Te Kapehu Whetu - Teina - 24/02/2016

New School Assurance Review Report

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Te Kāpehu Whetū –Teina. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the sponsor.

2 Context

Te Kāpehu Whetū –Teina is a Partnership School Kura Hourua (PSKH). Partnership Schools Kura Hourua are bound by a Partnership Contract with the Crown to deliver defined outcomes, particularly in regard to student achievement and engagement in learning. Sponsors report quarterly to the Ministry of Education. The performance of the school is also monitored by the PSKH Authorisation Board.

3 Background

Te Kāpehu Whetū –Teina is the second of two Partnership Schools Kura Hourua sponsored by the He Puna Marama Trust. This kura provides education for children in Years 1 to 6, most of whom have come from the adjoining early childhood centre. It is expected that they will progress to the Trust’s school for senior students, Te Kāpehu Whetū.

For this first year the kura has been housed in prefabs. A building programme is underway and children will start 2016 in purpose built-classrooms with generous provision for outdoor physical activity.

The kura is organised into three classrooms. There are four teachers, including the principal. There are currently 64 students on the roll and the kura is progressing towards meeting its minimum roll requirement.

4 Findings

The sponsor’s vision and direction are focused on its three central goals (pou) that guide all activities in the Trust, kia Māori, kia Mātau and kia Tū Rangatira Ai (Be Māori, Be Educated, and Be Rangatira). These pou form the basis of the kura’s curriculum, management and governance.

The kura is committed to enabling tamariki to become competent, confident and capable learners in a bicultural setting. The focus this year on establishing affirming relationships amongst students and staff, and building educationally powerful connections with whānau has had good results. Children at Te Kāpehu Whetū-Teina are enthusiastic about being at their kura. They are confident and engaged in developing the academic, personal and social skills outlined in the sponsor’s vision.

Teachers work collaboratively, and their close knowledge of the children and their whānau provides a strong platform for learning. Classroom walls are well used to celebrate learning and promote achievement. Children are very willing to talk about their work and able to explain how they could do better next time.

The kura offers a bilingual curriculum that combines TeMarautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum. At present, teachers are using a variety of assessment tools to provide relevant information for parents with regard to both Ngā Whanaketanga and National Standards. Reports to parents and whānau are based on the pou and associated values as well as providing useful information about student learning and how the learner can be supported at home.

In Years 1 to 3, the focus is on immersion learning. In Years 4 to 6, the focus is on transitioning to teaching and learning in English. Teachers are very aware of students’ variable fluency in te reo Māori. They cater for student capability through thoughtful ability grouping across year levels. Students with special learning needs are well included in all events and activities.

Building shared understanding of existing assessment tools and how to use these most effectively to promote children’s’ learning is ongoing. A good start has been made in determining children’s foundation knowledge in maths, reading and writing. The challenge for teachers is to ensure that strategies to support learners to make age-appropriate progress or better are in place.

Curriculum documentation reflects both The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga, and while this presents challenges for teachers, it reflects the stage of the kura’s journey towards its desired goal of full immersion provision. Teachers have made good progress since the beginning of the year in planning and documenting curriculum expectations. The increasing confidence of the curriculum leader in articulating how the sponsor’s vision will be reflected in a responsive, flexible curriculum is encouraging. Ongoing support and professional development for teachers as they determine how best to plan for children’s learning will be important.

Teachers are all appropriately qualified and registered. The teacher appraisal system now needs to be further developed and implemented to ensure that registered teachers are well placed to maintain their practising certificates.

Developing appropriate internal evaluation systems to determine the worth of kura initiatives and to determine future directions will be a useful step as the kura develops.

The sponsor, the pouhere and the curriculum leader have worked effectively together to build a kura where te reo Māori and tikanga lie at the heart of what is done and how it is done. Their joint commitment to building positive relationships in the community and with other agencies will benefit the children and their whānau.

Sponsor assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the sponsor and school leaders completed the EROSponsorAssurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • governance and school management
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students' 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

Children at Te Kāpehu Whetū -Teina enjoy learning in a culturally nurturing and personally enriching environment. Increasingly capable leadership and strong networks of support are in place to continue the development of the kura and its community.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

School Statistics

Location

Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

715

School type

Partnership School Kura Hourua

School roll

64

Gender composition

Boys 33

Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

100%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

24 February 2016