Patumahoe Primary School - 30/06/2014

Findings

Patumahoe Primary School continues its long tradition of providing high quality education in a caring and inclusive environment. Students are confident and capable learners and benefit from experienced teachers who offer a broad and meaningful curriculum. School leaders and trustees are working positively together to meet school goals and strengthen self review.

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?

Patumahoe Primary School is located in the centre of a rural village, close to Pukekohe. The school will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2016. The school continues to cater for children from rural backgrounds, lifestyle blocks and families in new subdivisions. There is a strong community presence in all aspects of school life. This supports children and teachers, and promotes students’ sense of belonging to the school.

Students benefit from a blend of a spacious country environment and well resourced modern facilities. The new library, flexible learning space and lease of the former scout hall, adjacent to the school have helped manage steady roll growth. The school also has a heated swimming pool which is well used by students and the wider community.

Since the 2010 ERO review, the long-serving principal and deputy principals have worked collaboratively with teachers to sustain several of the school’s strengths. They have also appointed a new group of middle leaders to help develop teaching and learning.

The board includes several trustees who have given considerable service to the school. Trustees continue to progress governance processes and to use their skills and expertise to support the school well.

The school has maintained valuable professional development links with other schools through Pukekohe’s Te Huarahi project, an education cluster initiative for promoting Māori success. Leaders have also accessed Ministry of Education initiatives and other useful providers to accelerate student learning.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of achievement information to make positive changes to children's learning and enhance their experiences in education.

Students are highly engaged in a wide range of activities and co-curricular experiences. House competitions, arts and musical productions, environmental and health promotion groups offer students a wide range of meaningful leadership opportunities. This school is an exciting and thriving place for students to make friends and develop the courage to challenge themselves.

Students know how to use learning strategies. They also show high levels of social and emotional competence through positive interactions which enhances their learning.

In reading, writing and mathematics, students continue to progress well and many achieve at high levels. Leaders and teachers have implemented National Standards well. Robust assessment tools and careful moderation processes ensure teachers know how well students are achieving and where to target support.

Students with special abilities and additional learning requirements receive good quality support to help them access the curriculum at appropriate levels. There is a deliberate school focus on promoting success through student capabilities which contributes towards an affirming school culture. Trustees thoughtfully provide valuable resources to support students.

Māori students are well known and supported to achieve positive outcomes. School leaders could review how best to further accelerate Maōri student progress to reach the same high levels of achievement as their peers. It would be useful to consider how well cross grouping in Mathematics meets their needs.

Students make good use of achievement information to set themselves broad goals. They are self managing in many learning situations and benefit from teacher input about their progress. Students are ready to be more involved in tracking their own learning, progress and achievement. Providing further opportunities for students to more deeply evaluate their learning could be a useful focus.

Reporting to parents and whānau has improved over time. While written reports provide a wealth of information, a next step is to extend learning partnerships between home and school. Continuing to use plain language in reporting would also enhance communication with families.

To continue to promote outcomes for students, ERO and the school agree it would be useful to:

  • set achievement targets for more specific groups of learners and monitor the effectiveness of the strategies used to support their learning
  • assist teachers to more deeply evaluate the success of their teaching and learning approaches
  • document key discussion points about student achievement to provide information for longer term self review.

3 Curriculum

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

The Patumahoe Primary School curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting students learning. The curriculum is broad and well aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). School values and NZC key competencies are very evident. There is a strong focus on promoting student’s physical wellbeing and health. Meaningful local contexts are a key part of the curriculum.

A special feature of the school’s curriculum are the extensive opportunities to explore Science. The school’s commitment to Enviroschools, combined with local curriculum initiatives, provide rich learning opportunities. The school is well placed to evaluate how well students are progressing and achieving in Science and to use this approach to consider other curriculum areas.

The curriculum is well managed through team meetings and ongoing reviews. High quality teaching practices have been sustained. The cohesive work of staff and their complementary skills across curriculum areas provide effective teamwork.

E-learning is progressing well. Leaders are developing a curriculum with more opportunities for individuals to choose their learning content and ways to show their learning. Using flexible time and transitions to assist this development could increase student outcomes. The curriculum could now be enhanced further by:

  • leaders and teachers using the NZC principles as self review tools
  • expanding the curriculum focus to strengthen student learning about New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, its place in the Pacific and citizenship in a digital and global context
  • strengthening teachers’ performance management using Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori students as a reflective tool.

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

The school is effectively promoting success for Māori student and is continuing its journey towards promoting success as Māori.

School leaders have recently discussed the Ministry of Education’s Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Māori Success strategy document with staff. Developing a school vision to promote success as Māori and extending consultation with whānau and local iwi could strengthen and sustain initiatives.

Staff have valued recent professional development to learn about the local area and expand te ao Māori perspectives in curriculum planning. Continuing to seek high quality professional development to expand teacher’s capacity to use and understand te reo Māori remains a priority.

The school has made meaningful progress towards developing a more bicultural curriculum. The school now has regular Matariki celebration and a large diverse kapa haka group. It has strong connections with other local schools.

Māori students could also benefit if school leaders worked with the community to visually show the school’s bicultural commitment. The development of a school Patu which represents the core school values is a meaningful taonga. Developing a strong understanding of these values from a Māori perspective would enhance school development.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Overall, the school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school makes good use of self review to inform future directions. Leaders are developing more formal self review processes that incorporate multiple perspectives to add to the rigour of self review. Documenting effective school practices more systematically could offer ways for school leaders to sustain the special character of the school and its high quality practices.

School leadership is caring, thoughtful and patient. The experienced senior leaders work collaboratively with each other, students and teachers. School leaders are highly respected and valued by the school community. Succession planning and support for leadership is now a key area for the board’s attention.

The positive school culture is modelled on respect for each other. School leaders have recently used the ERO wellbeing indicators to establish a good baseline of their provision for student wellbeing. They also have useful knowledge about the Ministry of Education Inclusive Practices tools and could use these to further inform decision making about student needs.

Trustees are well informed about student achievement and have accessed training. They have very good connections with the community and have a positive working relationship with school leaders. The BOT chair has recently introduced a new reporting structure to allow trustees to make the best use their skills and expertise. ERO and school leaders agree that to continue to develop the quality of governance, the board are appropriately focussing on:

  • ensuring key decisions and issues are well documented in board and in committee minutes
  • collating information to more clearly show school progress against strategic and annual plans
  • restructuring policies and procedures into clearer governance and management areas
  • using the new operating structure and improving self review to monitor how well it meets its governance obligations.

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.

In order to improve practice, school leaders should improve documentation about processes used, and outcomes from, consultation with parents and whānau about the school's health curriculum.

Conclusion

Patumahoe Primary School continues its long tradition of providing high quality education in a caring and inclusive environment. Students are confident and capable learners and benefit from experienced teachers who offer a broad and meaningful curriculum. School leaders and trustees are working positively together to meet school goals and strengthen self review.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

30 June 2014

About the School

Location

Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1438

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

311

Gender composition

Boys 56%

Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

South African

British

Chinese

Indian

other Pacific

other

14%

71%

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

30 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

April 2007

December 2003