Te Kura o Otangarei - 23/11/2017

Findings

The principal, board and staff continue to raise the expectations for effective teaching, accelerating student progress, and providing positive outcomes for children and whānau.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Te Kura o Otangarei is located in Tikipunga Whangarei. The school caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has two full immersion classes and four mainstream classes. The roll currently stands at 100 students, all of whom are Māori with mainly northern tribal links.

The 2015 ERO report identified a number of areas for further improvement. ERO also recommended the Ministry of Education provide appropriate advisory support for the school. This included support for Māori immersion classes to improve teaching practice and raise student achievement.

ERO has returned to the school regularly over the last two years to evaluate how the board and the school have progressed.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • behaviour management processes across the school
  • effective teaching practices
  • accelerating student achievement
  • improving internal evaluation
  • any other matters that arise

Progress

Behaviour management processes across the school

The school has implemented some good processes that have helped to establish a settled learning environment. These include individual mentoring programmes for children from Years 3 to 8. This initiative aims to enhance children's self-esteem, resilience, and social competencies. The Positive Behaviour 4 Learning (PB4L) strategies are now well embedded. Students are taking more responsibility for their own learning and behaviour. Students in Years 7 and 8 have leadership roles in the school and the tuakana teina principles are operating well across the school.

The principal’s leadership has been the driving factor in establishing a positive school tone. He models the values and effective approaches to managing student behavioural issues. This modelling includes using restorative strategies, manaaki, whakamana, and empowering students and their whānau. Staff are now consistently embedding these values and practices across the school.

Effective teaching practices

The school has successfully managed staffing changes. Effective teaching practices are now consistent across the school. The principal continues to lead and build a professional culture. There are good systems in place to support staff’s professional practice.

Appropriate professional development, and performance management systems help teachers grow and reflect critically on their practice. Fortnightly staff meetings prioritise conversations about teaching practice to accelerate students' learning.

There is a culture of collaboration and relational trust. Teachers share ideas and effective teaching practices with one another. The curriculum is being broadened through a number of initiatives, which include:

  • play-based learning opportunities for new entrant children
  • growth mind set strategies for older children
  • increased access to digital technologies to enhance learning.

Key next steps

A next step for the school is to grow teachers' leadership capabilities so they can contribute to school improvements to lift children’s achievement.

ERO affirms the principal’s vision of continuing to broaden the curriculum through increasing te reo Māori across the school, and introducing a Māori history curriculum. These strategies have the potential to promote children’s language, culture and identity.

Accelerating students who are underachieving

There are good systems for monitoring student achievement in both the English and Māori medium classes. School achievement data from 2015 show that students in some year levels have made good progress. This is especially so for students in Years 2 to 5. In 2017, some students in the senior classes are showing accelerated progress due to more effective teaching strategies.

Achievement levels for students In Te Puāwaitanga, Ngā Whanaketanga have lifted, particularly in 2016. The school is determined to ensure that students' achievement progress continues to increase as stable staffing helps to consolidate effective teaching practices and learning.

The school has a holistic approach to addressing the school's high levels of transience. Teachers take time to settle new students to prepare them for learning. They keep the focus on each individual child's progress. The school values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and whakamana (caring, relationships and empowering) are helping to settle, engage, and connect students, teachers and whānau.

Professional development has supported teachers to develop systems that can provide the school with dependable assessment judgements on student achievement. A next step is to develop external moderation processes with other schools.

The principal provides the board and teaching staff with well analysed achievement data and recommendations to promote accelerated learning. Data are used well to identify students who require accelerated learning, to inform curriculum initiatives, and support teaching as inquiry practices.

Key next steps

A next step for Te Puāwaitanga is to strengthen the collaboration between senior leaders and facilitators. This would help to support teaching strategies in immersion teaching, and raise children’s achievement and promote positive learning outcomes.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Improving internal evaluation

The school uses internal evaluation processes to critically reflect on student achievement, school initiatives and student wellbeing. The board receives good information about the school from the principal. Trustees attend training workshops, and are continuing to grow their governance capabilities. The board, school leaders and teachers should continue to develop their internal evaluation processes to ensure that positive outcomes are being achieved for all children.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

The ongoing challenge for the school is to raise students' achievement in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga. ERO recommends that school leaders and teachers continue to work together and with whānau to strengthen learning partnerships that focus on children’s learning.

The school agrees that more targeted planning should be developed to accelerate students' progress. This planning should include practices for responding more effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning needs to be accelerated. ERO will monitor and discuss these plans and the outcomes with the board.

Conclusion

The principal, board and staff continue to raise the expectations for effective teaching, accelerating student progress, and providing positive outcomes for children and whānau.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

23 November 2017

About the School

Location

Tikipunga, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1069

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

100

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Girls 39 Boys 61

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific
African

95
3
2

Special Features

Full immersion classes

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

23 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2015
February 2013
May 2009