Merivale School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Merivale School is located in Tauranga and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school’s current roll of 155 includes 108 Māori, 30 Pacific and a small number of students from other cultural backgrounds.

Education through the medium of te reo Māori is provided in two rumaki classes. A satellite class from Tauranga Special School is also located on the school grounds along with a Kohanga Reo, early childhood centre and the Merivale Action Centre.

The school’s values are based on ‘The Vale Way: very respectful, always safe, learning for life, expect the best.’ They aim to assist in creating a supportive culture that is responsive to the needs of students, staff and community and ensure a positive, safe and respectful learning environment.

The school’s strategic goals focus on:

  • improving outcomes for students in literacy and supporting students to accelerate progress

  • enhancing Māori and Pasifika pedagogy to ensure success

  • creating a supportive culture

  • developing a strong and positive presence in the Merivale and wider community

  • ensuring parents and whānau are involved in their children’s education.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous review in 2015, there have been many changes to the teaching and leadership teams. An experienced principal was appointed at the beginning of 2018 and a new SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) during 2017. A number of trustees are also new to their roles.

There has been an increase in numbers of students with additional learning needs including those who are English language learners.

Leaders and teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in assessment, writing, inquiry, hauora, restorative practice and cultural responsiveness. The school is a member of the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

The school’s data from 2018 shows that the majority of all students are achieving at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics and boys and girls are working at comparable levels. Māori and Pacific students are achieving as well as their peers in mathematics, however disparity in achievement remains in reading. Leadership has acknowledged that writing data may not be reliable and has identified assessment in writing as a school wide focus for 2019 in response to this.

Rumaki data from 2018 shows most students are working towards, achieving or exceeding expected levels in writing and speaking and the majority of students in reading and mathematics.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is working towards accelerating learning for all Māori and other students who need it.

Leaders and teachers can show effective acceleration in reading for groups of students in classroom programmes and as a result of targeted interventions.

Data has yet to be collated and analysed to form a schoolwide picture of acceleration for all students at-risk of under-achieving.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has a highly inclusive culture for learning. Students with additional needs including English language learners are well supported through individualised planning, targeted teaching and learning support programmes. Effective liaison with a wide range of external agencies supports students’ learning, emotional and behavioural needs. Deliberate planning and open communication with parents and whānau enable positive transitions into the school. Extra-curricular activities support student engagement in learning and acknowledge and celebrate the unique place of Māori and Pacific heritages. Students are affirmed in their cultures and have a strong sense of belonging in a caring whānau atmosphere.

Teachers use deliberate strategies to enhance learning. Students at-risk of not achieving are clearly identified through a range of assessment tools and their progress is closely tracked and monitored over time. Teachers are responding well to accelerating the achievement for at-risk learners. Positive and affirming relationships between teachers and students and a strong focus on school values promote calm and settled environments that promote student wellbeing. Personalised communication with parents supports positive partnerships for learning and improved outcomes for students.

Professional leadership is improvement focused. Targeted professional learning and development is prioritised to build teacher knowledge and consistency of schoolwide practices. A strategic focus on improving moderation of assessment is supporting greater reliability of data. Leadership is responsive to students’ individual assessment information and uses this to guide decision making for programmes and interventions. Strong pastoral care and personalised support is provided for families and whānau.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school should continue to develop a more strategically aligned approach to accelerating progress for students whose learning is at risk.

Priority should be given to:

  • reviewing the school’s charter and developing targets that are specifically focused on all students whose learning requires acceleration

  • inquiring further into schoolwide student assessment data to monitor and report on the rates of progress and acceleration over time, for all at-risk learners

  • continuing to build teacher capability to accelerate learning for students at risk through a rigorous performance management process.

Leaders are reviewing their roles and responsibilities in order to develop a collaborative team approach that utilises key strengths and expertise.

There is a need to continue to:

  • strengthen students’ understanding of their own learning and next steps especially for at-risk students

  • review and strengthen the ways teachers support new immersion students in the rumaki classes.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Merivale School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a curriculum that enables a sense of belonging and wellbeing for students
  • an inclusive culture for learning that supports children with additional learning needs
  • leadership for learning that is focused on improving outcomes for students

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • internal evaluation and targeted action to accelerate learning and raise overall levels of achievement for all students at-risk
  • building collective capacity to improve outcomes for students
  • empowering students in learning pathways to accelerate achievement

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to curriculum.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

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

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review appraisal procedures to align to Teaching Council requirements and ensure consistent implementation of annual appraisal for all staff.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

24 June 2019

About the school

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1825

School type

Contributing (Years 1 – 6)

School roll

155

Gender composition

Male 62% Female 38%

Ethnic composition

Māori 70%
NZ European/Pākehā 10%
Samoan 8% Tongan 6%
Cook Island Māori 3%
Other 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

2

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

45

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

0

Number of students in Level 1 MME

45

Number of students in Level 2 MME

0

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

24 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review December 2012
Education Review February 2010

Findings

Merivale School places a high priority on addressing the diverse learning needs of students and providing them with quality learning experiences. A responsive curriculum and well-embedded initiatives support the implementation of these priorities. Strong governance and effective leadership contributes to ongoing school improvement, sustainability and positive outcomes for students.

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?

Merivale Primary School is situated in Tauranga City and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school roll has remained constant since the previous ERO review in 2012. There are 157 students of whom a significant proportion affiliate to Ngāti Ranginui and Ngai Te Rangi iwi. The number of Pacific students has continued to increase since the previous ERO review. The Ngā Hau e Whā Team comprises an immersion and bilingual class that provides instruction for students in Years 1 to 6 through the medium of te reo Māori.

A high proportion of students begin school with a wide range of learning needs. To this end, the principal, teachers and board of trustees, through significant effort and resourcing, demonstrate a strong commitment and willingness to ensure equitable outcomes for all students particularly those students whose learning is at risk.

The principal continues to implement strategies and initiatives designed to strengthen teaching and learning and outcomes for students. Teachers have participated in a range of professional learning and development initiatives to enhance their practice. The Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme continues to have a positive impact on the school. To build on this programme The VALE Way describes clear behaviours and expectations for successful learning. These expectations are well understood by students and have had a positive effect on the culture of the school.

2 Learning

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

The principal and teachers are making good use of student achievement information to promote positive outcomes for students.

The principal has developed useful systems that guide teachers to collect relevant achievement data, particularly in the areas of literacy and mathematics. They make particularly effective use of this information to identify students who require additional support. School leaders regularly report school-wide achievement information to the board of trustees and the community.

Trustees are well informed about school-wide student achievement. They use achievement data to inform their decision making about resource allocation including funding programmes and initiatives to accelerate the achievement of students below and well below the National Standards. The board receives some useful reports that identify the positive impact that these programmes have on raising student achievement. A next step for the principal and trustees is to ensure charter targets focus more specifically on improving the achievement of students who are below or well below the National Standards.

Teachers collect an appropriate range of student achievement information, particularly in the key areas of literacy and mathematics. They use this data to group students for instruction and some teachers make effective use of achievement information to plan and implement specific teaching programmes that respond to students’ specific learning needs.

Whānau receive two written reports each year that provide clear information about their children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. School leaders agree that it is timely to review these reporting forms to provide whānau with a more comprehensive overview of students’ progress and achievement.

To further develop the effective use of student achievement information school leaders should provide ongoing professional development for teachers to support them to:

  • make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori
  • more effectively plan to meet the learning needs of groups and individual students
  • make effective use of school systems that enable students to have a better understanding of their learning, progress and next learning steps.

The school’s 2014 data indicates that a majority of students, including Māori and Pasifika, achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This information showed that boys achieved at lower levels than girls and raising the achievement of boys is an ongoing challenge for the school. The school’s 2014 achievement data for students in the rumaki and bilingual classes indicates that a significant majority achieved at or above Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad-based curriculum promotes and supports student learning, engagement, progress and achievement. A documented school curriculum has been developed which includes guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning, and assessment. The curriculum is a blend of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMOA) Overviews for the teaching of other learning areas such as sciences and the arts have also been developed.

A key feature of the curriculum is the high level of learning support for students with diverse learning needs. Substantial board resourcing has been committed to support these students. A wide range of programmes and initiatives are having a significant impact on improved outcomes for students. Data from these initiatives shows accelerated progress for many students. Schoolwide professional learning and development (PB4L) and the Vale Way has led to a consistent approach to behaviour management and the building of a positive school culture for learning.

Students experience success in a range of sports, cultural, and education outside the classroom (EOTC) activities and events. Pacific students' culture and identity are acknowledged, celebrated and affirmed. Other strategies and initiatives include cultural events and an active fono group. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme further supports students who require intensive English language support.

Teachers are making good use of a range of teaching strategies to engage students in learning and improve student achievement. Positive relationships between teachers and students contribute to learning environments that are caring, respectful and settled. Teachers have participated in ongoing professional learning and development in Tātaiako to enhance teachers understanding of culturally responsive practices.

Parents and whanau are encouraged to participate in the day-to-day life of the school. They are increasingly supported to actively participate in their child’s learning. Programmes such as Reading Together as well as various forums such as parent interviews and whānau hui have enhanced the school’s relationship with parents and whānau. A priority for the principal is to build on these good practices to engage all parents.

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

The school continues to explore ways to promote educational success for Māori students. These include:

  • opportunities for students to participate in pōwhiri, kapa haka, karakia and waiata
  • Māori cultural celebrations that involve families, whānau and wider community
  • the Ngā Hau e Whā syndicate who provides te reo instruction in a supportive and caring whanau setting
  • teachers’ use of Tataiako to strengthen their responsiveness to Māori learners.

There is an expectation that teachers include Māori knowledge, understandings and perspectives into their day-to-day teaching. A next step is to ensure mainstream classes consistently reflect Māori knowledge and understandings and teachers continue to develop their use of te reo Māori in class programmes.

While there is extensive learning support for Māori students in mainstream classes, there is very little intervention or support for bilingual and rumaki students. A key next step is to implement support programmes for rumaki and bilingual students who are achieving below or well below national expectations.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Merivale School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board of trustees provides good-quality governance for the school. It is well led by a long-standing chairperson. Trustees have strong links with the local community and have a good understanding of their governance roles. They are strongly committed to supporting those students who are at risk of not achieving positive outcomes. The experienced and knowledgeable principal continues to provide effective professional leadership for the school. She has a strong focus on working in partnership with trustees, teachers, whānau, aiga and the wider community to promote equity and excellence for students. The principal, supported by other school leaders, has established useful systems and guidelines that support effective teaching and learning.

Teachers work well together in the best interests of students. They are committed to ongoing professional learning and development.

There are high levels of support for the school from whānau, aiga and the wider community.

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

Merivale School places a high priority on addressing the diverse learning needs of students and providing them with quality learning experiences. A responsive curriculum and well-embedded initiatives support the implementation of these priorities. Strong governance and effective leadership contributes to ongoing school improvement, sustainability and positive outcomes for students.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

17 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1825

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

157

Gender composition

Boys 57% Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

73%

14%

13%

Special Features

Bilingual and Rumaki education

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

17 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

June 2008

June 2005