Te Kura o Te Teko - 17/05/2016

Findings

Te Kura o Te Teko has responded well to areas identified for review and development in the last report. Student progress and achievement are the central focus for trustees, leaders and teachers.  Improved classroom practice means student achievement is likely to improve. Sustained improvement at leadership/board level require ongoing support.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Te Kura o Te Teko is a full primary school located in the small provincial town of Te Teko. It caters for 124 children of whom most whakapapa to Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki. The school has both auraki (English medium) and rūmaki (Māori medium) classes, which allow parents a choice as to the preferred language of instruction for their children. The school is well supported by its community. Parents, whānau, trustees and staff have strong connections with the school, either as past pupils, or through whakapapa.

This ERO verification visit occurred approximately 2 ½ years after the publication of the previous ERO report in May 2013. The 2013 report signalled seven areas where improvement was required and the beginning of a longitudinal review process for the school. This 2016 report outlines progress and next steps in relation to those seven areas and recommends a future action for the school and the Education Review Office.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school has continued to strengthen programmes for children. There is an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics in the English medium (Auraki) section of the school and on te reo matatini and pāngarau in the te reo Māori (Rūmaki) section of the school. There are also many opportunities for students to experience success in sporting, taha wairua and cultural activities, with a particular strength in the performing arts. The school curriculum has an emphasis on students becoming well-rounded citizens.

A good quality curriculum document was developed near the end of 2014. It is being used by leaders and teachers to guide the ongoing development of programmes, systems and processes within the school. It articulates a clear vision for the school and promotes students’ identity as Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki. The document contains a graduate profile which was developed in consultation with parents, whānau and the wider school community.

Teachers are beginning to discuss an important addition to the curriculum document, which will outline expectations for teachers when designing learning programmes for students, particularly in the areas of pāngarau and te reo matatini, mathematics and literacy.

Next Steps

The school curriculum now needs to include documented expectations for teachers about unit design, programme and lesson design, and best teaching strategies, particularly in the areas of mathematics, pāngarau, te reo matatini and literacy.

Develop more effective teaching strategies across the school.

School-wide and syndicate-wide systems and processes have been strengthened. For example, a newly instituted planning check clarifies expectations for teachers. Teachers appreciate the greater clarity and the feedback and support being given by syndicate leaders. A school-wide data collation system now ensures that teachers have student achievement data easily available from the beginning of the year. This means instructional programmes can begin immediately and respond more quickly to students’ identified needs.

Unit planning and daily planning now clearly respond to student needs based on student assessments and numeracy and literacy progressions that are related to The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Mārautanga o Aotearoa. There has been an increase in the relevance and variety of independent learning activities for students not working directly with the teacher.

There are examples of high quality reflection and evaluation by teachers, which have led to improved programmes for students.

Teachers appreciate a greater level of professional discussion in an open atmosphere of sharing and collaborative problem-solving that is now evident in the school.

Teachers have begun to strengthen the ways in which they empower students to take responsibility for their own learning. Learning intentions are clearly visible and well-articulated. Students are able to talk about their achievement levels and are setting academic and social goals.

A new school-wide system for praise and reward promotes high expectations in a range of important areas that relate to academic work, behaviour and the school values. This system is contributing to the high levels of student engagement and enthusiasm that are now evident in the school.

Next Steps

Teachers now need to:

  • develop an effective system for giving feedback and feed forward to students that is closely tied to learning progressions in mathematics and literacy, pāngarau and te reo matatini
  • make student goals more specific and time bound. This is likely to increase their effectiveness as a learning tool
  • more effectively target those students achieving below expected levels in their teaching programmes.

Develop school-wide systems for planning, assessment, reporting and behaviour management.

School-wide expectations for teacher planning have been established via a collaborative process. Teachers appreciate the support and feedback being given by senior leaders in this area. The school-wide behaviour management system has been revamped and strengthened. There are now a number of useful resources available for teachers, which assist them to promote positive behaviour and social problem solving amongst their students. There is a coherent and consistent range of consequences for poor choices.

An assessment schedule has been put in place, which ensures that a good range of national and diagnostic testing is undertaken in a timely manner. There are examples of good anecdotal record keeping by teachers, which strengthen the robustness of overall teacher judgements about student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Reo Māori. Moderation of these judgements has taken place and there is an expectation that this will be regular and ongoing. The board receives regular reports on student progress and achievement. They use this information to make resourcing decisions.

Reports to parents and whānau about their children’s progress and achievement have been reviewed.

Next Steps

School leaders need to strengthen strategic planning to ensure that the strategic plan is a useful planning tool and provides a sound foundation for self-review. A particular focus should be on developing more innovative ways to accelerate the progress of students at risk of not achieving positive outcomes. The plan should include a focus on new interventions and also on continuing to raise the quality of teacher practice through a commitment to ongoing school or syndicate wide professional development.

Strengthen professional leadership and more effective working relationships between the board and principal.

Most leadership issues have now been resolved and the principal is developing an effective senior leadership team who are capable of leading the ongoing improvement of teaching and learning programmes. The leadership team is now developing and modelling high expectations for teachers.

The relationship between the board and principal is supportive. Trustees now understand their role as governors of the school. They understand the need to take the lead in ensuring that school governance is effective and contributes to positive outcomes for students.

There is an appropriate focus on student progress in all areas of the school curriculum.

Professional leadership is being supported by a robust external appraisal system that has been established and implemented for the principal.

Next Steps

There is a need to:

  • continue to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the leadership team beginning with a review of their job descriptions, and including an evaluation of their strengths and development needs within the specific context of this school
  • establish and implement a robust external appraisal process for senior leaders as a team
  • strategize for succession planning
  • continue to build relational trust amongst teachers and staff and a culture of open sharing and problem-solving that leads to continuous improvement.

Develop a robust performance management/appraisal structure across the school.

A process for teacher appraisal has been established and implemented following a consultative process. Teachers understand the value of the new system for improving their practice.

A robust process for the appraisal of the principal has been established and implemented and the board now understands its importance in supporting him in his role. The principal acknowledges the value of an effective appraisal process as he continues to improve his performance.

Next Step

The new system for teacher appraisal is still being trialled. It will be important to review and strengthen it once it has been embedded in school practice.

Develop systems to identify areas of on-compliance identified in the 2013 ERO report.

There are robust health and safety policies and procedures in place which are regularly reviewed and updated. There is an effective system in place for the identification of potential hazards to student and staff safety and an effective system for ensuring any issues are addressed in a timely manner.

A robust policy and system for the police vetting of all staff and volunteers has been developed and implemented.

Staff who are teaching Year 7 and 8 students are aware of their responsibility to offer a high quality careers education/ara umanga programme for their students. They have been provided with a resource which supports them to do this and have begun gathering more of their own.

Undertake a self-review process which demonstrates an understanding of quality self-review.

The principal in collaboration with staff reviewed and redeveloped the school-wide behaviour management system. Aspects of quality self-review included:

  • involving students and the wider community, particularly through aligning the new system with the school’s vision and mission
  • including teachers and other staff in the redevelopment
  • allocation of appropriate time, money and resources to ensure the redevelopment was of sufficient quality and able to be embedded in practice.

Next Step

It is important that the school continues to use lessons learnt undertaking this review to undertake further self-review in the future. It would be beneficial for school leaders to undertake professional development about an effective self-review process, as outlined, for example, in ERO resources such as ‘Effective School Evaluation: How to do and use internal evaluation for improvement’ that ensure that the outcomes of self-review are of a high quality and result in sustained improvement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The board of trustees and school staff have made good progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in the May 2013 ERO report. The quality of teacher practice has improved significantly and there are now a range of useful processes, systems and documents that guide and support teacher practice. These processes and systems reflect the aspirations of the community, enhance students’ identity as Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki and are clearly linked to The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The board has worked hard to ensure that school operations are guided by an up to date policy framework and that compliance issues in the May 2013 ERO report have been properly addressed. Trustees have an effective working relationship with the principal and senior leaders are in a stronger position to lead and manage ongoing school improvement.

There is a clear focus on student progress in all areas with an appropriate emphasis on te reo matatini, pāngarau, literacy and mathematics.

While not currently reflected in student achievement results, once embedded, all of these developments are highly likely to lead to improved achievement and progress for students in the medium and long term.

The ability of the school to sustain improvements and continue to make progress remains fragile. Many of the improvements made have not yet been fully embedded and have not yet been reflected in an overall improvement in student achievement. Senior leaders’ ability to continue to sustain and improve performance will be dependent on ongoing robust, external appraisal, professional development and the continued assistance of a supportive board. Continuity at the board level will be essential so that improvements already made can be embedded.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

That the Ministry of Education and ERO continue to monitor progress and developments linked to the next steps outlined in this report. The progress report will be due six months from the time this report is confirmed.

Conclusion

Te Kura o Te Teko has responded well to areas identified for review and development in the last report. Student progress and achievement are the central focus for trustees, leaders and teachers. Improved classroom practice means student achievement is likely to improve. Sustained improvement at leadership/board level require ongoing support.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

17 May 2016

About the School

Location

Te Teko, Eastern Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

2023

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

145

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Other

99%

1%

Special Features

The school operates both Auraki (English medium) and RūmaKI (Māori medium) classes

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

17 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

May 2013

February 2010

April 2006