Maniototo Area School - 22/01/2016

Findings

Teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best. Students make the most of the many opportunities to learn from a broad and varied curriculum. There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between teachers and students.

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

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Maniototo Area School provides an education for Years 1 to 13 students in an environment that strongly reflects the values and expectations of its wider community. The school vision is for students to have attitudes and skills to continue learning beyond school, and be positive, actively-involved community members. This involvement is evident within the school and the community.

Teachers and students minimise the school’s isolation with the effective use of ICT and distance-learning programmes. The low numbers in many classes, especially for secondary subjects, allows individualised support for learning.

Since the 2011 ERO review there have been significant staffing changes, including the principal and junior school assistant principals. These changes have impacted on the coherence of planned school development.

There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between adults and students.

Students’ individual academic and wider successes are recognised and celebrated by all. Most Year 1 to 8 students achieve at or above in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards. School leavers make successful transitions into employment, training or tertiary education. Most senior students achieve the NCEA goals they set with their teachers. The school has set an appropriate target to increase the number of merit and excellence endorsements in NCEA.

The school has made progress since the 2011 ERO report. Some previously identified areas are still part of ongoing development.

2. Learning

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

The school is using achievement information well to make positive changes to students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

Students:

  • have appropriate awareness of their achievement and progress, with monthly reports being a major contributor for this for students in Years 7 – 13
  • use teachers’ guiding comments to improve their work
  • with teachers, set goals in a variety of areas which are regularly reviewed and reset.

Teachers have extensive knowledge about students and their learning strengths and needs. They use this knowledge well to:

  • identify learning gaps and inform their teaching to meet the needs of individuals and groups of students
  • inform decisions about subject and course selections, especially in the senior school
  • monitor and track students’ progress and regularly report this to the students and their parents
  • share assessment results with students and next steps for learning
  • evaluate the impact of their teaching strategies.

School leaders and teachers make effective use of analysed achievement information to:

  • set useful charter targets to raise achievement levels
  • identify and monitor progress of students at a school-wide level, particularly those at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • review the effectiveness of teaching programmes in curriculum areas over time.

Trustees receive useful information to make resourcing decisions. This helps them to maintain their focus on achievement and good outcomes for all students.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

The curriculum is responsive to the students’ interests, and their pastoral and learning needs. It effectively reflects the aspirations and expectations of the community. Students make the most of the many opportunities to:

  • learn from a broad and varied curriculum
  • experience and learn about their unique environment, including its rich history
  • gain useful ICT skills and knowledge
  • take on leadership roles.

Since the last ERO review the school has successfully established a middle school for the students in Years 7 to 10. This section of the school helps students have a smooth transition between their primary to secondary level learning.

The senior students, in Years 11 to 13, work closely with their teachers to select study courses that are personalised to their learning strengths, interests and needs. For these students there is a greater emphasis on managing and taking responsibility for their own learning.

The school’s curriculum guidelines describe in detail what the school values, New Zealand Curriculum principles and desired learning attributes should look like. As a result, staff have a common understanding of expectations. School and curriculum leaders, and teachers are developing a whole-school approach to curriculum delivery. There are examples of strong alignment and coherence for learning from Year 1 to Year 13. The school leaders acknowledge the curriculum guidelines do not give sufficient detail for some aspects of teaching practice.

Other features of the curriculum include teachers and leaders:

  • focusing on enhancing purposeful classroom teaching to meet the identified needs of all students
  • strengthening the learning partnerships they have with parents.

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

Maniototo Area School is in the early stages of providing an environment in which Māori students and whānau have their language, culture and identity reflected in school practices and programmes. The new principal is championing this development and making good use of Ministry of Education resources to support this. With the teachers, she is increasing the visibility of Māori culture throughout the school.

Māori students comprise a quarter of the school’s roll. The board is responsive to the views of the parents of Māori. These help inform how the school will grow its respect and value for the language, culture and identify of its Māori students and community.

Students have regular opportunities to learn Māori language, culture and waiata through kapa haka. Their teachers provide them with some meaningful cultural learning. This is planned for within the daily programmes and/or through other events beyond the school, such as visits to local marae and polyfest cultural celebrations.

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. The board and new principal have identified appropriate areas for focus and improvement.

Findings to support this judgement

Trustees have high expectations that students will continue to be well supported to achieve well and experience wide success. These expectations help ensure that teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best.

A strong alignment links the school vision, strategic and annual plans, teacher professional learning plan, and the school’s budget and resourcing.

The planning for 2015 is based on the findings from the useful self review undertaken in 2014. Trustees have recognised, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to:

  • develop and use a consistent format for reporting to the board on curriculum areas
  • carry out an in-depth review of its policies and associated procedures in line with the board’s current plan
  • strengthen self-review processes in general.

The appraisal process has been strengthened to meet legal requirements, and in conjunction with professional learning and development, should now be used to develop high-quality teaching practices across the school.

Other areas for review and development

Trustees need to regularly and appropriately gather the views of parents, staff and students, especially in relation to satisfaction and wellbeing. This would enhance the school’s ability to review and respond to emerging or unforeseen issues that arise from surveys and concerns or complaints to the board and/or the principal.

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • improve the curriculum guidelines so that they promote consistency of effective practice, and support the sustainability of new developments and learning
  • give greater emphasis to Māori culture in school practices and documentation.

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

Teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best. Students make the most of the many opportunities to learn from a broad and varied curriculum. There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between teachers and students.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 May 2015

About the School

Location

Ranfurly

Ministry of Education profile number

370

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

165

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

70%

24%

4%

2%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

December 2011

November 2008

April 2006