Kaeo School

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School Context

Kaeo School in Northland caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school continues to be well maintained and attractively presented. The roll is growing and currently there are 151 children attending, most of whom are Māori.

The school’s mission, which sits at the heart of all school operations, is ‘to aim high, stand tall – taraia nga taumata, e tu teitei’. The vision is that children will become confident and self-motivated learners who understand themselves, relate positively to others and contribute to making society a better place. This vision is underpinned by the school values of learn, love, contribute and grow.

Current strategic goals focus on attendance, engagement and achievement. The board sees these goals as the foundation for supporting children to develop the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary to embrace life’s challenges.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, spelling, information literacy, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and te reo Māori

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • wellbeing for success and enjoyment of learning

  • the Strategy for Māori Achievement

  • data about the progress and development of learners who have attended the school for six years.

Since the 2015 ERO review, the board has appointed a new deputy principal. Teachers have participated in professional learning in science, visual arts and the ‘Incredible Years Programme’.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

School achievement information over the last three years shows that most children achieve at expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading and writing, and the majority in mathematics. Over time, the school has successfully reduced in-school disparity for boys in reading and writing. Children with additional learning needs are identified early and their progress carefully monitored by staff.

Teachers collate longitudinal data about the progress of children who have been at school for six years. The data show that learning and achievement for this cohort of children has significantly improved over time.

Children achieve very well in relation to other valued student outcomes. Most children:

  • enjoy their learning
  • demonstrate confidence and pride in themselves as learners
  • can talk about and demonstrate the four school values in their everyday school life
  • show kindness and value tuakana/teina relationships with other students
  • have a strong sense of place and belonging.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is effectively accelerating the progress and lifting the achievement of those Māori and other students who require this.

The board’s strategic plan has a clear focus on improvement. The school’s Strategy for Māori Achievement sets goals for creating greater equity and achieving better wellbeing/hauora outcomes for Māori learners.

Teachers quickly and carefully identify children’s learning needs and closely monitor their progress. They build on children’s strengths and interests and set clear targets for learners to make accelerated progress. Teachers also work closely with parents to develop strategies that they can use at home to consolidate and enhance children’s learning progress. As a result, there is good evidence to show that Māori and other learners are making accelerated progress over time.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The board actively represents and serves the school and community in its stewardship role. They are dedicated to student wellbeing, learning, achievement and progress. Trustees make well thought through resourcing decisions that help the school achieve valued outcomes for all learners. The board is managing the present roll growth strategically and well.

The principal, teachers and trustees have a deep commitment to supporting the wellbeing of students and whānau. The strongly child-centred school culture and school values are well endorsed by the school community. This provides a positive foundation for children’s learning.

There is a strong emphasis on building positive relationships with families, whānau and the community. Deep and intergenerational relationships throughout the school contribute to staff knowing children and their families very well. Good communication strategies help to ensure that parents and whānau are well informed about their children’s learning. Teachers help parents with strategies to support learning at home. Parents commented to ERO that they appreciated the school’s effective processes for transitioning children to local schools.

The school’s well documented and responsive curriculum supports learners to achieve across the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum. The school values and cultural concepts of pumanawatanga, whanaungatanga, rangitiratanga, manaakitanga and kotahitanga are well enacted. Children have good opportunities to learn collaboratively, and participate in caring and inclusive learning communities. They have varied and interesting learning opportunities both within and outside of the school.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The principal, teachers and the board have identified that the school’s priorities for achieving equity and acceleration include leadership development, growing students’ critical thinking skills and ownership of their learning, and aligning aspects of teacher appraisal with Education Council requirements.

Developing leadership opportunities is a strategic focus to support the principal and board in ensuring improvement goals are met. Plans are already underway to build and make greater use of teachers’ internal expertise and leadership capability.

Teachers are beginning to explore innovative teaching and learning strategies that extend students’ critical thinking and problem solving. As part of this inquiry, they are engaging in New Zealand and overseas research to design their school process. Students will then have opportunities to participate in group-based learning activities where they draw on each other’s strengths to solve problems.

Students access an engaging curriculum where they participate in a variety of learning experiences. The principal acknowledges that growing and increasing students’ ownership of their learning is a next step.

The school’s performance management process is personalised and supports teacher development. The principal agrees that the evidence teachers collect needs to be more closely aligned to the Education Council’s Standards.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • stewardship practices that deliberately focus on improving outcomes for all learners

  • leadership that fosters equitable outcomes and nurtures a strong focus on promoting students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging

  • a curriculum that supports the needs of learners and provides a broad range of learning opportunities

  • learning-centred relationships with parents, whānau and community that positively impact on student outcomes.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, key next steps are to:

  • grow leadership opportunities to enhance internal expertise and support for the school’s vision and strategic goals

  • further develop opportunities to grow and increase students’ ownership of their learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 August 2018

About the school

Location

Kaeo, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1019

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

151

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 80%
Pākehā 20%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

2 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review April 2012
Education Review January 2009

Findings

Kaeo School provides a caring, inclusive environment for students. Students make good progress and achieve well overall. Partnerships with parents and whānau support students’ learning. The board and principal set high standards for teaching, learning and student outcomes. The community supports the school’s vision and is proud of its achievements.

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?

Kaeo School is a small rural primary school for Years 1 to 6 students. School facilities and grounds are well maintained and attractively presented. The majority of students are Māori, mostly of Ngāpuhi descent. The school has historic significance in the Northland township of Kaeo, and is situated adjacent to the local secondary school, Whangaroa College.

The school has enjoyed strong community support and steady roll growth in recent years. There are now six full time teachers. The principal of nine years and the capable board of trustees work collaboratively and make ongoing improvements that benefit students and staff. Trustees value the team of dedicated teachers and teacher aides. They have successfully appointed two new teachers for 2015.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Teaching and learning is well supported and classrooms are inclusive of students with different abilities and talents. The board resource programmes generously for learners who have additional needs. The school’s values, together with teachers’ clear expectations and routines, support students’ learning progress and wellbeing.

Students are confident learners and report that their school is caring and safe. They feel happy being at school and enjoy positive relationships with their teachers and with one another. They enjoy physical activities, especially the swimming pool and the playgrounds, and benefit from the range of leadership opportunities that are available to them.

2 Learning

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

Students make good progress in their learning and achieve very well overall. Collated and analysed achievement information presented to the board of trustees shows that students are achieving at and above expected levels. Ministry of Education public data indicates that student achievement is above that of schools in the region and schools of a similar type.

Māori students comprise over eighty percent of the roll. Māori student achievement is reported by the principal to the board. The overall patterns and trends in the data are very positive. Most Māori students who remain at the school throughout their primary school years achieve above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers make good use of achievement information to plan classroom programmes. They share progress information with students and their families. They track and monitor student achievement using a range of different assessment strategies. The school has a strong emphasis on standardised assessment and the school-wide results from classroom testing are regularly reported to the board.

Teachers are becoming more familiar with using achievement information to evaluate their teaching practice. This inquiry approach is helping teachers to identify strategies that are effective in accelerating the progress of students who are below expected levels. The board fund learning assistance programmes generously. However, teachers should continue to explore possibilities for using targeted in-class learning support.

The principal should now consider reducing the quantity of assessment information presented to trustees and focus more closely on the quality of student achievement targets in relation to the National Standards. This approach would sharpen the board’s self-review practices and support teachers in their overall judgements in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is comprehensive and well planned. Students benefit from the focus on wellbeing and physical activity. Reading and writing are daily priorities that support learning across the curriculum. Learning expectations for information and communication technology (ICT) and te reo Māori are also documented for planning and assessment.

Much of the curriculum is based around a student-inquiry approach to learning. Students develop thinking skills and contribute to plans that make learning interesting and relevant. Students receive regular feedback on their progress and set goals for improvement. Classroom teachers share learning expectations with students and are continuing to individualise learning programmes.

School facilities support the curriculum well. The library, playgrounds, and upgraded swimming pool are examples of the board’s commitment to long-term property improvement. The school is well maintained. Classrooms are in very good condition and all have computer networking access. Teaching resources and the staff work room have also benefitted from recent modernisation.

The board funds a teacher aide to operate a preschool group. Parents and their children attend the programme one morning a week and engage in planned literacy, numeracy and creative activities. The programme allows four year olds to visit the new entrant class, become familiar with the school, and helps them to transition successfully into school.

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

Māori students achieve considerable educational success. The majority are achieving at and above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are proud of the school and of their success. They are confident in their identity as Māori and benefit from the school-wide emphasis placed on te reo and tikanga Māori. Partnership with whānau is seen as the key to promoting positive learning outcomes.

The board has a plan for Māori success based on academic research and Māori values. The principal reports on the plan and shares Māori student achievement with the community. Trustees should continue to consult whānau and staff about promoting success for Māori, as Māori.

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.

The principal provides committed and consistent leadership to staff, trustees and the school’s community. Teachers and teacher aides work collegially and their work is valued. The community is proud of the school’s achievements, its facilities and appearance. Parents and whānau support the school though their participation in family events and student report meetings. School productions and art exhibitions are well attended highlights for the local community.

Teachers have opportunities for professional learning and development. The principal prioritises engagement in long-term initiatives, such as the mathematics project, to embed effective change in teacher practice. Teacher appraisal is well considered and is aligned to school development and professional goal setting. Teachers are reflective and are increasingly developing evidence-based practices.

A comprehensive vision and strategic plan underpins the work of the board. Annual goals and targets are planned and prioritised and form a framework for reporting and self review. However, to improve practice and build capability, the principal should make better use of the National Standards to rationalise target setting and reporting for school trustees.

The principal carries responsibility for all school-wide management, including curriculum and professional development, student achievement, planning and reporting, finance and personnel management. The board could now review the current delegation of management responsibilities to strengthen school-wide leadership capability and sustainability.

The board is keenly interested in supporting school development. Trustees agree that the rationalisation of school policies, and development of long-term working plans, would benefit the work of the board and build sustainability for governance.

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

Kaeo School provides a caring, inclusive environment for students. Students make good progress and achieve well overall. Partnerships with parents and whānau support students’ learning. The board and principal set high standards for teaching, learning and student outcomes. The community supports the school’s vision and is proud of its achievements.

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

Dale Bailey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

About the School

Location

Kaeo, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1019

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

120

Gender composition

Girls       54%
Boys      46%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other

82%
16%
 2%

Special Features

Two students funded through Ongoing Resourcing Schemes
Pre-school programme one morning each week for four year olds

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2012
January 2009
May 2006