Kuranui Primary School - 04/02/2016

Findings

The school provides an attractive and well-resourced educational environment for learning. Students, parents and staff interact respectfully with one another in a family-oriented culture. Teachers develop reciprocal relationships with parents that contribute positively to students’ learning and all-round development. Students develop as confident learners and responsible young citizens.

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?

Kuranui Primary School is a small rural school located in the Okoroire district, near Matamata. It provides education for student in Years 1 to 6, and has a current roll of 52. There are eight students of Māori descent enrolled.

The school continues to provide a calm and well-ordered environment for learning that is underpinned by the behaviours and attitudes that characterise the ‘Kura Kid’. Parents, students and staff share a common vision for excellence, and continue to promote these values in the school community.

Since the ERO review in 2011 there has been significant change of school personnel. A new, first-time principal was appointed in April 2013 to start in Term 3 of that year. Shortly after her appointment, a new board of trustees was elected to govern the school. Staffing has been reduced and there are now two full-time permanent teachers employed, and one part-time teacher who provides release for the principal to carry out her leadership and management roles.

The principal networks strongly with other local schools and leaders as she develops her expertise as a leader of a small rural school. She is providing sound professional advice to the board, and is leading a newly formed teaching team. The principal has maintained and is continuing to develop the learner-centred approach to learning and teaching, identified for ongoing development in the 2011 ERO report.

The board is providing effective governance. Trustees are committed to open and transparent communication and recognise the need to develop and maintain strong community connections and relationships.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

The principal is providing clear direction for teachers and the board in the use of achievement information. An assessment overview provides clear timeframes and information about assessment tools to be used at key stages throughout the year. Teachers are gathering an appropriate range of achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics to enable them to identify learning strengths and needs. They differentiate programmes, and plan specifically to meet the needs of groups and individuals. Student progress is closely monitored throughout the year and reported to parents formally and informally in a variety of ways. Parents are kept well informed.

Students who are at risk of not achieving expected levels are identified and additional learning support is provided for them by the classroom teacher. Teacher aides provide in-class support which enables the teacher to work in-depth with these students. Parents are informed at an early stage, if their child is at risk and needing additional support. They are involved in discussions about the support that is being provided and how they can be involved. Students with special needs receive additional assistance, and specialist support and advice is accessed. Teachers and specialist staff work in close liaison with parents of these students.

The principal keeps the board well informed about student achievement and progress across the two classes. She shares well analysed information that shows the trends and patterns, and which assists the board to make informed decisions about personnel and programme resourcing.

The school’s National Standards data for 2013/14 indicates a steady improvement. At the end of 2014, almost all students were achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students at the school are achieving at comparable levels to their non-Māori peers. Overall levels of achievement compare very favourably with national comparisons.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well documented and comprehensive. It aligns closely with the principles and strand of The New Zealand Curriculum. Several years ago, the staff and parent community established an agreed and enduring vision and set of values that epitomise ‘the Kuranui student’ as a person and a learner. The principal and teaching staff, all new in the last two years have embraced this vision and values. They model and integrate these across the curriculum.

With the new teaching team now in place, the principal intends to revisit and review the school curriculum. She recognises the importance of leading an inclusive process of ongoing curriculum review. This process will be aligned with the professional learning and development for teachers, as it evolves. The teaching of writing has been a focus over the last two years, and under the leadership of the principal, this area of the curriculum has already been under review.

In its current form, the school’s curriculum places priority on the core learning areas of reading, writing and mathematics, and this is reflected in the high levels of student achievement overall. Parents appreciate the broad nature of the learning opportunities students experience, that include interschool sports, education outside the classroom (EOTC), the arts and regular excursions into the local and regional areas.

ERO observed effective teaching practices, particularly in the teaching of writing and reading, in all classrooms. Under the leadership of the principal, there is a clear expectation that teachers will provide learner-centred learning programmes for students and there is a strong focus on strategies to develop students as self-managing learners. Teachers are well supported by the principal and another experienced teacher to develop their expertise in this approach. Together, they are able to share and model effective teaching practice as the team works toward building a consistent school-wide practice for teaching and learning. Next year, the principal plans to implement a more planned approach to ‘teaching as inquiry’, which should deepen teachers' understanding of teaching practices that are most likely to accelerate the progress of students, and especially those students who are identified ‘at risk’.

The teacher appraisal process has been reviewed and is now being phased in with new teachers. Teachers will benefit from the opportunities it provides for them to reflect on and share best practice, and to monitor their own performance in relation to personal goals, and professional standards and criteria. The principal plans to work closely with teachers next year to fully implement this process.

There are many opportunities for students to lead and take responsibility in their school community. Senior students in particular, are able to talk knowledgeably about their learning and how well they are achieving and progressing.

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

Māori students are well engaged in their learning and achieving success. Teachers integrate Māori perspectives into the programme. Students enjoy singing waiata and participate with enthusiasm in kapahaka. Teachers will consult the Ministry of Education publications Kahikitia and Tātaiako as they give consideration to biculturalism in the curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed because:

  • the board of trustees is committed to the provision of effective and sustainable governance practices
  • sound policies and procedures have been maintained by the current board
  • the principal has developed an effective working partnership with the board and provides timely, comprehensive reports so that trustees can be assured that the school is being well managed
  • students achievement information, surveys and informal consultation contribute to ongoing school self review
  • there is a high level of parental support for the school.

Priority areas for continuing development are as follows:

  • Charter review: The board acknowledges that there is now a need to review and refine the school’s charter to make it a more succinct document that clearly reflect the currents and agreed aspiration and priorities of the school community. Much of the consultation for this inclusive process should be aligned with the curriculum review and development process which is also a priority area for development.
  • Processes for conducting and using self review to bring about continuous improvement.
  • Building consistency of agreed best teaching practice amongst all members of the teaching team, leading to coherent pedagogy across all classrooms.

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

The school provides an attractive and well-resourced educational environment for learning. Students, parents and staff interact respectfully with one another in a family-oriented culture. Teachers develop reciprocal relationships with parents that contribute positively to students’ learning and all-round development. Students develop as confident learners and responsible young citizens.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

4 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Matamata, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1858

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

52

Gender composition

Boys 27 Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

8

41

3

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

4 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

May 2008

June 2005