Karapiro School - 22/09/2011

1 Context

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

Karapiro School is a rural, contributing primary school catering for Years 1 to 6 students and is located eight kilometres south of Cambridge. This long-established school, together with three other schools combined last year to celebrate 125 years of education provided for communities in the district.

The school’s mission statement Whakatupu Tahi Tatou (Together We Grow) underpins an inclusive, affirming and supportive culture. Students feel safe and secure in their family-orientated environment that includes a well-defined values programme and high expectations for considerate behaviour. Strong links have been maintained with local preschools, the rural school cluster and the wider community.

The student population has continued to increase and, at the time of the review, the roll was 70 of whom seven identified as Māori. Since the previous ERO review a nearby school has closed resulting in a small number of students and some resources transferring to the Karapiro School site.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

High levels of student achievement and progress are evident across all school levels. School-wide achievement data for the end of 2010 and mid-year 2011 indicates high proportions of students meeting, or exceeding the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are achieving at levels comparable to other groups of learners. There is no significant difference between the achievement levels of boys and girls.

Teachers’ professional judgements are based on data gathered through the use of a range of appropriate assessment tools. Achievement information is effectively analysed and used to inform decision-making and planning at all levels of the school. Trustees use the information to inform strategic priorities, set relevant achievement targets and allocate resources to support teaching and learning. Parents are kept well informed about their children’s progress and achievement through a range of effective communication systems, including two written reports, student learning journals and parent/teacher meetings.

Teachers also monitor and report student learning in other areas of The New Zealand Curriculum, including science, social science, physical education and health.

Karapiro students achieve notable successes in a wide range of additional learning programmes including cultural, sporting and camping experiences. An annual, month-long electives programme provides students with many opportunities to learn alongside teachers and other adults, experiment using new skills, follow their interests, and extend their creativity. This extensive range of special programmes is facilitated by the generous support of teachers, administration staff, parents and other community members.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Māori student achievement is comparable with the achievement of all other students. The comments made in Section 2 - Learning, of this report are relevant to this group of learners. Students take pride in performing a selection of waiata and kapa haka, and engaging in the schools' annual marae noho. This special school-wide and community event supports the school's mission statement, 'Whakatupu Tahi Tatou' (Together We Grow).

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum reflects community aspirations and provides extensive and stimulating learning opportunities for its students. The principal, staff and trustees have consulted widely to establish an appropriate curriculum that is responsive to the varied needs and interests of its students and local community. Students have developed a visual representation of what learning looks like at Karapiro School. Local environmental features of the immediate district are included in the student-produced graphic and refer to school priorities such as high achievement, goal setting, competencies and virtues.

All aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum are covered, with the highest priority being placed on literacy and mathematics learning. Strong support is provided for students with special abilities and needs and they benefit from the valuable work provided by experienced teacher aides and a skilled specialist teacher.

The programme is holistic in nature where students benefit from engagement in activities that support their growth and development in sporting, cultural, leadership, outdoor education and traditional rural events.

Teachers have high expectations for student learning. Classrooms are settled and purposeful, and characterised by mutually respectful relationships. Teachers plan collaboratively and undertake high quality assessment practices. They are reflective practitioners who engage in regular professional development to strengthen their knowledge and understanding about current best teaching practice.

The school has identified the importance of building on existing practices that encourage students to lead and take responsibility for their own learning.

In addition, it is timely for the school to review how the programmes and protocols might more strongly reflect the school’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is in a strong position to sustain its ongoing development and improvement through:

  • the continuing pattern of high levels of student achievement and engagement in learning
  • experienced and effective board leadership
  • strong educational leadership demonstrated by the principal who manages school operations in an effective and efficient manner
  • the high level of commitment and strategic thinking of the board
  • a quality self-review programme well informed by student achievement data that evaluates school effectiveness and identifies ongoing strategic priorities
  • the fostering and monitoring of high levels of teachers’ professional practice
  • the continuing and generous support of the parent and wider community
  • careful management of school assets.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' 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.

Recommendations to other agencies

Not applicable.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

22 September 2011

About the School

Location

Cambridge

Ministry of Education profile number

1764

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile

9

School roll

70

Gender composition

Boys 35

Girls 35

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

Other European

Other

Fijian

54

7

6

2

1

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

22 September 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2008

November 2005

August 2002