Waikino School, ERO report 2016.
ERO External Evaluation Waikino School
Waikino is a small school located near the township of Waihi which provides education for children in Years 1 to 6. The school currently operates three multi-level classes for 44 children, including eight of Māori descent. There has been considerable roll growth at the new entrant level during 2016. The current principal was appointed in 2014 and trustees are well established in their roles. A significant factor influencing student learning over the last two years has been the development of a unique local curriculum that has fully engaged parents, whānau and the wider community in the life of the school.
2 Equity and excellence
The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are 'for all children to develop as life-long learners who strive for excellence and make a positive difference'. In order to achieve this the school has embedded the foundations of literacy, numeracy, hauora (wellbeing), creativity and uarā (values) in its vision and documented priorities.
The principles of the Waikino Learning Community were established in consultation with students, whānau and staff and embody high expectations, the Treaty of Waitangi partnership, cultural diversity, inclusion, community engagement and a future focus that is consistent with the established enviro-school's kaupapa.
The school’s achievement information shows that in 2014 and 2015 most students, and all Māori, achieved National Standards. The information also shows that, of the very small number of students achieving below expected levels, most experienced accelerated progress during 2015.
The school continues to explore strategies and tools to strengthen moderation processes that teachers undertake when they make judgements about each child's achievement in relation to National Standards. These processes are continuing to develop as teachers' knowledge and understanding of assessment are improving.
Since the last ERO evaluation the school has maintained a priority on providing equitable outcomes for all students through an ongoing focus on accelerating progress for students achieving below expected levels.
Significant developments since the 2013 ERO review include:
- the appointment of a new principal and some new teaching staff
- a major review of the Waikino School local curriculum to embrace
* local Māori history and tikanga
* a vibrant, visual and well-understood Māori dimension
- board funding of additional teacher time and targeted support for students with identified learning needs
- ongoing engagement with the school community in learning and wellbeing focused partnerships
- school-wide, externally facilitated professional development for teachers, with a focus on writing in 2015 and 2016
- a planned programme of trustee training
- major review and redesign of the performance management system for teachers and the
principal, which includes strong links to accelerating progress for at risk learners.
- The school is currently in a process of consultation and consideration of the benefit in joining a local community of learning (CoL), alongside other Waihi Schools, to share good practice and address common achievement challenges.
3 Accelerating achievement
How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?
The school responds effectively to all children whose learning progress requires acceleration. The principal and teachers have made effective use of achievement information to identify students achieving below expected levels. They have worked together to clearly define and understand what 'accelerated progress' looks like, set targets and implemented strategies to accelerate progress for all these students. The school has responded to children whose learning needs accelerating through the following programmes, interventions and strategies:
- the inclusion of all students achieving below expected levels in annual charter targets and plans that are developed collaboratively between the staff, principal and board of trustees
- targeted teaching through the establishment of teaching as cycles of professional inquiry, which are aligned with school charter targets
- appropriate and closely monitored learning support programmes
- close communication with, and involvement of, parents and whānau in partnerships focused
on accelerating achievement
- targeted school-wide professional learning for teachers to improve their practice
- the close alignment of teacher appraisal processes with accelerating student progress for
The school's response to accelerating progress for at risk learners is thorough, well planned and has contributed to the acceleration of progress for most of the small number of students achieving below expected levels in 2015, including Māori.
4 School conditions
How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?
The local curriculum is authentic, integrated and coherent. Its design and implementation provides a sound basis for accelerating progress for all students in contexts where local environments, connections to students' lives and tikanga are central. Tikanga and te reo Māori are highly valued and visible in the school environment, routines, rituals and teaching programmes.
The curriculum includes clearly defined expectations for student achievement at each year level and increasing opportunities for students to self-assess and be aware of their next learning steps. The school intends to continue to strengthen these processes so that students become increasingly aware of their learning journey and self-directed in their approach to understanding their progress
School leadership has maintained a strong, collaborative and effective focus on building teacher capability. High expectations for teacher performance, and student engagement and success have been established. Leadership is knowledgeable about the use of assessment information and can speak confidently about the school's approach to accelerating student achievement.
The principal provides trustees with extensive information about student achievement and engagement, which they scrutinise carefully to set robust targets that focus on accelerating student progress and make decisions about school resourcing to support these targets. Trustees also have a well-developed understanding of their roles and responsibilities in regard to accelerating student progress, and the links between internal review and school improvement. The board of trustees is focused on continually gathering community voice and maintaining the open, trusting and respectful relationships that are evident across the school.
There are well-developed systems in the school to review and improve school effectiveness. A strong and well-defined culture for learning in the school is emerging. Teachers are focused on improving their practice through the process of 'teaching as inquiry'. This process involves them systematically reviewing, reflecting on and sharing their practice in consideration of how effectively they are accelerating progress for students achieving below expected levels. The school intends to further develop and embed this 'teaching as inquiry' approach across reading, writing and mathematics. This is likely to further strengthen the alignment between school targets and teacher practice across all core curriculum areas.
The school is actively engaged with its community. Parents are well informed about their child's levels of achievement and progress through informal and formal sharing of information, regular consultation and an open door policy. The principal and teachers are highly attuned to parents' aspirations and children's dispositions, particularly for parents and whānau of students whose progress requires acceleration. These whānau enjoy especially close relationships in learning with the school that include ongoing communication about student successes, challenges and goals to accelerate progress. Strong collaborative relationships with whānau are supporting the acceleration of progress for all children.
To further build teacher capacity and effectiveness, the principal will continue to lead the development of initiatives that build teachers' knowledge and understanding about student learning progressions. This is necessary to strengthen processes that contribute to dependable judgements about each child's achievement in relation to National Standards. In addition, improved knowledge and understanding about learning progressions is likely to contribute to:
- increasingly targeted teaching as teachers continue to build their pedagogy and practice
- sustainability of teacher practice and effectiveness to accelerate student progress.
- 5 Going forward
How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?
Leaders and teachers:
- know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
- respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
- regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
- act on what they know works well for each child
- build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
- are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.
The school is in a good position to continue to accelerate progress for students achieving below expected levels because:
- the board is strongly committed to maintaining high levels of community engagement and involvement, and building Māori tikanga and protocol in the school
- the new teaching team works closely with the principal, who is providing well-informed leadership of learning, and strong direction for school development
- teachers know individual students very well and relationships between teachers and students are respectful
- internal evaluation is well developed and well understood across the school.
As the roll continues to build and the new teaching team develops, practices that need to be further
enhanced and embedded are:
- teachers' inquiries into their practice that identify and share strategies that work for students at risk of poor educational outcomes across core curriculum areas
- students' knowledge about their own learning, progress and next steps
- teachers' moderation of student achievement in relation to National Standards.
ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.
6 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 the following:
- board administration
- management of health, safety and welfare
- personnel management
- 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
- processes for appointing staff
- stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
- compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
Deputy Chief Review Officer
25 November 2016
- Education Review Office ERO External Evaluation
Waikino School, ERO report 2013.
Click on the link below to read the excellent ERO (Education Review Office) report on Waikino School that was completed in 2013.
ERO is scheduled to return to Waikino School in 2016 as part of it's usual review cycle.
ERO is scheduled to return to Waikino School in 2016 as part of it's usual review cycle.