Toko School - 12/10/2018

School Context

Toko School is situated in a rural environment to the east of Stratford. The roll of 144 students includes 14% who identify as Māori. Since the November 2014 ERO report, there have been considerable changes to personnel, including the appointment of teachers and changes in senior leadership and trustees.

The vision of the school is focused on ‘quality learning for all in a caring community’. The school seeks to provide an environment where all children are personally known and valued, supported and secure.

Achievement targets for 2018 are aimed at accelerating the progress of students in writing and mathematics in Years 4 to 8.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing, and mathematics in relation to curriculum expectation
  • progress in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics
  • attendance and wellbeing.

The school is currently implementing the Ministry of Education (MoE) initiative, Reading Together.

The school is part of the Central Taranaki Kāhui Ako. 

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?

Since the previous ERO review, the school has maintained high levels of achievement outcomes for students. Most achieve very well in reading, writing, and mathematics, with close to half achieving above curriculum expectation in reading at the end of 2017. Māori children achieve very well. Nearly all students achieve expectation in all three curriculum areas by the end of Year 8, with identified disparities being addressed.

Responsive systems, processes and practice effectively support students identified with additional and complex learning needs to progress and achieve.

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

The school responds effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. In 2017, nearly all students targeted in mathematics made progress with approximately half of learners showing acceleration in their achievement.

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?

The Toko Learning Stars underpin the school’s vision. These are focused on achieving success in learning and promoting positive student wellbeing.

Curriculum design and delivery is innovative. Practices respond well to the specific learning needs and developing capabilities of students. Comprehensive teaching and learning guidelines support consistency in classroom practice. Environmental education is a key feature of the school, providing authentic learning experiences for students. Learners pursue their interests and are actively engaged in learning. Effective strategies promote self-directed learning and are incrementally strengthening the identification and development of learner dispositions.

Highly inclusive school and classroom environments support positive student engagement. Interactions between individuals, their peers and staff are positive. Students are well supported and develop a strong sense of belonging. They are positive about their inclusive and affirming school experience.

A range of approaches promotes reciprocal, learning-centred relationships between the school, parents and other educational providers. Parents and whānau are provided with a variety of tools to support learning at home.

Professional capability and practice ensures a cohesive and comprehensive response to support equity and excellence for learners. Leaders and teachers are highly collaborative. This results in a learning environment that promotes student learning and wellbeing. Transitions for children into and through the school are effective and individualised when required. Board funding and resource allocation is suitably aligned to the school’s strategic goals and targets. Teacher inquiry and appraisal frameworks are well aligned to monitor and build teacher capacity linked to school priorities.

Leaders and teachers are highly reflective making well informed changes that benefit learner outcomes and contribute to an innovative curriculum design and delivery. Appropriate tools and methods are used to gather a range of data and information to support review and development. Professional learning and development uses internal and external expertise to build capacity, improving outcomes for learners.

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

Leaders and teachers are currently building their knowledge and implementing strategies to promote self-regulated learning to further promote student agency. To ensure the intent of this strategic initiative achieves success, leaders should align their evaluation to clearly understand changes in teaching and leadership. Determining successful practice should establish shared strategies that further enhance learner dispositions to foster the active engagement of students in the learning process.

Culturally responsive curriculum practice acknowledging Māori students’ culture, language and identity should be further developed. Consultation has been undertaken between the school and Māori whanau, with a plan for improvement recently decided. Ongoing implementation should lead to te ao Māori being more integrated across the curriculum.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • purposeful school leadership that provides clear guidance to ensure positive learning and achievement outcomes for students
  • assessment systems, processes and practice that are used effectively to identify areas of student need and inform relevant teaching and learning
  • regular review of student achievement, wellbeing and community information that identifies areas of strength and those for further development
  • a collaborative culture that establishes shared understandings by leaders and staff for delivery of the curriculum and seeks to build innovative practice through well considered curriculum development.

Next steps

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

  • increase te ao Māori across the curriculum and further build capability to ensure a comprehensive acknowledgement of Māori students’ culture, language and identity
  • evaluate changes in teaching and leadership practice to ensure the desired intent of curriculum development that strengthens student outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 October 2018

About the school 

Location

Stratford

Ministry of Education profile number

2254

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

144

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                 15%
Pākehā                              85%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

12 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review         November 2014
Education Review         August 2011
Education Review         October 2008