Ngati Toa School - 18/06/2014

1 Context

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

Ngati Toa School in Titahi Bay, Porirua caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Since the April 2011 ERO report the roll has grown steadily and at the time of this review there were 165 students enrolled. Most students are Māori and many have strong links to Ngāti Toa iwi and the local marae. The Pacific student roll has increased since the previous ERO review and now makes up 12% of the student population.

The outgoing principal has established longstanding, strong relationships with families and the wider community. Many students are the second or third generation within their family, to attend the school. The board is in the process of appointing a new principal.

Since the 2011 ERO review teachers have engaged in a range of professional learning opportunities to develop shared understandings of effective teaching practice in writing. A new literacy leader was appointed in 2013. Mathematics has been identified as the next focus for professional development.

2 Learning

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

Teachers increasingly use assessment information to guide their teaching, particularly in literacy. Students who need additional support in reading and writing are identified and monitored. School data shows that most target students made good progress in literacy in 2013.

Leaders are beginning to establish processes which use student achievement information to evaluate the impact of teaching programmes. They have appropriately identified that the use of achievement information in mathematics needs to improve. ERO’s evaluation confirms this as a priority, particularly in relation to school-wide systems for:

  • identifying target students and strategies to accelerate their progress
  • monitoring student progress
  • annual charter planning
  • data analysis and self review.

The school reports that most students achieve at and above the National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Many make good progress over time in literacy. School data shows the Reading Recovery programme contributes positively to this. Teacher aides and the Reading Recovery teacher work collaboratively with teachers to support students’ learning.

Teachers have identified the need to improve moderation, including working alongside educators outside their school. ERO affirms this next step to strengthen the robustness and reliability of National Standards information.

Learning partnerships with parents and whānau are appropriately promoted through written reporting, three-way conferences and student goal-setting, and a family reading programme.

It is timely for leaders and teachers to seek feedback from parents and whānau about the student reports, including whether further information about the wider curriculum is desired.

There is good student engagement in learning and in wider school life.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes students' engagement and achievement in learning. Teachers and leaders know children and their families well. Positive relationships are established and maintained.

ERO observed students interacting well with one another. Teachers focus on helping students to understand their learning and next steps. This is evident in classroom environments.

Reflective and collaborative teacher practice is evident. Where this is of high quality, teachers inquire into their teaching strategies and how they impact on student outcomes.

The literacy leader, assisted by an external facilitator, has led a thorough process of curriculum review and development in writing. Clear expectations for teaching practice, assessment and the ongoing monitoring of student achievement have been established. These are likely to lead to accelerated progress for students. It is now timely to extend this curriculum development focus to other curriculum areas, particularly mathematics.

In order to improve the quality of the curriculum for learners, teachers and leaders should:

  • develop and evaluate the extent to which curriculum programmes and the environment reflect te ao Māori. This should include the introduction of a progressive, high-quality te reo Māori programme.
  • evaluate how well reading programmes lead to accelerated progress for students. This should include reviewing expectations for instructional reading sessions.

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

School achievement information shows most Māori students achieve at and above in relation to the National Standards in reading with just over half achieving the standards in writing and mathematics. However, as significant numbers of Māori are not yet achieving at expected levels, trustees and leaders agree that they should continue to explore ways to lift achievement further.

Students experience aspects of te ao Māori as part of their daily educational experience.

Leaders, teachers and trustees should find effective ways to discover the aspirations of whānau and iwi for their children’s success. These should be incorporated into ongoing curriculum review and development. Further consideration should be given to key Ministry of Education documents such as Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017 andTātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners, to guide teacher development and strategic planning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school’s leadership is soon to go through a period of change with the retirement of the longstanding principal.

There is a need to review and redevelop the school’s charter, vision, strategic plan and localised curriculum. This development should be well informed by the voice and aspirations of students, parents, whānau and iwi.

The board is made up of experienced and new trustees. There is a deliberate focus on increasing Māori and Pacific representation on the board.

Processes for building teacher capability continue to evolve. These include:

  • regular reflections on teaching
  • increased engagement in professional dialogue
  • regular observations of teaching practice, both within and outside the school.

A recent self review of writing is likely to lead to improved teaching practice and student achievement. This model of evaluative practice should be extended to other curriculum areas, interventions and programmes. This should help leaders and teachers know about what impacts positively on student outcomes, and ensure trustees receive sound information for decision-making.

Leaders and trustees should make annual plan achievement targets and related action plans more specific so that:

  • interventions can be targeted to specific students
  • the progress of target groups can be monitored and
  • the effectiveness of strategies can be evaluated.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

18 June 2014

About the School

Location

Titahi Bay, Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

2928

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

165

Gender composition

Boys 56%

Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific nations

Other

72%

12%

12%

4%

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

18 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

February 2008

August 2005