Kauri Park School - 11/11/2016

1 Context

Kauri Park School, in Beach Haven Auckland, caters for children in Years 1 to 6 and has an increasing school roll. A new principal was appointed at the end of 2014. Leaders and teachers have been involved in a variety of professional learning contracts. These initiatives have helped teachers improve: their teaching of mathematics and te reo Māori; assessment capability; and digital learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to develop responsible, self-assured, resilient individuals who are confident communicators and 'information literate'. The school's values include kindness, tolerance, compassion, inquiry and innovation, respect and integrity. The focus on these overarching values reflects the school community's commitment to providing a learning environment focused on citizenship, literacy and numeracy.

The school’s achievement information shows that overall levels of achievement in reading, writing and maths in relation to National Standards have remained high. Māori children's achievement has increased in mathematics, but continues to be lower in literacy than for other groups. School achievement data also show that girls achieve higher than boys.

Targets have been set for groups of children who are not yet achieving at National Standards in literacy and/or mathematics. The board, school leaders and teachers provide interventions and programmes for students whose learning and progress needs to be accelerated. There is regular review of these interventions and programmes.

The school's moderation processes have been strengthened to improve the validity of teachers' achievement judgements. Teachers value the collaborative processes that support them to moderate assessment evidence in the school and with other schools.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has promoted improved learner outcomes through:

  • teachers' professional learning in tikanga and te reo Māori
  • strengthening staff capability in analysing assessment data
  • improving the use of evidence based decision-making
  • increasing children's use of information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • improving teachers' use of formative assessment practices and supporting children to set their own learning goals.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is becoming increasingly effective in responding to Māori children whose learning and progress needs acceleration.

Leaders and teachers identify Māori children at risk of not achieving through the use of a thorough, school-wide tracking and monitoring process. Good processes to support children's learning begin as they transition into the school. Whānau are closely involved in sharing the strengths, needs and capabilities of their child.

Teachers use a range of personalised approaches to support the progress of Māori children. They regularly consider the impact of their programmes and practices on children's progress. Teachers discuss progress and achievement at syndicate and whole school meetings and they share strategies to better support Māori learners. Team leaders and teachers are increasingly using the mathematics and literacy progressions to support evidenced-based conversations about children's learning.

The board sets relevant targets in reading, writing and mathematics to accelerate children's progress in relation to National Standards. There are clear links between the targets and actions taken by school leaders and teachers to accelerate children's progress. Whānau who spoke with ERO appreciate the progress their children make in learning through teachers' responsive approaches. They value the strength of relationships and the use of on-line programmes to support children's learning at home.

To promote Māori children's accelerated progress, the board and principal acknowledge that leaders and teachers could further develop their evaluation and inquiry capability to evaluate the impact that programmes and practices are having on accelerating children's learning.

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

The school is becoming increasingly effective in responding to other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Teachers have a targeted focus to accelerate children's progress in writing. Strategies include:

  • identifying every child who is not yet achieving in relation to the National Standards
  • setting individualised learning goals for each child
  • deciding on a range of teaching actions to help each child reach their learning goals
  • reviewing the progress of these children at a class and team level.

Children who spoke with ERO could see improvements in their writing through the use of their self-editing strategies and feedback from teachers. To further improve children's accelerated progress in writing, senior leaders and teachers could evaluate writing programmes, and identify specific actions and adapt practices to suit individual children.

This is the second year the school has been involved in professional development to accelerate children's learning in mathematics. The programme focuses on increasing children's ability to talk about their learning, and building relationships with parents to support their children's progress. School leaders and teachers are now considering how to ensure that children's motivation and accelerated progress is sustained.

The school provides well for children who require additional learning support. Identified groups of children, including those with English as an additional language, engage in programmes that are guided by the English Language Learning Progressions or individual learning plans. Parents appreciate how the school values their child's first language, culture and identity. The board receives reports on interventions and programmes that aim to support children's learning. However, these reports could provide more in-depth analysis to enable the board to gauge the impact of programmes and initiatives on children's learning.

The board and principal acknowledge that a more strategic and coherent school-wide approach is needed to promote children's accelerated progress. Further developing teachers' practice around assessment and targeted actions would provide more consistent and effective approaches through the school.

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 school's curriculum, processes and practices are increasingly effective in developing and enacting the vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence. Trustees, school leaders and staff have high expectations for all children to experience and celebrate success. Children benefit from a positive, respectful school culture that supports their early development as confident and productive future citizens.

Children are enthusiastic about their learning and benefit from school conditions that foster positive attitudes to lifelong learning. They build on their prior knowledge and experiences through curriculum thematic programmes and extensive co-curricular activities. The broad curriculum offers children opportunities to follow their interests through class inquiries, drama productions, cultural and music groups, sports and the arts.

Teachers support children well to develop learning-to-learn skills and to know about their current learning and achievement. Children view themselves as capable and competent learners. They set their own learning goals, know their next steps, and are increasingly reflecting on how well they are learning.

Leaders and teachers recognise the positive impact that bicultural practices, curriculum content and the use of te reo Māori can have on Māori children's identity in the school. Teachers incorporate Māori perspectives in curriculum programmes and they continue to build relationships with whānau. Māori and Pacific parents appreciate opportunities to meet as a group to explore ways to strengthen the significance of biculturalism and Pacific cultures in the school's curriculum. Māori children and their whānau also acknowledge the potential of their school being a place to learn about and connect with their culture.

Leadership is distributed across teaching teams to build individual and collective leadership capacity. Leaders and teachers continue to develop a culture of professional inquiry to improve teaching practice and to increase valued outcomes for children. Staff appraisal processes are aligned with school goals and comply with legislative requirements. Senior leaders should update the appraisal policy to reflect Education Council requirements and practice, and develop written procedures to guide staff appraisal.

The board, school leaders and teachers ensure that the school serves its community well and they promote strong partnerships with families, whānau and the wider community. They recognise the school's changing population and the requirements of diverse learners. Improving the use of internal evaluation would play a significant role in setting the school conditions for leaders and teachers to respond holistically to the learning and wellbeing of all children and particularly those at risk of not achieving.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

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.

Capable trustees bring a range of expertise to their roles. They are well placed to further develop evaluation in their stewardship role and in relation to the work of the school in achieving valued student outcomes. Trustees should also continue to strengthen their bicultural responsiveness and build on whānau partnerships with the school.

The new principal and senior leaders have developed a systematic framework for teachers to inquire into their practice. The main impact on accelerating children's progress and achievement is the result of teachers noticing and responding to children's learning needs and strengths.

The principal and the board have a plan in place that will guide them to:

  • increase collective evaluation capacity
  • adapt practices for children's accelerated progress
  • improve scrutiny and evaluation of achievement information
  • share evaluation outcomes to inform effective practice.

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

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continues to develop its internal evaluation capacity to achieve excellence and equity in outcomes for all children.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 November 2016

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1327

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

355

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

MELA

Asian

Indian

Pacific

Australian

other European

8%

70%

6%

5%

2%

2%

1%

6%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

11 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

July 2010

June 2007