Kadimah School - 19/12/2016

1 Context

Kadimah School is a Jewish state-integrated school catering for children from Years 1 to 8. Located in the Auckland CBD, the school maintains a very close association with the Jewish community and synagogue. Inner city facilities, including parks and the central library, are used to support the curriculum. The Kadimah Pre-school operates on the same premises and many children who attend the pre-school transition to the school. The board has recently appointed a new principal.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that they are personally fulfilled, with a secure sense of identity and purpose to their lives. Based on the Jewish values of achievement, tolerance, family and community, the school's culture of learning, is grounded in the values of T'fillah (prayer, belief and spirituality), respect for individuality and diversity, Middot (Torah values) and partnerships between families, community and the school.

The school’s achievement information shows that high levels of achievement are being sustained in the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In reading and mathematics more than 85 percent of students are at or above the National Standards. In writing, the discrepancy between the achievement of girls and boys is reducing. By the end of Year 8 nearly all students achieve at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics.

The cohorts of Māori and Pacific children remain too small to report overall achievement in relation to the National Standards or to identify trends over time. The school monitors the achievement of these children individually and sets specific achievement targets for each group. School data shows very good achievement outcomes for these students.

Teachers use a robust process to improve and maintain high confidence in the reliability of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) at all levels of the school. OTJs reflect the breadth of children's learning across the curriculum and make good use of assessment data from nationally referenced assessment tools.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • engaged in the Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) programme
  • developed benchmarks in mathematics to guide judgements about children's progress and next learning steps
  • participated in in-depth professional learning in the teaching, assessment and moderation of writing.

In response to the areas for improvement identified in the 2013 ERO report, other actions that the school has taken to accelerate the progress of children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes have focused on:

  • strengthening learning partnerships with Pacific families and whānau Māori
  • refining targets and plans for accelerating learning through more robust analysis and interpretation of achievement data
  • more relevant and specific reporting to parents, identifying children's learning progress and achievement, and what their next learning steps might be.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds very well to all children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration, including children with special educational needs and those for whom English is an additional language.

Leaders and teachers use analysed achievement information well to promptly identify children who may need to accelerate their progress, from the time they start at the school. Teachers use this information to set acceleration goals, monitor children's progress, and give consideration to next learning steps. They work together to consider strategies that may better support individual children's learning progress. Teachers are increasingly focused on evaluating their teaching practices to further improve outcomes for their students.

School leaders place a priority on responding to the learning needs of children with special needs. The board resources intervention programmes to support these children. An inclusive and responsive approach to diverse individual abilities ensures that these children make progress and participate fully in appropriate learning programmes.

Children have an increasing understanding of their own achievement and next learning steps, and are highly engaged in the learning process. They readily support each other to achieve their goals. Teachers share assessment information with children and support them in decisions about how to improve their achievement.

Leaders and teachers are working to refine ways of recording and reporting progress and achievement information in order to use it in more responsive and timely ways, showing progress within and across years more clearly and explicitly.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The Jewish character is highly evident throughout the Kadimah curriculum. Curriculum design and delivery is integrated through meaningful contexts and children are actively engaged in their learning. Teachers are highly attuned to children's motivations and learning dispositions.

Children learn in social and collaborative contexts, providing support for each other and developing a strong sense of themselves as competent learners. Their learning is culturally located, recognising the aspirations of families and connecting to their lives and future pathways.

Strengthened partnerships with Māori and Pacific families are supporting their children to stand tall in their cultural identity within the school. Māori contexts and aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori are evident in class programmes, providing opportunities for all children to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Leaders and teachers are deliberately focused on what will make the most difference for learners. Teaching practices reflect the school's emphasis on cultural responsiveness and value relationships with the community. Teachers promote learning across a range of engaging, relevant contexts that help to build children's sense of themselves as socially and environmentally aware citizens of the future.

Families and the Jewish community share a strong sense of belonging and connection with the school. Strong learning-centred relationships continue to be further developed. The school's strengths-based approach recognises and affirms the diverse languages, cultures and identities of the children and families in the school community.

The board provides effective governance. Trustees are well informed about children's rates of progress and their overall achievement. They use this information to make appropriate resourcing decisions to improve outcomes for all students. Trustees work with school leaders to provide a physically and emotionally secure environment for all children.

Internal evaluation is used well. Outcomes of school-wide curriculum review provide clear rationale for positive changes. Staff and the school community are consulted widely as part of review processes and develop shared ownership of outcomes that support the school's overall improvement focus.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school is well placed to sustain progress made in curriculum and teaching practice, and to make ongoing improvements that impact positively on all children's learning.

Trustees and leaders have identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • continuing to develop a strategic approach to internal evaluation and inquiry across the school
  • continuing to build leadership capacity across the school to support and realise the school's vision and goals.

ERO is likely to carry out the next 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.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the new principal and leaders across the school continue to build capacity for responding to the needs of priority learners, through deepening of evidence-based inquiry teaching and ongoing internal evaluation.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 December 2016

About the school 

Location

Newton, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

453

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

159

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Samoan

South East Asian

other European

other Pacific

other Asian

other

4%

66%

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

8%

2%

1%

6%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

19 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

May 2013

January 2010

December 2006