Paparore School - 03/12/2014

Findings

Paparore School is experiencing significant roll growth. Students learn in settled, attractive and well organised learning environments. They know about their progress and achievement, and reflect on their efforts. Teachers’ understanding of effective teaching practice has been enhanced and greater consistency of practice is evident across the school.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Paparore School, just north of Awanui in Northland, provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. The school lies within the tribal boundaries of Ngai Takoto and Te Aupouri. Most students are Māori and affiliate to various iwi. Many of the students travel from Kaitaia to the school.

Since the 2012 ERO report, the school roll has grown significantly. This roll growth has resulted in two additional classes. The principal has re-structured the leadership of the school and established two deputy principal positions. These leaders have responsibilities linked to improving student achievement and curriculum design.

Students benefit from a positive and settled school tone. The school values are well known to them. Parents and students are proud of the school and. Respectful relationships between students and staff are evident. They are also evident amongst the principal, teachers, students, whānau and the community. These good relationships continue to provide a strong foundation for the operation of the school.

As noted in the last ERO report, students continue to benefit from spacious, well maintained and attractive learning environments. The board continues to manage school finances well and provides a wide range of learning experiences for students at no financial cost to parents.

The 2012 ERO report identified areas for review and development from earlier ERO reports that had not been sufficiently well addressed. Due to the number and range of issues that needed addressing, ERO decided to undertake a 1-2 year review and maintain contact with the school over this time. This report summarises almost two years of school development related to the areas requiring improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities identified for review and development as part of ERO’s 2012 longitudinal process include:

  • improving leadership of learning
  • developing consistent and effective teaching practices
  • strengthening assessment processes to support student achievement
  • providing opportunities for students to succeed as Māori
  • strengthening self review
  • undertaking required community consultation.

Progress

The board developed a useful action plan to guide improvement. With additional support provided by the Ministry of Education, good progress has been made in addressing the priorities for review and development.

Improving leadership of learning

The principal and teachers are participating in professional learning and development (PLD) linked to improving curriculum leadership and using effective teaching strategies. The principal, alongside the facilitator observes programmes, evaluates teaching practice with teachers and sets new goals. This high quality principal mentoring process is promoting greater consistency of teaching practice. It has a clear focus on those students whose achievement needs accelerating. The principal agrees that maintaining and extending these effective practices is an important next step.

The principal participates in a local network of schools that focuses on promoting positive outcomes for students. Key goals for this network include increasing students’ role in making decisions about their learning and engaging with parents and whānau. These local goals align well with the school’s strategic goals.

Developing consistent effective teaching practices

Teachers provide sound foundations for students’ learning and social development. Students engage well in their learning. There is an increasing focus on greater consistency of teaching practices across the school. Teachers work well together and the current PLD builds on collaboration and developing shared understandings.

Teachers are inquiring more into the effectiveness of their own teaching practice. They do this by setting and enacting personal goals, regularly revisiting them, and participating in discussions that allow them to critique their practice. A school-wide culture of professional learning conversations is continuing to develop. These conversations focus teachers’ practice on raising student achievement and support consistency of effective teaching practices.

Strengthening assessment processes that support student achievement

School achievement data shows that achievement of students in relation to the national standards is very high. ERO and school leaders acknowledge that continuing to critique the robustness of this information through moderation processes will help ensure that achievement data is as reliable as possible.

Students can talk about their achievement, where they are achieving, and what they need to learn next. Very good exemplars of attractively presented student work help them to discuss their learning journeys. This work is ongoing.

The deputy principal with an overview of school-wide achievement has developed carefully documented processes for monitoring and tracking student achievement. These processes will support the school to critically examine student achievement data. Teachers are continuing to refine processes for reporting to parents about how well their children meet the National Standards in the first three years of their schooling.

School leaders and teachers now have a stronger focus on supporting individual students who need more targeted teaching to improve their progress. They are increasing their understanding of how better to meet the learning needs of these students. Teachers regularly discuss these target students and identify specific strategies that can help improve their achievement.

Curriculum including Māori students, succeeding as Māori

The curriculum offers students a range of choices, including education outside the classroom learning experiences. It has a strong focus on literacy and mathematics and is aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

The new school vision of ‘proud and passionate leaders of learning in the heart of the community’ provides an opportunity for the board to discuss with students, parents and teachers how this vision can be enacted. A revisiting of the school’s current curriculum design is a possible outcome of work to help ensure the new vision is realised. The principal has identified the need to review the curriculum from the perspective of developing a stronger focus on student-centred learning and integrating a wider range of learning areas.

Staff are providing more learning opportunities that promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. All students, including Māori students, actively engage in practices related to pōwhiri, karakia and mihimihi. School waiata are well known to children. A recent noho marae provided a good opportunity to consult with Māori parents about their wishes and aspirations for their children. Continuing to provide consultation processes such as whānau hui should allow the board to better respond to the aspirations of whānau Māori.

Key next steps

ERO, the principal and trustees agree that areas for further review and development are:

  • continuing to improve the collation and critical analysis of student achievement information so that it more reliably informs programme planning
  • refining processes for the implementation and reporting of National Standards
  • adapting the school curriculum to better support enactment of the new school vision and to give students more ownership of their learning
  • embedding the professional learning cycle that is helping teachers critically inquire into their own teaching practice.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Paparore School is now better placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

The experienced board chair is reflective about governance processes and focused on improving outcomes for students. Most trustees are new and demonstrate a willingness to undertake training to support their governance roles and responsibilities.

Self review processes continue to develop. The board, with the support of external advice and guidance, has recently reviewed the school’s vision, meeting processes and ways in which it can maintain a clear focus on legislative requirements. Trustees agree that improving documented self review will help the board, teachers and students to more clearly identify areas for development.

The board has formally consulted with the community on a wide range of topics. Although, the board did not formally consult with the Māori community, aspects of consultation that are specific to Māori were included in general consultation processes. Very good information has been collected from parents and whānau and will be used to improve strategic planning. Responding appropriately to parents’ wishes and aspirations will help the board strengthen the effectiveness of its self review processes.

Key next steps

ERO and the board agree that a key next step is to develop robust self-review processes that evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives and further support ongoing improvement.

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.

Good progress has been made in addressing legislative requirements noted in the ERO 2012 report related to:

  • ensuring police vetting procedures are clear
  • ensuring board minutes are properly kept
  • improving performance management systems, and ensuring the principal has a signed performance agreement
  • consultation regarding the delivery of the health curriculum.

Conclusion

Paparore School is experiencing significant roll growth. Students learn in settled, attractive and well organised learning environments. They know about their progress and achievement, and reflect on their efforts. Teachers’ understanding of effective teaching practice has been enhanced and greater consistency of practice is evident across the school.

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

Dale Bailey,

National Manager Review Services Northern Region,

3 December 2014

About the School

Location

Awanui, Far North

Ministry of Education profile number

1078

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

160

Gender composition

Boys 54%

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

other

70%

29%

1%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

3 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

May 2006

November 2002