Waimataitai School - 18/06/2018

School Context

Waimataitai School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 448 students.

The school’s overarching vision is ‘Whaia te iti kahurangi/Striving for excellence’. Its valued outcomes are for students to achieve well in literacy and numeracy. The school also aims for its students to develop the ‘WAI Learner’ attributes of respect, motivation, curiosity, reflection and being a team player.

To achieve these outcomes the school has identified the following strategic goals and targets:

  • to improve school-wide teaching of writing

  • to accelerate the progress of Māori and Pacific students, and boys in reading, writing and/or mathematics

  • to empower all families/parents/whānau to be effectively engaged in supporting their child’s learning.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • those related to the ‘WAI Learner’ attributes

  • student wellbeing

  • student attendance.

Since the last ERO review in 2014, there have been changes to the school’s leadership team and the board of trustees, including a new chairperson.

Over the last four years the school has been part of Ministry of Education initiatives to lift achievement levels in literacy and mathematics, and enhance student engagement and behaviour.

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 effectively supporting students to achieve the school’s valued outcomes. Over the last three years most students have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for reading and mathematics. The majority of students have achieved at or above the writing expectations. A variety of information shows that almost all students know and demonstrate the WAI Learner attributes in and around the school on a daily basis.

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

Specific and targeted responses to accelerate progress have been effective in reducing in-school disparity for some groups of learners.

Over the past three years Māori and Pacific student achievement levels have been slightly lower in reading, mathematics and writing, and for boys in reading and writing. In 2017, there were good levels of accelerated progress in reading and mathematics for most groups of students. The school recognises the need to increase the numbers of students working at expected levels in writing. To achieve this the school is implementing the long and short-term strategies of:

  • school-wide teacher development to increase the professional capability and collective capacity in the teaching of writing

  • targeting students in all classrooms to support them to accelerate progress in their learning.

Attendance rates for students have improved as a result of the school’s deliberate focus on improving attendance for the last two years.

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 school continues to be a high performing school using coherent processes and practices that promote equity and excellence.

Teachers, leaders and trustees have genuine care for individual students and their learning. They have a determination that all students will experience success. They establish intentional partnerships with parents and whānau, with an increasing focus on learning.

Children’s learning and wellbeing are well supported through specific interventions and close monitoring of progress. Teachers focus on the valued attitudes and dispositions for all students to be a happy learner/person (WAI Learner). This culture of care is well supported by the teachers’ collaboration and collective responsibility.

School leaders and trustees are strongly committed to achieving the school’s vision. This is evident through:

  • their unrelenting focus on achieving equity, learning, wellbeing and a sense of belonging for all students

  • the coherency and consistency of systems that guide teaching practice and school-wide systems

  • the high expectations leaders and trustees have of teachers

  • following a well-defined strategic direction and associated planning, with clear connections to all that happens.

The school has well-developed structures and processes to ensure sustained practice and ongoing improvement. Strong internal evaluation is based on the deep scrutiny of a range of data and viewpoints. This is used to inform teaching and learning decisions for the whole school, and groups of and individual students. Very effective systems and practices build teacher capability.

Well-considered distribution of leadership and responsibilities are in place to support the achievement of the school’s key priorities.

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

School leaders and teachers now need to use the learning information already in the school to know more about, and report on the sufficiency of progress for those students who are at risk of not achieving at expected levels.

Leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to continue to build teachers’ understandings and practices related to cultural responsiveness.

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:

  • a school-wide focus on equity and excellence

  • effective school-wide processes and practices that continue to build and sustain a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students

  • experienced and effective leadership and governance

  • strong evaluation processes to inform decision making.

Next steps

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

  • systems for better school-wide monitoring and reporting about student progress to ensure sufficiency and rates of progress are clear

  • strengthening how te reo and te ao Māori are valued and part of day-to-day learning so that Māori and other children experience a more bicultural curriculum.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

18 June 2018

About the school

Location

Timaru

Ministry of Education profile number

3572

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

448

Gender composition

Boys: 53% Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 19%
Pākehā: 66%
Pacific: 5%
Other: 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

18 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Reviews June 2014
October 2009
June 2006