Mairangi Bay School - 31/07/2015

Findings

Mairangi Bay school students achieve very well in a caring environment. Teachers deliver a broad and relevant curriculum that supports the learning of all students. Effective self review and strategic planning provides clear direction for ongoing improvement. The school has made significant progress in supporting students to be lifelong learners.

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?

Mairangi Bay School caters for approximately 450 students from Years 1 to 6. The school administers an enrolment scheme to manage its growing roll. While most students are NZ European/Pākehā, there are a significant number of British and other European students, and a growing number of Asian students. Three percent of the students are Māori. The board welcomes the enrolment of international students.

The school has an inclusive and supportive culture. Caring relationships are encouraged and there are several initiatives to promote positive interactions between the younger and older children.

The board includes a mix of longer serving and newer trustees. The staff includes experienced leaders and teachers, with some teachers new to the profession. Recent professional development has focused on improving the teaching of literacy and on using information and communications technologies (ICT) to support learning and teaching (e-learning).

A number of property and resource developments have been completed in the last few years. New learning spaces allow greater flexibility for grouping students according to their learning levels. The hall has been repaired and a new all-weather court established. Significant improvements have been made to improve access to ICT.

The 2010 ERO report acknowledged two key priorities for further development. These related to supporting students to take a more active role in their learning and to increasing opportunities for students to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Progress has been made in these areas.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used well to support learning. Data is collected regularly, and analysed and used by teachers, school leaders and trustees to make informed decisions. School leaders identify trends and patterns for further investigation by evaluating achievement information in relation to gender, ethnicity and year level.

The board receives regular reports that enable it to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum, to make resourcing decisions and to set strategic targets. School leaders are aware that students generally achieve well in relation to National Standards and are keen to increase the percentage who are achieving above the National Standards.

Teachers are increasingly working together in their teams to set goals and monitor progress against them. Students are making increased use of achievement information to monitor their own learning and set goals. They share their learning with their teachers and parents at reporting time. These faceto-face reporting sessions compliment the clear written reports parents receive.

Teachers are making increased use of student achievement information to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. They identify the small number of students who are not making the required progress to meet the National Standards as their priority students. The progress of these students is closely monitored and information gathered shows that some make accelerated progress. Progress of students with special needs is also well monitored.

Teachers are skilful at using assessment information to plan programmes that are at an appropriate level for groups of students. The high level of student engagement in tasks set by teachers reflects that programmes are very relevant to students.

Senior leaders are interested in continuing to build teachers’ understanding of the levels at which students engage in their learning and ways that they can support students to develop deeper levels of engagement.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is guided by the school’s clear vision of ‘Ako, our lifelong learner’. This vision emphasises students as thinkers and communicators. The curriculum is broad. Students have many opportunities to learn in all areas of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Appropriate time is spent on supporting mathematics and literacy learning. Teachers also plan programmes that help students develop skills for lifelong learning. Older students have many opportunities to develop leadership skills.

The delivery of the curriculum is well supported by specialist teachers employed to teach music, te reo Māori, Mandarin, and environmental sustainability (Enviroschools). The use of expertise from within the community further enriches learning opportunities for students. Aspects of Māori culture are affirmed through weekly te reo Māori lessons and the ‘Enviroschools’ programme with the support of a local kaumātua.

Teachers make good use of the learning environments to support learning. Teachers cater well for children with special learning and behaviour needs. Students whose first language is not English are well catered for.

The curriculum is increasingly well supported through the effective use of information and communication technologies. Teachers continue to adapt their ways of teaching. Parents have been consulted and are well informed about how ICT is being used to support children's e-learning.

Through school self review, school leaders have identified aspects of learning and teaching that they want to strengthen. These are an ongoing focus for professional learning. They include teachers:

  • investigating how e-learning can further extend students' learning opportunities
  • continuing to build students’ capability to manage their learning.

ERO concurs that these are appropriate priorities for continued development.

ERO identified, and senior leaders agree, that it would also be useful to review the school’s inquiry learning model so that it better reflects the school’s vision of developing students as lifelong learners.

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

The school has strengthened its capacity to promote educational success for Māori as Māori. Student achievement information indicates that Māori students are achieving well in relation to National Standards.

All students have lessons in te reo Māori from a language tutor. The expectation is that teachers will support students to consolidate the new learning at other times during the week. Senior boys are taught the haka by a kaumātua. A cultural group practices kapa haka each week. The students involved perform on special occasions, such as welcoming visitors to the school.

It would be useful to review the school’s environment to ensure that it reflects the board’s commitment to a bicultural curriculum, and supports the identity of Māori students and their whānau.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

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

Effective self review guides decision making. Self review is informed through regular consultation with parents. Comprehensive strategic planning guides school operations.

The board governs the school well and undertakes reviews of its governance functions as part of wider self-review practices. Trustees take part in induction and training programmes to foster ongoing improvement in board practice.

School leaders provide a clear educational vision for the school. They keep abreast of developments in education and support staff to adjust their teaching practice accordingly. School leaders work collaboratively with local schools and have strong links with the wider educational community. The school is also a member of a local Community of Schools (CoS), together with several other primary schools and the local intermediate and secondary school.

Teachers benefit from opportunities to take leadership roles and to build their capacity as leaders. A collaborative approach is used to promote ongoing improvements to teaching and learning. All teachers are trained as coaches and they support each other to achieve performance goals that are linked to school targets.

As part of the school's ongoing review of appraisal systems, school leaders plan to strengthen the alignment of teacher appraisal to the registered teacher criteria and staff job descriptions. The board and school leaders also intend to review the school's policy framework to further improve consistency between policy and practice. An associated review of the school's self review schedule to align it with the new policy framework would be useful.

Provision for international students

The 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.

At the time of this review there were five international students attending the school.

There is effective pastoral care for international students. Their educational needs are well met and their progress and wellbeing is monitored. International students have many opportunities to be involved with, and integrated into, the school community.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should :

  • ensure that the activity fee is refunded when students do not attend excursions
  • continue its planned review of risk assessment systems for education outside the classroom as part of the board's health and safety review programme.

Conclusion

Mairangi Bay school students achieve very well in a caring environment. Teachers deliver a broad and relevant curriculum that supports the learning of all students. Effective self review and strategic planning provides clear direction for ongoing improvement. The school has made significant progress in supporting students to be lifelong learners.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 July 2015

About the School

Location

Mairangi Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1343

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

444

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Girls 53%

Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

British/Irish

Korean

African/African origin

South East Asian

other European

other Asian

other

3%

58%

14%

7%

3%

2%

2%

5%

2%

4%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

31 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

November 2007

November 2004