Musselburgh School - 31/05/2016

1 Context

Musselburgh is an increasingly culturally diverse school providing education to children in Years 1 to 6. This has meant greater numbers of children are receiving specialist English language learning. The school has had an increasing roll over recent years and an enrolment scheme has been implemented. The school has stable staffing and an experienced principal. The board of trustees has some new trustees and a new board chair.

The school participates in two local clusters: the Peninsula School Cluster and the Dunedin Positive Education School Cluster. Through these, leaders, teachers and students benefit from shared practices, professional development and learning experiences.

Leaders and teachers have participated in a Ministry of Education professional development initiative focused on accelerating learning in mathematics and are currently involved in a programme aimed at promoting school-wide positive behaviour for learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The school's vision is for a `positive, safe, rich learning environment where tamariki are supported to grow socially, emotionally and academically to reach their full potential'. The school's mission is `learning to live, living to learn'. Children learn to demonstrate the school's values of being kind, respectful, responsible and a learner.

The school’s achievement information shows that in recent years, increasing proportions of Māori learners are achieving at or above the National Standards (NS) for reading, writing and mathematics. In 2015, 80 % or more of Māori children were achieving at this level. This proportion is even higher in reading.

Just over three quarters of all learners achieve at or above the NS in reading and more than two thirds achieve at or above NS in writing and mathematics. More children have made accelerated progress in mathematics in the last 18 months than in reading and writing. This reflects a sustained focus on professional development in mathematics for teachers over the last three years. Children receiving specific English language learning support are making good gains in reading.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • set specific targets to raise the achievement of children at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • focused on engaging Māori and Pacific children and their families in partnership with the school
  • improved systems for collating, analysing and reporting some learner achievement information
  • improved the tracking of individual children's progress
  • reviewed and strengthened the performance management process for teachers.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

This school very effectively responds to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school has effective systems for identifying children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. This includes good use of achievement information and other indicators of children's wellbeing. Teachers compile detailed profiles of children based on their own observations and conversations with parents and children. These profiles consider the `whole child' in terms of their wellbeing, engagement, learning and achievement.

The school has a wide range of high quality learning support programmes and initiatives, including many that are personalised to individual children. Staff work closely with a large number of external specialists, community groups and volunteers to support children and their families to achieve positive outcomes. The board employs skilled and knowledgeable staff (in specialist roles) to respond to the diverse needs of some children.

Achievement and progress information shows that the school is effective at accelerating the progress of children who are at risk of poor educational outcomes. In particular, almost all Māori children needing to make accelerated progress in 2015 did so. Leaders and teachers know the names and needs of those children who have yet to make accelerated progress and continue to provide the additional support these children need to achieve success.

Leaders and teachers are making improved use of high quality professional development and teacher reflection. They look closely at which teaching and learning practices and strategies make the biggest difference for individual children.

Leaders should extend their analysis and interpretation of children’s achievement and progress information (school-wide and for specific groups) to determine the progress (acceleration or not) made. This information will help determine the impact of some programmes and whether goals have been met.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The conditions at this school very effectively develop and enact its vision for learners. This can be seen in the:

  • inclusive, collaborative way the board and staff support all children and their families
  • responsive, rich, personalised approach to children's learning
  • very strong curriculum focus on positive education and supporting children’s confidence and wellbeing
  • well-managed transitions in and out of the school supported by productive relationships with local schools and early childhood providers
  • deliberate building of some children’s readiness to learn
  • development of a culturally responsive curriculum and teaching where children can see their language, identity and culture being increasingly reflected and valued
  • excellent opportunities for education outside the classroom and the strategic playground redevelopment (including a bike skills track).

The board and leaders prioritise professional learning and development for all staff demonstrating their strong commitment to achieving the best outcomes for all children. Ensuring all children have equitable opportunities to learn is a priority and evident throughout the school.

Children with special education needs are extremely well provided for. Capable and skilled staff collaborate with each other about how best to provide and adapt programmes to best meet children’s needs.

The principal provides strong strategic and ethical leadership. Children’s needs and learning are at the heart of all her decisions. Through her high quality professional leadership she is effectively building staff capacity and capability in evaluation.

The next step for leaders and teachers is to ensure children are fully aware of their part in the learning process. This should include understanding how well they are achieving and progressing and what they need to do to improve. The school has prioritised this as a focus for teacher development this year as part of future-focused learning.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The board, leaders, teachers, other staff and volunteers provide well for children. Learners benefit from a personalised approach to learning, achievement and success.

Leaders and teachers should:

  • ensure children have explicit instruction in learning strategies to strengthen their ability to take control of their learning and to understand how well they are achieving and progressing
  • strengthen the analysis of sufficiency of learner progress to better inform internal evaluation.

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

6 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 the following:

  • Board administration.

  • Curriculum.

  • Management of health, safety and welfare.

  • Personnel management.

  • 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.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

To continue to promote equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners, ERO recommends the school acts on the next steps highlighted in this report.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

31 May 2016

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 54%

Girls: 46%

Ethnic composition









Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

31 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

March 2010

June 2006