Maungawhau School - 20/06/2014

Findings

Students benefit from a settled learning environment that reflects the school’s culture of high expectations. Affirming relationships and positive values provide a sound foundation for student learning. The school’s curriculum is responsive to student strengths and needs, and to new educational directions. The school monitors the progress and achievement of individual and groups of students well. Available school data confirms the good progress students make and their overall high levels of achievement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Maungawhau School in Mt Eden is a large, urban school that caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has undergone significant change over the past three years. Its new principal, board of trustees, and curriculum leader are managing this change carefully and strategically. They are working successfully with others to build on the school’s significant strengths while bringing to it renewed energy and direction. School leaders are successfully supporting and inducting teachers who are new to the school or new to the teaching profession. The school continues to be high performing.

The school has benefited from ongoing property, site and resource developments. Improvements include upgrades of teaching spaces, enhancement of the school’s e-learning infrastructure and extension of curricular and co-curricular resources. These enhancements further enrich the school’s learning environment.

The school retains the support of its community and its roll continues to grow. The roll comprises a majority of New Zealand Pākehā students, with ten percent Chinese, six percent Indian, a small number of Māori and Pacific students, and students from a variety of other ethnicities.

2 Learning

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

School leaders use achievement information very well to make positive changes to learner’s progress and achievement. Development in the school’s student assessment practices continue to strengthen the validity and reliability of assessment results, increasing the confidence that school leaders, teachers, students and parents can have in them. School leaders have appropriate plans for continuing to support such positive and ongoing improvements, and for up-skilling teachers’ individual analyses and use of assessment information.

The board of trustees uses school-wide data to monitor the maintenance of school standards. The data shows that students at Maungawhau School continue to achieve well academically, with a very high number achieving at or above National Standards. The school’s results align very well with local, regional and national results. The board could now consider working more formally with the schools students move to for their intermediate and secondary education, so that longer-term monitoring of students’ academic achievement can be established.

School leaders increasingly look for patterns and trends that can be identified from gender and ethnicity data. They closely monitor the progress and achievement of all Māori and Pacific students, individually, and as groups. They closely monitor the progress of students with special needs and the impact of any intervention programmes they receive. These actions show an ongoing commitment to inclusion and to promoting positive outcomes for all students.

Analyses of achievement data directly inform the board of trustees’ immediate and long-term planning, helping focus the allocation of school resources and interventions to areas of greatest need. Well developed self critique is undertaken about the success such interventions are having on the progress and achievement of targeted and priority group learners.

Teachers are participating in professional development to help extend their use of assessment information to cater for students at the classroom level. More students now have greater knowledge about their progress and development as learners, and increased ownership of their next steps in learning. Improvements in the use of achievement information to target student learning underpin the school’s new curriculum directions.

School processes for reporting to parents about the progress and achievement of their children continue to develop. Parents have good opportunities to meet with teachers. A next step could be for the school to unpack the new report format with parents to help ensure that they fully understand its purpose and content. Finding ways to include in reports the progress made by students with special education needs is a further area for consideration.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students are highly engaged, enthusiastic learners. They benefit from settled learning environments that reflect the school’s culture of high expectations and achievement. The curriculum includes well developed pastoral care systems and well implemented processes for supporting the inclusion of all students. Affirming relationships and positive values underpin a school culture in which students support and encourage each other to succeed.

ERO’s 2011 report noted how well placed the school was to review and extend students’ involvement in planning the direction of their learning. This is now well in hand. The introduction of personalised learning approaches, and the refinement of student inquiry-based learning, strongly supports student-centred, student-led teaching and learning. Students speak with confidence about ways in which curriculum improvements are supporting them to be more effective learners. School leaders and trustees are intent on increasing student access to e-learning resources as a means of further extending student-led learning.

Students experience a broad and balanced curriculum. The core curriculum receives an appropriate focus and is benefiting from recent significant additional budget allocations. Programmes promote student participation and leadership. Students have extended opportunities to participate in well resourced co-curricular activities that help develop their strengths, talents and confidence in sports, arts, culture, and performance. These activities are adapted to be inclusive of all students. They extend and enrich students’ knowledge and skills while helping develop across-school social cohesion.

Curriculum developments are being very well led and managed. School leaders work effectively with teachers, building on teacher strengths, sharing good practices and increasing curriculum connections throughout the school. School leaders have carefully linked appraisal and professional development processes to nurture and revitalise teachers’ professional growth. Distributed curriculum leadership, and collegial, collaborative approaches, focus on ensuring that students receive high quality programmes.

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

The school continues to reflect on and improve its effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori.

The school has fifteen Māori students. The majority of those who have been at Maungawhau School since the age of five achieve at levels similar to those of many other students in the school. The progress of Māori students who are newer to the school, or who have particular learning needs, is carefully monitored to ensure they receive intervention support programmes where necessary.

The school has addressed the recommendations and the action required in this area of its 2011 ERO report. Stronger bicultural components have been added to school events and programmes. Māori parents are now consulted more regularly and formally about what they wish for the education of their children. Links with local community resource people have become stronger. The school focus on kapa haka offers increased opportunities for Māori students to celebrate and learn more about their language, culture and identities.

The underlying principles of Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success, the Ministry of Education Māori success strategy, have been documented. A next step for school leaders and the board is to prioritise specific and measurable school goals to support educational success for Māori, as Māori. The board should then focus on the impact of actions taken in this respect.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Maungawhau School is very well placed to sustain and keep improving its performance. School leaders are enthusiastic, capable and strongly focused on what is best for students. They are knowledgeable professional leaders who inspire the confidence of staff and students. School leaders implement collaborative approaches, both in the school and within its local school cluster, fostering ongoing professional development and sharing. They are working effectively to extend staff capability and capacity, promoting a continuation of school strengths while leading the school into its next stage of development.

The sustainability and improvement of school performance is enhanced by effective school governance. The board comprises knowledgeable and able trustees who are very well informed about their responsibilities and accountabilities. The board engages in evidence-informed decision making. Regular and increasingly robust self-review processes successfully support the school to monitor its own performance and to set appropriate future goals. Its planning, both annual and strategic, provides a sound basis for continuous school improvement.

School and community relationships are positive and reciprocal. The school keeps its community very well informed and actively works to promote strong community links. School leaders now wish to focus the home-school relationship on a partnership to support student learning. This appropriate focus reflects the important role parents have as first teachers of their children.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international learners is thorough.

The school provides its international students with a very good standard of education, care and support. International students are well integrated into school life and extra-curricular activities. At the time of this review there was one international student attending 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.

Conclusion

Students benefit from a settled learning environment that reflects the school’s culture of high expectations. Affirming relationships and positive values provide a sound foundation for student learning. The school’s curriculum is responsive to student strengths and needs, and to new educational directions. The school monitors the progress and achievement of individual and groups of students well. Available school data confirms the good progress students make and their overall high levels of achievement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 June 2014

About the School

Location

Mt Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1367

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

632

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Australian

British/Irish

Korean

Samoan

Sri Lankan

other Asian

other European

other

2%

67%

10%

6%

2%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

6%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

20 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

October 2007

October 2004