Pukehamoamoa School - 16/11/2015

1 Context

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

Pukehamoamoa School is located in a rural district, west of Hastings. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 100 includes 39 students who identify as Māori. The school provides an inclusive and caring environment that supports students’ wellbeing.

Since the September 2012 ERO report, a new principal, deputy principal and two teachers have been appointed.

Students develop leadership through school, community and cultural roles. A family-focused atmosphere enables positive relationships to develop amongst students, teachers, families and whānau.

Parents are actively involved in school activities and valued as partners in their children’s learning.

The school has responded to all areas for further development identified in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Each student’s individual progress in relation to reading, writing and mathematics is closely tracked and often discussed by teachers.

Teachers regularly share data and teaching strategies as students move across year levels. They use this information to plan programmes that cater for students’ different strengths and needs. Individual Education Plans, put in place for students not achieving expected learning outcomes, include targeted strategies.

Students set individual learning goals. Teachers use feedback and identify next steps with students to build their understanding of how well they are learning and what is needed to progress. Leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, increasing students’ voice in learning and assessment is an area to further develop.

Data shows that in 2014 most students achieved at or above National Standards in reading and mathematics. Fewer students were at or above in writing. Māori and Pacific students’ achievement are at similar levels to their peers.

To address lower levels of achievement in writing, teachers have worked with an external provider to develop school writing models and build a shared understanding of making robust judgements about students’ achievement levels. Leaders are making links with other schools to discuss these decisions. Continuing to build these relationships is a useful next step.

Students requiring extension or extra support are provided with suitably targeted programmes based on their needs. Individual programmes are planned with families and whānau and monitored through goals and student outcomes.

Parents receive useful information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Including suggestions for how parents can help at home in written reports should further support students’ learning at school. Teachers make sure there are regular opportunities for whānau and families to participate in activities to build conversations that link learning at school and home.

The Pacific students at the school are of Samoan heritage. Their culture is valued and shared in classroom programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

The Pukehamoamoa School curriculum promotes successful learners. It has a clear focus on literacy and numeracy. The school is currently reviewing its curriculum. The local curriculum should include:

  • better alignment with all aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • expectations for effective teaching, including culturally responsive strategies
  • programmes that promote New Zealand’s dual heritage and Māori students’ success
  • learning experiences located in the community
  • a clearly documented Years 7 and 8 careers education programme.

This should enable better alignment with current classroom programmes and guidance for consistency of classroom practice.

Teachers consistently think about how well teaching practices are improving students’ achievement. They work collaboratively, discussing student information and identifying specific strategies to accelerate their progress.

Teachers use a good range of assessments and approaches to identify and effectively respond to oral language concerns for particular students.

Students keenly engage in learning. They confidently question and offer their ideas. The use of quality feedback and students’ involvement in assessing their learning are areas for further development.

Positive relationships are developed with students and families during responsive transitions to school. The new entrant teacher has a good relationship with the local playgroup. Students’ early learning experiences are recognised and built on.

A strategic approach is being developed to provide students with access to computer-enhanced learning. This initiative is focused on strategies to engage students in learning using digital technologies.

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

A school-wide plan focused on Māori student learning and teaching has been developed and shared with the local runanga. It promotes learning and identifies a graduate profile for Year 8 Māori students, based on cultural aspects. Seeking further input into the plan from the runanga is an important next step to develop more shared ownership of the plan.

Leaders and teachers are increasing their engagement with whānau through a range of cultural events. There are plans to share Māori students’ achievement data with families on a local marae. Teachers work closely with whānau to support students’ wellbeing. Students’ cultural experiences are valued. Students demonstrate pride in their language, culture and identity as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders, teachers and trustees are reviewing and implementing systems and processes that are likely to help the school continue to improve and sustain its performance. Clear identification of expected outcomes in the annual plan is a next step. This should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate what impacts well on student achievement and wellbeing, and inform their future direction.

The board is provided with regular information about students’ progress and expected levels of achievement. ERO and the principal agree that to further improve information shared with the board, the following aspects should be included:

  • identification of specific groups of students in achievement targets
  • regular reporting on the progress of the target students
  • an evaluation of the impact of extra support and extension programmes on student achievement.

This should ensure the board is better informed of ongoing progress against goals and targets and should contribute further data for trustees resourcing decisions.

Trustees bring a diverse range of experience and expertise to their governance roles. They are involved in ongoing training. The board is community-focused and seeks a range of opinions about school operational matters.

The appraisal process is focused on teacher development and includes targeted professional learning, conversations about teaching and good feedback through observations. Teachers gather and reflect on evidence of their practices linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Trustees need to ensure the principal is also appraised against the Practising Teacher Criteria.

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.

During the course of the review ERO identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. ensure that systems are in place to ensure all personnel who are required to be, are police vetted. [Education Act 1989, S78c)

Conclusion

Teachers at Pukehamoamoa School regularly discuss and use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement and achievement. Students’ learning is supported through individualised and extension programmes. Staff promote positive student wellbeing. The school is implementing systems and processes that should continue to improve and sustain its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 November 2015

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2651

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

100

Gender composition

Female 54,

Male 46

Ethnic composition

Māori 39

Pākehā 55

Samoan 2

Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

16 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2012

Education Review September 2009

Education Review June 2006