Nukuhou North School - 19/01/2018

School Context

Nukuhou North School, located mid-way between Taneatua and Opotiki, is a small rural full primary school providing education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school’s roll of 75 includes 45 Māori students, many of whom whakapapa to the local iwi Ngai Tūhoe.

The school is committed to providing an education that supports all children to meet their potential and take a positive role in society. The values of individuality, respect, honesty, and perseverance are promoted and contribute to the school’s culture for learning. Trustees set targets focused on accelerating the achievement of students achieving below or well below national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous ERO review in 2014, leadership and staffing have remained consistent. There has been an increase in the school’s roll and the proportion of Māori students attending the school has increased significantly. The school continues to operate three classrooms. Teachers have participated in professional learning and development in the areas of literacy and mathematics.

The school is part of the Whakatane Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading

  • writing

  • mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Nukuhou North School is effectively achieving excellent outcomes for many of its students. The school’s achievement information for the previous three years indicates that most students achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This data also shows a significant disparity between Māori and other students at the school, with the proportion of Māori students achieving at or above the National Standards remaining lower than their peers. This information also shows that the proportion of boys achieving the standard is comparable to girls in reading and mathematics but lower in writing. Raising the achievement of Māori students, and boys in writing, to achieve equitable outcomes, is a priority for the board, leaders and teachers.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school does not effectively respond to all Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school’s achievement data from 2015 to mid-2017 indicates that approximately one third of Māori students who were achieving below national expectations had made accelerated progress in reading and writing. This data shows that a small number of at-risk Māori learners made accelerated progress in mathematics. There is a similar pattern of acceleration for other students achieving below national expectations.

The school’s data for students with additional learning needs indicates that they make significant progress as a result of specific support programmes.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School leadership is well informed and focused on equitable outcomes for all students. There are high expectations for teaching and learning at the school. The principal, well supported by a senior teacher, effectively monitors and tracks school-wide student achievement. This includes the regular tracking of the progress of targeted students. Achievement information is well used by leaders to inform decision making about accessing support for students and professional development for teachers. The principal provides teachers with ongoing feedback about the effectiveness of their practice as part of a robust teacher appraisal process. As part of the CoL focus on raising achievement for Māori, the principal has recently engaged with an external facilitator to support teachers to implement a more culturally responsive curriculum. Useful internal evaluation systems focus----------- on accelerating achievement.

Trustees provide effective stewardship. They are supportive of the principal and teachers, and allocate funds to ensure that there are equitable opportunities for all students. They set specific targets in the school charter focused on the number of Māori students whose learning requires acceleration. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and use this data effectively to make resourcing decisions related to accelerating achievement.

Teachers use a wide variety of well-considered teaching strategies. They make very good use of assessment data to inform their planning and implement specific needs-based teaching programmes. Teachers provide students with regular and useful feedback and feed forward about their work. Through a ‘teaching as inquiry’ process, teachers regularly reflect on the effectiveness of their practice in accelerating the achievement of targeted students. Teachers have positive and affirming relationships with students and whānau and ERO observed high levels of student engagement in meaningful activities.

The broad curriculum effectively engages students in learning. There is an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics. The curriculum reflects the rural nature of the school, including students’ participation in gardening, calf club days and local community events. There are many opportunities for students to experience success in sporting events and competitions. The curriculum is enhanced by camps, visits within the local and wider community, as well as frequent visitors who share their knowledge and expertise with students. Students with additional learning needs benefit from participating in a range of literacy support programmes.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence?

Empowering students as self-managing learners is an area for development. Teachers need to implement processes that support students to better understand their learning achievements and next steps. This should include the use of learning progressions to allow students, with their teacher, to track their achievement and to identify their specific next learning goal. Consideration should also be given to sharing these with whānau, along with possible strategies that they can use to support their children’s learning at home.

As identified in the 2014 ERO report there remains a need to implement a more culturally responsive curriculum. Priority should be given to:

  • incorporating contexts for leaning that reflect Māori students’ language, culture and identity

  • strengthening partnerships with Māori whānau and iwi to incorporate their local knowledge and expertise within the curriculum.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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

  • finance

  • 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • professional leadership that sets high expectations for teaching and learning

  • stewardship that is strongly focused on equitable opportunities for all students

  • teaching practices that that are responsive to the learning needs of students

  • a curriculum that provides opportunities for students to experience success.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • strengthening students’ knowledge of their achievements and next learning steps to support them as self-managing learners.

  • implementing a culturally responsive curriculum to make better connections to students prior understandings and cultural identity, and to better reflect the changing demographic of the school’s community.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 January 2018

About the school

Location

near Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

1854

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

75

Gender composition

Boys 45 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori 45
Pākehā 30

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review December 2011
Education Review February 2009