Maungaturoto School

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School Context

Maungaturoto School, a rural school north of Auckland, caters for 248 students in Years 1 to 6. The school has experienced significant roll growth in 2018 with the enrolment of 31 new entrants and 55 students across Years 1 to 6. Generations of local families have attended the school. About a third of students are Māori and a very small number of children have Pacific heritage.

The school’s stated mission is ‘Uplift our children, for they are our future – Me hapaitia i ngā tamariki, ko roto rātou ngā pataka apopo’. Its vision is for students to be resilient, effective communicators, actively involved, lifelong learners (REAL) with values of community - whanaungatanga, a ‘can do’ attitude - kia kaha, respect - manaakitanga, excellence - hiranga (CARE).

School priorities emphasise providing a safe and challenging environment and high quality teaching and learning programmes. Priorities include developing movement skills through quality physical activity and maintaining positive relationships between home and school. The school’s 2018 targets focus on accelerating reading progress for a target group, and raising schoolwide achievement in mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • the progress and achievement of target groups and students with additional needs

  • engagement, wellbeing and CARE values information

  • student participation in school events and activities.

School staff continue to engage in ongoing professional learning and development in mathematics, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) and Accelerating Language Learners (ALL).

Maungaturoto School is part of the Twin Coast Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL) which is currently exploring ways to improve writing, with an emphasis on progressing the writing of boys.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is increasingly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Over the last three years there have been upward achievement trends, showing that most students achieve at or above expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading, writing and mathematics. There have been good levels of parity for all groups of students.

The school’s 2018 achievement data has been influenced by the significant number of new enrolments and some disparities are now evident. The school is aware of where these disparities exist and is working to address them.

The school is continuing to make progress in relation to assessing and reporting about other valued outcomes that support students’ holistic development.

School leaders and teachers support learners to meet the school’s valued outcomes. Most learners:

  • can demonstrate and talk about the CARE values
  • are strengthening their understanding around being REAL learners
  • are confident to talk about their learning
  • are respectful of themselves and others, and have a strong sense of pride in the school.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school responds well to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. This is clearly evidenced in the board’s strategic plan.

School information shows accelerated progress for the majority of students who need this, particularly in Years 5 and 6. School leaders have identified the need to provide more clarity about levels of accelerated learning, and to further refine their understandings of accelerated progress.

Teachers are making increasing use of student data to identify and target teaching to the learning needs of students. Leaders and teachers ensure that extensive learning support, interventions and programmes are available to help students with additional needs to access the curriculum and to accelerate their learning.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has a well-established and inclusive culture that permeates all school operations, is apparent in the wider school community, and is reflected through the school CARE values. This is underpinned by respect for local iwi, tikanga Māori and the history of the area. The school culture forms a solid foundation for establishing fundamental relationships of respect and care. Community partnerships focus on the learner. A shared pride in the school and students’ achievement is very evident. The board and school leaders place student learning and wellbeing at the centre of all decision making.

In its stewardship role, the board actively represents and serves the school’s education community. Trustees identify strongly with the school values and culture. They bring a variety of strengths to their roles and contribute well to school decision making. Trustees value student data reports and they target resourcing accordingly. The board has begun to annually assess its effectiveness.

Effective school leadership ensures a shared commitment to school values and students’ holistic development. Leaders maintain a caring and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. They actively lead the development of the curriculum and improvements in teaching and learning. Leaders are strategically building teacher capability and leadership across the school.

The school places importance on and values educationally powerful connections and relationships with parents, whānau and its community. Collaborations with the community enrich learning opportunities for students. Partnerships with the Māori community have strengthened over time.

There has been genuine collaboration with the community to develop a curriculum that is values based and underpinned by a caring school culture. Teachers are transferring new learning strategies across the curriculum as a result of whole-school professional development. They are extending the range of learning opportunities in meaningful contexts, and increasing the focus on developing skills for the 21st century learner. Teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed bicultural practices and understandings across the curriculum.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders and teachers have identified the need to continue increasing opportunities for students to lead their own learning.

To support the achievement of equity and excellence, leaders and teachers are continuing to refine assessment practices, including shared understandings of accelerated progress.

Leaders acknowledge the need to strengthen the school’s internal evaluation processes by more clearly documenting the impact of changes made on outcomes for students.

Leaders also recognise the importance of continuing the development of schoolwide understanding and inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori across the curriculum and within classroom programmes.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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

  • finance

  • 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

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

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should review and update the staff performance management policy and procedures, and procedures for board meetings that exclude the public.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • stewardship practices that are student focused and community connected

  • leadership that is supportive, collaborative and fosters leaders of learning and improvement

  • community ownership of the school that supports learning-centred relationships with parents, whānau and community

  • the CARE value-based school culture that instils a positive learning culture and commitment to develop REAL learners.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • implementing plans to develop teaching and learning practices that increase student agency in learning and further develop REAL learners

  • refining assessment and internal evaluation practices to increase equity and excellence in outcomes for all learners.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

8 February 2019

About the school

Location

Maungaturoto, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1049

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

248

Gender composition

Boys 58% Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori 31%
Pākehā 68%
other ethnic groups 1%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

8 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015
Education Review January 2013
Education Review November 2009

Findings

Maungaturoto School provides good quality learning opportunities for students. The school’s mission and vision places children at the centre of learning. The positive school culture supports an inclusive, caring environment for students and their families. Staff and trustees are committed to continual improvement and promoting positive outcomes for student learning.

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

1 Context

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

Maungaturoto School is a rural primary school north of Auckland, located near the Kaipara Harbour. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 6.

A significant feature of the school is the emphasis placed on promoting student wellbeing and belonging. This focus underpins the school’s vision and values which are embedded in all aspects of school life. Students and their parents experience a welcoming and inclusive school environment.

Students and families are proud of the longstanding and inter-generational connections the school has with its community. Local community events and school traditions are very important to parents and the wider community.

Since the 2013 ERO review, a new senior leadership team has been appointed. At the beginning of 2015 the principal resigned. The school was managed by an acting principal until a new, experienced principal took up the position in August 2015. There have also been internal appointments to fill the deputy principal and assistant principal roles.

The school has addressed the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report, and has made good progress in improving reporting to the board.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement and progress. The school’s achievement information shows that most students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards. Māori students are achieving similarly to their peers.

An assessment schedule ensures that regular achievement information is collected by teachers. Useful moderation practices are used to help ensure consistency in teacher judgements about student achievement in writing. These good moderation practices should now be extended to reading and mathematics to strengthen the reliability of student achievement across all National Standards.

Students are highly engaged and motivated learners. They have positive relationships with each other and teachers, and are valued as capable and competent learners. Students are encouraged to set personal learning goals that strengthen their ability to take greater ownership of their learning. Senior leaders agree that students could now be further supported to increase their understanding of achievement information to help them become more self-directed learners.

Students who are underachieving receive very good assistance with their learning. Senior leaders’ careful analysis and regular monitoring of progress data helps teachers to respond effectively to these learners. Good use is made of action plans, interventions and teacher aides to further support their learning.

Parents have good knowledge and understanding of their children’s learning through the three way conferences and they receive useful information about student progress and achievement. Next steps included in student reports help parents to support their children’s learning at home. The principal has identified the need to continue refining written reports to parents.

The board of trustees receives regular information about student achievement and well analysed reports from the principal. The school identifies students most at risk of not achieving. This information enables trustees to make strategic and responsive resourcing decisions based on students' learning needs.

The principal agrees that key next steps include using external professional development to ensure there is greater consistency in:

  • teacher judgements about student progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards
  • teachers’ use of achievement information to guide planning for learning programmes.

It could also be beneficial for teachers to work with other schools to share and discuss a variety of student assessment examples as a further step for increasing teacher capacity for responsive teaching and learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum supports and promotes student learning effectively. It focuses on literacy, mathematics and the key competencies set out in The New Zealand Curriculum. An integrated curriculum framework guides learning programmes designed to align with students’ interests and learning needs. A well-considered three-step school inquiry process 'find it, sort it, use it' is evident across the year levels.

Students take pride in their school. They actively engage in learning and work enthusiastically in groups and independently. They have access to a wide range of resources to support their learning. Parents have commented on their children’s enthusiasm and desire to continue learning at home through the use of e-learning devices. These digital devices promote effective communication between home and school.

The school’s values of 'community, a can do attitude, respect and excellence' (C.A.R.E.) are highly evident in the curriculum. Older students appreciate a variety of opportunities to take on leadership roles and responsibilities in the school. They enjoy mentoring and supporting younger students with their learning.

Teachers explore bicultural perspectives through the curriculum. Staff and students benefit from the help of a teacher of Māori language and culture to promote te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum. Teachers have clear expectations for student achievement in this area at each year level as student's progress through the school.

Teachers work collaboratively to share strategies that improve teaching practice. The principal is leading the review of curriculum and classroom strategies to promote ongoing improvement to student outcomes and greater consistency in teaching and learning.

With curriculum foundations now in place, the principal agrees that it is time for further consultation with students, parents/whānau and the wider community. This will help to ensure the curriculum continues to reflect local content and the aspirations of students and parents.

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

Māori students comprise 23 percent of the roll. The school promotes educational success for Māori students effectively. Students are well engaged in learning and school activities, and are achieving and progressing well. There is a school-wide expectation that students know and are given opportunities to share their mihi.

Students in Years 3 to 6 attend kapa haka that the school values and celebrates. This provides an opportunity for senior students to develop leadership roles within the school. Māori students take pride in the recognition and acknowledgement of Māori values and enjoy opportunities to learn te reo Māori. They participate in pōwhiri and proudly lead the school waiata. Tuakana-teina relationships, where older students affirm and support younger peers, are evident in students’ interactions and shared learning activities.

The school has connection with the local Otamatea marae and a positive relationship with local kaumatua. Tikanga is evident in school events and special occasions in ways that match well with the school’s context. School leaders ensure that community and cultural resources are integrated into relevant aspects of the school curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve curriculum provision and teaching and learning.

The board is committed to improving learning outcomes for all students and having a trusting and positive working relationship with the principal. The principal promotes a high trust model for staff, recognising teachers’ strengths and providing leadership opportunities. Parents and staff who spoke to ERO appreciate the principal’s professional, open and honest approach and her personable and approachable manner.

The board generously resources staff professional development. Teacher performance appraisal processes have recently been reviewed and continue to be refined. This includes an increased focus on gathering evidence to strengthen teachers’ evaluation of their progress against their development goals. This is enriching their inquiries into the effectiveness of their teaching practice.

The board’s strategic plan and annual goals are strongly aligned with the school’s vision. Processes are in place to guide regular review and evaluation. Trustees are well informed about student achievement, curriculum development and school initiatives.

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 further improve practice, the board agrees it would be useful to:

  • access external support to further develop understandings of personnel matters
  • develop clear guidelines and processes for recording board meetings, including meetings that exclude the public.

Conclusion

Maungaturoto School provides good quality learning opportunities for students. The school’s mission and vision places children at the centre of learning. The positive school culture supports an inclusive, caring environment for students and their families. Staff and trustees are committed to continual improvement and promoting positive outcomes for student learning.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 December 2015

About the School

Location

Maungaturoto, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1049

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

195

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

23%

75%

2%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

18 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

November 2009

November 2006