Mount Biggs School - 21/09/2018

School Context

Mount Biggs School is located in a rural setting on the outskirts of Feilding for students in Years 1 to 8.

The school’s vision, values and key competencies outline a focus on students valuing themselves and others and developing capabilities for living and lifelong learning.

The school’s valued outcomes are for students to:

  • have and realise their own goals
  • recognise and pursue opportunities
  • have confidence to face challenges and take risks
  • have a sense of pride in dual cultural heritage.

In 2018, the school’s achievement targets are focused on raising achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for those students achieving below expectation.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • wellbeing for success

  • students with additional or diverse needs.

The school is part of the Feilding Kāhui Ako.

The school has had significant changes this year. The principal was appointed at the beginning of 2018, along with two new teachers. Another teacher started at the school early Term 3 this year.

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?

The school continues to focus on the achievement of equitable and excellent outcomes for students. Reported 2017 achievement information indicates that most students achieve at or above expectation in reading and mathematics, with lower level of achievement noted for writing.

Data over time shows an increase in percentage of students achieving at or above in writing with girls achieving higher than boys. Disparity is reducing over time.

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

School data shows accelerated progress and improved outcomes for some identified priority learners in 2017 and 2018.

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?

A well measured, collaborative approach is taken to the review and development of the school’s curriculum. Teachers support students to be actively engaged, critical thinking problem solvers. Students have opportunities to lead their own learning, work alongside others and contribute to school activities and events.

Students are provided with a breadth of opportunities to learn through real life contexts that are of high interest to them. Purposeful strategies support students to learn with those from other schools and access learning within the local and wider community. Purposeful connections with the wider community and iwi supports the ongoing development of the school’s curriculum and increasingly strengthens practices to more fully acknowledge Māori learners’ language and culture. A considered approach and deliberate strategies enable parents and whānau to engage in meaningful learning partnerships to support their child’s wellbeing and learning.

The new principal and teaching team focus on accelerating progress of those students, who need targeted support to achieve well. Staff know all students well. They demonstrate collective responsibility for students. Teachers promote positive, inclusive learning environments. Staff reflect on the effectiveness of systems and processes in place to promote and accelerate progress and achievement of those students identified as being at risk of underachievement. They appropriately adapt strategies to respond to priority learners. Te ao Māori is an integral and growing part of all learners’ schooling experience.

Students with diverse learning or health needs are well supported through a range of initiatives and interventions, including using appropriate external agencies and specialists. Useful plans support and monitor progress, learning and wellbeing.

Leader and teacher inquiries, collaborative, professional dialogue and an improved appraisal process implemented at the beginning of 2018 guides improvement.

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

The school should strengthen internal evaluation to evaluate how well and to what extent teaching and assessment practice and curriculum innovations are improving outcomes for those students whose progress and achievement need acceleration.

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:

  • a culture of collaboration across all levels of the school that is supporting the development of a responsive curriculum
  • an inclusive and caring environment that effectively promotes learning, wellbeing and a sense of belonging
  • responsiveness to students’ needs through provision of a wide range of appropriate learning opportunities in school and the wider community.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation to show the impact of planned actions and curriculum on improving equity and excellence for all learners

  • embedding new systems, processes and curriculum for sustainability.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

21 September 2018

About the school

Location

Feilding

Ministry of Education profile number

2404

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll

73

Gender composition

Male 40, Female 33

Ethnic composition

Māori 3
Pākehā 66
Other ethnic groups 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

21 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review January 2013
Education Review November 2009