Rangitoto School - 16/05/2014

1 Context

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

Rangitoto School is a small rural school located 10 kilometres west of Te Kuiti in the King Country. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 8 in two classrooms. The roll of 38 includes 16 students who identify as Māori.

Since the 2011 ERO review there has only been one change in the teaching team with the appointment in 2013 of a part time teacher who shares the teaching of the senior class with the principal. Teachers have undertaken ongoing professional learning in the areas of literacy and the effective use of computer technologies. Two new trustees were elected at the 2013 board elections and a new chairperson was appointed. Trustees have undertaken extensive training to further develop their understanding of their governance roles. Both of the school’s classrooms have been refurbished and the board has funded the purchase of 16 ipads to support student learning.

Students and teachers enjoy learning and working in spacious, well-resourced and attractively presented learning environments. A special feature of the school is the expansive outdoor play areas that offer many opportunities for students to explore, experience safe physical challenge and to participate in sporting activities.

There is a strong family-like atmosphere at the school that supports students’ wellbeing and underpins the school’s positive culture for learning.

2 Learning

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

The principal and board of trustees make good use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners.

The principal has developed a very useful process that guides the collection of relevant achievement information especially in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. The information from these assessments is well analysed and reported to the board and wider community. The board uses this information to set meaningful targets in its charter focused on raising achievement. Trustees also use this information and data to inform their decision making about teacher professional learning, and to fund programmes for those students requiring additional assistance.

Two written reports to parents provide detailed information about their children’s achievement and progress in relation to the National Standards. The principal agrees that the format and timing of these reports should be reviewed to ensure greater clarity for parents. Parents do appreciate the many opportunities that they have to discuss their children’s learning with teachers at both formal interviews and through informal contact.

Teachers make good use of achievement information to group students for instruction. The principal agrees that teachers need to more effectively use this information to specifically plan the next learning steps for groups and individual students.

The school reported at the end at 2013 that a significant majority of students were achieving at or above the National Standards in writing and mathematics and similar to national results in reading. There is a need for the school to continue to develop more robust processes to ensure that teachers make accurate and reliable judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

Rangitoto School’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

Teachers place appropriate priority on the teaching of literacy and mathematics in their class programmes. Comprehensive and useful school documentation guides teachers to implement effective strategies in their teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. Priority should now be given to providing professional development for teachers to support them to effectively implement these guidelines in their class programmes.

A special feature of the school’s curriculum is the use of real life learning contexts that engage students in learning. These include frequent trips for both classes, and yearly camps for senior students. Students benefit from special arts, culture and environmental days held each term where community members and teachers share their interests and expertise with students.

Students are confident in the use of computer technologies, including the recently purchased ipads, and are using these effectively as tools for learning.

The school has identified a comprehensive set of values that were reviewed by senior students at the beginning of 2014. These values support the school’s positive learning environment. The school’s inclusive culture is strongly evident. Cultural diversity is celebrated and valued by teachers and students. The principal agrees that it would be useful to reword these values in such a way as to make them more easily understood, especially by the younger students.

The principal, teachers and parents are committed to providing an extensive range of sporting, cultural and academic competitions and events that enable students to experience success. This often involves working in partnership with neighbouring small schools. Student successes in these events are celebrated with the community in regular and informative newsletters.

Students requiring additional support benefit from targeted programmes in literacy provided by a knowledgeable teacher aide and extra support from teachers.

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

The board and principal have developed a comprehensive Māori student achievement plan that supports the school’s commitment to promoting success for Māori students as Māori.

Māori students' sense of identity and belonging is fostered at the school by:

  • the implementation of a sequential te reo Māori programme in both classes
  • regular use of waiata and opportunities to learn Māori crafts such as harakeke
  • positive interactions amongst students and teachers, including the promotion of tuakana-teina relationships, where older students support their younger peers.

The school’s Māori student achievement plan identifies a need to strengthen relationships with local iwi, Ngāti Rereahu, and the nearby marae, as well as establishing a kapahaka group to perform at the local schools’ cultural festival. Implementing these initiatives is likely to further develop Māori success at the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • the principal provides good quality professional leadership for the school and wider community
  • the board is providing sound governance for the school and has a strong focus on supporting the principal and teachers
  • teachers are committed to working in the best interests of students and their ongoing professional learning
  • the principal and board are implementing useful self-review practices that support ongoing improvement
  • there are high levels of community support for the school.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

16 May 2014

About the School

Location

near Te Kuiti

Ministry of Education profile number

1920

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

South East Asian

Other

17

16

3

2

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

16 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

June 2008

June 2005