Port Ahuriri School - 02/04/2015

Findings

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Most students are successful learners. Many of those leaving Year 6 are achieving at high levels. Parents and the community are active participants in programmes to support learning. Critical reflection and self review contributes effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

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?

Port Ahuriri School caters for Years 1 to 6 students in Napier. Strong involvement with its local community is a feature of the experiences available for students. There is a high level of participation in cultural and sporting activities.

The school vision - to be the best we can - is regularly articulated and celebrated.

A Year 1 to 6 class provides learning based on a self-directed Montessori approach. Curriculum and assessment expectations are consistent with those in other classes. Students are integrated into the wider school for non class-based activities.

The experienced principal returned to the school at the beginning of 2015 after a two year secondment at the Ministry of Education. In his absence other staff took on more senior roles.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is well used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

National Standards data indicates that most students make at least expected progress each year. Many of those below expectation in reading, writing or mathematics make accelerated progress as they move through the school. Most of those leaving at the end of Year 6 achieve at high levels.

A range of appropriate assessment tools is used from the time students start school to determine their achievement and progress. Individual progress is tracked and monitored by teachers and leaders. Teachers have good understanding of students’ current learning levels and next steps to improve. Achievement data is well used to determine priorities for future learning.

Students requiring extra assistance with their learning receive support and generally make positive progress. Actions to accelerate student progress are well considered. Whole-school professional development has increased the range of strategies used by teachers to accelerate learning for underachieving students.

Appropriate annual targets to improve achievement are set by trustees. Parents and trustees are knowledgeable about the programme and progress for the target groups of students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum consistently promotes and supports student learning.

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Distinctive features include:

  • explicit teaching to build learning behaviours and social skills
  • students’ culture and language integrated into class and school programmes, particularly through the arts
  • extensive school and class gardens providing practical experience and increased understanding of environmental sustainability
  • deliberate extension of the opportunity to increase science understanding and knowledge.

Students are enthusiastic and successful learners. A caring and positive environment supports wellbeing and learning. Students are confident and respectful.

Guidelines and expectations for effective teaching and learning are clearly stated. A considered approach to building the curriculum is extending students’ strengths and interests. Additional staffing and a range of planned activities challenge more able students.

Students with more complex needs are identified. Appropriate interventions are put in place. The progress of these students is well monitored.

Teachers have high expectations of sustained engagement and achievement. They successfully use a range of strategies to engage students in purposeful learning. Students are encouraged to lead aspects of their learning.

Classroom environments are conducive to learning. Relationships are respectful and affirming. Students work effectively together. Well-resourced facilities support students to make choices about the learning approaches that best suit them.

Well-considered transition into and within junior classes supports students to begin school positively. Parents are encouraged to participate in their children’s learning. Patterns for successful learning are established early on.

Parents are active participants in programmes to support children’s learning. They are regularly involved in conversations about children’s learning. Reporting systems ensure parents are well informed about achievement and progress, and next steps for learning are effectively shared.

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

Māori learners are actively engaged in their learning and progress, and achieve well. The school continues to build its capacity to cater for the strengths and promote the identity of Māori students.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into class and school activities. Kapa haka has been reestablished. Marae visits are included as part of the curriculum. Whānau and iwi contribute to programmes and are involved in decision making.

In 2015, staffing is allocated to further develop the te reo Māori programme across the school. Continuing to build collaborative partnerships with whānau and iwi has been identified by school leadership as a next step. ERO’s evaluation supports this intent.

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. Critical reflection and self review contribute effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

Effective professional leadership supports teaching and learning and promotes improvement. High expectations for student learning and wellbeing are evident. Deliberate, well-considered review and decision making focuses on improving student outcomes. Leaders have a collaborative approach. Opportunities are provided to build leadership skills across the school.

Teachers are reflective and collaborative. They are able to lead developments in areas of strength and interest. Well-targeted and effective professional learning has added to teachers’ strategies to respond to students’ needs.

Performance management processes support teachers to reflect on their own teaching practice and the differences they make for identified students. It includes a teaching inquiry related to a schoolwide professional development priority. Ongoing review and development of the appraisal system is likely to ensure the process continues to cater for teachers' changing needs.

The school charter sets out long-term goals supportive of student achievement and wellbeing. Annual targets clearly establish current priorities and are set to accelerate the learning of students identified as less likely to achieve.

Clear guidelines effectively support trustees to undertake their roles and responsibilities. They are well informed about student progress and curriculum.

Provision for international students

The school is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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

Learners experience a broad and rich curriculum with a strong local flavour. Most students are successful learners. Many of those leaving Year 6 are achieving at high levels. Parents and the community are active participants in programmes to support learning. Critical reflection and self review contributes effectively to ensuring positive outcomes for students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 April 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2648

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

250

Gender composition

Female 51%

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

77%

15%

4%

1%

3%

Special features

Montessori class

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

2 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

March 2009

August 2006