Marton School - 14/05/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Marton School is a Years 1 to 8 school situated in the Rangitikei District town of Marton. The roll of 135 students, with 26% Māori and 12% Pacific, is slightly lower since the December 2009 ERO report. Year 7 and 8 students play a key role in leading and maintaining a positive school culture.

In 2011, a new logo and vision for the future was developed. The logo represents the aspirations of the school’s community for its students: values; virtues; and desire to be lifelong learners and make a positive contribution to New Zealand. Desirable qualities for successful learners to achieve the vision are described as STARS: self motivated; take risks; articulate; resilient; and solves problems.

A number of staff are newly appointed since 2009. Incorporating best teaching practice to increase students’ rates of progress has continued to be the focus promoted by the senior leadership team. The majority of board members are experienced trustees.

The school community is characterised by sound respectful relationships, shared aspirations, open communication and clear, agreed direction to prepare students for the future. Parents and families are strongly supportive of initiatives that benefit their children.

2 Learning

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

Teachers use a range of assessment tools, in a purposeful way, to determine how well students are progressing and to identify next steps for learning. Decisions about next steps for learning are made carefully and students contribute to goal setting. With teacher guidance, students are developing their ability to self assess progress as they finish each task.

The school reports that at the end of 2013 approximately two thirds of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Results for Māori and Pacific students were below that of their peers. Achievement data shows that a number of students made accelerated progress during the year. Targets for improved achievement are well considered from overall school results. Mathematics is a priority for 2014.

Teachers consider, as a team, how successfully their teaching makes a difference to student achievement. To further their learning, professional learning and development (PLD) in 2014 is designed around ‘what works best to improve student achievement?'. The next step is to strengthen the focus on accelerating individual students’ progress by identifying specific gaps in learning and working in small steps towards improvement.

Students requiring learning assistance are well catered for through special programmes, resourcing and additional adult support. Progress is closely monitored. Class teachers and support staff work together to achieve improvement. Parents are regularly involved and make an important contribution. Most students achieve good gains in confidence, enthusiasm and academic progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is broad, with literacy and mathematics, health and physical education as priorities. These priorities respond to students’ needs and parents’ preference. Students learning how to learn, is considered essential to achieving the school’s vision for confident and motivated, lifelong learners. Teachers actively teach the strategies students need to self manage, organise, make decisions and work independently. These key competencies are highly evident and embedded as students progress to Year 8.

The Year 7 and 8 curriculum is appropriately challenging and interesting for students. Contexts and teaching strategies acknowledge that students are preparing for secondary school. Foundation skills are taught deliberately in the early years with ample time for students to practise new learning.

Relationships between teachers and students and among students are respectful and supportive. Teachers know their students well. There is a busy, purposeful atmosphere in classrooms. Routines and expectations are understood. Students are encouraged to persevere with tasks and to ask for help. The purpose for learning is clear and students learn the steps for success. They demonstrate growing confidence in this area.

Staff actively promote students’ wellbeing. They understand the link between wellbeing and successful learning. Teaching is highly inclusive and students learn with, and from each other. Leaders are beginning to document the impact and effectiveness of strategies that contribute to students’ wellbeing.

Pacific students are well supported to learn and to feel confident and comfortable at school. English language learners (ELL) have specialist teaching and assistance from class buddies who take their role very seriously. Teachers structure new learning in small steps and provide additional practice time to increase students’ understanding. Staff are revisiting the Ministry's Pacific Education Plan to review how well the curriculum meets the needs of ELL students.

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

Teachers are considering Ka Hikitia: The Māori Education Strategy 2013 - 2017 to identify curriculum strengths, progress and next steps to achieve through the school’s annual plan. The school culture of respectful relationships, focus on cooperative learning and expectation that students will succeed, contributes to Māori students’ confidence and progress.

A partnership is developing with the local iwi, Ngāti Apa, to support Māori students to achieve success as Māori. Iwi representatives are guiding custom and protocol. All students participate in the Ki Tai programme that affirms Māori students as leaders and holders of cultural knowledge. Teachers and students are growing in confidence to practise learning, such as mihi and waiata, in class. Kapa haka has been introduced in 2014. The next step is to integrate te ao Māori more deliberately through the curriculum.

Parents are involved in supporting their children to set learning goals, to participate in sport and to be active in the wider curriculum. Their views are sought in a range of ways. Trustees and the leadership team identify that continuing to grow relationships with Māori whānau and iwi is a priority.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board continues to review how effectively school policies and strategic planning goals are achieved. Trustees make decisions, including funding additional resources, to improve student achievement. They have good working relationships with the principal and staff.

Staff work cooperatively, as an effective team. An induction process familiarises new staff and trustees with policies and practices that support students to be confident, motivated and successful learners. Teachers have opportunities to use their strengths, share best practice and influence the quality of teaching. Senior leaders have clear expectations for teacher performance and provide good guidance towards improvement. They look beyond the school’s immediate area for innovation and improvement. There is considerable collaboration and shared learning with other schools.

PLD is extensive and in-depth, designed to improve students’ rates of progress and add to teachers’ curriculum knowledge. It is evident that PLD is changing teachers’ practice.

Students’ opinions are considered and valued. They responsibly carry out a wide range of leadership roles. The STARS learner qualities are enacted and integrated across the school.

Contacting families informally and in a range of situations is proving an effective way of developing partnerships with parents. Trustees consult, inform and seek feedback to reflect parents’ views and aspirations in board decisions. Parents play a key role in their children’s education. Attendance at student, parent and teacher conferences is high. Sharing students’ success stories through the personal ‘Joy Contacts’ is drawing an enthusiastic and encouraging response. As a next step, senior leaders are reviewing written reports to parents to ensure students’ progress and achievement in relation to National Standards, is made clear.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

14 May 2014

About the School

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

2397

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

135

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

26%

56%

12%

6%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

14 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

December 2009

February 2007

November 2005