Waimate Main School - 18/02/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Most students at Waimate Main School come from the local township. There has been significant roll growth since the 2010 ERO review. In 2013 the number of classes has increased from three to four to provide better learning opportunities for the growing number of students.

The school is welcoming and inclusive. The vision and values of Think, Care and Achieve are central to the life of the school. They underpin learning and teaching and have a positive influence on student - staff relationships and interactions.

The board, principal and teachers have high expectations that students will progress and achieve well. They are building strong links with families and the local community to benefit the all-round development and education of the students. They are continually finding new ways to involve families and the community in the life of the school. Students have increasing opportunities to take an active part in the local community.

The school is centrally located in Waimate. This means that students can easily access many town facilities to support their learning. They also have opportunities to interact with children from nearby early childhood centres and students at the local high school.

The school has responded well to all the recommendations of the last ERO review.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Since the last ERO review there have been significant school-wide improvements in student achievement in literacy and mathematics.

Teachers use learning information well to:

  • determine next learning steps for individuals and groups
  • inform their planning and teaching
  • make judgements about achievement.

Teachers have some useful practices for setting goals with students. Most students who spoke with ERO showed a good understanding of their achievement levels and were able to talk about progress they have made in relation to their goals.

A next step for teachers is to make better use of learning information to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching strategies in improving student achievement.

The principal effectively uses school-wide and cohort achievement information to identify:

  • groups of students who need to make greater progress to achieve at appropriate levels
  • particular areas of learning that require development to help students meet the National Standards.

The principal reports to the board on literacy and mathematics achievement in relation to National Standards. He also informs the board of progress towards meeting targets that have been set to address identified needs.

The trustees make appropriate resourcing decisions based on the principal’s regular reports. The achievement information is the basis for setting strategic goals.

The board should also request reports that show whether targeted students are making sufficient progress towards meeting expectations.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

Students learn in settled and positive learning environments. Students who spoke with ERO said that teachers cared about them and their learning. The school is well resourced and there has been significant investment in ICT. There is some effective use of ICT as a teaching and learning tool.

Students are well supported by a variety of initiatives to promote their wellbeing and social and academic development. They have a rich range of learning experiences. Their successes are celebrated across a range of areas.

Students benefit from many effective teaching practices. These include:

  • well-structured, intentional teaching
  • suitable strategies to engage students in their learning
  • the purposeful use of authentic contexts for learning.

Teachers are increasingly taking shared responsibility for raising student achievement.

The school’s curriculum is well designed to meet the students’ interests, strengths and needs. Programmes are in place to address areas of identified need. The school actively involves the community to enrich students’ learning experiences. Teachers have very clear guidelines for the teaching of literacy and mathematics.

The principal and teachers now need to complete curriculum documentation to clarify expectations for teaching and learning across the whole curriculum.

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

The principal, teachers and trustees are committed to providing and delivering a curriculum that promotes success for Māori students. This has been identified as an area for further development. It is a major goal for 2014.

The school has useful information on the achievement of Māori students. The principal and teachers respond well to identified needs. The school has effectively used community support to establish a kapa haka group. Staff members have also gained knowledge and confidence around some Māori protocols as a result of community input. The board acknowledges the need to gather the views and aspirations more effectively of their Māori community.

Concepts valued by Māori such as tiaka/caring and whanaungatanga/relationships are very evident in the school.

Teachers now need to:

  • increase the amount of te reo Māori students hear and use in and around the classrooms
  • include more Māori perspectives in classroom programmes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal’s leadership is very effective. He articulates high expectations for student achievement and provides ethical direction in meeting the diverse needs of all students. He ensures a coordinated approach to educational developments within the school. The principal has built effective relationships with community groups and external agencies to best support the students.

School-wide planning shows coherent links between the strategic plan, annual plans, performance management and professional learning and development. These all positively impact on curriculum delivery and classroom programmes.

The school has a culture of ongoing improvement and reflection. Good use is made of research to inform school-decision making. Targeted professional learning and development supports the principal and teachers to introduce or strengthen practices to raise student achievement.

The next step is to strengthen the self-review framework through:

  • developing a schedule for curriculum review
  • planning and reviewing against measurable outcomes
  • using evaluative questions for reviewing the effectiveness of policies and programmes.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

18 February 2014

About the School

Location

Waimate

Ministry of Education profile number

3574

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

84

Gender composition

Boys: 43 Girls: 41

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

69

13

2

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

18 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

January 2011

February 2008

March 2007