Takapuna School - 05/12/2017

School Context

Takapuna School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school is culturally diverse, with over 45 nationalities, including small groups of Māori and Pacific children. An enrolment zone assists the school to manage significant roll growth.

Founded in 1879, the school has strong intergenerational connections and significant links with the Takapuna community. The school values its history, heritage, and reputation in the area.

The whakataukī, mā te pā ka taea te whakatipu te tamaiti (it takes a village to raise a child), underpins the vision of ‘a community of connected lifelong learners, proud to be different and proud to make a difference’. Responsibility, integrity, innovation, excellence, care and respect are encouraged, modelled and explored as aspects of everyday life. These values are well understood by children, teachers and the community.

The school’s charter and strategic plan identify a vision for learners and goals to promote children’s learning. Detailed actions to reach achievement targets are also included.

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

  • progress and achievement against school and national targets

  • improvements, trends and patterns over time

  • information about children who are making accelerated progress and children with additional learning needs

  • programmes that support children’s identity, culture and language

  • wellbeing and engagement.

Since the 2013 ERO evaluation the school has reviewed its organisational structures and opened a new collaborative learning block. The charter and curriculum delivery plans have been reviewed. Leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning including a focus on accelerating children’s progress.

Takapuna School is a member of the Pupuke (Westlake) Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

Takapuna School is very effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for children. Achievement information over the last three years indicates that most children achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers have increased parity for Māori learners in writing. The achievement of Pacific learners continues to improve. Boys’ reading and writing achievement has significantly lifted. By the time children complete Year 6 most achieve well in reading and writing, and nearly all achieve in mathematics.

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

The school responds very well to those Māori and other students whose learning needs accelerating. Effective strategic planning, clear school-wide targets and a coherent plan guide practices to raise achievement. Well-researched acceleration initiatives are successfully reducing identified disparities.

Over the past three years, the school has successfully accelerated the progress of many Māori children. Features which have supported this progress include:

  • a strategic focus on bicultural practices, promoted by the board and school leaders

  • setting specific Māori achievement targets

  • a Māori curriculum team that has developed action plans for accelerating progress

  • the introduction of ‘learner profiles’ that recognise and celebrate Māori children’s language, and identity as Māori.

Many children with Pacific heritage have also made accelerated progress over the past three years. Building upon the success of learner profiles for Māori children, leaders and teachers now plan to extend this initiative for Pacific learners. Implementation of the school’s plan to raise achievement has resulted in the accelerated progress in boys’ literacy.

A well-embedded action plan guides the early identification of children who are at risk of not achieving. Teachers are well resourced to provide differentiated teaching programmes that meet these children’s learning needs. They use ‘three tiers’ of support to quickly respond to children needing learning support. Robust monitoring processes help leaders to maintain a vigilant ‘line of sight’ for scrutinising children’s progress and achievement.

Children with additional learning needs and children who speak languages other than English are well supported to make progress and achieve.

Highly collaborative teachers continue to use professional learning and inquiry to inform their teaching programmes. They work with parents/whānau to support children’s learning. Deliberate strategies for accelerating learning are impacting positively on the progress of all children.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

School leadership is highly effective in promoting equitable and excellent outcomes for learners. The board and leaders follow a strategic approach to building teacher capability and effective professional practice. They foster a well-embedded culture of continuous improvement.

Leaders maintain coherent systems for effective planning, coordination and evaluation of the school’s curriculum and teaching practices. They ensure that highly supportive and inclusive learning environments benefit the learning and wellbeing of children and adults.

The curriculum provides children with rich, authentic learning opportunities. Children are highly engaged and have respectful, collaborative learning relationships with teachers and their peers. The curriculum emphasises digital learning technologies and equipping children with self-managing learning strategies.

There are numerous opportunities for teachers to take leadership roles in the school. This distributed leadership is building the collective capacity of the school. Collaborative inquiry processes and relevant, challenging opportunities for professional learning are supporting the realisation of the school’s vision, values and goals. At all levels of the school, evidence of children’s progress and learning is used as a catalyst for professional dialogue and improvement.

The school’s whakataukī encourages school practices that welcome and involve parents as respected and valued partners in their children’s learning. Parent and community participation enrich the curriculum. Parents and teachers work closely together to identify learning needs, set goals and implement responsive strategies that help accelerate students’ learning.

Thoughtful, caring and inclusive transition practices are a feature of the school. Transitions from early learning centres, through the school and on to intermediate school are based on individual need. These good practices could be shared within the CoL.

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

The school’s strong evaluation practices guide ongoing development and the setting of relevant goals, targets and actions to support equitable and excellent achievement.

The school has planned relevant development priorities. These include continuing to:

  • build distributed leadership to support sustainability

  • focus on accelerated learning and the achievement of equitable outcomes for all children

  • strengthen and embed culturally responsive practices to support children’s learning.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 15 international students attending the school.

The school continues to provide well for international students, ensuring that their wellbeing and learning needs are met. International students are highly involved in the life of the school. They feel supported and cared for by their teachers and are achieving well. The school now plans to regularly report to the board about the progress and achievement of international students as a group.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that collaboratively develops and enacts the school’s vision, values and priorities for equity and excellence

  • the board’s clear strategic direction that establishes relevant and challenging goals for children’s achievement

  • highly collaborative teaching practices that support effective programmes for accelerating children’s learning progress

  • leaders’ and teachers’ commitment to using innovation, research and inquiry in their own practice, to inform teaching and learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are to continue to:

  • grow and develop collaborative teaching practices and distributed leadership as the school responds to roll growth

  • strengthen teachers’ capacity to deliver effective te reo Māori programmes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

5 December 2017

About the school

Location

Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1525

School type

Contributing (Years 1 – 6)

School roll

487

Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Korean
Indian
Filipino
Pacific
other Asian
Middle Eastern
Latin American
other European
other

9%
35%
18%
6%
5%
4%
4%
3%
3%
2%
7%
4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October2017

Date of this report

5 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2013
September 2010
November 2007