Kaikoura Suburban School - 25/09/2014

Findings

The strong focus on values and the wellbeing of students underpins the inclusive school culture and positive relationships. Most students are achieving well at a regional and national level in mathematics, reading and writing. The school’s unique curriculum increases students’ opportunities to choose their learning direction, develop thinking skills and learn in real contexts.

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?

The school’s vision and values are well understood and evident in the inclusive culture and positive relationships. Students are encouraged to strive for excellence. They learn in a diverse range of settings.

Teachers use the school's curriculum to actively support students’ involvement in the local community. Close relationships with local schools, early childhood centres and the marae contribute to increased parent, whānau and community participation in the school.

Recommendations from the October 2011 ERO report have resulted in:

  • significant improvement in the way teachers reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching on outcomes for students
  • a stronger focus on students being able to identify and talk about their learning and next steps.

2. Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to plan programmes that support students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The board is well informed about student achievement. Trustees use this information to make decisions about meeting students’ learning needs. This includes extra support by the teacher aide and advice and guidance from other external agencies. The more able students have good opportunities to build on their strengths and abilities within the school’s broad curriculum.

Teachers use achievement information to:

  • develop specific plans for individuals and groups of students
  • identify appropriate learning support
  • regularly monitor and report shifts in progress to the principal
  • identify steps they will take to build on and sustain new learning.

Area for review and development

The school could extend its positive relationship with parents to actively involve them in a more collaborative relationship to support their children’s learning, especially for children receiving additional support.

3. Curriculum

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

The school and its community have used the surrounding natural landscape to develop a localised vision for learning for students. The vision includes the values that guide students’ positive interactions in and out of the school. This includes an external wellbeing initiative that is in place in all schools in the community.

The unique learning for life programme includes learning contexts and pathways that:

  • encourage students to take responsibility for what and how they learn
  • are closely linked to their lives
  • assess students’ progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards
  • promote individual students to extend and challenge their developing skills and strengths in the curriculum
  • allows students to evaluate their progress.

The celebrations at the end of each learning theme enable parents, whānau and the wider community to learn more about students’ learning and progress.

The school’s local area is rich in Māori culture and history which is purposefully included in the curriculum.

Most students, including Māori, are achieving as well as, and in some cases, better than their peers at a regional and national level in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students have good opportunities to be leaders and good role models for younger students.

Teachers regularly seek student opinion about their teaching practice, the safety of the school and ways to improve the environment. Teachers use a range of effective practices to fully engage students. This includes:

  • the use of action plans to raise the achievement of targeted students
  • using learning stories as a useful assessment
  • feedback that supports students’ learning
  • positive and respectful relationships and interactions
  • reflective practices that help to monitor the impact of teaching practice.

There has been significant investment in technology and students use it confidently to support their learning.

Area for review and development

School leaders and teachers carry out a range of curriculum reviews. The next step is for the principal and staff to develop a planned approach and process for self review that can easily be used by all staff.

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

Māori students have a range of opportunities to succeed as Māori. The whānau meets to discuss aspirations and goals for their children. The use of pepeha (greetings) further reinforces their tūrangawaewae (sense of belonging), identity and culture of the students.

The school fully supports students’ involvement in a community-based kapa haka group with other schools. The teachers from local schools who are involved in supporting students with kapa haka are receiving practical training from the local college and community experts. This has strengthened relationships with whānau and local iwi.

The use of te reo Māori in classrooms is increasing. Māori students feel encouraged by the school’s support. Further development of te reo Māori in classroom programmes will help all students, particularly Māori students, strengthen their sense of belonging.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board has useful long-term and annual plans to support the governance of the school. Trustees bring a range of experiences and skills to their roles.

The board has good processes in place to review its effectiveness. Trustees work well as a team in collaboration with the principal.

The board receives informative and detailed reports on student achievement to guide important decisions about resourcing.

The principal works effectively and collaboratively with staff. She uses the strengths of her staff to meet the needs of all students. The appraisal process supports teachers to continue to improve their classroom teaching.

The school provides a range of opportunities for parents to work in partnership with the school to benefit students’ learning.

Areas for review and development

The board has identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps for improvement are for the board to:

  • seek support in developing a clearer understanding of self review
  • ensure the school informs students, staff and parents of any actions taken or intended to be taken in response to survey information.

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 strong focus on values and the wellbeing of students underpins the inclusive school culture and positive relationships. Most students are achieving well at a regional and national level in mathematics, reading and writing. The school’s unique curriculum increases students’ opportunities to choose their learning direction, develop thinking skills and learn in real contexts.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

25 September 2014

About the School

Location

Kaikoura

Ministry of Education profile number

3392

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

95

Gender composition

Girls 51;

Boys 44

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other ethnicities

56%

37%

1%

6%

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

25 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

February 2009

November 2005