Kimi Ora School - 30/07/2015

1 Context

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

Kimi Ora School, Lower Hutt provides individualised learning programmes for students with physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties aged between five and 21 years.

All students enrolled have very high or high needs and are funded through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme. Students travel from the greater Wellington area including the Kapiti Coast. Of the current roll of 50, 8 identify as Māori and 13 as Pacific.

The base school in Naenae operates five classrooms, with a further three classrooms at Evans Bay Intermediate School. A team of specialists and therapists provide support for students in consultation with families, whānau, aiga and staff.

The school also provides specialist teachers through the Outreach Service and a Moderate Needs Physical Service to schools across the greater Wellington area.

Since the July 2012 ERO report, there have been significant changes to leadership.  A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2013. Two new deputy principals have been appointed. Roles and responsibilities within the leadership team have been reviewed. A collaborative approach supports change.

Areas identified for review and development in the July 2012 ERO report have been addressed.

2 Learning

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

Students learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive community. They participate in meaningful, individualised programmes.  Learning and therapy needs are integrated.

Senior leaders collate a range of achievement data and report overall achievement of, or progress towards, students’ individual goals. E-portfolios capture and celebrate their learning over time.

Assessment practices continue to evolve to better reflect students’ progress and achievement and to support reporting. Senior leaders acknowledge the need to continue to strengthen moderation practices.

Staff know the students and their families and whānau well. A sustained focus on student care and wellbeing through respectful, caring and responsive relationships supports their meaningful engagement in learning.

Staff work in collaboration with parents and whānau to develop learning goals that are responsive to each student's learning needs and care. Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement through a wide range of communication strategies. Senior leaders acknowledge that it is timely to review their reporting of literacy and mathematics in relation to the Central Regions Special Schools Curriculum (CRSSC).

Transitions into and within the school are well considered and planned to meet individual needs. Staff recognise the importance of collaboration between, families and whānau, external agencies and the community for successful transitions for students beyond school. In 2014, a framework was developed to support this process.

3 Curriculum

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

The Kimi Ora curriculum is aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Key competency pathways and expanded level 1 English and Mathematics frameworks are used to plan for individual needs. Professional development has strengthened teachers’ and therapists’ curriculum knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning.

A wide range of information and communication technologies and teaching strategies are used to support students’ communication. This effectively enhances their access to and engagement in learning.

Students are offered a broad curriculum with opportunities to extend their learning into the community through regular excursions, links with neighbouring schools and work experience.

The learning environment is attractive, stimulating and celebrates the language, culture and identity of students. Routines and care moments are treated as learning opportunities. Students’ independence is encouraged and fostered.

There continues to be a focus on developing culturally responsive practice for Pacific students at Kimi Ora School. Parents, families, whānau and aiga are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. E-portfolios continue to strengthen home-school partnerships.

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

A strategic focus on developing culturally responsive practice for Māori at Kimi Ora School is evident. This has included professional development about aspects of tikanga Māori and a review of the individual education plan process to ensure it is culturally responsive.

Staff are continuing to develop their confidence in the use of te reo Māori. Developing an action plan should support this initiative.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Self review effectively informs decision making across the school to improve outcomes for students.

There is a well-considered approach to managing change and to growing leadership across the school. Senior leaders model good practice and encourage innovation. The new leadership structure encourages and supports staff to work collaboratively. Strengths and skills of individuals are recognised, valued and used to support the implementation of planned changes.

Trustees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They regularly access training. A trustees’ handbook provides clear guidance and expectations, and supports the induction of new board members.

The board receives regular and useful information to monitor progress towards strategic goals and student achievement. This informs ongoing decision making.

A newly developed appraisal process incorporates the Registered Teacher Criteria and provides a useful framework for staff to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice to improve outcomes for students.  This is in the early stages of implementation.

Next steps are to:

  • continue to strengthen moderation practices and culturally responsive practice for Māori and Pacific
  • review reporting to parents.

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.

Conclusion

Students participate in individualised programmes developed in collaboration with families, whānau and aiga. Learning and therapy needs are integrated. Students experience a broad curriculum. A range of communication devices and strategies enhances their engagement in learning. The principal provides clear, strategic direction. A schoolwide, collaborative approach supports innovation and change.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

514

School type

Special School

School roll

50

Gender composition

Male 27, Female 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

  9
25
13
  3

Special features

Base school at Naenae, satellite site at Evans Bay Intermediate School.

Specialist Teachers Outreach Service and Moderate Needs Service for the greater Wellington area

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

30 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2012
June 2009
June 2006