Kaeo School - 17/04/2015

Findings

Kaeo School provides a caring, inclusive environment for students. Students make good progress and achieve well overall. Partnerships with parents and whānau support students’ learning. The board and principal set high standards for teaching, learning and student outcomes. The community supports the school’s vision and is proud of its achievements.

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?

Kaeo School is a small rural primary school for Years 1 to 6 students. School facilities and grounds are well maintained and attractively presented. The majority of students are Māori, mostly of Ngāpuhi descent. The school has historic significance in the Northland township of Kaeo, and is situated adjacent to the local secondary school, Whangaroa College.

The school has enjoyed strong community support and steady roll growth in recent years. There are now six full time teachers. The principal of nine years and the capable board of trustees work collaboratively and make ongoing improvements that benefit students and staff. Trustees value the team of dedicated teachers and teacher aides. They have successfully appointed two new teachers for 2015.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Teaching and learning is well supported and classrooms are inclusive of students with different abilities and talents. The board resource programmes generously for learners who have additional needs. The school’s values, together with teachers’ clear expectations and routines, support students’ learning progress and wellbeing.

Students are confident learners and report that their school is caring and safe. They feel happy being at school and enjoy positive relationships with their teachers and with one another. They enjoy physical activities, especially the swimming pool and the playgrounds, and benefit from the range of leadership opportunities that are available to them.

2 Learning

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

Students make good progress in their learning and achieve very well overall. Collated and analysed achievement information presented to the board of trustees shows that students are achieving at and above expected levels. Ministry of Education public data indicates that student achievement is above that of schools in the region and schools of a similar type.

Māori students comprise over eighty percent of the roll. Māori student achievement is reported by the principal to the board. The overall patterns and trends in the data are very positive. Most Māori students who remain at the school throughout their primary school years achieve above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers make good use of achievement information to plan classroom programmes. They share progress information with students and their families. They track and monitor student achievement using a range of different assessment strategies. The school has a strong emphasis on standardised assessment and the school-wide results from classroom testing are regularly reported to the board.

Teachers are becoming more familiar with using achievement information to evaluate their teaching practice. This inquiry approach is helping teachers to identify strategies that are effective in accelerating the progress of students who are below expected levels. The board fund learning assistance programmes generously. However, teachers should continue to explore possibilities for using targeted in-class learning support.

The principal should now consider reducing the quantity of assessment information presented to trustees and focus more closely on the quality of student achievement targets in relation to the National Standards. This approach would sharpen the board’s self-review practices and support teachers in their overall judgements in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is comprehensive and well planned. Students benefit from the focus on wellbeing and physical activity. Reading and writing are daily priorities that support learning across the curriculum. Learning expectations for information and communication technology (ICT) and te reo Māori are also documented for planning and assessment.

Much of the curriculum is based around a student-inquiry approach to learning. Students develop thinking skills and contribute to plans that make learning interesting and relevant. Students receive regular feedback on their progress and set goals for improvement. Classroom teachers share learning expectations with students and are continuing to individualise learning programmes.

School facilities support the curriculum well. The library, playgrounds, and upgraded swimming pool are examples of the board’s commitment to long-term property improvement. The school is well maintained. Classrooms are in very good condition and all have computer networking access. Teaching resources and the staff work room have also benefitted from recent modernisation.

The board funds a teacher aide to operate a preschool group. Parents and their children attend the programme one morning a week and engage in planned literacy, numeracy and creative activities. The programme allows four year olds to visit the new entrant class, become familiar with the school, and helps them to transition successfully into school.

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

Māori students achieve considerable educational success. The majority are achieving at and above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are proud of the school and of their success. They are confident in their identity as Māori and benefit from the school-wide emphasis placed on te reo and tikanga Māori. Partnership with whānau is seen as the key to promoting positive learning outcomes.

The board has a plan for Māori success based on academic research and Māori values. The principal reports on the plan and shares Māori student achievement with the community. Trustees should continue to consult whānau and staff about promoting success for Māori, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal provides committed and consistent leadership to staff, trustees and the school’s community. Teachers and teacher aides work collegially and their work is valued. The community is proud of the school’s achievements, its facilities and appearance. Parents and whānau support the school though their participation in family events and student report meetings. School productions and art exhibitions are well attended highlights for the local community.

Teachers have opportunities for professional learning and development. The principal prioritises engagement in long-term initiatives, such as the mathematics project, to embed effective change in teacher practice. Teacher appraisal is well considered and is aligned to school development and professional goal setting. Teachers are reflective and are increasingly developing evidence-based practices.

A comprehensive vision and strategic plan underpins the work of the board. Annual goals and targets are planned and prioritised and form a framework for reporting and self review. However, to improve practice and build capability, the principal should make better use of the National Standards to rationalise target setting and reporting for school trustees.

The principal carries responsibility for all school-wide management, including curriculum and professional development, student achievement, planning and reporting, finance and personnel management. The board could now review the current delegation of management responsibilities to strengthen school-wide leadership capability and sustainability.

The board is keenly interested in supporting school development. Trustees agree that the rationalisation of school policies, and development of long-term working plans, would benefit the work of the board and build sustainability for governance.

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

Kaeo School provides a caring, inclusive environment for students. Students make good progress and achieve well overall. Partnerships with parents and whānau support students’ learning. The board and principal set high standards for teaching, learning and student outcomes. The community supports the school’s vision and is proud of its achievements.

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

Dale Bailey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

About the School

Location

Kaeo, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1019

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

120

Gender composition

Girls       54%
Boys      46%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other

82%
16%
 2%

Special Features

Two students funded through Ongoing Resourcing Schemes
Pre-school programme one morning each week for four year olds

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2012
January 2009
May 2006