Te Kura o Pakipaki - 16/12/2015

Findings

Students who attend Te Kura o Pakipaki learn in bilingual classrooms where their Māori language, identity and culture are nurtured and their sense of whanaungatanga is strong. Achievement is improving and teachers are building their capability to deliberately respond to learners at risk of not achieving. 

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 Kura o Pakipaki is a primary school catering for Years 1 to 8 students, located in the settlement of Pakipaki on the outskirts of Hastings. All students attending the school are Māori. The majority of students and whānau are of Ngāti Kahungunu descent and affiliate to the three existing marae in the community: Mihiroa; Houngarea; and Taraia. The school also has associations with two other Hastings marae and some students travel to school in a subsidised minivan from other Hastings suburbs.

The school is bilingual and provides opportunity for students in all classrooms to achieve in both
te reo Māori and English. The current roll is 42 students, a decline since the March 2013 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Appropriate assessment tools are used to gather a range of data. This is used to identify students at risk of not achieving in relation to National Standards and to determine all students learning needs. Teachers have responded to professional development in writing and are developing their capability to match teaching strategies to specific needs for individual students. Learning progressions are used that support both teachers and students to decide next learning steps.

Strengthening the processes used to decide overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about students' achievement in relation to National Standards is a next step. Staff should consider the use of more norm-referenced assessment tools to increase the credibility of their judgements. Increasing moderation, particularly in reading and mathematics should increase reliability of OTJs. 

The percentage of students who achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in mathematics and reading has significantly improved since the previous ERO review. In writing, actions in 2015 have seen 33% of target students accelerate their progress within six months.

The board receives regular updates about student achievement in relation to charter goals and detailed reporting about the actions being taken by staff. Due to the small number of students enrolled at the school, using percentage figures to report progress is creating an unclear picture. Setting targets based on the numbers of students who need to accelerate their progress should be more helpful. Including evaluative comment about the outcomes for these learners as a result of teacher actions should assist staff and the board to decide what works in improving progress for these students.  

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is strongly influenced by the community’s aspirations for students to embrace their whakapapa and become confident in their language, identity and culture. Programmes include many opportunities for students to learn about local history and tikanga Māori. There is an emphasis on students developing the skills for environmental sustainability and maintaining the uniqueness of the local Pakipaki environment.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are highly valued and promoted within the school. The majority of teachers’ instructional and spoken language is te reo Māori. Students experience an environment that affirms them as Māori and fosters a strong sense of belonging. An appropriate goal for 2015 is to further improve teacher capability and student proficiency. This is well supported by a detailed action plan, external professional development and collaborative action by teachers.

Staff are redeveloping their localised curriculum. The intention is to reflect the unique characteristics of the local marae and align these to graduate profile skills and qualities, values of the school and the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. This work is in the early stages of development, having been shared with the board. The next step is to seek whānau and community feedback.

ERO’s evaluation affirms the need to complete this work and include within the developing curriculum:

  • guidelines for effective teaching and learning in all essential learning areas
  • updated guidelines for assessment practice.

Aspects of teacher practice reinforce students knowing about themselves as learners. This is more apparent within the writing programme and needs further development in order for students to experience consistency and embed skills.

The acquisition of oral language is a key focus in the new entrant programme. Diagnostic testing and close observation are used to identify learners’ needs and adapt programme planning. For students with oral language needs, the school aims to develop students’ ability to communicate and participate fully in learning with their peers.

A number of initiatives support student wellbeing. A newly developed framework for behaviour is promoting students’ self management of their relationships with others.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The governance frameworks developed at the time of the previous ERO review continue to support the board to be structured and well organised in its role. Trustees are clearly focused on improving student achievement. Policy review is regular.

The school is currently engaged in a Ministry of Education initiative to strengthen school performance. Useful action plans help guide direction. A programme is in place to support regular monitoring, review and reporting to the board.

Self review is developing. Commentary about goals from within action plans is predominantly based on describing the actions taken rather than the outcomes achieved. Evaluation of the quality and impacts of programmes and initiatives is the next step.

External professional learning and development (PLD) supports teachers to develop their practice in literacy. Regular internally-led PLD is increasing collaboration and chances for sharing and modelling teacher practice. Inquiring into the effectiveness of their practice is in the very early stages of development for most teachers. A good model exists within the school and stronger leadership, expectations and monitoring of the existing process are necessary.

Appraisal is not yet successful in supporting improved practice. A newly developed model should provide more structured, regular constructive feedback, with clearer links to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners is embedded within the new framework.

The board is proactive in engaging whānau and seeking their feedback on school performance. They acknowledge that more than half of students travel from beyond the Pakipaki area to the school and this could pose challenges for communication. Building strong relationships with the Pakipaki community and whānau whanui of the kura is a strategic goal. An initiative to support parents as partners for learning in reading has had some success and provides a model for further action.

In 2015, the board has funded additional teacher time to create an extra class and substantially lower class sizes to support their goal of accelerated progress for learners. They have also partially funded transport to the school for many students. These actions are not financially sustainable in the long term. The board should review priorities in light of its smaller roll. 

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 who attend Te Kura o Pakipaki learn in bilingual classrooms where their Māori language, identity and culture are nurtured and their sense of whanaungatanga is strong. Achievement is improving and teachers are building their capability to deliberately respond to learners at risk of not achieving. 

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 December 2015

About the School 

Location

Pakipaki

Ministry of Education profile number

2637

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

42

Gender composition

Female 24, Male 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

100%

Special Features

Bilingual - Level 2, all classrooms

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

16 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

March 2013
June 2010
June 2009