Raglan Area School - 23/04/2014

1 Context

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

Raglan Area School is located in a coastal town approximately 50 km west of Hamilton. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 15 from the town and its surrounding rural areas. The school roll has steadily increased since the last ERO review in 2011. The current roll is 426 students, of whom sixty percent identify as Māori. The majority of Māori students affiliate to Tainui o Tainui and Ngāti Mahanga.

The school is organised into English medium classes in Years 1 to 15 and the Te Ropu Aroha ki Te Reo syndicate provides rumaki education for students in Years 1 to 8. Property developments have included two additional classrooms to cater for roll growth, including Te Pīruru - Te Mana o Rangatahi, for alternative education students.

The experienced principal continues in his position. Key appointments to the staff since the last ERO review include two deputy principals and an assistant principal. Middle management and teacher staffing have remained relatively stable. The board of trustees are predominantly new to their governance roles and responsibilities.

Teachers have participated in externally facilitated professional learning and development in literacy across the school, with an emphasis on reading and writing. Senior leaders have participated in the He Kākano initiative that has focused on culturally responsiveness leadership and learning.

Following extensive community consultation, the school reviewed and refined its mission statement ‘Celebrating education in a bicultural environment'. The school has also reaffirmed its school values of manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga and poutama. The mission statement and values are explicitly promoted and reflected in many areas of school operations and life.

The school has a positive reporting history with the Education Review Office and responded positively to the areas for development in the June 2011 ERO report. Trustees on the board in 2011/2012 undertook training in their governance roles and responsibilities.

2 Learning

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

The school collects and collates an extensive range of achievement information at all levels. Classroom teachers make good use of this information to inform their planning. In particular there are good examples of teachers using data to group students according to their identified learning needs and to track and monitor students at risk of not achieving. There are carefully planned interventions to support these students who are well below their expected level of achievement. These interventions frequently involved developing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) with the most at risk students and their families.

Syndicate leaders aggregate assessment information and report to the board on student achievement in Years 1 to 6, and on achievement in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for students in Years 11 to 15. There is a need for senior leaders to ensure progress and achievement information for students in Years 7 to 10 is reported to the board. Syndicate leaders set appropriate progress targets, which are clearly linked to all priority learners.

School data in 2013 in relation to National Standards indicates that, in mathematics, most students in Years 1 to 8 achieved at levels comparable to other students in the Waikato region. The same data indicates that these students achieved slightly below other students in the Waikato region in reading and writing.

Student achievement in the rumaki shows considerable improvement between 2012 and 2013. The majority of students achieved above the expected level in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga in korero, pānui and tuhituhi.

School data available for Years 9 and 10 indicates a similar pattern of student achievement as in the mainstream Years 1 to 6 area. The school has identified a need to improve overall progress and achievement for students in Years 7 to 10.

A strong achievement focus is to increase the proportion of students who complete Level 2 NCEA before they leave school. School leaders report particular success with this priority group in 2013 when approximately 85% of students, including Māori, had achieved Level 2 NCEA by the time they left school. Forty percent of school leavers had achieved University Entrance qualifications, and a number of Special Needs and alternative education students were included in this group.

The next step is to clarify the responsibility for overall management of assessment practice across the school. This is likely to enable school leaders to:

  • develop a robust and cohesive process of longitudinal review and analysis of school-wide data to determine overall effectiveness of student learning, progress and achievement
  • review the sharing and reporting of student achievement information with the board of trustees, parents and students
  • manage strategic review of curriculum areas beyond literacy and numeracy
  • further develop assessment practices that support students to take increased responsibility for their own learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad curriculum effectively promotes and supports an inclusive and holistic view of student success. Students are provided with a wide range of cultural, emotional, social and leadership learning opportunities.

New Zealand’s bicultural history and status is strongly evident through the programmes and environment. The school values are expressed in te reo Māori and visibly promoted in each classroom. The principal and staff model cultural leadership through appropriate tikanga Māori practices. Te reo Māori is the language of instruction in the rumaki classes, and all students in Years 1 to 9 have regular Māori language programmes. Bilingual signage and displays of Māori art and artefacts reflect the value and respect placed on te reo and tikanga Māori across the school.

A feature of the school is the effective ‘wrap-around’ care and support provided for students. There is cohesion between a student’s wellbeing and their potential for learning and success. Affirming and inclusive relationships are evident amongst staff, students and their parents/whānau. Pastoral care systems incorporate restorative practices, and the school has a very low rate of student suspensions and exclusions. On-site counselling and health professionals work closely with community social and support agencies to help students and their parents/whānau in practical and meaningful ways.

ERO observed examples of effective teaching practices where:

  • students were meaningfully engaged in their learning
  • the purpose of learning was shared and students encouraged to contribute their prior knowledge
  • a priority on literacy and mathematics was maintained
  • the local community and environment are used as purposeful learning contexts to build student interest
  • classroom resources are available and organised to support learning.

Students in Years 7 to 13 have access to appropriate course advice and vocational pathways. The surfing academy has been a successful part of the senior curriculum for several years. The small student roll in Years 11 to 13 presents an ongoing challenge related to the range of academic options that can be offered and supported by teachers.

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

The majority of students enrolled in this school are identified as Māori. The preceding sections on learning and curriculum incorporate statements referring to the effective promotion of educational success for Māori.

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. Supportive factors include:

  • trustees who have a positive working relationship with the principal and staff, and promote student success in many different areas
  • a principal who has been pivotal in establishing an inclusive bicultural school culture
  • leadership of staff who bring experience and commitment to promoting positive outcomes for students
  • broad networks of support between the school and its community
  • recognition and valuing of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The board, senior managers and ERO agree that the next steps for the school include:

  • trustee training to strengthen their self-review practices and to guide the development of a governance manual
  • developing and implementing an action plan to address the matters identified in this report and to raise student achievement levels.

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.

In order to improve practice the board should ensure that the school reports to parents twice each year on student achievement in relation to National Standards.

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

23 April 2014

About the School

Location

West of Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

125

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

426

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other

Other European

Indian

60%

35%

2%

2%

1%

Special Features

Māori immersion classes (4) Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

23 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

September 2008

March 2007