Matamata Intermediate - 20/12/2013

1 Context

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

Matamata Intermediate is situated in Matamata, and caters for students in Years 7 and 8 from Matamata township and the surrounding rural area. The roll is currently 355. Aproximately 25% of the students are Māori. The majority of these whakapapa to Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Hauā.

The board and senior leadership has remained stable since the last ERO review in December 2009. There have been some changes in staff since this time. The school continues to promote a very positive school climate and culture that is underpinned by the three key values of courtesy, common sense and consideration. Over the last two years there has been a significant focus on improving practice in the teaching of literacy. Priority has also been given to extending the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support learning programmes.

The school has had a positive ERO reporting history and enjoys positive relationships with parents and the wider community, contributing schools and the local college. There has been a focus on improving connections with Māori parents. A feature of the school continues to be the attractive and well maintained buildings and grounds.

2 Learning

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

The school makes highly effective use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. At a school-wide level, school leaders’ use a range of student achievement information effectively to set achievement targets, monitor the progress of groups of students and inform strategic decision making and ongoing school review. Targets and goals are set to address the progress and achievement of students achieving below expected levels. Strategic targets are also set to promote curriculum development. Targets and goals are challenging, focussed on school improvement and well understood by teachers.

Teachers successfully use achievement information to identify student learning needs and provide specific programmes to meet those needs. School leaders and staff have developed robust procedures for determining overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. These judgements consider a broad range of evidence from effective testing as well as teacher observation of student learning. A strength of the school is the high level of understanding that students have of achievement data and their use of it to set goals and manage their own learning. Parents receive detailed information about their child’s achievement and progress, including guidance for supporting students to improve their learning. There is a need to clarify terminology in reports to ensure that parents understand how their children are achieving against the National Standards.

The majority of students make significant progress over their two years at Matamata Intermediate School. This includes students requiring extra support and those with special abilities and talents. ERO observed high levels of student engagement, interest and enthusiasm for learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The Matamata Intermediate School Curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. The school has developed a coherent curriculum document, in consultation with the local community, that ensures the curriculum reflects the school’s vision and values and provides clear guidelines for teaching practice. Important features of the curriculum include:

  • close alignment with The New Zealand Curriculum (TNZC)
  • a strong focus on literacy and mathematics
  • the teaching of literacy and mathematics through relevant contexts from other subject areas
  • balanced coverage of all curriculum areas
  • the effective use of ICT
  • the way local contexts for learning are used and link to the school virtues and key competencies of the TNZC
  • well developed technology and arts programmes that reflect the school’s focus on literacy and mathematics.

The school’s curriculum reflects, and is responsive to, the school’s students and context. Along with high quality literacy and mathematical learning programmes, students have access to a rich range of opportunities in sport, culture and the performing arts.

Teachers are hard working and consistently demonstrate high quality practice in classrooms. They are strongly committed to supporting students across a wide range of school activities. They have high expectations for student learning and behaviour, and maintain strong, respectful and positive relationships with students. Teachers effectively use a range of appropriate strategies to engage students as active learners.

School leaders have established very effective systems that support teachers to reflect on and improve their practice. These systems include a robust teacher appraisal process and strong support for teachers in their first years of service.

The school has already identified that a useful next step is to strengthen the consistency of practices which encourage students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning across the school.

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

While Māori student achievement is below that of their non-Māori peers, the school is becoming increasingly focused on effective ways of promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. School leaders support a strong and active kapa haka, they are committed to engaging with the Māori community, and aspects of tikanga Māori are visible and included in school ceremonies and celebrations.

The Māori community is actively involved in the school. Leadership roles for Māori as Māori are promoted, and Māori students with specialist knowledge are used to teach and coach others. Māori content and perspectives are included in all topic studies and there are clear expectations for the teaching of the Māori language in the school. Māori parents express satisfaction with the way in which the school prepares their children academically for secondary school.

ERO and school leaders agree that it would be beneficial to:

  • strengthen the te reo Māori programme
  • further embed Māori preferred ways of teaching and learning
  • further promote the identity of Māori students by developing a systematic and sequential programme for teaching local tribal history.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. A key element of this sustainability is the highly effective professional leadership that is being provided by the principal and senior leadership team, who are strongly focused on improving student learning and achievement.

Other features of the school that contribute to sustainability are:

  • effective governance that provides a clear vision and direction for the school
  • a culture of reflection and continuous improvement, which is supported by a range of effective systems for self review
  • students reporting that they feel safe and have a strong sense of belonging
  • high levels of parent and whānau engagement in the life of the school.

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 four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 December 2013

About the School

Location

Matamata

Ministry of Education profile number

1812

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

355

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other

Asian

Pacific

64%

24%

6%

4%

2%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

20 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

February 2007

December 2003