Riwaka School - 25/11/2014

Findings

Riwaka School is a semi-rural school with a long and proud history.

Students’ learning is well supported by the school’s curriculum. Most students achieve very well compared with other students at regional and national levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The board is aware that improvements need to be made to some practices in order to continue to provide high-quality education for students.

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

1 Context

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

Riwaka School is a semi-rural school in the Tasman area. The school is long-established and the community is proud of its history. Board membership is stable. At the time of this review, there had been a number of staff changes. The board maintains a well-resourced school.

The school culture is inclusive and supportive of students. Parents are made to feel welcome.

2 Learning

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

This school is increasingly using achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. School-wide achievement information is carefully analysed and reported to the board. This enables trustees to develop appropriate targets and to make informed decisions about resourcing that best support student learning.

Teachers use a range of assessment practices to gather reliable student achievement information. This enables them to plan programmes that meet the needs of groups and individual students, including those with special abilities. Teachers regularly monitor the progress of each student. This information is well reported to parents which helps them be more involved in their children’s learning.

Students with particular learning needs are clearly identified. Additional learning opportunities within class programmes focus on accelerating their progress. These students also receive good-quality extra support from a specialist teacher when required. Students with high needs receive specialist support from teacher aides. This helps them to be included in class programmes and to work alongside other students. The progress of all students who need learning support is closely tracked.

The next steps to strengthen the use of achievement information to further support learners’ engagement and achievement include:

  • Involving students more in setting and monitoring their own learning goals
  • evaluating how learning support initiatives continue to contribute to improved student achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

Students’ learning is well supported within the school’s curriculum.

Most students achieve above other students at regional and national levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s curriculum has suitable goals, and well-established values and principles. The board, principal and teachers are continuing to strengthen the curriculum to reflect the demands on learners in the future. This includes the use of a range of technologies to support learning. Teachers have specific guidelines for teaching, assessing and evaluating students' learning. Teachers are well supported by professional development to help them maintain high-quality teaching approaches.

Classrooms are well managed. Relationships between students and their teachers are respectful and affirming. Intentions for learning and behaviour are clearly established with students. They receive feedback about how well they are achieving them. Children are encouraged to support each other’s learning. Some teachers and parents are helping students focus their learning through appropriate goal setting.

The school’s wider curriculum provides students with a good range of learning opportunities within and beyond the school.

The next step to strengthen the school’s curriculum is to improve the evaluation of units of work and class programmes to ensure that they meet the range of learning needs in each class.

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

The school provides a number of opportunities that support Māori students to achieve as Māori. These include:

  • all students participating in pōwhiri
  • students choosing to attend extension te reo Māori classes and to participate in kapa haka
  • bicultural concepts included in the curriculum
  • whole-school visits to the local marae.

The next steps to better support Māori students to achieve as Māori include:

  • further consultation with Māori parents about their aspirations for their children to succeed as Māori
  • the board developing goals and planning to identify how it will support Māori students to achieve as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board is aware that in order to sustain and improve its performance it needs to give priority to addressing the next steps and actions in this report.

Trustees are experienced and understand their governance roles and responsibilities. The board’s strategic plan provides good guidance to leaders and teachers. The goals focus on making improvements that will benefit students and include initiatives to seek students' ideas about their learning and wellbeing.

The principal provides the board with detailed achievement information about progress against board goals. Self review is guided by well-developed plans at board and management levels. The outcomes from review focus on making improvements for students and their learning.

The next steps for the board to achieve high-quality governance, leadership and teaching include:

  • making the expectations and timeframes for reporting on progress towards the school's goals and priorities specific and manageable
  • improve the quality of principal and teacher appraisal
  • regularly seeking feedback from students, staff and parents about the school culture.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review, there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance.

The board must ensure that the school is monitoring compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. The board and principal must regularly review its provisions and report on these and outcomes for international students.

The board must comply with the Ministry of Education requirements for the appraisal of principals and or teachers.

The board does not have clear systems for the checking of hazards around the school that pose risks to student safety. In order to improve current practice the board should:

establish a hazard register, instigate regular checking and report the outcomes to the board.

Conclusion

Riwaka School is a semi-rural school with a long and proud history.

Students’ learning is well supported by the school’s curriculum. Most students achieve very well compared with other students at regional and national levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The board is aware that improvements need to be made to some practices in order to continue to provide high-quality education for students.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

25 November 2014

About the School

Location

Riwaka, Motueka

Ministry of Education profile number

3217

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

153

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls 46%;

Boys 54%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

82%

16%

2%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

25 November 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

August 2008

June 2005