Maranatha Christian School - 07/08/2019

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Maranatha Christian School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

The May 2017 ERO evaluation of Maranatha Christian School identified specific areas of concern. Since this review, support has been provided by the Ministry of Education (MOE) through a Ministry Senior Advisor and Student Function Practitioner (SAF). This report captures progress made to address these issues.

Maranatha Christian School is a state-integrated school in Lower Hutt that provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The land and buildings are owned by the proprietors, the Maranatha Foundation Board (MFB). A board of trustees governs the school. Student numbers have grown since the previous review to the current roll of 155 students.

The school’s Christian values expressed in the newly revised charter are blended with those from The New Zealand Curriculum to underpin students’ holistic development. It has a vision of ‘growing Christ-centred Learners and Leaders.’ Students are supported to learn in an inclusive and caring environment. A friendly, family culture is promoted.

There have been several changes of staff since the May 2017 ERO review, including the appointment of a new deputy principal and junior syndicate leader. During 2018, staff professional development was focused on raising achievement in mathematics, and a major building programme has been completed.

The school is a member of the Lower North Island Christian Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

At the time of the May 2017 review this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern were:

  • provision of a responsive curriculum
  • internal review, strategic planning and target setting
  • leadership and teaching.

Leaders and teachers were not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO identified non-compliances in relation to curriculum and community consultation. ERO also identified a need to improve stewardship practice in relation to the review of policies, the school charter and to respond to updates of legislative requirements.

Progress

Maranatha School continues to enable most children to achieve in reading, writing and mathematics.

Considerable work has been done to improve the responsiveness of the curriculum. This includes:

  • accessing professional development to further develop the curriculum, including involvement with the Kāhui Ako to deepen teachers’ understanding of writing
  • revisiting the school values and student profile in consultation with students and their families
  • identifying appropriate, termly expectations for children’s achievement within NZC curriculum levels; schoolwide assessment practices have been revisited and rubrics developed to support consistency of teacher judgements
  • offering students in Years 7 and 8 a choice of learning 3 additional languages.

Internal evaluation, strategic planning and target setting have now been strengthened through an overall improvement of evaluation practices. Leaders are now aware of the need to evaluate change and the impact of teacher practices on student outcomes. They identify areas for evaluation, have a schedule for internal evaluation action linked to the strategic plan and have reflected on aspects of teacher practices in relation to student outcomes.

Trustees have strengthened their stewardship practices. They have established a committee for policy review. A range of strategies, including the development of Māori whanau and Pacific fono advisory groups, are now in place to improve consultation. The charter has been updated after discussion with the community. The annual plan includes targets that are appropriately focused on raising student achievement. These have been strengthened through the identification of clear strategies to achieve the desired outcomes. Progress is monitored and reported.

Leadership and teaching have improved with MOE support. The new leadership team has established good working relationships to collaboratively undertake reviews of key areas identified for improvement. Termly tracking and reporting of student progress in literacy and mathematics has been established and shows no disparity for Māori.

Teachers are well supported through opportunities to participate in a range of relevant professional learning opportunities. They collaborate with each other and the teacher aides to plan programmes, share knowledge and contribute to each other’s professional learning.

Appraisal processes have been reviewed. Staff now receive some feedback through appraisal observations. Practices should be further strengthened through more regular observations and specific feedback that is better aligned to school priorities to support ongoing improvement.

Improving transitions practices has begun with a major focus on transition out of the school. Transition is an ongoing focus of the Kāhui Ako. In addition, a range of initiatives are in place to encourage and enable parents to support their children with their learning. This has included a review of home learning.

Key next steps

Leaders agree that continuing to develop understandings and implementation of internal evaluation, appraisal and teacher inquiry processes are key next steps.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Maranatha School is now well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Maranatha Christian School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

7 August 2019

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

1179

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

155

Gender composition

Girls 54%, Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
MELAA 
Pasific

14%
55%
13%
12%
6%

Special Features

Integrated, Special Character

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

7 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review

May 2017
March 2014