Maungatapere School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

1 Context

Maungatapere School, situated west of Whangarei, caters for children from Years 1 to 8. The school's inclusive, country feel, and the meaningful learning opportunities provided for children, are valued by parents and whānau. Strong inter-generational links between the community and the school and the school's local and rural context for learning, are also valued.

The board of trustees and leadership team provide stability in the school and manage new trustees and staff succession planning well. Recent curriculum focus areas for teacher professional development have been mathematics, science and co-operative learning. Teachers and students continue to benefit from collaboration with local schools.

The Ministry of Education recently implemented an enrolment scheme to manage the school's growing roll.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are actively promoted by staff and understood by children. The school's motto, 'Ka Whawhai Tonu Ake Ake': 'Make it Happen' is well embedded. Children are very proud of the recently introduced whakataukī/proverb which encourages them to set challenging goals and persevere to achieve them. Establishing strong, respectful relationships is also valued.

School achievement information shows improvement over time. The majority of children, including Māori children, continue to achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori children's levels of achievement are similar to other groups within the school and, in writing, their achievement has been slightly higher over the past two years.

In 2015 all Year 8 students leaving Maungatapere School were achieving at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Achievement in writing was also very high. While boys achieve well overall, staff have plans in place to accelerate their achievement in reading and writing. The school also has improvement targets for children who achieve well and need extending to reach their potential.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has employed external specialists to provide teacher professional development in mathematics and science, and to provide targeted support for children whose learning needs acceleration. Cooperative learning techniques and teaching as inquiry have been a particular focus to target children who require alternative strategies and to engage them in learning.

The school has continued to strengthen its links with Māori whānau to support their children to succeed as Māori. Transitions into and out of the school have also been strengthened.

The board has initiated a number of property developments in the last three years. Most recently a hallway and toilet block have been converted and refurbished to create a break-out space that provides teachers and children with increased opportunities to learn collaboratively. Children's lobbying has also resulted in improvements to outdoor play spaces.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

School leaders and teachers use achievement information well to identify Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Teachers use this information to group children with similar abilities for instruction, particularly in reading and mathematics. The school has a variety of in-class and withdrawal interventions to provide additional targeted support. The establishment of a whānau group has increased opportunities for the school to communicate and engage with the whānau of Māori children to support their learning. Teachers could now use Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, more formally when their inquiry includes Māori learners.

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

The school uses achievement information effectively to identify other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. They also use a variety of other information to identify children whose levels of engagement or resilience might be preventing them from achieving. The school has a number of processes in place to accelerate progress. These include supporting children directly by providing relevant professional development for teachers to develop their practice, and by working with children's families.

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?

A variety of good processes and practices are in place to promote equity and excellence in student outcomes. School leaders are focused on learning and learning relationships. In consultation with parents and whānau, school leaders and teachers have developed a broad curriculum that builds on children's interests, develops their confidence and helps to ensure that they experience success. Children have many opportunities to learn about their local history and environment, strengthening connections with their community.

Children are developing a strong sense of belonging and whanaungatanga. A number of buddy systems ensure strong relationships and opportunities for younger children to learn from their older peers. Inclusive practices are also evident for children with high needs. Cooperative and hands-on activities, including the use of digital technologies, provide learning experiences that promote active engagement and learning challenges. These approaches encourage all children to contribute and allow them to show their abilities in ways other than through written work.

Children recognise that their school has high expectations of them. They are encouraged to set personal learning goals and some teachers effectively support them to develop goals that are challenging. There are a variety of ways and degrees to which children know what they are learning and how successful they have been.

To support children to become confident, life-long learner's senior leaders could now consider ways to ensure that children have more consistent opportunities to take greater responsibility for their learning. Considerations could include reviews of the ways achievement information is used and the way the curriculum is designed and implemented. Feedback invited from children has contributed useful information about their curriculum interests and the ways they prefer to learn.

The whānau group has provided very good support for the school in promoting success as Māori and for helping all children to learn about New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Teachers have continued to develop their knowledge of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. For some Māori children, the increased value and visibility placed on te Ao Māori, including kapa haka, has strengthened their sense of mana, pride and personal identity. Teachers could consider working with the whānau group to develop progressions for te reo Māori for children as they move through the school.

There are positive, learning-centred relationships between home and school. Parents value the proactive communication they have with their child's teacher and with the school generally. The school provides a variety of opportunities for families to engage with the school and to contribute suggestions for improvement. Parents receive good information about their children's progress and achievement, including information relating to the National Standards and how they might support their child's learning at home.

School leaders purposefully support teachers' growing leadership. They provide targeted professional development to strengthen teacher capability and improve outcomes for children. Teachers are open to learning. Their personal inquiries, including peer mentoring and opportunities to share practice, have been particularly useful in helping them to reflect on and develop their practice for children whose learning needs acceleration.

The school has a comprehensive self-review programme. Leaders and teachers have good analysis and evaluation skills. Strengthening the consistency of evaluation so that it includes information about the effectiveness of programmes in accelerating children's progress should inform and support the high standards that they set for themselves.

Trustees bring a range of skills and governance experience to their stewardship role. They are well informed and use information effectively to manage priorities and make resourcing decisions that benefit children's 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 who need their 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 senior leadership team have identified that to further enhance equity and excellence outcomes for all children they should continue to focus on teacher capability building initiatives. They have also identified consolidating the implementation of the Māori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017, cooperative learning techniques and the integration of digital technologies as key areas to provide teachers with ongoing support.

Senior leaders believe that the further embedding of identified initiatives will support children's increased engagement, progress and achievement across the curriculum, including the development of the skills they need to be independent, life-long learners.

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 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to use internal evaluation to monitor and report on the effectiveness of school improvement initiatives, including those relating to increasing student knowledge about and ownership for their learning. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 May 2016

About the school

Location

Maungatapere

Ministry of Education profile number

1048

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

312

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

British/Irish

Cook Island Māori

other

22%

73%

3%

1%

2%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

23 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

September 2009

July 2006

1 Context

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

Maungatapere School is set in a semi-rural community in Northland. The school is noted in the community for its strengths in student achievement and sporting activities. Its curriculum appropriately reflects the students farming and agricultural backgrounds and experiences.

The inclusive practices evident in the school give students a strong sense of belonging and pride in their achievements. Positive relationships support students’ learning. The board’s surveys of parent satisfaction with the school show that parents value the talents and creativity of the staff. A strong culture of collaboration between the community and the school helps to create a partnership between parents and staff to support school activities.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the board has consulted the school’s Māori community and, as a result, has included goals for the success of Māori students as Māori in its strategic and annual plans. This partnership is now evident in the school curriculum and in classroom and school-wide practices.

The principal, supported by the senior management team, provides strong leadership. Teachers work collaboratively. Their shared ideas are valued and respected. This supportive climate fosters professional innovation to further improve student learning.

The expertise of the board of trustees in finance and property management has resulted in well equipped classrooms and good provision of information and communication technologies (ICT).

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes that support learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. High expectations of student learning and behaviour are reflected in well organised, settled classrooms. Students experience a broad curriculum with plenty of opportunities to explore meaningful concepts. Students respond well to the interest and support they receive from teachers.

School leaders use school-wide achievement data to identify student learning needs. Teaching teams use diagnostic testing to identify gaps in student learning. To help students to make independent decisions about their learning, teachers should continue to encourage students to identify and develop their own next learning steps. Providing opportunities for students to lead their own learning should also give them the confidence to take a greater role in school conference meetings with their parents.

School data show that students achieve very well. Most students are working at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders develop achievement targets for, and monitor the progress of, students achieving below the standards. Teachers continually monitor students’ progress. Class groupings are flexible to meet students changing learning needs. Students who are not reaching their potential are identified and there is evidence that these students make good progress.

The provision for learners with special education needs is well managed. A specialist teacher and well trained teacher aides support students with special learning needs in withdrawal and classroom situations. The achievement of a high percentage of these students is accelerated significantly as a result of specialist interventions. Student’s progress is monitored and there is good follow-up support for students in their mainstream classrooms.

The board receives good information about student achievement in relation to National Standards. Good use is made of this and other achievement information to make decisions that support teaching and learning initiatives. In 2011 the board did not report to parents on student’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. In 2012, the board is now reporting this information for reading and writing. However, school reports to parents do not make it sufficiently clear that progress and achievement is against the National Standards.

To improve school reporting, school leaders should review existing reports to parents to ensure that student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics National Standards is clearly stated. Current reports to parents do not report student achievement in mathematics National Standards. Reports to parents should also consistently include suggestions about how children’s learning can be supported at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

A review of the Maungatapere School curriculum plan against The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) has resulted in a curriculum that reflects student and family interests. Research and inquiry is increasingly supporting student learning in the areas of science, technology, health and social science. Topics relevant to student’s backgrounds and rural experiences are reflected in classroom programmes. Parent involvement in the curriculum is encouraged and further enriches children’s learning.

Senior leaders’ commitment to promoting success for all learners helps to influence and motivate staff. Students learning needs are given priority in decisions about curriculum design. The principal makes explicit her high expectations for teaching. Teachers are encouraged to be innovative in their classrooms and to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Teaching and learning reflects the requirements of the NZC. Teachers know their students well and are able to motivate and challenge them.

Well focused, school-wide professional learning and development in specific learning areas continues to inform teaching and learning across all curriculum areas. Considerable board funding has been put into the provision of ICT equipment in classrooms. Regular fortnightly professional development ensures that teachers and students have opportunities to become confident users of ICT and to use this in a variety of curriculum contexts.

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

Significant development of teacher knowledge and practice has improved school provision for Māori students. Māori pupils make up 15% of the school roll. The introduction of the Ministry of Education resource, Ka Hikitia has provided guidance for the development of school initiatives to support Māori learners.

In 2012 a focus of the school has been on Māori culture and practice and on developing a whole school teaching and learning programme. As a result, students and teachers have a renewed commitment to supporting Māori culture, language and identity in the school. This has been developed through a collaborative planning process following consultation with Māori families. Consultation with the school’s Māori community has resulted in the development of Māori student success goals in the board's strategic and annual plans.

Te reo Māori is included in classroom programmes across the school. Time is taken at assemblies to teach waiata, Māori traditions and culture. A kapahaka group has now been formed. A challenge for the board and staff will be to maintain and further develop these worthwhile initiatives.

Through future consultation with Māori families and whānau the board should be in a good position to explore the preferences Māori parents and individual families have in terms of consultation. School leaders should continue to discuss with parents the ways that student progress and achievement information can be reported to them. Good quality partnerships between the school and its Māori community have the potential to continue to strengthen student learning in school and at home.

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.

Governance and management systems are well aligned. The board of trustees actively supports the work of the staff. Planned schedules of self review provide a framework for the board, senior leaders and teachers to continually improve school operations and practices.

The principal provides stable leadership. Her considered approach to school development supports the implementation of school practices and initiatives. Self-review procedures are used well to improve school programmes and operations and to set the school’s strategic direction. The board makes informed decisions about the allocation of resources to meet identified needs and priorities.

The board and staff engage with the community and are open to feedback. Well developed consultation processes enable parents and whānau to contribute to school direction-setting.

The community is kept in close contact with the school through regular newsletters, an active Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) and a busy schedule of social, cultural and agricultural events.

The school’s vision of ‘Make it Happen’ guides school operations, including classroom teaching and learning. Outside expertise has supported the introduction of a values programme that has helped shape the positive learning behaviours and attitudes of students and guides staff in their support of children’s learning and well-being.

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.

In order to fulfil its requirements, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards, [National Administration Guidelines 2A (b, c)].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 January 2013

About the School

Location

Maungatapere

Ministry of Education profile number

1048

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

282

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European /Pākehā

Māori

Cook Island Māori

Other ethnicities

76%

15%

1%

8%

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2008

July 2006

November 2002