Koru School - 25/06/2015

Findings

Koru School is increasing students’ involvement in meaningful learning. Students are keen and willing learners. They have good opportunities to engage in active and relevant learning, and enjoy positive social interactions. Teachers are committed to promoting students’ wellbeing and success, and the school is beginning to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

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

1 Context

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

Koru School is a large, suburban school located in Mangere. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll is mainly Pacific and 15 percent Māori.

The long serving principal and the senior leadership team have worked collaboratively with teachers to build on many of the school’s strengths identified by ERO in 2012. Leadership structures have been rationalised to develop more coherence in curriculum management.

The long serving board chair is supported by both new and experienced trustees who bring a range of skills and experiences to their role. The school is embarking on a major property development project. This will involve rebuilding the whole school and providing modern learning environments.

ERO’s 2012 report identified the development of a responsive curriculum as an area for review and development. The school has made good progress in addressing this.

2 Learning

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

Koru School is improving its use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Many students including Māori students progress and achieve in reading, writing and mathematics. School targets appropriately focus on students at risk of not achieving. These targets are monitored and addressed by teachers.

Teachers are continuing to improve assessment processes to ensure they produce consistent and reliable results. Students use achievement information to set broad goals. They are keen and focussed learners.

Teachers monitor students’ progress and achievement well. Students with additional learning needs receive support to help them succeed. Trustees provide suitable resources to provide learning support for students.

Students collaborate with teachers to report to their parents about their progress and achievement.

To improve outcomes for students, the school agrees it would be useful to continue developing:

  • students’ awareness of achievement and goals in learning
  • reporting in plain language for all learning areas.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is broad and is aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It focuses on literacy, numeracy and inquiry learning. Professional development programmes are effectively focussed on developing teacher practice to promote student learning. Students are engaged in a range of activities and co-curricular experiences such as sport and environmental studies. There is an increasing focus on science, which is promoting good opportunities for higher order thinking and integrated literacy.

Students benefit from an increasingly engaging curriculum that offers them more choice in their learning. Students’ participation and contributions are valued. They receive an innovative curriculum that is:

  • culturally responsive
  • practical, interactive and collaborative
  • focused on promoting their oracy and challenges their critical thinking.
  • The curriculum links with and extends students’ learning experiences.

Students show good levels of social and emotional competence through positive interactions and a focus on self management. They learn cooperatively in mixed groups. Values education is integrated in their learning to promote positive thinking and responsibility. Students are confident, express themselves well and enjoy their learning.

Students participate in programmes to develop leadership and support learning. Students’ learning in Year 7 and 8 is also enhanced by good opportunities for careers education and languages. There is good support for students who are new speakers of English.

The curriculum could now be enhanced by school leaders and teachers:

  • using the NZC principles as a focus for curriculum review
  • increasing opportunities to integrate information and communication technologies (ICT) into programmes
  • continuing to promote challenging, relevant and creative learning opportunities in all learning areas.

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

The school is beginning to promote success for Māori students as Māori.

The school has taken steps towards developing a more bicultural curriculum. Teachers should continue to integrate te ao Māori perspectives in their programme planning. School leaders have identified further priorities for promoting educational success for Māori students. These include:

  • integrating local learning contexts into the curriculum
  • implementing a sequential te reo Māori programme
  • developing meaningful ways to consult with whānau and responding to their aspirations for their children.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Koru School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Teachers are committed to developing their teaching practices. They are collaborative and reflective in developing a student-centred approach to teaching. The school is well led by experienced senior leaders who work strategically to promote positive learning outcomes for students. The school would benefit from using the teachers’ appraisal process more purposefully to embed effective teaching practices.

The school makes use of self review to inform its future direction. Incorporating indicators of effective practice into self-review and documenting self-review outcomes should help increase the depth of evaluation and help to measure ongoing progress.

Trustees are representative of the local community and supportive of the school’s strategic goals. They are informed about overall student achievement and are committed to supporting teachers’ professional learning. They have held meetings at a range of local venues to strengthen community links. Trustees have a positive working relationship with school leaders.

Key next steps to strengthen governance include:

  • accessing training to clarify trustees’ roles and responsibilities
  • developing self-review processes at the board level
  • ensuring achievement reports evaluate the effectiveness of specific school initiatives.

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

Koru School is increasing students’ involvement in meaningful learning. Students are keen and willing learners. They have good opportunities to engage in active and relevant learning, and enjoy positive social interactions. Teachers are committed to promoting students’ wellbeing and success, and the school is beginning to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 June 2015

About the School

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1336

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

555

Gender composition

Boys 55%

Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other

15%

28%

23%

20%

4%

10%

Special Features

Social Worker in School (SWIS)

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

25 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

November 2008

August 2005