Karapiro School - 13/07/2016

1 Context

Karapiro School is a long-established rural school, catering for Years 1 to 6 students and is located on the main highway eight kilometres south of Cambridge. Significant roll growth has occurred since the previous ERO review. In addition, a new principal and deputy principal were appointed in 2016 to continue and grow the proud traditions and values that are important to the school and its community.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are respect, honesty, responsibility, self-management and excellence. The school’s vision is Whakatupu Tahi Tatou (Together We Grow) where the children are encouraged and supported to be happy and safe, and to continually strive, persevere and achieve their very best in all aspects of learning. 

The school’s achievement information shows that there was an increase between 2013 and 2015 in the proportion of children achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since 2013 there has been a sustained increase in the proportion of Māori learners achieving in reading. However, achievement levels of Māori learners in mathematics and written language have fluctuated during this time. 

The school can show accelerated progress for individual children including Māori and Pacific children. This was achieved mostly through a refocused approach to class intervention whereby the teacher, not the learning assistants, worked intensively with small groups of targeted children.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has introduced several new strategies to build teacher capability and accelerate progress for individual children. The new senior leadership team has introduced additional assessment tools and set clear expectations for how teachers gather and record data. A revised assessment schedule has also been developed to strengthen the consistency of teacher practice. Literacy and mathematics lead teachers have been appointed and implementation plans in these areas are underway.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school effectively identifies Māori children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes and has implemented strategies and deliberate actions to accelerate the progress and achievement of Māori learners. The school is in the early stages of gathering robust quantitative data to measure the effectiveness of new strategies and practices in accelerating the progress and achievement of Māori children.

The leadership team have undertaken a critical review of school-wide achievement information to inform their understanding of the needs and strengths of Māori children and other children. This information has been used with teachers to identify strategic priorities and strategies to address Māori children at risk of poor educational outcomes. The principal and deputy principal are working alongside teachers to build teacher capability through modelling and ongoing dialogue and professional learning conversations with a particular emphasis on improving outcomes for Māori learners.

The curriculum is increasingly responsive to the language, culture and identity of Māori learners. In 2015 an advisor was enlisted through the rural schools' cluster to provide professional learning and development for staff in te reo and tikanga Māori. A key focus was to build and integrate into the school's curriculum the knowledge and understanding of local iwi, history, as well as Māori culture, te reo Māori and waiata. To further support this work, the principal has made personalised contact with every Māori whānau to seek their aims and aspirations for their children and to build a meaningful relationship with a view to establishing a whānau group. Culturally responsive teaching for Māori learners was a focus for appraisal in 2015. The senior leadership team intend to build on this focus in 2016.

Trustees are dedicated and focused on ensuring educational success for Māori children. They are highly engaged with data for Māori children. They have a strong focus on improving learning outcomes for these children and are committed to supporting teachers to accelerate the progress and achievement of individual children.  

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

The school effectively responds to other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration through a new support register and individual learning assistance plans. A referral process with strong links to parents and support agencies has been established to increase parents' understanding and involvement in their child's learning and to ensure each child receives the necessary external support.

Classroom teachers are now more accountable for the accelerated progress of identified priority learners. All teachers have a documented ‘Accelerated Learning Plan’ for these children and other children who require close monitoring. This plan forms the basis for regular teacher collaboration and dialogue where they are expected to monitor and reflect on the progress and achievement of these learners. The next step for school leaders is to closely monitor these plans through regular planned staff meetings to ensure strategies that are not working are discarded and those that are working are maintained and extended.

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?

The curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are strongly reflective of Karapiro School's vision and priorities for raising levels of student achievement. There is an emphasis on a growing a positive school community, providing a safe and vibrant learning culture and the children developing strong values and a love for learning.

A number of new assessment tools and moderation practices have been introduced by the leadership team to track and monitor levels of progress and achievement and to strengthen teachers' responsiveness to Māori learners and other learners. Moderation practices are currently limited to National Standards. A next step to strengthen moderation processes is for leaders to continue to build teacher capability in the analysis and use of achievement information. This process should improve the validity and reliability of overall teacher judgements.

Senior leaders are committed to strengthening the consistency in teachers and students use of learning progressions across the curriculum. The leadership team should also consider more effective assessment and moderation across the other learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

Strategic planning and self review is well developed, purposeful and focused on improving educational outcomes for students. School charter goals and targets are well understood by trustees and informed by evidence. However, a next step for trustees is to ensure targets are aspirational yet realistic. The Cambridge Community of Learning has an agreed focus on raising the achievement of Māori boys’ written language. The school charter includes a specific target aligned with this focus. 

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.

Senior leaders and trustees recognise that reducing the disparity of achievement between Māori children and other children is an ongoing priority for the school. The principal and deputy principal have put in place strategies to strengthen teacher capability. They also acknowledge, and have developed plans and strategies, to improve and sustain high levels of achievement in mathematics and written language for Māori learners.  

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three 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
  • the school’s policy and procedures in relation to the application of theVulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that senior leaders undertake an internal evaluation of literacy and mathematics programmes, including the impact of teacher professional learning and development, to ensure sustained and equitable improvements to Māori learners' progress and achievement. 

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 July 2016 

About the school 

Location

Cambridge, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1764

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

90

Gender composition

Girls       46
Boys      44

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Samoan
Chinese
Other European
Other

63
13
  3
  1
  4
  6

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2005
August 2008
October 2011