Poukawa School - 22/02/2016

Findings

Students experience a balanced curriculum. The school values and promotes te ao Māori. The importance of student and community views is acknowledged to identify priorities for improvement. Next steps are to: strengthen the use of student data; review and improve the school curriculum; develop a strategic focus to work with whānau Māori and improve school-wide evaluation and inquiry.

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

1 Context

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

Poukawa School is a rural, Years 1 to 8 primary school located south of Hastings. The roll of 101 includes 35 students who identify as Māori.

Since the December 2012 ERO review, the school has experienced a change in leadership. A new principal commenced at the beginning of 2015.

Spacious grounds with a well-maintained environment of native trees and bush provides students with opportunities to engage in a wide variety of sports and outdoor pursuits.

The school's reporting history with ERO is positive.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its use of achievement information to make positive changes to all learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers continue to strengthen their teaching and assessment through professional learning and development.

The school is part of a cluster of local schools that meet regularly to moderate assessment results and share good teaching practice.

Teachers and leaders identify students who are at risk of achieving poor educational outcomes. At classroom level they monitor their progress each term. A range of strategies is used to help support students' learning, with some making accelerated progress.

The school's achievement information indicates that it has not as yet been successful in accelerating the progress of many Māori students to the levels of their peers in relation to the National Standards. Raising boys’ achievement in writing should also be a priority for the school.

Currently the school’s charter targets focus on increasing the number of students achieving National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. The principal intends to make targets more specific, ERO’s evaluation agrees with this. Leaders should also consider:

  • reporting more clearly and regularly on the progress that targeted students make
  • aligning the charter targets to the teacher as inquiry and appraisal process
  • evaluating the effectiveness of targeted action and sharing successful practice across the school.

Parents receive useful written reports twice a year about the achievement and progress their child makes in relation to National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum requires further review and development to help promote and support student learning. Plans are in place to achieve this.

Revised curriculum guidelines are in place to help support teachers with the teaching and learning of literacy and mathematics. An assessment schedule clearly outlines the requirements for gathering and reporting of data. Systems are in place to support teachers to reflect on the learning needs and strategies used to help support students’ learning.

Teachers ensure a balanced coverage of all the essential learning areas over time. All students participate in learning programmes that celebrate bicultural aspects of Aotearoa.

The principal recognises that further development in areas of digital and modern learning practices and student ownership of learning are important next steps for the school. ERO agrees with this direction.

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

The school values te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Leaders and teachers promote positive relationships, and working collaboratively with whānau Māori and hapū to enhance the learning opportunities and wellbeing of tamariki.

Tamariki are able to lead others in learning and in celebrating their own language, culture and identity. The school also uses whānau Māori expertise in the curriculum to help support and build understanding of te ao Māori for both students and teachers.

Establishing a more strategic approach to determine what Māori success is for whānau Māori is an important next step for the school. The principal has identified a future priority is to further enhance partnerships for learning with whānau Māori. This should help the school to identify what their goals and aspirations are for their tamariki and to define what success looks like in this context.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The board and principal recognise the importance of student and community voice to help decide priorities for inquiry and improvement. Increasing teachers, trustees understanding and use of evaluation and inquiry should further assist decision making and improvement.

The appraisal process uses a range of sources of feedback on teaching effectiveness. It is timely to provide further guidance to teachers about the collection of sufficient evidence for professional portfolios to meet the 12 Practising Teacher Criteria.

Since the December 2012 ERO review, teachers have inquired into the effectiveness of their teaching practice for groups of students. In 2015 this practice was not sustained. The principal identified that developing a shared model with the new teaching team is an important first step to re-establishing this practice. Leaders should also consider developing a system to monitor consistency and quality to help build teachers capability within the school.

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

Students experience a balanced curriculum. The school values and promotes te ao Māori. The importance of student and community views is acknowledged to identify priorities for improvement. Next steps are to: strengthen the use of student data; review and improve the school curriculum; develop a strategic focus to work with whānau Māori and improve school-wide evaluation and inquiry.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2650

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

101

Gender composition

Male 45%, Female 55%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

35%

59%

6%

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

22 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

October 2009

July 2006