Cannons Creek School - 02/11/2017

Findings

The school has strengthened a range of processes and procedures to support schoolwide improvement since the 2014 ERO review. Teachers have improved programmes and opportunities for students to experience success and achievement. Further development is required in curriculum, appraisal, internal evaluation and planning to support students whose achievement needs acceleration.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Cannons Creek School caters for Years 1 to 6 students in Porirua East. Of its 170 students, most are of Pacific heritage and 42% identify as Māori. The three main Pacific groups represented are Samoan, Cook Islands Māori and Tokelauan.

A Ministry of Education (MoE) senior adviser and Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner have provided support and guidance over the past two years. The board has received training and support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

Teachers have participated in MoE professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy, digital technology and teacher inquiry. A new approach to mathematics teaching was introduced in 2017. PLD in the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme began in 2014. Behaviours, strategies and beliefs in this programme have been reinforced through the school’s CARE values and engagement strategies.

The school continues to build stronger links with the community. They are involved in the Porirua East Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako which has recently had its achievement challenges endorsed by the Ministry of Education.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The September 2014 ERO review identified a number of key areas for ongoing development. These were to improve:

  • trustees' understanding of their stewardship roles and legislative responsibilities
  • an inclusive curriculum and responsive teaching practices, particularly in literacy and numeracy
  • opportunities for Māori learners success as Māori
  • assessment, planning and evaluation processes to better inform teaching
  • appraisal processes
  • consultation and learning partnerships with parents, whānau, aiga and fanau
  • evaluation, inquiry and review to inform and drive improvement across the school.

Progress

Trustees and the principal have worked together with the assistance of NZSTA to develop a useful governance framework. This provides trustees with clear expectations about their roles and responsibilities and procedures for effective governance.

The school’s curriculum overview includes clearly stated values and strategic aims. It is well-aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Useful guidelines for good quality teaching and a graduate profile for students at the end of Year 6 are included. The principal has identified that further development of the school’s curriculum framework is needed. ERO’s evaluation affirms this direction.

Teachers use a range of planned strategies and activities to promote students’ engagement and learning in literacy and mathematics. Students respond well to these approaches. Many work collaboratively and can talk about their learning strategies.

A strong focus on promoting Māori success as Māori and valuing students’ identity, language and culture is evident. Māori students’ leadership is promoted through kapa haka and pōwhiri, which are beginning to be integrated into important events. A useful Māori education action plan outlines priorities for development. Whānau have been consulted and their feedback has contributed to the goals and actions. A next step is for leaders to define planned outcomes for Māori students to enable evidence-based evaluation of these initiatives.

Leaders and teachers have improved their knowledge and use of assessment to better inform their teaching. They have been involved in PLD to support improved moderation and strengthen assessment practices. Next steps are to establish agreed expectations for the collation, analysis and reporting of student achievement data. This information should focus on the National Standards and the accelerated progress of priority students.

Since the September 2014 ERO report, rates of overall achievement in relation to the National Standards have increased slightly. At the end of 2016, approximately half were achieving at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Over time there has been higher achievement for Māori and Pacific students. Disparity exists between boys and girls in reading and writing.

In 2017, the mid-year school data shows that approximately half of the priority students have made accelerated progress. While teachers have increased their focus on tracking individual students learning and progress, a coherent schoolwide approach is required. Leaders and trustees need to develop clear understanding about the meaning of accelerated progress and the effectiveness of programmes. They should ensure all:

  • priority learners are included in annual achievement targets
  • targets focus on acceleration for priority students
  • priority students' progress is regularly tracked and reported.

Trustees and leaders have a clear focus on valuing and building stronger learning partnerships with the community. A range of sporting, cultural and learning events are placing greater emphasis on community involvement.

The appraisal guidelines and processes have been recently updated and strengthened. However practices need further development to better support teachers’ professional practice. These developments should include:

  • more explicit measurable appraisal goals that are aligned to the school’s strategic priorities
  • evidence that meets the expectations for all Standards for the Teaching Profession annually
  • the integration of the cultural competencies for teachers of Māori and Pacific students
  • an annual evaluative summary of teachers’ achievements, strengths, feedback and areas for development
  • PLD on appraisal for leaders so they can effectively manage the process.

Teachers have recently developed a useful process for inquiry into their practice which is linked to improving outcomes for small numbers of targeted students in their class.

Decisions about resourcing and development priorities should be informed by data and a shared understanding of internal evaluation. Implementing regular evaluation of programmes and initiatives from classroom to strategic level, should build collective capacity to use evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has made considerable progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO review. It is now in a position to embed new initiatives and continue to improve its performance.

Key Next Steps are for leaders and teachers to:

  • improve understanding and use of internal evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of teaching programmes, initiatives and strategies
  • continue developing the curriculum and associated programmes to better cater for students’ diverse needs
  • improve systems and processes for analysing and reporting schoolwide student achievement
  • strengthen the appraisal process to better support teacher improvement.

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

The school has strengthened a range of processes and procedures to support schoolwide improvement since the 2014 ERO review. Teachers have improved programmes and opportunities for students to experience success and achievement. Further development is required in curriculum, appraisal, internal evaluation and planning to support students whose achievement needs acceleration.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

2 November 2017

About the School

Location

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

2818

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

170

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific groups
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

42%
49%
2%
7%

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

2 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2014
February 2009
March 2005