Parklands School (Motueka) - 11/06/2014

1 Context

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

Parklands School (Motueka) is a full primary school for students in Years 1 to 8. Thirty percent of the students identify as Māori, and there is an increasing multicultural student roll. Students come from a range of backgrounds.

Special features of the school include a Māori bilingual unit made up of three classes and an attached technology centre for Years 7 to 8 students in the district. A family service centre, playcentre, early childhood centre and community oral health clinic are also located on the school site. A school social worker, strengthening families' coordinator, a resource teacher of Māori and a highly respected kaumatua kuia (Māori elder) are also based at the school.

Staff members know the students and their families well. Many teachers have been at the school for a long time, or have chosen to return to the school.

The highly visible shared vision and well-understood bicultural values are evident in the positive culture and good relationships at all levels of the school.

Teachers have high expectations for learning and behaviour. They are seeking different ways that they can help parents to be more involved in their children’s learning.

The board and senior managers have made good progress towards meeting the recommendations outlined in the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is improving its use of student achievement data to make positive changes for learners. The 2013 data shows the school has been successful in promoting student achievement and progress in literacy and mathematics for most targeted groups. The information shows that as students move through the school their achievement against National Standards improves.

Since 2012, school leaders and teachers have improved their understanding, and use of national standards and the Māori achievement standards. They have developed broad targets for groups of priority students who do not meet the National Standards in literacy and mathematics. These priority students include Māori, Pacific, and groups of boys.

ERO identified, and the board and the school leaders agree that the annual achievement targets need to be more specific, measurable and achievable for students.

The school has effectively used a range of professional development to upskill leaders and teachers. This has helped teachers to:

  • establish clearer expectations for learning, teaching and student engagement
  • more accurately assess, and use student achievement data effectively
  • evaluate the best ways to plan, teach and implement programmes to lift student achievement.

Students’ success in literacy and mathematics, and physical education and sport is actively promoted, and celebrated by teachers and the school community. Students regularly achieve well in outside competitions. The school has good procedures in place to provide for students' pastoral care.

Leaders have established systems that are helping teachers to improve students’ engagement in learning. The prominent use of the school’s values and a programme that promotes positive behaviour for learning has resulted in improved student behaviour and engagement across the school.

ERO identified, and the senior leaders agree, that students’ written reports need to be written in plain language so they are easily understood by parents.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides a wide range of learning experiences through contexts that are relevant to students. It provides opportunities for students to explore and learn te reo me ngā tikanga Māori (the Māori language and culture), health and nutrition and caring for the environment.

Leaders and teachers have a planned approach to reviewing curriculum areas. This includes useful guidelines for teachers. This is particularly evident in the mathematics and literacy programmes.

The school’s integrated theme enables teachers to plan together and provide suitable experiences for different age groups. Students from different year levels work together in buddy programmes. Students' opinions about events and activities are regularly sought within the student council.

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

The school is effectively promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. The Māori curriculum for the bilingual unit strongly reflects Māori values and aspirations for learning and achievement. Māori perspectives are being integrated across the school’s curriculum.

Students and staff in the bilingual classes are well supported by a kuia who is the kaiarahi i te reo (language assistant). They also greatly benefit from the immense cultural knowledge of the kuia. The physical environment strongly reflects the bicultural commitment of the school. A korowai (cloak), tukutuku panels and whakairoiro (carvings) are highly visible in the school environment.

Students are proud of their performance at the school’s cultural festival. This festival was part of a school-wide learning topic called Tūrangawaewae (our place in the world, our home).

Staff across the school are committed to developing their own knowledge of te reo me nga tikanga 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.

The board is committed to ensuring effective governance. Trustees have high expectations of the leaders and are committed to supporting professional development that will improve achievement for students. Trustees have a useful mix of skills. The board engages the services of a cultural adviser and a financial/executive officer.

The school leaders are developing useful systems and practices to get consistency across the school in the key learning areas. They have focused on developing the leadership capability of teachers who lead the key curriculum areas.

The leaders and teachers have a growing shared understanding of ways to effectively use student achievement information and to make changes to improve outcomes for students (self review).

Since the 2011 ERO review, the board and school leaders worked with a student achievement facilitator from the Ministry of Education to develop an action plan to improve student achievement. This plan and the school’s charter clearly set out the school’s strategic direction, current priorities and next steps.

Annual targets are based on student achievement data, and are then linked to teacher appraisal goals. The senior managers have developed a new, more robust, appraisal process which has yet to be fully implemented. Teachers are in the early stages of linking their practices to improved outcomes for students’ learning.

ERO, the board and school leaders agree, that aspects of self review should be strengthened. This includes:

  • having indicators that clearly define what success looks like for students’ learning
  • seeking the opinions of students, whānau and employees anonymously, to review emotional and physical safety.

The board and leaders agree that the school needs to consolidate and embed practices and processes that have been introduced since the 2011 ERO review, to ensure a greater number of students progress and achieve the school’s expectations and National Standards.

Provision for international students

Parklands School (Motueka) is a signatory to the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 258F of the Education Act 1989. Parklands school has attested that it complies with the Code.

At the time of this review, there was one international student attending the school. The school effectively meets this student’s learning and pastoral care needs.

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 three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

11 June 2014

About the School

Location

Motueka

Ministry of Education profile number

3213

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

281

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 142; Girls 139

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

53%

32%

5%

5%

5%

Special Features

Māori immersion unit Attached technology centre

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

11 June 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

January 2008

March 2005