Kerikeri Primary School - 13/06/2016

1 Context

Kerikeri Primary caters for children in Years 1 to 6. Twenty eight percent of the children are Maori and a Māori bilingual unit, Te Whakatupuranga, continues to be a special feature of the school. Since the 2013 ERO review the school has experienced some significant changes in leadership and governance. This has included a period of time when a commissioner managed governance functions, followed by the appointment of a new principal in January 2015, and the election of a new board of trustees in May 2015.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are captured in the school's whakatauki, Mehemea ka moemoeā ahau, ko ahau anake, Mehemea ka moemoeā ā tātou, ka taea e tātou and the new vision, Inspiring learning - Lifelong learning and growth. This vision is underpinned by the new values-based programme, Koru Kids, which promotes equity and excellence for all. The values are incorporated by teachers in their daily curriculum to ensure that children, staff, whānau and families develop a shared understanding of them. Valued outcomes for all learners in this school community focus on learners:

  • engaging well in learning, taking responsibility for their personal learning and being critical thinkers and life-long learners
  • being confident in their own language, culture and identity, and accepting and celebrating cultural diversity
  • feeling confident, connected and resilient learners.

The school's achievement information shows that most children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Many children also achieve well in writing, although overall success levels are a little below those for reading and mathematics. Data also shows there has been a lift in 2015 in reading and mathematics, while achievement in writing has remained steady over the last three years.

Māori student achievement information shows some improved outcomes over the past three years in relation to National Standards. A focus on writing in 2015 has resulted in improved achievement for Māori children in this learning area. School achievement information shows that Māori children achieve at similar levels across both Te Whakatupuranga and the mainstream classrooms.

School leaders and teachers closely track Māori learners who need to make accelerated progress. Information gathered shows that the school has had some success in accelerating the progress of these students, with an increased number of children achieving the appropriate National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders have appropriately identified the need to investigate other ways to accelerate the achievement of Māori children in both Te Whakatupuranga and mainstream classes.

School achievement data also shows some gender-based differences, with the overall achievement of girls exceeding that of boys, particularly in writing. The school has set achievement targets to accelerate boys' writing progress and achievement. School leaders continue to focus on deliberate actions to reduce this disparity.

The school has a clear commitment to bilingual education. Since the 2013 ERO review, Te Whakatupuranga has extended its provision to include Year 0 to 2 children. Children in Te Whakatupuranga take pride in the recognition of te reo Māori me ōna tīkanga in this cultural setting. They proudly participate in school pōwhiri with older children leading karanga, waiata and haka.

Senior leaders have designed and implemented coherent plans and actions that support children's academic success. Developments have included:

  • the significant review and development of the school's vision, values, strategic plan and assessment systems and processes,
  • analysing children's learning needs and developing action plans to accelerate progress and achievement
  • providing professional development to increase teachers' understanding of acceleration and supporting them to inquire into the impact of their practice on children's achievement
  • planning short-term and long-term improvements that focus on building learning relationships with children, their families and whānau.

These initiatives are in the early stages of implementation.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is responding increasingly well to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. External professional development for teachers is targeted to accelerate the progress and achievement in reading and writing for Māori boys.

The board of trustees has used Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review Tool for Boards of Trustees, to make informed decisions and set clear directions for Māori education success. Charter targets and strategic goals prioritises raising Māori children's achievement.

Evidenced-based decision making, coherent improvement plans and a values-based curriculum help trustees and staff to maintain a clear focus on inclusiveness and the promotion of equitable outcomes for children. Systems and processes for identifying and responding to the learning needs of Māori children have been evaluated and strengthened. They result in accelerated progress for some of these students, in addition to increased engagement, attendance and whānau support.

An environment that values and supports their language, culture and identity supports success for Māori children. Tuakana/teina relationships bring older and younger children together, building a strong sense of whanaungatanga and belonging for Māori children. There has been a deliberate, planned approach to strengthening teachers' bicultural practices and whānau engagement.

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

The school is having some success in accelerating the learning and achievement of other children needing additional learning support. School achievement data indicates that 50 percent of these children make accelerated progress. Teachers' professional development has focused on integrating teachers' knowledge, skills and beliefs about acceleration and increasing their effectiveness in accelerating children's progress and achievement.

Teachers identify the numbers, names and learning needs of children who need to make accelerated progress. This information links with the board's strategic plan. The 2016 charter targets are clearly focused on acceleration. Teachers work in partnership with children, whānau and families when setting individual learning goals.

Leaders are building collective staff responsibility for accelerating student progress and achievement. There is an emphasis on the strategies teachers can use to accelerate progress. A collaborative inquiry approach provides teaching teams with opportunities to reflect on and change their practice. Increasing teachers' understanding of approaches is well supported through external professional development.

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 priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and organisational processes are becoming more effective in promoting equity and excellence for all children. The strategic plan provides a clear direction for achieving the school's vision, values, goals and priorities.

The new principal has developed coherent and connected action plans to set a new educational direction for the school through extensive internal evaluation. This development has included input from children, staff, trustees, whānau and parents.

The school's action plans indicate a well-considered commitment to accelerating learning, improving teacher practice and increasing learning centred relationships with families and whānau. ERO affirms the school’s new direction as both timely and necessary.

Positive developments are underway to review the school's curriculum supported by external expertise. The school is planning to develop a more connected, thinking curriculum which promotes children's ownership of learning. Digital learning technologies are integrated in teaching programmes and enrich children's learning opportunities. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring equity of access for all children.

Trustees, school leaders and staff have high expectations for all children to experience and celebrate success. Children benefit from a settled and positive school tone. They are confident and highly motivated. The school's active promotion and support for children's wellbeing impacts positively on their engagement and learning.

The principal is leading well-considered organisational change to improve student outcomes and teacher capability. He has worked collaboratively with others to promote a culture of evaluative inquiry for improvement. Strengthening the educational leadership capability of middle leaders is a long-term strategic response to build teacher capability and increase the school's professional and improvement-focused culture.

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.

Kerikeri Primary School has well documented improvement plans that aim to enable more students to achieve well. Trustees and school leaders recognise it is now timely to consolidate the new initiatives to ensure school-wide consistency of practices. Staff, children, whānau and families are developing a shared understanding for the urgency to improve outcomes for all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to develop the internal evaluation systems and expertise required for trustees, leaders and teachers to review and report on how well new school systems and processes are impacting on students who need to make accelerated progress.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 June 2016 

About the school

Location

Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

Ministry of Education profile number

1034

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

556

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

British/Irish

Pacific

other

61%

28%

4%

2%

5%

Special Features

Te Whakatupuranga Māori bilingual unit

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

13 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

July 2010

May 2007