Pokeno School - 27/06/2017

Summary

Pokeno School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The school’s roll of 174, includes 75 Māori children. Since the previous ERO review in 2014, leadership of the school has remained the same. However, there has been considerable change to the teaching team and trustees are new to their positions.

Over the previous two years, the school has experienced significant roll growth reflecting urban development in the community.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school does not effectively respond to Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Processes related to professional leadership, partnerships with parents and curriculum enable the school to achieve equity and excellence.

There is a need to implement a more focused and aligned approach to building teacher capability to achieve equity and excellence.

At the time of this review most children achieved at or above the National Standards in mathematics. Achievement in writing and reading is lower. Māori children are achieving at significantly lower levels than other children in reading and writing. Generally the proportion of boys achieving at or above the National Standards is lower than girls in reading and writing and at a similar level in mathematics.

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. Areas for ongoing development identified by ERO and school leaders are:

  • the use of achievement information at all levels of the school

  • building teacher capability to accelerate achievement

  • culturally responsive practices

  • internal evaluation. 

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school does not effectively respond to Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Targeted action and planning to accelerate learning and progress for Māori children is an area for urgent development.

The school’s achievement information shows that approximately half of Māori children are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading and writing. Approximately three quarters of Māori children are achieving at or above the National Standards in mathematics. Other children at the school are achieving at significantly higher levels in reading and writing, and at similar levels in mathematics. Reducing the disparity in achievement between Māori children and other children at the school is a significant challenge for trustees, leaders and teachers. The school has not yet developed systems to show accelerated progress of children in relation to the National Standards over time.

School leaders have developed processes to support teachers to make reliable overall teacher judgements (OTJs) in relation to National Standards. An induction process has not yet been fully developed to support teachers to implement these processes.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Processes related to professional leadership, partnerships with parents and curriculum enable the school to achieve equity and excellence.

Leaders have developed useful systems to promote equity and excellence. They have established clear expectations to guide teacher planning and curriculum delivery. A curriculum and achievement plan identifies children at risk of not achieving and prioritises learning support programmes. A framework for building teacher capability to achieve equity and excellence has been established and now needs to be fully implemented.

Strong partnerships for learning have been developed with parents and the wider community. A comprehensive parent-partnership programme assists parents to support their children’s reading at home. Parents are well informed about their children’s learning through written reports, individual portfolios, and formal and informal meetings with teachers. The school has established meaningful links with the local education community including participating in a Community of Learning (CoL) Ako|Kāhui. Children’s learning is well supported by productive partnerships with parents and the wider community.

The school’s holistic curriculum strongly reflects the school’s charter focus on supporting and celebrating children’s achievement. There are many opportunities for children to achieve success in sporting, academic competitions and events. Senior children are able to develop their leadership skills in real-life contexts. The school’s values are strongly evident in all aspects of school life and contribute to the school’s family-like atmosphere. Children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging is well supported by the school’s curriculum.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Further development is needed in building teacher capability, the use of achievement information, culturally responsive teaching practice and internal evaluation.

The use of student achievement information requires strengthening:

charter targets do not specifically focus on the number of children whose learning requires acceleration

  • teachers need to make better use of achievement information to plan specific programmes focused on meeting children’s learning needs.

Priority should be given to building teacher capability, particularly in reading and writing. Teachers are not consistently implementing effective teaching strategies to promote accelerated learning.

There is a need to strengthen culturally responsive teaching practice. The current teaching team needs to consider the implications of the Ministry of Education document Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. Te reo Māori and local Māori history are not systematically integrated into class programmes.

Internal evaluation processes require further development. The recently developed process to support teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice has not been fully implemented. Leaders need to develop systems to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives and programmes, designed to accelerate children’s achievement.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following: 

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • asset management.  

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing: 

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to: 

  • personnel management
  • health and safety
  • community consultation.

In order to address this the board must ensure that:

  1. The school has a policy for the surrender and retention of property and searches of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff members.
    [s139AAA to 139 AAF Education Act 1989] 

  1. They consult with the Māori community to develop and make known the school’s policies and/or procedures, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori children.
    [National Administration Guideline 2 (1)]

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. Areas for ongoing development identified by ERO and school leaders are:

  • the use of achievement information at all levels of the school

  • building teacher capability to accelerate achievement

  • culturally responsive practices

  • internal evaluation.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school seek further support from the Ministry of Education to bring about sustainable improvements in teacher capability in order to improve the achievement of children particularly in reading and writing. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Pokeno

Ministry of Education profile number

1442

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

174

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 43%
Pākehā 39%
Pacific 5%
Indian 3%
Other 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

27 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2014
Education Review February 2012 Supplementary Review August 2009