Maungaraki School - 18/02/2013

Findings

1. Context

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

Maungaraki School is in the centre of the Maungaraki suburb of Lower Hutt and has a strong partnership with its local community. Proximity to the central city provides a wide range of student learning opportunities. The roll of 286 is ethnically diverse and includes 12% of students identifying as Māori.

A new principal was appointed late in 2011. Ongoing refurbishment of buildings and grounds has enhanced the learning environment for children.

2. Learning

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

Students are highly engaged in classrooms and a settled tone is apparent. Students are respectful and helpful towards each other.

School reported student achievement data for reading, writing and mathematics in 2011 and 2012 show the majority of students are at, or above, in relation to National Standards. Māori and Pacific students show good levels of academic progress.

Teachers effectively collate and analyse achievement data to adapt classroom programmes. The use of assessment tools has been reviewed and these are appropriately used. Developing shared understandings about making and moderating overall teacher judgements is ongoing. Staff involvement in moderation within and across year levels has resulted in the development of a tool, well used with students, to establish next teaching and learning steps.

Priority learners make significant, accelerated progress particularly in writing and mathematics. Teachers have clear systems to identify, resource, track and monitor students needing additional support. Their progress is well monitored and reported each term to the board. Leaders evaluate the effectiveness of the various strategies implemented, to continually improve learner outcomes.

Teachers help students become independent learners through goal setting and ownership of what they are learning. Students talk about their achievement and next steps. Students lead learning celebrations, shared with their parents. Their voice is sought through many surveys and their ideas are acted on.

Gifted and talented students are identified and appropriately extended and challenged, both in and out of the classroom. All Year 7 and 8 students are involved in a wide range of leadership initiatives that develop personal responsibility. They act as role models and buddies, and are active in the wider Maungaraki Community. The enviro-school programme offers opportunities for leadership for Year 4 to 8 students.

Students are self-motivated and empowered to learn. The school’s priority is to continue to assist students to develop as responsible and self managing learners.

3. Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum is underpinned by the motto 'united through our passions for learning we aspire to excellence'. Learning contexts, particularly through the inquiry learning cycle, are authentic and meaningful for students. Learning is enhanced by an extensive range of opportunities outside the classroom. It is timely to review the guiding documents for Maungaraki School Curriculum to reflect recent strategic plan consultation.

Teachers have high expectations of their students. Staff are responsive to and respectful of learners. Very good rapport between teachers and students provides a foundation for shared ownership of learning. Units of work and individual teaching programmes are well planned to raise achievement. Students get focused feedback about their learning. The 2012 focus on student goal setting, self-assessment and self-regulation of learning is evident in practice.

Improvement-focused teaching contributes to high quality outcomes for students. Teachers work collaboratively. ERO affirms teachers' intention to continue sharing and broadening teaching strategies and advance their skills in catering for the different needs and abilities of learners.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers demonstrate commitment and actively promote educational success for Māori. The school works in partnership with Māori parents, whānau and community. Termly whānau hui give Māori parents a voice in decisions affecting their children. A link with a marae has been established.

School leaders and staff are using many strategies to promote the importance of Māori language, culture and identity. Professional development to use and understand te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is ongoing. Te reo Māori is seen and heard in classrooms and teachers are developing, with guidance, a school kawa. Involvement in two kapa haka groups promotes self esteem and pride for the students involved. Teachers and students have an increased awareness of te ao Māori.

To strengthen self review, with a focus on Māori student success as Māori, consideration should be given to the use of such tools as Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for teachers of Māori Learners.

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. Trustees show commitment to providing positive outcomes for students.

The board and school leaders have a good understanding of robust self review as a tool for continuous improvement. They get a broad variety of appropriate information to set priorities and inform decisions. Trustees ask for and are well informed about the progress of targeted students.

The recently completed strategic plan (2012 to 2014) was developed with extensive community consultation. Charter, strategic and annual plans and appraisal documents are all well aligned to advance the school's priorities.

The leadership team is strong and effective. In their actions, senior leaders model critical reflection which supports improvement. They have complementary skills. As leaders, they encourage team work and actively participate in school wide professional development. They support teachers' development as leaders.

As part of continuing self review, the performance management system is being reworked to improve its effectiveness. The aim is to empower teachers to take responsibility for their professional development, encourage personal reflection, and use a range of evidence to support the process. The school has identified that it will continue to refine and embed the appraisal process to promote and maintain a culture of personal growth and development.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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.

Joyce Gebbie National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

18 February 2013

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School

Location

Maungaraki, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2968

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

286

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

British/European

Filipino

Pacific

South East Asian

Asian

Other ethnic groups

60%

12%

6%

5%

4%

3%

3%

2%

5%

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

18 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

September 2006

December 2003