Takapau School - 21/04/2017

Findings

Takapau School has made significant progress since the 2016 ERO review. There are good systems and processes in place for promoting sustainable development. The board, principal and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements to support increased equity and excellence.

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?

Takapau School, located in southern Hawke’s Bay, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 118 students, of whom 37% identify as Māori. The shared core values of ‘respect, responsibility, resilience and relationships’ are recognised and understood throughout the school as the guiding framework for learning and behaviour. There is a strong focus on providing an inclusive environment for students.

Following the May 2016 ERO report, the principal developed a plan with key priorities for improvement. This has provided a framework to guide action planning and internal evaluation.

This 2017 ERO report evaluates the progress made and how well placed the school 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 May 2016 ERO report included the following recommendations:

  • improve the focus of the school strategic plan and improvement targets on accelerating the progress of students at risk of underachieving
  • develop a cohesive school curriculum to guide effective teaching practices, including culturally responsive strategies and increasing student ownership of learning
  • strengthen assessment practices for teachers and learners
  • continue to strengthen whānau, parent and community input into strategic decision-making and curriculum development
  • support teacher capability through appraisal and access to appropriate professional learning and development
  • ensure a robust governance framework is in place.

Progress

The school has made significant progress in addressing the above recommendations. The principal has developed a structure that supports ongoing change and improvement. She actively seeks external advice and support to aid developments.

School improvement targets are more focused on promoting equitable outcomes for learners. School reported National Standards data at the end of 2016 shows a significant number of students, especially Māori and boys, made accelerated progress in writing. Improvement targets for 2017 are appropriately focused on further increasing achievement in writing and mathematics for these groups of learners. In response, teachers are tracking and monitoring progress of those students requiring additional or targeted support.

Community consultation has informed recent curriculum development and strengthened relationships with parents and whānau. A framework to support and guide teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics has been established. Ongoing work is planned to clarify the school vision and valued outcomes for students within a 21st Century curriculum. Leaders and trustees are engaging with whānau and community members to support the reflection of te ao Māori throughout the curriculum and to build teachers’ culturally responsive practices.

Teachers are growing their understanding and use of student achievement information to make the purpose of learning more visible. This provides a good platform for ongoing curriculum developments that allow students to lead their own learning.

Professional learning and development (PLD) is prioritised and focused on building effective teaching. Staff work collaboratively to share and discuss good practice. Teachers are beginning to reflect on and inquire into the effectiveness of their practice to make improvements to teaching and learning. Continuing to strengthen this and teachers’ appraisal are key next steps.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The board, principal and staff are well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review their performance. Strong partnerships are evident.

Trustees have made significant progress in establishing effective processes and practices to guide stewardship operations. They regularly participate in governance PLD and have recently taken part in a culturally responsive practices workshop with the staff. Trustees are active in engaging, informing and consulting with parents and whānau. They are focused on raising achievement and promoting equity and excellence for Māori learners and others whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Review of policies is robust and the board and principal have worked with staff to become familiar with these, creating a sense of ownership. 

The principal articulates high expectations for student learning and achievement, and for teachers as professionals. She has identified, and ERO agrees, the school should continue to:

  • refine targets and action planning to support accelerated progress
  • undertake curriculum review and development to support cultural responsiveness and student-led learning
  • support growth in teaching and learning, including inquiring into the effectiveness of teachers’ practices
  • strengthen appraisal processes.

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. 

Conclusion

Takapau School has made significant progress since the 2016 ERO review. There are good systems and processes in place for promoting sustainable development. The board, principal and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements to support increased equity and excellence.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 April 2017

About the School

Location

Takapau

Ministry of Education profile number

2684

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

118

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

37%

53%

10%

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

21 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2016

March 2013

January 2010