Eketahuna School - 13/05/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Eketahuna School, located in the Wairarapa district, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 100 includes 25 students who identify as Māori. The roll has remained stable since the February 2011 ERO report.

There is a positive settled working atmosphere in the school. Classroom and playground routines are well established. Relationships between staff and students are positive and supportive. The school is well resourced and maintained.

Teachers have participated in extensive, externally facilitated, professional development with a focus on the teaching, assessment and moderation of writing.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school uses an appropriate range of assessment tools to identify students’ progress and levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information is used to inform school-wide decision making, to monitor patterns and trends, and identify students in need of additional help or extension. A range of good systems and interventions support students with special learning needs.

School leaders use student achievement information to identify groups of priority learners and set appropriate targets for improvement. The importance of using data for informing ongoing self review is understood. Leaders and trustees use achievement information to make appropriate decisions about school resourcing, professional learning priorities and teacher development.

School leaders and ERO agree that further improving the use of assessment information is a key next step. This should include more effectively using data to:

  • refine school targets
  • report on progress in relation to these targets and against National Standards
  • evaluate the impact of initiatives and teaching programmes.

The school reports that in 2012 and 2013, the majority of students were achieving at or above in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics, although achievement dropped slightly in both areas in 2013. School-wide achievement in writing over the same two years showed a marked increase from most students achieving just below National Standard expectations in 2012 to most achieving above by 2013.

National standards data indicate that Māori student achievement is below that of other students at the school. Appropriate targets have been set to address the specific identified needs of these students.

While parents receive useful reports about their children's learning progress and what they can do to help at home, achievement in relation to National Standards is not clearly stated.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum and positive culture effectively supports students' learning and wellbeing.

The overarching document integrates the school’s vision with the values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. School leaders plan to review the charter documents in 2014. As part of this review they have identified it is timely to revisit and refine these aspects of the curriculum.

Local themes and contexts are widely used to provide authentic learning opportunities including students' strengths, interests and prior knowledge. There is an explicit literacy and mathematics focus across the curriculum. Clear and explicit guidance is provided to teachers for planning and lesson delivery to meet the needs of students.

Teachers maintain positive, supportive and affirming relationships with their students in settled and well resourced learning environments. They use a range of appropriate strategies to engage students in learning. An ongoing, externally facilitated, school-wide professional development programme is focused on improving the quality of teaching and assessment of writing.

Students have many opportunities to participate, achieve and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, cultural, sporting and leadership activities. School leaders should consider extending students' involvement to include aspects of self review, for example in relation to student wellbeing.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

School leaders and trustees are committed to growing partnerships with whānau and iwi. There are specific strategic goals to improve engagement with families and the achievement of Māori students. A respected kaumatua on the board proactively liaises with whānau and the wider Māori community. Closer links are being developed with local marae.

The kapa haka group has been recently reintroduced and revitalised to engage students, provide leadership opportunities and to acknowledge and celebrate cultural identity. There is a structured biweekly programme of te reo Māori for all students.

School leaders plan to investigate and use aspects of Ministry of Education initiatives Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success andTātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to review and define culturally responsive teaching practices to support Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Features of the school that contribute to this sustainability are:

  • sound governance and strategic direction by the board of trustees
  • a collegial staff culture and stable leadership
  • a supportive environment and positive, respectful relationships among teachers and students
  • positive community support for school events and programmes
  • regular communication and consultation with parents.

There is an established reflective culture in the school that aims to improve school operations and student outcomes. School leaders and ERO have identified it is timely to refine and develop a more evaluative selfreview process using specific indicators and criteria. This should enable leaders to better measure the impact of programmes on student learning and wellbeing and use the results to inform strategic decision making.

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.

While parents receive useful reports about their children's learning progress and what they can do to help at home, achievement in relation to National Standards is not clearly stated. The board must ensure that:

twice yearly reports to students and their parents on the students’ progress and achievement are in relation to National Standards.[NAG 2 (2a)]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

13 May 2014

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School

Location

Eketahuna

Ministry of Education profile number

2835

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

100

Gender composition

Male 52, Female 48

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

25

75

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

13 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2011

October 2007

December 2004