Meadowbank School - 20/06/2018

School Context

Meadowbank School caters for children in Years 1 to 6. There are currently 746 children enrolled at the school. The roll includes three percent Māori, 20 percent Asian descent, and four percent of Pacific heritage. Close adherence to the enrolment zone helps the school manage the growing roll. Since ERO’S 2015 review, the number of children for whom English is an additional language continues to increase.

The school identifies academic success and personal excellence for all students as valued outcomes. To support these goals, the school aims to provide rich learning opportunities in a safe, respectful and nurturing environment.

Current school targets focus on high achievement in reading and writing. There are specific targets in reading for Māori and Pacific students, and in writing for boys and Māori and Pacific students. Achievement of these targets is supported by teachers’ inquiries into the impact of their practice on learning outcomes for children.

Leaders regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement patterns and trends in reading, writing and mathematics
  • students with additional learning needs
  • wellbeing for student success
  • learning opportunities across the breadth of the curriculum.

The school is part of the Auckland Central Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students.

The school’s data indicates that consistently most students, including Māori and Pacific, achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall achievement is slightly higher for reading and mathematics than for writing.

Over time, small disparities in achievement for different groups of students have been identified and addressed. In reading and mathematics, boys and girls achieved at comparable levels. The school is taking appropriate steps to respond to the existing disparity between boys and girls in writing.

Leaders gather considerable student responses during the course of their internal evaluations. This information tells them that most children:

  • feel safe and happy at the school
  • understand the school values
  • are well engaged in their learning
  • feel empowered to make decisions about their learning.

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

The school has good evidence to show that they are effective in accelerating the learning of the small number of children who need to make accelerated progress.

The school sets appropriate achievement targets. These targets aim to ensure all students make good progress towards achieving excellence in reading, writing and mathematics and to extend those children who already achieve well. Targets are in line with the aspirations and expectations that leaders and the community have for children’s learning.

Teachers use assessment tools to identify gaps in students’ learning and to measure their progress. They identify learners within their class who need to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Some students receive additional literacy and mathematics support through well designed learning programmes. School data show that most students, including Pacific students, who participate in these programmes make accelerated progress.

Teachers engage in forums to discuss, clarify and evaluate their practice related to their individual professional inquiry to improve outcomes for students. In senior classes, leaders and teachers consider the strengths and interests students bring to their learning. They make strategic decisions based on this information to support the overall success of the student. As a result of these good practices, teaching teams assume collective responsibility for student success and personalise their teaching approaches to meet students’ learning needs.

Leaders actively seek out ways to accelerate progress for students who need to achieve better, and to monitor their progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school has established a clear direction for teaching and learning. Guiding documents, including the charter and local curriculum, are well aligned to support this direction. The school’s vision is underpinned by values, attitudes and behaviours for learning that are well understood by students and teachers. Consultation with the community and local iwi has supported this development. This focus on learners helps to promote equity and excellence for students.

Leadership is effective and well distributed across all levels of the school. Leaders have high expectations of teachers and students. They are committed to teacher development and contribution to the wider education community. Leaders have established comprehensive systems and frameworks to guide school processes. This good practice helps to ensure consistency of good practices across the school.

The school’s curriculum is highly responsive to the local context and environment. Students experience a broad curriculum with many opportunities to learn aligned to the school vision and values. Specialist teachers, te reo Māori and Mandarin language learning, Enviro school, Garden to Table, and education outside the classroom promote the excellence for students. The CoL focus on student agency is well suited to the school’s focus on students’ self-managing their own learning.

A highly professional learning culture for teachers is evident. Teachers value working in this inclusive and productive learning community where they share high expectations for student learning and wellbeing. Teachers have high expectations of themselves and are encouraged to individually and collectively take responsibility for their own professional development and improvement. Professional development is well aligned with school goals and future directions.

The school community benefits from the commitment to ongoing improvement. The board of trustees is improvement focused and ensures that the school is responsive to external evaluation. Parents, teachers and students have opportunities to contribute their ideas and suggestions. There has been a concerted effort to improve communication at all levels. As a result, groups spoken to by ERO feel well informed and involved in decision making.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence?

To deepen students’ learning, teachers could consider how they can incorporate further challenge and complexity into programmes.

Leaders could now refine annual targets to focus more on students who need to make accelerated progress, and further evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives to improve outcomes for students.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

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.

At the time of this review there were five international students attending the school. The school reports that often families enrol their children for just one term to acquire some English language. There is good provision for these students. The principal could now include the progress and achievement of international students in reports to the board.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a clear school direction that is learner focused for student success

  • distributed leadership that supports coherence across the school

  • a curriculum that provides rich and varied opportunities for students

  • a professional culture that supports high expectations of teachers

  • a commitment to ongoing development that has improved communication at all levels.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • continuing to deepen the challenge and complexity in students’ learning

  • refining annual achievement targets

  • further evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives and the impact on student outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

20 June 2018

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1370

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

746

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 73%

Māori 3%

Chinese 14%

Samoan 2%

Indian 2%

other Asian 4%

other Pacific peoples 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

20 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015

Education ReviewNovember 2010

Education Review May 2007