Te Kowhai School - 01/09/2017

Summary

Te Kowhai School is located in the township of Te Kowhai and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current role of 337, includes 50 Māori children.

Since the ERO review in 2014 the leadership team structure has been revised to include three leaders of learning. There has been remodelling of buildings to facilitate modern learning environments and an increase in digital learning across the school.

Staff have undertaken school-wide professional development about teaching and learning in numeracy and writing. In 2017, the school is involved in the Ministry of Education programme Incredible Years (IY). Senior leaders have participated in an externally facilitated professional development programme with a focus on building leadership capabilities.

The school has a high level of involvement in the local Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako – He Waka Eke Noa. The principal is the lead principal of the COL, and there are four across COL leaders and two in-school COL leaders.

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

The school is responding well to some Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Processes related to stewardship, professional leadership and teaching practices are effective in achieving equity and excellence for children whose learning and achievement require acceleration.

Further development is needed in school processes to address in-school disparity and achieve equity and excellence for all learners. These developments include more intentional targeting, extending internal evaluation practices about the effectiveness of support programmes and initiatives, and developing a more culturally responsive curriculum.

At the time of this ERO review the proportion of children achieving National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics was similar to national comparisons. Girls and non-Māori continue to achieve well, with the majority achieving the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Boys and Māori continue to be the group of children whose learning requires acceleration in reading and writing.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices. Agreed next steps are to address the areas identified in this report.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is responding well to some Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Achievement information for the last three years shows that the proportion of children achieving National Standards has remained at the same levels in writing and mathematics. There has been a decrease in reading achievement in the last 3 years. To address this, leaders are starting to use entry data to be more responsive to the needs of students coming into the school that require additional support.

In 2016, approximately three quarters of all children achieved National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls achieved better than boys in reading and writing and at similar levels in mathematics. Māori children did not achieve as well as other children in reading and writing. Māori children are achieving at levels comparable to their peers in mathematics.

The school is able to report at mid-year 2017 that some Māori and other children have made accelerated progress in reading and writing.

While the school’s action plans give detailed guidelines for responding to the needs of children at risk of underachieving, the current charter targets are not inclusive of all children whose learning requires acceleration or specifically focus on addressing the disparity for Māori and boys.

The school has effective systems for assessment and moderation processes that support teachers in making reliable judgements about children’s achievement in relation to National Standards.

The school has clearly defined the valued student outcomes as learner qualities of: thinking, collaboration, resilience, self-management and communication. These are highly evident in the curriculum, interactions and environments and clearly articulated by students, teachers and the community.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Processes related to stewardship, professional leadership and teaching practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence for children whose learning and achievement require acceleration.

Trustees are well informed about learning and achievement and are focused on improving outcomes for children at risk of not achieving. The board has responded with significant increases in resourcing of a range of initiatives to support children whose learning requires acceleration.

The collaborative leadership team is using their shared understanding of effective pedagogy and practice to strengthen the focus on children who are at risk of underachieving. Leaders are implementing new systems to identify, track and monitor at-risk learners and are building teacher capability to provide more equitable outcomes for all children.

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities. Teachers are increasingly planning and implementing strategies to better meet the needs of at risk learners. They are inquiring into their practice and are developing a deeperunderstanding of the children whoselearning requires acceleration. This enables teachers to be more responsive to each child’s specific needs and strengths. Children with additional learning needs are well catered for in an inclusive school culture and with appropriate support programmes.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further development is needed in school processes to address in-school disparity and achieve equity and excellence for all learners.

The school’s achievement targets need to reflect the intention to accelerate the progress of all students who are at risk of not achieving. The school is developing its internal evaluation practices to determine the effectiveness of interventions and support programmes over time. Reports to the board need to be more evaluative and explicitly identify those strategies that are having the greatest impact on accelerating progress and achievement.

The school has identified the need to further develop and document a local, culturally responsive programme that integrates all aspects of the curriculum and actively promotes Māori language, culture and identity.

Leaders have identified the need to strengthen and support teachers to develop student agency of their learning, ensuring more cohesion across the school.

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.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices. Agreed next steps are to address the areas identified in this report.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

1 September 2017

About the school 

Location

Te Kowhai

Ministry of Education profile number

2007

School type

Contributing Years 1 to 8

School roll

337

Gender composition

Boys 49% Girls 51%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 80%
Māori 15%
Other 5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

1 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review 2014 June
Education Review 2011 April
Education Review 2007 June