Tasman School

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School Context

Tasman school is a full-primary, rural school with 109 students.

The school’s vision is for students to be happy, successful individuals and active contributors to the community. Its valued outcomes are for students to be caring, creative and active. The vision is underpinned by the whakatauki ‘Kia tipu ai ēnei kākano hei rākau nui - From tender seedlings will mighty trees grow’.

To support these outcomes, some of the school’s current strategic goals are to:

  • develop students’ sense of responsibility

  • enable e-learning

  • raise student achievement in literacy and numeracy, particularly for those students who have not achieved expected levels

  • deepen the focus on ‘Thinking’ learning

  • use local expertise to further enhance students’ learning opportunities.

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

  • student progress and achievement

  • progress towards meeting student achievement goals

  • classroom programmes and school events.

Since the 2014 ERO review, the school has had significant changes in staffing (a new first-time principal and deputy principal, and some new teachers), and some changes to the board. The roll has grown steadily to five classes.

The school is a member of the Motueka Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning and a member of the Moutere Hills Cluster of schools.

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 effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

The end of 2017 school data shows 97% of students achieved at or above expectations in reading, 91% in writing and 96% in mathematics. The trend over recent years shows continuing very high levels of achievement in all three learning areas, with writing slightly lower than reading and mathematics.

The learning environment is focused on self-managing learners in ways that promote equitable opportunities for all children to achieve success across all learning areas.

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

The school has effectively accelerated the progress of those students who need it.

Children with additional needs are identified early. Their particular needs are analysed and specific strategies and actions are implemented to meet their needs. The progress of these children is closely tracked and monitored.

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 school processes and practices are effectively enabling equity and excellence and acceleration of learning. The good quality performance noted in the 2014 ERO report has been sustained and further built on.

Teachers know the students and their families well. There are supportive, caring relationships at all levels. Students say the school culture is welcoming, respectful and inclusive. Those students ERO spoke with said they feel safe, that teachers make learning fun, and that students look after each other.

Teachers have created an environment and culture that supports students to learn. They provide a curriculum that engages students through their interests, needs and abilities. Students’ opinions and ideas are valued, and their choices of topics for study and the way they wish to learn are incorporated into the programmes. Students appreciate how teachers listen to them, reflect on and adapt programmes to meet their learning needs and interests. Students with additional learning needs are well provided for by skilled teachers and teacher aides.

The key competencies are well known and integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Teachers have high expectations for students to be self-managing and independent learners, taking responsibility for their learning. Students know about their achievement and are active in identifying their goals and next learning steps with teacher support.

Children benefit from a variety of rich learning experiences across a broad curriculum. These include good use of local places, expertise, resources and opportunities to enhance students’ engagement and learning, such as in skiing, music, drama and art. Students have a growing appreciation of, and value their bicultural heritage. Years 7 and 8 students have interesting opportunities to build their leadership skills and extend their learning.

Strong parent and community support helps provide students with extra learning activities beyond the school.

The school is well led by strong professional leaders. Teachers work collaboratively. Their strengths and experience are used to grow others’ teaching practice. A robust appraisal system supports ongoing improvement in teaching practice and positive outcomes for students. Relevant and specific professional development is accessed to support this.

Trustees bring a range of experience and skills to the board. They are well informed about progress made towards the strategic goals throughout the year. The board’s priority is on sustaining and improving student achievement. It has made funding decisions to enable equitable learning opportunities for all students. The board acknowledges the importance of community support, and regularly consults with the community and with students about many aspects of school life.

Recommendations from the 2014 ERO review have either been successfully addressed or are work in progress. Redeveloped reports to parents are informative. They show student progress and levels of achievement, social competencies, students’ next learning steps, and how parents can help at home. Students also contribute their own ideas to these reports about how well they have achieved.

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

The school has identified and ERO agrees that the next steps are to:

  • extend and develop other important aspects of internal evaluation

  • review and refine the charter and strategic plan so that it reflects the key priorities and future direction of the school.

ERO also found that it is now timely for the board, principal and teachers to redevelop curriculum guidelines to better reflect the school’s current expectations for teaching and learning.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were no international students. From time to time the school hosts short-stay students.

The school has reviewed its policies and procedures to be assured they are in line with the new Code.

Areas for improved compliance practice

Whilst the Board of Trustees effectively verify applicants’ indentities, to improve current practice, trustees should ensure this process of identification is included in the appointments procedure.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • good quality teaching practice that has led to sustained very high achievement levels

  • strong professional leadership and a useful appraisal process that supports ongoing improvement

  • a rich, broad, localised curriculum that enhances students’ engagement and learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • extending and strengthening internal evaluation

  • the review of the school’s charter and strategic plan

  • redeveloping the curriculum guidelines to show the current expectations for teaching and learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

8 August 2018

About the school

Location

Upper Moutere, Tasman

Ministry of Education profile number

3228

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

109

Gender composition

Boys: 50%

Girls: 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%

Pākehā 91%

Other ethnicities 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

8 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s

Education Review: December 2014

Education Review: November 2011

Education Review: December 2008

Findings

Tasman School provides an inclusive an environment for student learning and wellbeing. Teachers have developed approaches that promote student-led learning. Achievement information is effectively used to guide teaching and learning, and to evaluate progress and achievement levels. Leadership from the board and principal is informed and effective. Parents are valued and the school successfully operates as a community school.

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?

Tasman School is a small rural school that is well supported by its community. Respectful and caring relationships between students, their teachers and with parents are strengths of the inclusive culture.

The school has close links with other local schools through active and effective professional learning for teachers.

The school has a substantial history. It is well resourced and maintained, and facilities are extensively shared with the local community.

2 Learning

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

Teachers gather and effectively use achievement information to identify students’ individual learning needs, and to plan appropriate programmes for groups and individuals. Students who need learning support and more able students receive high-quality support within class programmes and through specialist teaching. Achievement information is regularly shared with students. Parents are well informed at interviews and in written reports. Students spoken with by ERO said teachers clearly explain their achievement levels and how well their learning is progressing.

The principal analyses and reports to the board high-quality school-wide achievement information that show levels of achievement and progress over time. Trustees demonstrate good levels of understanding of the data. This enables them to resource programmes and initiatives that actively engage students in learning and help to lift achievement levels.

Teachers’ strong focus on improving learning and teaching is resulting in increased levels of achievement. They are aware that some students are still achieving below expectations in reading and writing. Board targets have been developed to address these areas. Mid-year data reported to the board in 2014 shows that there has been considerable progress in lifting achievement levels in reading.

Written reports to students and their parents could be improved by including students' next learning steps with specific suggestions about how parents can help at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum successfully focuses on the attitudes, values and learning strategies that support students to become independent learners. Students set goals with their teachers and parents to help them lead and monitor their own learning. Teachers work closely with each student to provide them with specific feedback that meets their individual needs.

Students’ learning approaches are well supported through a range of suggestions that are well displayed in classrooms. These prompts and teacher feedback help students to identify their next learning steps. Teachers actively seek student opinions about their learning, classroom programmes, and the progress they are making. Students spoken with by ERO were very able to explain the approaches that help them to learn and how their learning is progressing.

Teachers provide students with a good range of learning opportunities within and beyond the school. Programmes make good use of the local environment, community contexts and local experts. There is strong focus on the visual and performing arts. The board has supported considerable development of e-learning to support students as 21st century learners.

Teachers use their professional learning to develop shared understandings about school-wide approaches that best help learning and teaching. They use current research to support their thinking and practice. School-wide programmes are enhanced by using the individual strengths of teachers. High-quality practices are further supported by regular collaborative professional learning with leaders and teachers in other local schools.

The principal and teachers have identified the next steps in curriculum development are to:

  • embed good practice in writing and evaluate the outcomes through further analysis of student achievement information
  • continue to improve teachers’ shared understanding of how inquiry strategies can further enhance student learning.

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

To enhance support for Māori students to achieve as Māori the school has taken steps to:

  • help teachers develop a shared understanding about cultural perspectives that support Māori students to succeed as Māori
  • develop strong respectful relationships with whānau
  • increase the use of te reo Māori in classrooms through teacher professional development.

The next step for the board is to develop a vision and goals to guide ongoing support for Māori students to succeed 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.

Trustees bring a good range of understanding and skills that help them to be effective school governors. The board has a well-developed strategic plan with appropriate goals to guide the future direction of the school. Trustees confirmed that the principal provides them with detailed and well analysed achievement information, and reports on progress against the strategic goals. They work collaboratively with the principal and staff to achieve the best outcomes for student learning and wellbeing.

The principal provides strong curriculum leadership and effectively uses teacher strengths to improve learning and teaching. Her support of teachers to work with the local cluster of schools substantially enhances professional learning and consistency of practice within and between schools.

Self review and reflective practices are effectively used to make improvements that benefit students. Achievement information is consistently used to guide review. Teachers are supported through well-planned and implemented appraisal processes that focus on individual reflection, evaluation and improvement.

The board, principal and teachers have developed helpful working partnerships with parents that benefit students’ learning and wellbeing. Annual forums give parents opportunity to contribute to the school's strategic direction, and to the school’s curriculum. Parents contribute financially to school developments through a charitable trust.

The board and ERO have identified the following next steps to sustain and improve the board’s performance. These are:

  • further developing annual planning to identify key priorities for the principal to report on and evaluate in more depth
  • extending the recording of the process and outcomes from review, and monitoring changes made to determine their effectiveness
  • reviewing and further developing the school’s strategic direction for e-learning and modern learning environments.

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

Tasman School provides an inclusive an environment for student learning and wellbeing. Teachers have developed approaches that promote student-led learning. Achievement information is effectively used to guide teaching and learning, and to evaluate progress and achievement levels. Leadership from the board and principal is informed and effective. Parents are valued and the school successfully operates as a community school.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

22 December 2014

About the School

Location

Upper Moutere, Tasman

Ministry of Education profile number

3228

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

76

Gender composition

Girls 39

Boys 37

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

58

8

10

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

22 December 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

December 2008

March 2006