Rongotea School - 09/10/2017

Summary

Rongotea School caters for students in Years 1 to 8, in a rural area north west of Palmerston North. At the time of this ERO review, the school roll was 110. This includes 28 Māori children.

The school is an integral part of its community. Facilities are shared and children participate in significant community events. An active parent-teacher association further increases links with the local area.

There have been three changes to school leadership since the June 2014 ERO report. A new principal, appointed in January 2017, has responded appropriately to areas for development and compliance identified in ERO’s 2014 evaluation. In consultation with staff, parents and whānau, a draft localised curriculum has been developed.

Teachers have been provided with professional development to further their knowledge and use of assessment data.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

School data for 2016 showed that many children achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics and that achievement has improved significantly in these areas since 2014. The school identifies that achievement in writing, particularly for boys, requires improvement. Overall, Māori children achieve better than other learners in mathematics and writing.

Progress data for 2017 shows improving equity for groups of learners. Teachers have accelerated learning for many children.

Schoolwide targets now appropriately focus on accelerating the progress of learners whose achievement is at risk. Systems to better identify, monitor and track student’s progress have been introduced.

The newly developed Māori achievement plan sets clear expectations for building cultural competence across the school.

Strengthening internal evaluation practice and aspects of the curriculum should assist the school to further promote equity and excellence for all learners.

The school agrees to continue to:

  • embed and strengthen the new systems and practices to accelerate progress for children at risk of not achieving
  • develop existing relationships with parents to promote learning partnerships
  • focus on developing student ownership and self-assessment of learning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is developing its ability to effectively respond to Māori and other children whose achievement needs acceleration.

Leaders are appropriately focused on improving the use of systems and practices to accelerate the progress of all children. Schoolwide data is well analysed to establish trends and patterns. The board provides extra support for children with additional learning needs. Learner’s individual progress is effectively shared with parents and whānau.

The school’s 2016 data showed that Māori achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is similar to or better than their peers. This pattern is consistent over the last three years.

Trustees and the principal are focused on further developing teachers’ capability to accelerate learning for all children. Further developing moderation processes in reading, writing and mathematics should support teachers to make more consistent, valid and reliable judgements in relation to National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The vision, mission statement and the motto underpin the curriculum and are integral to children’s schooling experience. The school has strong relationships with parents and the community. The newly developed, localised curriculum and Māori Achievement Plan provide sound platforms for strengthening learning partnerships with parents and whānau Māori.

Clear guidelines for teaching and learning contribute to expectations for teaching practice. Teaching as inquiry is well understood and is part of a more rigorous appraisal process to promote teacher learning and improvement. Professional development is clearly linked to schoolwide goals. This is supporting ongoing improvement in the use of assessment data, identification of learners at risk of underachievement and processes to monitor their progress and achievement.

Throughout the school, teachers are increasingly supporting children to know their learning needs and assess their progress. This enhances their ability to lead their own learning. Digital technologies are integrated into the programme in the senior school, further supporting student engagement.

There is an inclusive and welcoming school culture. Children’s and parents’ aspirations are sought and responded to through a range of strategies. This contributes positively to children’s wellbeing and learning.

Trustees bring useful skills and knowledge to their governance roles and support ongoing school developments. The board receives regular achievement data and information about school activities. Trustees are clearly focused on how well children are learning and achieving.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has continued to develop processes to promote the achievement of equity and excellence.

Leaders agree with ERO that next steps for development are to continue to:

  • implement the Māori achievement plan
  • embed tracking and monitoring systems and processes
  • develop learning partnerships with families to better support the progress of identified learners
  • increase student ownership and self-assessment of learning
  • strengthen internal evaluation, to better measure the impact of the curriculum on children’s learning and to inform next steps.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to monitor targeted planning, improved teaching and learners’ progress
  • strengthen internal evaluation
  • implement the Māori achievement plan.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

9 October 2017

About the school

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2438

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

110

Gender composition

Female 55%, Male 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%
Pākehā 74%
Other ethnic groups 1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

9 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2014
Education Review, June 2011
Education Review, July 2007