Ngatimoti School - 08/02/2013

1 Context

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

Ngatimoti School is a full primary located near the upper Motueka River and Kahurangi National Park, 20 kilometres south of Motueka. Since the October 2009 ERO report an increasing roll has led to the establishment of a fifth classroom for junior students. A new multipurpose learning and information centre has also been completed. Staffing changes led to the appointment of three new teachers during 2012.

The school caters for students from diverse cultural backgrounds from a widespread rural area. Its motto, ‘Te tapaepae o te rangi, Together we excel’, is underpinned by environmental and bicultural values and a vision for all children to become ‘R.I.V.E.R ‘students, ‘who are confident and able to navigate in a changing world’.

Active partnerships with the community are evident through a proactive board, supportive parents, marae visits, school based festivals, sports and educational excursions. A strong culture of self review supports continuous performance improvement. The school has a positive recent ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers use student information effectively to bring about improvements to learning, inform strategies to maintain high levels of engagement and to raise student achievement. Collated and analysed school data for 2012, shows that over 80% of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori learners achieve at levels similar to their peers.

Teachers gather a comprehensive range of information about learners from surveys, standardised tests, regular student feedback and observations. This information contributes to detailed class descriptions, student profiles and individual opportunity plans (IOPs) for priority learners who need additional support. Close monitoring and analysis of targeted interventions and IOPs by teachers show many students, including Pacific and Māori, make accelerated progress.

Since 2010, students overall have made significant progress in writing, reading and mathematics in relation to National Standards. Teachers use achievement information and student feedback to plan how best to cater for the identified needs of individuals and groups. They carefully match programmes, strategies and resourcing to achieve the required results.

Regular and comprehensive reports to trustees, by the principal, about progress and achievement, are used to plan for improved student outcomes. The board invests additional funds in staffing, resources and professional development to address identified additional learning needs.

A next step is for leaders and teachers to more deeply evaluate the overall impact of the various strategies used to improve targeted and priority students’ results.

Students take increased responsibility for their learning. They lead parent conferences, set goals and monitor their progress. Leaders and teachers know students very well and consider carefully the placing of high achieving students to maintain engagement and extend their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

Ngatimoti School Curriculum clearly reflects the charter, vision, values and learning priorities. An integrated approach provides direction, principles and guidelines for teaching and learning based on The New Zealand Curriculum. The curriculum is regularly reviewed, reflects current research, achievement results and considers regular feedback from the community. Students enjoy the diverse opportunities and experiences that support successful learning.

Carefully planned programmes and learning experiences are relevant and interesting. Student interests, teacher strengths and use of the local environment play a large part in designing and planning engaging topics and programmes.

Teachers use feedback and student suggestions to inform decisions about teaching approaches and programmes. They regularly evaluate the impact of their practice on students’ progress. They use a wide range of effective strategies that include:

  • working in close collaboration with learners
  • having students using self and peer assessment to reinforce learning against individual goals and to identify their next steps
  • learners confidently using high quality e-learning tools and resources to challenge thinking, extend research and refine their writing at all levels
  • providing rich and practical contexts for literacy and mathematics learning across the curriculum
  • students using inquiry skills and problem solving strategies.

Recent initiatives have increased learners’ literacy skills and confidence. These initiatives and the Reading Together time with parents, whānau and aiga have contributed to improved student attitudes and engagement in reading and writing.

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

The school has clear expectations and provides increasing opportunities for all Māori learners to have success as Māori. Values, curriculum design and teacher practices support a wide range of opportunities for Māori students to affirm their identity, culture and language, as Māori. The school has developed, in association with whānau, strategic goals and action plans to promote tikanga Māori for students, staff, parents and whānau. Learning experiences include te ao Māori perspectives, resources and contexts. Leaders and teachers are strengthening their partnership with whānau through these activities and initiatives.

School leaders and staff are using resources such as Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008-2012 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to inform practice. Further use should be made of these tools when, as a next step, trustees and leaders more explicitly define, monitor and evaluate how well the school promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Self review and reflective practices are embedded across the school. Strategic plans, programmes and procedures are thoroughly reviewed and evaluated to improve learning outcomes for students.

Trustees govern well. The recently revised charter and strategic plan provide a clear direction and framework for high quality education, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for the different needs and abilities of learners. Trustees and teachers have productive partnerships and engagement with the community. They organise a range of functions and opportunities for parents, whānau and aiga to meet, discuss and contribute to school plans, students’ achievement, projects and events in the life of the school.

The principal provides effective leadership in promoting student achievement and focusing on school improvement. High expectations of staff and students are evident. School leaders model in-depth reflective practices in their work with staff and when reviewing their own professional performance.

The performance management system provides strong support and direction for teachers to continue to improve and learn. Leaders provide new staff with appropriate support and resources to ensure continuity in programmes and student progress. Appraisal processes are thorough and link closely to professional learning and development and teachers inquiring into their own practice.

The school reviews and evaluates its effectiveness by following up on the progress of former students at secondary school. This information indicates that many students do well in their next stage of education. This feedback is used for the review of programmes to promote lifelong learning skills.

A welcoming environment and strong emphasis on respectful relationships and celebrating achievement supports students to feel confident, proud and valued.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

8 February 2013

About the School

Location

Ngatimoti, Motueka

Ministry of Education profile number

3212

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

113

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Māori

Other ethnic groups

84%

8%

4%

4%

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

8 February 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

October 2009

July 2006

December 2003