Kerikeri Primary School - 18/06/2013

1 Context

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

Kerikeri Primary School, situated in the Bay of Islands, caters for students from Years 1 to 6. It enjoys good relationships with the local high school which is located across the road. The school has a positive ERO reporting history and continues the good practices noted in the 2007 and 2010 ERO reports.

Since ERO’s 2010 review the board and principal have focused on upgrading classroom environments and increased the provision for information communication technologies (ICT). Progress has been made with addressing the areas for improvement identified in 2010 ERO report. These were to do with the teaching of thinking skills and the school’s inquiry approach to teaching and learning.

The principal leads a focus on continual improvement. He is well supported by an enthusiastic senior management team and board of trustees. Positive, reciprocal relationships are evident across all levels of the school.

The board continues to have a commitment to bicultural and bilingual education and offers dual learning pathways for students. The two bilingual classrooms, known as Whakatipuranga, continue to offer good quality te reo and tikanga Māori bilingual programmes.

2 Learning

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

At board and senior management levels, student achievement information is used well to inform discussions about the number of students who are achieving at or above the National Standards. This information is used to set school targets and to prioritise programmes that support students who are not achieving at expected levels. The board and senior leaders now realise the importance of also using information about the progress of groups of students to make more informed decisions about resourcing.

Teachers use student achievement information to group students for instruction, and some teachers use student data well to inform their teaching. Senior managers agree that teachers could make better use of analysed achievement information. There could be more explicit teaching to address students' identified learning gaps and to guide students in setting directions for their own work.

School leaders have identified the need to more accurately assess and report to parents about children’s achievement after one, two and three years at school. Formal reports to parents are currently being refined to include information about how parents could support their children’s learning at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports and promotes student learning. The principal and teachers have developed an awareness of, and are committed to, the exciting potential of a student generated curriculum. This approach to curriculum was experienced by the senior classes in 2012. The senior management team and teachers have a shared understanding of the principles and values of The New Zealand Curriculum. They are aware of the importance of linking these principles and values to the school’s local context. Good use has been made of the local environment, resources and community.

Classrooms are focused learning environments. Good relationships are evident between teachers and students. The board is systematically upgrading classroom interiors and increasing ICT resourcing. In some classrooms these improvements are supporting student engagement and innovative teaching and learning practices.

Since the 2012 ERO review, teachers have focused on implementing a range of strategies to share the purpose of lessons with students. They have also focussed on giving students very clear written and verbal feedback about their learning.

School leaders acknowledge the need to promote further professional dialogue amongst teachers about increasing student-led learning. They are discussing ways to strengthen the school’s inquiry approach to teaching and learning to better encompass all curriculum areas.

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

Almost a third of students attending the school identify as Māori. Trustees and staff value the knowledge and contributions that these students and their whānau bring to the school.

The board is committed to ensuring that Māori perspectives are included in the charter and strategic plan, and are central to school decision making and the life of the school.

Māori students, both in the bilingual units and mainstream classes, are well engaged in learning activities at the school. They make a valuable contribution to the school focus on biculturalism.

The two bilingual units, known as Te Whakatupuranga, are increasing Māori children’s knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. Students are supported to take on leadership roles that are building pride in their heritage and their mana as successful Māori. Whānau are regularly consulted and meet with staff to discuss the programmes provided in the Whakatupuranga units.

School leaders have recognised the need to continue reviewing the achievement of Māori students and identify ways to further lift the achievement of Māori boys. It would be useful for school leaders to track the progress of Māori students, both in the mainstream and Te Whakatupuranga classrooms, in order to determine the effectiveness of these different programmes for Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Since the 2010 ERO report the school has refined its practices and developed systems that will help to sustain and further improve its performance.

The principal sets the direction for the school’s ongoing improvement. He is well supported by trustees and a cohesive senior management team with complementary skills. School leaders are committed to improving outcomes for all students.

Senior leaders and staff are reflective about programmes and activities. Self review across the school could be strengthened. In particular, it would be useful to use student achievement and progress data to better identify areas of priority and to note the impact over time of programmes or initiatives. School leaders recognise the benefit of using achievement data to inquire into the effectiveness of practice at student, teacher, management and governance levels.

While there are several leadership positions across the school, school leaders acknowledge the need to distribute leadership responsibilities more to teachers and to students.

The teacher performance appraisal process has been reviewed and changed several times. The current process would be further improved by making better links to student achievement data, the registered teacher criteria and the school charter.

With the new board elections this year, ERO suggests trustees undertake whole board professional development in order to grow their governance roles.

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.

In order to improve current practice the board of trustees should, through the principal, ensure that each teacher participates in the appraisal process at least once every twelve months. [State Sector Act 1988 (77C), Education Act 1989]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

18 June 2013

About the School

Location

Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

Ministry of Education profile number

1034

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

521

Gender composition

Boys 55%

Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other European

African

Asian

Pacific

Other

60%

30%

4%

2%

1%

1%

2%

Special Features

Two Māori bilingual classes

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

18 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

May 2007

February 2003