Pomaria Road School - 14/12/2011

Findings

1. Context

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

Pomaria School, in Henderson, Auckland, is a large primary school that caters for learners from Years 1 to 6. The school roll has become increasingly diverse. Twenty-eight percent of students identify as Māori. The school’s cornerstone values continue to be strongly reflected in positive relationships between students and staff.

The principal continues to lead a cohesive and collaborative staff. The board of trustees and senior leaders have a strong focus on identifying children’s strengths and setting high expectations for them to be lifelong learners.

The well maintained school environment supports students’ learning, well-being and safety. Te Puna, the newly-built inquiry learning space, is becoming an integral part of the school. Staff and the wider school community are proud of their school and the opportunities that it provides for children.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well engaged in learning and benefit from an extensive range of curriculum, leadership, cultural and co-curricular learning opportunities. Children’s engagement in learning is supported by an inclusive school culture underpinned by the cornerstone values of mātauranga, turangawaewae, manākitanga and whanaungatanga. These values provide a strong foundation for the holistic development of the Pomaria learner.

The majority of students make good progress over their time at the school. School achievement information shows that most learners are progressing towards the National Standards in writing, reading and numeracy. Teachers share effective teaching strategies to accelerate students’ progress and raise their levels of achievement.

Good quality information about students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy, based on standardised tests, is collated and analysed to provide a rich source of data. Initiatives have been developed to monitor the progress and achievement of individual students, specific groups, and cohorts of students.

Teachers use achievement data as a basis for planning, grouping, and supporting student learning. The school has a coordinated approach to support students with identified literacy learning needs. Students with English as second language are well catered for through effectively planned and delivered learning programmes. Student progress and achievement is celebrated and shared regularly with the trustees and whānau/parents. At the time of the review, senior leaders had yet to report to parents in writing about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. End of year student reports incorporate National Standards.

The board should strengthen its charter by including achievement targets that relate to the National Standards and are differentiated for specific groups of learners.

Forty-two percent of students are Pacific, with Samoan students forming the largest group. The progress of Pacific students is monitored closely. School achievement information shows that in reading and writing Pacific students achieve at levels that are similar to those of their peers in relation to the National Standards.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Twenty-eight percent (139 students) of the school population is Māori. Senior leaders are responsive to the aims and principles of Ka Hikitia- Managing for Success, the Ministry of Education Māori Education Strategy, and have an ongoing commitment to Māori enjoying success as Māori.

The school’s achievement information shows that in reading and writing Māori students achieve at levels that are similar to those of their peers in relation to the National Standards. Good practices that positively engage Māori learners and acknowledge their strengths and interests include:

  • instruction in te reo Māori and the use of meaningful learning contexts that reflect Māori perspectives within the whānau classes
  • whānau class learners model aspects of the use of te reo to other students in classrooms across the school
  • opportunities for student leadership and participation in sporting, music and cultural activities
  • opportunities to participate in the school kapa haka group and to lead school-wide pōwhiri
  • Māori representation on the board and regular consultation with Māori whānau.

The leadership team continue to develop staff understanding of how to realise Māori potential. Developing a curriculum that is culturally responsive to Māori students and responding to the aspirations of Māori whānau for their children will help to implement the school’s commitment to Māori enjoying success as Māori.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides educational opportunities that promote the engagement, progress and achievement of all students. Teachers have a strong focus on identifying students’ strengths and having high expectations for them to become lifelong learners.

Senior leaders have reviewed curriculum documentation and have used an effective electronic programme as a framework for implementing The New Zealand Curriculum. This framework sets clear expectations for programme planning and assessment. It allows senior leaders to monitor teaching and learning practices. Senior leaders have a collaborative and consultative approach to self review and professional development. Teachers are well supported through internal professional development initiatives.

Celebration and sharing of children’s cultures is a regular aspect of the school calendar and reinforces students’ cultural identity. Senior leaders are keen to ensure that students’ cultural strengths, interests and aspirations are reflected in classroom learning programmes.

Senior staff have initiated a research-based coaching and mentoring model of teacher development so that effective practices can be shared through professional learning groups across the school. This model will continue to grow effective teaching and learning practices across the school to improve student progress and achievement.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance through its effective self-review practices. The board, principal and senior leaders have initiated self review in strategic planning, school operations and curriculum development.

The senior management team consists of professional leaders who are reflective and who work strategically to improve learner outcomes. They share leadership responsibilities and recognise the importance of building a school community of learners. The senior leadership team is central to leading developments in the school’s learner-centred focus.

The principal has good links to professional learning groups and current educational research. Clear and well documented systems are in place for leading and managing the school.

A robust performance management system supports teacher professional learning and is linked to a school-wide mentoring and coaching model.

Senior leaders use a range of initiatives to maintain effective community partnerships, share school activities, and regularly celebrate student success with parents/whānau. Reciprocal learning relationships have been developed with local schools and early childhood centres, to support students as they enrol in and move out of the school.

The board reflects the school community and provides good strategic governance. Trustees continue to be supportive of school leaders. They resource the physical environment appropriately and fund staff professional development needs to reflect the learner-centred focus of the school.

To sustain effective governance, trustees should continue to improve their self-review practices. Trustees could review school-wide achievement targets and access opportunities for training on current educational trends and research into best practice for supporting students’ learning.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

14 December 2011

About the School

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1444

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

2

School roll

497

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

Indian

Tongan

Niuean

Fijian

African

other Pacific

other

28%

13%

17%

8%

4%

4%

3%

3%

3%

14%

3%

Review team on site

October 2011

Date of this report

14 December 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

June 2008

June 2005

February 2002

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.