Nukuhou North School - 05/12/2014

Findings

Nukuhou North School is a rural school catering for 62 students in three classrooms. Relationships in the school are strong and positive, and the principal is an effective professional leader. Classrooms are settled and very well resourced for teaching and learning. Good systems are in place to keep students safe.

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?

Nukuhou North School is located in a rural area in the eastern Bay of Plenty inland between Opotiki and Whakatane. The school operates three classrooms for 62 students in Years 1 to 8 who come from local farms and surrounding districts. Approximately half of students identify as Māori.

The principal continues to provide stable and effective leadership for teachers, trustees, students and the wider school community. She maintains a high profile in the school and is accessible to students and parents.

Trustees ensure the school is very well resourced for teaching and learning, and work collaboratively to maintain and improve outcomes for students. Several members of the board of trustees are new to their roles following board elections in 2013.

The school environment is caring, supportive and welcoming for students and families/whānau. Interactions and relationships at all levels of the school are consistent with the school’s stated values of ‘respect, perseverance, honesty and individuality’.

2 Learning

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

Trustees, the principal and teachers make effective use of achievement information to make decisions about ongoing improvement to student learning and teacher effectiveness.

The principal provides trustees with detailed and relevant information about student achievement and progress, which enables them to make appropriate decisions about school strategic direction, priorities, annual goals and achievement targets. Trustees’ knowledge about student achievement also enables them to make effective decisions about property developments and teacher professional learning needs.

Relationships between teachers and the principal are collegial and professional. Together they make good use of student achievement information to target those students achieving below expected levels, and to challenge and extend those students who are above expected levels.

In classrooms, teachers consistently make the purpose of learning clear to students, and provide them with suitable feedback about the degree to which they have been successful with their learning. Students are able to talk confidently about their achievements and the high levels of support they receive from teachers and the principal.

Parents are kept well informed about individual student achievement through detailed written reports, student sample books, and an open-door policy. There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in school events, and included in consultation about school programmes and priorities.

Areas for review and development

ERO and the board agree that the following developments in the use of achievement information are likely to further promote student learning and engagement:

Teachers and the principal should continue to explore the use of a wider range of assessment tools and strategies in order to make judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers and the principal should undertake professional learning to promote students’ understanding of their own assessment information and learning progressions.

These developments will enable teachers to increasingly plan targeted programmes. In addition students are likely to become more aware of their own progress and next steps in reading, writing and mathematics.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is broad in coverage of the subject areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (TNZC) with an emphasis on literacy and mathematical learning. It is focused on raising the achievement of all students, and priority is given to accelerating the progress of students achieving below expected levels. Aspects of the school curriculum that effectively promote and support student learning are:

  • positive respectful relationships between teachers and students in classrooms
  • the effective use of school-wide achievement information to establish areas for curriculum development
  • a commitment to professional growth and collaborative professional relationships among teachers
  • high levels of ‘on task’ student behaviour that reflect the school’s high expectations
  • student leadership opportunities and a focus on developing tuakana/teina relationships where older students help younger students to succeed and enjoy their time at school
  • settled and well-resourced classroom environments.

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

There are many opportunities for Māori students to be involved and included in day-to-day life of the school, and for Māori whānau to be well informed about student progress and achievement. Māori students observed by ERO were engaged in learning and play alongside their peers.

The school charter documents the priority to develop the Māori dimension across the school. In response to this priority the principal and teachers acknowledge the need to adopt a more systematic and planned approach to teaching about te reo and tikanga Māori. They also acknowledge the important next step of including significant aspects of local Māori history, traditions and stories in to the school curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Nukuhou North is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • there is a strong commitment to supporting students' well-being, promoting their safety and encouraging achievement and success
  • trustees receive detailed information about student progress and achievement, which they use to make decisions about school priorities and direction
  • the principal is providing effective professional leadership for teachers, guidance for the board and plays a crucial role in nurturing positive relationships within the school
  • the school is well engaged with its community.

Area for review and development

ERO and the board agree that there is a need for trustees to undertake an ongoing programme of training about school governance roles and responsibilities. This is likely to be especially beneficial because many trustees are new to the board and enthusiastic about continually enhancing their effectiveness as school governors.

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

Nukuhou North School is a rural school catering for 62 students in three classrooms. Relationships in the school are strong and positive, and the principal is an effective professional leader. Classrooms are settled and very well resourced for teaching and learning. Good systems are in place to keep students safe.

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 December 2014

About the School

Location

Eastern Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

1854

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

62

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

31

29

2

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

5 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

February 2009

November 2006