Tauhara School - 19/09/2017

Summary

Tauhara Primary School, located in Taupō, provides education for children in Years 1 to 6. The school’s roll of 227 includes 190 Māori children, many of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Tūwharetoa. There are a very small number of children of Pacific descent attending the school.

At the time of this ERO review the school was in a stage of transition with the appointment of a new principal in 2015 and significant changes to the leadership and teaching teams. There have also been many changes in the membership of the board.

Since 2014 there has been a trend of declining achievement, with lower proportions of children achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers have been involved in many professional learning and development initiatives in the areas of literacy and mathematics.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is not responding effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School processes related to promoting children’s engagement and wellbeing and meaningful partnerships with whānau and the community are effective in establishing the conditions for the achievement of equity and excellence.

There is a need to implement a more focused and aligned approach to achieving equity and excellence, including strengthening leadership of learning to build teacher capability, improving the use of student achievement information and further developing internal evaluation processes.

The school’s 2016 achievement information shows that approximately half of children achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are to strengthen:

  • leadership for learning to build teacher capability

  • the use of student achievement information

  • internal evaluation capability.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

At the time of this review, the school was in a stage of transition and recognises the urgency to accelerate student achievement. There is a need to respond more effectively to Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

The school’s 2016 achievement information shows that approximately half of children achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The proportion of Māori children achieving at or above the standards is lower than that of their peers at the school. The achievement of Māori boys is significantly lower than other groups of children at the school. Reducing this disparity and raising overall levels of achievement are significant challenges for trustees, leaders and teachers.

The school has yet to implement systems that effectively track, monitor and report the accelerated progress of individuals and groups of children over time. School leaders need to develop robust processes that support teachers to make reliable and consistent judgements in relation to the National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School processes related to promoting children’s engagement and wellbeing, and meaningful partnerships with whānau and the community are effective in establishing the conditions for the achievement of equity and excellence.

Aspects of the school’s curriculum are responsive to children’s engagement and wellbeing. The school’s culture is inclusive for children with high learning and behaviour needs. Leaders and teachers work constructively with specialists, external agencies and the wider community in promoting positive outcomes for identified children and their whānau. Positive and respectful relationships are evident among teachers and children. Trustees and leaders demonstrate a commitment to providing equitable opportunities in the wider life of the school, for all children. Children’s engagement is enhanced by opportunities to participate in sporting and cultural activities, and camps and visits into the local and wider community. Children enjoy learning in a settled and inclusive environment.

Whānau are well informed about their children’s learning through electronic portfolios, comprehensive written reports, and student-led conferences. Curriculum evenings provide whānau with useful information about important aspects of the school’s programme.

Meaningful partnerships with whānau and the wider community are well established. The active Parent Teacher Association provides valued support for the school. The school is well supported by a wide number of community volunteers and children benefit from this active contribution by whānau and community.

School leaders and teachers are actively participating and benefiting from membership in the local Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

There is a need to implement a more focused and aligned approach to achieving equity and excellence, including strengthening leadership of learning to build teacher capability, improving the use of student achievement information, and further developing internal evaluation processes.

Leadership for learning to build teacher capability needs to be strengthened for this recently established team. Leaders have yet to develop and implement:

  • shared and well-understood expectations for effective teaching practice focused on accelerating the achievement of at risk learners

  • a strategic and focused approach to teacher professional development

  • processes that build teachers’ understanding of culturally responsive practices and strategies to accelerate the achievement of boys.

The effective use of student achievement information needs to be more consistently evident at all levels of the school. Charter targets need to specifically identify the number of children whose learning requires acceleration. Trustees need to be better informed about the progress and achievement of targeted children throughout the year. There needs to be a more consistent school-wide approach by teachers to the use of achievement information to specifically plan to accelerate achievement. Systems are yet to be implemented that make children aware of their achievement and next steps for learning.

Internal evaluation systems for development and improvement are at the early stages of implementation. A ‘teaching as inquiry’ process needs to be fully implemented across the school. Current internal-evaluation processes need to be more aligned to promoting accelerated progress for targeted at risk learners.

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

  • 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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to school assessment processes and consultation with the school community regarding implementation of the health curriculum.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. Comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community.
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

  1. Through the principal and staff ensure that a range of assessment practices is implemented to gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated, giving priority first to literacy and numeracy.
    [National Administration Guideline 1 - 2a].

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • Ensure that the school implements effective processes to identify and eliminate or minimise earthquake hazards.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are to strengthen:

  • leadership for learning to build teacher capability

  • the use of student achievement information

  • internal evaluation capability.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

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

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school access external support to address the areas for development identified in this report.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

19 September 2017

About the school

Location

Taupō

Ministry of Education profile number

1984

School type

Contributing Primary

School roll

227

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 84%
Pākehā 12%
Tokelauan 2%
Other 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

19 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review June 2008