Mt Maunganui School - 29/10/2015

Findings

Students at Mt Maunganui School enjoy a wide range of educational opportunities and friendly affirming school culture. Their experiences are enhanced by the school’s coastal location. New school leadership is bringing a sense of purpose and positive direction to school operations and practice. Governance is highly effective.

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

1 Context

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

Mt Maunganui School is a contributing primary school providing education for students in Years 1 to 6 from the coastal area of Mt Maunganui. The student roll has increased since the last ERO review and is currently 495. Approximately 16% of enrolled students identify as Māori and whakapapa to a number of iwi in Aotearoa. There are 10 international fee paying students attending the school, and their pastoral care and academic progress is reported to the board.

Shortly after the 2012 ERO review a new principal was appointed, and a new deputy principal was appointed in 2013. The board benefits from stable, experienced and capable leadership. Trustees bring a range of skills and expertise to their governance role.

The board consults its community to determine priorities for their strategic plan and curriculum design. A recent initiative has been the adoption of ‘The Mountie’ as an image to reflect school values and a visual guide for the key competencies. Students are expected to be team players, communicators and to become self-managing learners.

The board responded positively to recommendations for review and development in the 2012 ERO report. Ongoing external professional development for staff has focused on the use of student assessment information to inform teaching and school leadership. The achievement of priority learners has been tracked and improved. Leadership roles in the school have been more clearly defined and performance management systems reviewed and strengthened.

2 Learning

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

At all levels of the school, achievement information is being used effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Sustained professional development supports teachers and team leaders to develop their capacity to confidently assess student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards. They use evidence from a range of sources, including standardised assessment tools. Overall teacher judgements (OTJs) are made more reliable through opportunities for moderation of assessments at team and school-wide levels. In addition, the school moderates its final OTJs for its Year 6 students, in cooperation with the local intermediate school.

Teachers use student achievement information to plan their programmes in response to identified learning needs. Students are well informed about their learning and supported to take increasing responsibility for their progress. Students in need of additional help with their learning are supported by a team of teacher-aides and referrals are made to external agencies as required. The school has been reviewing and extending its provision for students with special abilities. These students are involved in Beach Brilliance which is an inter-school initiative, school-based activities, and appropriate extension programmes such as international academic competitions.

Senior leaders gather school-wide achievement information twice a year. They use this data to strengthen the school’s focus on monitoring the progress of individuals and groups of students. Overall Judgements of Progress (OJPs) are made by senior leaders in collaboration with team leaders and teachers. These OJPs allow special programmes to be evaluated and reported to the staff and board, along with emerging trends and patterns in student achievement and progress.

National standards data for the end of 2014, and at mid-year 2015, indicates that the proportion of student achieving at or above National Standards in reading, and mathematics is above national comparisons and that of similar schools. The proportion achieving at or above in writing is above national averages and comparable to similar schools. The same data shows that Māori and Pacific students are achieving at similar high levels as their non-Māori peers at the school.

The board of trustees receive regular reports on student progress and achievement, and on programme evaluation. These reports allow trustees to scrutinise the work of the school, and allocate additional resources as requested by senior leaders. Annual progress targets are set for student achievement.

The school has strengthened its sharing of information with parents/whānau as a deliberate action to build school-home partnerships in support of student engagement and learning. In the second half of Term 1, learning partnership meetings are held with parents/whānau and teachers and students to share existing achievement information and set agreed learning goals for the year. There are detailed written reports at the end of Terms 2 and 4, and an open day and evening in Term 3 where students share their learning with their families/whānau.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students experience a broad range of learning opportunities in academic, social, sporting and leadership areas. Literacy and mathematics remain a priority focus in learning programmes. Other learning areas are delivered through a concept-based curriculum that covers science, social studies, technology and the arts. In addition, an Abilities, Interests and Must haveS (AIMS) programme allow opportunities to build extended learning experiences using available expertise and local resources. There is an increasing use of digital technologies within the classroom to support learning programmes, and beyond the classroom to inform parents and the community.

Teachers have successfully established and maintained mutually respectful and supportive relationships with their students. Classrooms were settled and productive environments, and well resourced with flexible furniture. Consistently high levels of teaching practice were observed where students were:

  • informed about the purpose and relevance of their learning
  • encouraged to take increased responsibility for leading and managing their own learning
  • helped to transition into formal education through ‘action stations’ in junior rooms where learning could be supported through play.

Senior leaders have worked closely with team leaders and teachers to strengthen the agreed understanding about good practice in teaching and learning. Professional development and learning are generously resourced by the board and school, and the performance management system has an increased focus on teacher reflection on practice.

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

Māori students enjoy significant academic success. Students have an externally facilitated weekly taha Māori lesson that includes some language and culture elements. They have the opportunity of participating in a kapa haka culture group. Each curriculum unit plan is expected to include a Māori element.

The board and school are at the early stage of entering into a partnership with Ngāti Rangi.

An important next step for the board and school is to adopt a strategic approach to strengthening te reo and tikanga Māori as a valued part of school operations, to reflect the principles in Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Māori success as Māori.

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. Positive factors are set out in the following paragraphs.

The board chairperson is experienced and well informed. Trustees are highly effective in establishing and maintaining a focus on valued outcomes for students, as agreed in consultation with the community. Financial and property assets are efficiently managed to support strategic and annual priorities.

The new principal and senior leadership team are working collaboratively to develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities. They are bringing a renewed sense of positive purpose and direction to all aspects of school operations and practice.

Team leaders and teachers are working and planning collaboratively to share good practice, and strengthen the use of student achievement and progress information.

Students experience a positive, affirming and inclusive school culture where their learning and contributions are valued and celebrated.

Parents and whānau are strongly supportive of school events and activities. They are involved in an active parent-teacher association, and contribute their time and expertise to support sport and cultural activities.

Self-review processes are effective at school and board level to ensure policies and procedures provide useful guidelines for operations and decision making.

Area for review

The important next steps for the school leadership are for them to consolidate the changes and sustain the improvements made in recent years. This relates to:

  • leading learning, including collaborative learning spaces and the increased use of literacy and mathematics progressions
  • self review, which includes the further development of performance management systems
  • strategic approaches to the use of digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning.

Provision for international students

Mt Maunganui School is a signatory to The Code of Practice or the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code. At the time of the ERO review there were 10 international students attending the school, the majority of whom are from Korea.

As primary-aged students, these international students are living with their own families in New Zealand. The students and their families receive high quality pastoral care supported by effective sharing of information and meetings each term. The school employs a teacher assistant to support students to access the curriculum, and to provide additional English language support as necessary.

The school organises additional educational visits and opportunities for international students, and ensures that are supported to participate in all aspects of school life.

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

Students at Mt Maunganui School enjoy a wide range of educational opportunities and friendly affirming school culture. Their experiences are enhanced by the school’s coastal location. New school leadership is bringing a sense of purpose and positive direction to school operations and practice. Governance is highly effective.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 October 2015

About the School

Location

Mt Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number

1838

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

495

Number of international students

10

Gender composition

Boys 55%

Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

Other European

Other Asian

Indian

Pacific

71%

16%

5%

4%

2%

1%

1%

Review team on site

September 20015

Date of this report

29 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

November 2009

January 2007