To the Parents and Community of Rakaia School. Below are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Rakaia School. They visited at the end of 2016.
2017 Report Summary
The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to learn and play together in partnership, strive for quality and be respectful of themselves, others and the environment. The school’s achievement information shows that a number of children, including Māori and Pacific children, are not achieving the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has programmes in place to support these children, including an experienced mathematics teacher and specific learning support for small groups or individual children. Evidence also shows that some Māori children have made steady progress over time in reading, and some Pacific children have made progress in writing and mathematics. School leaders and teachers use achievement information to identify children’s learning needs. Resourcing by the board enables learning support staff to assist children while the class teacher works closely with those whose learning needs are greatest. Teachers work in partnership with parents by sharing strategies, resources and ideas that will support children in their learning at home. The school has been involved in the Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) programme. A teacher with strengths in the teaching of mathematics has been working with children at risk of not achieving. Increased achievement levels are evident as a result of this intervention.
The school is being proactive in responding to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.
Teachers know the children as individuals. They actively encourage positive and respectful relationships. These clearly reflect the school’s values which are closely aligned to the Māori concepts of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. Māori children are able to regularly hear and use te reo Māori alongside their teachers and peers. Older children are encouraged to care for younger children. Able and knowledgeable children (tuakana) willingly support other children (teina) who need help with their learning. Teachers use a range of ways to assess Māori children’s learning. They effectively use this assessment information and their knowledge of each child to identify those at risk of not achieving. Programmes to specifically meet the learning needs of individual children are well managed by the teacher responsible for these initiatives. Regular team discussions ensure all teachers are familiar with and can support the needs and progress of individual children. Positive partnerships have been built with Māori parents. Teachers share effective strategies and resources to enhance learning for children at home. These initiatives have their greatest effect on those children who spend more time at this school. The board has also provided resources to support both children and staff to learn te reo and tikanga Māori from a Māori tutor. There is also a kapa haka group.
ERO recommends that the board and senior leaders make sure that:
- a robust appraisal is used to increase teacher capacity and capability
- greater emphasis is placed on accelerating the progress of children at risk of not achieving the National Standards
- planned and regular internal processes are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s curriculum and of the board’s stewardship role.