Kimi Ora Community School - 19/02/2014

1 Context

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

Kimi Ora Community School in Flaxmere caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 96 students includes 35 who identify as Māori and 60 as Pacific. Students’ cultural heritages are valued. Engaging families and whānau in their children’s learning continues to be a school focus.

Student success, based on the school's ‘Mananui’ values, is regularly celebrated. There is a wide range of opportunities for students to learn and achieve, including through leadership, sporting, cultural and community activities.

Teachers are participating in literacy and numeracy professional learning and development (PLD) projects focused on raising student achievement. Classrooms are very well resourced, with a range of information and communication technologies (ICT) used by students in their learning.

Since the December 2010 ERO report there has been some staff turnover and nine new trustees have joined the board.

2 Learning

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

National Standards assessment data for 2012 indicates the need to significantly improve student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. In response to this information teachers are involved in literacy and numeracy PLD to improve the effectiveness of their teaching.

In 2013, there has been an increase in teachers’ use of student assessment data to identify the needs of individuals. Students at significant risk of underachieving are closely monitored. Senior managers' and teachers' analysis of interim assessment information indicates progress for some students. A review by teachers and leaders should help to identify teaching practices that contribute to accelerating students' progress.

Most students are engaged in classroom learning. They have opportunities to share ideas and discuss their learning with each other.

Teacher aides support students in classes and in other learning programmes. Their cultural diversity helps them to assist Pacific students who have English as a second language.

Reports to parents provide them with useful assessment information about their children’s progress, next learning steps and ways to support learning at home. Up until November 2013 the reports did not show students' progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since that time managers have included references to National Standards in students' reports. However, this is still an area for further development. Face-to-face meetings give teachers, parents and whānau opportunities to discuss students’ progress.

The board and principal should strengthen plans related to the goals and student achievement targets in the school charter. This should involve better use of student assessment data to:

  • identify specific areas for improvement
  • monitor and report progress in relation to those areas
  • evaluate outcomes for learners
  • decide on ways to further improve outcomes for students and teachers.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum document needs further development so that it incorporates in one place all the learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

There is a clear emphasis on literacy and numeracy across all year levels and guidelines for teaching these learning areas. Teachers continue to review these guidelines to align them with their current PLD.

The school’s ‘Mananui’ values are linked to the key competencies of NZC. Integrated learning units include Māori and Pacific students' languages, cultures and identities.

Environmental education operates at all year levels. It introduces students to language, science, mathematics, art and technology concepts. It provides links with local marae and a community garden. Students learn about sustainability of food and nutrition. For some families and whānau the programme has started to connect home and school learning.

The principal and new entrant teacher have formalised procedures to support transition to school of students, their families and whānau. The location of an early childhood centre next to the school and others nearby in the community is an opportunity to liaise with parents to support this transition.

ERO’s observations found that through the literacy and numeracy PLD projects, teachers are working with teaching strategies that include a focus on:

  • increasing students’ voice in learning
  • students understanding what they are learning and how it links to other knowledge they have
  • supporting students as independent learners
  • using the language of mathematics and literacy.

Senior managers and teachers need to use current teaching and learning information to design and document school curriculum guidelines in all learning areas of NZC for Years 1 to 8. The guidelines should include:

  • coherent and planned progressions of learning over class and year levels
  • clear statements about what needs to be taught, and how, in order to accelerate student achievement
  • building further on Māori and Pacific students’ languages, cultures and identities in all learning programmes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is not well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Significant strengthening of governance and professional leadership is required. Unresolved tensions in relationships are evident and not conducive to effective governance, leadership and management of the school.

Trustees new to the board are involved in training. An external facilitator has worked with the board to develop a governance handbook and policy guidelines. Trustees provide good resourcing of classrooms, PLD, personnel and ICT.

The principal’s appraisal has identified key goals related to developing a collaborative approach to meeting the aim of the school strategic plan that involves teachers and the community. An external appraiser provides good feedback to the principal.

The system for appraisal of teachers' performance has been reviewed. It focuses on needs and is based on the professional standards for teachers and the Registered Teacher Criteria. Staff are beginning to use student assessment data to reflect on how well their teaching approaches promote students' learning. Teacher appraisal has useful processes to support growth in teaching practices.

A support and guidance programme for provisionally registered teachers is in place. Continuing to refine this is important to ensure it consistently meets the needs of each teacher.

A good range of approaches is used to engage families and whānau in their children’s learning and school activities. Some of these have been successful, including fono, hui, and cultural evenings. Other initiatives continue to be pursued.

The board, principal and senior managers need to lead and manage change in the school more effectively. This should be supported by a documented and consistently used system of school self review. Trustees and senior managers should ensure that they, and all staff, understand and use review to improve outcomes for students and teachers.

The board needs to continue to develop a clear understanding of its role and responsibilities, particularly in relation to accelerating students' progress in learning for improved achievement, and for improving and sustaining school performance.

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.

During the review ERO identified areas where improved practice is needed in relation to legislative requirements for: reporting to parents; dealing with complaints; and keeping board records.

In order to improve practice the board should ensure that:

  • there is continued development of good practice for reporting to parents in plain language in writing about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards
  • all complaints are dealt with properly and in a timely manner, and are well managed towards resolution
  • requirements are well followed for keeping records of board meetings, and parts of meetings from which the public are excluded (in committee).

The recently developed governance manual should assist trustees with proper processes.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • accelerating student progress and improving achievement
  • continued development of the board’s understanding of effective governance, and implementation of good governance practice
  • professional leadership and management of the school
  • further development of the school's curriculum documentation and its implementation in all learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum for Years 1 to 8
  • relationships in the school.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

19 February 2014

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2746

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

96

Gender composition

Female 56%

Male 44%

Ethnic composition

Pacific

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

60

35

1

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

19 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

December 2010

April 2008

June 2006