Arakura School - 03/09/2014

Findings

Raising student achievement continues to be a priority. Teachers are working collaboratively to develop their capability and to build consistency across teaching and assessment practices. Progress is being made in the areas for review and development identified in the March 2012 ERO report. These continue to require development.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Arakura School provides education for students in Years 1 to 6 in Wainuiomata. Of the 189 students enrolled at the time of this ERO review, 55% identified as Māori and 15% as Pacific.

The March 2012 ERO report identified areas for review and development to lift student achievement across the school. Since then, the school has participated in an ongoing ERO evaluation process to support improvement over a period of two years. During this time, trustees, senior leaders and teachers have been involved in extensive professional development. The Ministry of Education is supporting the school through its advisors and more recently through the work of a Student Achievement Function Practitioner. This has resulted in the establishment of a change team that includes representation from the school community.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

An action plan was developed that focused on three of the key priorities. Actions and outcomes were monitored throughout the process.

Key priorities in the school’s initial action plan were to:

  • improve student attendance
  • promote Māori and Pacific student engagement and success
  • increase student ownership and understanding of learning through self monitoring.

Other priorities identified in the 2012 ERO report were to:

  • raise student achievement
  • develop self review to evaluate the impact of interventions and support programmes
  • increase teacher effectiveness through the establishment of teaching as inquiry, ensuring a focus on accelerating student progress
  • develop teachers’ cultural capabilities
  • extend the cultural component within the school’s curriculum
  • continue to promote partnership with whānau.

Progress

Trustees, leaders and teachers have addressed the priorities for development and some progress is evident.

Attendance Students’ attendance is monitored, with trustees regularly receiving updates. Overall attendance rates have improved through the use of a variety of effective strategies. The school has developed an expectation for the overall attendance rate to be 90% or above.

Māori and Pacific student engagement and success Students have opportunities to participate and show leadership through kapa haka. There is a focus on developing positive relationships with students and their whānau.

School achievement data shows some improvement in writing data for Māori and Pacific students. Consistent improvement over time is an acknowledged next step. As part of curriculum development the school needs to clearly show how it includes te ao Māori across learning areas.

Student ownership and understanding of learning Considerable work has been undertaken across the school to build student ownership of their learning, especially in the key curriculum areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers now share the learning focus with students and students articulate what they are learning.

Student achievement Student achievement remains a priority area. The Ministry of Education will continue to support the school to address identified needs. Teachers are more focused on data and how it can inform their planning and teaching. As a result of a writing focus in 2013, positive shifts are beginning to show in the National Standards achievement information. The school is well aware of the need to maintain a strong focus on accelerating achievement in literacy and mathematics.

Teachers are currently analysing data from the beginning of the year to mid year in 2014. This shows positive improvements in reading, writing and mathematics for some students. Teachers should inquire into what has happened for students who have made accelerated progress, to clearly identify strategies and actions that have contributed to success. Students making limited progress should also be a focus for deeper analysis. It is important that teachers identify trends and patterns that contribute to better outcomes.

Effective teaching Although a system is in place for teachers to think about the effectiveness of their teaching, this requires strengthening to more effectively analyse data and determine deliberate teaching strategies that impact directly on achievement. Further support to meaningfully reflect and evaluate the impact teaching on learning is needed.

Observations of teachers show increasing use of effective teaching practices. Senior leaders have an understanding of teachers’ strengths and areas for further development. Teachers are receiving appropriate feedback through focused observations of their practice.

Teachers' cultural capabilitiesKa Hikitia Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners are Ministry documents to support increased understanding and support of Māori students. Teachers are now using these to develop their teaching.

Curriculum The school’s mission statement reflects the cultural diversity of the community. Although the school uses The New Zealand Curriculum, a continuing next step is to redevelop their curriculum statements and to ensure that culturally responsive practices are clearly incorporated. There should also be clear learning guidelines in literacy and mathematics. Work has begun on redeveloping curriculum priorities, as shown by the increased focus on oral language in the junior school. Initiatives started by the change team need to continue and should support curriculum development.

Increased partnership with whānau Meetings have been held with whānau and aiga to build partnerships in learning. A next step is to build on these meetings to continue to gather whānau and aiga aspirations and actively demonstrate how the school is responding through culturally responsive practices.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Self review was identified as a priority in the 2012 ERO report.

Progress

The school is developing processes to enable it to sustain, improve and review its performance.

Self review Trustees have had external support to assist their formal review of policies. A useful framework for school self evaluation has been developed and is being trialled and implemented.

Trustees receive descriptive reports about support programmes and their contribution to students’ progress and achievement. A next step is to include more explicit information about the factors that contribute to success.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the school continues with the Ministry of Education support to work on raising student achievement.

Conclusion

Raising student achievement continues to be a priority. Teachers are working collaboratively to develop their capability and to build consistency across teaching and assessment practices. Progress is being made in the areas for review and development identified in the March 2012 ERO report. These continue to require development.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

3 September 2014

About the School

Location

Wainuiomata

Ministry of Education profile number

2802

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

189

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

55%

31%

14%

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

3 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

August 2009

April 2006