Rukuhia School - 15/02/2017

Findings

Rukuhia School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report. Children experience a curriculum that is increasingly responsive to their interests and learning needs. Leadership for learning has been strengthened with a focus on building teacher capability to accelerate achievement. Children enjoy learning in a family-like atmosphere.  

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Rukuhia School, located on the outskirts of Hamilton city, provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The school’s roll of 105, include 21 Māori children. Since the 2014 ERO review the school’s leadership and teaching teams have remained the same. At the 2016 board elections three new trustees were elected. The school continues to benefit from high levels of parent support including an active parent teacher association.

The previous ERO report identified the need to strengthen key aspects of school operations related to professional leadership, curriculum development, promoting children’s wellbeing and self review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The 2014 ERO review identified the need to:

  • strengthen leadership of learning including implementing a more robust teacher appraisal process
  • further develop the school’s curriculum
  • increase the provision of a Māori dimension in the school’s curriculum
  • implement systems that support children’s wellbeing
  • strengthen school governance
  • implement meaningful self-review processes.

Progress

Trustees, leaders and teachers have made very good progress in responding to the areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report.

Leadership of learning has been significantly strengthened. School leaders have undertaken specific professional development to support them to undertake their leadership roles. They work in a more collaborative manner in order to maximise expertise within the leadership team. Leaders have a strong focus on further building teacher capability. They access useful external professional development opportunities for teachers. A robust teacher appraisal process has been developed and implemented that provides teachers with regular feedback about the effectiveness of their teaching. Productive partnerships have been established with local schools that enable leaders and teachers to share best practice. A more collaborative approach to school leadership is maximising internal expertise focused on building teacher capability and raising children’s achievement.

Leaders and teachers are developing and implementing a more responsive curriculum. They are currently reviewing curriculum documentation to better reflect parent and community aspirations.

Ongoing development of the curriculum include:

  • an appropriate priority on literacy and mathematics learning
  • use of real-life experiences that engage children in meaningful learning
  • regular trips and camps into the local and wider community
  • opportunities for children to experience success in cultural and sporting activities.

Children’s learning is supported by a curriculum that is increasingly responsive to their interests and learning needs.

Leaders are developing useful processes that support children to be aware of their achievement and next learning steps. An important priority for leaders is to implement these practices throughout the school.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are more evident in the school curriculum. Children participate in pōwhiri at the local secondary school’s marae, and as part of the school’s camping programme senior children experience noho marae. Te reo Māori is naturally integrated into each classes’ daily programme. Whānau are increasingly involved in sharing their knowledge and expertise with teachers and children. An increased presence of te ao Māori supports Māori children’s sense of identity and belonging in the school.

Trustees provide effective school stewardship. They are supportive of school leaders and have undertaken extensive training to support them to effectively undertake their roles and responsibilities. The board is well led by a knowledgeable and experienced chairperson. A feature of the board’s operation is the regular consultation with the school community. Trustees set useful charter targets focused on the number of children whose learning needs accelerating. Effective stewardship is contributing to a cohesive approach to school development.

Sound self-review practices are well embedded at all levels of the school. A useful framework has been implemented to guide self review. Trustees have a planned approach to policy review. A feature of the school’s self-review practices is the regular consultation with parents and children. Teachers implement an effective process that supports them to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching practices in accelerating the progress of children achieving below expected levels. Self review is contributing to ongoing school development and improvement.

Student safety and wellbeing are effectively promoted in the school. Surveys from senior children and parents indicate that students feel safe at school and parents are confident that their children’s wellbeing is supported. Tuakana/teina relationships are strongly evident and reflect the school’s family-like atmosphere. ERO observed positive relationships between teachers and children. Children enjoy learning and playing in a settled and calm environment where their wellbeing is supported.

Key next steps

To further develop the school’s curriculum, leaders and teachers should develop and document agreed expectations for effective teaching practice at Rukuhia School. These expectations should initially focus on the teaching of literacy and mathematics.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Rukuhia School is well placed to continue to improve its performance because:

  • trustees provide effective stewardship
  • leadership for learning has been strengthened
  • there are high levels of staff collegiality that supports sharing of professional practice
  • children continue to experience a broad curriculum that is responsive to their interests and learning needs
  • there are high levels of community support
  • sound self-review practices are in place.

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.

4 Recommendation

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

School leaders access external professional development for the teaching team to address the key next step addressed in this report.

Conclusion

Rukuhia School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report. Children experience a curriculum that is increasingly responsive to their interests and learning needs. Leadership for learning has been strengthened with a focus on building teacher capability to accelerate achievement. Children enjoy learning in a family-like atmosphere.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 February 2017

About the School 

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1938

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

105

Gender composition

Girls 56% Boys 44%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

71%

20%

9%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

15 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2016

April 2014

June 2011