Mangamuka School is a small contributing primary catering for children in Years 1 to 6. It is situated in the rural Northland district of Mangamuka.
The school currently has a roll of 22 children, all of whom are Māori. All have whakapapa connections to Mangamuka marae. Since ERO’s 2016 review of the school the roll has increased.
The school’s overarching vision is Ko Au, Ko Maunga Taniwha; Ko Maunga Taniwha, Ko Au; Strength, Courage and Identity.
The school’s core values are whakapapa, powhiri, pono, tika and aroha.
The board states that the valued student outcomes are for children to know who they are and where they come from, be in the driving seat of their learning and achieve highly in literacy and numeracy.
The board’s planning for improvements in student outcomes include:
Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:
Since ERO’s 2016 review, the school has a new principal and board of trustees. The principal started at the school in mid-2018. The new board members were elected in mid-2019. The board subsequently co-opted an experienced trustee to assist with property development planning, including for a new library and technology learning area.
The school is a member of the Te Arahura Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).
The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.
School data reported for 2018 and 2019 show some improvements in reading achievement with a small majority of children achieving at expected national curriculum levels at the end of 2019. Achievement in mathematics is steady with a large majority of students achieving at expected levels.
Teachers report an improvement in children’s attitudes to writing as a result of providing more authentic learning experiences to encourage writing. However, writing achievement levels are yet to show improvement with less than half of the children achieving at expectations.
Some gender disparities are evident with boys achieving lower in reading and girls in writing.
Children identified with additional learning needs receive in-class support.
The school is beginning to accelerate learning for those students who need this.
Teachers are developing strategies to increase children’s engagement in literacy and mathematics. In reading, targeted teaching for groups and individuals, reading support programmes and the promotion of children’s independent learning, are accelerating the progress of some students who need this.
Student progress is monitored by teachers, and termly progress reports are provided to the board by the principal. These, and annual variance reports against school targets, are not yet providing a clear picture of student progress and achievement, particularly in relation to the effectiveness of strategies used to accelerate learning.
The principal’s leadership is enabling developments that support children’s learning. As a new leader, she has appropriately focused on:
She has also supported the development of a new board, encouraging trustees to use their stewardship strengths.
Her leadership has fostered a positive, caring school tone. Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are evident in the relationships and interactions within the school and with the community. Children are supportive of each other. Older children show responsibility as tuakana and assist the learning of their teina classmates.
Parents, whānau and the wider school community have responded positively to initiatives for involving them in their children’s education. Parents are regularly invited for a ‘coffee korero’ to discuss their children’s progress. Whānau hui provide opportunities for community consultation.
The school is involving the community in a curriculum review to develop a ‘localised curriculum’ with authentic learning contexts for children. Community members are keen to contribute to the development of the curriculum.
The school and its community share a commitment to enhancing children’s understandings about their language and culture. Children learn in an environment that responds to and encourages their identity as tamariki Māori. Classroom programmes and practices incorporate te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. Children’s cultural connectedness in learning about Mangamukatanga is supported through the involvement of kaumatua, kuia and marae.
Teachers are aware of, and responding to, the challenge of teaching to meet the wide range of learning needs in a multilevel classroom environment. They are also beginning to introduce ways for children to self-direct their own learning.
To effectively cater for the range of learner abilities and levels, further development of teaching strategies is needed to:
ERO and the principal agreed that professional learning and development (PLD) in assessment practices would be beneficial to enable teachers to improve data analysis and reporting to the board.
Such development should also contribute to improving the setting and evaluation of school goals and student achievement targets.
The planned process to develop a more localised curriculum provides opportunities to:
Trustees are developing confidence in their stewardship role and have participated in some governance training. They have a sound charter and planning foundation to work from and have recently adopted a new online policy framework. They are beginning a process of policy review.
Trustees are willing to continue building the board’s stewardship capacity and would benefit from targeted training regarding meeting procedures, governance policy review and assurance, and internal evaluation of the effectiveness of strategic plans and targets.
Before the review, the board 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 the following:
During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:
On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Mangamuka School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.
ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:
For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:
To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure conflict of interest and in-committee meeting protocols are appropriately used and recorded in board meetings.
Recommendations to other agencies
ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region - Te Tai Raki
30 June 2020