Mosston School - 11/02/2016

Findings

Mosston School is a well-resourced, family focused community school. Students achieve very well, including Māori learners. Students needing extra support are carefully tracked for accelerated progress. Student-centred professional leadership and governance leads to ongoing growth in teaching and learning, including culturally responsive and e-learning teaching.

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?

Mosston School caters for students in Years 1 to 6 on the western outskirts of Whanganui. The current roll of 162 students includes 45 Māori students.

Since the November 2012 ERO report, an expanded school leadership provides ongoing continuity.

Strong family and community support, along with positive relationships, remain key features of the school. Students experience a broad based curriculum centred on the CARES values and key competencies of ‘confident, active, respectful, enthusiastic and successful’ learners. A wellresourced environment and focus on the whole child supports children's physical activity, wellbeing and access to a broad curriculum.

Very good progress is evident in developing and embedding the positive features of the school.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used effectively by school leaders, trustees and teachers to make positive changes to learners’ achievement. Each student is well known and sound tracking and monitoring enables early identification of needs. Individual learning and interests are carefully considered in classroom and targeted intervention programmes. Teacher aides support teachers and further contribute to the impact of these strategies.

The school reports that the majority of students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in literacy and mathematics. Overall achievement in reading and writing has increased between 2013 and 2014. School systems support Māori learners’ progress to exceed their peers in writing and increasingly similar levels of success in reading and mathematics. School leaders and trustees develop a number of improvement targets based on the needs of groups of students. Raising the achievement of a small group of boys in writing remains an ongoing focus. English as a second language learning is well supported.

School review processes result in robust National Standards student achievement information. Teaching as inquiry is well used by teachers to accelerate student learning and to build teacher capability. They are trialling the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) to support ongoing developments in assessment to improve learning.

Students are taking a greater leadership role in managing their individual and collective learning. Regular goal setting at parent conferences and during literacy and mathematics programmes has encouraged learners to self-assess and identify their next steps. Teachers continue to develop innovative approaches to enable students to have increased knowledge, self-management and ownership of their learning. Increasing student agency continues to be an appropriate area of ongoing focus.

Trustees receive clear and regular reports about the progress of targeted learners and the impact of interventions provided for students. The leadership team closely monitors each student's progress and uses appropriate external expertise, such as the Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) to support students and teachers. The board is well informed about the impact of their resourcing decisions on improving learning. Each learner is tracked for success.

Parents receive clear reports about their child’s progress in relation to the National Standards and other learning areas. Partnerships for learning are extended by regular opportunities for parents to contribute to and share in their child’s learning at school and at home.

3 Curriculum

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

Students participate in a well-rounded curriculum, with a clear focus on literacy, mathematics, physical activity and wellbeing. They are highly engaged in purposeful learning and value the wide range of opportunities. Students increasingly self manage and are encouraged to make choices in what and how they learn. They are motivated, focused and enjoy school.

Modern learning practices such as e-learning are developing well, with students increasing their use of digital technologies. There is a strategic approach to ensuring that the strengths of the school curriculum are further enhanced through modern practices that are matched to how students learn.

Teachers have increased the effectiveness of their practices in meeting individual learning needs and interests through participation in a wide range of intervention programmes. They are involved in Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), Reading Together and the Massey University Early Literacy Project (ELP). This involvement provides teachers with valuable access to current research and best practices. These programmes and others, involve parents as valued partners in learning.

Culturally responsive curriculum opportunities are visible in the curriculum. External expertise provides ongoing and sequential support to increase students' and teachers' use of te reo Māori, bicultural experiences and access to culturally significant local history and places.

Transition to school for pre-school children is well supported through the Little Learner’s programme facilitated by the principal. This is further supported by other learning opportunities that build on their early childhood learning experiences. A deliberate approach to ensuring Years 1 and 2 students have the best possible start to their education is in place.

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

Māori learners’ progress and achievement has continued to increase over time. More students are achieving at and above in relation to the National Standards. Those requiring support are promptly identified and whānau support is accessed.

Students engage in a comprehensive range of regular, culturally responsive learning opportunities. An external tutor, with affiliations to local iwi, supports students and teachers to increasingly use te reo Māori and appreciate the importance of karakia, waiata, kapa haka, pōwhiri and noho marae. These practices continue to develop well and extend Māori learners’ celebration of their language, culture and identity.

A whānau group meets regularly and offers valuable advice and guidance to trustees. A Māori board representative provides a link to strategic decision making. Planning is underway to consider the future direction of the roopū, including how to further increase whānau contribution to governance.

Internal evaluation will continue to explore the positive impact of the culturally responsive curriculum on students’ learning. This should assist school leaders, teachers, trustees and whānau Māori to further celebrate these achievements and to continue to implement additional strategies that promote success for Māori students as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Robust school processes for tracking and monitoring students’ learning are embedded.

Trustees are clearly focused on ensuring all students achieve well. A range of well-considered targets is set to support student progress and school developments. Relevant Hautū governance professional development attended by the Māori board representative is informing how the board will continue to consult and respond to the community. Continuity in governance through succession planning is in place.

Strong professional, collaborative leadership is centred on providing timely and effective learning experiences. School leader's complementary skills build teaching capabilities and provide good support to new teachers. There is a shared commitment to being an active member of a local cluster of schools to share and further extend effective teaching and learning practices.

Thorough appraisal practices actively encourage growth and development in teaching practices. Teachers set individual goals, using a wide range of suitable evidence that includes observational feedback, critical reflection and student voice. They access a wide range of professional learning opportunities.

Self review informs ongoing developments in teaching and learning. Regular curriculum reviews reflect ongoing growth in teachers’ knowledge and practices. There are high expectations that new knowledge leads to higher expectations for effective teaching practices. Further developing the use of internal evaluation practices is a next step. There are regular, ongoing opportunities for families to be part of children’s learning. An open door policy encourages regular classrooms visits and discussions about progress. Partnerships for learning are a key component of all school initiatives.

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

Mosston School is a well-resourced, family focused community school. Students achieve very well, including Māori learners. Students needing extra support are carefully tracked for accelerated progress. Student-centred professional leadership and governance leads to ongoing growth in teaching and learning, including culturally responsive and e-learning teaching.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

11 February 2016

About the School

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

2403

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

162

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

27%

66%

7%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

11 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

July 2009

October 2006