Kaikorai School - 12/03/2015

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Kaikorai School provides a welcoming and friendly environment for children and their families.

The school values for being kind, aspiring, independent, keen (KAIK) are strongly evident. Students are well supported and encouraged to succeed. They achieve well and are provided with a range of opportunities for learning.

The school has a good balance of long-serving, experienced teachers and new staff. Teachers and the new principal make themselves readily available to parents. They know the children as learners and as individuals.

The experienced board governs the school well. Trustees have a strong focus on ‘putting what is best for student achievement first’. This includes ensuring appropriate support for students’ play and learning.

The board and new school leadership team have put in place some useful initiatives to build best practice in teaching and learning across the school. The development of these is being well managed.

The school has effectively addressed the recommendations from the 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school uses learning information effectively to make positive changes to students’ progress and achievement. Students overall achieve consistently well against the National Standards in writing and mathematics and very well in reading.

Students’ understanding of their progress and achievement and their next learning steps is increasing. This was particularly evident in the teaching of writing, an area of current school-wide development. Best practice was when students could clearly articulate what their next learning step was and had opportunities to assess their own and their peers’ work.

Teachers effectively use a range of assessment information in literacy and mathematics to inform their planning and teaching. They report clearly to parents about their child’s achievement against the National Standards. ERO saw some very good examples of specific feedback to students about their learning and clearly stated next steps.

The principal and syndicate leaders closely monitor student assessment to identify gaps and set immediate priorities for classroom teaching and support. They also regularly monitor and report school-wide patterns in achievement to the board.

The board is very well informed about student progress and achievement. Trustees use learning information effectively to make strategic decisions. They receive analysed reports showing students’ engagement and achievement and the impact of learning support programmes.

A next step is to explore ways to make the direction of the learning more visible for students, particularly in literacy and mathematics, and share best practice in assessment across the school.

3 Curriculum

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

Students enjoy a broad range of meaningful learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom. Their interest in learning is achieved through the purposeful integration of different learning areas, especially literacy. The use of local expertise and access to learning beyond the school provides enrichment and a context for independent learning, particularly for senior students.

Students’ belonging and wellbeing is very carefully supported. This is linked to the systematic development of the school values (KAIK). Teachers ensure students are well prepared to enter and leave the school. Students’ views and contributions are valued and well used to inform classroom and school-wide planning.

Students achieving at lower than expected levels receive very effective learning support. There is strong evidence of accelerated progress in achievement for these students. This is a targeted result of funding for specialist support, sharing information with parents, and involving parents in strategies to support their child’s learning. Students with special abilities access a range of well-planned extension programmes. The continued development of the monitoring taking place at syndicate level will further increase the level of classroom support.

ICT is used in innovative ways as a teaching, learning and communication tool. Students are creating and sharing their work. Senior leaders have developed efficient ways for communicating with parents and for managing school-wide information systems.

The principal and teachers are involved in purposeful research into teachers’ teaching practice. This is being shared with other teachers to promote good practice in teaching and learning.

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

Māori students have opportunities to extend their learning of their language, culture and identity. They achieve very well in their learning. Their achievement is closely monitored and reported. The school is strengthening its links with Māori parents and the local community.

Since the time of the last ERO review, the school’s value for Māori culture has become more apparent. The school’s kapa haka group provides meaningful opportunities for students to learn a range of cultural and personal skills and knowledge. Specialist support from the local community has added to the richness of learning for staff and students.

The school leaders and ERO agree that the next steps are to:

  • build teacher capacity to teach te ao and te reo Māori in more authentic ways
  • further develop aspects of curriculum guidelines when reviewing learning areas
  • continue to strengthen the review of the curriculum and aspects of teaching and learning to ensure that a rigorous process is followed every time.

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 board has a strong understanding of governance and the roles and responsibilities for board operations. In particular, trustees have a strong focus on what is best for students and their achievement.

The board is very well informed. Since the last ERO review, the quality of reporting of student engagement and achievement has significantly improved. A range of effective self-review practices is being used, such as the use of survey information to ensure the school vision and development align.

With the board, the new principal has led significant and well-managed change. This has included:

  • creating ways for teachers to collaborate, share and reflect on their practices
  • improving support for building teacher capacity and sharing best practice.

A next step for trustees is to more closely monitor the progress made in meeting the key strategic goals.

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

Kaikorai School has a welcoming culture built around the school values. Students access a broad curriculum where learning is meaningfully integrated across all subjects. Students achieve well in mathematics and writing and very well in reading. They have opportunities for effective learning support and extension programmes. The school is well led and governed.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 March 2015

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3753

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

297

Gender composition

Boys: 51% Girls: 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

80%

10%

5%

5%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

12 March 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2011

May 2008

May 2005