Mimi School - 15/12/2015

Findings

Students benefit from a well-designed curriculum, good quality teaching, increased e-learning, caring for the environment and community service. Parents and the community work with the school to support the learning programmes. Trustees resourcing decisions clearly focus on improving outcomes for students. A new principal takes up the position in 2016.

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?

Mimi School is a rural school in North Taranaki that caters for students in Years 1 to 6, 19 of whom identify as Māori. The school acknowledges Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama as mana whenua. There is strong support for the staff and students from families and community organisations.

The school provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. Its vision is: 'Discover, think, ask, do', and its whakatauki: ‘Where the country, coast and classroom meet’. These are clearly evident and underpin teaching, learning and the culture of the school. There is an emphasis on environmental and sustainable practices in the curriculum. Students are actively involved in working with the Department of Conservation in a range of preservation projects.

Since the 2012 ERO review, there has been a complete change of teaching staff. The long-serving principal resigned mid 2015 with an acting principal in the role for the second half of the year. The board has appointed a new principal who takes up the position at the beginning of 2016.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO and has worked hard to address the areas for improvement identified in the previous report.

2 Learning

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

Teachers, leaders and trustees use achievement information effectively to promote student engagement, learning, progress and achievement. The school reports that the majority of students are achieving at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Information is used effectively to set schoolwide and class targets for raising achievement for identified cohorts.

School systems support ongoing improvements in student achievement over time. Teachers track and monitor progress. They use this information to inform planning and next learning steps for students. School leaders collate this information and present it to the board. The data indicates improved levels of achievement in reading and writing between 2013 and 2014, including Māori students.

Students with identified needs receive support through a range of initiatives, programmes and interventions, including resourcing, personnel and external specialist expertise. Progress and achievement of these students is closely monitored by teachers and leaders. Data indicates that many have made accelerated progress to date and are on track to be achieving at expectation by the end of the year.

Students clearly understand expectations for learning. They know and talk about their progress, achievement and next steps for improvement. Students share their learning with parents through three way conferences and digital technologies.

Teachers report and provide parents with useful information about their children’s progress and achievement against National Standards and across the curriculum. Parent feedback is being sought in relation to reporting formats that are being trialled.

3 Curriculum

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

Mimi School’s broad curriculum effectively reflects the principles and values of The New Zealand Curriculum and responds to the needs of students. Inquiry learning is used effectively to engage and encourage students to become confident and competent in questioning, collecting and processing information and applying what they have learnt.

The curriculum incorporates connections to learners’ lives, prior knowledge, experiences and real world contexts. Progress with e-learning is ongoing. Students are supported to have an understanding of their responsibility in guardianship to sustain the environment for the future.

The school’s teaching beliefs are well enacted in practice across the school. Teachers use a wide range of strategies to engage and promote learning for all students. They model, give instructions, plan learning tasks and organise groupings to support active learning. Teachers plan for and provide opportunities for students to revisit and apply learning through a variety of purposeful activities.

Students are actively and positively engaged and are supported to develop understandings of themselves as learners. Teachers support learners to develop their oral language capability. There is a schoolwide focus on developing the ‘whole person’, with staff having a collective responsibility for promoting the academic, social, physical and artistic abilities and wellbeing of all students. They accept and take on leadership roles within a wide range of opportunities.

Teachers and parents work collaboratively to ensure a seamless transition to school for all students. A wide range of strategies supports teachers’ knowledge and information about children’s learning, including oral language capability before they start school.

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

The school continues to focus on developing its effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori students, as Māori. School leaders have developed a ‘Targeting Māori Success’ action plan. This is at an early stage of implementation. It outlines three areas of focus: presence, engagement and achievement. Attendance and achievement information is collated, analysed and presented to the board.

Progress is evident in accelerating Māori students' achievement in literacy and mathematics so that it is more comparable with other learners. This includes significant progress in lifting Māori students' progress in writing. This area remains an ongoing priority. Students are identified in target cohorts and receive appropriate support through programmes and interventions.

Te ao Māori is successfully integrated within the curriculum and class programmes. Māori learners, culture, identity and language is clearly evident in programmes and the environment.

ERO has identified and trustees agree a next step is to develop partnerships with whānau and iwi to support Māori learners' educational success and success as Māori

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well paced to sustain and improve its performance. The school’s values, tone and culture provide a strong foundation for sustaining and enhancing student learning. Collaborative relationships across school and community groups support all learners.

The board is focused on valued outcomes for students. Trustees have a clear understanding of priorities and targets based on analysis of trends and progress over time. They are well informed about student achievement, school practice and operation. This is discussed in depth to guide decision making and resourcing.

School leaders have implemented coherent systems and processes that support evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation. The recently revised, more robust appraisal process has been implemented this year. It includes clear alignment between student learning needs and teacher professional goals. Teachers are well supported through targeted professional learning and development linked to their needs, interests and school priorities.

Strengthening the evaluative aspect of inquiry and internal evaluation should provide teachers, leaders and trustees clearer information about the impact of actions and changes for improvement on outcomes for students.

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 well-designed curriculum, good quality teaching, increased e-learning, caring for the environment and community service. Parents and the community work with the school to support the learning programmes. Trustees resourcing decisions clearly focus on improving outcomes for students. A new principal takes up the position in 2016.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Urenui

Ministry of Education profile number

2199

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

59

Gender composition

Female 34, Male 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

19

40

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

15 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

October 2009

June 2006