Tauriko School - 01/03/2016

Findings

The experienced principal provides strong professional leadership and is well supported by a knowledgeable leadership team. Hard working teachers provide a rich range of learning experiences that contribute to high levels of student motivation and engagement. Students enjoy many opportunities to experience success academically, in sports and, particularly, the arts.

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?

Tauriko School is located on the outskirts of Tauranga and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review, there were 344 students enrolled, 33 of whom identify as Māori. There has been significant roll growth in the past year, with several new staff employed. This has resulted in a reorganisation of teaching teams and senior leadership.

The school vision aims to develop students who are resilient, strong in their identity and proud of the school’s rural heritage, enabling them to participate in the 21st century. A range of effective leadership opportunities for students means the school motto, Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow, is well enacted.

The school has responded positively to the areas for review and development identified in the 2012 ERO review. Learning progressions have been extended to all curriculum areas, inquiry-based learning and e-learning progressed, and bicultural programmes have been strengthened.

The board of trustees (BoT) has recently co-opted two new members. This has enhanced the skill set on the board and is part of their proactive approach to board succession.

A feature of the attractive outside environment is the murals and other art work completed by students and members of the local community. These reflect curriculum emphases such as sustainability and local history.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Trustees use achievement information to make appropriate decisions about resourcing and staffing. They are provided with evaluative information about support programmes. This enables them to assess the effectiveness of these interventions.

School leaders collate and analyse school-wide student achievement data and share this with teachers, trustees and the community. They identify trends and patterns, students at risk of low achievement and those with special abilities. This information is used to set student achievement targets and identify priorities for school-wide professional development. The senior leadership team tracks and monitors the progress of all students, in particular Māori and Pacific students.

Teachers gather information using a range of appropriate nationally referenced assessment tools. They have good knowledge of using this information and observations of student learning to make sound overall teacher judgements about their achievement. They use ongoing assessment to plan for differentiated groups of students and have good systems for monitoring and tracking target students. Parents and students appreciate teachers’ approachability and commitment.

Parents are kept well informed about their children’s progress and achievement through regular written reports, learning conferences and informal discussions.

In some classrooms, students are involved in goal setting and identifying next learning steps. However, school leaders agree on the need for further support and coaching for teachers to develop consistency across the school, of practices that are likely to enable students to be knowledgeable about and take ownership of their learning.

Student achievement information for 2015 shows the vast majority of students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori student achievement shows a significant improvement, particularly in writing and mathematics and is comparable with that of their non-Māori peers.

3 Curriculum

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

A highly effective curriculum promotes and supports student learning. It is aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and has been informed by consultation with the local community. There is appropriate focus on the teaching of literacy and mathematics. The school has a well-developed student inquiry approach to the teaching of subjects such as science and technology.

There are many opportunities for students to experience success academically, in sports and the arts. They also benefit from participation in environmental and productive citizenship activities. An external facilitator for the teaching of Mandarin has recently been employed as part of a local inter-school initiative.

An extensive whole-school professional development focus on writing has resulted in significant increases in student achievement this year. Digital technologies are used effectively as a tool for learning. Teachers are beginning to use these technologies to support higher-order thinking and student collaboration.

Teachers work hard plan and implement a rich range of learning experiences and use a variety of teaching strategies. High levels of student engagement are evident. Students needing support with their learning are provided with relevant learning programmes by teachers, teacher aides and external agencies. Mutually respectful and supportive interactions between students and teachers are contributing to settled learning environments. Students are motivated and confident to contribute to group and whole-class discussions.

Parents have many opportunities to be involved in school activities and events. The school encourages parents to be actively engaged in their children’s learning through parent education evenings, participation in classroom programmes and input into individual education programmes for priority students.

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

There has been notable progress in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. Progressions have been developed for te reo Māori and there is regular Māori language tuition in every class, using these progressions. There is now a annual alternating programme of marae visits and Matariki celebrations. A well-resourced kapa haka group is an established part of the school performing arts programme. A number of teachers provide leadership in Māori initiatives in the school. Regular whānau meetings give parents the opportunity to provide input into the school curriculum and their child's learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • the experienced principal provides strong professional leadership and is well supported by the knowledgeable senior leadership team and team leaders
  • trustees bring a range of expertise to their roles and responsibilities and are focused on improving student outcomes and continuing school development
  • there is a robust and strategic approach to self review, with sound processes, including consultation with all stakeholders
  • effective appraisal processes, with inquiry into teaching practice, are contributing to a culture of self improvement
  • teachers have experienced a wide range of professional development, both internal and external, that is promoting positive outcomes for students
  • the school follows appropriate procedures to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students and teachers
  • a culture of care for students, families and staff promotes a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing
  • the community actively supports, participates in and contributes to the life of the school.

Areas for Review and Development

The school and ERO agree a priority for the school is to continue to integrate bicultural practices into the everyday life of the school through:

  • development of a systematic programme based on local iwi and community history
  • strengthening the consistency of Māori language provision across the school
  • a stronger integration of tikanga Māori practices across the curriculum.

In addition, teachers need to continue to explore and implement ways of teaching and learning that promote Māori students’ sense of culture and identity.

School leaders acknowledge that it would be beneficial to incorporate bicultural practices in their upcoming review all of all school operations.

The school and ERO also agree priorities for the school are:

  • to strengthen practices to ensure students have increasing ownership of their own learning and are able to clearly articulate their progress, achievement and next steps
  • for trustees to continue to improve their understanding and ongoing monitoring of student achievement.

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

The experienced principal provides strong professional leadership and is well supported by a knowledgeable leadership team. Hard working teachers provide a rich range of learning experiences that contribute to high levels of student motivation and engagement. Students enjoy many opportunities to experience success academically, in sports and, particularly, the arts.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

1 March 2016

School Statistics

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1994

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

344

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

81%

10%

9%

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

1 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

October 2012

April 2011

March 2010