Maungatapere School - 21/01/2013

1 Context

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

Maungatapere School is set in a semi-rural community in Northland. The school is noted in the community for its strengths in student achievement and sporting activities. Its curriculum appropriately reflects the students farming and agricultural backgrounds and experiences.

The inclusive practices evident in the school give students a strong sense of belonging and pride in their achievements. Positive relationships support students’ learning. The board’s surveys of parent satisfaction with the school show that parents value the talents and creativity of the staff. A strong culture of collaboration between the community and the school helps to create a partnership between parents and staff to support school activities.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the board has consulted the school’s Māori community and, as a result, has included goals for the success of Māori students as Māori in its strategic and annual plans. This partnership is now evident in the school curriculum and in classroom and school-wide practices.

The principal, supported by the senior management team, provides strong leadership. Teachers work collaboratively. Their shared ideas are valued and respected. This supportive climate fosters professional innovation to further improve student learning.

The expertise of the board of trustees in finance and property management has resulted in well equipped classrooms and good provision of information and communication technologies (ICT).

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes that support learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. High expectations of student learning and behaviour are reflected in well organised, settled classrooms. Students experience a broad curriculum with plenty of opportunities to explore meaningful concepts. Students respond well to the interest and support they receive from teachers.

School leaders use school-wide achievement data to identify student learning needs. Teaching teams use diagnostic testing to identify gaps in student learning. To help students to make independent decisions about their learning, teachers should continue to encourage students to identify and develop their own next learning steps. Providing opportunities for students to lead their own learning should also give them the confidence to take a greater role in school conference meetings with their parents.

School data show that students achieve very well. Most students are working at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders develop achievement targets for, and monitor the progress of, students achieving below the standards. Teachers continually monitor students’ progress. Class groupings are flexible to meet students changing learning needs. Students who are not reaching their potential are identified and there is evidence that these students make good progress.

The provision for learners with special education needs is well managed. A specialist teacher and well trained teacher aides support students with special learning needs in withdrawal and classroom situations. The achievement of a high percentage of these students is accelerated significantly as a result of specialist interventions. Student’s progress is monitored and there is good follow-up support for students in their mainstream classrooms.

The board receives good information about student achievement in relation to National Standards. Good use is made of this and other achievement information to make decisions that support teaching and learning initiatives. In 2011 the board did not report to parents on student’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. In 2012, the board is now reporting this information for reading and writing. However, school reports to parents do not make it sufficiently clear that progress and achievement is against the National Standards.

To improve school reporting, school leaders should review existing reports to parents to ensure that student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics National Standards is clearly stated. Current reports to parents do not report student achievement in mathematics National Standards. Reports to parents should also consistently include suggestions about how children’s learning can be supported at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

A review of the Maungatapere School curriculum plan against The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) has resulted in a curriculum that reflects student and family interests. Research and inquiry is increasingly supporting student learning in the areas of science, technology, health and social science. Topics relevant to student’s backgrounds and rural experiences are reflected in classroom programmes. Parent involvement in the curriculum is encouraged and further enriches children’s learning.

Senior leaders’ commitment to promoting success for all learners helps to influence and motivate staff. Students learning needs are given priority in decisions about curriculum design. The principal makes explicit her high expectations for teaching. Teachers are encouraged to be innovative in their classrooms and to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Teaching and learning reflects the requirements of the NZC. Teachers know their students well and are able to motivate and challenge them.

Well focused, school-wide professional learning and development in specific learning areas continues to inform teaching and learning across all curriculum areas. Considerable board funding has been put into the provision of ICT equipment in classrooms. Regular fortnightly professional development ensures that teachers and students have opportunities to become confident users of ICT and to use this in a variety of curriculum contexts.

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

Significant development of teacher knowledge and practice has improved school provision for Māori students. Māori pupils make up 15% of the school roll. The introduction of the Ministry of Education resource, Ka Hikitia has provided guidance for the development of school initiatives to support Māori learners.

In 2012 a focus of the school has been on Māori culture and practice and on developing a whole school teaching and learning programme. As a result, students and teachers have a renewed commitment to supporting Māori culture, language and identity in the school. This has been developed through a collaborative planning process following consultation with Māori families. Consultation with the school’s Māori community has resulted in the development of Māori student success goals in the board's strategic and annual plans.

Te reo Māori is included in classroom programmes across the school. Time is taken at assemblies to teach waiata, Māori traditions and culture. A kapahaka group has now been formed. A challenge for the board and staff will be to maintain and further develop these worthwhile initiatives.

Through future consultation with Māori families and whānau the board should be in a good position to explore the preferences Māori parents and individual families have in terms of consultation. School leaders should continue to discuss with parents the ways that student progress and achievement information can be reported to them. Good quality partnerships between the school and its Māori community have the potential to continue to strengthen student learning in school and at home.

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.

Governance and management systems are well aligned. The board of trustees actively supports the work of the staff. Planned schedules of self review provide a framework for the board, senior leaders and teachers to continually improve school operations and practices.

The principal provides stable leadership. Her considered approach to school development supports the implementation of school practices and initiatives. Self-review procedures are used well to improve school programmes and operations and to set the school’s strategic direction. The board makes informed decisions about the allocation of resources to meet identified needs and priorities.

The board and staff engage with the community and are open to feedback. Well developed consultation processes enable parents and whānau to contribute to school direction-setting.

The community is kept in close contact with the school through regular newsletters, an active Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) and a busy schedule of social, cultural and agricultural events.

The school’s vision of ‘Make it Happen’ guides school operations, including classroom teaching and learning. Outside expertise has supported the introduction of a values programme that has helped shape the positive learning behaviours and attitudes of students and guides staff in their support of children’s learning and well-being.

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.

In order to fulfil its requirements, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards, [National Administration Guidelines 2A (b, c)].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 January 2013

About the School

Location

Maungatapere

Ministry of Education profile number

1048

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

282

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European /Pākehā

Māori

Cook Island Māori

Other ethnicities

76%

15%

1%

8%

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2008

July 2006

November 2002