Taihape Area School - 02/05/2018

School Context

Taihape Area School is located in Taihape and provides education for students in Years 1 - 13. Students remain in the junior school until they graduate to the senior school in Year 9. There are253students on the roll, of whom59%identify as Māori. A small number of other ethnic groups are enrolled. The school has an attached farm, used for educational purposes.

The school’s vision is “Leading Me to Lead My Learning”. Its values of manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga and wairuatanga guide school operations and practices. A calm and supportive school atmosphere is evident.

The school has an established partnership with Mōkai Pātea Services, an iwi collective who hold mana whenua for the geographical area. Mōkai Pātea have an active role in governing the school and providing support for the school’s curriculum.

Staff and the community provide considerable support for student participation in a variety of academic, sporting and cultural activities. Many senior students are positive role models, enthusiastically involved in leadership opportunities. Success is acknowledged through school celebration assemblies, the school newsletter and local media.

Over the past few years a number of positive initiatives to enhance student achievement and to address areas identified for development in the July 2014 ERO report have been introduced.

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

  • Mōkai Pātea Matauranga partnership initiatives

  • student wellbeing

  • student achievement and progress in literacy and mathematics (Years 1 – 10) and National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results

  • progress towards the school’s strategic goals.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

In 2017 almost all students achieved the NCEA Levels 1 and 2 in Years 11 and 12. Less than half achieved Level 3 NCEA and University Entrance in Year 13 that year. Māori achievement was similar to that of their non-Māori peers in NCEA in 2017.

In Years 1 to 8 most students achieved at expectations in reading and mathematics with a majority achieving in writing. Māori and male students achieve at lower levels in writing and mathematics in the junior school.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school continues to develop effective practices and processes to address the equity of outcomes for all learners.

Improvement for some students is evident over the past three years. Acceleration occurred for some students, including Māori, in 2017. There is improved achievement for Māori overtime at NCEA Levels 1 and 2.

Leaders have identified writing as a key area for raising overall student achievement in the junior school and have set targets to achieve this in 2018. In the secondary area, NCEA level 3 and University Entrance achievement are appropriately targeted.

Students with additional needs are well supported by teachers and their classmates to participate in all aspects of school life. Staff work collaboratively with parents and specialist staff to provide the support these students require.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

Culturally responsive pedagogy supports and promotes students’ learning. There is a strong, well-established partnership with the local Mōkai Pātea iwi group. The board and leaders focus on building relational trust with local iwi, hapu and marae to ensure active participation in the school and learning-based initiatives.

There is a strong focus on supporting all students to achieve, to be proud of their local community and to have confidence to contribute to the wider New Zealand society. A localised, learner-centred, connected curriculum that is responsive to students’ individual needs has been developed in partnership with whānau and students.

Learning is personalised, particularly in the senior school. This assures future pathways, both academic and vocational, are available to all students. In the junior school, the curriculum is inquiry based. It has an appropriate focus on literacy and numeracy.

The school has clear expectations for student engagement and participation based on the school values. These are visible throughout the school environment, are well known, understood and enacted by students and teachers.

Leaders work effectively and collaboratively with the school’s community to provide a positive environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes student wellbeing and success. They proactively build networks and community partnerships that extend and enrich the curriculum and increase learning opportunities. These collaborations enhance opportunities for students to become confident, connected and actively involved in their learning and potential pathways.

Trustees are well informed about initiatives and student outcomes. They are strongly focused on student engagement and wellbeing and are strategic in their approach to change and development.

Leaders have a systematic approach to self-review. They use a range of evidence to identify areas for improvement that support student learning and wellbeing. They put in place new initiatives to address the identified areas. They identify actions that have been effective and possible next steps for improvement.

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

Teachers are encouraged to be, and are increasingly reflective. They inquire into how new learning impacts on classroom practice and programmes. They should continue to develop this to better identify how change in classroom practice impacts on student outcomes. Teacher inquiries should be focused on accelerating the learning of all priority students.

Appraisal processes have been reviewed and aligned to the new Standards for the Teaching Profession. Implementation should be strengthened through the incorporation of clearer feed-back that informs next steps for development.

Leaders should consider ways they can set targets to accelerate the learning of students at risk of under achievement. A stronger focus on measuring and documenting the impact of actions and initiatives should further enhance leaders’ capability to evaluative practice and inform decision making.

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:

  • a personalised curriculum that maximises student interests and opportunities for learning

  • partnerships with local iwi, community and families that support positive outcomes for students

  • well established school values that underpin school expectations and operation.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the implementation of appraisal processes to better support growth in teacher practice

  • focusing teacher inquiry on the impact of new practices on student achievement to better understand how they are accelerating the learning of priority students

  • measuring and documenting the impact of actions and initiatives to further enhance leaders’ capability to evaluate practice and better understand their impact on student achievement.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

2 May 2018

About the school

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

549

School type

Area School (Years 1-13)

School roll

253

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Maori 59%
Pākehā 37%
Pacific 2%
Asian 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

2 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014
Education Review November 2012
Education Review September 2011