Tikitiki School - 29/06/2018

Findings

Tikitiki School has gone through an extensive time of change. The new principal, teaching staff and trustees are providing clear direction for the school and are clearly focused on improving student outcomes.

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?

Tikitiki School is a small rural school on the east coast of the North Island. At the time of this review there were 34 students on the roll, all of whom identify as Māori and whakapapa to Ngāti Porou. The school provides a teina class for Years 1 to 4 and a tuakana class for Years 5 to 8 students. There is also a pre-school class, Te Puna Kainga, operating onsite in a third classroom.

Since the previous ERO report in 2016 the school has had several emergency principals. A permanent principal was appointed at the beginning of 2017. The principal’s release teacher and second classroom teacher were appointed in 2018.

A new board chair was elected in 2017 and a new trustee was seconded on to the board. During this period, a limited statutory manager (LSM), appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE), has supported the board and principal with governance, finance, personnel matters, student achievement, curriculum and communication with the community. At the end of 2017 the board had addressed these areas for development and resumed a full governance role.

The school promotes the values of resilience, risk taking, respect, responsibility, readiness, and role modelling.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development:

  • assessment capability and moderation
  • reporting valid and reliable achievement information to the Ministry of Education, the board of trustees and parents
  • targets and action plans to accelerate at-risk learners
  • charter and curriculum review in consultation with whānau
  • teaching and learning
  • governance roles and responsibilities including personnel and financial management
  • internal evaluation.

Progress

There has been significant progress made in several of the areas identified for review and development. This includes some noticeable improvements in school culture where ERO observed students working in a calm and settled environment. The new principal and teaching team bring a range of complementary skills and work well together to improve student outcomes.

Assessment capability and moderation

There has been significant progress made in assessment capability and processes for moderation. The teaching principal has knowledge and expertise in assessment of reading, writing and mathematics. She has sought ongoing specific targeted professional learning and development to grow the capability of teachers and teacher aides in assessment for learning. The principal has developed and implemented processes for moderation, working collaboratively with teachers using the progress and consistency tool (PaCT), exemplars and learning progressions. This is providing the school with accurate and robust information about each student’s progress and achievement. The school is exploring options to moderate assessments with other schools to further strengthen moderation practices.

Reporting on achievement to the Ministry of Education, the board of trustees and parents

The school is now reporting reliable and valid achievement information to the Ministry of Education, the board and parents. Assessment information is regularly collated, analysed and reported. The school reports annually to the Ministry of Education using an effective framework, including targets set in reference to baseline data and progress and achievement in relation to those targets. The board receives achievement reports each term and this information is used to inform resourcing decisions to improve student outcomes. Parents are actively involved in goal setting with their children. Progress towards meeting these individual goals is communicated each term and includes written reports twice a year. This is having a positive impact by increasing the involvement of parents and whānau in their child’s learning.

Targets and action plans to accelerate at risk learners

The school has set specific targets and action plans to accelerate the progress of those students whose learning is at risk. The principal and teachers have had specific ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) about effective acceleration strategies for reading. The focus is on mathematics in 2018. An external PLD provider and the principal have developed an at-risk register using data to identify the numbers, names, needs and strengths of students, and plan appropriate programmes to support them to make accelerated progress. Referrals are made to appropriate agencies to access further support for these learners including specialists for speech, hearing, literacy and behaviour. Students with high learning needs have individual education plans (IEPs) and these are regularly monitored and reviewed in consultation with whānau and specialist agencies. IEPs document the progress toward individual goals that are clearly linked to the key competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum. The school achievement information for 2017 shows that half the students that were below expected curriculum levels made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics and almost all in writing.

Charter and curriculum review in consultation with whānau

The principal and board of trustees have sought external support to guide them through the process of developing a charter and curriculum. This is in consultation with iwi, hapū and whānau to ascertain and reflect their aspirations for their children.

Teaching and learning

Significant progress has been made in developing high expectations for teaching and learning. Teachers spoken to by ERO expressed that they feel well supported by the principal. ERO observed respectful relationships between students and with staff, creating a calm settled environment conducive to learning. Students are highly engaged in their learning and are provided with opportunities for hands-on fun interactive games to encourage problem solving and cooperative learning. Teachers plan collaboratively to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners with differentiated tasks and deliberate acts of teaching. Formative assessment is used effectively to support student learning and agency. Teachers are engaged in ongoing professional learning and development to build their understanding of acceleration, the effective use of data to inform planning and the implementation of strategies to accelerate the progress of at-risk learners.

There is a strong transition process into the school through the MoE initiative Te Puna Kainga which is run on site by a qualified primary and early childhood teachers. This programme provides engagement in early learning and education opportunities to support children and their whānau. It has contributed to the school roll increase.

Governance roles and responsibilities including personnel and financial management

The principal and board sought external support to guide them through the appointment process of a new teacher. Trustees have ensured that the principal has been appraised in her role by an external consultant. The board has developed a cycle of review for all policies and procedures in consultation with the teaching staff to ensure there is a shared understanding.

Internal evaluation

The school is in the early stages of developing internal evaluation capability and this is an ongoing area for development.

3 Next steps

The principal and trustees now need to:

  • align charter targets, the strategic plan and teaching as inquiry to ensure the progress of at-risk learners is regularly tracked, monitored and reported throughout the year
  • refine the process for measuring outcomes against targets to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives for groups of students
  • engage with board training to build collective capability and cohesion focused on improving outcomes for students.

4 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Tikitiki School is now better placed to sustain and continue its performance. Factors contributing to sustainability are:

  • the board chair and trustees have resumed their full governance roles
  • the appointment of a permanent principal and teaching staff which has provided stability
  • the principal has developed effective systems to monitor student progress, acceleration and achievement
  • teachers' provision of meaningful learning programmes for students
  • students are settled and have access to good quality educational opportunities.

Key next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]
  • internal evaluation processes and practices

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

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.

In order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure the ‘in-committee’ meeting minutes are properly kept.

[Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, Public Records Act 2005]

5 Recommendations

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

ERO recommends that NZ School Trustees Association (NZSTA) builds the collective capability of trustees by providing:

  • training about governance roles and responsibilities
  • guidance in developing a governance operating manual
  • support to develop agreed expectations and code of conduct.

ERO also recommends that the school participates in an ERO internal evaluation workshop to support the development of effective planning and monitoring processes that support equity and excellence for all students.

Conclusion

Tikitiki School has gone through an extensive time of change. The new principal, teaching staff and trustees are providing clear direction for the school and are clearly focused on improving student outcomes.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 June 2018

About the School

Location

Tikitiki

Ministry of Education profile number

2703

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

34

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

34

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2016

August 2013

July 2010