Taoroa School - 02/03/2015

1. Context

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

Taoroa School is a small school located in a rural setting in the Taihape district.

At the time of the 2012 ERO review, the predicted roll was 4 students. Due to rapid roll growth across all levels, the school now has a roll of 32 students. A majority of students identify as Māori and there are strong whānau links between families.

Since the previous review, a new principal has been appointed. There have been changes to the board of trustees in the last round of elections. This year’s roll growth has resulted in the appointment of a second classroom teacher. The board and principal have been working alongside a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function practitioner to develop and implement a change and improvement plan.

2. Learning

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

The school uses achievement data effectively to indentify and respond to the needs of all students. The principal and teachers analyse, track and monitor students' achievement and progress over time. Most students achieve at or above National Standards expectations in reading and writing. Mathematics continues to be a focus for improving students’ progress. Moderating teachers’ judgements of achievement levels in reading and mathematics should continue to be strengthened.

Students with specific learning needs are identified, and appropriate interventions to support and accelerate progress are implemented. The school accesses on-line resources to support students who are achieving above expected levels in specific learning areas.

Transitions into and beyond the school are well managed. All new students’ learning needs are assessed in a timely manner. Senior students access careers and vocational pathways programmes.

Parents receive clear information about students’ progress against the National Standards expectations. There is a considered approach to ensuring parents understand how their child is progressing.

Teachers should strengthen how they inquire into their teaching practice. This should deepen their understanding of how programmes and interventions impact on student achievement outcomes and accelerate progress.

3. Curriculum

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

The Taoroa School curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. There are clear guidelines for curriculum delivery and assessment procedures. As the roll grows, and staff numbers increase, expectations of effective practice should be consolidated.

Students’ wellbeing has a strong focus. This is supported through deliberate and considered programmes, such as ‘Breakfast in Schools’. External agencies supplement the school’s interventions. Partnerships with families and whānau are valued. An after school homework club was set up as a result of parents seeking guidance to support learning at home. Parents and whānau are actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of the school. They provide voluntary support within and beyond the classroom.

Teaching programmes are relevant to identified needs of students across all learning areas. Contexts of study relate to issues and themes in the wider community. The school has a continued focus on developing student inquiry learning. Strengthening this should allow for increased students’ voice and self-directed learning.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Maori. Many students who identify as Māori achieve at or above the National Standards expectations. Te ao Māori is valued and enhanced through increased opportunities for students to express cultural identity, such as kapa haka and pōwhiri protocols. Consultation with parents and whānau is undertaken in informal settings, centred on school events. The school continues to look at ways of engaging with all parents and whānau. The principal has a clear focus on strengthening conversations with parents and whānau about learning and accelerating student progress and achievement.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees are well informed about developments within the school. Decision-making processes are well considered and relate to addressing emerging needs. Principal’s reports to the board provide them with useful information about student achievement. Trustees make informed decisions about resourcing classroom programmes to meet individual needs.

In response to rapid roll growth, it is timely for the school to develop and strengthen self review practices. This should allow for the board to gain insights into the impact of the decisions made to accommodate the roll growth. The focus of development and review should continue to be on:

  • accelerating student progress and achievement
  • teaching as inquiry
  • student inquiry learning
  • planning for staffing, property and finances.

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.

Conclusion

Taoroa is a rural school with significant roll growth in 2014. Most students identify as Māori. They make good progress in relation to National Standards in reading and writing. Their cultural identity is well supported by the curriculum. Continuing to develop some teaching and learning, and selfreview practices should further enhance student progress and achievement.

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

Joyce Gebbie National Manager Review Services Central Region

2 March 2015

About the School

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

2463

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

32

Gender composition

Female 16, Male 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

28

2

2

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

2 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2012

September 2008

June 2005