Motumaoho School - 03/03/2015

Findings

Motumaoho School is a two teacher school in an attractive, rural setting. While considerable progress has been made in addressing development areas from the previous ERO review, further progress is still being implemented. Many students achieve at or above National Standards. A calm, family-like atmosphere supports student's learning.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Motumaoho School is a rural two teacher school which caters for students in Years 1 to 6 from its surrounding district and the nearby town of Morrinsville. The roll of 46 students includes one Māori student.

At the time at the previous 2012 ERO review a new principal had been appointed and there had been other staff changes. The 2012 report found that students and teachers were benefitting from working and learning in well-established and attractively presented facilities, including a native bush and stream area. The school’s values of citizenship, achievement, respect and effort (CARE) were prominently promoted and the school enjoyed well-established support from its community. This review finds that these positive features are still evident.

The 2012 ERO report also identified a number of areas for review and development requiring Ministry of Education (MoE) support. ERO has remained in contact with the school to monitor progress during the last two years. In July 2014 the MoE appointed a limited statutory manager (LSM) to provide oversight for financial management, board systems and curriculum development. At the time of this November 2014 ERO report, the LSM continues in these roles.

Since the 2012 ERO report, trustees, principal and staff have been assisted by external education advisors in the areas of governance, school management, and curriculum development. The roll has increased and many new systems and processes have been introduced to strengthen teaching, learning and reporting to parents. The parent teacher association continues to raise funds to support school programmes. A new board was elected in 2013 and the board chair has remained in his position. The principal and associate teacher have remained at the school and several fixed term relievers have been employed.

Students benefit from a wide range of opportunities for education outside the classroom. These include sports, tuition and participation, field trips and camps, and enjoy the events associated with their rural context such as their agricultural days. The school continues to be committed to providing opportunities for students to reach their individual potential within a calm family like atmosphere.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • Governance including board training and self review
  • Leadership including appraisal systems and the provision of professional development
  • Curriculum development
  • Assessment practices in relation to National Standards requirements.

Progress

Governance

Trustees have made significant progress in developing a charter and annual plans that are now focussed on student achievement. Goals and targets are measurable and specific. Desired outcomes provide a sound basis for review. The board receives regular and useful student achievement information and provides strong support for the principal and staff. The board has recently begun comprehensive training provided by the LSM and further training is planned. A comprehensive policy framework has been developed and shared with the community. In 2013, the board received a thorough appraisal of the principal’s performance.

Leadership

The principal responded positively to the requirements outlined in the 2012 ERO review and has benefitted from the support and guidance provided by the MoE. Many useful management systems are now in place including performance management procedures, assessment processes, professional development opportunities and curriculum implementation programmes. As the school leader, the principal works collaboratively with the board, staff and community.

Curriculum

The principal and teachers have benefitted from effective professional development to construct and implement the school’s curriculum. The community has been consulted about the school’s mission, vision and values and its local response to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Appropriate emphasis continues to be given to reading, writing and mathematics. There has been an increase in integrated bicultural learning and utilising local meaningful contexts. The curriculum is now well documented to provide clear expectations for teaching and learning and a framework for implementing National Standard requirements is in place.

Assessment

The principal has documented clear expectations for school-wide assessment and these support National Standards requirements. Individual learning journals identify and monitor the progress and achievement of students throughout the year and provide opportunities for assessment against personal goals. Parents are well informed about students’ progress and achievement at three-way learning conferences and through useful written reports. Teachers now use assessment information more effectively to inform planning and teaching. Achievement data is collated and reported to the board. Targeted priority students are identified and teachers are beginning to focus on accelerating the progress of these students. Individual education plans (IEP’s) are becoming more specifically focussed on addressing identified learning needs.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The progress noted in the previous sections, indicates that the school is increasing its momentum of development and its potential for sustainability. In 2015, the principal and staff will be undertaking professional development in instructional writing and inclusive practices.

In order for the school to continue to improve and review its performance the following areas now need to be addressed.

The board should:

  • continue comprehensive in-house training to the point that the governance manual is fully developed, financial management is secure, robust self review is fully implemented, and the LSM is no longer required
  • regularly monitor progress in relation to charter goals and expected outcomes
  • monitor progress in relation to the next steps from the principal’s 2013 appraisal and include these in the board’s planning processes.

The principal should:

  • continue to formalise the school’s pastoral care system
  • strengthen staff appraisal with links to teachers’ rigorous inquiry into accelerating the progress of targeted students in their classes.

Teachers should

  • access opportunities for moderating writing assessments with teachers from other schools
  • give students more specific and frequent feedback and feed forward against identified learning intentions and indicators for success
  • provide students with strategies for self and peer assessment so that they can become self- managing learners.

While the school has developed a programme for curriculum review, there is now a need to ensure that curriculum review processes focus on the continuous improvement of student achievement.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the MoE:

  • continues the intervention of an LSM until identified improvements are recognised and sustainability is established
  • provides professional development in instructional writing.

Non-compliance

  1. The principal’s performance has not been appraised in 2014. This must be urgently addressed.[National Administration Guidelines 3; Primary School Principals’ employment Agreement]

To improve practice, the board and principal need to ensure that further policies and procedures are documented in order to provide clear expectations and guidelines for school personnel.

Conclusion

Motumaoho School is a two teacher school in an attractive, rural setting. While considerable progress has been made in addressing development areas from the previous ERO review, further progress is still being implemented. Many students achieve at or above National Standards. A calm, family-like atmosphere supports student's learning.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

3 March 2015

About the School

Location

Motumaoho, near Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number

1835

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

46

Gender composition

Girls 25 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other groups

41

1

1

3

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

3 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

November 2009

February 2007