Waterlea Public School - 21/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pokuru School is a decile 6 school located in a rural setting near Te Awamutu. It has a roll of 127 students in Years 1 to 6, of whom 17% identify as Māori. Achievement information collated by the school in 2010 shows that most students are progressing and achieving well in their learning. Support and enrichment programmes are in place to cater for the diverse abilities of individual and groups of students.

The school’s culture is characterised by its clear vision and its commitment to honour the past and to support the future. There are historical links with the local community. Generations of families and those families new to the school have developed a sense of pride and maintain strong connection with their school. Parent and community support and involvement continue to benefit the rich learning experiences children receive.

Teaching interactions with students are close, respectful and caring. Teachers use highly effective teaching strategies that engage students in meaningful learning. Students experience successes in their learning, and are given valuable opportunities to take responsibility and develop self-managing skills and attributes that will support them in future learning. The environment is safe and spacious. The school, with support of its board and community, provides a wide range of good quality resources to enrich teaching and learning including information and communication technologies (ICT) tools.

The principal continues to provide effective leadership for school operations. Her consultative leadership style encourages high levels of collaborative practice and team work with staff. The school is well governed by a group of committed trustees who bring a mix of experience and skills to their roles and responsibilities. School-wide self-review practices are strongly focused on improving student achievement, progress and well-being.

Future Action

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

2. Pokuru School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Pokuru School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Student achievement: The school uses a wide range of appropriate tools to gather valid and reliable information about student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. This data is analysed and interpreted to inform individual teachers, for programme design and to report to parents, trustees and the community. The information is used to set relevant targets to raise achievement for groups of learners and to develop appropriate support and extension programmes.

The 2010 mid-year mathematics achievement data shows that several students were achieving below expectations. However, these students have since made good progress and are on target to meet national standards by the end of the year. Most students are performing at or above national expectations. The spread of achievement for Māori students is similar to other groups of learners. Pokuru students continue to achieve notable recognition in local and regional sporting and academic events.

School context and self review

Since the last ERO review the students, teachers, trustees and community have worked together to develop the Pokuru School curriculum. Through its vision and values the school aims to develop students with skills, knowledge and attributes related to creativity, respect, integrity, excellence and celebration. During this time there has been a strong emphasis on reviewing the school’s curriculum guidelines and aligning these to national standards. In addition, further work has been undertaken in developing the school’s approach to inquiry learning and teaching writing.

Areas of strength

Interactions for learning: Caring and respectful relationships among all school stakeholders underpin the positive and inclusive climate for teaching and learning. Notable aspects evident across the school include:

  • good quality assessment information used in programme planning, that takes account of students’ varied learning abilities and needs;
  • teachers knowing their students and families and using this knowledge effectively to provide authentic learning experiences; and
  • a range of effective teaching and learning conversations and strategies to encourage students to problem solve, think critically, and build their confidence as capable learners and contributors.

Student engagement in learning: Students are highly engaged and experience successes in their learning. Their ideas are strongly encouraged and their contributions are greatly valued. They are motivated to learn in rich, spacious and attractive environments including classrooms and local rural surroundings. The school has a wide range of good quality resources to support teaching and learning, including information and communication technologies (ICT) tools.

Leadership and management: The principal continues to provide effective leadership for school operations. She is well regarded by all school community groups, who appreciate the regular opportunities to contribute to decision making and to take part in the life of the school. A collaborative and consultative leadership style encourages high levels of successful staff teamwork. Staff professional development and self-review practices continue to focus on student achievement, progress and well-being.

School culture: The school’s culture is characterised by its clear vision, and its commitment to honour the past and support the future. A school logo has been established that illustrates the desired values and key competencies underpinning the school’s practices for successful learning. There are historical links with the local community where generations of families, and families new to the district, have developed a sense of pride and maintained a strong connection with their school. Parent and community support and involvement continue to enrich the learning experiences that children receive.

Governance: The school is well governed by a group of committed trustees who bring a mix of experience and skills to their roles and responsibilities. They consult regularly with the community to gather views and opinions that assist their decisions about ongoing school progress and development.

Areas for development and review

Teaching as inquiry: Teachers have been reflecting on teaching and learning with a view to improving their practice.  A next step is for specific professional goals to be documented as part of further developing teaching as inquiry in the school. ERO and the school agree that continuing the focus on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies would be useful for ongoing development of teaching as inquiry as an effective approach to raising student achievement.

Māori perspective: A very recent initiative has been the employment of a te reo Māori tutor. ERO and the school agree the next step for the school is to develop an implementation plan that includes achievement expectations in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori for all students. This documentation would serve as a useful guideline for the school’s sequential approach to experiencing tikanga and learning te reo Māori.

3. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Pokuru School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and ERO also checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

4. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 December 2011

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

127

Gender composition

Girls 54%

Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 71%

New Zealand Māori 17%

Other European 5%

Pacific 2%

Indian 2%

Other 3%

Review team on site

October 2010

Date of this report

21 December 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2008

Education Review March 2005

Accountability Review September 2001

To the Parents and Community of Pokuru School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Pokuru School.

Pokuru School is a decile 6 school located in a rural setting near Te Awamutu. It has a roll of 127 students in Years 1 to 6, of whom 17% identify as Māori. Achievement information collated by the school in 2010 shows that most students are progressing and achieving well in their learning. Support and enrichment programmes are in place to cater for the diverse abilities of individual and groups of students.

The school’s culture is characterised by its clear vision and its commitment to honour the past and to support the future. There are historical links with the local community. Generations of families and those families new to the school have developed a sense of pride and maintain strong connection with their school. Parent and community support and involvement continue to benefit the rich learning experiences children receive.

Teaching interactions with students are close, respectful and caring. Teachers use highly effective teaching strategies that engage students in meaningful learning. Students experience successes in their learning, and are given valuable opportunities to take responsibility and develop self-managing skills and attributes that will support them in future learning. The environment is safe and spacious. The school, with support of its board and community, provides a wide range of good quality resources to enrich teaching and learning including information and communication technologies (ICT) tools.

The principal continues to provide effective leadership for school operations. Her consultative leadership style encourages high levels of collaborative practice and team work with staff. The school is well governed by a group of committed trustees who bring a mix of experience and skills to their roles and responsibilities. School-wide self-review practices are strongly focused on improving student achievement, progress and well-being.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz. 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region