Patoka School - 11/12/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Patoka School is highly effective in its use of achievement information to make positive changes to student engagement, progress and achievement. The curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The inclusion of outcomes in the school’s annual plan should further strengthen the board’s measurement of progress towards charter goals.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Patoka School is a small rural primary school 45 minutes inland from Napier. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. Since the September 2010 ERO report, a new principal and teacher have been appointed.

There is a strong family atmosphere in the school and good community support. Parents and whānau are valued as important partners in their children’s learning.

Regular links with the local kindergarten help new entrants transition easily to school.

Students are encouraged to be independent and take on responsibility. Learning in the local environment is an important part of the school curriculum.

The board, principal and teachers have an inclusive approach to decisions about learning and resourcing, ensuring all students have equitable opportunities to achieve success.

Areas identified for review and development in the previous ERO report have been addressed. The school continues to have a very positive reporting history with ERO.

2. Learning

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

Patoka School is highly effective in its use of achievement information to make positive changes to student engagement, progress and achievement.

A wide range of data is gathered and used by teachers to identify needs and address barriers that may have an impact on some students’ progress. Teachers have regular conversations with students to help them understand their assessments and next learning steps.

Action plans are developed for groups of students whose achievement needs to be significantly progressed. Teachers use these plans to identify and review teaching practices that are effective in improving these students’ achievement. Most students in these groups make accelerated progress.

Meetings with families and whānau on enrolment and during the term give teachers information that enables them to respond immediately to students’ needs.

A teacher aide regularly works with students requiring extra learning support. She discusses and explores with teachers ways to improve these students’ achievement.

Data reported to the board in 2013 shows most students, including Māori, were at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information in mid-2014 indicates likely accelerated progress for the majority of students in relation to the Standards.

Students with specific needs are provided with education plans that focus on their individual goals. These students are supported by teachers and students in an inclusive environment.

Students being provided with support to learn English as a second language show improvement in their understanding and language use.

The board and teachers have high expectations that all students will succeed. Trustees receive regular updates on student achievement. They use the information to discuss teaching programmes and make decisions about resourcing.

Parents and whānau receive reports that provide useful information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

A considered range of opportunities has been provided for families and whānau of a group of target students to engage in collaborative learning conversations with their children’s teacher. The school continues to explore ways to connect with all parents.

3. Curriculum

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

The Patoka School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It has good links with the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. The document provides a good schoolwide framework for teaching and learning.

The principal and teachers are reviewing this document to ensure it includes opportunities for students to enhance their understanding of themselves as learners and as partners in their learning. As part of this review staff agree with ERO, that consideration needs to be given to the inclusion of local histories and contexts in the school curriculum document.

There are opportunities for students to contribute to programme planning and to learn in contexts linked to their experiences. Learning that reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is increasingly important in the school’s curriculum. All students have opportunities to learn about te ao Māori.

Teachers skilfully consider assessment information when planning programmes and activities that cater for students’ individual strengths and needs. They effectively use a diverse range of strategies that engage students in purposeful learning. These include:

  • students directing their learning
  • positive and inclusive relations between students and with teachers
  • activities that highly engage students
  • students setting goals to shape future learning
  • students being encouraged and supported to share their ideas
  • links made with students’ prior knowledge and experiences.

A planned approach is taken for the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching and linking with students’ homes. The board and teachers want ICT to enhance children’s learning so they can share it with each other and the wider world.

Transitions into and beyond the school are well considered and responsive to each student’s needs. Strong relationships with the local kindergarten involve regular events and senior pupils being buddies to students before they start school.

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

The school is very considered in its approach to Māori student success as Māori. Eighteen students identify as Māori. Whānau are involved in school activities and the curriculum, sharing their knowledge and skills in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Teachers’ participation in a Ministry of Education te reo Māori contract is enabling them to build their expertise to teach students the language. Students with knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are valued resources for teachers.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The charter has been developed through community consultation. It identifies priorities for student progress and achievement. Student targets are based on assessment data. Detailed plans, with specific strategies, are in place to make sure these targets are achieved.

The board, principal and teachers effectively use planned and responsive review to look at what is going well and where improvements may be needed. Trustees agree with ERO that review at board level needs to include indicators of success with each goal in the annual plan. This should enable closer evaluation of the progress towards, and effectiveness of outcomes, for each goal.

Teachers are a collegial team who share their ideas to ensure they are using effective strategies that are responsive to students’ strengths and needs. They discuss and use education research and meet with other schools to share professional practice. Teachers’ professional learning is directly linked to student achievement targets and teachers’ own development needs.

Teacher appraisal has been reviewed in 2014. It supports teachers to think critically about how well teaching practices are improving students’ learning. Teachers’ professional learning is related to school targets and their own needs.

The principal leads in a considered and collaborative way. He has a clear vision for the future development of teaching and learning based on current education thinking.

Trustees bring a diverse range of skills to the board. Most of the board are new since ERO’s previous review. Regular involvement in training supports their understanding of their roles. A governance manual is useful for new trustees’ induction and to retain knowledge when board members change. Trustees make resourcing decisions that are responsive to the changing school demographics.

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

Patoka School is highly effective in its use of achievement information to make positive changes to student engagement, progress and achievement. The curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The inclusion of outcomes in the school’s annual plan should further strengthen the board’s measurement of progress towards charter goals.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

11 December 2014

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2642

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

65

Gender composition

Female 35

Male 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Filipino

18

46

1

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

11 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2010

June 2007

May 2004