Kairanga School - 24/04/2012

1 Context

The Years 1 to 8 students who attend Kairanga School enjoy learning in a well-resourced, attractive rural setting on the outskirts of Palmerston North. The school roll includes 18% of students who identify as Māori. The community is strongly supportive of the school. Stability of staffing contributes to well-established relationships between teachers, students and families.

2 Learning

Students demonstrate the attributes of ‘Kairanga Kids’. They show confidence and self-management skills. They cooperate with others and have high expectations for themselves as learners.

Trustees and senior leaders have worked with the National Standards to set school achievement expectations. Achievement reports indicate that the majority of students are successful in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to these standards. Students at risk of not achieving are well identified and supported to progress. Interventions include the effective use of well trained teacheraides in junior classes.

The board receives full reports about school-wide achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Information shows percentages achieving below, at and above relevant expectations, progress compared with the previous report and how school expectations align to National Standards. However, it does not yet show how many students are well below National Standards. Trustees and the principal acknowledge that this is a requirement.

Assessment practices related to National Standards are developing in response to ongoing review. Teachers moderate work samples together to gain a shared understanding of student achievement. Processes are well developed in reading and writing and teachers are strengthening processes for making overall judgements in mathematics.

Individual student reports provide parents with useful information about their child’s progress, achievement and future learning goals, in literacy and mathematics, in relation to school expectations. However, the relationship between these expectations and National Standards is not clear. Information about students’ key competencies, interests, involvement and skills in other learning areas is also shared. Teachers are developing ways to support students to know about their achievement and progress and set learning goals.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The board, school leaders and teachers have good knowledge of Māori student achievement and progress from analysed data. Reports to the board show that Māori students are successful learners whose achievement and progress exceeds that of non-Māori peers in some areas of literacy and mathematics.

Teaching practices, school tone and relationships support Māori student engagement and belonging. The next step is to review how well students are also supported to experience success as Māori. Leaders are committed to strengthening connections with local iwi groups and to the provision of learning experiences that acknowledge New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. However, expectations for parent partnership, consultation, curriculum development and teaching practice need to be more explicit to foster shared understanding and practice in this area.

3 Curriculum

Considerable curriculum development has occurred since the February 2009 ERO review. The process involved community consultation and thoughtful trial, review and refinement of school documents.

The vision of ‘Kairanga Kids’ clearly outlines the attributes considered important for students to develop. The model provides teachers with a useful tool for linking school values, key competencies and parents’ aspirations for their children. The concept is embedded and strongly influences the school culture. It underpins positive classroom tone and cooperative working relationships.

Guiding curriculum documents provide clear expectations and direction for teachers in literacy, mathematics, integrated learning areas and the student inquiry process. Teachers collaboratively plan learning experiences for students that are relevant, meaningful and highly engaging.

The integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) is a successful school-wide focus. Teachers are committed to ongoing professional learning to help them use ICT within programmes to engage students and support the curriculum. Other intended outcomes are to improve communication with parents and students through the use of school ‘wikis’.

Teachers know students’ learning needs well. They use assessment data to group and re-group students within classroom programmes and to carefully match learning experiences to needs. Teachers are beginning to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice to be continually responsive. Senior leaders identify the next step is for teachers to work more deliberately with targeted students to accelerate progress. ERO’s external evaluation confirms that this direction is appropriate.

4 Sustainable Performance

The principal models collaborative practice. Staff appreciate the enthusiastic curriculum leadership provided by the principal and senior leaders. New projects have been well managed and sufficient time has been allowed for teachers to understand, trial and embed changes. Outside advisors and research information is used in review and improvement initiatives. Teachers regularly meet to share ideas, challenge each other, affirm and support teaching practice.

Senior leaders use an effective process to support teachers’ professional growth and to know about the quality of teaching. The appraisal process is well linked to school priorities and includes personal reflection, observations of teaching, the use of critical friends and robust discussion and identification of areas for improvement.

Trustees and senior leaders set expectations that every student will succeed. Annual targets reflect this aspiration and are not explicitly developed in response to what is known about achievement. It is therefore more difficult to be specific about accelerating the progress of those below expectations and to determine improvement over time for this group. Setting improvement targets related to National Standards should allow the board and teachers to be more deliberate and strategic in their approach to accelerating progress. Monitoring and more regular reporting how well the school is tracking towards the targets is an essential part of this process.

Systems for self review are well established and should support the more regular monitoring outlined above in the suggested area for review and development. Clear and useful guidelines assist trustees in understanding their roles and responsibilities in governance.

5 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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

ERO identified the following area of non-compliance. Individual student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is not clearly reported in relation to the National Standards.

The board of trustees must ensure that the school:

  • Reports to students and their parents state progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards.[National Administration Guidelines 2A (a)

6 When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

24 April 2012

About the School

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2370

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

152

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā Māori Pacific Other ethnic groups

78% 18% 1% 3%

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

24 April 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Supplementary Review

February 2009 May 2006 October 2003