Mt Maunganui School - 19/11/2012

1. Context

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

Mt Maunganui School provides education for Years 1 to 6 students. The roll is remaining stable and currently there are 456 students attending the school. Approximately 76 of these students are of Māori descent. There are six international students enrolled. The school’s close proximity to the beach is well utilised by teachers to enrich and extend the school’s learning environment and curriculum.

Since the ERO review in 2009, there has been minimal change to staffing. A new deputy principal joined the team in term one 2012. The school’s long serving and well-respected principal is retiring at the end of the year and the new appointee will start at the beginning of the 2013 school year. The current board chairperson is recently elected and is well supported by knowledgeable trustees. A strategic approach to governance is providing clear direction for school development. The board has responded positively to the areas for improvement identified in the previous ERO report, and is establishing a planned approach to consultation with the Māori community.

A safe and inclusive environment for learning is a feature of the school. Teachers provide calm and learning-focused classroom environments for students. Relationships between adults and students and among students are positive and respectful. The school is very well resourced and several buildings have been recently refurbished. Staff, students and their families enjoy using the school’s attractive and well-maintained facilities and grounds for both educational and recreational purposes. There is a high level of ongoing support for the school from the parents and wider community.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Teachers gather achievement information about reading, writing and mathematics, using an appropriate range of assessments. They use this information to group students, and to plan appropriate programmes for the identified needs and strengths of students. Through a process of ‘teaching as inquiry’, teachers are increasingly reflecting on and sharing their practice. Continuing with this process is likely to enhance the work of teachers to make improved diagnostic use of assessment information to inform their teaching.

Senior leaders collate school-wide achievement information that has been gathered by teachers using nationally referenced tests, and indicates high levels of student achievement overall. Māori students as a group are achieving at levels comparable with non-Māori. Data reported to the board at the end of 2011 indicates that the significant majority of students are achieving at and above the expected National Standard in reading and mathematics, with most achieving the appropriate standard in writing. Under the leadership of senior leaders, considerable progress has been made in developing assessment and reporting processes in relation to National Standards.

Senior leaders acknowledge the need to strengthen the management and use of school-wide achievement information to:

  • demonstrate progress
  • track trends and patterns over time
  • evaluate and report on the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

Students needing additional assistance with their learning are well supported, and their progress carefully monitored. Senior leaders and the board now understand the importance of developing and documenting school-wide strategies and targets to accelerate the progress of students who are at risk of not achieving the appropriate National Standard. This practice is likely to lead to a more planned and cohesive approach to raising the achievement of priority learners by the board, senior leaders and teachers.

3. Curriculum

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

The school is continuing to develop and design its curriculum, in response to the priorities and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. There has been considerable consultation with the parent community to develop their understanding of the curriculum. Literacy and mathematics, along with the arts and physical education continue to be strong priorities, and the key competencies are well integrated.

A ‘creative curriculum’ that is centred around a school-wide concept and intended to create authentic contexts for learning and teaching is in an early stage of development. Senior leaders recognise the importance of ongoing professional development for teachers to enhance their capacity to effectively implement this integrated approach to learning and teaching.

ERO observed literacy programmes where teachers were using effective strategies to teach reading and writing. They encourage students to take risks and share their opinions and ideas. Students are challenged and motivated, leading to high levels of engagement in meaningful learning. ERO and senior leaders agree that further consideration of curriculum design is necessary, and particular attention should be given to strengthening:

  • the Māori dimension
  • students as self managing learners
  • extended learning opportunities for high achieving students.

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

There is a revitalised, strategic approach by the board, with support from staff, to strengthen the Māori dimension in the school’s environment for learning, and through the curriculum. This includes Māori representation on the board and the employment of a kaiawhina to teach te reo across the school. A whānau group is liaising with staff and board to strengthen the understanding of students, parents and teachers, about the significance of local geographical features in the history of local iwi.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • there is a strategic approach to governance, informed by effective self review
  • there is strong school-wide focus on developing teachers’ reflective practice
  • there are high levels of student achievement
  • there are high levels of parent/community support and involvement in the school
  • school leaders promote an inclusive culture that reflects the school’s shared vision.

Agreed priorities for review and development are:

  • leadership roles and responsibilities to provide a more clearly defined and cohesive approach to developing teaching and learning
  • performance management, and in particular the process for teacher appraisal, to ensure that it is sufficiently robust and consistently meets legislative requirement.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act1989. At the time of this ERO review there were six international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process is partially effective because management is not reporting to the board about the progress and achievement of the international students as a group.

ERO’s investigations found that there were high levels of pastoral care, education, achievement and social integration.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

19 November 2012

About the School

Location

Mt Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number

1838

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

456

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Boys 60%

Girls 40%

Ethnic composition

NZ Pākehā/European

NZ Māori

Other

71%

15%

14%

Special Features

1 Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

19 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

January 2007

September 2003