Maori Hill School - 24/09/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Māori Hill School is located in Dunedin city. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review in August 2010 it had a roll of 228 students, 6% of whom were Māori. The school operates an enrolment scheme and accepts international students. This year the school’s administration block, library, learning centre, resource areas and group teaching spaces have been redeveloped and extended.

Most students are achieving and progressing well compared with national averages. The principal and teachers set high standards for students’ achievement and behaviour. Students benefit from high quality enrichment and learning support programmes. Parents, trustees and the school community are well informed about students’ levels of achievement.

ERO observed good to high quality teaching. Classroom environments are stimulating, well-managed, resourced and organised. Since the 2007 ERO review, students have had increased opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori. Teachers reflect on their practice for future improvement. They use a wide range of assessment methods to measure student progress and achievement. Students’ progress is closely monitored. Students have many opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Teachers make good use of the museum, art gallery, university and parental expertise in students’ learning programmes.

The high level of ongoing parent and community engagement and support is a significant feature of this school. Parents, grandparents and community members assist in student support and extension programmes. The parent and teacher association (PTA) raises significant funds for school resources. Other groups of parents help teachers organise resources and run events.

The principal effectively leads the school and has developed a strong community of learners. He has created efficient systems for managing and monitoring school-wide information through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Teachers and students benefit from ongoing professional learning. It is now time for the board, leaders and teachers to review how well students are taking responsibility for aspects of their learning and how well Māori perspectives are included in all classroom programmes.

A strong improvement focus is evident throughout the school. The board of trustees is capable, committed and well informed. It has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interests of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to be highly effective in using self-review procedures to further promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement - through considered change.

Future Action

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

2. Māori Hill School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Māori Hill School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

For several years the principal and teachers have been involved in ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) with a group of other schools. The focus of these programmes has been on the inquiry approach to learning, effective use of ICT, curriculum integration; and the use of thinking skills.

Achievement information in literacy and numeracy in 2009 and early 2010 indicates that a significant proportion of students achieve at and above national expectations. Those students who are not achieving well, including Māori and Pacific students, are being very well supported. The school is able to show that its students progress well during their time at the school.

Areas of strength

Student Engagement, Progress and Achievement

Support for learning. The school has innovative systems and programmes for students who need extra support to succeed with their learning. Teachers quickly identify these students and collaboratively develop plans showing how they might be best supported. There is ongoing communication between the learning support coordinator, teachers, teacher aides and parent tutors. Skilful teacher aides work intensively with small groups of students. Students are carefully monitored over time.

Enrichment programmes. Capable students are challenged and extended through high quality enrichment programmes. These have been developed since the 2007 ERO review. These are enjoyed by students from most year levels. The programmes provide choice, challenge, depth and variety in learning. Often they involve excursions beyond the school. Literacy is skilfully integrated into art, science, music and other areas of interest.

Use of assessment information. At the classroom level, teachers have rich information about student progress and achievement in all curriculum areas. Teachers use a variety of assessments and methods to make well-informed overall teacher judgements. They effectively use assessment to group students, plan for future learning and to identify students who might need additional support or extension. The school has begun to implement systems for assessing and reporting on students’ progress and achievement against the national standards. The board is generally well informed about student achievement across the school and makes strategic decisions on the basis of good quality information.

Curriculum Design, Implementation and Review

School-wide curriculum and guidelines. A comprehensive curriculum document and other guidelines support teachers in all aspects of their work. Teachers’ practices consistently align well with these.

After wide consultation, the school has developed an easy-to-follow and well-designed curriculum. Students experience a broad curriculum that includes community goals for each subject area. The curriculum and other guidelines are frequently reviewed and adapted.

Teaching practices. ERO observed good to high quality teaching practices throughout the school. Teachers plan well-sequenced lessons. Most make the learning explicit to the students. They share examples of successful learning and skilfully model these. Teachers introduce students to new learning in a progressive way and provide opportunities for students to practise new skills. All teachers provide students with good oral feedback and some give students very specific written feedback and next steps for their learning.

Learning environment. Students benefit from a very positive learning environment. ERO observed:

  • caring and affirming relationships;
  • well-established routines and high expectations for behaviour and quality of work;
  • high quality student work and visual prompts that are carefully displayed; and
  • well managed, resourced and organised classroom environments.

Capability and Sustainability

Teaching as inquiry. Teachers regularly reflect on and adapt their teaching practices. They have a shared understanding of what constitutes teaching as inquiry. At the classroom level, they evaluate each completed unit of study and identify what worked well and what did not. Better examples of evaluation include what teachers plan to change. In syndicate groups, teachers examine their student achievement data and evaluate the effectiveness of their programmes and practices. They then agree on strategies and learning priorities to address any concerns. Teachers are expected to carry out small action research projects that will lead to improved teaching and learning.

Professional leadership. The principal has established a culture of reflection and ongoing improvement. He has developed effective structures and systems that enable good communication and collaboration among all members of the staff. Teachers’ and school leaders’ practices are well informed by current research and ongoing professional learning. Staff strengths through the school are recognised and well used.

Review. The school’s culture of ongoing review and improvement is evident at the classroom, syndicate, whole school and board level. There is a planned cycle and approach to review. Review processes are rigorous and lead to well-considered change. As part of the review process, the school consults widely and frequently. In-depth analysis of student achievement data is central to this school’s review practices. Trustees and school leaders effectively use this information to inform their long term planning.

The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a management tool. The principal has adapted and developed a wide range of efficient systems to manage school-wide information. The school uses a sophisticated ICT programme to enter, manage and analyse student assessment information. ICT is also extensively used to communicate within and beyond the school. Examples include: the school intranet, an up-to-date website and innovative programmes to get wider staff participation when designing the curriculum.

Areas for review

Students’ knowledge of their learning. There is room for students to better understand the learning process and the part they need to take in it. Some students could not explain the process of developing their next learning steps. In light of the school vision for students to be active achievers, students could take more responsibility in setting specific learning goals and describing what they need to do to achieve these.

Other areas ERO identified that could be reviewed are:

  • the inclusion of Māori perspectives in day-to-day classroom programmes; and
  • how the school shows progress, particularly in skill development, for groups of students and for the whole school over time.

3. Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

At the time of this review there were no international students enrolled at the school.

Māori Hill School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is robust and the school complies with all sections of the Code.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Māori Hill 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 legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • 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; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About The School

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

Decile*

10

School roll

228

Gender composition

Boys 53%; Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 79%; Māori 6%; Samoan 2%; Asian 6%; Other 7%

Review team on site

August 2010

Date of this report

24 September 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2007

Supplementary Review February 2005

Education Review November 2003

*School deciles range from one to ten. Decile one schools  draw their students from low socio‑economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides

To the Parents and Community of Māori Hill School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Māori Hill School.

Māori Hill School is located in Dunedin city. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review in August 2010 it had a roll of 228 students, 6% of whom were Māori. The school operates an enrolment scheme and accepts international students. This year the school’s administration block, library, learning centre, resource areas and group teaching spaces have been redeveloped and extended.

Most students are achieving and progressing well compared with national averages. The principal and teachers set high standards for students’ achievement and behaviour. Students benefit from high quality enrichment and learning support programmes. Parents, trustees and the school community are well informed about students’ levels of achievement.

ERO observed good to high quality teaching. Classroom environments are stimulating, well-managed, resourced and organised. Since the 2007 ERO review, students have had increased opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori. Teachers reflect on their practice for future improvement. They use a wide range of assessment methods to measure student progress and achievement. Students’ progress is closely monitored. Students have many opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Teachers make good use of the museum, art gallery, university and parental expertise in students’ learning programmes.

The high level of ongoing parent and community engagement and support is a significant feature of this school. Parents, grandparents and community members assist in student support and extension programmes. The parent and teacher association (PTA) raises significant funds for school resources. Other groups of parents help teachers organise resources and run events.

The principal effectively leads the school and has developed a strong community of learners. He has created efficient systems for managing and monitoring school-wide information through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Teachers and students benefit from ongoing professional learning. It is now time for the board, leaders and teachers to review how well students are taking responsibility for aspects of their learning and how well Māori perspectives are included in all classroom programmes.

A strong improvement focus is evident throughout the school. The board of trustees is capable, committed and well informed. It has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interests of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to be highly effective in using self-review procedures to further promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement - through considered change.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;

decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and self-review information; and

teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region