Mairangi Bay School - 06/10/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Mairangi Bay School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education to students from Years 1 to 6. Students are very well served by the school’s attractive facilities, the high quality curriculum provided, and effective teaching that meets their learning needs. As a result, students are articulate, confident, and value the opportunities they have to learn and achieve.

High levels of student achievement and progress distinguish the school. A significant number of students achieve at or above expected levels or norms for their year groups. Analysed student data in reading and mathematics indicate that many students make accelerated progress. The achievement of Mairangi Bay School students in reading and mathematics compares favourably with that of students in similar high decile schools.

Responsive and focused teaching contributes to students’ high levels of achievement. Teachers use data well within their teaching teams to identify approaches that will enhance students’ learning. They plan the curriculum carefully, using frameworks developed and reviewed by their teaching peers. Students have valuable opportunities to identify and improve their levels of achievement. Senior leaders have identified that, as a next step in fostering student self management, they will support teachers to provide more opportunities for students to set the direction of their learning. Warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to students’ engagement in learning.

A strong and knowledgeable senior leadership team supports teachers well. Senior staff were recruited for their complementary skills, including their ability to promote teachers’ professional growth and to create systems and processes that build coherent teaching practice across the school. The team provides a strong direction and effective support for staff. Leaders have responsibilities for achieving the school’s strategic priorities in the areas of learning and teaching. They carry out these responsibilities well.

The principal, senior leaders and the board are focused on improvement. They are reflective and strategic in their thinking and planning. Significant good quality self-review occurs at all levels of the school. Self review is carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning. A well informed board of trustees governs the school capably. An active Parent Teacher Association has made a significant financial contribution to the school. Students of Mairangi Bay School benefit from high quality programmes and the inclusive and caring culture that is provided for them.

Future Action

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

2. Mairangi Bay School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Mairangi Bay School promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

In response to a recommendation from the previous ERO review, the board and staff have worked strategically to sustain and extend effective teaching practices and to realise their vision of students as self-directed, lifelong learners. The board’s strategic plan outlines five key areas that the school has been working on, and will continue to work on over the next few years. Good progress has been made in each aspect of the annual plan and in developing a curriculum that is meaningful to students.

Supporting teachers in their work are two layers of school leadership: senior leaders and syndicate leaders. The senior leadership team was established in 2008 with the purpose of creating and implementing a planned programme of change and creating a professional learning culture. Its work is characterised by detailed self review related to designated responsibilities derived from the annual plan, and carefully developed systems to promote consistent good practices across the school. Five syndicate leaders work directly with teachers to develop their professional skills so that they can respond well to students’ needs.

Areas of strength

Student achievement and progress. A member of the leadership team provides very good quality data analysis and clearly identifies the specific implications of her findings for teachers, leaders, and the board of trustees. Useful comparative data, such as the progress of cohorts over time, has been collected and analysed. These data enable senior leaders to make focused decisions about how to best resource school programmes.

High levels of student achievement and progress are evident across the school, including for Māori students. School data indicate that, in reading and mathematics, many students achieve above national expectations or norms. Teachers are improvement focused and have high expectations for student achievement and progress. Increasing numbers of students are moving into the above-expectations achievement bands in reading and mathematics. In 2009, Year 4 to 6 students achieved well in reading in comparison with the achievement of students in other schools of a similar decile and type. Good quality data are being collected on student achievement in writing, are used by teachers and school leaders, and will be presented to the board of trustees.

Effective teaching practice. The following good teaching practices contribute to high levels of student learning and engagement:

  • teachers and students enjoy mutually warm and respectful relationships;

  • students are well catered for in differentiated programmes in key learning areas;

  • classroom environments are well resourced, attractive places that celebrate children’s achievement;

  • students receive good quality oral and written comments on their achievement and next steps in their learning, as appropriate for their age and stage of development; and

  • rubrics, exemplars and criteria support students to identify their current achievement levels and to formulate their own next learning steps.

Building capacity amongst staff. At all levels of the school, three key aspects of school practice foster the growth of teachers’ professional skills. These are:

  • internal and externally provided professional learning for leaders and aspiring leaders;

  • local cluster professional learning communities for school leaders; and

  • teachers and leaders collaborating with trained peer coaches to identify individual professional goals, work towards achieving these, and review ongoing progress.

Curriculum design. Over the last three years, leaders have guided staff to develop a shared understanding of The New Zealand Curriculum, including the content of the curriculum and the best ways to teach it and to assess students’ progress. Through professional development for teachers, considerable work has been achieved in:

  • producing detailed curriculum planning and assessment processes for writing that will serve as a useful model for future curriculum development; and

  • developing a useful student inquiry learning model.

These plans and documented processes have given teachers confidence in implementing programmes and have helped to ensure that good practices are used consistently across the school.

Effective self review. Significant good quality, planned review has been carried out by the board and senior leaders to inform the strategic direction of the school. Some of this review has been undertaken with the support of an external facilitator. Other work has been carried out as leaders evaluate how well they are moving towards achieving the board’s strategic plan for the development of the school. Self review is ongoing, carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning.

A culture of reflection and inquiry is evident in:

  • teacher team meetings, in which student progress, achievement and teaching practices are discussed;

  • development and review processes, through which lead teachers develop curriculum, consult with teachers, and review school-wide planning; and

  • end-of-term evaluations, which enable teachers to reflect on the extent to which their programmes have supported student achievement and progress.

Partnerships with parents and the community. A strong partnership between the school and the school community benefits students, their parents, and teachers. The partnership is characterised by effective consultation, communication, and inclusive practices. The positive relationships that have developed between the school, parents and whānau help to ensure a close alignment between community aspirations and school programmes.

Agreed priorities

During the review, Mairangi Bay senior leaders identified areas for further development and review to enhance learning and teaching in the school. ERO agrees with school leaders that, as next steps in the development of the school, teachers could:

  • support students to routinely identify their next learning steps, set and review personal learning goals, and take a more active role in reporting their achievement to their parents;

  • consider how they can provide more opportunities for students to participate as active learners in the three phases of the inquiry learning model.

  • implement, at all levels within the school, a regular programme that helps children to develop a clear understanding of biculturalism and the cultural practices of Maori so that they are developing the skills to take an active part in New Zealand society.

It would be useful for senior leaders to identify teachers who have expertise in using the inquiry learning approach and to use them as resources in extending participatory practices across the school.

Recommendations

The board of trustees and ERO agree that the next stage of school development should focus on improving opportunities for students to engage in decision-making about the direction of their learning.

3. Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Mairangi Bay School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school meets the requirements of the Code.

A robust process is used to identify students who require additional support in acquiring English language. Their needs are met through the English for Second Language Speakers programme and in-class support provided by teacher aides.

Many useful initiatives have been implemented to cater for the pastoral care of international students, and to include their parents in the school community. Good quality self-review processes enable the board and leaders to monitor the provision made for these students. It would be useful if school leaders included information about the achievement of international students in reports to the board of trustees.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Mairangi Bay School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

6 October 2010

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

10

School roll

423

Number of international students

15

Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 65%,

Māori 5%,

Chinese 8%,

British 6%,

Korean 5%,

Samoan 1%,

other European 9%,

other1%

Review team on site

August, 2010

Date of this report

6 October 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, November 2007

Education Review, November 2004

Accountability Review, February 2001

6 October 2010

To the Parents and Community of Mairangi Bay School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Mairangi Bay School.

Mairangi Bay School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education to students from Years 1 to 6. Students are very well served by the school’s attractive facilities, the high quality curriculum provided, and effective teaching that meets their learning needs. As a result, students are articulate, confident, and value the opportunities they have to learn and achieve.

High levels of student achievement and progress distinguish the school. A significant number of students achieve at or above expected levels or norms for their year groups. Analysed student data in reading and mathematics indicate that many students make accelerated progress. The achievement of Mairangi Bay School students in reading and mathematics compares favourably with that of students in similar high decile schools.

Responsive and focused teaching contributes to students’ high levels of achievement. Teachers use data well within their teaching teams to identify approaches that will enhance students’ learning. They plan the curriculum carefully, using frameworks developed and reviewed by their teaching peers. Students have valuable opportunities to identify and improve their levels of achievement. Senior leaders have identified that, as a next step in fostering student self management, they will support teachers to provide more opportunities for students to set the direction of their learning. Warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to students’ engagement in learning.

A strong and knowledgeable senior leadership team supports teachers well. Senior staff were recruited for their complementary skills, including their ability to promote teachers’ professional growth and to create systems and processes that build coherent teaching practice across the school. The team provides a strong direction and effective support for staff. Leaders have responsibilities for achieving the school’s strategic priorities in the areas of learning and teaching. They carry out these responsibilities well.

The principal, senior leaders and the board are focused on improvement. They are reflective and strategic in their thinking and planning. Significant good quality self-review occurs at all levels of the school. Self review is carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning. A well informed board of trustees governs the school capably. An active Parent Teacher Association has made a significant financial contribution to the school. Students of Mairangi Bay School benefit from high quality programmes and the inclusive and caring culture that is provided for them.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.

1 School deciles range from one to ten. Decile one schools  draw their students from low socioeconomic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.