Makaraka School - 29/12/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Makaraka School is a semi-rural Year 1 to 6 primary school located on the outskirts of Gisborne. Many students travel from outside the immediate community to attend the school. A strong parent organisation, Friends of Makaraka School works actively alongside staff and the board to fundraise for specific resources for students’ use. About a quarter of students identify as Māori.

Students experience a highly effective curriculum that places their learning and achievement at the centre of developments and decision making. Staff, trustees and the community developed its ‘Learning Edge’curriculum to promote and extend learning. It effectively uses inquiry as a basis for teaching and learning. The school curriculum provides students with rich experiences and meaningful opportunities to use local community expertise. Student independence and leadership in their learning is enriched.

High levels of learning engagement contribute to greater learner confidence and enthusiasm. Most students make very good progress and meet school achievement expectations for literacy and mathematics. Significant improvements in writing results reflect a sustained strategic focus in this area. Teachers report to parents against National Standards. They continue to refine assessment processes to ensure ongoing moderation and rigour is maintained.

Individual learning needs and strengths are well identified and effectively catered for. Teachers gather in-depth individual assessment information and regularly reflect on the impact of their learning programmes on student achievement. As a result, students experience a wide range of highly relevant and interesting opportunities.

School review practices are highly effective. Self review is a strength and underpins ongoing developments and student progress. The principal provides strong professional leadership focused on student centred curriculum improvements. Regular reporting to the board assists them to monitor how well programmes meet students’ needs. Analysed data successfully informs strategic planning and decision making.

School self review identifies integration of te ao Māori into the school’s curriculum and specific initiatives that support Māori student achievement as areas for further development. ERO’s external evaluation confirms that these are valuable areas to extend.

Future Action

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

2. Makaraka School ’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Makaraka School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

Since the May 2008 ERO review, significant work has been undertaken by the principal, with staff, in developing their ‘Learning Edge’ curriculum. This approach continued to build-on and refine the school’s well developed integrated approach to curriculum development. The Makaraka School curriculum successfully models teaching and learning as an inquiry approach. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are used by teachers and students to enhance learners’ interest and ownership of learning.

Areas of strength

Curriculum review and design

A highly effective curriculum provides students with enhanced learning experiences. The rich integrated teaching programme provides students with relevant and very interesting learning. Thorough and regular analysis of each student’s individual strengths and next steps, is effectively used to provide focused teaching. Student needs and interests are well-targeted and supported by teachers, teacher aides and other visiting resource teachers. Teaching is continuously refined to cater for the individual needs and interests of students.

The ‘learning edge’ approach supports focused teaching. Well integrated ICT use promotes high levels of student enjoyment and engagement. Classrooms environments reflect students’ inquiry, with attractive records encouraging them to regularly revisit prior learning. Students take pride in sharing their learning.

Community engagement and involvement

The integrated inquiry theme helps students to make meaningful connections with community experts and use local resources. Students appreciate opportunities to see links between school and real life experiences. Parents receive very detailed reports of their child’s strengths and next steps, along with advice to help extend learning at home. Families are regularly involved in information evenings, school trips and events. Students benefit from ongoing efforts by the board and staff to form learning partnerships with parents and whānau.

Student progress and achievement

Students make significant progress throughout the year and most achieve at school expectations in literacy and numeracy. A sustained strategic focus on writing directly contributed to considerable progress. As a group, Māori students experienced greater success in writing due to a specific improvement target. Focused use of achievement data through ongoing teacher reflection and inquiry contributes to highly focused teaching and relatively high rates of progress.

Student achievement information is efficiently used by teachers, the principal and trustees to identify areas for improvement. Highly appropriate expertise is used to support growth in professional practices and to improve understandings. Teacher use of external expertise, detailed regular analysis and moderation contributes to more reliable and valid assessment practices. Staff are in the process of further strengthening the robustness of assessment data through the use of e-asTTle (Electronic Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning). Teachers are becoming increasingly skilled at making overall teacher judgements and report student achievement in relation to National Standards.

Capability and sustainability

The self review framework used by the board, staff and students places learning and achievement at the centre of developments and decision making. The use of the inquiry approach from the New Zealand Curriculum provides focus for inquiries and ongoing tracking for successful implementation. Senior managers, teachers, students and trustees effectively use learning as inquiry to consider teaching and learning programmes.

Leadership and governance

The principal provides strong student-centred and improvement focused professional leadership. He models the use of student achievement and progress information as the essential evidence for self review.

Trustees demonstrate an understanding of the importance of self review as a process to underpin school improvement. The board is committed to gaining further knowledge and the development of shared principles to guide actions and responses.

Self review practices are well embedded in student learning, teaching, leadership and governance. These practices underpin the delivery of an effective curriculum for learners.

Area for development and review

Māori student progress and achievement Trustees, principal and staff identified through school self review, that they wish to:

  • extend initiatives to include te ao Māori more fully in the school’s curriculum; and
  • support increased whānau involvement in the school in order to support Māori student progress and achievement.

ERO’s, external evaluation confirms that this is an appropriate area for further development and review.

3. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Makaraka 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 ERO also 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.

4. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

14 December 2010

About The School

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

Decile1

5

School roll

88

Gender composition

Male 45,

Female 43

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 66,

Māori 22

Review team on site

October 2010

Date of this report

14 December 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review June 2005

Accountability Review June 2002

 

14 December 2010

To the Parents and Community of Makaraka School

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

Makaraka School is a semi-rural Year 1 to 6 primary school located on the outskirts of Gisborne. Many students travel from outside the immediate community to attend the school. A strong parent organisation, Friends of Makaraka School works actively alongside staff and the board to fundraise for specific resources for students’ use. About a quarter of students identify as Māori.

Students experience a highly effective curriculum that places their learning and achievement at the centre of developments and decision making. Staff, trustees and the community developed its ‘Learning Edge’curriculum to promote and extend learning. It effectively uses inquiry as a basis for teaching and learning. The school curriculum provides students with rich experiences and meaningful opportunities to use local community expertise. Student independence and leadership in their learning is enriched.

High levels of learning engagement contribute to greater learner confidence and enthusiasm. Most students make very good progress and meet school achievement expectations for literacy and mathematics. Significant improvements in writing results reflect a sustained strategic focus in this area. Teachers report to parents against National Standards. They continue to refine assessment processes to ensure ongoing moderation and rigour is maintained.

Individual learning needs and strengths are well identified and effectively catered for. Teachers gather in-depth individual assessment information and regularly reflect on the impact of their learning programmes on student achievement. As a result, students experience a wide range of highly relevant and interesting opportunities.

School review practices are highly effective. Self review is a strength and underpins ongoing developments and student progress. The principal provides strong professional leadership focused on student centred curriculum improvements. Regular reporting to the board assists them to monitor how well programmes meet students’ needs. Analysed data successfully informs strategic planning and decision making.

School self review identifies integration of te ao Māori into the school’s curriculum and specific initiatives that support Māori student achievement as areas for further development. ERO’s external evaluation confirms that these are valuable areas to extend.

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.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central 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.