Meeanee School - 23/02/2016

Findings

Trustees and leaders have responded well to the opportunities and challenges of significant roll growth. Responsive programmes and inclusive strategies support students with learning needs and accelerate progress of groups at risk. Student achievement has improved. Further development of evaluation practices should contribute to sustained improvement.

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

1 Context

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

Meeanee School is on the rural outskirts of Napier. The roll of 90 has nearly doubled since the September 2012 ERO report. Māori students have increased to comprise 42% of the roll. Two additional full-time staff were appointed in 2015, with students now taught across four classrooms.

The previous report was the end point of a two year longitudinal review process. It identified good progress in most areas that had required development or improvement. Areas needing further attention identified in the 2012 ERO report, included professional development for the principal, strengthening self-review processes, teachers’ inquiry into their practice and developing the curriculum. Good progress has been made in these areas.

Parent teacher association fundraising, together with the principal's and trustees' prudent management of financial assets enables the board to fund extra staffing, storage and learning resources at a time of rapid roll growth. Trustees have purchased an extra teaching space for the 2016 school year, to cater for students needing additional interventions and individualised learning support.

A swimming pool and spacious grounds support physical activity and promote students’ wellbeing. A plan to further develop the natural environment and outdoor amenities is under consideration.

2 Learning

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

An increased focus on using student information for targeted teaching, monitoring and reporting supports improvements in outcomes for learners. Progress and achievement data is analysed and used well by trustees, leaders and teachers to inform planning, priorities and responsive programmes across the school.

Since the previous ERO review, targeted teaching and learning programmes have led to improvements in student achievement. By the end of 2015, achievement in reading, writing and mathematics has been lifted to show that many students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards.

Māori students achieve well overall. The school has recently developed a Māori Achievement policy to guide its approaches, strategies and actions for improving outcomes for this group of learners. As a result of increased levels of students' pride, engagement, focused teaching and support, eleven students accelerated their progress in writing and six in mathematics. Consequently, achievement of Māori has increased during that time so that 80% are at or above National Standards in reading, 82% in writing and 72% in mathematics.

Students with additional needs are well supported to make progress and be included in the wider life of the school. Leaders, teachers and teacher aides work closely with external agencies and each other to provide relevant programmes, interventions and learning support for this group of learners.

Students’ profiles show cumulative records of their ongoing achievement and promote smooth transitions through the school. A review of student reports to parents is needed to improve clarity and communication about students’ progress and achievement. This should ensure assessment of achievement against National Standards and other curriculum objectives is more explicit and useful for students and parents.

3 Curriculum

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

Improvements to the curriculum and teaching have responded to the needs and aspirations of groups of learners. The school has recently focused on the development of the literacy curriculum to meet the diverse needs of the growing student population. Documents outline expectations for teaching, learning and assessment. The approach to literacy is discussed regularly and in depth by staff. This builds consistency in assessment through sharing evidence and evaluating judgements.

Planning is well informed by the use of data to respond to students’ needs. Professional learning and development and programme development in writing and mathematics have focused on effective teaching and learning strategies in these areas. Recent improvements in mathematics teaching and resourcing are improving student outcomes and engagement. The school has identified this area for continued focus in 2016 to raise overall achievement.

The curriculum framework and programmes need further development. Leaders and teachers should build on the successes and strategies of the literacy approach to enhance and enrich the wider curriculum. Rigorous evaluation and review of quality and effectiveness of provision in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum is a next step. This process should include student voice and formalising a shared understanding of expectations for teaching and learning, to contribute to a wellinformed coherent approach as students progress through the school.

A planned and responsive careers programme needs to be implemented annually. This should better prepare senior students for transitions to the next stage and beyond in their learning and vocational pathways.

Leaders and teachers have successfully strengthened relationships with parents and whānau and increased their participation across the school community to benefit students. This includes the use of surveys, three-way conferences, learning journals, Reading Together programmes and increased communications. These initiatives and processes promote shared understandings and expectations and foster team work to support students’ ongoing progress and achievement.

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

The school has extended its strategies and resourcing to promote opportunities for Māori learners to increase their engagement, participation, achievement and success as Māori. This has been supported through increased consultation and involvement of whānau and the use of external expertise and partnerships.

Students are developing leadership skills and increased understanding of their language and culture. They successfully use te reo and participate in kapa haka, waiata and visits to a local marae and trips for cultural experiences.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain its recent improvements and overall performance. Trustees and leaders are well informed about their roles, responsibilities and obligations at a time of significant growth and change in the school.

They regularly engage with the community and consult over strategic plans, priorities and initiatives. Trustees access training to increase their understanding of effective self review and evaluation, and use a systematic approach to reviewing policies and procedures.

Trustees and leaders have increased the emphasis on provision of resources, time and specialist support to build teachers’ capability and collective capacity. Teachers are inquiring into their practice to improve strategies and programmes that raise achievement.

Appraisal procedures and processes provide a useful framework for improving professional knowledge and practice with appropriate links to the Practising Teacher Criteria. The principal models inquiry and appraisal procedures that link inquiries to goals and school targets for raising achievement. Ongoing refinement of these practices should promote and sustain further improvement across the school.

School leaders have responded appropriately to external evaluation and have prepared well for recent growth in the school roll. They continue to build a positive and inclusive culture across the school community.

Leaders provide a range of reports and reviews of various curriculum areas to the board. These reviews need to be strengthened and based on a deeper understanding of effective and collaborative evaluation.

To strengthen school systems and processes for sustaining improvement in performance, trustees should develop procedures to evaluate the board's effectiveness.

Leaders should:

  • develop a planned induction and mentoring programme for teachers new to the school
  • include cultural competencies in teachers’ annual appraisals
  • further develop internal evaluation knowledge and practices across 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

Trustees and leaders have responded well to the opportunities and challenges of significant roll growth. Responsive programmes and inclusive strategies support students with learning needs and accelerate progress of groups at risk. Student achievement has improved. Further development of evaluation practices should contribute to sustained improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2613

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

90

Gender composition

Male 47, Female 43

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

41

47

1

1

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

23 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

September 2012

November 2010

December 2007