Te Kura Taumata o Panguru - 18/01/2018

Findings

The principal, board, and staff have worked collaboratively to improve student engagement and learning, and other key aspects of school performance. They continue to raise expectations for effective teaching, accelerating student progress, and providing positive outcomes for students and whānau. 

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 Taumata o Panguru is located in the small Northland settlement of Panguru, sits beneath the maunga Panguru Papata, and caters for students from Year 1 to 13. The kura is an important part of the community, which has long-standing and inter-generational connections with the school. Since 2015 the school roll has increased significantly.

The 2014 ERO report identified concerns about several aspects of the school’s performance. These included the quality of governance and management, and the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching practices. For this reason ERO decided to continue to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal evaluation process.

A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM), appointed in April 2015 by the Ministry of Education (MOE), began helping the school to address the concerns raised in the 2014 ERO report. This has led to improvements to governance, leadership and the quality of teaching and learning. The LSM support ended in June 2017.

The board, senior leaders and staff have successfully led change management across the school, including staffing changes. As a result, students are receiving more responsive and engaging learning programmes and are benefitting from settled, learning-focused classrooms.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

In May 2015, the principal and board agreed to address five broad improvement priorities through longitudinal evaluation. These priorities identified as areas for development in ERO’s 2014 review included:

  • strengthening governance capability to sustain and embed improvements
  • building leadership capacity
  • improving the quality of teaching practices, curriculum design, and implementation
  • improving school assessment systems and practices
  • establishing a process for using in-depth internal evaluation that promotes sustained and continued school improvement.

Progress

The board, together with the principal and senior leaders, have made good progress in addressing most of the improvement priorities.

Strengthening governance capability to sustain and embed improvements

Good progress has been made in building governance capability. Trustees have worked alongside the LSM to develop a more strategic approach to school improvement. The school’s strategic plan has been shared with the community which has responded positively to the new school direction. Trustees now have more clarity about, and knowledge of, their stewardship roles and responsibilities. They recognise the importance of developing good practices in inquiry and evidence-based evaluation. This is helping school leaders to better monitor progress towards the school’s strategic goals and is contributing to embedding school improvements.

Building leadership capacity

Since ERO’s 2014 review, a new school structure of junior, middle, and senior teaching teams has been established. This has provided a good opportunity for more distributed leadership across the school. The new middle leadership team plays a central role in identifying and supporting improvements for building the professionalism and collaboration of all staff. They have been well-supported by the principal to develop their leadership capability and capacity. There is now a more open, transparent leadership and teaching culture. This is enabling teachers and leaders to increasingly engage in professional learning conversations. Key improvements include:

  • increasing teachers’ understanding of assessment practices
  • using achievement information to identify shifts in student progress and achievement
  • supporting teachers to differentiate planning for, and delivery to, target students
  • promoting teaching strategies to accelerate students’ progress and achievement
  • identifying better educational connections with whānau and parents.
Improving the quality of teaching practices, curriculum design and implementation

Good efforts have been made to provide a more responsive curriculum. Curriculum leaders have developed a framework for success based on ngā tikanga o te marae that reflects the community history and values, and whānau aspirations. However, progress on this development still needs further work. The principal and middle leaders recognise that the completion of Te Marau Karanga, the school’s curriculum, is a high priority.

The newly developed graduate profile has the potential to provide clarity for teachers at every level of the school. It is a framework for learners to experience a seamless education as they begin their learning in Kura Taumata, transitioning on to Kura Tihi at Year 7, then completing their learning in Kura Paerangi, the senior school. School leaders should now identify the sources of evidence needed to measure the extent to which students are successfully achieving the school’s vision for student learning.

Leaders are building a sense of collective staff responsibility for accelerating student progress and achievement. Middle leaders are beginning to promote greater shared understandings and more collective decision-making among staff. There is an emphasis on the strategies teachers can use to accelerate student progress. Teachers are clarifying learning expectations, making links to prior learning and increasing student engagement. Students engage in more purposeful learning conversations with their teachers and peers.

Improving school assessment systems and practices

Middle leaders have developed more effective moderation systems and processes. This has strengthened the reliability of assessment information and deepened teachers’ data literacy capability. The introduction of the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) has increased the dependability of teacher judgements. Increasingly, teachers are sharing achievement data with students. This is beginning to help students have greater ownership of their learning. It is also increasing learning-centred relationships with students’ whānau.

The school’s achievement information shows the need to develop improvement plans. These plans should highlight specific targets, goals and actions to accelerate student’s progress. School leaders and teachers need to continue promoting effective teaching practices that result in accelerated learning progress and equitable outcomes for all.

Establishing a process for using in-depth internal evaluation that promotes sustained and continued school improvement

Internal evaluation is developing and is being used at the board, leadership and teaching levels. Good links are being made between professional development and teachers’ inquiries into the impact of teaching practice on student learning. A collaborative inquiry approach is providing some teachers with opportunities to reflect on and modify their practice.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. There is now a strong focus on strengthening capability in leadership and teaching. Students are being provided with relevant learning and pathways to their future career aspirations. The board continues to grow its governance capability. The chairperson’s continuing role has been beneficial and she has a strong awareness of the school’s improvement and development journey.

The principal actively promotes and participates in teacher learning and development. She is focused on building the capability of teachers to be leaders. Middle leaders are building their capability to lead and influence change, and this is contributing to a positive and cohesive staff culture.

The board and school leaders plan to continue the progress and development noted in this report. In particular, the principal and board chair have identified that priorities will include continuing to:

  • develop a coherent curriculum that is responsive to students’ interests, aspirations, and pathways that are aligned to the NZ Curriculum
  • strengthen the education leadership roles of middle leaders to address variability in teaching practice across the school
  • embed and build on effective assessment systems and practices that improve outcomes for students
  • strengthen the collective capacity of trustees and leaders to use internal evaluation to build and enhance school performance.

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.

ERO recommends that the school continue to develop good practices in inquiry and evidence-based evaluation to guide curriculum developments that support all learners.

The school agrees that more targeted planning should be developed to accelerate students' progress. This planning should include practices and processes for responding more effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning needs to be accelerated. ERO will monitor and discuss these plans and the outcomes with the board. ERO will also provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.

Conclusion

The principal, board, and staff have worked collaboratively to improve student engagement and learning, and other key aspects of school performance. They continue to raise expectations for effective teaching, accelerating student progress, and providing positive outcomes for students and whānau.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 January 2018

About the School

Location

Panguru, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

10

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

96

Gender composition

Girls 49 Boys 47

Ethnic composition

Māori

96

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

18 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2014
September 2011
June 2008