Coromandel Area School - 11/06/2018

Findings

Coromandel Area School has made good progress in addressing areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report in relation to the use of student achievement information, building teacher capability and implementing a meaningful curriculum. A knowledgeable principal has recently been appointed to lead the school. Strengthening school-wide leadership for learning is an important next step for the new principal and trustees. 

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?

Coromandel Area School, located in the township of Coromandel, caters for students from Years 1 to 13. The school’s roll of 208 includes 112 Māori students. Since the 2015 ERO report there has been a slight increase in the school’s roll and changes in leadership. In October 2015 an experienced principal was appointed to lead the school. Due to ill health this principal resigned in October 2017. A new principal, who has substantial experience in the leadership of area schools, was appointed for the beginning of 2018. Other members of the school leadership team have remained in their positions, and the school has experienced more consistent staffing. There have been several changes to the membership of the board of trustees, including the appointment of a new chairperson. Improvements to the school facilities including refurbishment of some classes and installation of all-weather courts have been made.

The 2015 ERO report identified significant concerns in relation to curriculum implementation, teacher capability and the use of student achievement information.

Coromandel Area School has a variable reporting history with ERO.

The school is part of the Coromandel Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • use of student achievement data
  • building teacher capability
  • curriculum development.

Progress

The school has made good progress in the use of student achievement information. Trustees set specific and useful targets in the charter focused on accelerating the progress of students achieving below expected levels. There has been significant improvement in teachers’ use of assessment information to plan and implement targeted learning programmes. Standardised assessment data has been gathered, particularly in reading and writing for students in Years 7 to 10. This data is well used to enable teachers to respond to students’ learning needs. Teachers share assessment information at the end of each year to support students’ transitions as they move through the school. The special needs coordinator makes good use of achievement data to identify students who require additional support and to monitor their progress over time. The new principal has analysed school-wide achievement to identify long term trends and patterns

Building teacher capability is a strong focus for the board and school leaders. The teacher appraisal process has been revised and includes regular observation of teaching practice. A teaching as inquiry process has been implemented. This process guides teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice, particularly in accelerating the progress of targeted students. Good use has been made of external and internal expertise to support teachers to implement more effective strategies for teaching.

Significant improvements have been made in curriculum development and professional practice, especially in the area of literacy. Comprehensive curriculum guidelines have been developed for teachers in Years 1 to 6. Useful learning area plans inform teaching programmes in the middle and senior school. As a result of the teacher professional development programme in 2017, literacy learning frameworks have been developed that support students to have greater understanding of their learning progress and next steps. A comprehensive school-wide mentoring programme for targeted students underpins meaningful learning partnerships with parents and whānau. The new principal has implemented a review of the curriculum and has started a process of community consultation to develop a graduate student profile.

Key next steps

There is a need to further develop school-wide leadership of learning. This should include clarifying and rationalising leadership roles and responsibilities to align with a strategic approach to school development.

Priorities for leaders are as follows:

  • developing a coherent Year 1 to 13 framework for curriculum implementation and assessment processes
  • fully implementing learning progressions in Years 1 to 10
  • strengthening internal evaluation processes.

ERO will continue to monitor the school’s targeted planning and progress.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors that support sustainability are as follows:

  • The new principal is knowledgeable about the unique nature of area schools. She has a clear vision for the continued development of a coherent Year 1 to 13 school curriculum and for building meaningful learning partnerships with the wider community.
  • Trustees are supportive of the principal and teachers. They have strong connections within the local community and are fully committed to the vision for school.
  • School leaders and teachers are committed to school improvement and their ongoing professional learning and development.
  • The school is in a very strong financial position.

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.

In order to improve current practice school leaders should implement a school-wide process that supports teachers to gather sufficient evidence to meet Education Council requirements.

4 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that:

  • the board of trustees and principal access external expertise to support the building of leadership for learning throughout the school
  • trustees and leaders participate in an ERO internal evaluation workshop.

Conclusion

Coromandel Area School has made good progress in addressing areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report in relation to the use of student achievement information, building teacher capability and implementing a meaningful curriculum. A knowledgeable principal has recently been appointed to lead the school. Strengthening school-wide leadership for learning is an important next step for the new principal and trustees.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 June 2018

About the School

Location

Coromandel

Ministry of Education profile number

109

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

208

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

54%
43%
3%

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2015
September 2012
October 2010