Kaikohe East School - 03/08/2018

School Context

Kaikohe East School is located in the Northland township of Kaikohe. Most of the nearly 300 Year 1 to 6 students whakapapa to the Northland iwi, Ngāpuhi. Whanau are closely involved in partnerships with the school that support positive learning outcomes for students.

The school’s vision is for students to graduate as “Proud, Prepared Learners”. The school’s charter identifies valued outcomes that encompass academic, social and cultural values, expressed as the four Tanga: manakitanga, whanaungatanga, kotahitanga, and rangatiratanga. A noteworthy feature of the school is its inclusive kaupapa, welcoming children with additional learning needs.

The school roll has continued to grow. An additional 60 children have enrolled since ERO’s 2015 review. The school is collaborating with local early learning centres, intermediate and secondary schools through the Te Arahura Kahui Ako|Community of Learning to support learners’ transition into, through and beyond school.

Previous ERO reports in 2011 and 2015 commented on the school’s respectful culture, the principal’s good leadership, and the well-resourced learning environments. These positive features continue to be highly evident. Recent retirements of senior staff have resulted in the restructuring of the school leadership team to build cohesive school-wide leadership.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • analysed outcomes for children who are in learning support programmes

  • progress throughout the year of children who are in target learning groups

  • participation, engagement and attendance patterns

  • analysed results from parent and staff surveys

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

School and board leaders work positively towards equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Academic learning outcomes overall continue to improve. Progress, measured in relation to the National Standards to the end of 2017, showed improved outcomes over successive years in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is proud that the majority of children leave school in Year 6 achieving at and above expected levels in reading. However, school leaders note their concerns about persistent disparity in achievement between boys and girls. In 2018 the school established Poutama, a trial class of selected Year 3 to 6 boys, to address this pattern of under achievement.

Well-coordinated support is provided for children with additional learning needs. Many of these children have individual education plans. Their specific goals for progress are determined collaboratively by teacher aides, parents and specialist teachers. Children’s progress is measured and reported in relation to their individual goals.

Students who attend the school continuously from Years 1 to 6 generally make better progress than others. Teachers make good efforts to promptly engage learners who change schools during the year as these children tend to do less well overall. It would be useful to compare student achievement in the three Māori medium classes with that in English medium classes.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is becoming increasingly effective at responding to those students whose learning needs acceleration. Developing accelerated learning strategies has been a recent focus for teachers. Teachers in each classroom now provide additional teaching time for small groups of children who are just below their expected levels in writing. The progress of these children is monitored closely.

The school has good information about the progress of children in the targeted learning support groups. For example, of the 36 target boys and girls across the school in 2017, over 60% made accelerated progress in reading and 30% made accelerated progress in writing.

Interestingly, teachers noticed that while they allocated additional teaching time to focus on improving writing, children’s reading levels also improved. The principal’s analysis of variance reports provide the board with useful data about progress towards achieving the school’s goals and targets for improving student achievement.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leadership in the school is effective in strengthening conditions for equity and excellence. The long serving principal is a well-respected school and community leader. Following recent retirements in the senior leadership team, the board adopted a broader leadership structure. This has enhanced the potential and opportunity for the new leadership team to embed teaching and learning expectations school-wide, and utilise student achievement data for internal evaluation.

Purposeful, school-wide and strategically planned learning and development opportunities for teachers are helping to drive learning acceleration and the achievement of equity. Teachers‘classroom practices are designed to support children’s learning, particularly those whose learning needs to be accelerated. The current challenge for the new leadership team is to clearly document and embed teaching and other expectations, to support all teachers, particularly those who are new to the school.

The school’s curriculum is increasingly responsive to what teachers know about students’ interests and backgrounds. Learning programmes include relevant, place-based learning contexts. Whanau knowledge of Ngāpuhitanga is valued and reflected in children’s learning experiences. Discovery learning in Years 0 to 2 enables children to learn through play and helps them to grow their oral language and develop social skills.

Students are engaged in their learning and enjoy positive relationships with teachers. The more integrated learning approaches in Years 5 and 6 are helping to extend children’s thinking and advocacy skills. Children are learning about sustainability and increasing their physical wellbeing through their involvement in the school gardens. Across the school, the honouring of te reo me ona tikanga Māori ensures a culturally safe and meaningful environment.

The staff work in a collaborative and professional manner. They support all children, including many who have high learning and behaviour needs. Student management systems are based on restorative practices, whanau involvement, and focused on continued learning progress. Through the appraisal system, achievement data is being better used by teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their professional practice.

The school has sound governance. The board of trustees makes good use of professional advisers, including the NZ School Trustees Association. Trustees have clear and well documented systems. They make responsible decisions informed by the principal’s strategic reports and internal evaluation. Board operations and legislative compliance are guided and sustained through a reliable contracted secretarial service.

The school is attractively presented. The grounds and buildings are well maintained, and classrooms are regularly upgraded. Children have good access to equipment for physical activity, including all weather courts and bikes and a bike track. Sport and noho Marae are encouraged as part of the school’s broad curriculum. The school board values staff, and supports management decisions to improve outcomes for learners.

Teachers and students benefit from modern information technology resources in classrooms. Trustees should be preparing now for the introduction of the 2019 Digital Technology Curriculum. They should also consider conducting student surveys to ensure that they are fully informed of how students experience their learning and school culture.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

To build on and sustain development, leaders and staff will continue to strengthen consistency of teaching practice, particularly in relation to promoting student agency in learning.

This could involve students:

  • having access to more visible indicators of learning success
  • setting individual goals that make use of the shared success criteria
  • assessing their progress in collaboration with teachers
  • self and peer assessing their learning competencies and tanga values
  • developing digital strategies for sharing learning and progress outcomes.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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

  • finance

  • 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • connected and committed leadership that is embedding inclusive teaching practices to support equitable outcomes for all students

  • relevant and responsive learning programmes based on te reo me ona tikanga , enhancing children’s language, culture and identifyMāori

  • continued evaluation of new initiatives to create new learning through professional inquiry and staff collaboration.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • continuing to clarify and document the valued outcomes of the school’s curriculum

  • continuing to promote student agency in learning, including digital fluency and the use of shared indicators of learning progress.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

3 August 2018

About the school

Location

Kaikohe, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1021

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

299

Gender composition

Boys 159 Girls 140

Ethnic composition

Māori 96%
Pakeha 2%
other 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes, 3 bilingual classes at Level 2

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

3 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review May 2012
Education Review March 2009