Kaitoke School (Wanganui) - 12/08/2016

1 Context

Kaitoke School (Wanganui) is a semi-rural primary school in close proximity to Whanganui. It caters for Year 1 to 8 students. The roll has grown since the August 2013 ERO report. Twenty two students identify as Māori.

A welcoming and inclusive school culture is evident, contributing to a family atmosphere. A strong sense of community is promoted and valued by students, staff, trustees and families.

Recent renovations and modernisation of parts of the school to incorporate flexible learning spaces, have occurred since the previous ERO review.

Strengths noted in the 2013 ERO report have been enhanced, areas for development have been addressed and new initiatives undertaken.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are expressed in the school motto 'rise up, climb high-kake mai, piki mai'. This is realised through the values 'P.R.I.D.E (positive, resilience, integrity, diligence, excellence) in ourselves and our school'. Community consultation highlighted further priorities that 'Kaitoke School is an inspiring, experience rich, quality learning environment that enables each student to achieve their personal best in all learning and social contexts'. Each value underpins the curriculum and teaching and learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students, including Māori, are achieving at or above expectation in relation to National Standards. The few students identified as at risk of achieving below National Standard at the beginning of the year, are supported by individualised learning programmes. School information shows that all of these students make progress and many make accelerated progress over the course of a year.

Teachers ensure the validity and reliability of their achievement information and judgements through in-school and external moderation with other schools. They plan to strengthen their practice in mathematics.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the school has:

  • invested significantly in e-learning infrastructure, professional development and digital devices
  • begun to integrate te ao Māori into the revised curriculum through meaningful inquiry contexts
  • documented progress towards meeting strategic goals
  • further developed teacher-inquiry processes and opportunities for staff to reflect on their practice. 

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school appropriately identifies Māori students whose learning needs acceleration. Most Māori students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

To sustain equitable outcomes for all students, it is timely to evaluate the impact of programmes and actions on Māori students' ongoing progress and achievement. This should help to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching practices that accelerated progress for Māori learners who needed this support.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

A range of interventions and classroom strategies are in place to support those students whose learning needs acceleration. Students are well supported through a comprehensive, personalised approach that is closely monitored, to address their immediate and long term needs.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

School targets focus on raising student achievement. Trustees successfully meet their accountability for strategic decision-making and supporting continuous improvement. They receive regular information about student achievement, scrutinise data, question and set high expectations. Trustees have a good working relationship with the principal and together they set a clear focus for school improvement.

The principal provides effective leadership through driving robust and cohesive strategic direction. Enhanced leadership opportunities are distributed across the staff to support sustainability and increase consistency of practice. This collaborative approach has ensured students, staff, parents and community are active contributors to ongoing school improvement and innovation.

Leaders actively foster and contribute to coherent professional learning and practice. They support ongoing improvement, build high trust relationships and promote effective participation across the school community.

The curriculum is balanced and innovative. It increasingly supports students to be independent self-directed learners who are clear about their progress and take responsibly for their learning. Contexts for learning are future focused, localised and reflect the priorities and aspirations of the school community.

Through participation in the wider curriculum a significant number of students who are above expected achievement levels are given meaningful opportunities to extend their skills and knowledge. 

Māori students' language, culture and identity are well supported. The continuation of
Te Rerenga ki Tai programme provides professional development and guidance for teachers in cultural competence. Staff are increasingly proficient in te reo mē ngā tikanga Māori and have begun to integrate elements of te ao Māori, with increasing complexity, into a culturally responsive curriculum.There is an ongoing focus on school and individual goal setting in relation to cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners. This should further support staff to evaluate and continue to strengthen their response to Māori learners.

Reporting to parents is comprehensive. They regularly receive information and opportunities to participate in learning that enables them to better support their children's learning at home.  Parents, whānau and community are welcomed and involved in school activities as valued partners in learning.

A wide range of appropriate communication strategies are used to regularly engage with parents, whānau and community. Transitions into, within and beyond the school are carefully considered in terms of the holistic wellbeing and needs of students and whānau.

Teachers are thoughtful and reflective. They demonstrate sound teaching skills and maintain stimulating, structured and supportive learning environments. Teachers' practices reflect the useful professional development they receive. They actively support each other and work as a committed team, meeting regularly to discuss teaching strategies, reflect and problem-solve.

Teachers set appropriate goals and reflect on their progress in relation to student outcomes. Teaching as inquiry focuses on teachers' interest areas for innovation in teaching and learning, in response to the revised curriculum. There are some links to the needs of target students. ERO recommends the school considers making more explicit links in teacher inquiry to accelerating the achievement of target students. By measuring the shifts in outcomes for students who are underachieving, the school is likely to better identify the impact of specific teaching strategies.

5 Going forward  

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:  

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

6 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 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

Kaitoke School (Wanganui) should continue to develop teaching as inquiry and its internal evaluation capability to sustain the positive direction and high quality education provided for students. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

12 August 2016 

About the school 

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

2372

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

102

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

21%
64%
  2%
13%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

12 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2013
August 2010
June 2007