Mayfield School (Blenheim) - 18/07/2017

Summary

Mayfield School (Blenheim) has a growing roll of 114 children, 54% of whom identify as Māori. Some children are enrolled at the school for short periods of time.

Since the previous ERO evaluation in 2013, all teachers, the deputy principal and board chairperson are new to their roles. This has had an impact on the sustainability of some processes and practices implemented to raise children’s achievement.

Since the previous ERO report, the number of children achieving at and above National Standards has varied. Trustees and leaders are aware that overall achievement levels are low.

ERO and the Ministry of Education have previously identified areas for improvement that trustees and senior leaders have made a priority. This ERO review highlights additional areas for development that need to be addressed to enable equitable outcomes for all children.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all children. It is not effectively responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. A number of new initiatives are in place to support children whose achievement needs accelerating but it is too early for ERO to evaluate the impact of these.

The school’s processes for developing and sustaining equity and excellence require further development. Leaders are beginning to use internal evaluation for teaching as inquiry and through the new appraisal system. However, there is limited use of evaluation to determine the quality of programmes, planning and teaching. School leaders have developed focused plans to improve progress and achievement in their areas of responsibility.

Achievement and other reports to the board are largely descriptive and need to be improved. Trustees should receive more evaluative information about the curriculum, teaching and learning, engagement and behaviour.

At the time of this review school leadership was identified as a key area for development to improve educational outcomes for all children.

Other areas for development include:

  • raising all children’s achievement

  • continuing to develop internal evaluation to enable leaders to know the effectiveness of learning and teaching programmes

  • ensuring the current review of the strategic plan has a clear focus on improving educational outcomes for all children

  • continuing to develop bi-cultural perspectives

  • further developing assessment and moderation practices.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Mayfield School is working towards responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Trustees and senior leaders have implemented new initiatives to support children whose achievement needs accelerating but it is too early for ERO to evaluate the impact.

Over the past three years achievement against the National Standards has remained low. Approximately half of the children at the school achieve at or above the National Standards in mathematics and writing. Trustees and leaders have acknowledged this and are working proactively to address this trend. In 2016, National Standards results showed improved progress in reading and mathematics.

The school’s charter clearly identifies valued outcomes in addition to literacy and mathematics. These aspects are not evaluated or reported to the board and parents. Board reports need to be more evaluative and give clearer information about achievement, learning and behaviour.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a strong focus on wellbeing and pastoral care. The positive Behaviour 4 Learning (PB4L) programme has had a significant effect on improving learning behaviour and is evident in the positive relationships across the school. This improvement places the school in a good position to raise children’s achievement.

An assessment overview guides practice across the school. Teachers are currently investigating ways to strengthen moderation of their assessment judgements and decisions.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Leadership, school systems and processes are yet to achieve equity and excellence for all children. Trustees and leaders have implemented new systems and processes to ensure that equity and excellence can be achieved by all children.

School-wide achievement data is collated in literacy and mathematics. Analysis of this data identifies target and priority learners. Systems and processes should now be improved to use this information in a strategic way with a deliberate focus on accelerating achievement.

The board has invested in professional learning and development (PLD) to enhance literacy and mathematics programmes. This PLD now needs to be fully implemented across the school.

A new distributed leadership approach places responsibility on teachers to plan, initiate and lead school-wide curriculum developments. Teachers need further support to enact their teaching and leadership roles. Teaching as inquiry and the new appraisal processes clearly link to school goals and raising achievement for children. These processes now need to be fully embedded to enable continuous improvement to teaching practices.

ERO observed respectful and friendly relationships across the school. A new community hub provides a place for parents to meet which is based on a whānau concept and provides opportunities for families to meet together and have discussions on school-related topics.

Close links with local schools and early childhood services provide easy transitions for children from ECE to school. The school is an active member of the Piritahi Community of Learning (CoL) which has a focus on achievement in writing, particularly for boys, that is relevant to this school.

The board chair has a strong vision for school improvement and has undertaken focused training. It would be timely for the whole board to have training in their governance roles.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school now needs to improve its systems and processes for developing and sustaining equity and excellence.

Areas for further development include:

  • raising all children’s achievement

  • continuing to develop internal evaluation to enable leaders to know the effectiveness of learning and teaching programmes

  • ensuring the current review of the strategic plan has a clear focus on improving educational outcomes for all children

  • continuing to develop bi-cultural perspectives

  • further developing assessment and moderation practices. 

The board needs to ensure that board policies and procedures are followed, reviewed and kept up to date, particularly regarding Health and Safety.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare,

  • personnel management,

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014. 

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • continue to thoroughly review and update school policies and procedures

  • ensure appraisal systems are well embedded in practice

  • send out the school’s complaints policy each year to the school community

  • undertake whole board training around their roles and responsibilities.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

At the time of this review, this school was working towards providing conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. These include:

  • improving and embedding leadership and governance practices

  • raising all children’s achievement

  • developing internal evaluation processes to enable leaders to know the effectiveness of learning and teaching programmes

  • building coherence of strategic school documentation

  • continuing to improve bi-cultural perspectives

  • developing further assessment and moderation practices.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement of all children

  • are embedding initiatives to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education support the school to improve:

  • student achievement, learning and teaching

  • leadership and management, to fully promote successful outcomes for all children

  • aspects of governance. 

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • strengthen governance practices, particularly regarding health and safety polices and processes. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

18 July 2017 

About the school 

Location

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

2912

School type

Contributing Primary Years 1-6

School roll

114

Gender composition

Boys: 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 54%

Pākehā 34%

Pacific 4%

Asian 3%

Latin American 3%

African 1%

Other 1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

18 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2013

Education Review May 2010

Education Review May 2007