Manchester Street School - 05/08/2014

Findings

Students are successful learners. Their wellbeing is given priority. A set of agreed values underpin the curriculum. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in their children’s education and the life of the school. Relationships with the community are mutually respectful and supportive.

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?

Manchester Street School is a large Years 1 to 6 primary school situated in Feilding. The roll of 400 includes 60 students who are Māori and a small number from Pacific nations. Students enrol from both urban and rural areas. There are 100 more students than at the time of the July 2010 ERO report and six additional classrooms. Resulting change has been managed with minimal impact on teaching and learning. An enrolment scheme is in place.

The school’s mission statement is ‘Switched on to Learning for Life’. This is developed into a Rainbow Culture of values: red for relationships, yellow for learning, green for environment and blue for the future. Each value permeates through the curriculum and every aspect of school life.

Staffing is stable. The principal and senior leadership team are experienced and improvementfocused. Several new trustees bring fresh perspectives to the board’s governance role and complement the expertise of longer serving members.

The school community is characterised by sound, respectful relationships, shared aspirations, open communication and clear, agreed direction to prepare students for the future. There is a longstanding, supportive relationship with Ngāti Kauwhata iwi.

The board of trustees and senior staff have sustained and built on the strengths identified in the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders, teachers, students and trustees use assessment information effectively to promote and sustain individual progress. Targets for improvement are specific. Teachers’ overall judgements, in relation to the National Standards, are thorough. Students have a role in setting learning goals, monitoring progress and determining the quality of their work.

The school’s end-of-2013 achievement information showed that the majority of students including Māori and Pacific achieved at or above expectation. It is evident that most students made significant gains across the year, including those who are high achievers. Teachers assess as they teach. Each student’s progress is under scrutiny and gaps in learning are addressed through deliberate teaching.

Teachers’ professional discussions and reflection are solution-focused and identify strategies that are most effective in increasing rates of progress. There is a team culture of active learning. Teachers use a wide range of learning approaches in class before referring students for individual or small group special programmes.

Decisions about special programmes are carefully made to support students make gains in specific aspects of their learning. The scope of programmes and resources has increased to match the growing roll. Progress and outcomes are regularly reviewed. Providing the board with more information about the impact of interventions is likely to further assist trustees to plan for the future.

Students with talent and special ability participate in high interest activities and are challenged through the cross-grouping structures in each team.

Students with special education needs are valued participants in the life of the school. The welcoming and inclusive ‘Care Culture’ is at the heart of support for their needs. Partnerships with parents are constructive. Planning, assessment and information sharing focuses on students’ making progress and celebrates their success. A well qualified SENCO (Special Education Needs’ Coordinator) knowledgeably leads the large team of trained teacher aides. The board extensively funds additional resources for the department which has grown considerably since ERO's previous review. The increase in student numbers has been managed proactively and positively for students and their families.

Parents receive comprehensive information about their children’s progress and achievement. Students share examples of their work and talk about their goals and progress. Teachers have developed a number of resources for families to use at home, supporting partnerships and involving parents in the curriculum.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is highly effective in promoting student progress and achievement. Literacy and mathematics are appropriate priorities. Science has a high profile across the school.

Since the 2010 ERO review environmental education has been fully embedded and together with the core values, is ‘lived’ through class programmes. A large team of students leads a future-focused curriculum in sustainable practice. The rich topic, inquiry approach is also well established to provide a broad curriculum. Increasingly complex questions and ideas challenge students of all abilities. Students have a strong work ethic and persevere at tasks.

Students and teachers share an enthusiasm for learning. There is a sense of pride, confidence and trust. Teachers create an environment where students are motivated and have the skills, knowledge and processes to learn successfully. Students lead learning, are well supported by their peers and expect to succeed.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly integrated as tools for learning. Students apply their skills to add depth to their topics and to present findings in imaginative ways. The board continues to upgrade ICT resources in a responsive way.

Curriculum review is ongoing and deliberate. Senior leaders and teachers reflect and communicate regularly as a team. Research, theory and teachers’ professional knowledge contribute to development and change. Decisions are carefully considered. Students’ experiences and interests influence planning. Agreed expectations for effective teaching are implemented consistently.

Reshaping the curriculum and considering the physical location of classes is an ongoing process in response to roll growth. As student numbers change in year levels, sustaining the culture and specific focus for each team will continue to be the next step in strategic planning.

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

The school actively promotes educational success for Māori students as Māori. School values and ‘Care Code’ practices link meaningfully with parents’ aspirations for their children. A review of the values statements led to the inclusion of ‘who we are’ as a spiritual dimension around identity. The environmental curriculum is closely monitored to ensure planting and management reflect custom and practice of the local area. Guidance is provided by Ngāti Kauwhata iwi. Partnerships are productive and respectful.

Kapa haka provides opportunities for senior students to lead at weekly assemblies and on special occasions. Te reo Māori learning has a place in all classrooms with good pronunciation evident as students progress through the school. The language is integrated and practised during the day, to a greater degree where teachers are more confident. Teachers learn with the students and from capable leaders on the staff, at weekly meetings.

Contexts for inquiry learning deliberately include te ao Māori perspectives. Resources are chosen to reflect New Zealand.

Parents of Māori students are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. Attendance at report conferences is high. Parents share their expertise through the curriculum and wider activities such as sports’ coaching.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and enhance its performance. Trustees operate in an efficient and professional manner. They have a good understanding of their legal responsibilities, including the care and wellbeing of students and staff. The board is well informed to make decisions and is future-focused.

The principal and senior leaders form a highly knowledgeable and capable team. Leadership has been strengthened and further distributed as student numbers have increased. Providing specific training for leaders, as their responsibilities grow, is the next step in their professional development. Teachers are empowered to use their strengths and to develop expertise in different areas. They have high expectations of themselves and colleagues. Innovation and initiative are encouraged to enrich practice and sustain a stimulating curriculum.

Change is a considered and effectively-managed process. Evaluation and critical reflection play an important role in forward planning and responding to immediate challenges. Review is purposeful, efficient and focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for students.

Teachers’ professional learning and development is having a significant impact on students’ progress. The decision to focus on one curriculum uses external facilitator time productively and adds depth to teacher knowledge. They think about and share strategies that engage students and make a difference to their learning. Senior leaders and teachers actively participate in and contribute to the wider education community.

Students begin to develop confidence as leaders from their first year at school. They learn to make good choices and to take responsibility for themselves. The skills and attitudes for successful learning are taught and practised. There are multiple opportunities for senior students to engage with younger and to lead learning in integrated studies.

School entry and seniors’ transition to Year 7 are thoughtfully managed for students and their families. Catering for students’ social, physical and academic needs are priorities during transition times. Links with early childhood education centres and their curriculum are strong. The benefits are observable in the confident manner of five year olds and their readiness for school. Parent feedback is positive.

Relationships with the wider community are positive and mutually beneficial.

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

Students are successful learners. Their wellbeing is given priority. A set of agreed values underpin the curriculum. Governance and leadership are sound and improvement focused. Parents play a key role in their children’s education and the life of the school. Relationships with the community are mutually respectful and supportive.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

5 August 2014

About the School

Location

Feilding

Ministry of Education profile number

2390

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

396

Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

15%

78%

2%

5%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

5 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

November 2006

April 2003