Pukekawa School - 09/09/2019

School Context

Pukekawa School is a rural contributing primary school situated in rural northern Waikato. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. At the time of the review there were 97 students enrolled including 14 who identify as Māori.

The school vision states they will prepare students for lifelong learning. This focuses on encouraging students to believe in themselves, have a sense of belonging, be confident, be passionate about learning, be active participants and be worthwhile members of society. The school values are stated as RICHER: respect, initiative, confidence, honesty, excellence and responsibility.

The school’s goals for 2019 are to:

  • lift the achievement of Māori students in mathematics
  • improve student agency and understanding of their learning and to promote greater student engagement
  • continue the school’s environmental education journey focused on sustainability.

There have been significant changes to the teaching team over the last four years. There have been new trustees elected since the last ERO review.

The school is a member of the community of learning Kāhui Ako – o te Puuaha o Waikato.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school’s achievement data shows excellent outcomes for most students; however, outcomes are not yet equitable for all students. The school’s data shows that most students achieved at or above expected national curriculum levels over the last three years in reading, writing, and mathematics. In 2018 Māori were achieving the same as their Pākehā peers in reading. However, there is disparity between Māori and Pākehā students in writing and significant disparity in mathematics with Māori achieving below their Pākehā peers. This pattern of disparity has remained over time. In 2018, boys and girl’s achievement in mathematics was comparable. There is significant disparity with girls achieving higher than boys in reading and writing. This disparity has increased over time.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is yet to show effective acceleration for Māori and those students who need this. The school was able to provide some date that showed some students made accelerated progress in 2018.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s curriculum is broad and engaging. Authentic, real-life contexts and opportunities for learning are promoted. Students demonstrate a high level of self-management in class and are engaged and focused on learning. Teachers are flexible and responsive to students needs and interests. There is a wide range of resources used in class that are appropriate to all learner levels.

Visual displays and prompts in all classrooms are literacy rich, with deliberate value placed on students work. Curriculum themes include the school values, and key competencies are woven throughout all areas of learning. The promotion of leadership opportunities for students across the curriculum and school events promotes effective tuakana teina relationships.

Students learn in an inclusive and supportive environment. Teachers are approachable, and interactions are positive and affirming. Classrooms are calm and settled and teachers are responsive to students. Target students are identified by teachers and grouped to promote a culture of learning that is well supported. Transition into and through the school has supported children and their families to settle well in class. There is regular sharing of learning, which is promoted through a digital platform in the senior hub, and formal reporting to parents twice a year. Parents are encouraged to participate in class and school activities and feel well supported by the school and the wider community.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies and resources to support learners, including teacher aides in class and appropriate processes for supporting students with additional needs. These include a family/whanau approach to working alongside children and support for liaison with external agencies. Professional learning and development opportunities undertaken support teachers and leaders to cater for students with additional needs.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school needs to develop and implement internal evaluation practices to determine the effectiveness of strategies focused on raising student achievement and accelerating the progress of at-risk learners. This will include:

  • evaluation of programmes, initiatives and interventions used to raise student achievement and acceleration of learning
  • further extending the teacher as inquiry process to focus more explicitly on those students at risk of not achieving.

Improving the management and use of school-wide data to develop a coherent approach to tracking and monitoring the progress of target students. This will include:

  • effectively using achievement information to develop and identify specific and relevant school-wide targets to accelerate learning
  • moderating across the school to ensure validity of assessment information
  • analysis of trends and patterns, particularly for boys and Māori to inform strategic planning including professional learning and development
  • regular reporting of progress on achievement targets to the board of trustees for at-risk learners.

Leaders need to continue to develop a consistent school-wide approach to integrating of bicultural practice. This should include strengthening teachers’ knowledge of te ao Māori and this to be a more integral part of the school’s curriculum.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Pukekawa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a broad and authentic curriculum that effectively engages students in learning
  • an inclusive environment that supports learners with additional needs to experience a positive approach to wellbeing and belonging.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • strengthening internal evaluation practices to inform ongoing school-wide improvement and innovation
  • the effective use of achievement information to develop and identify specific and relevant school-wide targets to accelerate learning
  • strengthening the consistency of bicultural practice and build capacity across the school.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked in accordance with the Children’s Act 2014
    [Children’s Act 2014; s 77C State Sector Act 1988; Part 31 Education Act 1989]
  • undertake annually the appraisal of the principal in accordance with Teaching Council requirements
    [s 77C State Sector act 1988; Part 31 Education Act 1989].

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

9 September 2019

About the school

Location

Northern Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1449

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

97

Gender composition

Female 53 Male 44

Ethnic composition

Māori 14
NZ European/Pākehā 77
Other 6

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

9 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015
Education Review November 2012
Supplementary Review November 2009