Marshall Laing School - 21/08/2015

Findings

Marshall Laing School has a very positive profile in the local community. It provides students and whānau/family with a welcoming and inclusive environment. The curriculum promotes and supports students' learning and wellbeing. The school responds well to its diverse community by engaging parents and families to support students' learning.

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?

Marshall Laing School, in Mt Roskill Auckland, provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a growing roll and caters for its culturally rich community very well. Many students speak languages other than English at home. Two percent of students identify as Māori and ten percent of students have Pacific heritage. A number of second generation families also attend the school.

Since the 2012 ERO report a new principal and two new assistant principals have been appointed. Building on good foundations, the new leadership team is further enhancing the school’s well established culture and very positive profile in the local community. Classrooms have been refurbished and there is increased provision for e-learning.

Families participate in the school’s extensive calendar of curriculum, arts, cultural and sporting events. The school provides an environment and culture that is welcoming, inclusive and strongly focussed on student wellbeing and achievement.

Marshall Laing School is a member of the recently established Lynfield Community of Schools.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The 2012 ERO report noted that students could talk knowledgeably about their learning and that they were motivated to participate, contribute and achieve. This continues to be the case. Self review has supported school leaders to make progress in the areas for development identified in the 2012 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. School student achievement data indicates that in 2014 most students achieved at and above the National Standards in reading and in mathematics. Lifting student achievement in writing is an ongoing priority.

The progress and achievement of Māori and Pacific students is well monitored by the senior leadership team. Māori and Pacific students are achieving at similar levels to the national Māori and Pacific cohorts. Senior leaders are aware that further targeted action is necessary to ensure that Māori and Pacific student achievement is more comparable to that of all other students at the school.

A school wide focus on writing is helping to raise student achievement levels. The school has established strong internal and external moderation processes to enhance the reliability of its achievement information. Senior Leaders are now planning to work on a Ministry of Education moderation initiative in mathematics. This could further strengthen the school’s moderation processes.

Focussed professional learning opportunities and the establishment of teacher professional learning groups, in writing, maths and English language learning are impacting positively on student progress, achievement and engagement. Teachers collectively share teaching approaches to raise achievement levels and to address the needs of individual students.

Senior leaders use achievement information to set school priorities and achievement targets. Teachers use achievement information well to respond to student’s learning needs. Students with specific learning needs and abilities are identified and catered for effectively. Provision includes targeted teaching initiatives, enrichment programmes, and well considered English language learner programmes.

Teachers support students well to talk knowledgeably about their current goals, progress and achievement. Students are confident and secure in the learning environment and enjoy their learning activities and experiences. They are generally well engaged in classrooms and benefit from respectful relationships between teachers and students. Schoolwide values support students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Parents receive good information about their child’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Parents are also well informed about children’s progress and achievement in other learning areas, through written reports and student led three-way (student, parent, teacher) conferences. Student goal setting and the three-way conferences assist students to increasingly manage their own learning.

The board of trustees receives comprehensive information from the principal and senior leaders about student achievement. This information is well used to make decisions about goals and resourcing priorities.

During the course of the review school leaders and ERO discussed continuing to use professional learning to assist teachers to accelerate the progress of students who are not yet achieving the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students learning and wellbeing. It emphasises the school values of respect, care and responsibility.

Students benefit from a broad and engaging curriculum that appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. Students benefit from opportunities to learn other languages, participate in extension classes in maths and science and take part in arts and sports programmes. English language learners are catered for effectively in classrooms and specialist teaching programmes.

The school continues to prioritise reading, writing and mathematics as the foundations of learning. Other learning areas are integrated into various topics and themes called “inquiry learning”. There is a high degree of consistency in teaching approaches across classrooms and teaching teams.

Teachers deliver a culturally responsive curriculum. They have undertaken professional development to utilise the Pacific Education Plan.

An increasing emphasis on e-learning supports the school’s curriculum. Teachers and students use a variety of digital devices and approaches. School leaders have made good use of the strategic plan, to progressively extend e-learning opportunities. They have increased the number of digital classes, built student and teacher e-learning capability and are providing resourcing and infra structure support for an increasingly on-line learning environment.

School leaders agree the school’s curriculum could be further developed by:

  • continuing to strengthen students’ self management of learning

  • reviewing it against the principles and values of the New Zealand Curriculum

  • ensuring the documented curriculum reflects the school’s advances in e - learning.

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

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. The school has 13 students who identify as Māori. These students are well engaged in learning and take leadership roles in school events including in kapa haka performances and pōwhiri.

School leaders offer leadership opportunities to develop teachers’ understanding of Māori language and identity. Leaders and staff demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand’s bicultural heritage by prioritising participation in appropriate professional learning.

Whānau are well engaged in school life and express appreciation for the school’s inclusive culture. Whānau views and perspectives are used to inform strategic planning and set targets. The board and senior leaders report to whānau about the school’s progress in relation to these plans and targets.

The board of trustees and school leaders acknowledge that they should, in consultation with whānau and Māori leaders, develop a sequential school-wide programme of te reo and tikanga Māori.

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 school’s board includes new and experienced trustees. They bring expertise and knowledge to their roles. The board have implemented the school’s latest strategic plan and use this plan as a tool to review their progress against the goals. The board has successfully managed the appointment of, and transition to, the new leadership team. The board has also managed well the classroom upgrades and refurbishment projects.

The principal and the two associate principals work well as a team. They model a commitment to home-school partnerships. Senior leaders are proactive, visible, and strongly value community engagement. Curriculum evenings, hui, fono evenings and the establishment of a homework club are initiatives that strengthen home-school learning partnerships.

The senior leadership team have strengthened self review processes. Self review is an integral component of school operations. The school’s appraisal system and procedures have been recently reviewed. As a result, appraisal is now a well considered process, aligned to school development and achievement goals. There is a school culture of ongoing improvement.

The board agrees that important next steps for its strategic planning include:

  • managing roll growth in a considered and effective manner

  • continuing to offer opportunities for growing distributed leadership throughout the school.

Provision for international students

Marshall Laing School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238Fof the Education Act 1989.At the time of the review there were five international students attending the school. The school requires all international students to be living with their parents.

The school provides international students with a very good standard of education that includes English language support programmes. Students are warmly welcomed and enjoy many opportunities to participate fully in school activities. Good quality pastoral care ensures students integrate well into the life of the school and community. Parents receive comprehensive information regarding their child’s progress and achievement.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self review processes for international students is thorough.

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

Marshall Laing School has a very positive profile in the local community. It provides students and whānau/family with a welcoming and inclusive environment. The curriculum promotes and supports students' learning and wellbeing. The school responds well to its diverse community by engaging parents and families to support students' learning.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting) 

About the School

Location

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1362

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

536

Number of international students

5

Gender composition

Girls       51%

Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
other Asian
Middle Eastern
Samoan
Tongan
other Pacific
other

  2%
14%
42%
10%
12%
  8%
  3%
  3%
  4%
  2%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

21 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
December 2009
August 2006