Taitoko School - 15/02/2019

School Context

Taitoko School is situated in Levin, Horowhenua. The school has students in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 217 students includes 53% who identify as Māori and 31% of Pacific heritage.

The vision seeks to promote cultural, creative and connected learners.

Achievement targets for 2018 are focused on raising the overall percentage of students achieving at expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.   

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • outcomes in relation to Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)
  • student wellbeing
  • attendance.

The February 2016 ERO report identified that raising student achievement was a priority. To strengthen student outcomes ERO identified required improvements in targeting, tracking and evaluating achievement. Although some changes have occurred, these practices are yet to impact sufficiently on improved levels of achievement.     

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school does not consistently address the needs of learners to achieve equity and excellence for all its students.   

At the end of 2017, approximately 60% of learners met achievement expectations in reading and mathematics. Māori students achieved lower outcomes than Pākehā, with Pacific learners below in mathematics and reading. Achievement in writing was below 50%, with boys persistently below the achievement of girls. At the end of 2018 achievement is tracking slightly above previous years.  

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Leaders and teachers need to develop practices and processes to increase the school’s collective capability to accelerate the learning and achievement of students.

Analysis of data by leaders in 2018, identified that teaching was insufficient to progress learning and for children to maintain a positive trajectory in their achievement, especially in junior reading. In response they initiated targeted actions to strengthen achievement. In the second half of 2018, generally, students targeted are showing an improved trajectory in their progress. However, further acceleration is required to ensure many of these students reach achievement expectations.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders and trustees articulate a shared vision for student success. Strategically planned goals recognise further improvement is required to better support equitable and excellent outcomes for students. 

Students with complex learning needs have appropriate access to additional support. Individual education plans identify goals that are specific to promote student learning and engagement. Resourcing provides additional personnel to support student participation at school. Extensive interagency partnerships are accessed to address the specialised needs of these learners. Transition to school is well planned and inclusive of students, parents and whānau. 

Staff and trustees encourage the purposeful inclusion of students, whānau and families. The use of the programme PB4L fosters shared values and expectations that are evident in practice. Teachers promote a positive tone and climate in classrooms. Student wellbeing information shows students feel a sense of belonging. Leaders and teachers develop positive relationships with students, parents and community. Gathered information from Māori whānau and Pacific families is appropriately used to respond to their curriculum and cultural aspirations.   

Collaborative discussion between teachers is beginning to encourage greater sharing of strategies to better meet the needs of learners. Involvement in professional learning and development aligns to achievement priorities. Curriculum leaders have provided observational feedback for teachers to support improved practice.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Increased professional capability and capacity of leaders, teachers and for trustees in stewardship is required to consistently improve student achievement. Assessment processes and practice require improvement to ensure a comprehensive response to addressing student learning. Leaders should revise annual achievement targets and align these to students requiring their achievement accelerated. Building teacher knowledge of learning progressions should ensure teaching better matches learning.

Leaders identify that the school curriculum requires review. Staff should explore and develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning. This should collectively establish the strategies, skills and practices expected to purposefully engage students in learning.   

Evaluation and inquiry processes require strengthening to better understand the impact of actions and practices undertaken to improve student achievement. Building capability to robustly evaluate effectiveness should ensure school personnel better understand the value of the actions undertaken to achieve the school’s vision for student success.  

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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
  • finance
  • 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 and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • undertake regular review and development of policies and procedures to align with current legislation and guidance. 

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • appropriate care and inclusion of students with identified complex needs
  • an environment that values and promotes the participation of parents, families and whānau
  • increasingly collaborative practice between leaders, teachers and trustees.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • ongoing review and development of the school’s curriculum
  • further development of professional capability for trustees, leaders and teachers
  • review and further development of assessment processes and practice
  • better use of evaluation and inquiry to fully understand the impact of strategies and programmes in relation to achieving equity and excellence for students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services
Central Region

15 February 2019

About the school 

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

3032

School type

Full Primary Years 1 to 8

School roll

217

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                 53%
Pacific                                31%
Pākehā                              16%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

15 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review         February 2016
Education Review         December 2012
Education Review         November 2010