ERO Report

Summary

Tawa School has a current roll of 363 Years 1 to 8 students. Of the students enrolled, 25% are Māori and 13% are of Pacific heritage.

Staffing is stable with very few changes since the August 2014 ERO report. Most of the board members are experienced trustees.

Major areas of strategic focus for 2017 are student-centred learning, play-based learning and co-teaching. The school has been involved in the Positive Behaviour for Learning initiative for seven years.

Tawa School is a member of the Tawa Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school’s 2016 end of year data showed that approximately two thirds of children were achieving at and above the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s 2017 mid-year interim National Standards data indicates that there are students within each year level who have made significant progress in the first half of the year in reading, writing and mathematics. This data also shows that Māori girls are achieving well. In mathematics, Māori achievement results are similar to those of non-Māori.

While many school processes are effective in promoting equity and excellence, strengthening partnerships with Pacific families and internal evaluation should further support these goals.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement remains.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate overall progress for Pacific students and boys in writing
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school implements a range of strategies to purposefully promote equity of achievement.

Leaders and teachers have in-depth knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. They gather a variety of useful information relating to each child’s learning pathway and wellbeing. Teachers are mentored by senior leaders, regularly discussing individual children’s programmes to target their learning needs.

The school has a range of programmes to support student progress. In 2017, two new mathematics interventions have been introduced. Results to date show that almost all of the small group of students involved in these initiatives have made accelerated progress.

The needs of children requiring additional learning support continue to be well met. Children have a mix of integrated, mainstream and personalised learning experiences.

Suitable assessment tools are used to support teachers’ judgements about students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards. Teachers work collaboratively with others in their team to moderate these judgements. Moderation of writing achievement is a well-established process. The school has identified that a next step is to develop consistency of moderation across teams in reading and mathematics. ERO’s evaluation supports this direction.

Future school-wide annual targets should more strongly prioritise those groups of students at risk of not achieving, to better focus the board, leaders and teachers on accelerating their progress.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school vision, using a metaphor of the Tawa School Tree, is clearly evident in the environment and guiding documents. The qualities and attributes in the graduate student profile are to be respectful, creative, responsible, passionate, reflective and inquisitive.

The curriculum is localised and well aligned with TheNew Zealand Curriculum. Clear expectations for teaching literacy and numeracy are well documented and useful to guide practice.

The board of trustees receives regular information and reports on student achievement and curriculum information that are used to support their decision making. The principal also keeps the board well informed about progress towards the 2017 goals.

The principal and deputy principals provide systematic support for teachers to develop their professional practice through mentoring, coaching and appraisal. Senior leaders regularly monitor overall student progress and achievement.

The school has a strong and deliberate focus on increasing culturally responsive practices. The Māori Achieving Success as Māori (MASAM) self-review framework has been used as a tool to develop a shared understanding of culturally-responsive practice. Teachers have rated themselves against the framework.

The appraisal process is sound. Teachers regularly reflect on their practice and share this information with senior leaders.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Teachers should focus on accelerating the achievement of all priority learners through transferring new learning from targeted student intervention discussions, to their teaching inquiries and everyday classroom practice. Increased sharing of effective practice as a staff is also likely to better focus teachers on accelerating achievement.

There is a variable implementation of teacher practice and understanding of student-centred and play-based learning. Examples of sound practice are evident. A shared understanding of the characteristics of effective student-led learning is yet to be developed. Increased focus on deliberate and targeted teaching with a clear purpose for learning activities and defined student outcomes should strengthen play-based learning.

Leaders and teachers have been working towards strengthening learning partnerships with parents and whānau. New communication strategies, including the use of digital technologies have been introduced to enhance partnerships. Leaders have indicated that priorities are to continue to build the school’s capacity to engage with Māori whānau and Pacific aiga and agree that strengthening connections with aiga should support the lifting of Pacific student achievement.

While leaders and trustees systematically reflect on curriculum and school policies and procedures, a next step is to evaluate the effectiveness of learning interventions. The school’s current evaluation framework should be revisited to:

  • strengthen the investigation and collaborative sense making stages of the process
  • ensure that specific relevant indicators of success are considered
  • emphasise the impact of outcomes for students.

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
  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • already know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to further develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner
  • need to continue to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate overall progress for Pacific students and boys in writing
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 November 2017

About the school