Waiouru School - 05/04/2017

Summary

Waiouru School is located adjacent to the Waiouru Army Camp in the central North Island. It caters for 112 students from Years 1 to 8. This includes 61 Māori learners and three students with Pacific heritage. Since the April 2014 ERO report, the principal, deputy principal and a core group of staff have provided continuity. There are regular changes in board membership due to Army postings.

Until the end of 2018, the school is part of a Ministry of Education Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) project, in partnership with Waiouru Kindergarten. This project focuses on enabling strong and responsive transition of younger children to and through schooling, with student-centred, innovative teaching and learning. Early progress is evident in improving achievement.

Strong support from families and the community continue to be a feature of the school. Further enhancing learner-focused partnerships with families and whānau is ongoing and includes new approaches and use of online tools.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Progress is evident in:

  • strengthened teaching and learning opportunities, particularly for students whose learning needs acceleration, including Māori students and those new to the school
  • improvements in transition to school and through school, with more responsive curriculum experiences and opportunities focused on lifelong learning
  • collaborative professional leadership and teamwork strongly contributing to personalised learning and students’ sense of belonging and pride in their cultural identity
  • sustained progress in relation to identified strengths and next steps in the 2014 ERO report.

Key next steps include continuing to:

  • coordinate and evaluate curriculum developments in relation to valued outcomes and further strengthening the moderation aspect of assessment
  • strengthen stewardship through further developing the governance framework policy review and implementation
  • develop schoolwide use of internal evaluation, to underpin improvements that advance equity and excellence in student outcomes.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has further strengthened processes to promote progress for Māori students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Personalised teaching strategies and learning support led to most targeted students making accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics in 2016. Ongoing tracking and monitoring by teachers, staff and the board underpin increased student success.

Most students achieve well in relation to the National Standards with significant numbers achieving above relevant year-level expectations. Māori students achieve as well as other groups. Girls’ progress exceeds boys in literacy and mathematics. Other valued student outcomes are being clarified so that this learning can be assessed and monitored. A very small group of Pacific students are appropriately supported to progress successfully.

Comprehensive strategies are in place to improve the achievement of boys and Māori students. Most targeted Māori learners achieve well and make very good progress to reach the relevant Standard over time. High expectations and individualised approaches contribute to improving students’ progress and achievement and promote equity and excellence for most individuals.

School assessment practices are supported by clear expectations for teacher moderation. Including external moderation with other schools and trialling new assessment tools, should further strengthen the dependability of achievement information.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Increased teacher and student collaboration assists ongoing improvement in teaching and learning. Personalised approaches to increasing students’ ownership of learning and targeted teaching is occurring. This assists students who require accelerated progress to achieve well, including individual Māori learners.

The school curriculum is increasingly student centred and led. The TLIF transition project plan is far reaching in its potential to strengthen each students’ role in leading the curriculum. Lifelong learning dispositions are actively nurtured. Students enjoy learning and set meaningful learning goals with their parents and teachers. Improved teacher planning personalises their response to children’s individual goals and interests. Students increasingly make choices in how and what they learn. Their views are sought and leadership is enhanced.

Culturally responsive practices and learning are well-embedded and remain a sustained area of good performance. The unique Waiouru setting, local heritage and links with the Army base are used to enrich learning opportunities. Students learn te reo Māori through their classroom and a school wide te ao Māori programme, and enjoy successful experiences performing at a local kapa haka festival. Increased access to digital technologies supports ongoing curriculum innovations. Students are highly engaged in learning and display a strong sense of belonging and pride in their identity.

Students new to the school, including new entrants and a significant number of new students whose families and whānau join the Waiouru Army Camp community, benefit from carefully planned approaches to their transition.

Professional leaderships is collaborative, shared and focused on empowering students to lead their learning. Strong teamwork by teachers and teacher aides is evident. Respectful and caring relationships underpin learning. Successful individualised in-school learning support and access to external agencies is evident. High expectations for all learners and inclusive practices are further enhanced by considered resourcing decisions and responsive teacher aides.

The teacher appraisal system is robust and well implemented. The school identified that strengthening the links between student outcomes, teachers’ goals and inquiries are needed. The principal’s appraisal should also be clearly aligned to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The key priority to increase schoolwide consistency in promoting equity and excellence in student outcomes should be supported by:

  • strengthening coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the curriculum and its impact in relation to the desired outcomes for learners

  • further improvement of assessment practices and moderation as planned.

Trustees are clearly focused on improving students’ learning opportunities and outcomes. Continuing to strengthen stewardship is an ongoing priority. Regular changes in trustees are well managed. Community consultation and information sharing with families and whānau inform the strategic focus on students. Accessing New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) resources and expertise should further reinforce policy review processes and the implementation of the governance framework.

The use of internal evaluation to support ongoing development and school improvement is at the early stages. Extending internal evaluation capacity across the school to determine what works well and what needs to change, is a next step.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to continue to:

  • develop and evaluate the successful implementation of a student-led curriculum

  • strengthen stewardship

  • develop internal evaluation.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 April 2017

About the school

Location

Waiouru

Ministry of Education profile number

2472

School type

Full Primary School (Years 1 - 8)

School roll

112

Gender composition

Female 57%, Male 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori 54%

Pākehā 41%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

5 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2014

Education Review, December 2010

Education Review, June 2008