Te Awa School - 17/08/2015

Findings

Students learn in a collaborative environment where their wellbeing is a high priority. Ako, whakawhanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga underpin school life. Teachers work collaboratively to strengthen assessment and teaching practice. Next steps include: sharpening the focus on students at risk of poor outcomes and more strategically responding to Māori students and their whānau.

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?

Te Awa School, located in Napier South, is a Years 1 to 6 primary school. At the time of the review, 68% of the 156 enrolled students identify as Māori. Since the August 2012 ERO report, the school has experienced a roll growth of Pacific students.

Regular whole-school professional development led by the principal, seeks to improve teacher practice and student outcomes.

High expectations are set in the classroom, playground and the wider school environment. All aspects of the school are underpinned by the values of KEEN: knowledgeable, enthusiastic, empathetic and nurturing; together with: ako, whakawhanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga.

2 Learning

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

Progress in assessment practices is evident since the 2012 ERO review.

Teachers collect a wide range of useful data to identify students at risk of having poor educational outcomes. They use this information to decide on teaching programmes that best match the learning needs of each student. 

Since the previous ERO review, the school has developed a tracking and monitoring system called Stepping, Cobble and Paving Stones. This system makes explicit to students and teachers the expected steps towards achieving in relation to the National Standards.

A significant difference is apparent between standardised testing and teacher’s overall judgements (OTJs) about students' achievement in relation to National Standards. This needs further review. The review should include clearer guidelines about:

  • the weight given to standardised assessment results when making OTJs

  • gathering sufficient evidence for the purpose of assessment.

Trustees regularly receive student achievement information. They use this for target setting and to make decisions for resourcing. A next step is to strengthen target setting by focusing on students who are at risk of not achieving. Reporting progress against these schoolwide targets needs further development.

Leaders and teachers work collaboratively when moderating OTJs for reading, writing and mathematics. The principal leads professional discussions with teachers to help build their knowledge of the National Standards, share good teaching practice and improve the consistency and reliability of results.

A newly-developed inquiry process provides a useful way for teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their own practice for targeted students. Strengthening this process should promote increased clarity about expectations for the accelerated progress of their target students.

Students requiring additional support are well identified and catered for through additional initiatives and programmes including the use of external agencies.

3 Curriculum

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

Learners participate and learn in a caring and collaborative learning community. The curriculum is underpinned by the school values of ako, whakawhanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga. The school’s curriculum is well aligned to the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Student wellbeing is a high priority at the school. Teachers maintain positive relationships with their students.

Clear expectations are in place to build consistency in teaching and learning across the school. The use of formative assessment practices, success criteria, modelling books, and exemplars of success is beginning to help students understand how they can make progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is in the process of developing curriculum guidelines for literacy. Further development is needed to provide expectations for culturally responsive teaching practice.

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

Since the previous ERO review, the school has sustained its initiatives to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. Increased whānau support and participation in school activities are evident.

There remains a need for a more strategic approach to ascertain what Māori success is for the Māori whānau. A key next step is for leaders to engage with Māori whānau to determine what success looks like for their children.

A te reo Māori teacher takes an active role in leading the te reo me ngā tikanga Māori programme in the school. Weekly timetabled te reo Māori and kapa haka classes provide opportunities for students and staff to build their language capability.

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.

Self review is a planned process that includes research, evaluative questions and identified next steps. A schedule of reviews is led by the management team. Leaders should widen participation in, and leadership of, school self review to have multiple perspectives and to build internal evaluation capacity.

The school has introduced a new appraisal system for teachers. There is a useful process for checking expected practice against the Te Awa indicators of the Registered Teacher Criteria, with some constructive feedback and feed forward. Stronger links between goal setting, teaching as inquiry and formal classroom observations are necessary.

There is a collaborative approach towards developing professional capability in the school. Parents, families, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities.

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

Students learn in a collaborative environment where their wellbeing is a high priority. Ako, whakawhanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga underpin school life. Teachers work collaboratively to strengthen assessment and teaching practice. Next steps include: sharpening the focus on students at risk of poor outcomes and more strategically responding to Māori students and their whānau.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 August 2015

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2691

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

156

Gender composition

Male 58%, Female 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

68%
24%
   5%
   3%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

17 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2012
August 2009
August 2006