Te Mahia School - 28/01/2019

Findings

Very good progress has occurred since the 2017 ERO review. Improved learning outcomes for students are evident. Systems and processes are improved and used to build capacity for ongoing improvement. Development of the responsive curriculum, use of evidence-informed internal evaluation and reporting to the board in relation to annual targets and priorities are next steps.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Te Mahia School, situated on the Mahia Peninsula, has students in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 51 students includes 48 who identify as Māori.

The January 2017 ERO report identified areas for strengthening practice and recommended that the Ministry of Education (MoE) provide support for the school to bring about improvements in: student achievement; curriculum planning and teaching, to be responsive; and to build capacity across the school.

A MoE senior adviser has provided support and guidance. Board membership has remained stable and trustees have received training and support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association. Two new teachers have been appointed and, in response to whānau feedback, a full time teacher aid, fluent in te reo Māori, provides daily classes and support through the school.

The principal and teachers have participated in MoE professional learning and development (PLD) to strengthen systems, processes and practices to improve literacy provision for learners.

Community and whānau partnerships are valued and are extended through formal and informal consultation, environmental initiatives and liaison with Rongomaiwahine and affiliated hapū.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The January 2017 ERO report identified key areas for ongoing development. These were for trustees, the principal and staff to:

  • raise the achievement levels of students whose learning needed acceleration and to strengthen assessment practices
  • review and develop the school curriculum to fully implement The New Zealand Curriculum
  • build effectiveness of governance, leadership and teaching
  • strengthen the use of teacher inquiry and internal evaluation to inform ongoing improvement
  • address compliance matters, including those related to the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014, appraisal and endorsement of teacher practising certificates and updating of some policies and procedures to meet legislative requirements.

Progress

The school has made good progress in addressing the priorities identified for review and development.

There is a more deliberate and focused response to learners at risk of underachievement. A wide range of achievement information is gathered and used deliberately by the principal and teachers to identify, track and monitor the progress of students at risk of not achieving and to inform teaching programmes and interventions. Staff work collaboratively to strengthen assessment practices through moderation and evidence-based discussions.

Student achievement results, from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2018, show significant improvement in rates of achievement, with reduced disparity for some groups, especially in writing and mathematics. Boys’ achievement has improved in all areas, particularly in mathematics. A large majority of girls achieve well in writing. A future focus area for the school needs to be accelerating girls’ achievement in reading and mathematics.

Trustees, the principal and teachers have an increased understanding of the importance of acceleration for those that need this. School data shows evidence of groups of students whose achievement has been accelerated so that they now achieve at school expectations.

The school has effectively used PLD, appraisal and inquiry to build the capability of trustees, principal and teachers. Targeted PLD has supported them to establish a shared understanding of effective governance practices. Processes for teacher appraisal and attestation have been strengthened and provide a useful framework for individual teachers to identify their needs and receive support to improve their skills, knowledge and practice. Teachers are developing their use of inquiry to identify how effectively their strategies are making a difference to the outcomes of learners.

The school has made a good start to reviewing and developing its curriculum so that it is more closely aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum and the aspirations of the community. As a result of consultation, a guiding framework has been developed that acknowledges the unique place of tangata whenua, whakapapa, environment and history. The principal and teachers are continuing to consult with the community as they refine priorities for a responsive and localised curriculum.

The principal and trustees have worked effectively in partnership to better meet their legislative obligations and strengthen systems and processes that promote improved student achievement, wellbeing and safety. As a result, regular policy review and clearer reporting of students' achievement and progress to the board of trustees is evident.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Key next steps

Key next steps to support ongoing improvement are to:

  • improve understanding and use of internal evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of teaching programmes, initiatives and strategies
  • strengthen the reporting to the board, so that it more appropriately documents progress against the annual goals, targets and priorities for improved student outcomes
  • continue to develop and refine the school’s curriculum so that it clearly expresses expectations of teacher practice, responsively reflects new learning gained through PLD and better meets legislative requirements for career and second language provision for Year 7 and 8 students.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

In order to improve practice, trustees and the principal should:

  • review and communicate the school's crisis management response and procedures
  • update systems for recording and reporting hazards and accidents
  • regularly monitor and review tools and processes for promoting cyber safety
  • formalise the use of student voice to inform evaluation processes, in particular around wellbeing and bullying prevention.

Conclusion

Very good progress has occurred since the 2017 ERO review. Improved learning outcomes for students are evident. Systems and processes are improved and used to build capacity for ongoing improvement. Development of the responsive curriculum, use of evidence-informed internal evaluation and reporting to the board in relation to annual targets and priorities are next steps.

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central Region

28 January 2019

About the School

Location

Mahia

Ministry of Education profile number

1676

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 29, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

48
3

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

28 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

January 2017
April 2014
February 2011