Kaikohe East School - 15/06/2015

Findings

The school’s focus on student wellbeing and learning success is designed to promote ongoing improvement. Trustees, leaders, and teachers are committed to raising student achievement. Students are increasingly becoming self managing and responsible learners in an environment that values their culture and prior knowledge.

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?

Kaikohe East School provides education for Year 1 to 6 students, most of whom are Māori. The school has an inclusive and accepting culture that supports students to become ‘Proud, Prepared, Learners’.

A continuing focus on promoting student wellbeing has seen increased sponsorship and support from a variety of community organisations. Through these schemes the school can provide students with regular food and support when needed.

Students can choose to stay with the same teacher for up to three years and have their siblings in same class. Whānau also have the option for their children to learn in the bilingual setting of Te Korowai o te Aroha, which has three classes.

The school has had positive ERO reports. External feedback is welcomed and used to strengthen the school’s self review. The 2012 ERO report noted that students worked in supportive and well resourced class environments and that the board and senior leaders were working collaboratively to raise student achievement. These features continue to be evident. The report recommended that the board and staff should improve analysis, use and reporting of student achievement information.

Over the past three years the board, the principal and staff have continued to develop and enhance provision for students’ education at the school. Teaching staff have taken advantage of professional development to improve student learning in numeracy and written language.

Most students come to the school with little formal early childhood education. The school’s plan to help establish a play group based on the school site is nearly achieved. This initiative is likely to support children as they transition to school, help to build relationships with parents, and further promote a sense of whanaungatanga in the school community. 

2 Learning

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

Teachers have worked well with external advisers who have guided them in assessing student learning. They are now using this information to plan programmes that are more targeted to students’ specific learning needs. Over recent years teachers’ professional learning has prompted changes to mathematics programmes and a more consistent approach to teaching writing throughout the school.

Since the 2012 ERO review, students appear to have a greater sense of purpose in their learning and to be more aware of their own achievement. Teachers now share achievement criteria and progressions of learning so students can identify their own achievement and next steps in learning. Leaders and teachers have made this initiative a continuing priority to build consistent good practices in all classes.

Teachers use a range of valid and reliable assessment strategies to form judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Data reported to the board show that just over half of the students are achieving National Standards in mathematics and reading, but that most students are not achieving writing standards. The school’s achievement is generally lower than regional and national levels of achievement.

The 2015 school charter includes a target to raise student achievement in writing, with a particular focus on boys’ progress. Leaders and teachers are now sharing responsibility for the success of this target. As they consider and research ways to better engage boys in learning, this knowledge is likely to also accelerate boys’ progress in other curriculum areas.

Teaching teams are now more regularly planning strategies together to support low achievers and students with special learning needs. These students are benefiting from tailored programmes that teachers have targeted to address specific learning needs. Students with special learning needs benefit from the commitment of the coordinator, teachers and support staff, who help them to gain greater confidence as learners. Teachers and support staff continue to increase their understanding of successful strategies to cater for these students’ diverse learning needs.

Parents receive useful information to help them understand their children’s progress and achievement. They have good opportunities to discuss their children’s achievement with teachers. Written reports state how well students are achieving in relation to each National Standard and include meaningful ways in which whānau can support children’s learning. Leaders are committed to further encouraging whānau to work with them as partners in supporting their children’s learning

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is effective in engaging and supporting students’ learning. It is closely aligned with the school’s strategic aim of preparing students to succeed in all aspects of learning.

Teachers value students’ perspectives. They focus on building students’ knowledge and skills, and helping to build students’ confidence in themselves as learners. An emphasis on the values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is evident in classroom programmes. Students learn cooperatively with other students and benefit from tuakana/teina relationships and role modelling.

Students benefit from the curriculum’s strong focus on literacy and mathematics. School leaders have restructured the school day to enable teachers to dedicate more time to these learning areas in class timetables. Other learning areas are integrated around an inquiry learning focus. Digital technologies are used well by students and teachers as an integral part of daily class programmes. These features offer students opportunities to learn within meaningful and connected contexts.

Teachers work collaboratively, regularly reflecting on the effectiveness of curriculum programmes and learning initiatives. They have developed shared expectations of effective teaching in this school. Recent initiatives include developing strategies that promote student-led learning. Student‑centred approaches to teaching and learning help to motivate students to take responsibility for their own progress. Teachers are developing practices that encourage students to become self managing and responsible learners.

To support students who have had little preschool education, teachers in junior classes continue to link teaching programmes with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. In recent years they have also taken a keen interest in integrating other early childhood philosophies into teaching practices. This has resulted in placing a greater emphasis on the experience and knowledge learners bring with them. Learning environments are adapted to offer spaces, resources and experiences that link to students’ interests and learning needs. This approach is being extended throughout the school to reinforce the school’s aim of student-centred teaching and learning.

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

The school’s culturally responsive environment has many features that support Māori students to enjoy success as Māori. These include:

  • promoting whanaungatanga at the beginning of each school day
  • promoting tikanga and te reo Māori through whole-school practices, including kapa haka
  • integrating te reo Māori and tikanga Maōri within the curriculum
  • providing student leadership opportunities in pōwhiri and kapa haka
  • sharing pepeha to identify whānau links for both teachers and students.

Adult speakers of te reo work with students in Te Korowai o te Aroha supporting them to participate confidently in a bilingual language setting.

The principal and some staff are long-standing members of the local community and have well established relationships with whānau. These relationships help give the school insight into whānau perspectives and aspirations for their children.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school operates effectively and is well placed to make ongoing improvements that impact positively on students’ learning.

The principal’s leadership continues to promote a collaborative and inclusive working environment. She recognises teachers’ strengths and offers many leadership opportunities. Leaders are consultative, collaborative and promote a professional teaching culture. They are sustaining successful teaching initiatives and managing the pace of change in teaching developments.

Coherent processes help to build teaching capacity to improve student learning. Teachers regularly reflect together on professional learning and on the impact of their practice on student learning. Teacher appraisal and inquiry processes are leading teachers to think more deeply about their practice.

The board works collaboratively with the principal and staff. Trustees have participated in governance training. Sound planning and reporting systems ensure that the board is well informed about progress towards the charter goals. The school charter is relevant and guides the school’s management programme and classroom practices.

Whānau have opportunities to offer their perspectives on school practices and developments. These include an annual survey, school events and student achievement conferences with teachers and their children.

Self review is becoming an increasingly effective part of the school’s culture and frequently draws on information from staff, students and parents. Self review is now more deliberate, planned and purposeful. Curriculum review is led by curriculum leaders and teams. These curriculum teams play a key role in sustaining, reviewing, and developing learning areas in each syndicate and across the school.

The principal encourages teachers to trial strategies and adapt practices in response to students’ interests and needs and community aspirations. She is committed to sustaining professional learning initiatives and continuing to grow teaching and leadership capacity.

ERO is confident that the school’s clear focus on student wellbeing and learning success will promote ongoing school improvement.

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 school’s focus on student wellbeing and learning success is designed to promote ongoing improvement. Trustees, leaders, and teachers are committed to raising student achievement. Students are increasingly becoming self managing and responsible learners in an environment that values their culture and prior knowledge.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 June 2015

About the School

Location

Kaikohe

Ministry of Education profile number

1021

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

233

Gender composition

Boys 119

Girls 114

Ethnic composition

Māori 94%

Pākehā 2%

Cook Island/Māori 3%
other 1%

Special Features

Te Korowai o te Aroha – bilingual unit of 3 classes

Resource Teacher Literacy based on the school site

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

15 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2012

Education Review March 2009

Education Review May 2006