Maruia School - 02/06/2015

Findings

Maruia School is a small, rural school located on the West Coast. Students are highly motivated learners. Most students are achieving very well. The staff work together as a team to support students’ learning and wellbeing. The school’s curriculum extends students’ interests and learning beyond the school environment. The board provides an attractive and safe environment for students and staff. The school is well supported by parents and the community.

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?

Maruia School is a small, rural school located in the Maruia Valley on the West Coast. The school continues to be well resourced with several learning spaces. The roll fluctuates as parents move in and out of the area in search of ongoing employment.

Parents and the wider school community strongly support the school through fund raising and contributing to the school’s programmes. The principal and staff have developed a meaningful relationship with a neighbouring school. This enables students to share knowledge, sporting and cultural experiences with a wider range of students. Teachers are able to exchange professional ideas and moderate the decisions they make about the level of students’ work.

The highly-committed trustees, many with long-standing attachments to the school, have, together with the principal, addressed the issues outlined in the 2012 ERO report. The curriculum is now complete, and clearly outlines the school’s expectations for learning and teaching. An assessment schedule ensures relevant information is consistently gathered.

2. Learning

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

The school effectively uses achievement information to enhance students’ engagement, progress and achievement. The board receives very good achievement data on which to base decisions about resourcing.

Trustees provide significant funding to employ an additional teacher and a teacher aide. This extra staffing contributes to the high levels of student achievement in the school.

Students are highly engaged in learning. They are well motivated by the programmes specifically personalised to meet their interests and needs. They are encouraged to reflect on the quality of their learning and to set further goals to guide their ongoing learning.

Most students (90%) are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. A significant number of students are achieving above the National Standards in reading and writing.

3. Curriculum

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

The principal has developed a useful curriculum to guide and support teachers in their planning and teaching. Students, parents and the community have also contributed to its development. The curriculum reflects the values and expectations that families and wider school community have for the students’ learning.

Students’ learning is strongly focused in contexts that are meaningful to them and to meet their individual learning needs. Teachers plan experiences that support students’ progress through the school and on to secondary education. Students also use a wide range of ICT to extend their learning opportunities of the wider world.

The next steps are for the principal to make sure that:

  • the newly-developed curriculum is fully implemented and embedded
  • significant aspects of professional discussions relating to self review, are formally recorded
  • teachers report on student achievement in areas beyond literacy and mathematics.

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

Māori students are achieving well in reading, writing and mathematics. The school benefits from the expertise of two Māori staff. All students can be involved in kapa haka and regular reo and tikanga Māori lessons. These experiences specifically help Māori students to experience success as Māori. These opportunities also support all students to be inclusive and respectful of those who come from different cultural backgrounds.

The next step is for the principal and staff to consider ways to ensure the sustainability of these good practices.

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 staff work well together to support students’ learning, progress and development. The professional leadership group of neighbouring principals provides the principal with constructive opportunities for professional dialogue and collegial support. A close, professional tie with a neighbouring school enables educational, cultural and sporting interactions between students and professional sharing between teachers and principals.

The board works well in collaboration with the principal. Some trustees no longer have children at the school but remain on the board as involved community members with a strong connection and commitment to the local school. They clearly understand their roles and responsibilities and identify their training needs and seek relevant support. The board uses a consultative process to seek the views of students, parents, staff and the wider community when setting out their plans for the school.

The next steps for the board are to:

  • streamline the strategic plan so that it more clearly identifies the school’s priorities and how these priorities will be met
  • maintain the board’s cycle of self review and include reviews of the board’s governance responsibilities
  • strengthen the appraisal of the principal to focus on ongoing improvement.

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

Maruia School is a small, rural school located on the West Coast. Students are highly motivated learners. Most students are achieving very well. The staff work together as a team to support students’ learning and wellbeing. The school’s curriculum extends students’ interests and learning beyond the school environment. The board provides an attractive and safe environment for students and staff. The school is well supported by parents and the community.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

2 June 2015

About the School

Location

West Coast

Ministry of Education profile number

3204

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

22

Gender composition

Boys 12; Girls 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

19

3

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

2 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

August 2008

June 2005