Motupipi School - 12/05/2015

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Motupipi School is a small, family-orientated rural school. Its roll has grown over time, but has been stable since the school’s last ERO review in 2012.

The school enjoys strong community support and involvement. A number of parents choose to send their children to this school rather than to their nearest local school.

The school makes effective use of the immediate and wider community to enrich students’ learning. Leaders and teachers place a strong emphasis on environmental education.

A stable leadership and teaching team helps to provide continuity in school programmes and practices for students.

Students have access to a very good range of facilities and a wide variety of resources to support their learning.

Since the school’s May 2012 ERO report, the board, leaders and teachers have retained and built on many of the strengths noted at that time. They have made good progress towards addressing most of the areas for review and development.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of achievement information to help improve learning opportunities for students.

Leaders and teachers gather a suitable range of achievement information through their assessment practices. The good quality of this information helps teachers to make well-informed judgements about student achievement and progress, particularly in regard to the National Standards. Leaders undertake regular and useful analysis of achievement patterns.

Leaders use this analysed achievement information effectively to keep the board up to date about student achievement and progress, and to establish suitable targets and plans for raising achievement.

The board, leaders and teachers also use this information to provide significant additional support and learning opportunities for individual students, particularly those with the greatest learning needs. This support is effectively managed, well targeted, implemented and monitored. A strong sense of partnership exists between teachers and the support staff working with these students.

Teachers are making increasingly effective use of achievement information to add to what they already know about their students, to adjust their teaching programmes, practices and groupings and to provide students with feedback and their parents with informative reports.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is particularly successful in promoting student achievement in reading, written language and mathematics. Over 85% of students are achieving at or above the National Standards.

Students achieve some notable successes in a range of other areas also. These include in speaking and sporting competitions as well as cultural and recreational activities.

Teachers provide students with a rich and well-balanced range of learning experiences. They make effective use of the school, local and wider environment to enhance learning opportunities for students.

Teaching programmes and activities give suitable emphasis to engaging students effectively in learning. Teachers successfully incorporate student interests, prior learning, and strengths and needs into a varied range of high-interest activities. They successfully seek and capitalise on learning opportunities as they arise. Students are well motivated to learn and enjoy school.

The school’s experienced teachers continue to use a wide range of effective teaching strategies. They have high expectations, provide students with well-focused teaching and actively support them with their learning. Teachers take collective responsibility for promoting the learning and wellbeing of all students.

Another strength of the school is the quality of the learning environment provided for students.

Leaders and teachers nurture family-like relationships, actively promote and model the school’s values, promote strong peer-to-peer support and regularly celebrate students’ successes. These practices successfully foster students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Areas for review and development

Leaders and teachers should:

  • further personalise the school’s curriculum guidelines to better reflect the uniqueness of the community and students, and the quality of teaching programmes and practices.
  • as planned, extend the use of information technologies to support learning and teaching
  • build on practices that help teachers to systematically reflect on and improve their teaching programmes and practices.

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

Maori students are well engaged in their learning and achieving academic success at levels similar to their peers.

Leaders and teachers support Māori students in ways that affirm their culture. Supportive relationships, the integration of aspects of local Māori history into teaching programmes and some use of te reo Māori help to create an environment that supports Maori success.

Consultation with the parents/whānau of Maori students has helped to develop a useful action plan to implement the school’s priority to explore further ways of supporting Maori students to achieve success as Maori.

Area for review and development

Leaders and teachers should explore further ways of promoting continuity in learning te reo and tikanga Māori for students as they move through the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The effectiveness of many leadership, management and governance practices means the school is in a very good position to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal and deputy principal provide strong professional leadership. They have high expectations, maintain a strong focus on school improvement and actively support both students and staff. Their work fosters a positive school culture where teamwork and collaboration are clearly evident. Reflective practices are fostered and good use is made of staff strengths.

Appraisal practices, ongoing professional development and regular self reviews help to support ongoing improvements to teaching and learning.

The board governs the school well. Board training has extended the trustees’ understanding of their roles and helped them to become more knowledgeable about, and active, in these roles. Clear priorities help all those involved with the school to work towards common goals.

A strong sense of partnership exists between the board, school leaders and staff. The board is well informed through regular reports from school leaders and other teachers. These reports, along with self-review findings, lead to well-considered decision making. The board is very responsive to requests for resources and support aimed at enhancing student achievement.

Another particular strength of the school is the relationship between the school and its parent community. The school is a focal point for the community and its facilities are well used. Leaders and teachers are accessible and parents are supportive of the work of the school. Relationships between parents and teachers are focused on working in partnership to promote students’ learning.

Areas for review and development

School leaders and teachers should make some refinements to curriculum self-review processes to increase the usefulness of reviews.

School leaders, with the support of the board, should explore further ways of accessing professional development and support in the school’s priority areas.

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.
  • In 2014, the board engaged an outside consultant to help redevelop its framework for policies and procedures. It is currently considering some of the suggested changes.

Recommendation

The board should complete the development of, and refinements to, its policies and procedures.

Conclusion

A strong sense of partnership exists among those associated with the school, including parents.

Students achieve very well. Teachers provide them with a very supportive learning environment and a rich and well-balanced range of learning experiences, within and beyond the school.

The effectiveness of many leadership, management and governance practices means the school is in a very good position to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 May 2015

About the School

Location

Golden Bay

Ministry of Education profile number

3207

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

115

Gender composition

Girls; 46%

Boys; 54%

Ethnic composition

Pakeha 88%

Maori 9%

Pacific 1%

Asian 2%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2012

Education Review January 2009

Education Review January 2006