Matauri Bay School

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Education institution number:
1044
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Bilingual Year 7 and Year 8 School
Total roll:
71
Telephone:
Address:

Whakarara Road, Matauri Bay

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Findings

Matauri Bay School has a positive school tone. Ngāpuhitanga is well promoted. Appropriate professional development supports teachers to improve their practice. Continuing to focus on improving teaching and learning approaches and accelerating student achievement are important priorities.

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?

Matauri Bay School is a small, rural school in Northland. It caters for students, years 1 to 8. Recently, there has been steady roll growth. Many children come to school by bus.

Most children are Māori and their whānau affiliate to Ngāpuhi. Te reo and tikanga Māori are highly valued by the school community. Children’s knowledge and understanding of tikanga and te reo Māori is well supported through school programmes and initiatives.

At the time of the 2014 ERO review the principal was new to the leadership role. Since that time there has been a complete change of teaching staff. A new board has also been elected.

The 2014 ERO report identified several necessary improvements. These included making more effective use of student achievement information, documenting a school curriculum and improving governance processes. Ongoing professional development has helped the school to make progress in these areas.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Priorities for development identified in the June 2014 ERO report were:

  • making more effective use and reporting of student achievement information
  • developing and documenting a school curriculum
  • promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori
  • ensuring effective board processes are enacted, including health and safety, and employment policies and practices.

Following a slow start to review and development process, there has been an increasing momentum of change to address these priorities.

Progress

Using student achievement information to promote student learning

The board has developed useful and appropriate targets for student achievement. They also receive regular information about progress towards achieving these targets.

School data for 2015 show significantly improved student achievement in relation to National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. More than half of all students now achieve at or above the standard in reading, writing and mathematics and this is a good foundation for building further improvement. Some gender disparity has been identified in achievement in writing and mathematics. Documenting and evaluating plans that focus on strategies to lift achievement further and accelerate students’ learning progress is an important next step.

Teachers have reviewed the reports they provide for parents. Parents now receive good written information about their children’s progress and achievement. Engaging parents in educationally powerful learning partnerships so they can support their tamariki at home is a priority.

In 2015, a Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner supported teachers to consider how effective their teaching practice was in promoting positive outcomes for students. Teachers are now more aware of identifying and monitoring students at risk of not achieving well. A useful action plan to sustain and embed this work has been developed and clearly identifies next steps for the school.

Teachers regularly discuss their target students and how they can meet their learning needs. They use the Ministry of Education’s Progress and Consistency Tool (PACT) to validate their judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. Teachers now reflect on the impact of their teaching on students’ learning as part of their appraisal process.

The principal has significantly improved performance management processes for teachers so that they align with the requirements of the Education Council and incorporate Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. The school’s recently developed indicators of effective teacher practice are about to be aligned to these resources.

School curriculum development

Professional learning and development in 2016 has been focused on reviewing and strengthening the school’s curriculum. As part of this internal evaluation, the principal and teachers are continuing to:

  • consult with parents and whānau regarding their ideas and aspirations for the curriculum, including reviewing the school values
  • develop clear expectations for the Matauri Bay student graduate and teachers
  • develop a school inquiry learning model for the students.

Teachers are developing a more culturally responsive curriculum. It is underpinned by the school values including whānaungatanga, rangatiratanga and manaakitanga. Appropriate local contexts are being identified for example, Whangaroatanga (local area) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship). These context themes are aligned to specific values as part of curriculum design.

The innovative learning environment (ILE) classroom development that is planned for 2017 provides an opportunity for teachers to consider how to make the most out of working in a collaborative learning space. The principal has given priority to beginning to plan for this so that the ILE space promotes improved learning outcomes for students.

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 now better placed to continue to improve and review its performance. Progress has been made in key areas. However, it will be necessary for leaders, teachers and the board to embed good practices and accountability mechanisms in order to maintain and increase the momentum of progress.

Effective governance and stewardship

The previous board of trustees reviewed and rationalised policies. Policy review is now a regular part of board meetings. Recent board elections returned some experienced and some new trustees. The board is committed to engaging with parents and whānau. The long serving former board chair continues to lead property development.

The new board chair brings relevant board and education experience to the role. Positive working relationships between the chair and principal are evident. A finance programme now provides external support for budgeting and reporting.

Continued improvement and key next steps

The principal acknowledges that greater use of evaluation could help ongoing improvement and build accountability. This will require:

  • developing and documenting internal evaluation processes that enhance positive outcomes for students
  • evaluating the effectiveness of plans, programmes and initiatives in relation to how well they contribute to accelerating student progress and raising achievement
  • improving the analysis and interpretation of student achievement data so that it can be better used by teachers to inform their planning and help the board with strategic decision making.

In order to continue to improve equitable outcomes for students, the board and teachers need to:

  • document action plans that identify teaching strategies that will help accelerate the progress of students most at risk of poor outcomes
  • ensure expectations for effective teaching practice, particularly in the core curriculum, are consistently implemented across the school. 

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

Matauri Bay School has a positive school tone. Ngāpuhitanga is well promoted. Appropriate professional development supports teachers to improve their practice. Continuing to focus on improving teaching and learning approaches and accelerating student achievement are important priorities.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 March 2017

About the School 

Location

Matauri Bay, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1044

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

84

Gender composition

Boys 46 Girls 38

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

81

2

1

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

8 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2014

June 2011

May 2009

 

1 Context

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

Tēnā koutou te kura o Matauri Bay, arā te poari, ngā mātua, te tumuaki, ngā kaiako me ngā tamariki. He mihi nei ki a koutou e pou kaha ana kia whai ai te mātauranga mō ō koutou tamariki mokopuna.

Matauri Bay School is a growing rural school in Northland that provides a caring and welcoming learning environment for its students. Positive relationships are a feature of the school and have been sustained since ERO’s 2011 review. The school’s core values of respect and whakawhanaungatanga remain highly evident.

The school is important and strongly linked to the community, through long-standing and inter-generational connections. Whānau are engaged in school activities and significant numbers attend school sporting and cultural events.

The majority of students are Māori. Currently the school caters for students from Years 1 to 6 in three mainstream classes and a bilingual unit for Years 7 and 8. Since the 2011 ERO review, there have been changes which include:

  • significant roll growth, from 45 students in 2011 to 104 at the time of this review
  • the recent appointment of a long-serving senior teacher as principal and the appointment of four new teachers to the staff
  • different levels of provision of te reo Māori for students in the bilingual unit.

The school serves several students who have a high level of special learning needs. These students receive support within the school and from external specialists.

Selected Year 8 students receive locally funded scholarships to support their secondary school education. These students’ progress and achievement is tracked and shared with scholarship funders. An early childhood playgroup is located on the school site, and is part of the inclusive school community.

Some recommendations for improving school performance identified in the 2011 ERO report are yet to be fully addressed and continue as works in progress. These include:

  • analysing data to set specific annual achievement targets
  • providing technology and careers programmes for Years 7 and 8 students
  • strengthening self review, including performance management systems.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers are beginning to build their capacity to analyse and report school-wide achievement information. Senior leaders acknowledge the urgent need to establish more effective and reliable assessment systems to help them support students’ progress and achievement. Better and more reliable assessment systems should improve reporting of achievement information to the board. This should help school leaders and trustees set more relevant and meaningful achievement targets that reflect the specific needs of individuals and groups of students at risk of not achieving to their potential.

School leaders and teachers are beginning to build their capacity to form overall judgements about students’ progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. By drawing on a wider range of information to assess and monitor student learning across the curriculum, teachers should be able to plan more effectively for students’ learning needs. Reports to parents about how well students are progressing and achieving in relation to National Standards should be revisited to ensure they fully meet Ministry of Education requirements, particularly in relation to reporting about achievement in mathematics.

Students are keen to learn and enjoy their schooling. However, achievement data indicate that many students, particularly boys, are achieving below expectations in reading. Senior leaders agree that to promote students' ownership of their learning progress, teachers should increase students’ use and understanding of assessment information. It would now be useful for school leaders to evaluate the impact of the programmes they have designed to accelerate students’ progress and bring about positive changes for learners.

The principal and staff agree that urgent priority should be given to carrying out the next steps identified above. This should help teachers to continue improving the analysis and use of assessment information and assist in raising student achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has a strong commitment to bilingual education and to affirming children’s language, culture and identity as Māori. This provides a positive foundation for building the school’s curriculum. Developing and documenting a curriculum that reflects the history and context of Matauri Bay is a next step for the principal and teaching staff. Clarification should be sought from Ministry of Education about how The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and supporting Ngā Whanaketanga documents should be used within the school to support mainstream and bilingual education.

In addition, senior leaders should consider the extent to which all learning areas are covered in curriculum documents. As at the time of the 2011 review, technology and careers education programmes for students in Years 7 and 8 continue to be an area that could be further progressed.

Students benefit from supportive classroom learning environments. Caring relationships are evident throughout the school. Tuakana/teina relationships are a strong and enriching feature of school culture. Teachers and whānau work together to support children’s learning.

Teachers consistently use learning goals to share the purpose of lessons with students. Teachers are keen to further improve their teaching practice. Important next steps to achieve this goal are to:

  • clarify and embed expectations for effective teaching
  • further develop teachers’ critical review of their own practice
  • embed and build on improvements that have resulted from professional learning and development
  • establish robust self review of the curriculum and teaching programmes.

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

Matauri Bay School roll is predominantly Māori. The culture of the school is grounded in te reo me ōna tikanga Māori.

Students work in a nurturing, affirming and inclusive learning environment. They are provided with opportunities to practice and develop traditional leadership attributes. Their leadership and participation in pōwhiri, karakia, mihi whakatau and waiata enables them to participate in tikanga in accordance with customary practice.

The principal continues to help maintain te reo Māori across the school and particularly in the bilingual unit as staff are supported to develop their te reo skills and knowledge. ERO recommends, however, that the school maintains good oversight and reporting on the extent to which the use of Maori language reflects:

  • te reo funding levels for the bilingual unit
  • school and community aspirations for their tamariki reo, culture and success as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is not yet well placed to sustain and improve its performance. While there is a clear vision for improvement and lifting student achievement, there is a need to accelerate progress in improving the curriculum, teaching practice and student achievement.

The principal has an inclusive leadership style that should help build teacher capacity and school sustainability. He is accessing appropriate professional development for staff to support school development and improve teaching and learning. Information gathered by the principal and staff is increasingly being used as basis for planning and managing change.

The school has strong relationships with its community and a supportive board that comprises new and experienced trustees. Further training for the board is recommended. This should help trustees gain clarity about their roles and responsibilities and about effective board processes, including succession planning.

Important priorities for the board are to:

  • ensure strategic goals in the charter are supported by action plans
  • strengthen and build a coherent cycle of self review that includes regular evaluation of progress towards achieving strategic goals
  • maintain a regular review of board policies and ensure that all relevant policies are developed
  • ensure the principal is well supported by a performance agreement and an annual appraisal process.

The board should also work to strengthen financial management and improve decision making around the allocation of resources to support teaching, learning and school improvement. Developments in all of these important areas should considerably increase the school’s capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

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.

During the review ERO identified some areas of non-compliance. To address these, the board must ensure that:

  • parents receive reports, written in plain language, on their children’s progress and achievement against the National Standards at least twice yearly [National Administration Guidelines 2(a)]
  • the principal has an annual performance agreement [National Administration Guidelines 3; State Sector Act 1988, 77C]
  • the school has a strong health and safety policy base that includes policy about appropriate first aid training for staff, education outside the classroom risk management practices, police vetting provisions, and crisis management procedures [National Administration Guidelines 5; s Education Act 1989,78C]

To improve practice, the principal should establish a performance appraisal process for non-teaching staff.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board in order to bring about improvements in curriculum, student achievement and school governance and management.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

30 June 2014

About the School

Location

Matauri Bay, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1044

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

104

Gender composition

Girls 54%

Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

97%

3%

Special Features

Year 7 and 8 Bilingual Unit

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

30 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

May 2009

May 2006