Waikanae School - 18/10/2014

Findings

Students enthusiastically involve themselves in the wide range of learning experiences available. They generally achieve well in literacy and mathematics. Those identified as being at risk in their learning are effectively supported. Greater use of achievement information to reflect on student progress should further improve outcomes.

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

1 Context

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

Waikanae School is a large Years 1 to 8 school on the Kapiti Coast. Māori students make up 13% of a roll that includes many ethnicities. Strong community connections result from many families having a long relationship with the school and a generally stable and experienced staff.

Students are confident and respectful. A wide variety of opportunities is provided to develop their talents and interests. The positive school culture contributes to students and their families having a sense of belonging.

Since the September 2011 ERO report, there has been an increased focus on responding effectively to students at risk of not achieving. Self review has also developed to enable greater critical consideration of changes necessary for the continued improvement of programmes and practices.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is increasingly used to make positive changes to students’ engagement and achievement.

A comprehensive range of assessment tools indicates achievement and progress across the school. Assessment information is appropriately used by teachers to identify and respond to student needs. Detailed collation and commentary identifies significant patterns and trends in data and assists to identify students requiring additional support.

An increasingly focused schoolwide response to students most at risk successfully supports their learning needs. A number of these students make accelerated progress and an increasing proportion of students reach expected levels of achievement as they move through the school.

Teachers' judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards are carefully considered. In 2013, most students were identified as working at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve at a similar level to their peers. To further assist consideration of how well teaching practices are improving students’ learning, analysis should focus more on the progress of individuals and groups.

Comprehensive reporting to parents allows them to be actively involved in their children’s learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum effectively supports and promotes student learning.

Providing a broad curriculum is a priority. Literacy and numeracy learning are emphasised. Experience-based and meaningful contexts are a regular feature. Teachers use their interests and strengths in the implementation of programmes. Community resources are regularly used. Ongoing development of the science curriculum has contributed positively to learning experiences for students.

Programmes successfully respond to the needs of students with special needs. The culture of care includes a focus on peers supporting each other. Close relationships are established with parents.

The small number of Pacific students includes some from backgrounds with English as a second language. All Pacific students are included in priority learner target groups. Individual and small group support is provided. Pacific cultures are strongly reflected in some programmes.

ERO’s classroom observations indicated a range of deliberate teacher strategies that effectively promote the focus on learning. Students are enthusiastic and engaged learners. They work together positively in a range of learning activities. Relationships with adults are warm and affirming.

Students’ cultural backgrounds are evident within the curriculum. Students have many opportunities to increase their understanding of te ao Māori. Information and communication technologies are well resourced and an integral part of programmes. Classroom physical environments celebrate student learning.

A positive and friendly tone contributes to a safe and inclusive environment. Many activities are successfully led by students. Review of the effectiveness of support for student wellbeing includes consideration of student and parent views.

The school has identified that further documenting shared expectations for teaching, learning and assessment practices would assist ongoing review of curriculum effectiveness.

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

Māori students are well supported to be successful as Māori.

Māori language, culture and identity are valued and respected. Teachers display a willingness to continue to build the extent of integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into teaching and learning.

Whānau are positively involved in many aspects of school life. Meaningful partnerships with iwi and whānau are promoted by:

  • connection with local iwi through visits to Whakarongotai Marae
  • students sharing their kapa haka success by performing for whānau and the community at local events
  • the Whānau Support Group providing leadership in some activities.

Best practice guidelines for accelerating Māori success and developing cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners have been considered by teachers. Further unpacking of these should continue to strengthen the extent that the curriculum reflects the language, culture and identity of Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Self review is:

  • focused on improving teaching and learning practice and outcomes for students
  • based on information from a range of sources
  • guiding future planning.

A next step is to further develop self-review processes to evaluate the impact of programmes on student achievement.

A cohesive approach to improvement includes aligning the “points of focus” (annual planning, appraisal, professional learning and development) to increase outcomes, particularly for those students whose achievement is lower than expected.

The charter provides clear strategic direction through its identified goals. It is appropriately focused on raising student achievement. Reporting to the board includes data and analysis related to National Standards, as well as a range of assessment tools.

The board’s annual targets include accelerating the learning of students whose achievement is below National Standards. Setting fewer targets should allow greater focus on making genuine progress with key achievement priorities. Basing the principal’s reports to the board around the annual plan should further assist the board’s ongoing review of progress.

Professional learning supports the increased emphasis on using data to inform teaching and indicate progress, particularly for students below expectation.

Teachers continue to build a shared understanding of evidence-based inquiry into their practice. They successfully reflect on the various aspects of the approach via blogs and as part of professional discussions. The current focus on teachers inquiring into the impact of their teaching should continue to be embedded.

The principal’s appraisal suitably supports the development of his leadership and improved teaching and learning. The school has identified and ERO agrees that teacher appraisal should continue to be developed to ensure it includes the Registered Teacher Criteria and is consistently robust.

A collaborative approach focused on improvement is evident among teachers. Leadership is shared and effectively carried out. The senior leadership team works positively together and enthusiastically leads initiatives. Change is sensitively managed.

The principal's professional leadership includes positive interaction with the school community and strong involvement in local principal networks. In association with the board, the principal ensures that teaching and learning are well resourced.

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

Students enthusiastically involve themselves in the wide range of learning experiences available. They generally achieve well in literacy and mathematics. Those identified as being at risk in their learning are effectively supported. Greater use of achievement information to reflect on student progress should further improve outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

18 October 2014

About the School

Location

Waikanae

Ministry of Education profile number

3056

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

427

Gender composition

Male 56%

Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

13%

71%

4%

12%

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

18 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2011

December 2008

February 2006