Miramar Central School - 02/06/2017

Summary

Miramar Central School had 219 students enrolled at the time of this external evaluation. The roll is made up of a wide range of ethnic groups, including 28 students who identify as Māori, 26 Pacific, 29 Cambodian, 13 Indian, 11 Chinese and many other ethnicities. In 2017, 37% of children receive learning support, including 44 who are English Language Learners.

Since the June 2014 ERO evaluation the leadership team has changed with the appointment of new deputy and assistant principals. The school has responded to aspects of the areas for improvement outlined in the previous ERO report, particularly through their focus on culturally responsive teaching practice. Professional development has included a focus on working collaboratively and using coaching alongside teachers’ professional inquiries into their practice. Most recently, following the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) September 2016 Investigation Report, the school has embarked on Understanding Behaviour-Responding Safely and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). The school applied to the MoE, and extra assistance was given in 2016, to increase learning support for the diverse learners who attend the school.

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

The school has a strong focus on children’s wellbeing and is developing its approach to supporting students whose achievement requires acceleration. Significant levels of disparity of achievement are present for some groups of students, including Māori and Pacific children.

The school reports that in 2016, just over half of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics, with slightly fewer at the Standard in writing. This pattern of achievement is similar to previous years with limited progress over time. There are significant numbers of children receiving additional learning support whose achievement requires acceleration.

Leaders have identified the need to build consistency and shared understanding when making overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards.

Students with high or very high needs, and those who do not have English as their first language, receive extensive support.

Increased urgency is needed to enhance student achievement, through focused professional leadership and teaching, continued strategic stewardship and development of the student-led curriculum.

At the time of this ERO review, this school is developing conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in school disparities.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

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

Urgent action is needed to boost the achievement of the diverse learners in the school. NationalStandards data from 2016 showed that Māori and Pacific children are not yet achieving at levels similar to their Pākehā peers.

Teachers are aware of the individuals whose learning needs acceleration. A range of interventions are in place. Greater use of progress data should be made to evaluate and report on the impact of programmes and interventions. Although data indicates some individual children’s progress is being accelerated, the school does not effectively evaluate the collated data to determine what works best in accelerating progress for Māori or Pacific children.

The school’s special needs unit caters for 11 children with high and very high needs. They are involved in mainstream classroom programmes for portions of the week. A review of processes and practices that support these children, has resulted in programmes that are more responsive to children’s learning and behaviour needs. Inclusion is a priority, with structures in place to support this.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The board actively serves the school in its stewardship role and works conscientiously to effectively meet its governance responsibilities. Trustees appropriately seek clarification of the achievement information and often request additional data to determine the impact of processes on outcomes for children. Board members also use feedback from parents and children to inform their decision making. Trustees have an action plan in place to support effective governance and are actively building their understanding of their role and responsibilities.

All staff are involved in the recently redeveloped appraisal processes. These appropriate processes have the potential to contribute to improving teacher capability and studentoutcomes. Positive aspects of appraisal include:

  • coaching and collaborative co-construction with links to the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • goal setting, inquiry and reflections, and classroom observations
  • a useful annual summary document.

ERO observed positive relationships and an inclusive tone throughout the school. Children from different backgrounds work well together. Students are increasingly encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Curriculum expectations and guidelines are appropriately designed to include ‘learning to learn’ capabilities and key competencies across the learning areas.

Connections are made to learners’ diverse cultural backgrounds. Visible reflections of cultures in classroom environments enhance children’s sense of belonging in some classes. Children know the expectations for routines that support learning.

Reports to parents clearly show children’s achievement in relation to National Standards and include ideas for how parents can support their children at home in literacyand mathematics.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

While a range of actions is being taken to support student progress, reducing disparity in achievement between groups of students requires urgent attention. School leadership should focus on systems and processes for ongoing monitoring, evaluation and development, including:

  • improving the consistency of effective teaching practice and the way school guidelines are implemented
  • developing understanding of acceleration and further consideration of assessment tools and practices to support consistency and greater dependability of judgements about progress and achievement
  • linking teachers’ inquiry into their practice to more specific student outcomes and increased use of student progress data to consider the impact of their teaching
  • closer tracking and monitoring of target students’ progress, consistently implemented across the school
  • reporting progress, including the impact of special programmes, to the board.

Internal evaluation is not well understood, nor effectively implemented. Leaders and teachers are engaged in extensive reflection. They should make greater use of internal evaluation to build knowledge about what works, what does not work and what needs to change to improve teaching and learning.

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. 

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consulting with the community about the health curriculum. In order to address this the board must:

  • adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum after consultation with the school community at least once every two years. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure it complies with the Public Records Act (2005) in relation to the retention and disposal of school records
  • document full records of in-committee meetings.

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school is developing conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are:

  • professional leadership and the consistency of teaching practice
  • use of student achievement information to design a responsive curriculum and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of school conditions.

Leaders and teachers:

  • need to build their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years. 

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

2 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2915

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

219

Gender composition

Male 59%, Female 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 32%

Cambodian 13%

Pacific 12%

Indian 6%

Chinese 5%

Other ethnic groups 20%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

2 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014

Education Review June 2011

Education Review August 2008