Te Hihi School

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1 Context

Te Hihi School, in rural Papakura, is a full primary school for children Years 1 to 8. A newly elected board began its term in June 2016. Teachers have participated in professional learning that is supporting them to develop more flexible approaches to teaching and learning. It is also helping them to extend their use of assessment information to raise children's achievement. The board continues to work with the Ministry of Education (MoE) in preparation for the construction of new classrooms designed to provide flexible teaching and learning spaces. The school is a member of the Rosehill Community of Learning along with 11 other local primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to prepare them to be global citizens, connect them with real life learning, and acknowledge the role they have as kaitiaki/stewards of the land. The values of character, kindness and courtesy have been central to the school for many years. In addition, the SHINE values of self-management, helping, inquiring, networking and excelling are promoted. The acronym SHINE links to the Māori name for the area of Te Hihi a te Ra, the ray of the sun.

The school’s achievement information shows that approximately 80 percent of children achieve the National Standards for mathematics and reading, and approximately 76 percent achieve the writing National Standards. The majority of Māori and Pacific children achieve the National Standards. It is evident that the school has been successfully and consistently improving the achievement of these groups across all National Standards, over the past four years.

Good processes are followed to support teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards. Teachers contribute to assessment moderation in their teaching teams and across the staff. Moderation is linked to the ongoing evaluation and discussion about the progress of children at risk of not achieving. Senior leaders have a key role in moderation and closely check data for any anomalies and follow these up. Senior leaders are well informed and have good knowledge of children's learning strengths, needs and interests.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • restructured classrooms into two-year hubs and developed flexible teaching approaches that support children to manage aspects of their learning and to learn collaboratively with their peers
  • reviewed and updated learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics
  • been involved in the Maori Achievement Collaborative (MAC) and Te Toi Tipu, and used these initiatives to guide their review of the school's curriculum
  • become an Enviro school to promote children's understanding of their role as kaitiaki of the land
  • introduced an inquiry learning programme based on the International Baccalaureate
  • contracted with the MoE Whānau Engagement Strategy.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds well to children who need to make accelerated progress. Children benefit from programmes and practices that are responsive to their learning strengths, needs and interests. The board, principal and teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to prioritising and responding to Māori and other children who are at risk of not achieving the National Standards. There are clear links between the school's achievement goals and the deliberate actions taken to accelerate the progress of these children. School documentation contains good evidence of children's accelerated progress.

Teachers share a collective responsibility for promoting children's learning. They regularly meet to develop and plan strategies to support children to achieve. Teachers are quick to identify the learning needs of the children in their class and implement appropriate strategies and programmes. Senior leaders and teachers closely monitor the progress of every individual child, as well as broader overall progress towards achieving the school's charter goals. Trustees are well informed about the progress towards charter goals.

Children are respected as capable learners who can make decisions about their learning. They demonstrate confidence as learners and engage well in class programmes. Teachers support children's progress by giving them useful feedback about what they are doing well and how they could improve their learning. Children have learnt to use learning progressions and exemplars well and particularly in Years 3 to 8, many are able to identify their achievement and next learning steps. These practices are helping children to have greater ownership of their own learning and progress, and contributing to motivating them to achieve.

Teachers regularly monitor and evaluate children’s progress. They use a variety of appropriate assessments to guide their overall judgements about each child's achievement. Inclusive and responsive approaches support children with special or additional learning needs. Individualised programmes are developed for children at risk of not achieving National Standards. These are tailored for each child's specific learning needs. The board funds teacher aides to support these learners within their class programmes.

Teachers provide parents with useful information about children's learning. Parents have regular opportunities to discuss their children's achievement and to work with teachers to share strategies and support learning progress. Senior leaders and teachers develop positive working relationships with the parents of learners who require additional and targeted support.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school uses good processes and practices to promote equity and excellence in children's outcomes. The school charter, learning programmes and teacher appraisals have a common focus on improving practices to ensure all children are successful learners.

The school's inclusive and welcoming culture supports children to develop a sense of self efficacy as learners. Children are valued as unique individuals and are encouraged to participate in and contribute making decisions about their learning. Children have regular opportunities to reflect on their learning and school activities. Teachers and leaders respond well to children's perspectives and ideas.

The school’s curriculum aligns well to the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Literacy and mathematics are emphasised as the foundation skills for learning. Because the curriculum is designed to integrate different learning areas, children have many opportunities to apply these skills as they undertake their individual and group inquiries. Children are benefitting from a meaningful, global and localised curriculum that is growing their understanding of the community and the environment.

Children's cultures are increasingly well acknowledged and included in class programmes. This supports children to have a greater sense of identity in their class and school. Senior leaders and teachers are integrating bicultural practices in curriculum programmes and into school life. The school charter includes strategies to guide support for building Māori children's sense of identity in the school and promoting their educational success. All children have opportunities to gain knowledge of Māori culture and language. Children confidently participate in and lead kapa haka which is a valued part of the school's curriculum and protocols.

The principal and senior leaders focus on teaching and curriculum developments to enhance learning outcomes for children. To achieve this they actively promote professional collaboration. The momentum for school development that they lead is well paced. Teachers' professional learning and collaboration is resulting in more cohesive understandings of effective teaching and assessment practices across the school. Increasingly, consistent teaching approaches are supporting children's learning confidence as they transition through the school, particularly in Years 3 to 8.

Trustees' professional approach to their stewardship responsibilities and sound processes ensure the board meets its statutory obligations. Trustees work well as a team and in sub-committees. They are keenly interested in the reports they receive about student achievement. This year the charter targets have been more explicitly focused on accelerating specific learners' progress. The board has recently begun receiving information that tracks children's accelerated progress over the past four years. This longitudinal data should help the board to more specifically plan for and evaluate this progress.

There are high levels of community engagement in school life and events. The principal and trustees seek, value and include the school community's perspectives in planning and decision-making. The board has identified extending partnerships with whānau to support their children's learning and progress, as a priority.

Internal evaluation is used well by the principal, trustees and teachers to sustain improvements and guide school development. Progress towards the charter's strategic aims and annual goals is regularly monitored and evaluated. Teachers are well supported to reflect on how effectively their teaching practices impact on children's learning. Trustees have identified that it would be useful for them to evaluate their stewardship of the school.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

School leaders and trustees support staff to engage all children in a curriculum that builds on their capabilities and accelerates the progress of those who are at risk of not achieving.

Parents' participation in and contribution to the life of the school is very evident. Enhancing partnerships with parents and whānau is seen by the school as an important way of improving children's learning and promoting their wellbeing. School leaders are well aware that partnership with parents is particularly important for the children who need to make accelerated progress in relation to the National Standards.

Senior leaders recognise that other relevant priorities for development include:

  • continuing to reduce the disparity between Māori and Pacific children's achievement and that of other groups of children
  • increasingly specific and targeted classroom planning for individual children's accelerated progress over each year
  • developing careers education for Year 7 and 8 children as required by the NZC
  • continuing to refine teacher appraisal processes.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students. 

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by December 2016. Te Hihi School belongs to Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA) that is working on this alignment on behalf of its member schools.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the board, senior leaders and teachers continue to use internal evaluation to guide the development of strategies to improve outcomes for Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 December 2016

About the school 

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1532

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

197

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Indian

Samoan

Chinese

Tongan

other Asian

other European

other

17%

66%

4%

3%

3%

1%

1%

2%

2%

1%

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

19 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

March 2010

November 2006

 

1 Context

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

Te Hihi School, located in the rural area of Karaka, Auckland provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has good community support, with strong family connections. It will be celebrating its centennial in 2014.

The school’s recently developed vision reflects the context of the school and its focus on learning, culture and relationships. Junior and senior syndicates have also been restructured to form vertical teams, so that junior and senior students are now mixed. This has brought greater sharing of teacher expertise, easier transitions between classes and more meaningful relationships between students.

The school has a settled and caring culture. Effective teacher practice focuses on student learning and wellbeing. Good leadership and high expectations for student achievement are positive features. The school environment, the size of the school and its strong values of character, kindness and courtesy attract out of zone enrolments.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners. Students are highly engaged in learning and enjoy participating in their schooling. Teachers provide a positive and nurturing environment. Students have the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of leadership opportunities. The students take on this responsibility with pride.

The school’s achievement information indicates that most students achieve National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Students identified as not achieving are involved in programmes to accelerate their progress. Teacher aides work alongside teachers so that teachers can use their expertise to support those who are underachieving. As a result significant progress has been made by these students.

Teachers cater well for special needs students and are supported by high-quality teacher aide programmes.

Students are becoming more aware of their own progress and achievement. They are developing skills to lead conferences and talk about their learning with their parents and teachers. Parents receive twice yearly reports that show how well their children are achieving in relation to the National Standards and where their learning needs to now focus.

The board of trustees receives good progress reports for each year group. Trustees also get reports on the progress of students receiving additional support. They use this information to plan and to evaluate the impact of programmes designed to improve outcomes for students. Charter targets are appropriately focused on accelerating the progress of students not meeting National Standards.

School leaders acknowledge the value of setting a teaching and learning goal for Māori in relation to the school's Māori Responsiveness Strategy. This would allow school leaders and the board to evaluate the impact of the strategy on raising Māori student achievement.

ERO and school leaders agree that future developments should include a focus on giving students more opportunities to choose what they learn and how they will learn. School leaders and teachers should work on further developing an inquiry approach to learning and teaching through more detailed analysis of student achievement information. This should help teachers to better target student learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning through a broad range of learning opportunities. There is a strong focus on writing, reading and mathematics. Good professional development helps teachers to teach the curriculum well. Students have opportunities to learn through sports, music and art. They have good access to computers in most classrooms and many bring their own computers to school. These features are important components of the school’s curriculum.

The school has recently implemented a whiriwhiri ako approach to curriculum planning. This approach means teachers work to link learning to real life experiences and to give students the chance to find out about things they are interested in. School leaders have identified the need to monitor the effectiveness of this approach as it is embedded, to ensure that it is coherent and helps students' learning.

Teachers provide good quality teaching programmes. They have high expectations for learning and let students know what they are learning and why. Students are actively involved in developing learning intentions and success criteria for the lesson. Teachers plan and share knowledge with each other and are supported by an effective professional learning and development programme.

School leaders are currently reviewing the curriculum. They have agreed to focus this review on:

  • identifying the knowledge concepts that link and underpin topics
  • the extent to which Māori tikanga is reflected in all learning areas.

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

Twenty-three percent of the students at Te Hihi School are Māori. They identify with a range of iwi. Māori students have positive attitudes to school and learning. They benefit from the respectful relationships that underpin the school culture and enjoy the leadership opportunities provided. School leaders recently held a tamariki Māori hui and a whānau Māori hui. The purpose of these hui was to provide a context where whānau could be more involved in their children's learning and to look at how to create a school environment that supports Māori to achieve success as Māori.

To increase a greater understanding of local kawa, the school is developing a relationship with iwi based at Whatapaka marae. Tangata whenua have been involved in hangi preparations, Māori language week activities, and the blessing of the native bush area located on school grounds.

The principal acknowledges the importance of integrating more Māori perspectives into the curriculum. He has undertaken to translate school values into Māori, have waiata at assemblies and to initiate a school kapa haka group. The school has considered incorporating te reo Māori into the curriculum. A planned Treaty of Waitangi course for staff and the wider community should promote a greater understanding of the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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 leadership of the school is highly effective. The leadership team has a range of skills and experience. School leaders have a clear understanding of their roles and support each other. They are reflective, professional and well informed by research about effective teaching practice. They use good self-review practices to inform decision making. School leaders acknowledge that they should now look more deeply into student achievement data.

School leaders provide clear guidelines and expectations for staff. A robust performance management system provides feedback to staff on planning, assessment and teaching practice. There are clear links between staff appraisal and school strategic goals. Appraisals now include Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners.

The board governs the school effectively and supports the principal and teachers in their work. Trustees have a clear understanding of their governance role and have a range of skills and links to the community. They are committed to promoting the best outcomes for all students.

Trustees are aware that to encourage sustainable systems and processes they should seek to widen the net for attracting new trustees. The board has agreed that it could strengthen its self review by receiving more regular reports from the principal against strategic goals and by developing systems for reviewing its own effectiveness.

The school welcomes community involvement. There is good communication with parents and a range of opportunities for parents to be involved in school activities and programmes.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. The school has attested that it complies with the Code and ERO’s findings indicate that the school’s processes for international students are sound.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

31 May 2013

About the School

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1532

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

194

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 56% Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Australian

Samoan

African

Korean

Tongan

Other

63%

23%

3%

2%

1%

1%

1%

6%

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

31 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

November 2006

March 2004