Ahititi School - 17/09/2015

Findings

Ahititi is a well led, small sole-charge rural school in North Taranaki. A strong whānau atmosphere is evident in the way students interact and work well together. Students with high needs are well supported. Trustees are reviewing policies and procedures for consistency and evaluating their impact on raising student achievement.

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?

Ahititi School is situated in a rural setting in North Taranaki. Of the 20 students, 13 identify as Māori and there is a high proportion of students identified with high needs. The eleven boys and nine girls range across the year groups from Year 2 to Year 8.

Since the November 2012 ERO report, the roll has decreased and the school has returned to sole charge. The board and principal have strategically prepared for this. They have effectively managed the transition and sustained good quality learning opportunities for students.

The school has a good ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

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

The teachers gather a range of appropriate student achievement information. These data are used to inform teaching and learning. The board uses this information to make appropriate resourcing decisions.

The school has strategies in place to improve the National Standards for literacy. In particular the principal and board intend to investigate ways to improve boys' success in literacy. Students achieved well in mathematics.

The small school size enables the principal to have a sound knowledge of each student’s achievement level and next steps. Students are becoming increasingly able to reflect on their learning. This is supported by prompts and exemplars on the classroom walls. The principal should support students to understand and use strategies to further empower them as independent and self-aware learners.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The move from two teachers to sole charge has been strategically and effectively managed to enable each child to learn at their own level. The curriculum is focused on independent learning.

There is a clear vision that has been collaboratively developed and shared. The focus for all is on student wellbeing and success. There is high trust between adults and students.

The curriculum design is responsive to students’ interests and needs. They increasingly lead their learning to improve their skills, attitudes and competencies. Educational experiences reflect the local context and provide meaningful learning opportunities across the curriculum.

Some learning areas, such as science, technology and careers for Year 7 and 8 students, are covered incidentally. The next step is to formally monitor and evaluate effectiveness to inform curriculum review and to determine how well the students are learning to learn.

The principal appropriately manages a class of students with a wide range of ages, stages and diverse needs. The way the school recognises and responds to the needs of students with varying abilities and needs, is strength. Considerable use is made of the range of support services and very capable teacher aides to meet individual needs.

The children in Years 1 to 3 begin the day working as a group to build foundation literacy and numeracy skills. This facilitates a smooth transition into the senior classroom and enables the teacher to identify strengths and specific learning needs. They understand the routines and respect the high expectations.

Senior students develop independent skills and are expected to organise and complete given tasks in a set timeframe. They access appropriate resources, work together and seek help when required. Students are learning to use information that helps them understand and work on their next steps.

Students are well engaged, enjoy school, feel successful and interact well. They participate in an orderly, industrious, harmonious environment.

Most past students respond to an annual survey. They believe they have been very well prepared for secondary school.

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

The school’s curriculum framework expresses a commitment to Māori students succeeding as Māori. Trustees and teachers value te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and provide a strong place-based curriculum. Most children identify as Māori and in many cases whānau actively contribute to their children’s education.

Local cluster schools and their whānau meet biannually at marae. Students have opportunities to participate in pōwhiri and adults continue to learn alongside families across the wider district.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees are participating in ongoing professional development to enable the school to sustain and improve its performance. The board is well organised and has established a clear vision and expectations. The strategic and annual plans are well considered. The board should consider refining future charter targets by seeking accelerated progress for students at risk of under achieving.

There is strong support for the principal, who has a clear sense of purpose and provides sound leadership. Trustees are well informed about student achievement. The next step, at principal and board level, is to review the self-review procedures to provide more evaluative information on the effectiveness of key aspects of school practices in raising achievement.

An extensive review of policies and procedures was undertaken because the board recognised they were not always consistent with practice. The board should review the appraisal policy and procedures to document how requirements for endorsing teachers' practising certificates are met.

There is a strong community-school relationship. Whānau are regularly consulted and school activities are well reported.

The board has an appropriate focus on health and safety and student wellbeing.

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

Ahititi is a well led, small sole-charge rural school in North Taranaki. A strong whānau atmosphere is evident in the way students interact and work well together. Students with high needs are well supported. Trustees are reviewing policies and procedures for consistency and evaluating their impact on raising student achievement.

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

About the School

Location

Urenui

Ministry of Education profile number

2150

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

20

Gender composition

Boys 11, Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

13
  7

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

17 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012
December 2009
February 2007