Taradale School - 28/05/2014

1 Context

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

Taradale School caters for Years 1 to 6 students in Taradale, Napier. Of the 420 students, 38 identify as Māori and four as Pacific. The school roll is stable and an enrolment zone is in place.

Established values of personal excellence and respect underpin school culture and the curriculum. Students learn in a well maintained and resourced learning environment that provides a range of appropriate spaces for physical activity and cooperative play.

Some staff, trustees and many parents have a long association with the school. Since the 2009 ERO review, the principal has worked collaboratively with staff and trustees to drive improvement and implement change.

The school continues to promote and benefit from high levels of engagement with its community.

2 Learning

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

Teachers gather a wide range of assessment data that they use effectively to identify students’ needs, group learners for focused teaching and monitor their progress. Team leaders promote regular discussion about achievement information. This helps teachers reflect on learning progress and share strategies for success, particularly for targeted students.

School leaders analyse student achievement information, in a considered way, to establish trends and patterns and set strategic achievement goals. Detailed, useful assessment information is regularly reported to the board. Staff discussions and moderation opportunities support consistent teacher judgments about student achievement based on assessment data.

The school is not yet working with National Standards in a consistent way. At the time of this review, National Standards data for 2013 had not been collated, analysed or reported to the board to inform targets for 2014.

Data for 2012 shows several groups of students not achieving in relation to National Standards in writing and mathematics. The school appropriately responded to this information to set achievement targets for 2013.

National Standards data for 2013 provided by the school, shows improvement in writing results, most significantly for Māori students, who continue to perform well in mathematics. Target-setting should continue to focus on accelerating the progress of students who are achieving below in relation to the Standards.

Regular reporting of progress towards targets should enable trustees to monitor the effectiveness of the support for groups of priority students, including Pacific. Data analysis should consider how well learners perform above the Standards and also explore the lack of positive movement for Māori students in reading.

Students who require learning support are well supported by teachers. A range of strategies is in place. School leaders acknowledge that systems for monitoring and reporting progress of these students should be improved. This should include reviewing the impact of interventions for students with special needs and Pacific students’ progress and achievement.

Three-way conferences promote student involvement in learning. Increased use of electronic systems for sharing assessment information has been introduced to provide further opportunities for parents and students to develop learning partnerships.

Reports to parents provide useful information about students’ progress, achievement and next steps in reading, writing and mathematics.

3 Curriculum

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

Teachers are deliberate about their use of strategies to improve student learning. They are well prepared for teaching, share the purposes of learning and help students to understand criteria for success. Teachers support students’ participation in learning through a range of prompts, questioning and thinking tools.

Classrooms are calm, supportive and well-organised learning environments. Positive, respectful relationships are evident. Students support each other and are provided with opportunities to take responsible roles within the school.

Targeted, sustained and well-considered professional learning opportunities promote teachers’ professional growth. They engage positively in professional dialogue and readings, regularly collaborating and sharing their practice.

Appraisal and inquiry into teaching help staff reflect on their practice and make links to professional learning. These processes are being strengthened by the setting of relevant, measurable goals, clearly aligned to strategic priorities and targets.

Monitoring progress towards achievement of teachers’ goals is a next step, using an evidence-based approach including formalised feedback. This should help to clearly show the impact of strategies and initiatives that staff use for accelerating progress.

The school's curriculum document is useful for guiding teaching and learning and has clear links to The New Zealand Curriculum. Thinking skills, key competencies and values are appropriately emphasised. A focus on literacy and numeracy is evident throughout the school. Provision of opportunities for learning te reo me ngā tikanga Māori have been strengthened.

Curriculum committees provide informed schoolwide support and leadership for the development of curriculum and promotion of innovative practice in priority areas. Review is currently informed by collaborative reflection of teachers on successfully implemented practices.

Leaders acknowledge the need to review the charter in consultation with its community, to better align with aspirations of parents, families and whānau.

In undertaking planned review of the curriculum, consideration should be given to incorporating:

  • shared understandings of effective teaching and learning
  • the school community’s vision of success for Māori, as Māori, and respond to the local context
  • specific provisions for Pacific students.

Such a development should provide a better basis for reviewing how effectively the curriculum promotes learning for all students.

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

Whānau feel welcome as members of the school community. Regular hui provide an avenue for them to have meaningful dialogue with staff and share their aspirations for their children. Links to Ngāti Paarau, visits to local marae, kapa haka and community involvement support students’ connectedness with te ao Māori.

The board demonstrates a commitment to providing increased support for Māori learners to enjoy success as Māori through its priorities for development and resourcing. Teachers take regular opportunities to develop their capacity in te reo Māori. Incorporating Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners into professional learning and appraisal is an important next step.

The principal has a clear vision for enriching the curriculum for Māori learners. It is timely to develop a strategic plan to continue to build on positive developments. This should be supported through the development of a shared vision in partnership with whānau and iwi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Governance and management roles are clearly understood by trustees. An increased focus on improving student achievement is evident. There is significant commitment to provision of relevant professional learning and development for teachers.

They receive regular information about school developments and curriculum. To improve the focus on evaluating the impact of the curriculum for priority learners, the board should be regularly informed about student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

High quality teaching practice is effectively supported through a range of schoolwide practices and systems. A focus on building leadership capacity throughout the school is clearly evident. This is fostered through increased opportunities for leadership.

Relevant professional learning promotes shared understandings of effective practice and provides a good basis for further developing and reviewing leadership roles, responsibilities and effectiveness.

Staff know students and their families well and respond in timely, considered ways to support their needs and wellbeing. Providing improved evaluation of the quality of provision for student wellbeing should support continued promotion of effective systems, programmes and practice.

Improving the scope and depth of self review has been a focus. A new process has been established to guide a consistent and inquiry-based approach. There are well-considered principles and guidelines for self review. Recommendations are responded to in timely ways to make improvements.

Continuing to strengthen the process to become more evaluative and evidence-based should better support judgements about impact of initiatives and effectiveness of provision for students.

Strategic and annual planning is not yet in place for 2014. School leaders and trustees acknowledge that development of this and the school charter is an urgent priority. In developing planning, consideration should be given to a clear, strategic and aligned focus for accelerating progress of priority learners, and how to monitor and report progress towards achieving strategic goals.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

28 May 2014

About the School

Location

Taradale, Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2688

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

420

Gender composition

Female 50%

Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other ethnic groups

9%

84%

3%

4%

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

28 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

July 2007

October 2004