Tairangi School - 18/02/2021

Findings

Tairangi School has made positive progress in addressing the priorities identified for improvement. Assessment processes have been strengthened. The curriculum is underpinned by values and authentic cultural practices that promote student voice, agency and identity. Leaders, teachers and trustees are developing sound processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve outcomes for learners.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Tairangi School, in Porirua East, provides education for students Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 160 students includes 67% who are of Pacific heritage and 23% who are Māori.

The November 2017 ERO report identified areas for review and development relating to assessment, achievement, teaching, the curriculum, appraisal, policy development and internal evaluation.

In 2018 and 2019 a Student Achievement Function (SAF) Practitioner supported the school’s improvement journey. Staff have also worked with external facilitators in literacy, student wellbeing and behavioural education, and curriculum development. Increased budget allocation for professional learning and development (PLD) has enabled more learning opportunities for individual staff members.

The board of trustees has worked closely with The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) since 2018, with emphasis on developing and using governance tools for ongoing school improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The November 2017 ERO report identified areas requiring development. These were to:

  • improve schoolwide achievement and accelerate the progress of those not achieving at expected levels

  • develop assessment processes

  • implement a robust appraisal process

  • undertake regular policy review

  • ensure the local curriculum includes documented cultural practice and guidelines for teaching and assessment

  • build an understanding of internal evaluation.

Progress

Since the 2017 ERO report, there has been a strong focus on increasing the consistency and reliability of assessment judgements about progress and achievement, particularly in reading.

Since 2018, schoolwide achievement data shows variation. There has, however, been clear evidence of some target students making accelerated progress.

At the end of 2018, approximately one third of students were achieving at or above the expected level in reading. In writing and mathematics, it was approximately half. During 2018, 36% of target students made accelerated progress in reading.

At the end of 2019, two thirds of Year 4 to 8 students were reading and writing at or above curriculum expectations. Approximately one third achieved at or above in mathematics. During 2019, 27% of target students made accelerated progress in reading and 47% in mathematics.

In 2020, a literacy initiative for early literacy acquisition has resulted in almost all of the children involved making accelerated progress.

The consistency and reliability of assessment processes has improved significantly. Considerable work has been undertaken to use nationally-normed assessment tools consistently. Collaborative moderation processes have increased the reliability of teacher judgements about progress and achievement. Professional learning has built shared understanding of use of assessment tools, including reading running records. Leaders have identified that continuing to strengthen assessment processes is an area of ongoing emphasis.

Strong relationships between children and adults promote a positive wellbeing and learning environment. Tuakana teina relationships are encouraged and clearly evident.

Teachers have clear expectations. Children know the classroom routines well and participate enthusiastically in a range of learning activities. Teachers are beginning to promote increased student agency, working towards all children knowing about their learning, the purpose for it, and how well they have achieved their learning goals.

A well-documented localised curriculum has been developed and is being progressively implemented. It is based on Tairangi School’s community values that promote voice, agency and identity. These values underpin documented cultural practices that are inclusive and representative of the school’s community. Authentic cultural practices are evident across the curriculum. Students can relate their learning to their own experiences.

Useful guidelines for quality teaching and assessment have been shared and published in almost all curriculum areas. Indicators for high quality teaching and learning are continuing to be further developed.

A robust appraisal process has been developed and implemented. It is aligned with the Teaching Council’s requirements, with conduct and practice indicators that reflect the school’s context.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is making good progress in developing sound processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Leaders, trustees and teachers have identified through their strategic goals and annual plan, a well-considered pathway for ongoing development. Specific goals include continuing to:

  • improve student achievement, with particular emphasis on mathematics

  • strengthen assessment processes

  • further develop teaching practice to reflect the curriculum.

Trustees have worked with NZSTA to develop and implement a regular cycle of policy review.

Teachers develop specific learning interventions for target students to increase their achievement. Those students who join the school during the year are part of this group. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to evaluate their teaching practice and the effectiveness of these interventions using a ‘Puzzles of Practice’ process. An improved understanding of internal evaluation has been developed using this process.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

Tairangi School has made positive progress in addressing the priorities identified for improvement. Assessment processes have been strengthened. The curriculum is underpinned by values and authentic cultural practices that promote student voice, agency and identity. Leaders, teachers and trustees are developing sound processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve outcomes for learners.

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

18 February 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.