Galatea School - 31/05/2013

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Galatea School is a small, rural school located approximately 80 kilometres south of Rotorua. At the time of this ERO review it was attended by 71 students in Years 1 to 8, and 19 are Māori. Well maintained, attractive grounds, with established trees provide or students recreation and sport.

Since the June 2010 ERO report, the school has reviewed its charter, vision and mission in consultation with its parent community. The mission statement "working together — learning for life", vision and values are highly evident in the daily life of the school. All areas identified for review and development in the previous ERO report have been considered and actioned.

2 Learning

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

School personnel use achievement information well to make positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement.

Schoolwide student achievement data clearly indicates how well students are achieving in relation to National Standards. Data is gathered at regular intervals and used to track progress overall and of students targeted for acceleration or extension. This information is reported to the board and community. The final school reported data for 2012 showed that about three quarters of all students achieved at or above against the Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders know, from data analysis, any significant areas of variation among boys, girls, year levels or ethnic groups.

Achievement targets are shared with staff. Teachers use their class achievement information to:

  • identify students at risk of not achieving
  • guide planning and teaching for individuals and groups
  • monitor and track individual student progress.

A priority for teachers is to empower students to take responsibility for their own learning. They share achievement data and success criteria with students, who use the information to set their next learning steps. Students are able to describe their learning.

Students have many and varied opportunities to learn to be school leaders. They demonstrate pride in their achievements which are celebrated through newsletters and within the school.

Parents receive informative written reports about their child's progress and achievement, strengths, areas for development and ways to help with learning at home. However, it is difficult to get a clear measure of how progress and achievement stands in relation to National Standards expectations. School leaders agree that refinement of the report format would address this matter.

3 Curriculum

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

The Galatea School Curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It is aligned with the school charter, values and The New Zealand Curriculum. It emphasises student achievement in literacy and numeracy and the development of individual's responsibility for learning. Students learn through authentic contexts. They work with teachers to select themes for integrated curriculum topics. In discussion with ERO, it was agreed that development of implementation guidelines would be an appropriate next step for curriculum management.

Teachers use a range of effective teaching strategies to engage students, affirm learning and support them to progress. Students contribute confidently to learning conversations. They are well engaged in their lessons. Interactions with teachers and amongst students are positive, respectful and friendly. Clearly-established class routines are evident.

Teachers are beginning to inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice, using achievement information, and they are encouraged to document their reflections. This is an important area for school development.

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

The school's charter, strategic and annual plans acknowledge the need to reflect New Zealand's bicultural heritage and promote te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. A commitment to raising teacher awareness and practice in these areas is evident.

As a result of consultation, close relationships have been established with whānau. Ongoing discussion and sharing of achievement data promote teachers' awareness of the aspirations Māori parents have for their children. They want their children to develop confidence and achieve success in a wide range of academic and sporting endeavours. The school is supportive of Māori students succeeding as Māori.

Teachers are seeking ways to further include te ao Māori in the curriculum. Hui protocols have been built into the school culture. As an outcome of self review, Māori perspectives are now included in environmental and other integrated studies.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Effective school leadership and a well informed board are focused on sustaining development and continuing improvement. Leaders have identified areas where further development is required. All teachers undertake schoolwide responsibilities based on strengths and interests. There is a culture of improvement within the teaching team.

Trustees are student and improvement focused. They provide support for learning through the provision of professional development and additional staffing. Board succession and induction have been considered and documented to ensure the current direction is sustained.

Since the previous ERO report, positive outcomes from the school's self-review processes have been identified. In consultation with the community, key guiding documents have been reviewed and aligned.

While there have been positive outcomes from self review, the process is broad. It would be timely to clearly define a self review framework to guide each step of the process. This should ensure self review becomes more focused and outcomes more specific and measurable.

Relationships among staff and students are positive. Communication with parents and the wider community are effective and promote involvement in the life of the school.

Student achievement information is well used to inform professional development. Mathematics data was effectively used to target staff development in mathematics for 2013.

The performance management system is under review. This is timely, as current practice does not match procedures. A full cycle of teacher appraisal was not completed in 2012.

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.

In 2012 the school's appraisal cycle was not fully completed. Systematic observations did not occur for all staff.

In order to improve practice the board of trustees should ensure that a full cycle of teacher appraisal occurs annually.

The following area of non-compliance was identified. Individual student reports to parents do not make clear the student's progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

The board of trustees must:

  • report to students and their parents on the student's progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language in writing must occur at least twice a year.
  • [National Administrative Guidelines 2A]

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)

31 May 2013

About the School

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1722

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

71

Gender composition

Male 40,

Female 31

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic group

51

19

1

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

31 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

September 2007

June 2004