Mangonui School - 23/05/2017

Summary

Mangonui School provides very good education for children in the historic far North town, and from the surrounding areas. Over half of the school’s 158 children are Māori, and just over a third are Pākehā. There are a small number of children from Pacific and other cultures. Increasing numbers of children attending the school have special learning needs.

The school adheres to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to the established expectations of Ngāti Kahu. It has strong connections to kaumātua and kuia from this hapū. Many of the school’s children, whānau and staff whakapapa to Ngāti Kahu and/or have generational connections to the area and the school.

Since the 2012 ERO evaluation school leaders and the teaching team have established a well-considered strategic approach to managing change. The approach has included a restructure of senior management, the use of current theory and research to build ‘teaching as inquiry’ practices and a whole school approach to accelerating the achievement of targeted children. Purposeful professional learning and development has continued to support and monitor boys’ progress in writing.

Over the last five years a number of new staff have joined the school, including members of the leadership team. Some teachers have begun in the school this year. Most trustees are new to the board, and to their stewardship and governance role. The principal continues to provide strong professional leadership for the teaching team and the community.

Mangonui School is a member of the Far North Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL), one of 23 schools across a wide area. The CoL is in the early stage of confirming its achievement challenges, and aims to improve the achievement of Māori learners, especially boys.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is taking positive steps towards achieving equitable outcomes for Māori and all other children. While school National Standards data show that achievement has remained relatively static over the past four years there are clear indicators that the school is making concerted progress in changing practice to better meet the needs of identified children. Approximately 70 percent of all children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The board of trustees, principal and staff place Māori children at the forefront of their goals for equity and excellence, as achievement levels for these children are slightly lower than those of other groups. Notable strategies, introduced to reduce this in-school disparity, include individual class teachers tracking the progress of identified children, a tiered approach to addressing the needs of children at risk of not achieving, and teachers making deliberate changes to practice if an approach is not working well.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to enhance children’s ownership of their learning
  • deepen the partnerships that teachers have with parents around their children’s learning
  • continue to design and enact a curriculum that is increasingly inquiry-based, individualised and that integrates all learning areas.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Over 60 percent of Māori children achieve at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In response to lower than expected levels of achievement, and the need to further accelerate the achievement of identified learners, school leaders are now analysing the impact of different teaching approaches on children’s progress and achievement during the year.

Leaders and teachers clearly identify those children who require focused support to achieve at expected levels and involve parents in their planning. They regularly discuss children’s achievement and share teaching ideas and strategies. This professional collaboration promotes shared responsibility for all children, and especially for targeted learners.

The school’s value of kaitiaki, permeates the school’s curriculum and the experiences that children, staff and whānau have in the school.

Children and whānau experience strong, respectful relationships with the principal and staff. Māori children are secure, proud and confident in their language, culture and identity and all other children experience a strongly bicultural curriculum. Children and parents appreciate the strong sense of whanaungtanga at their school, and staff who support children to be confident and capable learners.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Leaders and staff model the professional behaviours they expect from teachers and children. They have high expectations of themselves, staff and children, and promote the skills and dispositions required for effective team work. They promote the achievement of outcomes that are valued by parents and the community and that promote equity and excellence, especially for Māori learners. Teachers place high value on knowing their learners and whānau.

Leaders establish a secure environment for adults and children to take risks in their work and learning, including promoting a culture of reflection and critique. Appointments of teachers and kaimahi are made strategically to enhance teachers’ work and benefit children’s learning.

Teachers embrace professional learning and new ideas that promote improvement for children. They provide learning programmes that connect with children’s interests and strengths, and that are based on whānau input and aspirations.

Teachers use strategies and approaches that make a positive difference for children. Children understand the purpose of their learning. Their engagement and success is enhanced by learning experiences that are increasingly authentic and localised, both inside and outside the classroom. Capable kaimahi provide very good support for children and teachers in each learning area.

The school’s strategic goals are to promote high quality teaching, student agency and parent partnerships for learning. These goals are well aligned with the school’s long and short-term planning, teachers’ professional learning and the teacher appraisal system.

The principal and deputy principal are managing changes in the school effectively. Systems are being developed that promote trust and accountability. Team leaders are highly professional and embrace opportunities for learning and change. Internal evaluation is well understood as a tool for ongoing improvement.

The board of trustees has a strategic, future focused approach to school improvement. Trustees are very supportive of the principal and resource the school effectively. Inside and outside school environments are attractive and very well equipped. Digital devices are plentiful and support children’s learning. Remodelled learning spaces and improved teaching practices are enabling more teacher collaboration and greater levels of student ownership of learning.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has invested in significant leadership, community and teacher development initiatives to develop and embed school processes to achieve equity and excellence for all.

School leaders should continue to re-evaluate the way the school curriculum is designed and delivered so that increasingly inquiry-based and individualised experiences are provided for children to enhance their ownership of their learning. Curriculum design should integrate all learning areas, and provide coherence for learners and opportunities for greater engagement through the year levels.  

Ongoing teacher development should continue as a priority, as existing and new initiatives are embedded. School leaders should further explore the potential of deepening the partnerships that teachers have with parents to support their children’s learning.

School leaders are keen to work with other CoL schools to moderate their assessment practices and increase the validity of the school’s achievement information.

The board of trustees and ERO agree that further developments for trustees include deepening their own evaluation capacity and understanding of their stewardship roles and responsibilities. 

Board assurance on legal requirements

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:

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

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to enhance children’s ownership of their learning
  • deepen the partnerships that teachers have with parents around their children’s learning
  • continue to design and enact a curriculum that is increasingly inquiry-based, individualised and that integrates all learning areas.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

23 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Mangonui, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1039

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

158

Gender composition

Boys      58%
Girls       42%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Islands Māori
British / Irish
other

  55%
  35%
    3%
    3%
    4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

23 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

  December 2012
  November 2009
  August 2006