Rawene School - 19/12/2016

1 Context

Rawene School serves a predominantly Māori community. Many students, community members and staff share longstanding connections with the school. Most children and their whānau affiliate to Ngā Puhi. The principal and teachers are building links with the adjacent playcentre and kōhanga reo to strengthen processes for children to transition into school.

The school appointed a new principal in January 2015. The board and principal have responded positively to the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. The principal and trustees have taken a planned and strategic approach to school renewal and are focused on strengthening teaching and learning for all students. There are plans in place for the school to be a part of a Community of Learning with other local schools in the Hokianga region.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are 'Leading the way to success' by having a well-rounded education and being confident about the future. The school vision was developed in consultation with children and the community. It is reinforced through a set of values: respect, excellence, innovation, integrity, diversity, equity and guardianship.

The school’s achievement information shows that the majority of students have achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics over the last three years. In 2015, just over sixty percent of students achieved the National Standards in writing and over seventy percent of students achieved the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Most children in the school are Māori and their achievement reflects overall trends and patterns in the school. Through close analysis of achievement data, leaders and teachers have been able to identify some disparity in achievement for Māori boys in reading and writing. School achievement data also shows that girls achievement overall is higher than boys. Appropriate targets have been set to improve Māori boys' achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

However, while there is some disparity in achievement, identified students are in some cases making accelerated progress and disparity is reducing. The board, school leaders and teachers recognise they will need to continue to monitor achievement patterns and focus on accelerating the progress of all children.

School wide systems and processes that support teachers to make robust and consistent overall achievement judgements (OTJs) against the National Standards are improving. Teachers work collaboratively sharing achievement information and they have robust internal discussions to moderate assessment judgements. Teachers have recently reviewed the range of assessment tools that they are using to make OTJs. They have also moderated their achievement judgements with another Hokianga school and plan to moderate with other local schools once a Community of Learning is established. 

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • strengthened teachers' capability to use assessment tools
  • improved teachers' use of evidence through better analysis and interpretation of assessment data to inform planning
  • developed a strategic approach and plans to accelerating the progress of learners who are not achieving at the National Standards
  • set more specific achievement targets for groups of students
  • improved teacher practices that support children to know how well they are achieving and enable them to set their own learning goals.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has established processes to respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The principal and leadership team place a high priority on responding to the learning strengths and needs of all Māori children. Professional learning and development has supported recent refinements to school systems at the class and team level. These are helping teachers to closely monitor the progress and achievement of each individual Māori child and provide a foundation for further work aimed at accelerating student progress and achievement.

Leaders and teachers use data to identify early the children who are at risk of not achieving and whose progress requires acceleration. This helps them to plan, monitor and consider children's next learning steps. More explicit documentation and evaluation of the teaching actions and strategies that are making a positive difference to student progress would contribute to improving learning outcomes for children.

The board sets strategic goals and relevant targets in reading, writing and mathematics to accelerate children's progress in relation to National Standards. These clearly identify and prioritise the acceleration of children who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes, in particular Māori boys. The school's tracking data for students this year shows positive shifts for a number of children and some have made accelerated progress.

To further promote children's accelerated progress, leaders and teachers could:

  • continue developing their evaluation and inquiry capability
  • scrutinise data to identify the impact that programmes and practices are having on accelerating children's learning
  • maintain longitudinal records of each target child's learning progress to ensure that the accelerated progress that these children make, is sustained. 

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The strategies and practices used by leaders and teachers to support Māori learners are the same as those used to help other children who need to make accelerated progress.

Leaders promote a sense of shared responsibility for accelerating the progress of students who are underachieving. A further focus for staff is building learning partnerships with parents to support their children's progress. There are some early signs of success in relation to these priorities.

Teachers have deepened their knowledge and use of assessment tools to identify gaps in student learning. They use this information to plan broad strategies, to provide one on one support for children, and for ongoing monitoring.

Students are benefitting from teachers' classroom displays that give them quick reference to how well they are achieving in reading, writing and mathematics and their next learning steps. Teachers should extend on this initiative by supporting children to identify and talk about the strategies that they can use to improve their achievement.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum, processes and practices are increasingly effective in developing and enacting the board's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence. Trustees, school leaders and staff have high expectations for all children to experience and enjoy success.

Effective leadership that focuses on improving outcomes for children is evident. The principal and staff are creating a positive and collaborative environment to support the school's next phase of development. Their focus on building relational trust is laying a sound foundation to bring in other initiatives that promote equity and excellence.

The principal has developed a culture that supports teachers to build their own professional practice. Strengthening teachers' reflection and inquiry into their own practice has been a key factor together with an emphasis on evidence informed decision-making. Teacher reflection and inquiry is underpinned by professional development and improved systems and processes to do with personnel management and appraisal. Teachers now have clear expectations and shared understandings about their role in supporting student learning.

The curriculum has been recently reviewed and plans to implement it have developed in consultation with parents and whānau. It is aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum, clearly emphasises literacy and mathematics, and offers children a broad variety of relevant contexts and opportunities to engage in learning within the school and community. The curriculum centres on the place, culture and people of the Hokianga. It also recognises the role of parents as educators and students' role as decision-makers and leaders of their own learning.

Teachers build on children's prior knowledge and experiences through programmes that draw on local history, and integrate environment and sustainability issues, and extensive co-curricular activities. A trained musician who works in the school as a teacher aide provides a school-wide music programme for all children. The curriculum guidelines comprehensively focus on current, effective teaching and learning practice and reflect the useful professional development that teachers are undertaking.

Children are enthusiastic about learning and benefit from school conditions that foster positive attitudes to lifelong learning. The school's positive, respectful culture and focus on children taking increased responsibility for their own learning, supports children to develop as confident learners. Māori children have a strong sense of pride in their identity, language and culture.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to ensure the school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Capable trustees bring a range of expertise to their roles. Most trustees are new to their roles and are keen to build their collective capacity. The board has a sound policy framework and receive good information about student achievement. They are well placed to further develop evaluation in their stewardship role and in relation to the work of the school in achieving valued student outcomes. Trustees should consider using the Hautū self-review tool to review their effectiveness in promoting a bicultural framework.

The principal has introduced good systems for teachers to inquire into their practice. This is resulting in teachers noticing and responding to children's learning needs and strengths. The school now has a good foundation for accelerating student progress. The principal and the board acknowledge that they are now better placed to develop a plan to raise children's achievement that will guide them to:

  • increase collective evaluation capacity
  • develop and adapt practices for accelerating children's progress
  • improve the evaluation of achievement information
  • share evaluation outcomes to inform effective practice.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop more targeted planning that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that school leaders continue building coherent organisational conditions that promote evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building, and engage in evidence-based decision making to promote positive outcomes for all children. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 December 2016

About the school 

Location

Rawene, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1093

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

94

Gender composition

Boys 48, Girls 46

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Niue

Indian

Samoan

68

17

4

3

2

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

19 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

May 2010

January 2007