Tirohia School - 27/03/2020

School Context

Tirohia School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It is located in Tirohia, a rural community close to Paeroa township from where most students are transported each day on the school van. The school has a roll of 58, including 44 Māori students. Students and their families are mostly connected to the Tirohia marae, Paeahi marae and Pai-o-Hauraki marae and local iwi, Ngāti Hako and Ngāti Tamatera.

The school’s vision is to grow equity, excellence and belonging. The school values are expressed as: mahi tahi, whānaungatanga, tuakana teina, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, ako, and kotahitanga.

Tirohia School’s strategic goals for 2019 include growing:

  • teacher practice that accelerates learning for target learners

  • cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy

  • community connections and the profile of Tirohia School.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous ERO review in 2016, the school has had three principals. The current principal began in the position in term 3, 2019. There has also been a full change in teaching staff and the board of trustees.

The school is a member of Ohinemuri Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is not achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

The school’s achievement data for 2019 shows that approximately half of all students achieved at or above national curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are achieving significantly better than their Pākehā peers in reading and mathematics. Boys are outperforming girls in writing and mathematics.

The school is unable to provide achievement data prior to 2019. Leadership is working to strengthen the reliability of data.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is beginning to respond to the urgent need to accelerate the learning of Māori and other students who need this.

In 2019, the school has developed and implemented a system to track and monitor the progress of at-risk students. The data collected across three terms shows that the majority of students who need to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics are doing so.

The school is yet to collate and analyse longitudinal progress data and this is an identified next step.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students learn in a caring and inclusive environment. There has been a recent focus on collaboratively reviewing the school’s values, which are highly visible in the culture of the school. Teachers and students have co-constructed a shared understanding of each of the identified values. Supportive tuākana-teina relationships are evident in and out of the classrooms. There is a strong emphasis on hauora, and the school provides high levels of pastoral care for students and their families. Students with additional needs are supported in class, and there is regular liaison with external agencies to access suitable resources and aid.

Leadership is developing productive relationships to support teaching and learning. Community connections are being purposefully strengthened to improve aspects of the curriculum. The school’s interactions with the local marae and community businesses are enabling the development of authentic, contextualised learning opportunities for students. The school is also working more closely with the local high school to support transitions for senior students. The new principal is accessing a range of external support and professional learning opportunities to build leadership knowledge and aspects of teacher capability.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

There is a need for a strategic and coherent approach to build professional capability and collective capacity. Priority should be given to developing consistent practice for teaching and learning, in particular, strengthening:

  • assessment practices to monitor learning and identify next steps
  • targeted planning, using reliable assessment information, to respond to students’ needs.

Leadership and teachers are beginning to explore ways to develop and embed a localised curriculum. Consideration should be given to ensuring that the full breadth and depth of the New Zealand Curriculum is covered, that there is a coherent and sequential approach to learning, and that curriculum design and enactment supports every student to make sufficient progress in their learning.

Leaders, teachers and trustees need to strengthen the management and use of achievement data, including:

  • implementing a schoolwide data management system to gather achievement information
  • analysing data at classroom level and schoolwide to monitor and report on rates of progress and acceleration over time
  • using analysed achievement information to evaluate the impact of programmes and interventions on outcomes for students
  • responding to trends and patterns over time.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Tirohia School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • inclusive practices that support students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging
  • leadership that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • building professional capability and collective capacity to respond effectively to the learning needs of at-risk students
  • developing a coherent curriculum to support the progress and achievement of all students
  • the effective use of achievement data to evaluate the impact of teaching practice on accelerating the progress of all at-risk learners.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to curriculum, personnel, and health, safety and welfare.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must develop policies, procedures and practices on:

  • dealing with parents who are subject to court orders affecting day-to-day care of, or contact with, a child at school
    [NAG 5]
  • the surrender and retention of property and searches of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff members
    [Sections 139AAA to 139AAH Education Act 1989]
  • good behaviour management practice following the Ministry of Education’s guide, including provide a clear complaints process for the students, parents and caregivers on physical restraint and alternatives to seclusion
    [Sections 139AB to 139AE Education Act 1989]
  • the physical restraint of students, including ensuring that the names and positions of authorised staff are documented, and appropriate steps are taken to ensure that parents, students, school staff and community know about the school’s policies for managing challenging behaviour and using physical restraint
    [Clause 4 & 10 Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2017]
  • safety checking of the workforce
    [Children’s Act 2014; regulations 5 – 8 of the Vulnerable Children (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015]
  • adopting a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the school community.
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that the board receives reports at least once a year in relation to the personnel policy and the extent of the board’s compliance with the policy on being a good employer
  • review the Child Protection policy to ensure that information is current and accurate
  • develop documented procedures and practices for bullying prevention.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • policy development and review
  • scrutiny of the school’s effectiveness in improving outcomes for students.

ERO also recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in the areas identified in this report as requiring development.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

27 March 2020

About the school

Location

Tirohia

Ministry of Education profile number

2033

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

58

Gender composition

Females 31 Males 27

Ethnic composition

Māori 44
NZ European/Pākehā 14

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

27 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2016
Supplementary Review December 2013
Education Review August 2012