Eketahuna School is located in southern Tararua. The school caters for 121 students in Years 1 to 8, 46% of whom are Māori learners, most identifying with Rangitane Iwi.
The school vision is to prepare today’s child for tomorrow’s world – Whakakaha ngā tamakiri mo apopo. Guiding principles of lifelong learners, future focus, community engagement, excellence and inclusiveness underpin school practice.
Strategic goals for 2020 aim to:
Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:
Nearly all teachers are new to the school since the previous ERO review in 2017, including the new principal appointed in 2018.
Teachers have been involved school-wide professional learning and development (PLD) in teaching and learning, teaching as inquiry and Tātaiako – Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.
The school has responded well and continues to progress the areas for development identified in the previous ERO report.
The school is a member of the Tararua Kāhui Ako.
Staff are purposefully embedding systems and building curriculum practice to achieve equity and excellence for all students.
Achievement at the end of 2019 shows a large majority of students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall, achievement in reading, writing and mathematics shows a similar pattern from 2018 with the exception of a noticeable increase for boys in mathematics. Māori students achieved similar outcomes in reading when compared to Pākehā/European learners, slightly higher in mathematics and lower in writing. Raising achievement overall and achieving equity for boys in reading and writing are identified priorities for the school.
The school reports high levels of attendance for most students.
The school responds well to Māori and other students whose progress and learning require acceleration.
School personnel are highly committed to promoting the holistic development of all learners, and advocating for children, families and whānau. Well-considered strategies and actions are used to ensure students with complex learning needs receive equitable learning opportunities. Transition to school is well planned and flexible to suit learners’ individual needs. Additional personnel and external specialists are used extensively to assist in supporting student needs.
Students learn through contexts of high interest, both in school and in their local community. Curriculum experiences encourage the purposeful engagement of learners. Digital technologies are accessible to promote student learning and support their inquiry.
Students learn in a positive and inclusive environment. Daily interactions reflect shared school values and promote positive relationships between staff, students and their peers. Well-considered communication strategies engage parents and whānau in their child’s learning and celebrate achievements.
The principal is effectively leading ongoing improvements to further strengthen outcomes for students. Revised assessment processes have provided a coherent system to support the identification, tracking and monitoring of individual learners. Students benefit from collaborative teacher practice that involves them sharing strategies and reviewing the progress of individuals. Reporting to trustees is comprehensive, which ensures their resourcing decisions are based on improving outcomes for students.
Systems and practices for building individual teachers’ capability are robust. PLD is aligned to the school’s strategic direction and focused on practices requiring ongoing development to strengthen outcomes for students. Teacher appraisal, coaching and mentoring processes are well planned and impact positively on building quality practice. Staff are improving their use of evidence-based inquiry to plan shared strategies that accelerate student progress, learning and achievement.
The school has implemented a wide range of improvements to comprehensively respond to the diverse needs of learners. Further developments are required to:
Aligning success measures and key progress indicators, to successful outcomes for learners should support evaluation more focused on student achievement, engagement and wellbeing. The outcome of evaluation should provide more in-depth information for staff and trustees to understand how well ongoing developments achieve equity and excellence for students.
Strengthening the collective capability of teachers, including continuing to build their assessment practice, is an ongoing priority. Relevant PLD in 2020 has been suitably aligned to promote further development. Planned improvements should further strengthen teaching practice to match the specific learning needs of students.
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:
During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:
On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Eketahuna School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.
ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:
For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:
Darcy Te Hau
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui
23 June 2020