Mellons Bay School - 28/06/2017

Summary

Mellons Bay School is a contributing primary school located in East Auckland and currently caters for 477 children from Years 1 to 6. The roll is culturally diverse, comprising 21 percent Asian children, eight percent Māori, two percent with Pacific heritage and 56 percent Pākehā. There are also children of many other ethnicities.

The board consists of mainly new trustees. They have a professional approach to their stewardship role and are considering ways to expand their knowledge by exploring professional development opportunities. An experienced new principal was employed at the beginning of 2017.

Since ERO’s 2012 ERO review, Assessment for Learning (AFL) strategies have been a significant focus of teachers’ professional development. Trends in achievement over the past four years show National Standards results in reading and mathematics have remained consistently above the government target of having 85 percent of students at or above the standards.

Senior leaders have identified a drop in writing achievement over the past three years and have made this a target area for improvement. The drop in writing achievement is partially attributable to significant increases in the number of English second language learners and the specific extra support has been implemented for them. Parity between Māori and non-Māori children has improved over this time.

The school has renovated some classrooms and created two innovative learning environments. Children have the opportunity to bring their own digital devices for learning. These developments are supporting the school’s direction towards increasingly personalised learning.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Mellons Bay School responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. At the time of this review, 90 percent of children were achieving at or above the National Standards by Year 6.

The school has many useful processes and practices in place to achieve equitable outcomes for students. The school community has high expectations for all children to succeed and for children to have greater ownership and understanding of their learning. Trustees and senior leaders are aware that ongoing school improvement centres on the implementation of robust internal evaluation procedures.

Children are achieving very well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Mellons Bay School responds very effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Māori children achieve on a par with their non-Māori peers.The number of Pacific children is very small and they are tracked individually by senior leaders. The senior leadership team is taking steps to reduce the widening gap between boys and girls in writing achievement.

The board is assured of the robustness and validity of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s progress and achievement. Teachers use a variety of useful school-based and standardised assessment tools.

Achievement information is used well by teachers to plan learning programmes and meet children’s individual learning needs. They moderate children’s assessment samples within teams and school-wide. Moderating assessments in other areas of the curriculum and reinstating moderation practices with other schools would help to maintain the validity of OTJs.

The school’s valued outcomes focus on children being connected, confident, communicative and creative. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities to enhance these learning dispositions. In order to show the outcome of these experiences, senior leaders could report on the progress children make to grow these dispositions and associated skills over their time at school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Mellons Bay School has many effective, sustainable processes in place to enable the achievement of equity and excellence. Children learn in caring and inclusive environments in three age-level teams.

Senior leaders and teachers have high expectations for children to succeed. The school’s community strongly advocates for, and willingly supports the school in a variety of valuable ways. Parents have many opportunities to have input into the direction of the school and to know about their children’s learning. Parents are highly supportive of the wide range of opportunities provided.

Senior leaders and teachers know children very well and share responsibility for their learning. The progress of target children is individually and regularly monitored. A special education coordinator closely tracks and implements programmes to support children’s ongoing progress. Learning assistants support children individually in class under the direction of the class teacher.

Children’s awareness and management of their own learning through the consistent use of AFL strategies is increasing. Their input into the curriculum is emphasised and used by teachers to motivate learning engagement. Children’s interests inform programmes and the increased choice of activities offered. Teachers are increasingly personalising learning for children.

New and relevant initiatives are helping teachers to raise children’s achievement. Teachers in each team are selected to be literacy, maths and e-learning coaches to support colleagues to enhance their practices. Teachers are beginning to use evidence effectively to inquire into the impact that these initiatives are having on improving outcomes for target children.

Trustees and teachers are committed to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The school’s ‘leaders of Māori’ ensure there is an increased focus in the curriculum on the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Teachers are using a variety of resources to teach te reo and tikanga Māori daily. They receive regular professional development to increase their knowledge and confidence. Children participate proudly in kapa haka and perform respectfully at pōwhiri and at the Māori and Pasifika enrichment programme.

The board is well informed of the progress and achievement that children make over time. They receive informative reports from senior leaders about student engagement and any health and safety matters.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has many effective processes in place to raise children’s achievement. Trustees’ decision-making could be enhanced by receiving more evaluative reports from senior leaders that show the extent to which specific initiatives have impacted positively on outcomes for children.

Trustees and senior leaders are aware that the priority for ongoing school improvement centres on the implementation of robust internal evaluation. Evaluation in relation to the school’s specific valued outcomes for children would help to identify priorities for achieving excellence and equity.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were three international students attending the school.

The school provides very well for the pastoral care of its international students. Their wellbeing and progress are closely monitored. Very good support is available to children whose home language is other than English. Families of international students are supported to integrate socially into the community.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

enable children to experience greater personalised learning

  • strengthen school-wide internal evaluation

  • explore opportunities for trustees to further develop their stewardship role.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 June 2017

About the school

Location

Howick, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1371

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

477

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Pacific
Other

8%
56%
21%
2%
11%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012
September 2009
September 2006