Maunu School - 26/01/2015

Findings

The school is well positioned to continue to effectively support student learning. School leaders work in partnership with the school’s community to promote student progress. They are making curriculum changes to ensure that teaching and learning is relevant to students and reflects current best educational practice.

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?

Maunu School provides education for Years 1 to 6 students in a semi-rural community on the outskirts of Whangarei. The spacious site and buildings are well maintained. Mature trees and historic stonewalls are a feature of the area and the school environment.

The school is committed to delivering high quality education in partnership with their supportive community. The whānau group, Te Roopu Tautoko, and the Parent and Teacher Association work collaboratively with the board and staff.

The school’s values of responsibility, respect, excellence, integrity and curiosity underpin all aspects of school operations. Students and staff enjoy positive, inclusive and caring relationships that support the school vision to develop students’ lifelong joy of learning.

Recent professional development has supported teachers to develop approaches that involve greater use of digital technologies. The senior leadership team is also considering how learning environments can be redesigned to support these approaches. Other professional development has focussed on how students and teachers use assessment information to inform teaching and learning.

The 2011 ERO report acknowledged the engagement of students in their work and the positive school culture that supported their learning. It reported that the school was well led. The report suggested that further work could be done to strengthen self review and that students could be better supported to plan and evaluate their learning. Progress has been made in these areas.

2. Learning

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

Students, including Māori, are achieving very well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders make good use of achievement information to identify and monitor trends and patterns. They are working to increase the percentage of students who are working well above the National Standards.

School leaders and teachers are taking useful steps to ensure that school-wide achievement information is based on reliable data. Processes for gathering and analysing achievement data have improved and teachers are discussing the judgements they make to ensure greater consistency in these judgements. The school is beginning to work with local schools to moderate their assessments.

Some students are provided with additional support to help them make accelerated progress. Groups of teachers meet often to share ideas about how the learning of these students can be best supported. The progress of these students and the impact of strategies to promote their learning are well monitored.

Teachers report regularly to parents about their children’s progress and achievement. Written reports, as well as planned and informal discussions involving parents and students, help parents know about ways to promote learning. Parents of students needing additional learning support are encouraged to discuss their child’s progress more regularly.

Achievement information is well used by the board and senior leadership team to make strategic resourcing decisions. The board funds a wide variety of support programmes to meet the learning needs of groups of students. Trustees monitor the achievement of Māori and Pacific and special needs students.

Teachers could now encourage all students to make better use of achievement information to identify their next learning steps and work towards individualised achievement goals.

3. Curriculum

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

Maunu School’s curriculum is well aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum and promotes and supports student learning. It is broad in its coverage with a deliberate intention to educate the whole child. There are many learning opportunities that relate to the Arts, including school productions. Learning contexts are often relevant and motivational for learners.

The school curriculum promotes student thinking and engagement. A school-wide inquiry approach to teaching in science, social sciences and health has been developed. As the students progress through the school they learn skills and strategies to help them to conduct their own inquiry and research.

The recent focus on the use of Information and communication technologies (ICT) to support learning is already having a positive impact on student learning and engagement. Students successfully access, process and present their work using digital devices. The school’s ICT vision recognises the value of the learning opportunities provided by technology.

There are many opportunities for students to lead and influence the school curriculum. A representative leadership group meet regularly to discuss aspects of school operations. These leaders represent groups of students such as librarians, sports shed monitors and peer mediators. Parents are also invited to support the design and implementation of the curriculum by sharing their knowledge and expertise.

There are many opportunities for all students to understand aspects of te ao Māori and to be successful citizens of bicultural New Zealand. Students participate in kapa haka, pōwhiri and noho Marae. They have regular te reo Māori lessons. School leaders acknowledge that expectations for student learning te reo Māori could now be raised.

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

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Māori. This is evident in significant improvements in the National Standards achievement over recent years. The school also successfully supports Māori students to identity as Māori and to learn tikanga and te reo Māori.

Trustees are familiar with the Ministry of Education’s Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia, Accelerating Success. Te Roopu Tautoko has supported the board to include aspects of Ka Hikitia into school practices. One practical step the board has taken is to increase opportunities for all students to learn te reo Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well led and governed. Trustees are knowledgeable about their governance role and have expertise and experience to ensure that school operations such as finance are well managed. Trustees have a clear focus on student learning and take a strong interest in achievement patterns and trends. They use this information to make good resourcing decisions.

The board regularly reflects on its performance and processes to ensure that it governs effectively. Trustees work in partnership with parents. They consult regularly with parents/whānau and students and respond to suggestions made. Te Roopu Tautoko has recently contributed to the school’s draft strategic plan by offering ideas to support a bicultural approach to education.

Senior leaders work collaboratively. They are supporting the staff to develop a professional learning culture. They encourage teachers to reflect on their practice, to work together and share ideas about how to support student learning. Whole school professional development programmes and syndicate meetings are contributing to the development of an improvement-focused teaching and learning culture.

Self review guides the school’s strategic planning. Decisions are often evidence based. ERO and the school agree that the school would benefit from developing a more robust self-review process. This approach would support the school to systematically inquire into, and evaluate the effectiveness of, policies, programmes and practices.

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

The school is well positioned to continue to effectively support student learning. School leaders work in partnership with the school’s community to promote student progress. They are making curriculum changes to ensure that teaching and learning is relevant to students and reflects current best educational practice.

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Region

26 January 2015

About the School

Location

Maunu, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1050

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

324

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākeha

Indian

Other ethnicities

11%

72%

5%

12%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

26 January 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

June 2008

June 2005