Korokoro School - 22/06/2015

 

Findings

Korokoro School is inclusive, community-based, and focused on improving achievement and curriculum opportunities. There is a clear emphasis on increasing students’ ownership of learning, use of digital technologies and strengthened relationships with families. Participation in a Learning Change Network has positively impacted on school operations. Building on current initiatives should enhance student outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Korokoro School caters for Years 1 to 8 students in a hillside suburb overlooking Lower Hutt. Students benefit from a well-resourced school that encourages physical activity and challenge and fosters an appreciation of the surrounding natural environment.

Since the June 2012 ERO report, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. A focus on growing school leadership and professional practices, contributes to staffing stability and promotions. Community involvement and partnerships for learning are positive school features that are continuing to develop. Students and their families are well known. Their views are valued and responded to.

A recent review of the school values has resulted in five key areas under the TRIBE umbrella of: teamwork, respect, integrity, broad mindedness and excellence. These values serve to focus teaching and learning.

Teachers are extending the range of meaningful leadership experiences for students. Current strategic aims include increasing the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT), students’ role in learning and extending community partnerships. Positive developments are evident in these areas.

Korokoro School is one of the six local schools involved in the Seaview Learning and Change Network (LCN). Participation in regular LCN meetings and professional learning sessions has positively impacted on the school’s strategic direction and operations. Staff are also part of cluster of three nearby schools focused on improving mathematics teaching and learning for 2014 and 2015.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Teachers are using achievement information more effectively to accelerate the progress of learners who require additional support. Improved processes for identifying, planning and monitoring are in place.

Parents receive clear information about how they can assist their children at home. New ways for collecting and responding to parents’ views and aspirations are increasing teachers’ knowledge about each student’s strengths and next steps. Teachers value better information sharing that enhances their knowledge of learners and their families.

Student achievement in writing lifted during 2014, as a result of actions taken to support a school improvement target. Teachers identified students not at the National Standard and considered the effectiveness of their teaching strategies.

The 2015 target and action plan is building on the successful approaches developed. All students who need extra help in writing are part of the school improvement goal for 2015. Students not yet at the National Standard are closely monitored by teachers. Parents and students are well informed and involved in these processes.

End of year 2014 student achievement information shows that the majority of students are at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students’ achievement is similar to their peers, particularly in reading and mathematics. There is a clear focus on improving student achievement across the school for all groups of students, including those requiring extension or extra help.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported by deliberate strategies and appropriate use of external expertise. Inclusive practices are highly evident.

New systems to motivate students to write are developing well. This includes helpful feedback, encouragement and helpful next steps from their teacher, parents and peers. Learning goals are being set with students and discussed in three-way conferences with parents. Parents receive two written reports a year, and have ongoing opportunities to discuss progress with their children and their teachers.

Teachers participate in regular moderation of their assessment judgements about students' achievement in writing, both in the school and as part of the LCN programme. This contributes to sharing good practice and developing shared understanding.

Professional development is planned with a smaller group of schools to strengthen mathematics teaching and learning. Considering the robustness of teacher's assessment judgements in mathematics is included.

Key next steps for school leaders, staff and trustees include:

  • extending the use of internal and external processes to moderate reading and mathematics

  • extending strategies to increase the role of students in leading and managing their learning, including self assessment.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The recently developed TRIBE values contribute to ongoing improvements in the school curriculum. Students learn in carefully considered programmes in literacy, mathematics, science, music and other key learning areas.

There is a sustained focus on student wellbeing and physical activity. Students have more opportunities to celebrate te ao Māori. Students are making more individual choices about how they best learn.

School expectations for effective teaching strategies are evident in classrooms. Positive relationships encourage students to take risks, to persevere and to help each other. Students and teachers are enthusiastic about learning. Older students work alongside younger students in buddy roles. Students are well engaged and motivated.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are being integrated in a considered manner. Students purposefully use digital technologies. Trustees and teachers continue to review school systems and resources to ensure they enhance engagement and learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school has a sound platform of bicultural practices. A local tutor supports schoolwide kapa haka, and te ao Māori. Classroom environments reflect teachers’ commitment and progress in using te reo Māori. More opportunities for Māori students to lead and celebrate their language, culture and identity are provided.

Trustees regularly consult the school’s Māori community through a survey and are well-informed about their progress as learners. Staff plan to continue to increase culturally-responsive opportunities for Māori students through using positive information-sharing practices with whānau.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, key next steps to continue progress in accelerating Māori success include:

  • leaders, staff and trustees reviewing their understanding and response to the Treaty of Waitangi and considering their strategic response to the Ministry of Education Māori education policy document, Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance through skilled governance.

A very experienced board chair person and trustees with complementary skill sets are focused on improving the quality of learning opportunities. A clear and responsive cycle of policy and procedure review is in place. Trustees reflect the wishes of the Korokoro School community.

The school leadership team is working collaboratively to engage students in meaningful learning opportunities. Processes to grow leadership, use teacher strengths and to mentor new teachers are well in place.

Staff collegiality contributes to the sharing of good practices. Teachers are critically reflective and open to change. They value being part of a network of schools and participating in shared professional learning and development activities.

The increasing use of inquiry and review contributes to an awareness of which strategies contribute to students’ wellbeing and learning. Student achievement information and other performance measures are proactively used by trustees. Strategic direction is clearly informed by students’ learning needs and interests.

There is stronger alignment between what is happening for students in classrooms and the strategic focus of the school. High retention of students and longstanding family relationships encourage a strong sense of community by building a platform for the future.

The recently revised appraisal process links directly to teachers’ focus on students who need focused teaching to reach the National Standard. Increasing the range of appraisal evidence to include critical reflection, research and observations should make the process more robust.

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:

  • board administration

  • 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 student 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

Korokoro School is inclusive, community-based, and focused on improving achievement and curriculum opportunities. There is a clear emphasis on increasing students’ ownership of learning, use of digital technologies and strengthened relationships with families. Participation in a Learning Change Network has positively impacted on school operations. Building on current initiatives should enhance student outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

 

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2883

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

143

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnic groups

  8%
80%
  4%
  8%

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
June 2009
June 2006