Mimi School - 27/11/2018

School Context

Mimi School is a rural school six kilometres north of Urenui, and 38 kilometres north of New Plymouth. The school acknowledges Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama as mana whenua. The roll at the time of this review was 54, with 23 children identifying as Māori. Mimi School has three classrooms catering for students from Years 1 to 6.

The school’s vision, ‘Learning and teaching where the country, coast and classroom meet,’ is underpinned by the key values of respect, courage, independence, perseverance, and enacted through the statement, ‘Think, Ask, Do, Discover Together’.

The 2018 strategic plan prioritises ongoing student improvement, with a focus on accelerating student achievement in writing across the middle and senior school.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • target learners’ progress and achievement

  • intervention programmes including Accelerating Learning in Literacy (ALL)

  • attendance

  • wellbeing.

Since the December 2015 ERO report, the roll has steadily grown. There have been changes with a new principal beginning mid-2017 and new staff appointed in 2018.

The school has been involved since 2017, in the ALL initiative and in 2018 began professional development with digital technologies.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcome for all its students. There has been a decline in achievement across reading, writing and mathematics for boys and Māori students since the previous ERO report.

Achievement data at the end of 2017, shows nearly all girls were achieving at and above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. However, only half of the boys at the school achieved at or above expectation in reading and mathematics, and less than half were achieving to expectation in writing. For Māori students there has been growing disparity with their peers with just over half of them achieving at and above expectation across these areas.

Mid-year 2018 data indicates boys and Māori students are showing increasing levels of achievement and the majority of both groups are now achieving to expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Year 6 outcomes reflect positive gains. Nearly all students who graduate at the end of year 6 achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school has strengthened its effectiveness in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Target students are clearly identified in reading, writing and mathematics. Mid-year 2018 data shows all target students in writing and mathematics have made progress and most have made progress in reading. The majority of target students across these areas have made accelerated progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

Positive school conditions support learning. The school’s learning and teaching environments are characterised by respect, cooperation and teamwork. Curriculum connections to students’ lives are made through inquiry learning, responding to their interests, events and the local community. Digital tools and resources are used appropriately to support learning and engagement for students, and strengthen learning relationships with whānau.

Leadership has collaboratively developed the school’s charter and vision by gathering the perspectives of its community. The school’s vision and goals are clearly stated and are a driving focus for school leadership. A robust strategic plan has been developed and an effective annual plan is aligned to ensure an ongoing focus on improving practices and processes. These seek to enhance student wellbeing, promote culture, language and identity and enable students to learn and achieve well.

Teachers and leaders are collaborative and collegial. They have strengthened how they use achievement information to improve student learning outcomes. Systems have been established for collecting, analysing and interpreting data to assist in evaluating outcomes for students .The school is improvement- focused for all students, and rigorous tracking and monitoring systems reflect this focus.An appropriate range of assessment tools are used effectively to measure student achievement and progress.

Aspirations of family and whānau are regularly sought and valued. Whānau and community are actively encouraged to be involved in the life and work of the school. School and community work together to resource and enrich learning for students and is reflected in the motto, ‘Mimi School is community focused and the community is school focused’.

Trustees bring a variety of strengths and skills to their roles. They have undertaken training and provide robust oversight of school operation. They maintain a strong focus on resourcing the school to maximise student outcomes. An appropriate self-review programme guides trustees to ensure their focus remains appropriately on improvement and accountability. Leaders and teachers use evaluation frameworks and self review to develop and progress improvement and innovation for students.

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

A key priority for the future should be to build on current strengths and achieve equity and excellence for all students. Leaders should develop explicit schoolwide targets for the progress and desired outcomes for those students whose learning need acceleration.

Leaders and teachers plan to review and develop the curriculum to support the enactment of the community’s vision for students at Mimi School. ERO’s evaluation affirms this development. This provides the opportunity to include guidance for students to lead and assess their own learning. The school is keen to ensure that development of culture, language and identity and promotion of te ao Māori are further strengthened and their reviewed curriculum reflect this commitment.

Recently-developed appraisal systems and frameworks are sound and are likely to grow teachers’ practice once fully implemented. The school should seek to align their teaching as inquiry process to connect learners to teaching practice that promotes equitable outcomes.

Many practices that are likely to be successful have been put in place. These now need to be embedded across the school and evaluated to support sustained improvement in learning and teaching.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • relationships between leadership, parents and community that are collaborative and support and enhance students’ learning and wellbeing

  • a charter and strategic goals that have are comprehensive, with a sustained focus on students’ engagement, wellbeing and achievement

  • review and evaluation that focuses on improving and progressing student outcomes.

Next steps

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

  • refining processes for target setting and reporting, to specifically focus on those students who require acceleration
  • aligning teacher inquiries to school goals and targets to support teachers to better focus on learner outcomes
  • developing an overarching curriculum document to provide expectations and guidance for teaching practice and learning and reflects the current practices and connections to place and context.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 November 2018

About the school

Location

Urenui

Ministry of Education profile number

2199

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

54

Gender composition

Female 32, Male 22

Ethnic composition

Māori 23
Pākehā 31

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

27 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2015
Education Review, November 2012
Education Review, October 2009