Manuka Primary School - 13/05/2016

1 Context

Manuka Primary in Glenfield, Auckland provides education for children from Years 1 to 6. The community is culturally diverse and this is celebrated by children, parents and staff. Children's wellbeing and sense of belonging in the school is well promoted. The school's inclusive culture values the reciprocal relationships established with children and staff from the two classes of the Wilson Home School located at the school.

Many of the teaching staff have worked at the school for several years and as a result they have a good knowledge of children's families and the local community. The principal is retiring this year after twenty years of care for, and service to the children and families of this community.

The school is part of the Kaipataki Learning Change Network formed to build professional connections between staff in a cluster of schools. This networking is likely to help teachers to better support children and their families as they move from primary through to secondary schooling.

2 Equity and excellence

The school's vision and valued outcomes focus on supporting children to be respectful, resilient and responsible life-long learners.

The school's achievement information shows varied, but improving, results over the past three years in relation to National Standards. Student achievement across all national standards significantly lifted in 2015, particularly in mathematics. The achievement of Māori children is generally comparable to that of their peers and in some cases higher. Student achievement in writing continues to be considerably lower than achievement in other standards and leaders are investigating this.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has raised teachers' expectations about effective teaching and learning practices. Teachers' recent professional learning has focussed on literacy, mathematics, and positive behaviour strategies. This has contributed to positive shifts in achievement and behaviour throughout the school.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The board, principal and teachers respond well to Māori children whose learning progress needs acceleration. Their strong commitment to raising Māori student achievement is underpinned by increased teacher accountability for the progress of children who are not yet achieving National Standards. In 2015 monitoring the progress of these children became an integral part of the school's teacher performance appraisal process.

Leaders and teachers follow good processes for identifying Māori children whose progress needs acceleration. Together they have deepened their analysis of assessment data to find the gaps in children's learning. Teachers use this information to provide teaching programmes that specifically support children at their point of learning need.

Teachers are increasingly developing communication and relationships with whānau so that they are better able to work together to support children’s progress. Whānau have ongoing opportunities to discuss children's learning. Teachers often provide families with resources and strategies to assist with children's learning at home. Teachers invite whānau to share their perspectives about their children's interests, academic strengths and challenges. Together with information from past teachers, this knowledge helps teachers to gain a broad and holistic understanding of individual Māori children and their learning.

The school charter includes annual targets aimed appropriately at accelerating the progress of all groups of children including Māori learners who are not yet achieving national standards. Progress towards these targets is closely monitored by teachers and teaching teams and the board and school leaders.

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

The strategies and practices used by leaders and teachers to support Māori learners are similar to those used to help other children who need to make accelerated progress.

Leaders are progressively building collective staff responsibility for children's learning progress. Teaching teams meet fortnightly specifically to discuss samples of student assessment and strategies for better supporting individual children's learning progress. This helps teachers provide learning programmes that are targeted to children's individual learning strengths and needs.

Children have an increasing understanding of their own achievement and next learning steps. Teachers and leaders have recently developed progressions of literacy learning that children themselves can use. Children have good opportunities to assess their peers' work, praise achievement and suggest ways to improve. They are also increasingly leading discussions about their learning goals in conferences with their teachers and parents.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum aligns to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), reflects the school's vision and values and is increasingly effective in promoting the learning of all children. Class programmes appropriately emphasise literacy and mathematics. The school's integrated approach to curriculum helps children to make connections across learning areas. Programmes also offer children opportunities to present and engage with multiple perspectives about their learning.

Increasingly children’s language, culture, identity are being considered in the curriculum. For example, a tutor works with each class and teacher to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in using te reo Māori.

Children have good opportunities to research topics that are of special interest to them. This is helping to motivate them to engage more in learning. It is also helping them to consolidate their literacy and mathematical skills across the wider curriculum. Teachers are increasingly including observations of children using skills across the curriculum to assist them when they make overall judgements about each child's achievement in relation to National Standards.

The principal and staff work hard to provide equitable learning experiences and outcomes for all. Leaders and staff carefully consider what is best for children with special learning needs and their families. Children and families are well supported as they transition into the school and on to their next school.

Leaders and teachers have established greater consistency in teaching and learning approaches and behaviour expectations across the school. As a result, children are familiar with approaches and expectations as they transition across the year levels. This helps teachers to sustain and accelerate children's progress.

Teachers use a wide range of appropriate assessments to guide their overall judgements about each child's achievement. Teachers have opportunities to compare and discuss their assessments as a staff and there are plans to moderate assessments with teachers in other schools.

Senior leaders work collaboratively with staff to review and adapt the school curriculum, and help guide programme planning and implementation. They are continuing to develop a reflective teaching culture to promote flexible, responsive learning for children.

The school’s charter and goals are relevant to school's context and charter values are reflected throughout the school. The board of trustees works well a team and trustees have a good understanding of the board's responsibilities regarding students' wellbeing, learning and progress. Trustees value and use the information that leaders provide to guide board decision-making and provide a school environment that is conducive to learning.

The principal and board agree with ERO that evaluating progress towards charter strategic and annual goals throughout the year is a worthwhile next step. Trustees could also evaluate the effectiveness of their practice as a board in order to provide a useful guide for the incoming board this year.

Parents who spoke with ERO appreciate the school's open, inclusive culture and regular consultation and communication practices. This is encouraging parents to be more involved in the school and to understand their children's school-based learning and how they can best support it.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school is well placed to sustain progress made in teaching practice and to make ongoing improvements that impact positively on all children’s learning.

Leaders have identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • increasing children's perspectives in school and curriculum evaluation
  • increasing children's opportunities to learn through digital technologies
  • refining and embedding the new teacher appraisal processes linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that leaders and teachers work to sustain and build the school's achievement momentum by continuing to build evaluative capability and capacity at all levels of the school. Evidence-based evaluation should focus on the effectiveness of practices and the impact they have on children's progress in order to inform the school's ongoing development. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 May 2016

About the school

Location

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1350

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

306

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Filipino

Samoan

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Tongan

African

Fijian

other

17%

49%

8%

5%

4%

4%

3%

3%

2%

2%

3%

Special Features

Host to classes from Wilson Home School

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

13 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

August 2008

November 2005