Maramarua School - 24/06/2016

1 Context

Maramarua is a rural full primary Year 1 to 8 School. A new, first time principal has been appointed since ERO's last evaluation in 2013. There is also a new board chair and two new trustees. The school's roll is growing and partnerships with the community have been re-established. Since the principal's appointment, teachers have undertaken professional development that is focussed on improving teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics.

2 Equity and excellence

The valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are expressed in its vision, 'No he kakano iti, e puawai ana he Kahikatea - from a small seed a tall tree will blossom'. The values of respect, tolerance, caring, and integrity underpin this vision and are reflected in the school's curriculum.

The school’s achievement information shows that 80 percent of all children achieve at or above the National Standard in reading, 74 percent of children are at or above the standard in mathematics and 70 percent in writing. Māori children consistently achieve as well as or better than non-Māori children. Boys' achievement, particularly in reading and writing, is lower than that for girls. By Year 8 all Māori children achieve at or above National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Since the last ERO evaluation senior leaders have improved their analysis of achievement information and strengthened target setting for groups of children who are underachieving. They have continued to refine systems for identifying, tracking and monitoring children who require additional support to accelerate their progress. Teachers have benefited from relevant professional development. This has helped them to develop reflective practices and shared understandings about effective teaching, particularly for target learners.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds very well to Māori children and other children who need to make accelerated progress in order to achieve success.

Leaders and teachers have sound processes to help them with the early identification of Māori children and other children whose progress needs acceleration. Close monitoring of children's rates of progress in reading, writing and mathematics enables teachers to respond appropriately and quickly to children's learning needs. Teachers carefully tailor their programmes to accelerate the progress of each child.

There is a shared responsibility on the part of all staff for children's progress. Leaders and teachers ensure that initiatives are appropriately targeted as students move through the levels of the school. At the end of each term there is a formal reflection on how effectively learning programmes are lifting achievement and accelerating children's progress. This helps teachers to recognise what is working well and respond to any emerging areas where further acceleration is necessary.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The renewed curriculum and organisational processes and practices enact well the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence. Children are at the centre, their engagement is encouraged and they learn in an environment where it is safe to take risks and where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn. Children have an increasing understanding of their own learning and progress.

Children, teachers and parents have positive relationships focused on learning. Parents and whānau of all cultures are welcomed and regularly involved in school activities. School leaders and teachers use a variety of appropriate and effective communication strategies to engage with the community. There has been a deliberate focus on reconnecting with the community and building respectful relationships in order to benefit children. The school and wider community are keen to promote opportunities for early childhood learning and this could support children making the transition into the school.

Trustees participate in suitable training for their governance roles. They use the identified school values and information about children's achievement to guide their decision-making. They have effective systems and processes to guide school operations. There is clear alignment between the school's charter, annual plan and curriculum. The principal acknowledges the usefulness of maintaining an effective cycle of internal review to ensure that school policies and procedures comply with legislative requirements.

The principal has built a collaborative work environment with a clear focus on children's learning and progress. He promotes leadership and high expectations for staff and children. The school's performance management system assists teachers to collaborate and inquire into the impact that their teaching has on outcomes for children.

Formal self-reflection is ongoing at all levels of the school. Community consultation surveys help to inform the school's direction. There are some well-defined guidelines regarding internal evaluation. The leadership team agrees that continuing to develop rigorous internal evaluation and teachers' evaluative thinking are important next steps.

Teachers are increasingly fostering relationships with whānau so they can work together to support children's progress. Families and whānau are making good use of opportunities to discuss children's learning and how they can support their tamariki at home. In addition, consultation with parents has contributed to significant change in the school's culture and curriculum which has resulted in children being given more responsibility for their learning and a focus on children enjoying learning.

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 board is effective in promoting student learning and achievement. Trustees have useful processes for self review, direction setting and decision making and ensure that governance accountabilities are met. They actively engage the community in the life of the school.

The principal is leading the improvement of teaching and learning. He is supporting teacher's professional development and promoting the role of parents and whānau in supporting children's learning. Parents and whānau appreciate that the school is listening to them and their aspirations for their children.

Through appraisal, in-class support and focussed team meetings, teachers are challenged to review their practice and use evidence to improve outcomes for students. There is a growing culture of continuous improvement. This could be strengthened by continuing to develop rigorous evaluative inquiry.

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 to further improve teaching and learning leaders should include:

  • continuing to refine systems for formally tracking each child's progress in relation to their goals to identify acceleration as it happens
  • formalise teaching as inquiry and align this with teacher appraisal. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 2016

About the school

Location

Maramarua, North Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1358

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

23

27

4

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

November 2010

July 2007