Methven 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

Methven School is a Year 1 to 6 school in the rural, Mid-Canterbury town of Methven. The roll of 295 students comprises a growing number of Filipino students and is approximately 10% Māori students. The principal estimates a 10% movement of students coming into and leaving the school in a given year. This transience is, in part, linked to the seasonal nature of employment available in the area.

The school states that its vision is ‘Preparing our future through making pathways to the stars ‘. Its values, collectively referred to as ‘STAR’ values, are: ‘Sporting, Trustworthy, Accepting and Responsible.’ Valued outcomes for students are identified as: collaboration, communication, hauora, self-regulation and innovation.

Strategic goals and annual aims for 2019 include:

  • increasing the number of children achieving at or above curriculum expectations

  • reviewing the school’s vision

  • implementing a positive behaviour for learning programme

  • preparation for implementing the Digital Technologies curriculum.

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

  • all learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • progress for students with additional needs
  • aspects of the school’s valued outcomes.

School leaders and teachers are active participants in the Opuke Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning. The school is a signatory to the Code for international students.

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 effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most students.

The school’s 2018 data shows that almost all students were working within expected curriculum levels.

The school’s 2017 data shows that most students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics, and a large majority of students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in writing.

There is a pattern of disparity evident in 2017 and 2018 data for Māori learners. In 2017, they achieved less well than other groups of students in writing and mathematics. In 2018, the disparity was evident in reading and writing.

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

ERO is unable to make a valid judgement about how effectively the school accelerates learning.

Students’ learning progress is closely monitored and actions taken to address identified needs. Further analysis of existing data should identify which actions are most effective in accelerating learning within a year, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Teachers work efficiently and collaboratively to create a positive and productive learning environment for students. There is a strong culture of innovation and inquiry. Inquiry and reflection processes are research informed and improvement focused. Professional learning is well managed and draws on expertise within the school and externally. Professional connections are valued, with teachers being active participants in the Opuke Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Student agency and self-management of learning are a feature of learning at this school. Students are empowered to choose from and participate in a broad range of learning opportunities. They are knowledgeable and articulate about their learning pathways and expectations for learning. Teachers model supportive and respectful behaviours, that students apply as part of a student-to-student mentoring approach to support learning.

The principal and senior leader provide effective leadership. They foster a positive, collaborative working environment for teachers and students. There is a high level of relational trust, collaboration and respectful professional interaction between teachers. Innovation is encouraged and there are multiple opportunities for staff to grow leadership capability. There is a deliberate focus on growing middle leadership capability.

Effective partnerships for learning are promoted through strong community and professional connections. Leaders and teachers foster a sense of belonging for students and their families. Cultural connections are valued and promoted. The school has an association with Arowhenua Marae. Bicultural elements are evident in the curriculum and in school documentation. Cultural events bring families together and develop an appreciation of the richness of the school community. An effective transition process into and within the school acknowledges and supports students’ cultural backgrounds.

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

Learning information needs to be further scrutinised at all levels of the school to identify:

  • accelerated learning for individuals and groups of students

  • which interventions and programmes are most effective in accelerating learning (that is, students making more than one year’s progress in a year).

Reports to the board should include explicit statements about accelerated learning and the effectiveness of interventions. This will assist the board in making informed decisions about the allocation of resources to support learning.

Knowledge about and use of internal evaluation for improvement at all levels of the school is an area for further development. Leaders need to adopt an evaluative framework and use this to promote evaluative thinking. This will support the school in identifying those innovations and practices which are most effective in accelerating learning for groups of learners, including Māori learners and the increasing number of English Language Learners.

3 Other Matters

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 two international students attending the school. These are the first international students that the school has hosted and they commenced at the beginning of Term Four 2019.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective and thoughtful leadership that actively seeks to innovate for improvement
  • educationally powerful partnerships that focus on engaging teachers, students and whānau in collaborative learning
  • approaches to teaching and learning that prioritise empowering students and assisting them to self-manage their learning.

Next steps

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

  • the analysis and scrutiny of data to identify how well the school accelerates learning for those students who need this
  • building evaluative capability and effective use of internal evaluation to determine the effectiveness of processes and practices at all levels of the school.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

4 March 2020

About the school

Location

Methven

Ministry of Education profile number

3436

School type

Contributing Years 1 to 6

School roll

295

Gender composition

Female 43%, Male 57%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%

NZ European/Pākehā 79%

Asian 7%

MELAA 3%

Other Ethnicities 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

4 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

November 2014

Findings

Students learn in a positive and supportive environment. They experience a well-balanced and rich variety of learning experiences that helps them to achieve very well. Leaders and teachers are very responsive to the needs of students they identify as not achieving as well as expected. Strong professional leadership and effective board practices put the school in a very good position to sustain and improve its performance.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Teachers make effective use of the school’s community and the local, rural environment to enhance learning opportunities for students.

The roll is growing. Students come from an increasing range of cultural backgrounds. This cultural diversity is enriching student learning.

School leaders and staff have benefited from well-planned and targeted professional development. The effect of such development is most evident in improvements to the teaching of written language and the way teachers and students are using technologies to support teaching and learning.

The board appointed a new principal in 2011. His work, along with that of other school leaders and the board, has continued to improve the quality of education provided for students.

The board, leaders and staff have successfully retained and built on the many strengths identified in the school’s October 2009 ERO report. They have responded positively to the areas identified as next steps in that report. For example, improvements have been made to the way students and their families are supported when starting and leaving the school. The principal and teachers have further improved the analysis of achievement information and student goal setting.

2. Learning

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

School leaders and teachers make very effective use of achievement information to promote student learning.

This is most evident in how this information is used by:

  • teachers and team leaders to evaluate and adapt programmes, adjust groupings and target additional support for students
  • leaders to establish well-considered annual targets to raise achievement and provide the support and resources to help students make better progress
  • leaders to provide the board with regular and informative reports about achievement in relation to the National Standards and other learning areas.

Teachers make good use of reliable assessments to help them make clear judgements about student achievement and progress. These judgements are becoming increasingly accurate as teachers share and discuss their assessments with their peers.

Leaders and teachers are very responsive to the needs of students they identify as not achieving as well as expected. The support they provide is well resourced and increasingly tailored to meet the specific needs of individual students. These interventions are well planned, taught and evaluated.

Teachers are strengthening their working relationships with parents to more successfully advance the learning of individual students.

The school has been active in improving learning opportunities for gifted and talented students within the school and district. These opportunities are helping to motivate, enrich and extend the learning of these students.

Areas for review and development

To further enhance the work of the school, school leaders should:

  • refine aspects of the annual targets and the plans set to improve student achievement
  • build on the work they are doing to improve the way achievement and progress is reported to students and parents.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effectively promoting and supporting student learning. This effectiveness is most apparent in the high levels of student achievement in reading and mathematics in 2012 and 2013. Students being provided with intensive individual support in literacy by their teachers are making very good progress in their learning.

The school provides students with a well-balanced curriculum and a rich selection of learning experiences. Particular features of the curriculum include the actions teachers are taking to:

  • make learning meaningful through linking this to students’ everyday experiences
  • motivate students by taking into account their interests when planning activities
  • help students make connections and apply what they learn in one area to other aspects of their learning.

Teachers make effective use of a range of practices to engage and motivate students. This includes:

  • placing an appropriate emphasis on helping students learn how to learn
  • continually making changes to their programmes in response to emerging student strengths and needs
  • critically reflecting on their teaching practices in ways that lead to ongoing improvements.

Students learn in a positive and supportive environment. The active promotion of the school’s values along with the quality of relationships between teachers and students, and among students, creates a positive learning environment. Students actively assist one another with their learning.

Area for review and development

School leaders should continue to update the school’s curriculum guidelines to:

  • incorporate the uniqueness of their students and community as well as parent aspirations
  • reflect the ongoing improvements that have been made to programmes and practices
  • refine expectations for what counts as high-quality teaching.

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

The school is promoting educational success for Māori as Māori well.

School practices acknowledge and affirm the cultural identity of Māori students in ways that support their success as Māori. For example, teaching programmes increasingly integrate aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori, including local Māori history. The school’s kapa haka group has a high profile.

Consultation processes foster a sense of partnership between the parents of Māori students and staff. The school is responsive to the feedback it receives from parents and whānau.

Māori academic achievement has varied as the make-up of the school roll has changed. For example, in 2012, Māori students were achieving at similar levels to other students in literacy. They were also achieving above other Māori students nationally. In 2013, their achievement was lower in literacy but many students made significant progress in mathematics.

Area for review and development

School leaders should further promote the use of teaching practices that support Māori success through professional development and appraisal practices.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The principal, with the support of other leaders, has created a positive, improvement-focused school culture. A comprehensive, ongoing programme of self review, along with targeted professional learning, promotes well-informed decision making.

Strong professional leadership and teamwork exist among all staff with leadership responsibilities. High expectations, a willingness to critically reflect upon programmes and practices, and the ability to bring about positive change are particular strengths of the school’s leadership.

School leaders make effective use of staff strengths, and give appropriate priority to purposeful and targeted professional development, support and feedback for staff. They foster high levels of staff collaboration and sharing.

The board and school leaders work effectively in partnership to achieve shared goals. Ongoing training continues to support improvements to the board’s practices.

Good decision making is promoted through the quality and range of reports and information the board receives. The board is appropriately focused on raising student achievement. Trustees are very responsive to requests related to this goal. They continue to improve school facilities and resources to benefit students and staff.

Parents and the wider community are supportive of the school. Cultural events and consultation are helping to develop positive relationships with the school’s increasingly diverse community.

Area for review and development

To enhance self-review practices:

  • school leaders should include the views of students and parents more consistently in curriculum reviews
  • the board should seek more regular formal feedback from staff as part of its ongoing programme of self review.
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

Students learn in a positive and supportive environment. They experience a well-balanced and rich variety of learning experiences that helps them to achieve very well. Leaders and teachers are very responsive to the needs of students they identify as not achieving as well as expected. Strong professional leadership and effective board practices put the school in a very good position to sustain and improve its performance.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

17 November 2014

About the School

Location

Methven, Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3436

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

274

Gender composition

Boys 55%

Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Filipino

Asian

African

Other Ethnicities

80%

9%

1%

3%

4%

2%

1%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

17 November 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

December 2006

October 2003