Kaikorai School - 09/05/2018

School Context

Kaikorai School provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review it had a roll of 293 students.

The school’s vision is for students to be happy, confident, life-long learners. The KAIKorai values that support this are for students to be Kind, Aspiring, Independent, and Keen.

The school states the goals for 2018 focus on:

  • improving the reading and writing of students in Year 2

  • accelerating the learning of any students at risk of not achieving in relation to expectations

  • increasing the number of students performing above expectations in mathematics.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress being made by priority students

  • students who receive learning support.

The Ministry of Education is currently planning a new build for the school.

The school is part of a cluster of schools working in collaboration with Otago University to evaluate ways to share expertise and best practice across the schools.

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?

The school is effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most students in reading, writing and mathematics. The school’s data shows levels of achievement have been trending up over the last three years.

A strong emphasis has been placed on the role of the teacher responsible for students with additional education needs (SENCO) to ensure students who need extra help are supported to accelerate their progress and succeed in their learning. Students with additional needs are planned for individually. They have detailed plans that clearly show achievement of learning goals.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the learning and progress of students who need extra support.

Strategies implemented in 2017 to improve the writing of Māori boys were effective. The school’s data shows that a quarter of students accelerated their progress in reading and mathematics, and two thirds in writing. The SENCO and class teachers closely monitor these students to ensure these gains are sustained.

The school is able to clearly show the number of students whose progress has accelerated over 2017. Data shows significant gains were made by students who needed extra support to succeed.

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?

The school has strong, professional leaders who are reflective, open to new ideas and change, to improve outcomes for children. They are building relational trust at all levels of the school community to support openness and collaboration. They understand that growing evaluation capacity is a key to sustaining and embedding improvement. Trustees bring a valuable range of skills and experience to the governance of the school.

The board is well informed and keeps student wellbeing and learning at the forefront of decision making. Board members, school leaders and teachers have a clear vision of preparing students to succeed in their short and long-term futures. There is clear alignment from the strategic plan to learning and teaching in the classroom. Strategic resourcing is based on the identification of priorities and targets which are drawn from the effective high-level analysis of trends, patterns and progress of children.

Positive outcomes for students are the focus of all professional learning. Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge-building processes are purposeful and focus on specific areas for improvement. Action research is at the centre of development and supports a measured approach to change.

Teachers are well supported to upskill in areas that will benefit both their own professional goals, and the strategic direction of the school. This includes opportunities to develop leadership skills.

The robust appraisal process identifies teachers’ professional goals and subsequent alignment of these with the strategic plan.

Students have effective, sufficient and equitable opportunities to learn. They are taught to set meaningful goals, self-monitor, self-regulate, and take increasing responsibility for their learning. There is a strong focus on students sharing ideas and opinions.

The curriculum is well designed to support students to learn and make sufficient progress to achieve curriculum expectations. It is skill-based which enables flexible contexts for learning and supports students to be curious, collaborative, caring, confident and critical thinkers. Students experience a wide range of learning opportunities within the arts, cultural, sporting, technology and core subject areas. Detailed curriculum guidelines support teachers to meet the school’s expectations for teaching and learning.

There is a safe environment for staff and students to take risks. Evidence of this is the number of trials of innovative ideas and approaches to students’ learning. Students were involved in developing ideas for the build of the new school.

Student wellbeing is a high priority and well maintained through the KAIKorai values. Students benefit from respectful, trusting relationships with their teachers and each other. The board has enabled students to access external support should they need it.

Appropriate tools are used to gather, store and retrieve a range of valid data to most effectively improve outcomes for learners. A useful process of moderation ensures consistent judgements are made about student achievement levels across the school.

The school has taken deliberate action to raise the profile of Māori within the school. This includes:

  • accessing external expertise to support teachers and students

  • having a greater inclusion of te ao Māori in the curriculum

  • aligning Māori values with Kaikorai School values.

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

The school has successfully addressed the recommendations from the last ERO review.

The school has identified the importance of ensuring the approach to teaching and learning developed by the whole school community remains the driving factor for the design of the new school.

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:

  • leadership that empowers staff and students to take key roles in the life of the school

  • internal evaluation that drives the direction of the school and determines approaches that are best for raising student achievement

  • the increasing responsibility students are taking for their learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, trustees have identified the priority for further development is in:

  • ensuring the approach to teaching and learning remains the driving force for the design of the new building.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

9 May 2018

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3753

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

293

Gender composition

Boys: 56%

Girls: 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 5%

Pākehā: 85%

Pacific: 1%

Other: 9%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

9 May 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: March 2015

Education Review: September 2011

Education Review: May 2008