Mayfield School (Blenheim) - 28/02/2019

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers have been proactive in addressing most of the next steps from the 2017 report. With external advice, leadership capacity has been built through internal evaluation processes to ensure effectiveness. As a result student achievement and wellbeing have improved, with particular emphasis on priority learners. Trustees are now clear about their roles and responsibilities and have a real focus on continuing to lift student achievement and wellbeing. They have developed a sustainable cycle of planning, assessment, improvement and internal evaluation. 

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

The July 2017 ERO review raised some concerns about accelerating student achievement for those children who need it. It also noted the quality of learning and teaching programmes that were resulting in poor achievement outcomes for many students. School achievement data for 2017 showed declining achievement, with many targets for improvement not met.

Leadership and management practices were identified as needing improvement to enable a shift in disparity of achievement through better quality assessment. Another priority was to inquire into the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes to fully promote successful outcomes for all children.

The 2017 ERO report also identified that the board needed to make sure it was fulfilling its governance roles and responsibilities, particularly related to the regular review of polices and processes to ensure student health and safety.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have been proactive in addressing most of the areas for improvement outlined in the 2017 report. The findings of the latest review are outlined below.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • student achievement
  • leadership and management
  • internal evaluation
  • bicultural perspectives
  • governance.

Progress

Children learn in positive environments with focused learning opportunities to lift their achievement. Teachers use intentional strategies and modify their approaches to support children’s learning and development needs. Assessment practices are more targeted and focus on individual learning needs that are closely monitored at individual and class levels. Teachers know their children and whānau well.

In conjunction with the teaching as inquiry reflections, leaders and teachers have used internal evaluation processes to give better information about the reasons for children’s achievement. They have taken a positive approach to supporting children’s learning and behaviour.

The curriculum has been reviewed in 2018. Children benefit from a curriculum that contains clear expectations for all learning areas for achievement, assessment and reporting. Māori and other children would benefit from a more bicultural approach to curriculum content and goals.

Trustees now receive comprehensive reporting from lead teachers on progress against student-focused strategic goals. This collaborative approach is having a positive impact on all student learning, but in particular on the wellbeing and achievement of boys.

The new distributed leadership model is a significant improvement. Leaders and teachers have developed an effective key task document in line with the school's strategic and student achievement goals. This is a highly reflective tool allowing for ongoing evaluation against key goals, and is also shared regularly with the board to inform decision making.

Key next steps

Leaders and teachers now need to continue to embed:

  • bicultural perspectives, including developing ways to acknowledge and build on Māori children’s cultural strengths so they enjoy success as Māori
  • the collaborative approach to leadership
  • targeted, effective practices to lift achievement
  • the use of spirals of inquiry across the school, including increasing student voice in this process.

The senior leadership team has identified the need to evaluate the effectiveness of the leadership approach used across the school.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is better placed to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees, leaders and teachers now have a cohesive, strategic planning structure linked to the vision and values and focused clearly on lifting student achievement and wellbeing.

Throughout 2018 leaders and teachers have worked hard to develop good systems for reflection on the effectiveness of their teaching and learning programmes. Inquiries into their practice have promoted changes to teaching and learning strategies, resulting in improved monitoring, achievement and wellbeing for all children.

Since the 2017 ERO review some new trustees have been appointed. Trustees have had personalised training in their roles and responsibilities and are focused on improving achievement and supporting the wellbeing of all children. They now have delegated roles and responsibilities to support the operation and governance of the school.

The board and senior leaders have reviewed and strengthened policies and procedures about education outside the classroom. They now have good practices in place and an improved overall policy review system through an on-line policy framework. They have consulted on, and reviewed the strategic plan, clarifying the school’s vision for learners at Mayfield School.

Development of the school’s website has improved communication with the community and other stakeholders. Parents and whānau have been consulted through a wide range of communication strategies, resulting in high levels of engagement of parents in learning programmes and the school’s vision and values.

The school has strong community links and has benefited from involvement in the Piritahi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Key next steps

Trustees and leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps are to:

  • access further board training about evaluating achievement and wellbeing information
  • continue to build leadership
  • develop further internal evaluation capability at all levels 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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Conclusion

Trustees, leaders and teachers have been proactive in addressing most of the next steps from the 2017 report. With external advice, leadership capacity has been built through internal evaluation processes to ensure effectiveness. As a result student achievement and wellbeing have improved, with particular emphasis on priority learners. Trustees are now clear about their roles and responsibilities and have a real focus on continuing to lift student achievement and wellbeing. They have developed a sustainable cycle of planning, assessment, improvement and internal evaluation.

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

28 February 2019

About the School

Location

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

2912

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

124

Gender composition

Boys 50% ; Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

35%
27%
9%
29%

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2017
May 2013
May 2007