Turaki School - 26/11/2015

Findings

Appropriate resourcing supports teachers to promote students’ learning in positive, supportive environments. There is a strong emphasis on the values of ‘AROHA’. The board and school leaders are aware of the need to maintain focus on accelerating progress for students at risk of not achieving expected outcomes. Evaluative practice requires strengthening.

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?

Turaki School, situated in Taumarunui, had a roll of 235 Years 1 to 8 students at the time of this ERO review. Fifty one percent of the students identify as Māori.

The school acknowledges the iwi of Te Ati-Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tūwharetoa, who have mana whenua where the school is located. The waharoa (gateway) depicts Morero, the spiritual guardian, who safeguards children in their learning and play. It reflects the local area, what the school provides and the individual journeys for students to achieve their aspirations.

Building and maintaining effective relationships within the school and with the community is an ongoing priority. Continuity of senior leadership and a capable board of trustees continue to contribute to development of effective systems that promote student learning.

Involvement over the past four years in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme supports students to follow the collaboratively developed AROHA values: attitude, respect, ownership, honesty, achievement. These underpin teaching and learning across the school.

Leaders and teachers are investigating and trialling a range of learning pedagogies including the use of digital technologies, collaborative practice and project based approaches to support future focused learning.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO and continues to focus on and respond to areas for improvement identified in the September 2012 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used by trustees, leaders and teachers to inform decision making, planning, teaching and learning. Improved understanding, use and analysis of data to improve outcomes for learners has been an ongoing focus. Teachers moderate judgements of progress and achievement within teams and across the school.

School-reported information shows that while most students are achieving at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, many continue to achieve below expectation. The majority of Māori students achieve at and above National Standards in writing and mathematics. Overall reading achievement is slightly lower.

Students not achieving as expected are identified in the school charter annual targets and their progress is monitored and tracked. Teachers share achievement information and examples of good practice that promote learning for these students. A wide range of appropriate interventions and programmes is in place to support students' learning. Many have made accelerated progress and are on track to meet National Standards by the end of the year.

Parents receive useful information about their children’s learning, including progress and achievement in relation to National Standards and next learning steps. Reporting of learning for students who are included in the special needs register acknowledges their developing skills and competencies.

School leaders have identified the need to continue to review and evaluate reporting processes to ensure that all parents are well informed about their children’s learning needs, progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school is reviewing its curriculum so that it better reflects the contexts, beliefs and cultural aspirations shared across the school and community. This is timely and should support the development of a coherent, authentic curriculum, responsive to supporting student success.

The current curriculum, underpinned by the school vision, AROHA values and school priorities, is clearly evident in practice. Digital technologies and PB4L collaborative practice support teachers to promote learning opportunities for students. The school’s vision, beliefs and values are well aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum.

Students enjoy positive relationships with teachers. ERO observed high levels of engagement and calm, settled environments that encourage self-management and independence. Students are aware of expectations about their inclusion in and responsibility for their learning.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies, initiatives and programmes to promote participation, better engage students in their learning and meet their identified needs. School leaders continue to strengthen processes to monitor and build teacher capability.

Student wellbeing and learning are acknowledged by staff as a collective responsibility. A collegial approach supports teachers’ increasing levels of collaborative practice. ERO and school leaders agree that implementing a more formal, consistent inquiry process should further strengthen review and support teachers to evaluate the impact of their teaching on student outcomes.

Students are well supported to transition into, through and from the school. Useful relationships have been developed with local early childhood centres and the secondary school.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Māori students experience positive relationships across the school supporting their participation in learning. All students take part in a weekly te reo Māori and kapa haka programmes.

Teachers, senior leaders and trustees are developing their knowledge of Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017, and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. School leaders should consider how to further use the skills and knowledge of Māori staff to provide support, build teacher capability and further develop the visibility of Māori learners’ culture, language and identity across the curriculum.

Involvement of parents and whānau Māori is valued. The school continues to investigate ways to engage more effectively in partnership with whānau and iwi. School leaders identify that re-establishing the Turaki parent/whānau rōpū to gain a cross section of views would be a valuable future action.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to strengthen evaluation practice and make positive changes to students' engagement, progress and achievement.

Trustees are focused on positive outcomes for students and committed to providing effective governance. They actively support school practice and operation. Constructive relationships between the board, leaders and staff ensure operational requests and resourcing are well considered. Implementation of an annual work plan guides reporting to trustees during the year and informs the board's review practice. To further strengthen review trustees should develop comprehensive plans to guide the implementation and evaluation of their annual planning goals and priorities.

School leaders work collaboratively with staff to promote ongoing improvement for students. Teachers are encouraged to lead curriculum change designed to enhance teaching and learning. Building the capability of leaders to fully determine the impact of current and proposed changes to the curriculum should strengthen evaluation practice. Gaining a greater understanding of the factors and conditions that contribute to improved student outcomes should enable leaders to more fully evaluate the effectiveness of their curriculum.

Teacher appraisal processes continue to be strengthened. Increasingly, discussions between leaders and teachers make useful links to the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) using evidence of student progress and highlighting classroom practice. Senior leaders have planned professional learning and development in 2016 to provide greater rigour to their current appraisal model. Building leaders’ capability to provide relevant feedback to teachers and strengthening the evidence used to inform the PTCs are clear next steps.

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 that the curriculum includes provision for Year 7 and 8 students to:

  • access appropriate career education and guidance
  • have opportunities for learning a second language.

Conclusion

Appropriate resourcing supports teachers to promote students’ learning in positive, supportive environments. There is a strong emphasis on the values of ‘AROHA’. The board and school leaders are aware of the need to maintain focus on accelerating progress for students at risk of not achieving expected outcomes. Evaluative practice requires strengthening.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 November 2015

School Statistics

Location

Taumarunui

Ministry of Education profile number

2040

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

235

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

51%
47%
  2%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

26 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2012
July 2009
October 2006