The best you can be
Titahi Bay North School might not expect perfection from its students, but it has high standards for its own performance, which have been reflected in a glowing report from the Education Review Office.
ERO reviewed the decile two school in August and has praised students’ confidence and respectful attitude, teachers’ celebration of student successes, and the school board’s engagement with families.
‘‘They basically could find nothing in our school that was of any concern,’’ principal Steven Caldwell says. ‘‘It was very very good. ‘‘ We were really pleased with how it came out.
‘‘It reflected the hard work the school and board have done over the last three years.’’
ERO’s only recommendation was that the school adopt National Standards, but said ‘‘ teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools to collect detailed information about students’ achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics’’.
The school’s 145 year 1 to 8 students learn in a safe atmosphere where they can take risks in their learning and are not expected to be perfect all the time, Mr Caldwell says.
‘‘We’re not expect- ing perfection but you be the best you can be, and that’s the best you can be.’’
Teachers work to students’ strengths and weaknesses, and emphasise the fun and relevance of learning for life skills and future careers, he says.
‘‘Kids can see a point to what they’re learning, otherwise it doesn’t really mean much.’’
The school’s two Maori language immersion classes were particularly praised by ERO, who said they allow students to recognise their own strengths and cultural gifts.
‘‘They said we had some of the best Maori immersion units in the country,’’ Mr Caldwell says.
Year 8 Maori immersion student Serenity Kitiseni could not decide on the single best aspect of Titahi Bay North School.
‘‘Everything,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s awesome.’’
Cool school: Titahi Bay North School has been praised by the Education Review Office for its effective and inclusive school culture. Pictured are principal Steven Caldwell with students Serenity Kitiseni, 12, Elius Te Moana-Lyttle, 5, Davida Skelton, 6, and Ramari Clay, 12.