Pukeatua School - 22/05/2014

1 Context

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

Pukeatua is a full primary school, located in the well-established farming district of Pukeatua. At the time of this ERO review, the roll of 59 students included 7 who were identified as Māori. Students are drawn from the local area and from the Arapuni Village. The community maintains a close relationship with the school, and some families have second or third generation connections. The playcentre, scout group and the Maungatautari Ecological Island are other notable features that contribute to the school context.

School classrooms have recently been extensively refurbished and new furniture and resources have contributed to the quality of the environment. Staffing has been very stable, with one change to the teaching staff since the last ERO review. There continue to be changes in the student roll during the year as families move to or from the area.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers use a variety of nationally-referenced data and school assessment information to make judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. They are beginning to work with other schools to compare and moderate their decisions, and also to undertake professional development in this area.

The board’s decisions about targets and resources to support teaching are based on clear, well-analysed information reported by the principal. Trustees set appropriate targets for student achievement that are focused on students achieving below expected levels. Reported achievement information shows that a significant majority of students is achieving at or above National Standards comparisons in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are achieving at levels comparable to all students nationally in reading, writing, and mathematics. Parents interviewed by ERO receive useful reports about their children’s progress and achievement. They appreciate the welcoming, community nature of the school and teachers’ knowledge of their children’s progress and wellbeing.

The school evaluates student achievement information to set school priorities. Teachers, including the principal, focus closely on the diverse learning needs of individuals and groups of students. They discuss and reflect on their teaching to evaluate the influence of their classroom practice on student learning. Developing a systematic approach to reviewing other aspects of curriculum planning and implementation would enable the school to evaluate how effectively they support student learning and progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum aims, with the support of the school community, to enable students to be connected, confident and actively involved learners who become responsible citizens in a progressive society.

The school’s curriculum programmes make good use of school events and local experiences to make connections across learning areas and respond to children’s interests and strengths. Links that promote continuity of thinking are made across literacy and numeracy. Other subjects are also integrated in topical studies. A next step for the school is to review the school’s curriculum plan, with a focus on the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and contexts relevant to Pukeatua students. This should ensure that there is clear sense of learning continuity and direction for all students as they move through and beyond the school.

Skilful teachers design teaching programmes that support and extend students’ learning. They work hard to monitor and improve the progress of learners who need additional assistance to succeed. All teachers, including the principal, work actively to support and extend student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Recent teacher professional development in writing is focusing them on reviewing and refining their teaching practices. Teacher aides work closely with students to provide valuable learning support for students in the junior class, and for other students who benefit from additional assistance. Teachers identify what students can do, and what they need to do next. They recognise and affirm student success, which is also celebrated in newsletters, assemblies and end-of-year occasions.

Students are actively engaged in learning, enjoy working cooperatively and are willing to take leadership and responsibility. Their ability to take control of their learning would further benefit from the school continuing to develop an inquiry learning approach that capitalises on students’ interests and develops their investigation skills.

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

Māori students are well-engaged in learning. They are able to experience success in a variety of learning activities and experiences within and beyond the school curriculum. The school is increasingly including aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori within the school curriculum. The Māori community is supportive, and several generations of some families have attended the school.

The school is making progress in recognising the identity of Māori students. This development could be increased by the greater use of local Māori knowledge to benefit Māori students and enrich the programme for all students.

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. Factors contributing to this are that:

  • the board, principal and staff have a strong focus on accelerating student success
  • trustees have respectful and supportive relationships with the principal and teachers
  • the principal maintains positive, professional relationships with staff and community, and works actively to improve outcomes for students
  • teachers have high expectations for students’ learning and engagement, and seek professional development to enhance their teaching programmes
  • students are well-supported by the school’s welcoming, inclusive and friendly culture
  • the community is highly supportive of the school.

An agreed next step is for the school to develop a documented self-review policy and procedure. This would assist the school to monitor and evaluate progress being made towards its strategic goals and the effectiveness of the strategies being used to achieve them.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

22 May 2014

About the School

Location

Pukeatua

Ministry of Education profile number

1903

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

59

Gender composition

Girls 30

Boys 29

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

South East Asian

50

7

2

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

22 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

August 2008

June 2005