Tamahere Model Country School - 07/05/2015

Findings

Tamahere Country Model School is providing students with a well-rounded education. Trustees, leadership and teachers are focused on improving student learning outcomes. Students experience high levels of academic and sporting success. An effective partnership with parents, whānau and the school’s community supports a positive learning environment for all students.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Tamahere Model Country School is located south of Hamilton City and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school is part of the cluster of schools working with the University of Waikato to provide learning opportunities for student teachers. The school roll has continued to grow and is currently 389 students, including 38 students who identify as Māori.

There is a strong focus on implementing an inquiry approach to learning and integrating e-learning into classroom programmes. Consultation with Māori whānau has resulted in a plan to strengthen te reo and tikanga Māori practices throughout the school. The school values its positive relationships with the local community.

Effective leadership, staffing and a strong commitment to improving students’ learning is a feature of the school. Parents and students appreciate the approachability and openness of school leaders and teachers. Students benefit from an inclusive, purposeful and positive school culture.

There has been a positive response by board and leaders to ERO’s 2012 recommendations that related to developing an agreed philosophy of teaching and learning and establishing teacher appraisal processes.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

This ERO review took place at the beginning of the school year. Teachers were focused on establishing effective classroom management systems, building relationships, and increasing their knowledge of individual students.

Students are well engaged and motivated to learn. Nearly all students, including Māori students, achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Progress is evident throughout the year and well reported to trustees and parents. Senior students are aware of their progress and achievement and share this information in student-led conferences with their parents and whānau. School leaders and teachers need to review aspects of the use of assessment information when reporting to parents and trustees.

Teachers are committed to raising the achievement of all students who benefit from a school-wide learning culture. They plan programmes that are focused on students’ needs and provide appropriate learning experiences for individuals and groups of students. Classroom environments are well organised and well resourced. Students requiring support with their learning are identified and provided with specific learning opportunities.

Effective and well-targeted professional development has resulted in improved teaching practice and higher levels of achievement for students. School leaders identified and ERO agreed that it is important that teachers continue to strengthen students’ ability to take responsibility for their own learning.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. There is a school-wide focus on literacy and mathematics. Students are benefiting from this focus on writing, which has up-skilled teachers and provided a framework for teaching. An approach to higher level thinking has been developed in the senior area and now needs to become school-wide. This should further extend and challenge students to become independent learners.

Senior managers work well as a team and are leading curriculum development. They articulate high expectations for student learning and achievement and for teachers as professionals. Leaders ensure a coordinated approach to the implementation of school goals. They need to develop a more effective appraisal process that identifies specific measurable goals, aligned with the school focus on improving strategic direction and student learning and achievement. This should enable teachers to reflect on their practice in-order to strengthen teaching and learning.

Staff have developed a curriculum overview that is focused on an inquiry approach to school-wide topics. Teachers confidently use their professional knowledge to provide programmes of learning that motivate and engage students. Their planning links students’ previous knowledge to future learning experiences. Students enjoy a wide range of opportunities for sports, arts and culture.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

In 2014 the school reviewed success for Māori as Māori. As a result they have:

  • developed a strategic goal to embrace te ao Māori
  • established a whānau group (Te Whānau o Tamahere)
  • appointed a Māori liaison person from the community
  • developed a plan to implement te reo and tikanga Māori
  • engaged a specialist te reo teacher for staff professional development
  • employed a kapa haka teacher.

The school is committed to teaching te reo Māori as a second language and celebrating tikanga Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Tamahere Model Country School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • the board of trustees effectively governs the school
  • the school vision underpins all school operations
  • the principal shows strong professional leadership and is focused on student well being and achievement
  • the deputy principal effectively led the school during the principal’s study leave in 2013
  • the senior management team work well together and make good use of individual skills
  • self-review processes are well developed
  • there are high levels of parent and whānau involvement in school event and activities
  • ongoing consultation with parents, whānau and staff informs school direction
  • there is a safe and inclusive learning environment.

The next steps for continual school improvement are to strengthen:

  • the appraisal processes to ensure critical inquiry into teaching effectiveness
  • students involvement in their own learning
  • the clarity of reports for parents and trustees.

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

Tamahere Country Model School is providing students with a well-rounded education. Trustees, leadership and teachers are focused on improving student learning outcomes. Students experience high levels of academic and sporting success. An effective partnership with parents, whānau and the school’s community supports a positive learning environment for all students.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

7 May 2015

About the School

Location

Tamahere, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1976

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

389

Gender composition

Girls 53%

Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other European

Other

85%

6%

6%

3%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

7 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

February 2009

February 2006