Kaingaroa Forest School - 26/02/2019

Findings

Kaingaroa Forest School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development in the 2016 ERO report. The principal, board and teaching staff demonstrate commitment to implementing a responsive curriculum that addresses the learning needs of students, of whom many are new to the school. There is increasing support from, and consultation with, the school’s local community. 

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Kaingaroa Forest School is situated in the village of Kaingaroa Forest and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. Over the last two years there has been significant roll growth from 10 to 56 students.

At the time of the previous 2016 ERO review, a long-serving principal had recently resigned. A new board was elected in May 2016, but the board chair has retained his position. Following ERO’s recommendations, the Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed a limited statutory manager (LSM) in June 2016 to assist the board with governance challenges including the appointment of a new principal. The LSM continued in this position until July 2018, when his role was reduced to specialist advisor to the board. A student achievement function practitioner (SAF) was also appointed to the school by the MoE to assist in improving student progress and achievement.

The new principal took up her position in January 2017. Due to roll growth, two new teachers and several teacher aides have also been appointed during the last 18 months. Teachers have engaged in professional learning and development in mathematics and positive guidance strategies to improve outcomes for students.

As a result of MoE interventions and professional development opportunities, the school has made positive progress in addressing the next steps identified in the 2016 ERO report. Actions for compliance identified in the 2016 report have also been addressed.

The school values cultural identity and connectedness in the global community along with WHIRA - whanaungatanga, honesty, integrity, respect and aroha.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The previous 2016 ERO report identified the following priorities:

  • accelerating rates of progress
  • teaching and assessment practices
  • appraisal processes
  • governance, including strategic planning and self review.

Progress

Kaingaroa Forest School is effectively addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2016 ERO report.

Accelerating progress for at-risk students

The principal and staff have received considerable assistance from the appointed SAF in developing a well-considered action plan to improve teaching, learning and student achievement. As a result, they have implemented effective systems to sustain a continual focus on accelerating the progress of at-risk learners. This development includes tracking of all students in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to learning progressions. All at-risk learners are targeted for accelerated progress. They are frequently monitored within class programmes and as part of the teacher appraisal process. Progress of all at-risk learners is formally monitored each term.

Achievement information reported to the board shows progress through the year. Those who do not make expected progress benefit from targeted interventions and the assistance of external agencies. However, because so many students have recently arrived at the school, it is too early to make a judgement about trends and patterns of accelerated progress.

Improving teaching and assessment practices

The principal and staff have developed a meaningful local curriculum that focuses appropriately on promoting school values and the effective teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. The curriculum continues to evolve in response to students’ interests and whanau aspirations. Teachers demonstrate a responsive approach to providing learning experiences that interest students and promote engagement in class programmes. Positive guidance strategies have been effectively implemented.

The assessment schedule has also been revised to provide achievement information that guides planning and teaching. Learning progressions are being increasingly used by teachers and students to identify progress, achievement and next learning steps. Students are developing understanding of their progress in relation to national curriculum levels. The principal recognises that a next step is for students to have understanding and use of learning progressions so that they can monitor their own learning.

Appraisal processes

The school now has an effective, well–documented appraisal process aligned to New Zealand Education Council requirements. This includes well-structured classroom observations aligned to teachers’ personal goals with robust feedback and feed forward to improve teaching practice. Teachers’ goals are related to learner outcomes providing opportunities for data-based discussions. Teaching as inquiry is developing.

There is an appropriate induction and mentoring process for the beginning teacher. The board has appointed an external appraiser for the principal.

Governance

The board, including the principal, has received strong support from the LSM, who has provided effective training in managing policies, finances, staff appointments and performance, curriculum development, and self review processes. He has assisted the board and principal to become more confident and accountable in their respective governance and management roles and responsibilities. Trustees plan to continue training to assist with succession planning and the further development of internal evaluation processes that focus on improving student achievement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Kaingaroa Forest School is now well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The school has benefitted significantly from the LSM and SAF interventions provided by the Ministry of Education. This support has resulted in considerable improvements in governance, leadership, appraisal, teaching and assessment processes. Trustees, principal and staff continue to manage roll growth in a manner that responds to the needs and aspirations of students and parents. They are committed to further professional development and training to address the next steps identified in this report. There is a school-wide focus on continuing the momentum of improvement that has developed over the past two years.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the board continues to access support from the Ministry of Education to monitor ongoing implementation of SAF plan objectives and planned training for the board from the New Zealand Trustees Association.

Conclusion

Kaingaroa Forest School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development in the 2016 ERO report. The principal, board and teaching staff demonstrate commitment to implementing a responsive curriculum that addresses the learning needs of students, of whom many are new to the school. There is increasing support from, and consultation with, the school’s local community.

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

26 February 2019

About the School

Location

Kaingaroa Forest, Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1759

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

56

Gender composition

Boys 37 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

56

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

26 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2016
July 2013
July 2011