Kaingaroa School (Kaitaia) - 10/06/2020

School Context

Kaingaroa School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Approximately half the school roll identify as Māori and just under half as Pākehā. A small number of children have Samoan or other ethnic heritage. The school has experienced roll growth over the last three years.

The school is a member of Te Kāhui Tai Kura o Te Hiku Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning which is focused on developing student agency through quality teaching and learning. The school is also a member of Te Hiku Manaiakalani Outreach, which is focused on promoting digital fluency, in readiness to implement the digital technology curriculum. The principal leads the Manaiakalani project in the school.

The experienced principal is supported by a deputy principal, who is also a leader in the kāhui ako, and a teaching assistant principal. Several teachers are new to the school since ERO’s 2017 review, and most staff have historical connections to the community.

The new board chairperson is an experienced trustee. Board members bring a range of professional skills and knowledge to their roles. The board has co-opted a trustee from the local Māori community.

The school’s vision is Whakatupu ana i te huarahi pai mō naianei me apopo - Growing success together: today for tomorrow. The school values are kia tika – respect, kia mahara – responsibility, kia manawanui – resilience, kia pono – equity, and kia ngāwari – kindness. The strategic goals are to:

  • grow student-centred leadership, where students are successful in driving their own learning
  • build identity through strengthening community and whānau partnerships
  • grow teacher and leadership capability.

The school’s 2020 targets are focused on supporting students who are working below curriculum expectations to achieve in reading, writing and mathematics. For the last three years, leaders and teachers have participated in the professional development course Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM), funded by the Ministry of Education.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing for success
  • attendance
  • strategic goals.

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 successfully increasing equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School achievement data show that most students achieve at expected national curriculum levels in reading and mathematics, and the majority of students in writing. This level of achievement has been sustained since 2016.

School achievement information for Māori students show that the majority achieve at expectation in mathematics and literacy. The number of Māori students enrolled at the school has fluctuated over the last four years.

The school has used comparative longitudinal data from the Manaiakalani Project to monitor the progress and achievement of individual students. Overall, these data show a positive upward trajectory in literacy and mathematics for Māori students, boys in Years 4 to 8, and girls in Years 5 to 8. These data also indicate that girls are achieving above expectation in writing. This information indicates that by Year 8 most students feel confident in the school’s graduate profile and other valued outcomes.

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

The school is successfully accelerating learning for students who needs this. Effective systems are in place to identify and support these students to make accelerated progress. A number of children who enrol throughout the year have patterns of transience and disrupted learning, and they require accelerated learning programmes.

Comparative longitudinal data indicate increasing parity in reading achievement and accelerated progress in writing for Māori students. The data also show accelerated progress in mathematics for Year 4 Māori students. The school’s 2019 data show accelerated progress for almost all Years 1 and 2 Māori students learning through targeted intervention programmes.

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?

Leaders are focused on promoting positive relationships and implementing effective strategies that support student equity and excellence. The board makes well-considered decisions to promote equitable opportunities for students. Parents and whānau who spoke with ERO feel respected as valued partners in their children’s learning.

Students learn in caring, inclusive learning environments that promote relational trust, cooperation and team work. Transient students experience positive transitions into the school. Students increasingly experience opportunities to take ownership of their learning.

The school curriculum is future-focused and connected to students’ lives. It reflects the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Teachers make good use of community and cultural resources to provide a local, bicultural curriculum. They use effective teaching practices that scaffold student learning.

Students with additional learning and behavioural needs feel accepted and enjoy positive relationships with their peers and teachers. They are active, visible members of the learning community. School leaders work alongside teachers, parents/whānau and external agencies to develop individualised plans for these students. They work collaboratively to support students’ health, wellbeing and education. Students build social and emotional competencies to help them to be successful learners.

The principal actively promotes a strategic, coherent and collaborative approach to building professional learning and practice. This personalised approach is increasing teachers’ data literacy capacity and the consistency of effective teaching practice across the school.

Leaders and teachers use relevant assessment systems and processes to track achievement and monitor students who need to make accelerated progress. Appropriate assessment tools provide reliable achievement data to inform deliberate teaching strategies for acceleration.

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

The leadership team and board are committed to the school’s vision. They agree that further developments for equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning include continuing to:

  • develop the Kaingaroa School expectations for teaching and learning to increase students’ assessment and learning to learn capabilities
  • build the capability of trustees and staff to do and use evidence-based evaluation and inquiry to guide and sustain ongoing school improvements, and to determine the impact of developments on student learning.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Kaingaroa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the principal’s effective leadership and commitment to equity and excellence for all students
  • a meaningful, student-centred local curriculum
  • teachers’ focus on building their professional capability and collective capacity to improve outcomes for students.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in continuing to:

  • build staff and trustees’ collective internal evaluation capability for improvement and innovation
  • strengthen teaching strategies to ensure students have the opportunities and skills to know and lead their own learning.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

10 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.