Hora Hora School (Te Mai) - 21/01/2013

1 Context

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

Hora Hora School, located on the outskirts of Whangarei, has historic links with the local community. The long established Year 1 to 6 school is led by an experienced principal and committed management team. Many of the staff have had lengthy association with the school. The well maintained buildings and grounds provide an attractive setting for students’ education.

The school welcomes whānau and community involvement. The majority of students are Māori and confidently identify their iwi and hapu connections. The transition of students entering the school is well managed and good foundations for learning are established in junior classrooms. Bilingual education in Years 5 and 6, and an emphasis on te reo and tikanga Māori support Māori students to succeed.

The school has a positive and inclusive tone. Staff are valued for their work and contributions. Regular professional development supports teachers to improve teaching and learning practice. School values are well understood and are clearly evident in the positive relationships between teachers and children. Trustees on the school board take an active and informed role in governance and contribute to ongoing improvements in the school’s performance.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is well used to celebrate students’ learning progress. Teachers gather data about progress and achievement to identify and address student learning needs. Teachers have good planning and assessment systems that they use to support students’ learning. Classroom planning is differentiated so that students are provided with programmes that target and challenge their learning requirements.

The school welcomes all students including those with disabilities and identified learning and behaviour needs. A large number of teacher aides are employed to provide learning support in classrooms. The school also provides a range of special programmes to support underachieving students. In reading and mathematics, students are withdrawn from class to attend small group learning programmes focused on accelerating their progress.

School-wide achievement information is well analysed. Patterns and trends are identified and reported regularly to the board. Senior managers use achievement information to:

  • track and monitor the progress of priority learners
  • evaluate the effectiveness of special programmes and interventions
  • set annual targets for improving student achievement outcomes.

Students make good progress at the school. School data show that the majority of students who have regular attendance achieve well in relation to the National Standards for reading and mathematics. Students who are below the National Standard are most often those with high transience and poor attendance. Writing is an area that the school has identified as needing to improve.

Students are becoming more aware of their own progress and achievement. They take part in three way conferences with parents and teachers where they talk about their learning. Teaching practice could be further strengthened by the more consistent use of strategies such as:

  • constructing learning expectations with input from students
  • increasing the use of formative assessment in senior classes
  • developing learning success criteria that;
    • assist students to set personalised learning goals
    • encourage independent learning.

These practices could be fostered through being incorporated into the school’s revised teacher appraisal system. A number of teachers have very good classroom practice, but the above strategies would support more consistent high quality teaching and learning. School managers are taking steps to ensure that teachers are reporting on student achievement in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

Students enjoy a well rounded education. Routines for learning are well established in the junior classes and a school-wide focus on literacy and numeracy supports student learning across the curriculum. Team leaders in the junior and senior school guide professional discussion about the curriculum and support teachers in each of their teams.

Students have good opportunities to organise assemblies, participate in sport and education outside the classroom, and enjoy visual and performing arts. Students are very positive about their school and contribute confidently. Many teachers enhance the curriculum and make it more relevant to students through the inclusion of tikānga and te reo Māori, and Māori contexts for learning.

Curriculum leaders should continue to review and document their expectations for delivering The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), particularly in relation to how the principles and key competencies are to be developed across all learning activities and programmes. The board's curriculum policies and plans should be updated to reflect the school's curriculum overview. A more detailed framework could be developed to guide expectations for delivering the NZC across the school. Managing these expectations would help to sustain the good practices in the school’s current learning programmes and provide greater accountability for implementing the New Zealand Curriculum.

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

Māori students demonstrate pride and confidence in their cultural heritage. They succeed academically and take leadership roles in the school. Tikanga Māori is well embedded in school practices.

The Māori bi-lingual class in Years 5 and 6 provides a high quality teaching programme incorporating te reo and tikanga Māori. The programme is popular with children and whānau. Students in this class achieve well, in both in the English and te reo components of their learning.

Senior managers and trustees are clearly focused on providing a supportive and successful education for Māori students and meeting the aspirations of whānau. Areas where further improvement could be made include:

  • continuing to use Kā Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s strategy for Māori Success, to review the school’s policies, goals and programmes to support Māori to succeed as Māori
  • documenting plans for sustaining and building on current good practice in promoting success for Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has some good systems for improving performance. These include:

  • regular communication between managers, teachers, administrative, and support staff
  • comprehensive strategic and annual planning
  • detailed reporting on student progress and achievement to the board and community
  • school goals and targets based on student achievement information.

The principal has a national and local representative role in education. As a result he is able to share current educational developments with staff, trustees and local principals. In his absence the deputy principal provides capable leadership for the school and board.

The senior management team is working with staff to implement the National Standards. They are currently focusing on moderating their assessment decisions in relation to the standards. The school has also recently introduced a new appraisal system based on the Registered Teacher Criteria. This approach has the potential to improve teacher performance by encouraging teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice.

The school works closely with its community and support services. Community health and special educational services are well used to support students and their families. Teachers liaise with early childhood providers to assist children’s transition to school. Trustees take a keen interest in the school and continually seek ways to improve outcomes for all students.

To sustain and further improve school performance, the principal and trustees could:

  • make greater use of the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) as a basis for reporting and self review
  • develop a systematic reporting schedule to align school self review with annual goals and targets
  • refine student achievement goals to provide more specific and measurable targets.

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.

The school currently reports to parents twice a year on student achievement in relation to NZC expectations. However, as part of the implementation of National Standards, schools are required to:

  • report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards in plain language at least twice a year [National Administration Guideline 2A(a)].

School leaders are taking steps to meet these requirements.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 January 2013

About the School

Location

Woodhill, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1015

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

309

Gender composition

Boys 53%

Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

other

77%

18%

3%

2%

Special Features

Māori Bi-Lingual Class (Year 5/6)

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

November 2006

July 2003