Arthur Miller School - 02/03/2016

Findings

The school’s curriculum responds effectively to students. Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. There is a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau and families. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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?

Arthur Miller School is located in the Napier suburb of Taradale. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll of 328 includes 48 Māori students. The school’s values of caring, collaboration and curiosity underpin learning and relationships amongst students and staff.

A comprehensive range of systems and practices supports students’ wellbeing. Transitions into and beyond school are carefully considered. Students’ participation and achievement in a wide variety of school and community activities are fostered and celebrated.

Since ERO’s 2012 review there has been an increase in the roll. Staffing has remained stable. Responsive relationships and regular communication with families and whānau are a feature of the school. Community views are sought and valued.

Areas identified for further improvement in the previous ERO report have all been addressed. The school continues its positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers use achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Purposeful systems and processes usefully gather data and monitor student progress and achievement. Schoolwide, collective data analysis is used to set charter targets and identify students most at risk with their learning. Data is reviewed and closely tracked during the year. Teachers use assessment information to plan teaching programmes based on students’ identified needs.

In 2015, data shows that targeted groups of students made accelerated progress during the year. Achievement information for the end of the year indicates that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve well, most at or above the Standards in mathematics, reading and writing. Of those students identified as requiring acceleration, most have made good progress. A small group of these students are below in reading and also more significantly below in writing.

Leaders and teachers have identified that a schoolwide emphasis on improving writing achievement is a priority for 2016. Mathematics remains a focus for 2016.

Useful moderation of teachers' assessment judgements occurs for reading and mathematics. Teachers’ moderation of the assessment of students’ work is done within and between teaching teams. School leaders and ERO agree that a next step is to continue to strengthen schoolwide decisions about student achievement levels in writing.

The junior teaching team is trialling data-boards to display assessment information for reading. This should enable teachers to increasingly focus their discussions about student progress and achievement.

Parents and whānau are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum responds effectively to students as learners.

Students are highly engaged in learning. Classrooms are literacy rich, with multiple resources for students to use. Students confidently participate in learning conversations and collaborative group work with their peers. Positive relationships are evident. Digital devices enhance learning. Teachers’ use of questioning prompts students to articulate their mathematics strategies and understanding. Students enjoy their learning.

Curriculum documents guide practice. A staff-developed framework for effective teaching in mathematics has enhanced practice. Leaders are reviewing and developing similar frameworks for literacy. These should continue to support the embedding of shared understandings about effective teaching at Arthur Miller School.

Leaders have a planned approach to implementing the use of one-to-one digital devices in Years 5 and 6. Self-directed learning, that builds students’ independence as learners, is being introduced across the school, underpinned by use of an information technologies (IT) platform.

Well-coordinated systems and practices are in place for students requiring extra support.

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

The school has a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau. Conversations with the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi education adviser have given trustees and leaders guidance on practices related to Māori success and engagement with whānau.

The school’s Māori Success plan is the basis for blending and integrating cultural competencies in a seamless way. Pōwhiri, waiata, kapa haka and stories about local Māori are evident in the school environment and curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has appropriate processes and practices to sustain and improve its performance.

Policies are regularly reviewed to ensure they align with current legislation and practices in the school. Trustees are well informed about student progress and achievement, and school operations through the principal’s reports. The board’s decision-making is focused on ensuring all students have equity of access to a diverse range of learning opportunities and success.

Leaders use review to inquire into practices and initiatives, with a view to making changes for improvement. Discussions with staff and use of education research are integral to these inquiries. Leaders agree with ERO that a next step is to more formally embed and document evaluation as part of ongoing practices. This should enable trustees and leaders to know what is most effective in improving outcomes for students.

Leaders know their teams well. They are actively involved in the planning, coordination and review of the curriculum, teaching and learning. There are opportunities for staff to undertake leadership roles. Leaders ensure alignment between students’ needs, teachers’ goals and processes for the appraisal of teacher practice.

External professional development expertise is accessed to build internal leadership capacity. ERO and senior leaders agree that this focus on growing leadership in the school should be continued. Appraisal is strongly focused on supporting the growth of teachers’ practice.

Teachers’ professional learning is linked to school goals and student achievement targets. Observations and reflections on practices most likely to improve outcomes for students have created a high trust environment for teachers and leaders to share knowledge and learning. Strengthening personal reflections to evaluate the impact of changes in teaching on student outcomes is a next step.

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

The school’s curriculum responds effectively to students. Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. There is a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau and families. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 March 2016

School Statistics

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2543

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

328

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

15%

80%

1%

4%

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

2 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

December 2008

December 2005