Maraekakaho School - 23/07/2014

Findings

The school promotes student achievement effectively, and is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Students are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing and achieving well. There is a culture of high expectations for students and staff. Students benefit from high levels of parent participation in the school.

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?

Maraekakaho School is situated on the rural outskirts of Hastings and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review there were 150 students on the roll with 29 identified as Māori.

Some families have a long association with the school. The immediate area is rapidly growing. There are high levels of involvement in school activities from parents and the community.

Students have a diverse range of opportunities to achieve inside and outside the classroom. In 2014 the board made a decision to make the senior room a digital classroom. There is a strong focus on equipping students for the future.

The school has created a set of values it wants Year 8 children to achieve before they leave Maraekakaho School. Students demonstrate leadership and support for each other through a range of activities and opportunities. A sense of independence and success is highly evident.

Maraekakaho School has a positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Teachers continue to use student achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Staff increasingly use assessment data to think about the impact of their teaching strategies. All students achieving below and well below National Standards expectations are targeted by teachers for improvement.

Students’ progress is well tracked and monitored. Teachers discuss their target students together and develop strategies to increase rates of progress. As a result learning programmes are focused on students’ strengths and learning needs. Teachers can show progress for students.

Senior leaders identified that some students were not making increased rates of progress in mathematics. Consequently all staff participated in professional learning and development (PLD) with an external provider. This has focused on teachers thinking more deeply about their practice, and identifying different strategies. Achievement across the school in mathematics has improved. Teachers now use these strategies across the curriculum.

Students are highly engaged in learning. They are articulate and can explain what they are doing and why. They make connections through authentic contexts. Each student has a learning goal that they regularly reflect on. Students are challenged to engage in high quality experiences. They see that teachers can be learners and that they can be teachers.

Parents are well informed about what is happening for their children at school. They receive clear information about progress in relation to National Standards. Parents regularly meet with teachers to discuss their child’s learning.

The school has a close relationship with the local early childhood service. All of the new entrants starting school have attended early childhood education. Transitions are well considered and smooth.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

There is a clear rationale for the choices made in designing the curriculum and areas of emphasis using the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and teachers’ knowledge of students. Contexts for learning are authentic and take into account students, their families and cultural experiences. The learning focus in literacy and mathematics is appropriate and there is coherent progression over the year levels.

Students learn through an inquiry approach. Their thinking is challenged. They demonstrate a high level of understanding of the purpose of what they do. Positive and affirming relationships between adults and children contribute to settled classes. Teachers and teacher aides support students to achieve to a high standard in all curriculum areas.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are integral to learning and digital devices are used throughout the school as tools. The digital classroom has enabled teachers to create an e-learning environment responsive to and providing different contexts to engage in 21st Century learning. The concept challenged staff, board and community. Thorough consultation across the school and with the school community was undertaken before this decision was finalised. The digital classroom has been operating since the beginning of 2014. Ongoing evaluation should continue to ascertain the extent to which student achievement is enhanced.

There is a well planned and inclusive approach to the education and care for students with high learning needs. Teachers reviewed procedures and made positive changes to effectively address the needs of these learners. Teachers work closely with parents and whānau to assist them to support their children at home.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori as Māori effectively. One of the school’s strategic goals clearly identifies the commitment to ensuring that this happens. Māori students are highly engaged in learning and have many opportunities for leadership. Their language, culture and identity is valued.

Through use of high quality student achievement information, teachers identify those students whose achievement needs to be accelerated. Effective strategies contribute to promoting student success and teachers can show the positive difference made to Māori students’ achievement.

Regular and ongoing consultation with the Māori community is considered a significant part of the school’s strategic planning. The board gets useful feedback on its strategies for success for Māori students. Trustees and staff value the partnership between the school and Māori community. The board is considering ways to make further connections with local iwi and hapū.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

High quality practices, consistently effective in promoting student engagement, progress and achievement, continue to be a feature. The charter and strategic plan set clear direction through identified priorities. The school’s vision and values are articulated, understood and agreed to by the community and supported by staff. A focus on meeting the learning needs of all students is highly evident.

Students benefit from high levels of parent participation in the school. Communicating with, and making links to the community has been an ongoing priority for the board. Parents' and whānau views are sought, valued and responded to. The community survey results inform strategic planning, review and the principal’s appraisal. As a result the community is well informed of the school’s direction. Many parents help throughout the school in various ways. There is wide interest in trustee positions when board elections occur.

Ongoing self review is focused on ensuring there are positive outcomes for students. Decisions are made based on evidence collected. Teachers are reflective and work well as a team. PLD is based on school priorities. Appraisal supports and develops teacher and principal practice.

Trustees undertake their allocated responsibilities and collaborate effectively as a team. They are well informed about student progress and engagement through thorough reports from the principal. Trustees are dedicated to making a difference for students through their governance role.

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

The school promotes student achievement effectively, and is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Students are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing and achieving well. There is a culture of high expectations for students and staff. Students benefit from high levels of parent participation in the school.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

23 July 2014

About the School

Location

Maraekakaho

Ministry of Education profile number

566

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

150

Gender composition

Female 55%, Male 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

19%

76%

5%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

23 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

May 2007

June 2004