Te Kura Taumata o Panguru - 05/12/2014

1 Context

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

Tēnā koutou Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, arā te poari, ngā mātua, te tumuaki, ngā kaiako me ngā tamariki. He mihi nei ki a koutou e pou kaha ana kia whai ai te mātauranga mō ō koutou tamariki.

Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, located in the small northland settlement of Panguru and sited beneath the maunga Panguru Papata, caters for students from Year 1 to 13. The kura continues to be an important part of the community, which has long-standing and inter-generational connections with the school. A high percentage of whānau attend student/whānau/teacher hui. In 2012 the community celebrated the 50th year anniversary of the kura.

Pangurutanga is central to the school’s kaupapa. The community’s values remain important and have a significant spiritual influence on the life of the school. Since the 2011 ERO review the school has changed from bi-lingual education in Years 1 to 8. Now Te reo Māori is part of the daily school programme and students have frequent opportunities to use and practise te reo Māori me ōna tīkanga. Kapa haka is of a very high standard and reflects the pride, language, culture and identity of the students.

The kura roll has grown slightly since 2011 and now stands at 53 students. Ninety-eight percent of the students are Māori and two percent are of Pacific descent. The local Warawara Forest is a rich local resource for learning.

A new board was elected by the community in 2013. An acting principal has been leading the school since the beginning of 2014 while the principal is on leave. There is a new senior leadership team. The board and school leaders have faced a number of challenges due to inexperience in their roles and the nature of the work required to lead and govern the school.

Te Kura Taumata o Panguru has received significant external support in recent years to help improve teaching and learning, school operations and governance. More recently a Ministry of Education adviser has assisted the board with charter development. Senior leaders have received help with the implementation of National Standards and ways to report and use the data. Professional development has also been provided for teachers to improve their understanding of, and ways to use achievement information.

After the 2011 ERO review, a restorative justice programme was implemented to address bullying issues in the school. The programme has had positive outcomes for students, staff and the community.

2 Learning

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

The school is not yet using student achievement information effectively to make positive changes to students’ learning. The Year 1 to 10 achievement data that teachers collate is incomplete and unreliable. There are inadequate guidelines and processes to support assessment systems and practices across these year levels. Senior leaders acknowledge the urgent need to establish more effective and reliable assessment and reporting systems across the school

In contrast, National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data is more reliable and shows positive trends over the past three years. In 2013, 100 percent of students achieved Levels 1 and 2. However, students are not having the same level of success at the University Entrance Standard.

Senior students attend numerous intervention classes to prepare for NCEA. They monitor their own progress and achievement towards NCEA and many students share this information with their whānau. Senior students are well supported by the senior teacher responsible for monitoring NCEA.

Student achievement data indicate that students in Years 1 to 8 are achieving below the levels achieved by their peers in local schools, and at regional and national levels in reading, writing and mathematics. School data shows that 66 percent of students are below or well below the National Standards in writing. In 2013 students were achieving at or above National Standards in Years 1 to 3. The majority of the six Year 5 and 6 students were achieving below the National Standards.

Some primary teachers are overly reliant on test data to assess students’ learning and progress. School leaders agree that continuing to develop how teachers make overall judgements about students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards is a priority. Building this capacity should help teachers to draw on a wider range of information for assessing and monitoring student learning across the curriculum. This should enable teachers to plan more effectively for students’ learning needs.

Students are friendly and respectful. They are capable learners and are able to work independently and collaboratively. Tuakana-teina relationships are highly evident between students of different ages and year levels.

School leaders are a positive, cohesive team. They acknowledge that the important next steps to raise student achievement include:

  • developing teachers’ understanding and use of assessment information
  • encouraging students to be more involved in their own learning by providing them with good, regular information about their progress and achievement
  • developing more specific targets for student achievement, and for specific groups of students
  • strengthening formative teaching strategies so that students know the purpose of each lesson and receive useful feedback about their learning
  • differentiating lessons so that younger and older children and children with special abilities and learning needs receive programmes that are suited to their ability levels and learning potential.

All school targets for student achievement should be clearly stated. These targets should focus on helping students to achieve well, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics in Year 1 to 10.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes Māori students' strengths in their language, culture and identity. This is an important and significant feature of the school. However more work is needed to promote and support student learning overall. Te Kura Taumata o Panguru curriculum a yet to be sufficiently well clarified to provide the necessary guidance for effective teaching and learning.

Classrooms are attractive and student work is celebrated in displays. There are warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students. However, students in mixed aged and ability classes often receive the same lessons, no matter how easy or difficult these are for individual children.

The principal acknowledges the need for on-going curriculum development and support for staff so that they are able to design and implement relevant learning programmes for students. She is confident that teachers can do this. A marau-a-kura is in the developmental stage. A working group and the principal are working with an external provider to guide this development. To improve the curriculum and provide increased opportunities for students to succeed in their learning, senior leaders should:

  • with support, align the current curriculum with the principles and requirements ofThe New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • continue to consult with and involve whānau, staff, students and teachers in developing the marau-a-kura
  • clarify expectations for teaching and learning across the curriculum and at the different year levels in the school
  • implement professional development to up-skill all teachers in terms of the content knowledge required in the different learning areas, particularly in literacy, mathematics and science at Year 1 to 10
  • monitor the implementation of the curriculum through regular reviews of teacher planning, classroom observations of teaching practice and more robust teacher appraisal processes.

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

Most students are Māori. Therefore the findings of this review are applicable to the promotion of educational success for Māori, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has not demonstrated its capacity to sustain and improve its performance. A lack of systems and processes to guide school operations and decision making has weakened the capacity of governance and leadership in the school. The board and senior leaders are keen, with help, to move forward.

The board is committed to improvement and to learning more about its governance role. It is beginning to develop a strategic direction. Specific goals will help the board to formalise how it reviews school progress and effectiveness. The board’s policies have not been reviewed and some are now outdated.

The absence of constructive school planning, and board and management self review, creates risk for the school and to students’ learning and achievement. School trustees and the acting principal acknowledge the requirements and obligations they are yet to fulfil.

The inexperienced acting principal has assumed responsibility for many aspects of leadership. As a result, leadership has been reactive rather than strategic or planned. Over time, the board has relied heavily on the principal for decision-making and guidance. Aspects of board expectations have not been met.

Personnel and performance management procedures are not robust. Senior leaders are unable to identify improvements in teaching due to teacher appraisals having not been completed. Processes for managing staff performance have not been well understood or managed. Staff appraisals were not completed for teachers or non-teaching staff in 2013.

There are high levels of community engagement and good support for the board and the school. Parents and whānau are keen to contribute to the development of a strategic plan and direction that will lead to improved learning opportunities for their children. The board has recently begun to make good use of the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to seek much needed support with governance, particularly for personnel matters. This should help ensure that board processes are informed by legislation and effective governance practices are in place.

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.

ERO and the board of trustees discussed the following areas of non-compliance at the time of the review. The board must:

  • maintain an ongoing programme of self review relating to the board’s policies, plans and programmes [National Administration Guideline (NAG) 2 (b)]
  • implement policies and procedures for employment and appraisal of staff [State Sector Act 1988; s77C].

In order to improve practice, the school should:

  • strengthen the documentation of all stand downs and suspensions according to Ministry of Education procedures and ensure that there is evidence of the support put in place for students on their return to school
  • ensure that all students from Year 7 - 13 receive appropriate career education guidance and support.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to address the governance, personnel management, leadership and curriculum concerns identified in this report. ERO also recommends that the board receive on-going support from the NZSTA.

Conclusion

Te Kura Taumata o Panguru accepts the need for further support to increase the quality of its governance, management and provisions for students. Student achievement outcomes at Years 1 to 10 are below local, regional and national levels. Trustees and school leaders are motivated to urgently improve outcomes for students. They will benefit from external support to help them do so.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years. 

About the School

Location

Panguru, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

10

School type

Composite (Year 1-15)

School roll

53

Gender composition

Boys      27
Girls       26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific

52
  1

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

5 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

September 2011
June 2008
April 2007