Mosston School - 20/02/2019

School Context

Mosston School is situated in Whanganui. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll of 172 students includes 30% Māori learners.

The vision of the school is to nurture positive relationships and create lifelong learners.

Achievement targets for 2018 are focused on accelerating the progress of students requiring acceleration to meet expectations and achieve excellence in reading, writing and mathematics. 

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

  • achievement, progress and targets in reading, writing, and mathematics in relation to curriculum expectations
  • attendance and wellbeing
  • the impact of teaching approaches and additional programmes in relation to progress and achievement.

Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM), mathematics and digital technologies are Ministry of Education (MoE) funded initiatives undertaken by the school since the February 2016 ERO report. 

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?

Mosston School achieves equity and excellence for students. Most achieve well in reading, writing, and mathematics, with approximately a third of students above expectations in reading and mathematics. Māori children achieve well. An identified disparity for boys, when compared to girls in writing, is significantly reduced over time, and generally addressed by the end of Year 6.

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

The school responds effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. In 2018, nearly all students targeted in reading, writing and mathematics made expected progress, with many showing acceleration in their achievement. 

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?

Well-developed processes and practices effectively address student needs. Achievement targets are based on detailed analysis of assessments. Tracking, monitoring and reporting systems are comprehensive. Regular, collaborative staff review of student progress ensures the needs of learners are continually updated to inform a relevant response.

Reciprocal, learning-centred relationships are fostered between parents, families and whānau. External specialist support is accessed to ensure the complex learning needs of identified students are addressed. Trustees align resources well to meet their priorities in relation to student progress, achievement and wellbeing. Thorough strategic and annual planning effectively guides school direction.

The documented and enacted curriculum is well designed to achieve the vision and values of the school and community. Detailed documentation guides delivery of shared expectations for teaching and learning. Māori learners’ culture, language and identity are valued and te ao Māori is evident across curriculum experiences. Teachers encourage the development of specific skills and attributes fostering a positive and purposeful learning culture. Contextual learning opportunities, including the inclusion of digital technologies, supports delivery of the curriculum to reflect the interests of students. 

The inclusive school environment fosters positive student and community engagement. Interactions between individuals, peers, staff and the community are affirming and supportive. Cultural diversity is acknowledged and celebrated. Students have a strong sense of belonging at school. Student leadership is empowered and highly valued for their contribution to the positive school culture. Transition into, through and out of school is well managed and individualised for learners and those identified with complex needs. 

Professional capability and practice ensures a cohesive and comprehensive response to achieve equity and excellence for learners. Professional learning and development (PLD) is well aligned to the school priorities. Staff use their collective knowledge and well-considered strategies to foster positive learner outcomes. Classroom practice supports high levels of student engagement in learning. Teachers use a variety of effective strategies to meet the needs of individual learners. Leadership is highly reflective and collaborative. Trustees suitably represent and reflect their community.

Engagement in review, inquiry and evaluation purposefully supports curriculum innovation, enhances teaching and learning and ensures effective governance. Comprehensive analysis of achievement, practice and school operation is strategically undertaken to determine successes and ongoing developments. Trustees scrutinise reported information to inform decision making to determine relevant priorities. Community consultation with parents and whānau is appropriately used to guide and review school direction. Policy, curriculum and strategic review by trustees is well planned and timely.  

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

Leaders and teachers are seeking to further enhance teaching, learning and achievement in writing, especially for boys. Involvement in externally sourced PLD has begun, and will continue in 2019. ERO’s evaluation affirms this priority. Extending the knowledge of staff to deliver innovative approaches and strategies to their teaching practice should further strengthen student engagement and achievement.    

The school demonstrates a planned and deliberate approach to promoting the dispositional learning of students. Further developments and review of systems and practices are planned or currently being undertaken. ERO’s evaluation affirms that ongoing inquiry should enable staff to evaluate and determine the impact of deliberate curriculum changes in relation to student outcomes.     

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:

  • comprehensive systems, processes and practices that ensure an effective response to targeted learners and students with additional and complex needs
  • curriculum provision that promotes the emerging and developing capabilities of learners
  • effective professional capability and practice that contributes to positive learning and organisational management
  • inclusive environments that foster the wellbeing and engagement of students, parents and whānau
  • internal review and inquiry that meaningfully contributes to ongoing school improvement.

Next steps

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

  • further enhancing teaching, learning and achievement in writing, especially for boys
  • continuing the development of inquiry and evaluation in relation to approaches fostering students’ dispositional learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services
Central Region

20 February 2019

About the school 

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

2403

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

172

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori                             30%
Pākehā                           62%
Other ethnic groups      8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review             February 2016
Education Review             November 2012
Education Review             July 2009