Maraetai Beach School - 17/02/2016

Findings

Maraetai Beach School provides very good quality education for its learners. The new principal, with the senior leadership team, is building a collaborative culture to implement positive changes to student learning. The school has a culture of high expectations and provides an inclusive and relevant curriculum where students can experience success.

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?

Maraetai Beach School is located in an eastern coastal area of Auckland City. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. Twelve percent of the school’s roll identify as Māori and three percent with Pacific cultures.

The school sits on the headland above Te Pene Point, an area of significance to Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki, the local iwi.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the board of trustees has new members and a new board chair. Trustees bring a variety of backgrounds and expertise to their governance role. The board is working well with the community, principal and school leaders.

The school has had a time of considerable leadership change. At the end of 2013 the school’s principal retired. A new principal led the school until the end of 2014 and during that year there was a change in the deputy principal position. At the beginning of 2015 a new principal was appointed. The present assistant principal who has been at the school for five years leaves to take a new position at another school for 2016. The leadership team for 2016 will consist of the principal, deputy principal and three team leaders

The principal, leadership team and board of trustees ensure that students are at the centre of strategic thinking and planning. The school’s vision and values guide decision making and learning for all members of the school community.

ERO’s 2012 report identified strengths in the school’s curriculum and the effective use of achievement information. These effective practices have been sustained and further developed. Progress has been made to address the key areas for school improvement. The board and principal had made an effort to develop closer relationships with Umupuia Marae in 2013 and they are still in the process of achieving this.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used effectively to make positive changes for learners. As a result students are highly engaged in their learning and progress and achieve very well.

Relationships between teachers and student are respectful. Students learn in caring collaborative and settled learning environments. They are well known for their individual learning strengths and capabilities.

Students’ interests in learning and motivation to achieve their goals contribute to their good levels of understanding and management of learning. Student ownership of learning is a major and essential aspect of the school’s focus on engaging and connecting learners to their learning.

Students who spoke with ERO said that their goals gave them a sense of direction, helping them know where and what they wanted to achieve.

Student assessment processes are robust. Student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics compares favourably with National Standards data from national and local schools. Teachers closely monitor and track the progress and achievement of all their students.

Māori learners are not yet achieving at the same levels as others in the school. More specific targeted actions and regular reporting to the Māori community could ensure accelerated learning for these students.

Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to use valid, well analysed achievement information to inform teaching programmes. They share expectations for learning with students and help them to identify their next learning steps. Students use their kid-speak goals in reading, writing and mathematics to focus and reflect on their learning. Senior leaders plan to provide ongoing professional learning for teachers to continue to strengthen students’ knowledge of their own learning.

Specific 2015 targets aim to lift the achievement of girls in mathematics and boys’ achievement and engagement in writing. These targets, aligned with teachers’ performance appraisal and evidenced-based inquiries, are led and modelled by the senior leadership team. These successful interventions reflect some substantial shifts in the progress and achievement for many students.

The school has reviewed programmes and interventions that support students with special abilities and needs. For 2016, the school plans to promote a more inclusive approach for these students with targeted teaching specifically aligned with their needs.

Close relationships between the school and parent community benefit students’ learning. Transitions into, and through, the school are well managed. Useful achievement information guides learning conferences with families and students and helps foster productive home-school partnerships.

Trustees use the student achievement information to inform strategic plans and make resourcing decisions. The charter targets could now more appropriately focus on accelerating the progress of those Māori students not meeting national or school expectations.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student engagement and learning. It incorporates the school’s vision and values and reflects the overarching essentials of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Teachers confidently use the local environment and community expertise to support the school’s rich curriculum and engage students in real and meaningful learning experiences.

Curriculum review is ongoing and results in learning programmes that focus on developing students’ integrity, respect, resilience and excellence as learners. Priority is given to literacy and numeracy learning. Students are offered an extensive range of cultural, sporting, music and arts opportunities and environmental experiences that support their academic, social and emotional development. Many students are becoming confident and connected, successful learners. They are reflective and have pride in their school community.

Programmes reflect the school’s vision of People, Potential, and Planet and are closely linked to the school’s context and local environment. They make some connections with bi-cultural New Zealand. Programmes are relevant and include purposeful integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) to enhance student learning opportunities. Teachers encourage creative and critical thinking within inquiry-based approaches. Students have opportunities to contribute to their learning programmes in meaningful ways.

The quality of teaching is very good. Teachers are responsive to students’ needs for learning. Teachers work collaboratively to find new approaches to stimulate and challenge their students. A continued focus on improvement through professional learning and collegial support is a strong feature. An effective and well-coordinated performance management system supports teachers’ professional practice and growth.

Leaders and ERO agree that ongoing school curriculum review should focus on more clearly reflecting biculturalism. This would help the school to promote programmes and themes that include Māori perspectives and support all students to learn about New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

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

The school has taken steps to strengthen how “success as Māori” can be promoted and evaluated. The school’s popular and successful kapa haka group demonstrates the enthusiasm of whānau, parents, community members and staff to support tikanga Māori.

School leaders have worked hard to re-engage whānau and iwi in the local area. Connections are evident with Umupuia Marae.

School leaders and the board of trustees are planning a considered approach to formally welcome and acknowledge their local iwi, Ngai Tai Ki Tamaki as guardians of Maraetai Beach School and the local area. This would support an ongoing partnership with local iwi and help build the place of their heritage in the school’s curriculum.

Trustees and school leaders also agree that continuing to build respectful relationships with parents, whānau and the wider community will further acknowledge and support Māori students’ language, culture and identity. This continues to be a priority for development.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Maraetai Beach School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. At many levels there is a culture of continuous improvement. A good degree of coherence between processes and systems is evident.

The principal, school leaders and teachers are an effective group of professionals. The principal’s measured management of change and improvement in the school is well paced. The focus on building collective capability and capacity across the school has helped inspire innovation and improve the quality and depth of the curriculum.

Self review has been used strategically to review the school’s curriculum, implement new approaches and increase teacher capability. The school Charter has been updated to align with the school vision and the new school values are continuing to be embedded. There is a strong focus on promoting students as active participants in their learning and “student voice and child speak is truly valued and acted upon”.

The board of trustees works collaboratively with school leaders. Trustees provide expertise to support the work of the board in key areas including property, financial management and education. They exercise responsible governance guided by a clear commitment to ensuring positive outcomes for students’ learning and achievement. The board has sought relevant advice and accessed resources to support their capability as trustees.

ERO affirms the board’s self-identified future priorities of continuing to support the capacity and sustainability of the new leadership team, growing the Year 7 and 8 roll and building a partnership with local iwi and Umupuia Marae.

The leadership team and board of trustees will continue to strengthen their evaluation capability across all levels of the school as they progress their journey of ongoing improvement.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238 of the Education Act 1989. At the time of the review there were no international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the schools self-review processes for international students is thorough.

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

Maraetai Beach School provides very good quality education for its learners. The new principal, with the senior leadership team, is building a collaborative culture to implement positive changes to student learning. The school has a culture of high expectations and provides an inclusive and relevant curriculum where students can experience success.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Maraetai, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1357

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

239

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

British/irish

Chinese

Japanese

Samoan

other European

other Asian

other Pacific

12%

67%

5%

2%

2%

2%

7%

2%

1%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

17 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

December 2009

March 2007