Masterton Primary School - 29/07/2015

Findings

Teachers, leaders and trustees work collaboratively to address the diverse needs of students and promote their wellbeing. Ongoing development of shared expectations and values for student engagement in school life contributes to positive relationships and learning environments. Evaluating the effectiveness of deliberate strategies for targeted groups of learners should promote increased achievement.

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?

Masterton Primary School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Of the roll of 268, 37% identify as Māori. The school works collaboratively with external agencies and networks to provide a range of supports for students and their families. A stable senior leadership team is in place.

A focus on providing an attractive, communal physical environment is evident. Enviro-School involvement provides additional learning opportunities for students. A recently opened, adjoining kindergarten provides increased opportunities for building connections with families.

In 2014, the school participated in the Ministry of Education initiative Learning with Digital Technology. Staff continue to participate in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) project which has had an impact on school practices and student engagement.

2. Learning

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

Appropriate charter targets are developed in response to schoolwide data gathered through a range of assessment tools. Individual students requiring targeted learning support are clearly identified and teachers respond in various ways to support their learning.

Further exploring of trends and patterns in data for groups of students should assist trustees, leaders and teachers to identify what is effective in accelerating learning progress. This should help to inform actions to promote improvement and increase the rates of progress, particularly for those students at risk of underachieving.

Many students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics. School data shows a significant number of students continue to achieve below expectations. An appropriate focus on improving effective teacher practice in writing continues. Ensuring there are shared, clear expectations for acceleration and deliberate strategies and monitoring for targeted groups of students is likely to promote increased rates of achievement.

Students with specific or additional needs are well catered for through networks of support. They are encouraged to participate meaningfully in classroom learning activities.

Support for developing teachers’ practice in making judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards is in place. Continued opportunities for moderation of judgements should ensure they are valid and reliable.

The proposed introduction of data boards should be useful in promoting a collective approach and shared understanding of the effective use of achievement information to increase rates of progress for all learners.

Written reports provide families with useful information about progress, achievement and next steps. A review of reporting practices is planned. Increasing the involvement of students in understanding and use of assessment is an appropriate next step.

3. Curriculum

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

The school has developed a vision for successful learning. This is useful for guiding the development and implementation of the curriculum.

Expectations for teacher practice and curriculum approaches are communicated through handbooks. These are developed by leaders and through staff discussion in response to professional development. Strengthening the systems for monitoring, supporting and evaluation of curriculum expectations is a next step. This should help to promote consistency of effective teaching and learning and inform actions for ongoing improvement.

Teachers and leaders show a collaborative, responsive approach to fostering positive engagement in learning and promoting students’ wellbeing. A wide range of initiatives and networks is accessed to provide appropriate and relevant support for identified learners.

Students show pride and a sense of belonging within the school. They learn in friendly and interesting environments. Students support each other in their learning. A positive tone is evident in classrooms that are well organised for learning. Resources are easily accessed and used for learning. Students’ independence and self management are encouraged.

Teachers affirm students’ contributions to learning. Expectations for positive behaviour and participation are shared through clear instructions. Students are provided with guided learning opportunities that are well paced and link to prior learning. Additional teacher-aide support for learners is well integrated into classroom activities. A planned focus on increasing students’ ownership of learning through consistent assessment practice and inquiry learning are appropriate next steps.

Teachers should continue to support ways in which students’ cultural identity, language and culture can be affirmed and fostered. School leaders are considering how to strengthen their deliberate response to Pacific learners.

Staff and leaders work to strengthen learning partnerships with parents. Informal opportunities for conversations between teachers and families support students. Continuing to develop deliberate strategies that incorporate culturally-responsive practices to enrich partnerships with families, should help to support the learning and progress of identified learners.

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

Students have opportunities to explore aspects of te ao Māori within the curriculum and through participation in kapa haka. Staff have explored aspects of practice that support Maori students in their learning through Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. A next step is to develop a planned approach to building on and implementing culturallyresponsive teaching practice.

Opportunities are provided for sharing of information with whānau. Exploring additional ways for meaningful dialogue with whānau to seek their aspirations and input into curriculum and review is a next step. Developing a clear, shared vision for success as Maori in Masterton Primary School, in partnership with whānau, should provide a useful framework to inform schoolwide priorities for development and guide teachers’ practice.

This should enable leaders and trustees to better evaluate the school's effectiveness in promoting the language, culture and identity of Māori learners.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders, teachers and trustees provide useful and timely support for students through responsive, collaborative practices. Evaluating the impact of deliberate strategies to accelerate progress for groups of learners is an important next step. Strengthening processes for implementing actions and evaluating effectiveness should help to sustain areas of good performance and promote ongoing improvement.

The school’s continued engagement in PB4L has promoted shared understanding of expectations, values and systems for fostering positive behaviour. This contributes to good relationships and learning environments.

The teachers’ handbook guides staff professional practice and supports those new to the school. Planned professional development supports school goals. Opportunities are provided for teachers to discuss and share their practices. Further development and implementation of systematic inquiry should help teachers to determine the effectiveness of strategies used to promote learning.

Trustees value their staff and support the management team. They access training to support their contribution. Trustees provide resources in response to areas of need identified in the principal’s reports. These reports provide useful information about school operation and developments. Strengthened analysis of data and evaluative information should support board decision-making.

Leaders provide responsive support and guidance for teachers and students. A planned approach to building leadership capacity and consistent practice around a shared understanding of effective leadership should continue to be developed.

Review of practices and development occurs in relation to changing contexts. Processes and practices for evidence-based self review should continue to be strengthened in the following areas:

  • a clear evaluative focus, aligned to school priorities
  • measurable, relevant success indicators
  • use of robust evidence from multiple perspectives or sources
  • in-depth analysis of surveys and data in relation to expected outcomes and success indicators
  • focused next steps clearly aligned to findings.

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

Teachers, leaders and trustees work collaboratively to address the diverse needs of students and promote their wellbeing. Ongoing development of shared expectations and values for student engagement in school life contributes to positive relationships and learning environments. Evaluating the effectiveness of deliberate strategies for targeted groups of learners should promote increased achievement.

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

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifJoyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 July 2015

About the School

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

1660

School type

Contributing (Years 1-8)

School roll

268

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic groups

54%

37%

9%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

29 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

May 2009

June 2006