James Cook School - 22/05/2015

Findings

The curriculum provides students with a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. Involving families, whānau, aiga and community in school life is a focus. Many students achieve National Standards in reading. Improving teaching in mathematics and writing is a next step to promote success for learners requiring support in these areas.

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

1 Context

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

James Cook School caters for Years 1 to 8 students and is located in Marton. Since the July 2012 ERO review the school has enjoyed steady roll growth. A high proportion of learners identify as Māori and Pacific. Positive relationships with families, whānau, aiga and community organisations have a positive impact on students’ engagement in schooling.

Developing school systems and processes that support ongoing improvement has been a focus of school leaders’ work. The principal has created opportunities for teachers to be leaders and engage in ongoing professional learning.

The notion of ako underpins school practice. Leaders and teachers continue to focus on effective teaching interactions. Teaching and learning relationships are grounded in the principle of reciprocity and recognise the learner and whānau cannot be separated. Expectations for teaching practices are informed by the latest research and are both deliberate and reflective. This provides a positive platform for students’ active participation in learning.

Trustees and staff are focused on providing an inclusive teaching and learning environment. The curriculum provides many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used effectively for a range of purposes. Leaders provide trustees with timely data. They use this well to monitor the school’s progress toward priority goals and further plan for ongoing improvement.

School leaders and teachers closely monitor students’ progress toward the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School reported data at the end of 2014 shows many students achieve at the National Standard in reading. Data indicates a need to improve teaching and learning in mathematics and in writing as a priority. These curriculum areas were identified for development in the school’s 2015 charter targets.

Individual students identified as requiring additional support to enjoy success are a priority for leaders. Students are catered for through adapted teacher practice in classrooms and well-considered intervention programmes. Partnerships for learning continue to strengthen between the school, agencies and families to support students’ holistic and academic progress.

Priorities to raise achievement in 2015 are appropriately informed by leaders’ and teachers’ thorough analysis of a wide range of data. Annual targets and supporting plans focus on improving outcomes for all, and for specific groups of students whose learning is a priority

The use of assessment data at the class level continues to strengthen. Teachers support students to develop the necessary skills, attributes and knowledge to assist their development as self-regulating learners.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience positive outcomes through their participation in the James Cook School curriculum.

The school's vision: ‘Building an interdependent community of engaged learners who go forth to influence the world around them’; and mission statement: ‘Achieving Excellence through Aroha, Endeavour and Resolution’ reflect the school communities’ aspirations for their children. The core culture values of: R.I.C.H.E.R -respect, inclusion, cooperation, honesty, endeavour and resolution are taught and celebrated, and integral to students' daily experience. Students participate in a range of meaningful opportunities across the curriculum that motivate their engagement in learning.

School goals appropriately include supporting and involving families, whānau, aiga and the wider community in the life of the school. Initiatives include the reading together programme and hui, fono and professional development that support adults to understand and celebrate students’ learning. The involvement of families and the community enriches the school’s curriculum and promotes students’ holistic development.

Ongoing review of the literacy curriculum has a strong focus on developing students’ oral and aural development. This strength-based approach supports students’ to draw on their prior knowledge and understand themselves as learners.

Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of students developing competency in their first language to access a second language. A significant number of Samoan students have English as their second language. Some staff hold or are working toward specialist qualifications to support second language learners. This is having a positive impact on building staff confidence to provide appropriate programmes of learning, and supports the diverse culture, language and identity of students.

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

A solid foundation of good practice contributes positively to Māori learners’ academic progress and to their unique identity, language and culture. The school has a relationship with Ngāti Apa who has mana whenua in the rohe. The school’s curriculum supports the aspirations of Ngāti Apa and provides manaakitanga for all Māori.

Māori, and all, learners have many opportunities to participate in te ao Māori and use te reo Māori meaningfully as part of their schooling experience. Many students are knowledgeable in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers appreciate this expertise and students willingly support others in their developing confidence.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

James Cook School is well placed to continue to improve the quality of schooling to students. Trustees and leaders enjoy respectful relationships and work cooperatively.

Board members bring a range of essential skills and valuable community links to their governance role. Accelerating students’ academic progress is a priority of school leaders’ work. Self review informs development. A wide range of information is collected about aspects of school operation, practices and curriculum. Leaders guide collaborative, systematic inquiry. Trustees are well placed to evaluate the school's effectiveness and to make informed decisions.

Leaders and teachers are strengthening their inquiry into the effectiveness of their practices. High expectations for practice are in place. These align well to the school’s strategic vision and goals. Leaders and teachers are highly reflective and focus on their ongoing development. Regular professional dialogue, observations of practice and a coherent appraisal process support building the school’s capacity to improve learning.

A developing aspect of teaching as inquiry is for teachers to better use classroom data to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and specific teaching strategies. ERO’s evaluation affirms this direction in order to promote academic success for those learners’ requiring accelerated progress.

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 curriculum provides students with a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. Involving families, whānau, aiga and community in school life is a focus. Many students achieve National Standards in reading. Improving teaching in mathematics and writing is a next step to promote success for learners requiring support in these areas.

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

Joyce Gebbie,

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central,

22 May 2015

About the School

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

2368

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

187

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

37%

42%

20%

1%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

22 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2012

May 2009

March 2006