Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School - 23/01/2020

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community that:

  • the school is well placed to provide for students
  • the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School opened on 30 January 2019 and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school was established under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) model. Facilities have been built to accommodate over 500 students. Currently there are 78 students attending the school. Continual roll growth is expected as the surrounding housing developments continue to progress.

3 Background

The school has been established under the guidance of an establishment board (EBoT) that included representatives of the community. A new board of trustees was elected this year at the time of the national triennial board elections.

The school’s vision is “to guarantee to challenge every learner to explore the world together”, and its mission is to “nourish, grow, thrive”. The school values of growth, ownership, trust, membership and security are very evident in the school’s environment, curriculum and teaching practices.

The school maintains a valuable partnership with the local iwi, Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki, and local history has influenced aspects of the school’s establishment and environment.

Te Uho o te Nikau hosts a satellite unit from Mt Richmond School. Teachers and students from the unit have regular opportunities to interact with students and staff in the school.

4 Findings

The establishment phase of work to open Te Uho o te Nikau was very well managed by the EBoT, the principal and senior leaders, guided by the governance facilitator. Together with the elected board, the principal, senior leaders and teachers continue to build on the sound foundation set to support students’ learning and wellbeing.

Inclusive and respectful relationships are a feature of the school. The principal and leaders provide well-considered induction of new students and their families to support their transition into the learning environments and school community. The induction programme helps to build relational trust between parents and staff and fosters confidence in the school. Parents appreciate the regular information they receive about their children’s engagement and achievement.

Coherence is a feature of key documented frameworks and the school’s charter. These guiding documents strongly reflect the local context, the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the school’s vision and values. Senior leaders are leading the development of well-considered, interconnected approaches and expectations for teaching and learning. They are working collaboratively with staff to build shared understandings and teaching practices that support the school’s curriculum and flexible learning environments.

Good progress has been made in developing a localised curriculum that is relevant for this school and community. Curriculum planning, assessment and evaluation is linked to the NZC and aspects of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A graduate student profile is being developed that links to the school values. Leaders plan to also develop learning progressions that students and teachers can use to guide and measure learner progress in literacy and mathematics.

Performance management processes have been developed that emphasise a collective and supportive approach to growing professional capability. These processes are being adapted to guide a more personalised learning approach for teachers’ professional practice next year. Teachers are working with a professional learning facilitator to develop strategies to support English language learners in the school.

Leaders demonstrate enthusiastic commitment to the school’s vision and values and an openness to learning. Internal evaluation is evident in planning documentation and in practice. Reflective and adaptive thinking guides curriculum and teaching developments. Student, teacher, and family perspectives are regularly included in evaluation and inform ongoing development. Leaders and teachers have established the charter’s annual plan, and each term they evaluate progress in relation to each strategic goal.

Senior leaders plan to guide the school’s ongoing development through the charter’s strategic goals of:

  • building the professional capability of leaders, teachers and trustees to enhance student outcomes
  • developing a responsive curriculum guided by effective teaching and inclusive opportunities to learn
  • extending connections and relationships with families, and community expertise and agencies.

These developments will be underpinned by continued growth of leaders’, teachers’, and the board’s evaluation capacity, including a greater focus on the impact of practices and initiatives on learner outcomes.

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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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 students' 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.

Flat Bush School Road still has a speed limit of 80kmh past the school. A lack of footpaths along this road and Murphys Road continues to pose significant hazards for children’s access to the school. The principal and board continue to seek action from Auckland Transport to address this risk.

Conclusion

Preparatory work for the opening of Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School has been very well managed by the establishment board, principal and senior leaders, guided by the governance facilitator. With an elected board of trustees this good management continues, and the school is well placed to support students’ learning and wellbeing. The charter’s vision and valued outcomes are evident in leadership and teaching practices, and the inclusive learning environment.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services

Northern Region

23 January 2020

About the School

Service Name

Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School

Location

Flat Bush, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

593

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

78

Gender composition

Boys 39

Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Filipino

Samoan

African

Cambodian

Fijian

other Asian

other ethnic groups

4

5

14

11

9

7

6

6

5

6

5

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

23 January 2020