Taupaki School - 19/06/2012

1 Context

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

Taupaki School is a high performing school. It has provided education to the local community for many generations and, more recently, for out-of-zone students. The school benefits from the high levels of support it receives from its community. The time that parents give willingly to the school extends the academic, sporting and cultural opportunities available for students. Financial support from parents and the community enrich student learning resources. Senior leaders, trustees, staff and parents want the best for students and cooperate well to help ensure that this is achieved.

The school’s high quality governance and management promotes student learning. Senior leaders and trustees are strategic thinkers who place student learning at the forefront of their decisions. A shared vision, along with thoughtful and reflective approaches, has established an environment in which life-long learning for all is encouraged and celebrated. A generous professional development budget promotes steps taken to achieve a modern, forward thinking school that is focussed on learners and learning.

Student learning is nurtured in the school’s caring and settled environment. Relationships are affirming and encouraging, and inclusive educational practices feature strongly. Classrooms are positive places in which students cooperate well together, and actively support the efforts of their peers. Māori values such as manaakitanga, aroha and whanaungatanga are strongly evident and underpin the school’s culture.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are highly engaged in set learning tasks and show pride in their efforts. They respond positively to the high expectations that permeate the school. Their work is purposeful and focused. Well paced lessons, innovative use of information and communication technologies (ICT), and good levels of experiential, hands-on learning activities further support students to be engaged and interested learners.

Students are progressing and achieving well. Good quality student achievement data show:

  • positive results in relation to the National Standards, and other schools nationally
  • the notable progress that students make in their first year at school
  • how students generally maintain steady progress over time, particularly the girls
  • the good progress that students make when on support programmes.

The school has many high quality systems for monitoring, tracking and using student achievement information. Special features of these systems include how well:

  • teachers are using a range of assessment processes to make judgements about student achievement
  • data is analysed at year levels, by gender, and for Māori students
  • data is used to identify students needing extension and to target those requiring support
  • data is analysed to assist with school goal setting and resourcing decisions
  • students have access to information about their own performance and constructive teacher feedback through the school’s newly introduced knowledge net (KNet).

Agreed next steps include teachers using assessment results to more directly inform their programmes of teaching and learning, and to evaluate the success of their programmes in terms of outcomes for students. Senior leaders and the board also agree there would be value in introducing more formal and ongoing monitoring of target students’ progress and programmes throughout the year.

3 Curriculum

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

The Taupaki School curriculum encompasses the school’s core values, resulting in high levels of alignment between its philosophy and practice. Parents are well consulted about the design of the school curriculum and are suitably informed about its implementation. This helps to build a meaningful partnership between school and home.

The school’s curriculum design caters effectively for the needs of students. Programmes maintain literacy and numeracy as essential learning areas and include students’ learning of a second language. Visual and performing arts feature strongly in the school, as do sports and outdoor education. The technology unit provides good opportunities for older students to experience extended on-site educational opportunities.

Extension programmes for identified students are of a high quality and are successfully implemented. Students who are below National Standards receive additional individual and small group teaching that is well focused on their needs and that results in improved progress.

A high overall standard of teaching effectively promotes and supports student learning. Teachers establish positive, nurturing classrooms that are interesting places of learning. They engage in intensive professional development. They are using a wider range of ICT to motivate students and to promote extended digital learning opportunities. School leaders agree that closer monitoring may now be needed to ensure that all teachers are making expected progress towards meeting school goals.

Well implemented self review has led senior leaders to reconsider student learning opportunities in areas such as the social and physical sciences. They are now working with staff to strengthen integrated “concept” studies. As they do so, senior leaders appropriately recognise the need to update assessment processes and to promote more challenging learning that involves students in higher order thinking.

A school goal is for students to be life-long learners. Senior leaders have identified that continued strengthening of formative teaching approaches could help achieve this goal. It could also be useful for teachers to use KNet as a tool to facilitate students’ greater involvement in the planning and evaluation of their own learning.

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

The school has 6 students identified as Māori. They comprise two percent of the school roll.

Senior leaders and trustees are highly supportive of and demonstrate a good understanding of their responsibilities in this area. They consult well with parents/whānau and are responsive to the aspirations they have for their children. School leaders ensure that the curriculum integrates Māori topics and themes into programmes.

Senior leaders and trustees have carefully planned the school’s next steps in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. The skills teachers are gaining to teach French and Spanish will be directly applicable to teaching the school-wide te reo and tikanga programme which is to be introduced next year.

The board agrees that next steps for the school are to make New Zealand’s bicultural heritage more visible in school documents and around the school, and to set goals and monitor how well the school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal’s leadership is values-based and ethical. It is also constructive, affirming and motivational. The principal and associate principal are both fully committed leaders who are enthusiastic about the school and its future. Both leaders support and model life-long learning, and both support the growth and development of others.

Other features that support the school’s sustained improvement include its:

  • insightful and effective board leadership
  • capable and knowledgeable trusteeship
  • well established processes for promoting the continuity of the school’s strategic direction
  • high levels of effective self review and next step planning that is evidence-based
  • transparent, open and consultative practices.

During the review, ERO, senior leaders and the board discussed the value of strengthening self review processes by increasing the number of reviews that feature evaluative comment against programme goals and outcomes for students. They agreed that there would be value in monitoring school practices against a wider range of best practice publications.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Compliance for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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
  • 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 four-to-five years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

19 June 2012

About the School

Location

Taupaki, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1529

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

240

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Korean

other European

others

84%

2%

2%

2%

2%

5%

3%

Special Features

Technology Centre catering for five other full primary schools

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

19 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2009

March 2006

February 2003