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Waikanae School, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast
The purpose of ERO’s external evaluations is to give parents, whānau and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education children and young people receive. ERO reports on the equity and excellence of learning outcomes for all students and for specific groups including Māori students, Pacific students and students with additional learning needs. This includes a focus on accelerating learning for those students who need it. ERO also reports on the quality and effectiveness of the school’s processes and practices for continuing and sustaining improvement. The report gives evaluation findings that answer four key questions about the school’s performance.
Waikanae School caters for students in Years 1 to 8 on the Kapiti Coast. The roll has increased steadily since the 2014 ERO review with the number of Māori students nearly doubled to 20% of the roll. Two classrooms have been replaced with flexible learning spaces, with plans for two more classrooms to cater for roll growth.
The school’s vision is reflected in its motto: children of today are leaders of tomorrow- ngā mokopuna o te ra nei ngā rangatira o apopo. The valued outcomes of the charter are for students to interact and learn through the values of respect, perseverance, honesty, teamwork and kindness under the overarching value of whanaungatanga.
Leaders and teachers regularly report schoolwide information to the board about outcomes for students in the following areas:
· achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
· progress and achievement in relation to school and national goals and targets
· progress and wellbeing of students in targeted programmes
· attendance, engagement and wellbeing of students.
Since the previous review teachers have been involved in professional learning and development in school priority areas of science, writing and teaching as inquiry, with a focus on mathematics in 2017.
The school has expressed an interest in being part of the Kapiti Northern Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.
The school promotes equity and excellence in valued outcomes for groups of students. Reports from the end of 2016 show that most students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics.
Achievement in mathematics shows significant improvement in 2016 and in provisional results for 2017. Achievement for Māori is equitable with their peers in the school in literacy and above in mathematics. Addressing disparity for boys, particularly in writing, is an ongoing focus for teachers.
Overall achievement for Pacific students, many of whom are English language learners, is improving steadily to be closer to their peers. Although increasing numbers of students are achieving at or above expectations over the past three years, there have been some fluctuations in rates of achievement during this period of roll growth.
The school has established effective processes and strategies to identify and respond to learners whose achievement needs acceleration.
School data from mid-2017 shows many Māori have accelerated progress during the year, particularly in reading. Similar patterns of acceleration are evident for Pacific and other priority learners.
Information on learning and achievement for students with additional needs shows that many make progress and gain success appropriate to their age, needs and interests.
Syndicate tracking of priority learners and monitoring of targeted learners’ progress through individual teacher inquiries provide useful evidence of the school’s effectiveness.
The curriculum provides sufficient and equitable opportunities for all students to learn and succeed. The school has made significant progress in reviewing and developing its ‘Waikanae Way’ curriculum to be inclusive and responsive to increasingly diverse groups of learners. Programmes have been extended and enriched, to include bicultural perspectives, digital technologies, te reo Māori and Asian language learning. Local contexts and resources are used. Student leadership is promoted and modelled across programmes and activities.
Māori students are supported to become confident, connected and successful learners through a culturally responsive curriculum. Opportunities to develop leadership and gain success as Māori have been extended through well-considered initiatives where the language, identity, and culture of
Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed. Positive outcomes for Māori are nurtured through strengthened partnerships underpinned by manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. These are reinforced in relationships and interactions with the local marae, kaumatua and iwi.
Teachers use a range of effective strategies and deliberate actions to engage students in purposeful learning in positive learning environments. Well-designed programmes and close relationships with parents and early learning providers support learners’ successful transitions into and through the school. Students’ wellbeing, sense of belonging and engagement in their learning is promoted. Ways to regularly share students’ learning with families and whānau support increased engagement and achievement.
Well-designed systems and responsive resourcing contribute to the delivery of highly effective programmes to cater for increasing numbers of students with identified and complex needs. A strong focus on inclusion and the provision of a wide range of individualised programmes supports their success. Well-collated achievement information is shared with the board and parents.
The trustees, principal and leaders have a clear vision and strategies to effectively promote equity and excellence. The board is well informed, future focused and uses resources well to support equity. Senior staff are increasing their focus on being leaders of learning, drivers of innovation and building teacher capability. Professional learning and development supports new initiatives, school priorities and individual needs. Teachers are well supported to take risks and collaborate to effect change for the benefit of learners.
Leaders and teachers use a good range of data, assessment tools and moderation practices to inform reliable assessment judgements. Teacher collaboration, clear guidelines and effective data management from leaders support consistency and dependability of achievement information.
Since the previous ERO review, school trustees, leaders and teachers have strengthened their use of inquiry and evaluation to support decision making and improvement strategies. The focus of these inquiries is closely aligned to school goals and targets to accelerate achievement. Leaders and teams use data on priority learners to monitor their achievement and make decisions to support acceleration. They reflect on the effectiveness of practices and use collaborative review to make changes and respond student needs.
Annual target setting and tracking should be streamlined so that numbers and groups who need acceleration across the school are more easily monitored and reported on during the year.
Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to develop a shared understanding and use of robust internal evaluation to determine what works and what is needed to sustain ongoing improvement for achievement of equity and excellence.
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
· 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 and certification
· processes for appointing staff
· stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
· school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:
· relationships with parents and whānau that promote effective learning partnerships in relation to a broad and culturally responsive curriculum
· a culture of collaboration among leaders and teachers that promotes consistently good quality teaching and high expectations for learning
· assessment and analysis of data that identifies the needs of students and ways to improve their progress and achievement
· stewardship by the board of trustees that sets and communicates clear strategic direction and goals for improvement, and closely monitors progress.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:
· internal evaluation to further measure the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives, and their impact on achievement.
ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting) Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region
5 December 2017