Aka Aka School 18/05/2011
Aka Aka School Education Review
4 Sustainable Performance
About the School
Location Aka Aka, Auckland
Ministry of Education profile number 1201
School type Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)
School roll 58
Review team on site March 2011 Date of this report 18 May 2011
What are the important features of this school’s context that have an impact on student learning?
Aka Aka School is a small, rural Year 1-8 school, situated between Waiuku and Pukekohe. The school caters for students from the surrounding Aka Aka farming neighbourhood and the Waiuku township. Since the 2008 ERO report the school roll has continued to fall as a result of changes within the Waiuku school community. Teachers, students and families know each other well and many school events help to bring the board, teachers and community together and help to foster positive relationships.
Since the 2008 ERO report the board of trustees has established a new library and teachers have embedded the use of formative assessment practices in all curriculum areas. Systems for reporting to the board and parents on student achievement have been revised so that they include reporting in relation to the National Standards.
How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving? Students engage well in their learning. They are settled, confident, and respectful of each other and their teachers. The inclusive school culture is reflected in tuakana/teina relationships, with older students caring for younger ones.
School data on student achievement show that most students are achieving at or above nationally expected levels for their age. Teachers monitor student achievement regularly, using a variety of school-based and nationally referenced assessment tools. It would now be useful for school leaders and staff to document their analysis and reflections on the data they collect, to track student progress over time, noting trends and patterns for cohorts of students in literacy and numeracy. This approach could enable the board and managers to identify and develop strategies to address any areas of concern. Reports to parents include information on how students are achieving in relation to National Standards. Achievement information across the school is used to set further targets for student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers acknowledge that students’ engagement in learning could be enhanced. To further involve students in their learning, teachers plan a focus on the use of inquiry-based processes. ERO supports this direction. Achievement information is used to group students for teaching purposes. Teachers could make better use of assessment data to identify individual students’ strengths and learning needs. This should enable them to provide more targeted extension or support programmes where required. At three-way conferences between students, parents and teachers, good use is made of student achievement information to develop students’ individual goals in reading, writing and numeracy. The next step is for students to have greater involvement in using their achievement information to evaluate their own levels of success and to identify the areas which they need to develop further.
How well are M‚ori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?
Currently six M‚ori students attend the school. Initiatives to support all students are having a positive impact on the engagement and achievement of M‚ori students. M‚ori students are making similar progress to that of their peers and achieve as well as their peers. The principal reports to the board on the progress of M‚ori students as a group. The board surveys M‚ori wh‚nau as part of its annual survey of all parents. Information about students’ iwi is gathered at enrolment. M‚ori are well represented on the board and on the teaching staff. The school’s next step is to develop strategies that build the knowledge, skills and confidence of all staff to teach and use te reo and tikanga M‚ori. The board could use the Ministry of
Education resource, Ka Hikitia, to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s provision for M‚ori students.
How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?
The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning and engagement effectively and is implemented consistently across all year levels. The principal and teachers have reviewed school documentation in relation to the implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum. They have collaboratively identified their expectations for successful teaching practices at Aka Aka School. The next step is to align classroom practice with these expectations and, through observations and goal setting, to incorporate them in staff performance management processes.
Teachers implement an integrated curriculum with a yearly overview and plan teaching programmes collaboratively. Engaging in this process enables teachers to share their knowledge and expertise. Regular newsletters keep parents informed about the focus of each learning area for the term. To help students to develop life-long learning skills, the next step for teachers is to help them to develop thinking skills and processes to support inquiry-based learning.
4 Sustainable Performance
How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?
The values reflected in the operations of the school, and the positive relationships evident between staff and students, help to sustain student engagement and learning. The school’s future priorities for development are identified and planned for in the strategic and annual plan. The principal and teachers are systematically reviewing the alignment of the school’s curriculum with The New Zealand Curriculum.
Teachers have participated in professional learning and development on how to moderate their assessments of students’ written language. The skills learned could be used as a model for moderating assessments in other curriculum areas.
The board has good processes in place for reviewing all aspects of school operations. Trustees review policies and procedures over a three year cycle. The board undertakes an annual survey of parent satisfaction and endeavours to gain parents’ perspective when determining the school’s strategic goals.
The board and principal acknowledge that trustees could review their existing job descriptions and responsibilities to further strengthen their work in governing the school and to provide continuity for new trustees.
Board assurance on legal requirements
Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:
- board administration
- 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 students' achievement:
- emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
- physical safety of students
- teacher registration
- stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
In order to improve current practice, the board should:
- consult with the community every two years about the implementation of the school’s health programme
- undertake police-vetting procedures for all non-registered teachers every three years.
When is ERO likely to review the school again? ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.
National Manager Review Services
18 May 2011