Galatea School - 30/06/2016

1 Context

Galatea School caters for children in Years 1 to 8, it is located approximately 80 kilometres south of Rotorua. Since ERO's last review in 2013 the school's roll has grown significantly. There are currently 95 children enrolled, 44 identify as Māori.

The school is well supported by parents, whānau and the local community. Partnerships with a number of organisations assist the school to extend learning opportunities for children in the local environment and wider community.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are 'Working Together-Learning for Life, Me mahi tahi tatou katoa-Akoranga mo te wairua ora'. Key priorities for the school and community are to embed the school values, empower and develop confident and capable learners, strong leadership, and encourage children to be confident and positive in their own identity. Māori children are experiencing success as learners, benefit from clear expectations, and positive and respectful relationships with their peers, teachers and whānau.

Overall, children at Galatea School are achieving well. Of the 24 children needing acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics 12 are Māori. The school’s achievement information shows that since 2013 there has been a steady increase in the number of Māori children achieving at or above National Standards, and some with significant gains in writing and mathematics.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has undertaken in-depth curriculum reviews of writing and mathematics. School developments that have contributed to better learning opportunities and achievement outcomes for Māori and other children include:

  • the setting of high expectations and the strong belief in Māori student capability to contribute and learn
  • strategic resourcing to reduce class sizes and multi-year levels within classes
  • alignment of key school documents to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the National Standards
  • focusing on improving attendance levels for individual Māori children
  • embedding restorative and inclusive practices that foster a sense of belonging and valuing of diversity and difference within the school and community.

Developments for leaders and teachers include:

  • prioritising professional learning and development for teachers, including distributive leadership opportunities based on individual's interests and strengths
  • establishing of responsive and reciprocal relationships with external support agencies
  • improved teacher appraisal processes and practices, and the introduction of expectations and opportunities for teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their practice
  • use of Ka Hikitia and the Hautu self-review tool to strengthen culturally responsive practices at all levels of the school.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds well to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. A range of strategies and assessment tools are used to monitor their progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Regular collation and analysis of data identifies Māori children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. Individual goals are set, and progress and achievement is closely monitored. The intended impact of strategies, assessment tools, targeted programmes, and interventions and resourcing will be more clearly defined once the key next steps to strengthen classroom programmes are addressed and implemented.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The effective practices implemented for Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration are also successful in accelerating the learning and achievement of other children underachieving in reading, writing and mathematics.

The focus for 2016 is to review the teaching of reading, including the validity and reliability of overall teacher judgements in relation to reading National Standards. The principal maintains registers that closely monitor the progress and achievement of Māori children and others at risk of underachieving in reading, writing and mathematics. This register is shared with the board of trustees at regular intervals throughout the year. Trustees scrutinise the information shared and ensure that there is necessary resourcing to accelerate the achievement of Māori and other children.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's broad curriculum and other organisational processes and practices enact the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for children. It is aligned to the NZC and reflects local and relevant contexts. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in authentic learning within the school and wider community.

The principal leads learning across the school. Four new trustees, including the chairperson joined the board in 2013. Professional learning and development for teachers has focused on writing, mathematics and restorative practices.

Positive and respectful relationships are developed with children and their families. There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in school events and activities. Parents are well informed about their children's achievement through interviews, informal discussions and written reports. The school recognises the need to investigate and trial ways to further engage parents as partners in their children's learning.

Trustees are well informed, provide effective stewardship and maintain a consistent focus on strategic resourcing decisions that support equity and excellence for Māori and other children. The principal has a clear vision and high expectations for teaching and learning at Galatea School. She maintains a strong focus on building teacher capability and has established a professional learning culture among teachers.

Long-term aspirations for children are shared by the school and parent community. The aspirations are evidenced in children who demonstrate social and emotional competence and the resilience to persist with difficulty. In addition, children are encouraged and positively challenged to be confident and to participate and contribute in a range of cultural, local and regional contexts.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

Galatea school provides a broad curriculum that reflects relevant local contexts for learning and motivates high levels of interest. The school is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. Trustees and school leaders maintain a strong focus on strengthening practices to improve the learning and achievement of all children.

Key next steps for Galatea School are to strengthen classroom programmes by teachers:

  • using assessment information more specifically to ensure consistently worthwhile, purposeful and challenging learning for individuals and groups of children
  • planning detailed, specific and deliberate teaching and learning strategies to meet identified learning needs
  • engaging in ongoing, critical reflection about the effectiveness of teaching for improving outcomes for children, leading to adaptations to practice and programmes as necessary
  • developing children's understanding and ownership of their own learning, progress and achievement
  • reviewing the appropriateness of assessment tools across the curriculum and how achievement data can be used more effectively to raise the achievement of all children.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 the following:

  • Board administration.

  • Curriculum.

  • Management of health, safety and welfare.

  • Personnel management.

  • Asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • Emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment).

  • Physical safety of students.

  • Teacher registration.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

30 June 2016 

About the school

Location

Murupara, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

1722

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

95

Gender composition

Girls 49 Boys 46

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

South East Asian

Other European

44

47

2

1

1

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

June 2010

September 2007