Motumaoho School - 15/06/2017

Findings

Motumaoho School has made good progress towards addressing development areas from recent ERO reports. Trustees and teachers have engaged in professional development to improve practice and achievement. Children learn in attractive rural surroundings and enjoy opportunities for education outside the classroom.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three 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 33 children includes two who are Māori.

Previous ERO reports in 2012 and early 2015 found that children and teachers were benefitting from working and learning in attractively presented facilities including a native bush and stream area. These ERO reports also identified a number of areas for review and development requiring Ministry of Education (MoE) support, which ended in December 2015. The principal and associate teacher, have remained at the school since 2012. Several fixed-term relievers have been employed during this time. ERO has remained in contact with the school to monitor progress during the last four years.

Since the 2015 ERO report, trustees, principal and staff have continued to be assisted by external education advisors in the areas of governance, school management, and instructional writing. Over the past year, the school has been self-managing. New systems and processes have been introduced to strengthen teaching, learning and reporting to parents. The school’s values of citizenship, achievement, respect and effort (CARE) are prominently promoted and the school receives strong support from its community. Children continue to benefit from a wide range of opportunities for education outside the classroom.

The school belongs to the Morrinsville Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako, which provides collegial support and opportunities for professional development for school trustees, leaders and teachers. 

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
  • Teaching including formative assessment and moderation of overall teacher judgements.

Progress

Governance

The board has continued to make very good progress in establishing effective stewardship of the school. Trustees continue to engage in training through courses that enhance their understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities. Policies and procedures are regularly reviewed. Financial management is secure. Charter targets are more focused on learners who are at risk of underachieving. Progress in relation to charter goals and targets is monitored monthly through the principal’s reports. The board employs an external education consultant to appraise the principal.

Leadership

The principal has responded positively to recommendation from recent ERO reviews and has continued to benefit from support and guidance provided by the MoE. School policies and appraisal processes have been significantly strengthened and now meet requirements. Teachers’ inquiries are focused on accelerating progress for at-risk learners. Following comprehensive professional development, the school’s curriculum is now well documented. The principal has secured funding for computers to enhance children’s digital learning experiences. He has also worked with staff to continue developing school-wide expectations for assessment, including children’s use of assessment information to monitor their own progress.

Teaching

Teachers have made good use of understandings gained from professional development providers. Formative assessment has been strengthened, especially in the senior classroom. Children in the junior classroom also have a clearer understanding of their progress. Learning progressions and learner pathways in reading, writing and mathematics, are clearly visible in both classrooms. Parents are provided with 'real time' information about progress, achievement, and school activities through digital technology, informal discussions, and formal reporting processes.

Class programmes are becoming increasingly responsive to the interests of children. Teachers actively include children with diverse needs in discussions and learning activities. Children participate and learn in a caring and collaborative environment.

Teachers have engaged in moderation of overall teacher assessment judgements about children’s achievement in relation to National Standards with teachers at another school. 

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Trustees and teachers have developed their capacity to review the school’s performance, and plan strategically for future development. School values, leadership, culture and positive relationships contribute to children’s learning, engagement and achievement.

In order to maintain the school’s momentum of improvement, the board should ensure that the following next steps are implemented.

The board and principal should:

  • strengthen annual achievement targets by focusing on accelerating progress for at-risk learners by expecting more than one year’s progress for these learners
  • continue to develop a planned, strategic approach to internal evaluation of learning programmes and initiatives, which builds capacity and capability
  • ensure that the principals appraisal goals are implemented through the development of a focused and well-monitored action plan.

The principal and teachers should continue to:

  • accelerate progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for at-risk learners
  • develop strategies for children’s self and peer assessment, and increase opportunities for children’s management of their own programmes of learning
  • implement school-wide systems for demonstrating individual children’s progress through each year and from Years 1 to 6 in relation to National Standards.

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

Motumaoho School has made good progress towards addressing development areas from recent ERO reports. Trustees and teachers have engaged in professional development to improve practice and achievement. Children learn in attractive rural surroundings and enjoy opportunities for education outside the classroom.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

15 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number

1835

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

33

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

30

2

1

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

15 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2015

November 2012

November 2009