Kaurihohore School - 18/01/2017

1 Context

Kaurihohore School was established in 1877, and is located in a rural setting close to Kamo, Whangarei. It has a proud history in the community, with strong intergenerational connections and significant links. Most Māori children whakapapa to hapū of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine. Special features of the school environment include a new heated pool and bike track. Teachers have participated in significant professional development that has been focused on increasing children's engagement in their learning. Since ERO's 2013 visit the school roll has increased.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are captured in the school's mission statement, 'Enthusiasm and values for life through learning'. This vision is underpinned by four pillars of learning which promote student ownership of their learning and are visually represented in the school grounds.

The school’s achievement information shows that in relation to National Standards, the majority of children achieved very well in reading, writing and mathematics in 2015. All Māori children achieved very well, especially in mathematics. Over the past three years high levels of achievement have been sustained. The majority of children leave Kaurihohore School achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school's current focus is on accelerating the progress of all children who are achieving below the expected standards.

The school's charter targets focus on increasing the number of children achieving the National Standards. Children's progress towards these targets is closely monitored by the board, leaders and teachers. Analysis of the 2015 achievement information shows that many children make accelerated progress to achieve the appropriate National Standard.

The school has expressed an interest to be a member of Ngā Kura Mō te Ako o Whangarei. This means that the school will be working with other local schools to raise achievement across the community and to improve children's transitions through the schools.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has implemented a range of new initiatives focused on accelerating children's achievement. These initiatives include:

  • building teachers' capacity and capability to support the acceleration of students' progress and raising achievement
  • planning improvements that focus on building learning relationships with whānau
  • implementing a developmental approach to learning for new entrants to increase their oral language skills
  • strengthening moderation practices using external expertise to increase the reliability of teacher judgements.

These initiatives are well developed in the school's approach to accelerating children's progress and achievement.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very effectively to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School leaders and teachers closely track and monitor the progress of these children. External professional development programmes supported teachers to provide targeted support for Māori children who needed to make accelerated progress in mathematics. As a result, the school reports that many of these children made accelerated progress.

Acceleration plans are developed to identify children's individual learning needs. Key strategies for acceleration include:

  • increasing children's oral language and developing early literacy and mathematic skills through play-based learning
  • using teacher aides in the classroom so teachers can work more with children who need to make accelerated progress
  • teachers regularly meeting to discuss children's progress and achievement.

Staff promote an environment that values te reo me ōna tikanga Māori to support success for Māori children. Tuakana/teina relationships bring older and younger children together, building a strong sense of whanaungatanga and belonging.

The school uses external expertise to promote te reo Māori through kapa haka. School leaders recognise that it is now timely to develop a sequential te reo Māori programme to increase Māori children's mana through their language, culture and identity as Māori.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds effectively to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The systems, practices and programmes in place for them are similar to those that support Māori children.

Achievement information reported to the board clearly identifies Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Teachers identify children who need to make accelerated progress and plan collaboratively. They share specific learning goals with parents to support learning at home, based on children's individual learning needs.

Increased use of digital learning is increasing children's understanding of learning and strengthening learning partnerships with parents and whānau. A new inquiry approach, Mantle of the Expert, is providing more opportunities for children to be leaders in their own learning. This approach has had a significant impact on increasing boys' engagement in learning.

Children with high and special learning needs are very well supported. Leaders and teachers closely track children who need to make accelerated progress. Children's wellbeing is a priority and their sense of belonging is promoted through carefully considered, individualised approaches.

Leaders are building collective staff responsibility for accelerating children's progress and achievement. A collaborative inquiry approach provides teachers with opportunities to reflect on and change their practice to better support children's learning.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum develops and enacts the school's vision, values, and goals for equity and excellence effectively. There is a warm and inclusive culture for children and whānau that promotes children's learning and wellbeing.

The school's integrated curriculum supports children as confident, articulate, critical thinkers. It provides opportunities for children to be creative and experience real-world investigations using collaborative learning approaches. Digital learning technologies are increasingly integrated in teaching programmes to enrich children's learning opportunities.

Children participate in various co-curricular opportunities in sport, culture and leadership. New entrant children experience a developmental approach to learning that supports them to build positive relationships with teachers and each other.

The curriculum is regularly reviewed and refreshed to meet the ongoing learning needs and strengths of children, teachers and the community. Staff engage in appropriate professional development to strengthen their teaching practice. School leaders have focused on increasing teachers' evaluative thinking to enhance their appraisal process.

School leaders provide capable, professional leadership. They know their staff, children and community well. The principal has a well considered approach to leading change and works collaboratively to promote a culture of evaluative inquiry for improvement.

The board has a good understanding of its stewardship role. Trustees and senior leaders work well as a team to utilise their collective strengths. They scrutinise achievement information and allocate resources strategically to meet children's learning needs.

The school has continued to strengthen its links with whānau Māori, promoting positive, learning-centred partnerships. Whānau appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the school's strategic direction and speak confidently about the leadership and cultural opportunities that enhance their children's learning. To extend these positive relationships and promote success for Māori children, the board could now use the New Zealand School Trustee Association's resource Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Board of Trustees, as a useful internal evaluation tool.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Kaurihohore School is very well governed and led. Children's learning is highly promoted and there are a range of successful interventions and strategies in place for children who are at risk of not achieving success. Systems for monitoring and evaluating teaching practice, student assessment are highly effective. Professional development promotes strategies for accelerating student achievement. Developing a sequential te reo Māori programme and implementing Hautū will be helpful for the board in supporting tamariki Māori to succeed as Māori and for other children to have their cultural identity affirmed and celebrated.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continue to use internal evaluation to monitor and report on the effectiveness of school improvement initiatives, including those related to accelerating children's progress and achievement. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 January 2017

About the school 

Location

Kamo, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1032

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

202

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

22%

76%

2%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

18 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

June 2010

June 2007