathways, interests and strengths. School leaders are making more purposeful use of internal evaluation to improve outcomes for students.

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

Agreed next steps are to:

  • further develop school wide planning to support Māori learners success as Māori

  • extend the use of internal evaluation in ways that identify and respond to disparity

  • develop clearer systems for reporting to the board about the progress and acceleration of students learning to better inform school planning.

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 effective in responding to Maori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Overall, Māori learners progress and achieve well. This is particularly noticeable in National Standards for reading and at years 9 and 10, and all NCEA levels. Māori learners’ achievement in reading and writing has improved since 2014.

Achievement in mathematics National Standards is variable. The school has identified this as a target area for raising achievement for a significant number of children in 2017. It is also providing substantial support for students who are learning English as an additional language to achieve better literacy outcomes.

Reading and writing National Standards data, and Year 9 and 10 mathematics and literacy data shows some disparity in achievement results for boys. The school is addressing this.

Achievement at National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 is continuing to improve. Students at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 generally achieve highly.

Students with additional learning needs and specialist support have individualised learning plans in place and make good progress to achieve their individual goals.

Teachers undertake a range of useful assessments to be well informed about students learning strengths and needs. At the classroom level, teachers know about the progress of individual students. Leaders now need to develop better processes to report to the board on student progress and acceleration of achievement to support school decision making.

The secondary school has robust processes for moderation. In the primary school teachers collaborate well to ensure the judgements they make about children’s achievement in writing are consistent.

As the result of a recent curriculum review, leaders and teachers have identified a need to extend assessment to include a wider range of the school’s valued outcomes for all learners, such as the school learning information.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a wide range of practices and systems that are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

The school has effective pastoral care and support processes that provide for the wellbeing needs of learners and promote an inclusive school culture. Good use is made of community and district resources to access additional support and respond to learner’s needs.

School leaders deliberately promote a culture where student wellbeing and learning is at the centre of decision making. They actively encourage the development of leadership across the school to build internal evaluation capability and support sustainability.

The curriculum is responsive and adaptive to individual student learning pathways, interests, and strengths. Teachers plan learning experiences that effectively engage students in learning that is meaningful for them. The senior curriculum is well tailored to meet individual student needs and it offers a diverse range of opportunities. The curriculum is regularly planned and reviewed in consultation with students.

Leaders are strategic in their approach to raising student achievement and supporting student success and wellbeing. Planning is well considered and is a result of considerable student, staff and community consultation. Key areas of work are well resourced, roles and responsibilities are clear. A strong focus on being responsive to students needs is supporting the school to reduce disparity.

Māori student achievement and bicultural practice is well supported by an increased focus in the school curriculum and more targeted resources. Te reo Māori and bicultural practice is evident in school events and in the curriculum.

The school has improved its internal evaluation capability. A reflective culture and evidence based decision making is guiding all school improvements. Useful appraisal practices are helping teachers to reflect and receive feedback on their practice.

Teachers are increasingly working in collaborative ways to better support learners. They have an attitude of collective responsibility and care for the students who attend the school. Well targeted whole-school professional learning is supporting consistency in teacher practices and providing more continuity in the curriculum for learners as they move from one year level to the next.

There is a wide range of communication and consultation with students, individual parents and the community. The school responds effectively to feedback. The principal, school leaders and teachers value student voice to inform change and make improvements to teaching and learning.

The board has effective processes to respond to and target additional resourcing to improve outcomes for at risk learners. It is using internal evaluation more purposefully to find out about the effectiveness of its governance and identify areas for board development.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has sound processes to achieve equity and excellence.

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

Strengthening some school processes will further support the school to focus on achieving equity and excellence for all students. This includes:

developing clearer school wide planning to support the successful implementation of the range of work already being initiated to support Māori learners educational success as Māori

using internal evaluation in ways that identify and respond to in-school disparity in achievement outcomes, including incorporating culturally responsive practices to engage with the school’s community

developing clearer board reporting systems to ensure information about the progress and acceleration of student achievement better informs school planning.

The school has recently revised its curriculum document and has developed new curriculum initiatives in years 9 and 10 for 2018. School leaders are aware of the need to ensure systems are in place to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives.

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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

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

Agreed next steps are to:

  • further develop school wide planning to support Māori learners educational success as Māori

  • extend the use of internal evaluation in ways that identify and respond to achievement disparity

  • develop clearer systems for reporting to the board about the progress and acceleration of student’s learning.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

4 December 2017

About the school

Location

Culverden

Ministry of Education profile number

308

School type

Composite Yr 1 -15

School roll

326

Gender composition

Boys 47%

Girls 53%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
Pākehā 71%
Pacific 2%
Asian 11%
Other ethnicities 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

4 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2013
Education Review April 2010
Education Review March 2007