Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura - 04/09/2014

Findings

The quality of teaching and learning, curriculum, and school leadership and governance of Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura has significantly improved. The board and staff have made good use of Ministry of Education and other external support to help them make these improvements. The school is now in a good position to work towards achieving these goals.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura is a small Catholic school in Waitaruke, Northland that caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The board’s vision to hold fast to Catholic and Māori traditions remains a key feature of the school. All students are Māori. They trace their descent to the iwi of Ngāti Kahu and Ngāpuhi. The teachers and the principal are new to the school this year.

Over the last two years the school has been on an arotake paetāwhiti (longitudinal) review process.

The school has had two acting principals during this time while the principal was on sick leave. The school has continued to experience challenges in governance, management, staffing, and board membership. The Ministry of Education and other external education consultants have worked alongside trustees and staff over the past two years to support and build the school’s governance and management systems and capacity.

In the last 12 to 18 months stability on the board has been achieved and this continues to be strengthened under the leadership of the new chairperson. The strategic appointment of a new principal and teachers since the beginning of 2014 has resulted in significant improvements to teaching and learning.

The school roll decreased at the beginning of 2014, reflecting the movement of families in and out of the community. However, with greater governance and staffing stability parents and community members are showing renewed interest in the direction of the school and in their children’s learning.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • Improving the quality of teaching
  • Improving assessment and analysis of student achievement
  • Further development of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • Develop effective appraisal systems.

Progress

Improved quality of teaching

There has been significant improvement in the quality of teaching. There are high levels of student engagement and interest in learning. Teachers are planning and implementing classroom programmes which meet the learning needs of students. Teachers know students well and encourage students to understand their learning. Students experience positive interactions with their teachers and each other. Older students help and support younger students, and teachers encourage students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning. The wairua and positive tone of classrooms enhances the culture of learning at Hato Hohepa Te Kamura

Improved assessment and analysis of student achievement

Significant progress has been made in improving the assessment and analysis of student achievement information. The new principal is ensuring that current data about students’ achievement is reliable and valid. Data is collected from multiple sources. Moderation processes are helping teachers to make better judgements about students’ progress and achievement. Students generally achieve below the expectations for National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, they make good learning progress over time. Students are developing their understanding of their progress and achievement.

Ongoing development of curriculum

After wide consultation with parents and strong community support the school is moving towards developing a bilingual curriculum. This development would allow for immersion Māori programmes for Years 1 to 4 and bilingual programmes for students in Years 5 to 8. The plan is to establish a curriculum that is a good blend of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The next step for the principal and board is to develop a guiding document. This document should inform parents, give direction for school operations and outline assessment and learning programmes in both the NZC and Te Marautanga.

Improving appraisal systems

The principal and staff are developing a performance management appraisal process. It is expected that teachers’ appraisal goals will be aligned to the school’s strategic goals. The board has contracted an external provider to complete the performance and appraisal process for the principal.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Improved governance and leadership means that the school is now positioned to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance

The new principal is demonstrating strong, professional leadership by making classroom teaching and learning the priority. She has created a strong collegial environment with teaching staff, and together they developed a cohesive approach to planning and implementing programmes that meet the needs of students. She supports and empowers the board in decision making and has sound working relationships with staff, students, board members, parents and the community. The principal encourages parents to be involved in school activities and in their children’s learning. She has formed a sound working relationship with another Catholic school and has good external professional support.

The board provides effective governance and a strong sense of purpose and direction for the school. Board members are committed and enthusiastic. They are well led by a knowledgeable chairperson. Trustees have taken opportunities to train and increase their capacity and capability in governance. The board is very supportive of the principal and staff and very pleased with recent improvements in school practices and procedures. Trustees know about students’ achievement and progress and know what the principal and staff are doing to improve it.

The next steps for the board and principal are to:

  • establish self-review processes throughout governance and school operations
  • develop and implement a strategic vision and direction for the curriculum that delivers good quality bilingual and immersion programmes for students.

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

The quality of teaching and learning, curriculum, and school leadership and governance of Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura has significantly improved. The board and staff have made good use of Ministry of Education and other external support to help them make these improvements. The school is now in a good position to work towards achieving these goals.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

4 September 2014

About the School

Location

Waitaruke, Kaeo

Ministry of Education profile number

1100

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

18

Gender composition

Boys 9 Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori

18

Special Features

Roman Catholic Māori

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

4 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

December 2011
August 2008
September 2007