Lower Moutere School - 18/12/2014

Findings

Students are well supported to improve their achievement levels. Their progress and achievement is closely monitored. Recent initiatives should increasingly support students' ability to evaluate and lead their own learning, and parents' understanding of how they can assist in the learning process. The board and leaders work collaboratively. They are currently reviewing the school’s charter, goals and values to ensure they best support successful learning. Parents are encouraged to be involved in school activities.

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

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Lower Moutere is a rural school with a substantial history. There is an inclusive school culture for students with a focus on developing positive relationships. The school is well supported by parents and the community. Most trustees are new to the board and staffing is stable.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school has a successful focus on lifting students’ achievement levels, and closely monitoring their progress over time. Assessment practices have been reviewed and a comprehensive assessment programme has been put in place. Achievement data gathered is effectively used to identify each student’s learning needs. Students’ learning benefits from group and individual teaching within class programmes.

Reported achievement information shows there have been positive improvements from 2013 to 2014 in reading and writing and that most students achieve above expected levels. There is more variability in achievement for some year levels in mathematics.

The board has used well-analysed school-wide achievement information to develop appropriate targets for students who do not achieve National Standards. Teachers have improved the approaches they use to accelerate achievement levels. The progress of priority learners is very closely monitored.

Students with special learning needs have individualised plans for learning and well-targeted support from outside agencies. Guidelines for these students have been recently reviewed. Parents are involved in preparing individual learning plans. Special needs students are well included in class programmes. Their progress show very good levels of improvement.

Teachers in the junior and middle school effectively assist students to identify learning goals that help them to progress in reading, writing and mathematics. These teachers provide feedback to students that help them to evaluate their learning successes and to identify their next learning steps.

Senior leaders and ERO have identified that the next steps to better engage all students as self-managing learners include:

  • extending goal setting for all students, and providing them with specific feedback that will help them identify their next learning steps
  • providing students in the senior school with more specific feedback about their learning progress and achievement levels so they can better evaluate and lead their own learning
  • extending reports to students and their parents to include next learning steps and ways that parents can support their children to improve.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum design has been developed in response to the analysis of student achievement information. The review of teaching and learning in literacy has assisted teachers to improve levels of student engagement, progress and achievement in these areas.

Students have good opportunities to participate in a range of experiences beyond the classroom that include sport and outdoor pursuits and leadership responsibilities. The school council and school assemblies are led by students. Senior students are able to be peer mediators and buddies with younger learners. These activities contribute to supporting positive student relationships.

The school has identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps for curriculum development include:

  • trustees completing the board review of the school’s vision and values that will help teachers to further develop these aspects in the school’s curriculum
  • extending teaching approaches that help students develop appropriate learning attitudes and values, and key learning competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum
  • completing the development of the learning and assessment model for curriculum areas other than literacy and mathematics
  • responding to the school’s analysed achievement information in mathematics to improve learning outcomes for priority learners
  • reviewing the use of technologies and developing a plan for future improvements.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Leaders have recently reviewed the school’s approaches to better support Māori students to succeed as Māori. This is enabling the school to identify ways to work more effectively with parents, build staff capability and confidence, improve teaching and language development resources, and to more effectively include students’ opinions and ideas. The next step for the board is to develop a vision and goals to promote ongoing support for Māori students to succeed as Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

Sound governance and leadership enable the school to sustain and improve its performance.

Most trustees are new to the board. They have undertaken training to better understand and implement their governance roles and responsibilities. Trustees are reviewing the strategic plan to better reflect the community’s expectations for the school, and to develop appropriate goals that will guide the work of the principal and teachers. They work collaboratively with the principal.

The principal fosters a professional approach to leadership, school development and improvements in learning and teaching. She provides the board with well-analysed achievement information that helps trustees make appropriate resourcing decisions. The principal supports staff development through an improved, rigorous appraisal process and appropriate professional development opportunities. The school has strong and productive professional development links with other local schools.

School-wide reflection and review has enabled important improvements to be made to learning and teaching. Teachers are making increasing use of review and reflection guidelines to improve their practice.

The board has consulted regularly with the community to guide review and development. Parents are made to feel welcome and actively participate in school activities.

The next steps for improving sustainable performance include:

  • using the board’s strategic goals to better guide review and reporting at board, principal and teacher levels
  • further developing annual planning to identify board priorities that the principal can report on at each board meeting
  • developing a process for review that will give greater consistency
  • documenting the outcomes from review better so improvements made can be monitored and evaluated.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • 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 student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Students are well supported to improve their achievement levels. Their progress and achievement is closely monitored. Recent initiatives should increasingly support students' ability to evaluate and lead their own learning, and parents' understanding of how they can assist in the learning process. The board and leaders work collaboratively. They are currently reviewing the school’s charter, goals and values to ensure they best support successful learning. Parents are encouraged to be involved in school activities.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

18 December 2014

About the School

Location

Upper Moutere, Tasman

Ministry of Education profile number

3200

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

136

Gender composition

Girls 47%

Boys 53%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

82%

15%

3%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

18 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

May 2008

May 2005