Taitoko School - 29/01/2021

Findings

The school has improved its capacity to sustain, improve and review its performance. Significant progress has occurred since the 2019 ERO report. School leaders have developed and implemented useful processes and strategies to build teacher capability. Collaboration and building consistency in teaching practice are promoting positive conditions for learning and improved outcomes for students. Curriculum development continues to be an on-going focus for the school.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Taitoko 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?

Taitoko School, located in Levin, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 227 of whom 125 identify as Māori and 66 as Pacific.

The school’s vision aspires to produce ‘cultural, creative, connected learners’.

The February 2019 ERO report identified significant areas for improvement. Over the past eighteen months the school has participated in an ERO evaluation process to support improvement. During this time trustees, leaders and staff have accessed appropriate external professional learning and development (PLD) to support them in their roles and practice.

This ERO report evaluates the progress made and how well placed the school now is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The following aspects of school operation required improvement:

  • ongoing review and development of the school’s curriculum

  • further development of professional capability of 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

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

Progress

Leaders and teachers have developed appropriate processes to track and monitor student progress and achievement. Students at risk of underachievement are clearly identified. School reported mid-year 2020 data indicates that most students are achieving at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels to their peers. The data shows a positive shift in the numbers of students progressing from well below to below, and below to at expectations.

School leaders have developed a localised curriculum aligned to the school’s values, local context and priorities. This has been established in collaboration with students, staff and whānau. Clear expectations guide teaching and learning. Teachers know their students and whānau well and value their language and culture. They use deliberate strategies to engage students in learning. Environments support instruction and students to work in groups and independently. Curriculum development continues to be an on-going focus for the school. The principal has identified that embedding programmes with an emphasis on students knowing about their learning is a next step.

School leaders have developed and implemented useful processes and strategies to build teacher capability. Ongoing PLD supports leaders and teachers to implement a range of programmes and strategies to accelerate progress for students. Staff work collaboratively in teams to promote student well-being, share effective practice, monitor progress and moderate teacher judgements. School frameworks have been established to guide internal evaluation. Team and senior leadership inquiries are evidence-based and improvement focused.

The board is well informed about student achievement, school operation and ongoing developments. Trustees are actively involved in the review of policies and procedures. They have moved to an online portfolio and are following the review cycle. Policies and procedures are robust and align with the school’s operation and practices.

Key next steps

ERO and school leaders agree that key next steps for the school are to:

  • continue to develop and embed the local curriculum

  • extend and implement learning from PLD

  • continue to build capability of trustees to further develop their understanding of roles, responsibilities and legislative obligations.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has improved its capacity to sustain, improve and review its performance.

The principal has led a considered and strategic approach to address the areas for development identified in the 2018 ERO report. Collaboration and building consistency of teaching practice are promoting positive conditions for learning and improved outcomes for students.

Leaders and teachers continue to engage in PLD that is focused on building pedagogical leadership and capability across the school. This is resulting in a more targeted response to raising student achievement, particularly in writing.

The school has developed useful frameworks for internal evaluation. Leaders and teachers continue to deepen their understanding to enable them to more clearly identify the impact of new and ongoing developments on outcomes for students.

School leaders and ERO agree a next step is to use internal evaluation processes to:

  • determine the impact and effectiveness of innovations, initiatives and teaching approaches on improved learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students

  • inform changes for improvement.

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

The school has improved its capacity to sustain, improve and review its performance. Significant progress has occurred since the 2019 ERO report. School leaders have developed and implemented useful processes and strategies to build teacher capability. Collaboration and building consistency in teaching practice are promoting positive conditions for learning and improved outcomes for students. Curriculum development continues to be an on-going focus for the school.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Taitoko 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

29 January 2021

About the school

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