Kauri Flats School - 23/02/2018

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Kauri Flats School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context 

Kauri Flats School is a new primary school built to cater for new high density housing developments in the Takanini, Auckland. The school opened on 7 February 2017 with 36 students. At the time of this review, 64 students were enrolled. The school is designed for a future roll of up to 700 students. 

The school’s vision is for students to have an ‘unrelenting curiosity for learning’ (UC4L). To enact the vision, senior leaders identified relevant attitudes and behaviours that are important for students to achieve. They have planned strategically to develop a school culture that supports students to be socially aware and academically successful. Trust, respect, empathy and courage underpin the school’s behaviour expectations. 

3 Background 

Kauri Flats School provides for children from Years 1 to 8. The construction of the school has encountered many challenges. Because of delays, the school opened with temporary buildings comprising a large flexible learning space and an administration block. The addition of a hard court area and playground has increased the learning and play spaces available to children. Building of the permanent facilities is well underway. The construction company is confident staff will have access to these facilities before school starts in 2018. 

4 Findings 

The setup phase of this new school, including developing governance and management frameworks, has been capably led and managed by the establishment board, governance facilitator, principal and deputy principals.  

The Establishment Board of Trustees (Ebot) remains in the governing role. Trustees are committed to seeing the establishment phase of the school through to completion of the buildings. The Ebot has made very good use of the expertise of its governance facilitator to support and manage the school’s development. The board has been fiscally cautious in the use of the establishment funding available to the school. 

Parent and whānau groups have worked on strategic documents that extend the understanding and interpretation of the school’s vision. As a result, key documents are in place to enable planning for Māori and Pacific students achieving success. The parent group is well supported to understand and to participate in the future governance of the school. 

Senior leaders model the ways of working they expect from teachers. They are proactive and solutions focused. Senior leaders are visible about the school and actively involved in working with children. They have identified key characteristics for teachers to work effectively in flexible learning spaces. This is helpful in appointing teachers who would be a good fit with the curriculum and expectations of the school. As a result, teachers are able to communicate and collaborate well.

Teachers have built on earlier curriculum work by collaboratively developing aspirational statements about what UC4L could mean for teaching and learning. They use these statements to guide the development of programmes of work and approaches to teaching and learning in the flexible learning spaces. Teachers have made good use of their first year of working together to investigate and test the effectiveness of programmes and approaches that are likely to enact the school’s vision for learning. 

Students speak knowledgeably and confidently about their learning opportunities. They have good opportunities to be self-managing, and to make decisions about their learning within a trusting and closely monitored environment. Students work collaboratively using meaningful strategies that promote their learning and social competency.

The school has established processes that foster a culture of reflection for ongoing improvement. Teachers are key contributors to termly reviews of school operations. Parent ideas and aspirations are gathered through surveys and consultation with groups. Reviews of progress in relation to the strategic goals have kept the focus on the agreed direction for the school.

Appropriate assessment tools are used to help teachers make informed judgements about students’ learning. Senior leaders and teachers identify and monitor students who need to make better progress. They are continuing to build and refine processes to track and monitor the achievement of all students, including the customisation of the student management system. To ensure the dependability of the school’s student achievement information, and to build schoolwide assessment capability, an external moderator has worked alongside teachers.

Senior leaders and trustees have identified appropriate next steps for the school as the roll increases, including:

  • clarifying schoolwide processes, systems and expectations of teachers in implementing the curriculum
  • promoting bicultural awareness and practices for all students
  • ensuring teachers and students have access to an appropriate range and quantity of resources to support programmes and initiatives
  • continuing to refine assessment processes to track and monitor the achievement of all students.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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 students' 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.

Conclusion

Kauri Flats School is a new primary school where children learn in flexible spaces. Teachers encourage students to build on their interests, and to make decisions about their learning. The school is led and governed effectively.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)
Te Tai Raki - Northern Region 

About the School 

Location

Takanini

Ministry of Education profile number

595

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

64

Gender composition

Boys      43
Girls       21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

African

Samoan

Chinese

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

other

  8

17

16

  6

  6

  3

  3

  2

  3

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

23 February 2018