Ahititi School - 26/11/2012

Education Review Report: Arotake Paerewa Ahititi School

The purpose of ERO’s reviews is to give parents and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education that schools provide and their children receive. An ERO school report answers the question “How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?” Under that overarching question ERO reports on the quality of education and learning outcomes for children and for specific groups of children including Māori students, Pacific students and students with special needs. ERO also reports on the quality of the school’s systems for sustaining and continuing improvements.

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. There is a strong sense of community with considerable support from parents and families who have been associated with the school for three and four generations.

The roll is predicted to remain stable at around 25 for the next three years. Close to 50% of students identify as Māori. Teachers and teacher aides are experienced and have close associations with the district. Newly enrolling students bring a wealth of home experiences to their learning. An active transition to school programme assists them to settle confidently in their first year.

Collective responsibility and inclusive practices are at the heart of board decision-making.

2. Learning

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

Achievement information is effectively used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Assessment for learning is an ongoing, practical process that occurs throughout the day. It involves students working collaboratively with their peers and teachers to make sure that next learning steps are meaningful and well-suited to needs. Daily assessment and reflection supports the curriculum focus on individuals learning at their own pace and having good knowledge of their progress. Assessment systems are economical and purposeful for teachers and students. Roles are clear and result in students making steady progress.

The curriculum emphasis on developing independent, self-directing learners has been in place for several terms. ERO agrees with teachers that reviewing current assessment practices to determine how effectively they contribute to students’ learning and teachers’ planning is an appropriate self review focus.

Targets for achievement are refined into specific action plans for groups or into individual education plans. Teachers use the targets as the basis for overall planning, but are mindful of the small, specific steps that are shared and developed with students to bring about improvement.

A range of assessment information, collected from different sources, contributes to teachers’ overall judgements about students’ progress and achievement. Formal assessment data is well analysed for teaching and learning. Results are shared with students and summarised with explanation for trustees. Collating and reporting overall teacher judgements to the board at mid and end of year is likely to better inform trustees about students’ ability to apply learning in various contexts. This is appropriate as a next step, given the strategic goal of developing self-managing learners.

Parents are regularly in the school, have conversations with teachers and are involved in their children’s learning. Formal reports summarise progress and achievement across the curriculum and describe social and physical development. Students are challenged and encouraged to be part of activities across the wider Taranaki province.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning. Students, parents, trustees and teachers are united in following a curriculum that motivates and develops students’ independent, self management and lifelong learning attributes.

Students are highly engaged in purposeful tasks with the objective of becoming self-directing learners. Their ability to meet this goal is increasingly evident as they progress through year groups. Students take their learning in preferred directions while reflecting on and identifying their progress with key skills. Building students’ capability to reflect on their learning rather than on the activity itself is ongoing.

Effective multi-level teaching is embedded. Instructional time spent with teachers is interactive, purposefully planned and builds on what students have achieved. Feedback to students occurs in written and oral forms and is specific to tasks. Teachers and teacher aides have good knowledge of students’ interests, experiences and diverse needs. Teacher aides work unobtrusively, following the planned programme.

The learning environment celebrates achievement, provides spaces for quiet or creative work and is resource rich. Students know the purpose for their learning and how to recognise progress. Learning steps indicators are displayed and students place themselves at appropriate levels on continuums. Teachers require students to demonstrate or provide evidence to support their self assessment decisions. The ability to transfer learning to other situations is also considered.

Students with complex needs are very well supported by teachers, a specialist teacher and trained teacher aides. Learning programmes are developed collaboratively between home and school, and are appropriate to foster students’ academic and social progress. All students participate fully in the curriculum and are very much part of the daily life of this small school and its community.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are essential tools used confidently by students, throughout the day, to access the wider world. Trustees upgraded resources and contributed to the wireless setup to ensure students are not disadvantaged by their rural locality.

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. This commitment is enacted in practical ways. Through trusteeship, consultation and community relationships, whānau actively contribute to their children’s education. Adults are knowledgeable about the history of the area and stress the importance of students having a sense of place.

The board employs a part time teacher, with local iwi connections, to teach students te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and assist them to feel confident in bicultural Aotearoa. Emphasis is on students, who are from different iwi, learning firstly about their immediate environment and then understanding who they are and where they are from. The teacher enjoys respectful relationships with students and builds their capability as confidence grows. Local cluster schools and their whānau meet twice a year at Maniaroa 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?

Students have a strong sense of ownership and pride in the school. Trustees and teachers actively encourage students to be confident to participate and to suggest improvements that will impact on their learning and that of future students. Information gathered from surveys of school leavers contributes to annual planning and setting direction for teaching and learning.

Parents’ views are regularly surveyed and considered as part of reviewing policy and practice. Several families of the 23 students are represented on the board. Trustees are knowledgeable about how the curriculum is implemented and actively support resourcing to assist students to become self-managing learners. Partnerships for learning are sound.

A robust performance appraisal system for all staff aligns to charter goals and appropriately planned professional learning. Positive results are observed in teaching and learning, and in initiatives to support students with complex needs.

Trustees are well-informed about their roles and responsibilities. The principal provides student progress and achievement information, targets for achievement are discussed and the impact of professional development is shared. Self review and reflection are an integral part trustees’ improvement focused planning.

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.

 

 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

26 November 2012

About the School

Location

Urenui

Ministry of Education profile number

2150

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

23

Gender composition

Male 12, Female 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

12

11

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

26 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

February 2007

June 2004