Masterton Primary School - 28/08/2012

Findings

1. Context

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

Masterton Primary is a contributing school located in south Masterton. It caters for 235 Years 1 to 6 students of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, from the wider Masterton community. The school motto of ‘Motivated, Positive and Successful’ is reinforced through an holistic approach to promoting student wellbeing and shared positive learning and behaviour expectations.

The school has received awards in acknowledgement of successful environment and learning programmes that reflect the Enviroschools principles and values. Students are able to attend after school ‘Kids Klubs’ on five days a week and have whānau buddy classes for care and support. A new kindergarten recently built on the school site, assists children’s smooth transition to the school.

Masterton Primary School recently became the lead school for a large cluster of Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The board receives regular reports on student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics based on standardised assessment tools and twice a year in relation to National Standards. In 2011, school information showed that approximately two thirds of students achieved at or above National Standards expectations in these three curriculum areas. This data also showed that just over half of Māori students achieved at or above National Standards expectations.

School managers and teachers use assessment information to analyse student needs and progress, to identify learners achieving below National Standards and to group students for instruction. This information is also used by teachers to plan and provide additional support for targeted students, either in class or through access to special programmes. School leaders should continue to ensure that these strategies are consistently and effectively implemented to accelerate progress for targeted learners.

The principal leads a strong school wide focus on working with agencies and external services to provide wrap around support and additional programmes for students, who require extra assistance, are a cause of concern, or have entered school with high literacy and numeracy needs. Most students make significant progress on these programmes. A focus on numeracy across the school has seen many students in the priority target group make progress in early 2012.

Managers have clear expectations for how teachers will analyse student achievement information and develop responsive strategies to better meet individual needs of learners in their classes. Teachers work positively to ensure that they focus on students' learning needs. Regular reports to the board provide a picture of progress and achievement trends across the school for trustees to evaluate the impact of school strategies to raise achievement.

Teachers and managers provide many opportunities for parents to engage with the school. Parents receive useful and informative reports on how their child has achieved in relation to National Standards, along with suggestions of how they could support their child's learning at home.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum reflects the school’s vision and learning priorities well. It is appropriately designed to cater for the diverse needs and interests of students. Recent curriculum review and the resulting documentation provide guidelines and emphasise the need for high expectations for teaching and learning. The school has planned programmes and strategies to integrate the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum which are reinforced as part of the school values and beliefs.

Students generally respond positively to literacy and mathematics lessons. ERO observed some effective teaching and learning. In these classes students were well engaged in their learning through well designed activities appropriate to their individual needs. A profile of a successful learner at Year 6 has been developed to assist teachers with goal setting and programme planning. Senior students have opportunities to develop their leadership skills and accept responsibilities in a range of activities.

The school has a clear process for inquiring about and evaluating the impact of teaching on accelerating the progress of underachieving learners. School leaders should continue to develop and implement procedures to evaluate how classroom practices accelerate learning for all students.

Students are developing strategies to inquire into their own learning. Teachers should continue to share and develop good teaching practice across the school.

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

The school has established practices, opportunities and processes to promote success for Māori students, as Māori:

  • all reports to the board clearly identify outcomes for Māori students
  • parents of Māori students and whānau are formally consulted at least two times each year to discuss and set goals that focus on Māori student success
  • Māori students are well represented across the school in positions of responsibility and high achievement
  • the students’ kapa haka group performs successfully at school and in local community events
  • parents are welcome at the school and encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise to benefit the ongoing learning of students and teachers
  • teachers are gaining confidence to be culturally responsiveness, by actively promoting tikanga Māori and the use of te reo Māori in and beyond the classroom.

To further promote success for Māori students, the school has identified and has plans to work with teachers to explore Tātaiako, Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori learners, to build teacher competencies and knowledge of local Māori history and culture.

Senior teachers and leaders should continue to build relationships with whānau and explore ways to involve parents and whānau in meaningful consultation.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board is supportive of teachers and students and actively participates in school activities and events. Trustees use a range of strategies to involve and consult the community, seeking input into the charter and strategic plans.

The board receives regular reports on student achievement from the senior leadership team. The reports presented by the principal guide trustees to make appropriate decisions about ongoing resourcing for learning. Trustees are focused on improving student learning and work positively to improve their knowledge and understanding of their governance role.

The charter has a wide range of goals and associated plans and strategies for school improvement. Self review against these occurs. Ongoing evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of initiatives and programmes, particularly those targeting underachieving groups of students continues to develop.

Teachers access a wide range of relevant professional learning and development to improve their knowledge of curriculum developments and programmes. Designated numeracy and literacy lead teachers provide support and resourcing for staff and students. Teachers should continue to reflect on the impact of their own practice and strategies, particularly for accelerating progress of targeted groups of students in their classes.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that:

  • managers and team leaders continue to support teachers to consistently use strategies which promote increased student engagement, achievement and progress.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

28 August 2012

About the School

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

1660

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

3

School roll

235

Gender composition

Female 46%,

Male 54%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

59%

31%

4%

6%

Review team on site

April 2012

Date of this report

28 August 2012

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review 

May 2009

June 2006

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 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.