Tairangi School - 23/11/2017

Summary

Tairangi School in Porirua East caters for 146 Years 1 to 8 students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Two-thirds of students identify as of Pacific heritage, with most being Samoan, and one-fifth Māori. For approximately 25% of students, English is a second language.

Students are welcoming and friendly. The multi-cultural nature of the school and its community is valued and celebrated. A range of opportunities is provided for Pacific and Māori students to explore and celebrate their unique culture, language and identity. Students frequently participate in musical and cultural performances that are a positive part of whole-school activities. Sport and fitness are emphasised.

Lack of continuity of leadership and staff changes over the last twelve months have impacted negatively on sustainability and improving outcomes for learners. A new senior leadership team, including the recently appointed principal, has been in place since the start of Term 3 2017. Most of the board of trustees are new since the 2016 mid-year election.

The school is a member of the Porirua East Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako and believe the collaboration is likely to contribute to improving student outcomes within the cluster.

The July 2014 ERO report, identified the need to make greater use of student achievement information to more deeply inquire into the impact of teaching on student learning. It also indicated teachers should provide greater opportunity for student leadership of their own learning. The school is still to respond effectively to these next steps.

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

Students whose progress requires acceleration need higher levels of targeted support. Processes in place supporting learning are likely to contribute to achievement and progress for some students. Further development is necessary to achieve improved outcomes for all students.

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for learners to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

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

Targeted actions need to more effectively address the identified needs of students requiring acceleration.

The school’s 2016 achievement information indicates approximately 50% of students achieve at in relation to National Standards in writing and mathematics. A higher percentage do so in reading. Pacific students achieve more successfully than other groups. Māori students overall achieve lower than their peers, particularly in literacy. Boys achieve significantly below girls in all National Standard areas.

School data indicates some target students, including English language learners, make accelerated progress. However there has been little progress made since the previous ERO review to improve achievement overall, or reduce the disparities between ethnic or gender groups. Raising achievement is a continuing priority.

It is necessary to increase the dependability of assessment decisions. Consistently implemented moderation processes and greater understanding and use of literacy and mathematics curriculum progressions are needed to enable better teacher judgements.The school recognises the quality and consistency of National Standard judgements need to improve.

A range of assessment tools are used to consider individual and group progress. Collated results are reported to the board and include useful commentary on overall patterns and trends. Analysis needs to include focused consideration of the impact of teaching on groups such as Māori, Pacific, boys and English language learners students.

Teachers identify individual students needing to have their progress accelerated. Planning and teaching are not sufficiently developed or focused to make a genuine difference for a number of these learners.

The new leadership team has identified assessment processes and target setting need improvement. ERO’s evaluation indicates greater use should be made of data to:

  • inform the focus of teaching for individual target students and show the progress of these learners
  • inform inquiry into the effectiveness of the impact of teaching practice and interventions
  • provide reports to the board that include a focus on the progress of target students.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Some processes and practices currently in place positively contribute to improving the achievement and progress of students requiring acceleration.

Students have a positive attitude to learning and the opportunities available. Older learners are regularly involved in supporting those who are younger. Student voice is collected and valued.

Processes for supporting children with additional learning needs and those who are English language learners are being strengthened by the recently appointed Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). Teachers are supported to identify specific teaching strategies likely to meet student needs and to monitor the progress these learners make.

The new board of trustees is representative of the community and bring valued skills and experience to their role. They access support to increase their knowledge of stewardship. A work plan has been developed to guide the board in meeting its responsibilities. It includes provision for reporting of student progress to assist decision making and regular review of processes.

The board is seeking support from New Zealand School Trustees Association to review its policies and procedures to ensure they meet current legislative expectations and good practice guidelines. Identified priorities include practices related to:

  • appointment of staff and performance management
  • expectations within the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Reporting to parents includes well-attended conferences that encourage the sharing of information likely to promote student progress. The extension of links with the wider community and external agencies is promoting student wellbeing and engagement in learning.

Leadership recognises processes and practices that require further development to improve outcomes for all learners. Change management is well-considered and there is a deliberate focus on developing teacher and leadership capability. An initial focus is encouraging a culture of collaboration, support for student wellbeing, and learning focused inquiry. Teachers are building a shared understanding of teaching and learning beliefs, linked to further supporting improvement for learners.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further development of some of the school’s processes and practices is necessary to achieve improved outcomes for students.

It is timely to refresh the Tairangi School localised curriculum, vision and values in collaboration with the school community. Increasing the responsiveness to learners should include:

  • clarified expectations and guidelines for assessment, teaching and learning
  • strengthening culturally responsive practices that will support and promote learning for Māori, Pacific and other students
  • greater adaptation of curriculum in classrooms to provide effectively for English language learners
  • increased focus on accelerating literacy and mathematics progress.

The quality of teaching is variable. Improving classroom learning across the school is a priority. Areas of focus to promote achievement and progress include:

  • providing continuity of appropriate learning time committed to literacy and mathematics
  • greater use of data to inform teaching of individual students
  • strengthening student ownership of learning
  • ensuring professional learning, particularly linked to literacy and mathematics, is embedded within regular teacher practice and is contributing to improved learner outcomes.

The current teacher appraisal process includes self-reflection on evidence linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria. However it lacks key components and suitably robust implementation to enable it to effectively contribute to teacher improvement. The school is developing a new appraisal process that includes the newly developed Standards for the Teaching Profession. The revised process should also include:

  • opportunity to use data, reflect and inquire more deeply into the impact of teaching practice on student progress
  • classroom observations focused on strategies supporting target students
  • specific consideration of how well leadership roles are carried out
  • a summary document that marks the end of the annual appraisal cycle, provides affirmation and signals next steps.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to build their understanding of effective internal evaluation and use it to know which processes and practices work well and what they need to emphasise more or do differently to improve outcomes for all learners.

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.

Actions required

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should implement a programme of regular policy review to ensure current legislative expectations and good practice guidelines are appropriately reflected in school systems.

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for learners to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are:

  • improving achievement

  • use of assessment information

  • ensuring the curriculum and teaching effectively responds to the diverse needs of students, particularly those requiring their progress to be accelerated

  • implementing a robust appraisal process

  • building internal evaluation practice.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not yet well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all learners who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

23 November 2017

About the school

Location

Porirua East

Ministry of Education profile number

3029

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll

146

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 22%
Samoan 39%
Cook Island 11%
Tokelauan 8%
Pākehā 6%
Other Pacific 8%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

23 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2014
Education Review July 2011
Education Review September 2008