Waihi East School

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Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Waihi East School is working very successfully with its parent and wider community to provide students with a wide range of worthwhile academic, sporting, cultural and social learning opportunities. School and board leadership provide a clear sense of direction, and oversee highly effective academic and pastoral support for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Waihi East School is a contributing primary school situated in the historic mining town of Waihi. Since the 2012 ERO review the school roll has increased significantly and an enrolment scheme was put in place in 2013. Currently there are 178 students on the roll of whom 62 affiliate to iwi throughout Aotearoa.

The principal continues to provide highly effective professional and educational leadership for the school and wider community. She is well supported by two capable deputy principals. Together, they foster high expectations for learning and a school culture that affirms and values all its students, staff, parents and whānau.

The board is well informed about student achievement and regularly gathers the views and aspirations of its community to inform its self review and planning. Trustees bring a broad range of experience and expertise, and include representation of the diverse cultures in the school community.

School leaders and trustees have responded positively to aspects of school practice requiring further development identified in the 2012 ERO report. Achievement information is well managed to support student learning and greater emphasis has been given to engaging Māori whānau.

2. Learning

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

The school makes very effective use of a wide range of achievement information and other evidence to promote positive educational outcomes for students.

The new entrant teacher works closely with early childhood providers to support and encourage children as they transition to school. She gathers relevant information about student’s interests and strengths. Early assessment of literacy and numeracy levels are shared and discussed with parents to strengthen their involvement as partners in their child’s learning. Teachers in the junior syndicate report achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards on the anniversary of each student’s starting date.

As students move through the school, achievement information from the previous year is well used by subsequent teachers to inform planning to meet diverse learning needs and establish ability groups for instruction. Students make purposeful use of their teacher’s feedback to set goals for their own progress. Teachers use evidence effectively as they work together to moderate professional judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This information is reported to parents with guidelines on how they can continue to support their child’s learning.

Teachers also prepare detailed Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for all students identified as achieving below or well below National Standards. These plans are developed with parents, reviewed at least once a term, and a make a positive difference to the learning progress of these students. In addition, these IEPs inform the tracking and reporting on the annual student achievement targets set for priority learners by school leaders and the board.

School data from the end of 2013 indicates that overall student achievement levels, including those for Māori, have improved significantly since 2012 in reading and mathematics. The proportion of students, including Māori and Pacific, achieving at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics is now comparable to national and regional averages.

School leaders make effective use of student achievement information to evaluate classroom programmes and initiatives, and plan for continual improvement. They recognise that this process could be further enhanced by making greater use of year-on-year progress data.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Active staff and parent involvement allows a broad range of student learning experiences to be provided in academic, sporting, outdoor education, cultural and social areas. Effective fund-raising enterprises allow the school to purchase additional equipment and resources, which are frequently made available for community use. In addition, students who may not be able to participate in some extra-curricular activities for financial reasons, are generously supported.

The culture of the school reinforces high expectations for student learning, respectful relationships and considerate behaviour. Staff demonstrate ongoing interest in and care for students, their parents and whānau. Pastoral care for the students, staff and families is enhanced by a local pastor who works at the school in the role of chaplain/counsellor one day a week.

ERO observed consistent levels of highly effective teaching strategies in well-resourced classrooms. Learning environments were settled and productive. Trustees fund an additional teacher to reduce overall class sizes. Good practices include teachers:

  • sharing the purpose of learning, and informing students what successful learning looks like
  • regularly checking for understanding and helping students to recognise their next learning steps
  • planning and implementing a curriculum that is responsive to students’ interests and strengths, and links their learning to real-life experiences
  • establishing effective partnerships with parents/whānau to support educational success for all students, and especially for priority learners
  • using classroom walls to celebrate student work and to provide visual prompts for ongoing learning.

School leaders promote ongoing professional learning and development for their staff. The performance management processes are robust and emphasise reflection on practice informed by regular observations of teaching practice, and the sharing of effective strategies.

Classroom teachers work effectively with their identified priority learners, while teacher aides support other student groups with independent activities. School leaders recognise that a next step is to extend the additional learning challenges and opportunities provided for their students with special abilities.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori. The involvement of whānau in support of the education of their tamariki has been strengthened and extended since the 2012 ERO review. Examples of positive developments are:

  • Māori staff members who are positive role models for students and their whānau
  • a parent roopu group that actively supports all students, including Māori, and the kapahaka group
  • links with the Hauraki Māori Trust Board, and marae visits for the older students
  • a group of Māori boys who have been part of Te Kaihautu, a local initiative to raise self esteem and confidence.

A high proportion of teachers promote the learning of te reo Māori in their classrooms. However, school leaders recognise the need for a more formal approach to teaching te reo Māori that is monitored and evaluated through school.

Māori have strong representation on the board of trustees. While te reo and tikanga Māori is increasingly evident in school documentation, trustees need to consider how school policies align with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Under the leadership of the principal and board, all sections of the school community are working together to successfully promote educational outcomes for students.

Trustees provide highly effective governance for the school and demonstrate sound management of financial and property assets. They maintain a positive and constructive working relationship with the principal. Self review at all levels of the school is thorough, based on evidence, and focused on continual improvement. The board gathers, and values, information from regular community, staff and student surveys. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and progress, and the effectiveness of school operations, through comprehensive reporting by the principal.

The school has experienced significant growth and change since the 2012 ERO report. Senior managers and staff recognise, and ERO agrees, that it is now appropriate for the school community to re-visit the vision and values statements, and how these key statements are presented in visual form.

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

Waihi East School is working very successfully with its parent and wider community to provide students with a wide range of worthwhile academic, sporting, cultural and social learning opportunities. School and board leadership provide a clear sense of direction, and oversee highly effective academic and pastoral support for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

22 October 2014

About the School

Location

Waihi

Ministry of Education profile number

2049

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

178

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other Pacific

Fijian

Other Asian

Samoan

Tongan

59%

35%

2%

1%

1%

1%

1%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

22 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

May 2009

June 2006

1. Context

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

Waihi East School is a contributing primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 6. The school currently has a roll of 133 students, 35 percent of whom are identified as Māori. There are 5 Pacific students.

Significant developments since the previous ERO review include the election of a new board of trustees, the appointment of two new deputy principals, ongoing upgrading of school property and purchase of information and communication technologies (ICT) equipment. Teachers have been involved in a number of professional learning initiatives designed to enhance their classroom practice, some of which have involved the participation of external facilitators.

The school benefits from an association with local industry. The board is funding an additional teacher in the new entrant area to keep class sizes to a minimum, and a number of teacher aides are employed to support students’ learning.

The school presents an attractive welcoming environment for students and their families. Buildings and grounds are well maintained. There is an emphasis on promoting an active partnership with parents and the local community. This is reflected in projects such as the development of school gardens.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Teachers have high expectations for student learning. Overall, students at Waihi East School are achieving well and were observed by ERO to be positively engaged with their learning.

Achievement information reported to the board at the end of 2011 indicates that a significant majority of students are achieving at and above the expected National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Students are able to talk about their learning and in many cases have a good understanding of their next learning steps.

The school has made good progress in implementing National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers are reporting to parents about student achievement in relation to the standards. Reports contain information about what students need to do to progress their learning, and are supported by detailed year books that contain extensive information about the curriculum, expectations for learning and relevant work samples. School-wide data is collated, reported to the board and is being used to set annual targets to improve achievement.

Achievement information is also used to identify and develop individual education plans for students who are not achieving at expected levels. Teacher aides are providing support for these students within classrooms.

The school recognises that there is a need to continue to refine the management and use of achievement information by introducing a wider range of assessment tools. This should assist teachers to more effectively plan classroom programmes and make overall judgements about student achievement.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school has identified that, generally, Māori students are not achieving as well as other students.

The need to raise the achievement of Māori students and affirm their cultural identity within the school is recognised as a priority in the school’s charter, annual plan and curriculum document. The school has been proactive in obtaining external advice in developing and implementing appropriate achievement targets and strategies to raise the achievement of Māori students. Teachers have been involved in professional development to enhance their appreciation of culturally responsive practices. In addition, the school currently has a focus on improving its engagement with Māori parents and whānau.

Attention should be given to ensuring that there is a greater reflection of a Māori dimension in classroom environments.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

The recently developed curriculum document clearly describes how the school is giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. There is a broad coverage of all learning areas with an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. The curriculum reflects a shared vision and values for supporting students to become successful citizens who contribute positively to our society. There are clear expectations for teachers in regard to curriculum delivery and assessment. The school recognises that there will need to be ongoing evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of this curriculum with opportunity for input from parents.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to engage students in meaningful learning. They maintain positive and affirming relationships with students contributing to a calm, settled environment for learning throughout the school. Classrooms are well-organised and attractively presented to support and stimulate learning.

Recent professional learning and development for teachers, supported by an external facilitator, has resulted in an increasing focus on making the purpose of learning clear. This focus is supporting students to reflect on and become more independent in their learning. School leaders and ERO agree that there is a need to maintain the momentum of this professional learning so that students continue to develop as self-managing learners.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain ongoing improvement and development.

An important element in ensuring this sustainability is the effective, well-informed professional and educational leadership that is being provided by the principal. She is implementing a clear direction for improving student achievement, has been proactive in obtaining high-quality external support for school initiatives and maintains positive relationships with staff, students and parents. She is well supported by two hard-working deputy principals and they work well together as a cohesive team.

Other factors that support sustainability are:

  • effective governance that is focused on school growth and improving achievement
  • teachers who are positive, enthusiastic, reflective about their practice and involved in ongoing professional learning and development
  • an increasingly planned and effective approach to self review that is informed by student achievement data
  • a highly inclusive approach to engaging with parents and whānau.

There is a strong commitment to supporting students' well-being, promoting their safety and encouraging achievement and success.

Provision for international students

Waihi East School has no international students.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Waihi East School does not have a hostel.

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
  • 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

7 May 2012

About the School

Location

Waihi

Ministry of Education profile number

2049

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

3

School roll

133

Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pakēhā

NZ Maori

Other European

Pacific

South East Asian

52%

35%

8%

4%

1%

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

7 May 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

May 2009

June 2006

June 2005