Maidstone Intermediate - 19/12/2014

1 Context

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

Maidstone Intermediate is a caring and supportive community that caters for students in Years 7 and 8. Since the December 2011 ERO report, a new principal and senior leader have been appointed. Extensive refurbishment of classrooms has occurred during the past two years.

Option courses enable students to participate in programmes responsive to their strengths and interests beyond the classroom.

A school counsellor supports students and families with a range of challenges that could impact on students’ learning. The school seeks and responds to the opinions of students, families and whānau.

Student success is regularly celebrated. There is a wide range of opportunities for students to participate in sporting, cultural, arts and community activities.

2 Learning

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

The principal has a strong focus on teachers making increasingly good use of student information that leads to positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

National Standards data for 2013 shows that while most students achieve at and above in relation to the Standards in reading and mathematics, significant groups are below and well below. Māori, Pacific and boys are over represented in these groups. Writing has been is a priority in 2013 and 2014 due to lower levels of achievement.

Student achievement targets identify groups of students whose achievement needs progressing. These targets are also used by staff to identify specific teaching approaches and to prioritise professional learning. The school is always looking for ways to establish collaborative learning conversations with target students’ families.

In order to accelerate the progress of all learners, trustees, leaders and teachers need to:

  • review the range and timeliness of assessment methods they use to gather student information
  • strengthen the interpretation and use of data at all levels of the school to identify what is working well and ways to improve teaching practices.

These changes should enable teachers to better plan and deliver programmes that meet the needs of all students. Such development should also strengthen reporting of student progress and achievement to parents and the board.

Students with specific needs are well supported to achieve their learning and social goals. Reports to parents are a celebration of their achievements. Inclusive classroom environments enable these students to feel part of school life.

Parents receive reports about their children’s progress in relation to the National Standards. Threeway conferences involve conversations with families and whānau about their children’s learning. Students’ contributions are central to this process. In order to make the reports more useful, clear next steps for learning should be included and suggestions about how families can help students at home.

3 Curriculum

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

A review of the school’s curriculum is a significant focus for the school. The current curriculum is clearly aligned with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Leaders and teachers agree with ERO, that the revised curriculum should have a focus on relevant place-based aspects such as local features and cultural perspectives. The review should also enable staff to develop a collective understanding of teaching that supports students to be active partners in their learning.

Students effectively engage with a broad range of learning in and beyond the classroom. Specialist teachers provide technology and performing arts programmes. The Maidstone Athletic Development (MAD) programme extends students who have outstanding sporting skills. A comprehensive careers programme, at both year levels, is integrated across all learning areas.

There is a planned and considered approach to integrating information and communication technologies and bring your own device for learning and teaching, and use by families and whānau.

Transitions into and beyond school are carefully managed and based on each student’s needs. This enhances their confidence and sense of belonging at school.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies that engage students in purposeful learning. These include:

  • building positive and respectful relationships
  • students working collaboratively
  • effective use of questioning to encourage students to explain their ideas
  • opportunities for self-directed learning and student choice
  • purposeful activities linked to students’ experiences and prior knowledge.

Most of the 28 Pacific students identify as Samoan. In 2013, data showed that a small number of these students were achieving in relation to the National Standards. Trustees and leaders acknowledge the need to strengthen the focus on raising the achievement of Pacific students. Building teacher capability to be responsive the cultures, languages, identities of Pacific students is an important next step.

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

Twenty-five percent of students identify as Māori.

Senior leaders and trustees recognise outcomes for many Māori need improving. Achievement data for 2013 shows that while some students achieve at and above against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, significant numbers of students are below the standards.

Kapa haka is a valued activity in the school and benefits from strong whānau and volunteer support. Māori students successfully participate in sporting, arts and leadership activities. Partnerships with Orongomai Marae have continued to build. Kaumatua provide guidance in protocols and tikanga Māori for class visits to the marae.

The school should continue their engagement with iwi and whānau to develop a shared strategic approach to Māori student success.

The previous ERO report identified the need to build teachers’ capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. This remains an area for further development. Integration of te ao Māori in learning programmes would enable rich connections to be made with Māori students’ culture, language and identity and contribute to higher levels of engagement and success.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Trustees bring a diverse range of experience to their governance roles. They are well informed and regularly participate in governance training. The board are very supportive of the direction the new principal has for the school.

The charter identifies priorities to enable equitable opportunities for all students to achieve success, and for continuous school improvement. Principal’s reports and other curriculum-based reporting are supporting the board to make informed decisions about programmes and resourcing based on charter goals.

Trustees and ERO agree that review at board level needs to be strengthened by including expected outcomes linked to each goal in the annual plan. This should enable closer evaluation of progress and effectiveness in relation to the goals.

Teachers critically reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching with colleagues and through the appraisal process. They develop goals which guide professional learning observations of their classroom practice. Continuing to build on teachers’ use of data to identify what is working well for students is an area for further development. Provisionally Registered Teachers have a planned programme of professional support and guidance based on their needs.

The new principal is leading the school in a considered and inclusive way. She is working with staff to build a culture of learning and achievement focused on students being active partners in learning. She is well supported by a cohesive team of leaders across the school.

Parents and whānau are valued contributors to school activities and are well informed about events their children engage in.

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 is well placed to improve and sustain its performance. The principal has a strong focus on teachers making good use of achievement information to make positive changes for students. A review of the school’s curriculum is a significant focus for the school. The intended outcome is to increase students’ partnership in their learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

19 December 2014

About the School

Location

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2893

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

545

Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

25%

63%

5%

4%

3%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

October 2008

December 2005