Kaipara Flats School - 21/06/2017

Findings

Kaipara Flats School is a welcoming place for students and the community, and is well placed to sustain current good practice and continue improving its performance. Governance and educational leadership are effective. The new vision, values and Kaipara Flats Student profile have set the foundation for a meaningful curriculum for children. 

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?

Kaipara Flats School is a small rural primary school, north of Auckland. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. Children learn in small, multi-levelled classes. Supportive relationships are highly evident between students of different ages.

The 2015 ERO evaluation noted that students enjoyed a supportive and inclusive environment for learning. However, it highlighted concerns about governance and management, educational leadership, Māori student success, and self review. For these reasons ERO decided to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal review process.

Staff have participated in extensive professional development and made very good use of external support. This well considered approach to professional development is continuing.

The board sought New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) support and guidance to assist trustees and the principal to develop their capacity to implement changes. A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2015 and a new board was elected in 2016.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities for school review and development include:

  • effective governance practices and board understanding of its roles and responsibilities
  • educational leadership and greater shared understanding of the teaching practices that are most effective in promoting student progress and learning
  • the promotion of educational success for Māori students as Māori
  • the implementation of clear and useful processes for self review.

Progress

There has been very good progress in all priority areas.

Governance processes and practices have been strengthened. Transition to the new board has been effective. Through the introduction of an online system, policies and procedures have been streamlined and a cycle of regular review is in place. Trustees have shared knowledge and understanding of school documents and processes. There is a more collaborative approach to setting a new school direction, underpinned by the school’s new vision and values. The board should continue to access external advice and support to further develop the capability of new trustees.

Most areas of non-compliance identified in the 2015 ERO report have been addressed. The school should continue to consider ways of formalising processes for consulting whānau Māori.

Effective educational leadership and a strategic approach to leadership development are resulting in good internal leadership capability. This approach is well supported by professional development provided by external facilitators. The principal and teachers are starting to align school-wide modern learning approaches.

An external facilitator is guiding the school through a comprehensive review to support the development of a Kaipara Flats curriculum that reflects the new school direction. Significant work has been done to create a Kaipara Flats learner profile, school vision and values. This has built a useful foundation as the school continues to develop an effective integrated curriculum.

Increased opportunities for children to be more involved in their learning could include sharing assessment information with children and extending opportunities for them to contribute to curriculum decisions.

A new teacher appraisal system aligns with the requirements of the Education Council. This framework should support teachers to improve learning and achievement outcomes for children by inquiring into the effectiveness of their own practice.

Teachers are refining processes for making overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards to ensure that school achievement information is dependable. There is still work to be done to strengthen the use of achievement information to improve learning outcomes, including school leaders:

  • setting measurable achievement targets in the school charter
  • providing the board with useful reports and analysis of student progress and achievement, that address areas such as target students’ progress, parity within groups, and trends and patterns over time
  • continuing to strengthen capacity across the school for gathering, understanding and using progress and achievement data.

Very good progress has been made in strengthening the bicultural curriculum and supporting staff to extend their confidence and capability. Bicultural practices and te reo Māori are becoming valued, visible and celebrated in the school and its community.

School leadership promotes relational trust, which supports collaboration and openness to change. A reflective culture and systems for internal evaluation promote ongoing improvement and guide the school forward. It is timely to consider formalizing and developing a strategic approach to school internal evaluation.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain current good practices and continue improving its performance.

The board and principal have a positive working relationship. There has been a significant shift in professional collaboration and shared ownership of school direction and practices. A growing reflective culture is setting a strong foundation for effective internal evaluation.

Future priorities for the board, school leaders and teachers to support ongoing school improvement include continuing:

  • the documentation of a curriculum that aligns with the new school direction
  • to improve the use of student achievement information to support learner outcomes
  • refining internal evaluation processes.

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

Kaipara Flats School is a welcoming place for students and the community, and is well placed to sustain current good practice and continue improving its performance. Governance and educational leadership are effective. The new vision, values and Kaipara Flats Student profile have set the foundation for a meaningful curriculum for children. 

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

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

21 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Kaipara Flats, Warkworth

Ministry of Education profile number

1324

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

85

Gender composition

Boys 46 Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

8

77

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

21 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2015

October 2011

June 2008