Kairanga School - 06/05/2015

Findings

Relationships among staff, the board and community are respectful. Shared aspirations for the school’s future are evident. The curriculum develops students’ people skills, adaptability, creativity and confidence with technology, for future-focused learning. There is a strong culture of active learning and deliberate teaching in every classroom. Students are set up to succeed and the majority are high achievers.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Kairanga School is a Years 1 to 8 school situated close to Palmerston North city. It retains rural traditions with a community and family-friendly culture. The ‘Kairanga Kid’ has been developed as a visual representation of the school’s vision, values and key competencies for lifelong learning and citizenship. The roll of 154 includes 29 who are Māori. Leadership is a key feature of the curriculum especially for Year 8 students.

Senior leaders, teachers and teacher aides work as a professional and experienced team. Relationships among staff and with the board and community are respectful. Shared aspirations for the school’s future are evident.

The reality of the vision, ‘Building Firm Foundations for a Lifetime of Learning’ has been further embedded since the April 2012 ERO report. Increasingly flexible use of teaching spaces and cooperative teaching has occurred. Development has been carefully considered, planned and reviewed by the board and teachers. The next stage of modifying and opening up spaces is beginning. This report evaluates how well prepared the school is for future-focused teaching and learning and what is likely to contribute to success.

2. Learning

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

Senior leaders, trustees, teachers, parents and students use achievement information effectively to promote and sustain individual learner’s progress. School data shows that the majority of students achieve at or above expectation in relation to the National Standards in literacy and mathematics. Very good results have been sustained over years.

Annual targets for improved achievement are ambitious and concentrated on individual students making accelerated progress. In-depth analysis of results and regular reports from staff guide the board’s forward-planning decisions. Student progress and achievement is under constant scrutiny by trustees and staff.

Teachers very deliberately focus on individual students in their class. Assessment is for learning, progress is monitored, programmes are adjusted and very specific next steps are shared with learners. All teachers know each student well. This is a carefully-considered strategy to use teachers’ collective expertise to find solutions and share what makes the most difference. Cross-staff sharing also enables every student to begin effective learning on day one, each year. Continuity of information sharing minimises the negative effects of transition.

The planned assessment review is to examine how well practices meet the requirements of future-focused learning. ERO agrees that the review is likely to identify strengths in current practice and areas where students’ role in assessment could be further developed. It should also enhance manageable and purposeful goal setting and the cooperative nature of teacher assessment.

Students increasingly monitor and take responsibility for their own progress as they move through to Year 8. In the junior school, records of progress are appropriately visual. Students know the purpose for tasks and self assess the quality of their work. There is considerable peer support and assessment. Students help teachers set criteria to measure how well they are doing.

Students with more complex needs receive good levels of assistance to be effective learners. School culture is inclusive and every child is valued. There are high expectations for progress. Milestones are celebrated.

Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. Personal contact with teachers is regular and the family-friendly culture encourages parent partnerships for learning. Ways to help at home are shared and discussed.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is highly effective in promoting student progress and achievement. There is good direction for teachers, broad interpretation and scope, and recognition of students’ interests and abilities. The outcome is a learner-centred curriculum that challenges and continues to evolve towards the future. As the cycle of review continues, it is appropriate to evaluate current practice and consider further opportunities to promote the bicultural nature of the curriculum.

Literacy and mathematics learning are appropriate priorities. Ample time is given to the arts, physical activity and education beyond the classroom. The increasing emphasis on science should complement local studies and add to existing opportunities that challenge students to challenge themselves.

Enrichment programmes, including the specific senior team extension programme, provide opportunities for students to self select a curriculum focus based on interest, experience or special ability. Programmes, including financial literacy learning, careers and Young Enterprise activities encourage students to be creative and to apply literacy and mathematics in a broader context.

The attributes for successful lifelong learning are taught and practised progressively as students move through the school. Students are increasingly confident when talking about their learning, are independent and demonstrate the ‘Kairanga Kid’ values.

There is a strong culture of active learning and well-targeted teaching in every classroom. Students persevere and sustain an interest in tasks. They are set up to succeed. Expectations for high quality work are shared and there is a sense of urgency to make progress.

Relationships are trusting between teachers and their students. Students know and can manage routines and organisation. They are confident about moving within spaces and interacting with different adults. Experienced teacher aides skilfully make a definite difference to students’ ability to consolidate their learning and work regularly with an adult for instructional purposes.

The impact of the curriculum is that students have people skills, adaptability, creativity, and communication and technology skills to equip them for future-focused learning.

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

Māori students’ high levels of academic, social and physical achievement are outcomes of the effective school curriculum and parent partnerships in learning. Whānau share their interests, talents and willingness to contribute expertise. Discussion at these meetings and more formal surveys indicate strong support for the school’s values.

The environment shows very clearly that this is a New Zealand school. Local contexts for learning, including history, are integrated. The school has grown its relationship with mana whenua and takes advice from kaumatua at Te Rangimarie Marae.

In addition to whānau input, the board consults with and reports to iwi when the school charter is reviewed.

Māori students are leaders and role models. The newly re-formed kapa haka group should provide further opportunities for students to share their language and culture.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board plans wisely for the future, making carefully considered decisions to support teaching and learning. Trustees contribute a range of complementary skills to their roles and capably undertake their responsibilities. Board governance has been strengthened and made more efficient through a review of its operating model.

Parents, family and community views are sought and valued. As future-focused learning evolves, the board shows commitment to all concerned having input and being well informed. Students’ well being for success is the priority.

The principal provides knowledgeable professional leadership, promoting the school’s vision and values and leading the expectation for high quality teaching and learning. Senior leaders are effective drivers of change. The approach is thoughtful, reflective and collegial. Teachers respond to challenge and feel supported.

Critical reflection and evaluation play a significant role in board, senior leader and teacher practice. There is emphasis on improvement, looking beyond the school and ensuring connections with the ‘Kairanga Kid’ vision remains strong. A high degree of trust is evident among adults and students. Critical review at all levels should continue to assist the school in realising its vision for future-focused learning.

Teachers’ professional learning and development is making a significant difference to their practice. It impacts positively on students’ confidence, motivation and academic progress. Connections with the cooperative future-focused learning and teaching model are intentional.

Each Year 8 student is well prepared, through leadership opportunities, for the next level of schooling. Leadership is a progressive skill developed from enrolment at aged five years. Senior students are resilient, confident role models who respond to the high expectations of parents and teachers. Links with secondary schools, including feedback from Year 9 students, contribute to curriculum decisions that equip students to transition successfully.

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

Relationships among staff, the board and community are respectful. Shared aspirations for the school’s future are evident. The curriculum develops students’ people skills, adaptability, creativity and confidence with technology, for future-focused learning. There is a strong culture of active learning and deliberate teaching in every classroom. Students are set up to succeed and the majority are high achievers.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

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Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 May 2015

About the School

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2370

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

154

Gender composition

Male 54%

Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

18%

82%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

6 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

February 2009