Martinborough School

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School Context

Martinborough School is a full primary school located in the South Wairarapa district. The roll of 271 includes 78 Māori students.

The school vision is ‘learning together’ and is underpinned by the community ‘spirit’ values of striving, positivity, independence, respect, innovation and tolerance. The school acknowledges that whānau involvement is a critical component of the learning process.

In 2018 staff professional learning focused on mathematics. In 2019 the school will engage in coaching and mentoring. The school targets focus on achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • progress in relation to strategic priorities.

The school is an active member of the Southern Wairarapa Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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?

Most students achieve at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics with steady improvement over time.

There is large and ongoing disparity for Māori, especially boys in literacy. The 2018 data shows that Māori students made significant gains in mathematics.

Other outcomes include the school’s spirit values and wellbeing. The school has extensive anecdotal evidence to show how these are achieved.

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

There is evidence of accelerated progress for a small majority of target students, including Māori, in reading and writing. A range of support is provided for students at risk of not achieving. Students are identified and systems for tracking and monitoring are used well to support learning programmes for students.

Students with more complex learning needs have appropriate support systems in place. Their progress is well monitored against individual education plans.

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?

Students benefit from a positive and responsive learning environment. Relationships are respectful, reciprocal and focused on care and achieving success. Digital technology is well used to support learning in appropriately resourced classrooms.

Students’ ideas are valued and acknowledged. They have meaningful choices and are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their learning. Students are on task and engaged in their learning. They demonstrate a sense of belonging and confidence in their learning and environment.

A wide range of opportunities across the curriculum supports learners to engage in many relevant contexts for learning. There are high expectations for teaching and learning which are well documented. Literacy and mathematics are prioritised. The learner profile provides clear indicators for the skills and attributes of a successful graduate.

A well-considered approach to supporting students’ transition into and through school includes the sharing of relevant information. This promotes students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging. Enrichment programmes, well supported by the community, provide further opportunities for students to explore areas of interests in depth.

Teachers are collaborative and reflect on their practice. They regularly engage in professional dialogue and learning opportunities to develop their practice that is focussed on outcomes for students. The new senior leadership team is working to promote consistent and cohesive practices and progress strategic priorities.

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

There has been significant development in redefining school values and approaches to teaching and learning. The school recognises present systems to evaluate the impact of these changes and other practices on student outcomes require strengthening. ERO affirms this. The school is working within current systems to better identify and measure the rates of progress for students within target groups.

The school acknowledges that deeper analysis and collective responsibility is required to support learners at risk of not achieving. The rates of progress of priority learners is needed to better inform leaders and trustees of the effectiveness of programmes and interventions.

While governance guidelines provide appropriate structure for the work of trustees these are not consistently implemented. Currently:

  • school operational policies and procedures need updating, reorganisation and to be made readily accessible
  • progress in relation to strategic priorities is not regularly evaluated and reported
  • agreed expectations in relation to reporting by portfolio holders are not being consistently met
  • records of board meetings are not complete or do not contain all relevant reports.

The school has strengthened its culturally responsive practices and connections with the local Māori community. It is now well positioned to use new knowledge to further extend opportunities for meaningful learning. The next development step should include:

  • meeting with the school's Māori community to share success
  • developing and make known plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students
  • involve whānau Māori in strategic decision making.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Martinborough 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:

  • systems and processes that support student wellbeing and promote an inclusive culture and sense of belonging for students
  • extensive curriculum that involves the community and encourages student engagement, learning and achievement
  • growing staff professional capability through a strategic and coherent approach that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • the process for monitoring legislative requirements
  • ensuring clear, robust processes for internal evaluation are implemented, including policy review to improve analysis, reporting and better measure the impact on student outcomes
  • the enactment of a strategic focus on decision making about Māori success as Māori.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in the school related to health and safety. To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • maintain an on-going programme of self review in relation to policies.
    [National Administration Guidelines, NAG 2b]

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

  • ensure police vetting requirements are met in relation to the appointment of non-teaching staff
  • ensure all policies and procedures are current and accessible.

Since the onsite phase of this evaluation these have been addressed.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board use development opportunities from New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

4 September 2019

About the school

Location

Martinborough

Ministry of Education profile number

2906

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

271

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
NZ European/Pākehā 67%
Pacific 3%
Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

4 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review April 2013

1 Context

Martinborough School is a full primary school located in the town of Martinborough in the Wairarapa district. It caters for 237 students from Years 1 to 8 and 27% identify as Māori. Nearly all students complete their first eight years of schooling here. The L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. values continue to be a focus and are well embedded in school life. Provision of digital devices for older students and a reorganisation of classes has occurred to support flexible learning and team teaching.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to be engaged in ‘Future Focused L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. in a Connected Community'. A skills-based curriculum has been introduced to build on this vision and underpin teaching and learning. The values are well supported and clearly articulated by teachers and students.

Positive community relationships are valued. The school engages in a range of initiatives to provide practical support for students and families. These activities give opportunity to develop meaningful, productive partnerships with parents and families to support learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that although many students achieve well, there continues to be significant numbers below in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Achieving equity for Māori students, and for boys in literacy, are key priorities. Increasing rates of progress for these learners is an important next step.

Since the April 2013 ERO evaluation, the school has had a sustained focus on providing an environment that supports students to engage in future-focused learning. This has been enacted through the skills-based curriculum and a focus on digital learning tools and modern learning environments. The school reports increased student engagement and enjoyment in learning through these approaches.

There has been externally-sourced professional development for the teaching of writing. Leaders have focused on developing a coaching approach to support teachers' professional capabilities.

School systems for accelerating learning and progress to promote equity and excellence are being developed. The school acknowledges that raising achievement in mathematics and writing is required. Further development of these areas is planned.

The school has focused on raising student achievement in literacy in 2015, through participation in a Ministry of Education (the Ministry) Accelerated Learning in Literacy project (ALL), the Early Learning in Literacy project (ELP) and a focus group of Year 6 Māori boys in writing. Strategies are beginning to be extended across the school.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

School data shows that many Māori learners are not making sufficient progress. A more systematic approach to accelerating the learning of these students is a focus for development. Tracking, monitoring, evaluating and reporting the progress of these students remains a school priority.

The importance of responding to Māori students’ identity, language and culture is acknowledged by teachers and leaders. Staff and trustees recognise the need to explore and develop this area. Development of a Culturally Responsive Education Plan has begun. An immediate priority is to further develop this plan and provide a coordinated approach to its implementation. The plan should include a clear vision and appropriately targeted and timely actions to respond to agreed, desired outcomes for Māori students. Development should be guided by Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and undertaken in collaboration with whānau Māori and local iwi.

Developing the cultural knowledge, understanding and competence of leaders and teachers is a key next step. The principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and Tātaiako: Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should underpin this. The local curriculum requires strengthening to reflect te ao Māori and be responsive to Māori learners.

The school has participated in a local school cluster to develop connections with iwi across community. Improving partnerships with whānau of Māori students has been appropriately identified for improvement.

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

Teachers have improved their focus on students requiring additional learning support. The school recognises the need to ensure there are deliberate, effective strategies and opportunities for focused teaching to accelerate learning for all students not achieving at expected levels.

Increased resources and newly-developed processes and systems identify and track students with diverse needs. Making clear the school’s commitment to inclusion and provision for students with specific learning requirements, and reporting to the board on their progress and success of strategies, should guide ongoing development.

Systems and processes for tracking and monitoring Pacific students' progress and success are now in place. Specific strategies to support these learners should be explored.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

Students benefit from positive learning environments and relationships. They are well supported to work cooperatively and collaborate in their learning. Students participate with confidence in learning tasks. Teachers work well together to plan and develop their teaching approaches within the skills-based curriculum. Staff feel well supported and have a shared understanding of the school's vision and enthusiasm for its direction.

School leaders are developing and improving teacher practice. They have implemented coaching as a platform for appraisal and to support the enactment of the school curriculum. The coaching process provides opportunities for teachers to reflect on their teaching, discuss challenges and gain support. The process should be further refined to more clearly guide how teachers will build evidence of effective practice to support their appraisal and requirements in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Developing a clear process for teacher inquiry should further support staff to look into the effectiveness of their practice.

School leaders have identified the need to develop clearer expectations for effective teaching and learning in reading, writing and mathematics. Plans to develop the mathematics curriculum are appropriate. Ongoing development in these areas should focus on supporting curriculum leadership and ensuring that teaching is deliberate and effectively responds to each student's specific learning needs.

Participation in professional development has provided opportunities for improving the assessment and moderation of writing. Assessment practices should be reviewed to ensure:

  • information gathered and reported is useful for more clearly showing acceleration at all levels of the school
  • regular, robust moderation occurs for overall teacher judgements made in relation to National Standards for reading and mathematics.

Reporting of student achievement and progress to parents includes some new practices. The school is planning to review the success of these approaches in providing useful, accurate and meaningful information for families, particularly for those students requiring accelerated learning and progress.

Teachers use a range of strategies to promote students’ active participation in assessment. Further use of successful approaches should promote students’ understanding of their learning progress and next steps.

The board of trustees makes resourcing decisions to promote the school's vision for success. This includes the equitable provision of digital resources for students.

There is an appropriate focus on developing productive relationships with families.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to ensure the school is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Trustees demonstrate a commitment to building teacher capacity. Internal evaluation is in the early stages of development. Curriculum leaders provide summaries of successes in relation to annual goals and make useful recommendations for improvement. Change in practices and processes occurs through discussion and reflection. The board has begun to strengthen their self review through Hautū: Māori cultural responsiveness self review tool for boards of trustees. Staff and trustees should develop an understanding and robust framework for internal evaluation. This should provide clear evidence of effectiveness of initiatives and implemented actions to better guide decision-making.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, ERO exemplars of good practice and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop a Raising Achievement Plan that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 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

  • Processes for appointing staff

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • Attendance

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet requirements trustees need to ensure:

  • annual cycles of regular teacher appraisal are fully implemented
    [s 77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]
  • regular consultation occurs with the school's Māori community to develop and make known plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students.
    [National Administration Guidelines 1e]

To improve practice the board should:

  • review policies regularly to ensure they are comprehensive and up-to-date, particularly those concerning child protection and health and safety
  • ensure that procedures include more specific information to guide appropriate actions. 

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board and school leaders strengthen and develop:

  • responsive teaching practice for those students whose learning and progress needs to accelerate for equity of outcome
  • provision for Māori students as Māori, in learning and the life of the school
  • teaching as inquiry
  • assessment and reporting
  • internal evaluation. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 June 2016

8 About the school

Location

Martinborough

Ministry of Education profile number

2906

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

237

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

27%

68%

2%

3%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

February 2010

May 2007