East Taieri School - 19/06/2014

Findings

Students experience a broad and rich range of learning experiences. ERO observed examples of high quality teaching across the school. Teachers make effective use of local expertise and the community to enrich learning for their students. Students have multiple opportunities for leadership. The school is very well managed and governed.

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?

East Taieri School is situated in Mosgiel and provides education for students in Years 0 to 6. The students learn and play in spacious and mature grounds that promote physical challenge and imaginative play.

The school values are strongly evident in practice and promote a ‘positive and calm vibe’ across the school. Students are caring and respectful of each other and of adults.

Students benefit from an inclusive and supportive culture where their abilities and interests are valued. The board and teachers are highly committed to meeting the individual needs of all students. Students feel their views and opinions are responded to and lead to improvement.

The experienced principal and syndicate deans are leading and managing the school well. The well-established syndicate teams contribute to the collegial atmosphere that exists amongst staff. Teachers willingly share ideas with each other for the benefit of all students.

Parents have high expectations of the school and high aspirations for their children. There is extensive community interest and support for the school. The school has close links with the neighbouring preschool, with students often visiting to share their learning.

The school has systematically addressed the recommendations in the 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to support students’ learning. Students are knowledgeable about their own learning and what they need to do next. They understand and accept that their peers learn at different rates and in different ways. Students have multiple opportunities to peer and self assess their own learning. Students appreciate the variety of approaches teachers use to help them learn. The well-trained and skilful teacher aides play a vital part in supporting students’ progress and achievement and creating the ‘vibe for learning’.

Teachers analyse achievement information to confirm strengths, identify students who need extension or support, and set goals for the next steps in students’ learning. This analysis confirms that most students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is implementing programmes to address the slightly lower levels of achievement in writing. Teachers also use the information to inform their decisions about the effectiveness of their programmes and teaching.

School leaders and teachers closely monitor targeted groups of students, for example at syndicate meetings, and work together to identify what needs to happen next. Students benefit from the cohesion within syndicates and across syndicates, as students move through the school. The school system for electronic data management has been skilfully tailored to assist teachers and better meet school needs for tracking and reporting on individuals and groups of students. The quality of student achievement information ensures that interventions to support or extend learning are based on achievement data, teacher observations and judgements.

Trustees receive comprehensive reports about student achievement. These reports help trustees affirm the focus on student achievement and make decisions about how they can support teachers in designing programmes to meet the needs of all students. In reporting student achievement, further consideration could be given as to how progress or ‘added value’ might be shown. Reports could include information about students’ attitudes towards school and learning, engagement in learning and demonstrating school values.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience a broad and rich range of learning experiences. They have choice in what they learn in and out of the classroom. Many of their learning experiences are delivered by teachers and adults with expertise or high interest in that area.

ERO observed examples of high quality teaching practices across the school. Students have a clear understanding of what constitutes high quality work from the many models presented and shared. The timely pace of lessons, cooperative activities, and individual opportunities to talk about the learning, contribute to high levels of focus, engagement and enthusiasm within the classroom.

Teachers are reflecting well on their own learning and next steps in teaching. They draw on a range of learning information to reliably inform them about what they might do next to improve.

The curriculum across all syndicates is well managed. Within syndicates, teachers communicate well, there is consistency in delivery and assessment of learning, and clear links to school-wide goals and priorities.

Students develop useful skills to support their learning. They have multiple opportunities for leadership and for expressing their opinions about their learning.

The school provides many ways for students to learn about and develop a value for Māori language and culture, in and outside the classroom. This includes, a kapahaka group, whānau hui and visits to local marae. Teachers are being encouraged to develop competency in using te reo and tikanga Māori.

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

The school has useful systems in place for managing and improving the achievement of Māori students. The achievement of Māori students across the school is closely monitored. This includes effective targeting of support to improve achievement in writing. Reviews need to focus more on the effectiveness of programmes and interventions. They also need to show more clearly the progress made in achievement.

The school clearly exhibits its high valuing of Māori language, culture and identity. Māori students are confident and self assured about themselves as learners and as valued members of their school.

The school draws on expertise from its local community to help enrich learning for students. The opinions of the parents and whānau of Māori students are valued and regularly sought. A next step for the school is to more clearly report to its community on how well its many initiatives are helping improve Māori achievement.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to continue to improve its performance. There is strong and effective management and governance. The board and school leaders place a strong priority on raising student achievement. Trustees are knowledgeable and provide support where needed.

The principal places a strong emphasis on growing leadership amongst the staff. She makes effective use of the strengths and interests of syndicate deans. Deans provide strong leadership for teachers within their syndicates.

Self review processes are well established. Reviews are undertaken regularly. Reports are informative and identify next steps. The board acknowledges that the reports are sometimes too descriptive and need to be more evaluative.

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

Students experience a broad and rich range of learning experiences. ERO observed examples of high quality teaching across the school. Teachers make effective use of local expertise and the community to enrich learning for their students. Students have multiple opportunities for leadership. The school is very well managed and governed.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 June 2014

About the School

Location

Mosgiel

Ministry of Education profile number

3733

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

280

Gender composition

Boys: 52% Girls: 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other

90%

7%

3%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

19 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

April 2008

May 2005