Mairangi Bay School

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Findings

Mairangi Bay school students achieve very well in a caring environment. Teachers deliver a broad and relevant curriculum that supports the learning of all students. Effective self review and strategic planning provides clear direction for ongoing improvement. The school has made significant progress in supporting students to be lifelong learners.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Mairangi Bay School caters for approximately 450 students from Years 1 to 6. The school administers an enrolment scheme to manage its growing roll. While most students are NZ European/Pākehā, there are a significant number of British and other European students, and a growing number of Asian students. Three percent of the students are Māori. The board welcomes the enrolment of international students.

The school has an inclusive and supportive culture. Caring relationships are encouraged and there are several initiatives to promote positive interactions between the younger and older children.

The board includes a mix of longer serving and newer trustees. The staff includes experienced leaders and teachers, with some teachers new to the profession. Recent professional development has focused on improving the teaching of literacy and on using information and communications technologies (ICT) to support learning and teaching (e-learning).

A number of property and resource developments have been completed in the last few years. New learning spaces allow greater flexibility for grouping students according to their learning levels. The hall has been repaired and a new all-weather court established. Significant improvements have been made to improve access to ICT.

The 2010 ERO report acknowledged two key priorities for further development. These related to supporting students to take a more active role in their learning and to increasing opportunities for students to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Progress has been made in these areas.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used well to support learning. Data is collected regularly, and analysed and used by teachers, school leaders and trustees to make informed decisions. School leaders identify trends and patterns for further investigation by evaluating achievement information in relation to gender, ethnicity and year level.

The board receives regular reports that enable it to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum, to make resourcing decisions and to set strategic targets. School leaders are aware that students generally achieve well in relation to National Standards and are keen to increase the percentage who are achieving above the National Standards.

Teachers are increasingly working together in their teams to set goals and monitor progress against them. Students are making increased use of achievement information to monitor their own learning and set goals. They share their learning with their teachers and parents at reporting time. These faceto-face reporting sessions compliment the clear written reports parents receive.

Teachers are making increased use of student achievement information to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. They identify the small number of students who are not making the required progress to meet the National Standards as their priority students. The progress of these students is closely monitored and information gathered shows that some make accelerated progress. Progress of students with special needs is also well monitored.

Teachers are skilful at using assessment information to plan programmes that are at an appropriate level for groups of students. The high level of student engagement in tasks set by teachers reflects that programmes are very relevant to students.

Senior leaders are interested in continuing to build teachers’ understanding of the levels at which students engage in their learning and ways that they can support students to develop deeper levels of engagement.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is guided by the school’s clear vision of ‘Ako, our lifelong learner’. This vision emphasises students as thinkers and communicators. The curriculum is broad. Students have many opportunities to learn in all areas of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Appropriate time is spent on supporting mathematics and literacy learning. Teachers also plan programmes that help students develop skills for lifelong learning. Older students have many opportunities to develop leadership skills.

The delivery of the curriculum is well supported by specialist teachers employed to teach music, te reo Māori, Mandarin, and environmental sustainability (Enviroschools). The use of expertise from within the community further enriches learning opportunities for students. Aspects of Māori culture are affirmed through weekly te reo Māori lessons and the ‘Enviroschools’ programme with the support of a local kaumātua.

Teachers make good use of the learning environments to support learning. Teachers cater well for children with special learning and behaviour needs. Students whose first language is not English are well catered for.

The curriculum is increasingly well supported through the effective use of information and communication technologies. Teachers continue to adapt their ways of teaching. Parents have been consulted and are well informed about how ICT is being used to support children's e-learning.

Through school self review, school leaders have identified aspects of learning and teaching that they want to strengthen. These are an ongoing focus for professional learning. They include teachers:

  • investigating how e-learning can further extend students' learning opportunities
  • continuing to build students’ capability to manage their learning.

ERO concurs that these are appropriate priorities for continued development.

ERO identified, and senior leaders agree, that it would also be useful to review the school’s inquiry learning model so that it better reflects the school’s vision of developing students as lifelong learners.

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

The school has strengthened its capacity to promote educational success for Māori as Māori. Student achievement information indicates that Māori students are achieving well in relation to National Standards.

All students have lessons in te reo Māori from a language tutor. The expectation is that teachers will support students to consolidate the new learning at other times during the week. Senior boys are taught the haka by a kaumātua. A cultural group practices kapa haka each week. The students involved perform on special occasions, such as welcoming visitors to the school.

It would be useful to review the school’s environment to ensure that it reflects the board’s commitment to a bicultural curriculum, and supports the identity of Māori students and their whānau.

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.

Effective self review guides decision making. Self review is informed through regular consultation with parents. Comprehensive strategic planning guides school operations.

The board governs the school well and undertakes reviews of its governance functions as part of wider self-review practices. Trustees take part in induction and training programmes to foster ongoing improvement in board practice.

School leaders provide a clear educational vision for the school. They keep abreast of developments in education and support staff to adjust their teaching practice accordingly. School leaders work collaboratively with local schools and have strong links with the wider educational community. The school is also a member of a local Community of Schools (CoS), together with several other primary schools and the local intermediate and secondary school.

Teachers benefit from opportunities to take leadership roles and to build their capacity as leaders. A collaborative approach is used to promote ongoing improvements to teaching and learning. All teachers are trained as coaches and they support each other to achieve performance goals that are linked to school targets.

As part of the school's ongoing review of appraisal systems, school leaders plan to strengthen the alignment of teacher appraisal to the registered teacher criteria and staff job descriptions. The board and school leaders also intend to review the school's policy framework to further improve consistency between policy and practice. An associated review of the school's self review schedule to align it with the new policy framework would be useful.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were five international students attending the school.

There is effective pastoral care for international students. Their educational needs are well met and their progress and wellbeing is monitored. International students have many opportunities to be involved with, and integrated into, the school community.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should :

  • ensure that the activity fee is refunded when students do not attend excursions
  • continue its planned review of risk assessment systems for education outside the classroom as part of the board's health and safety review programme.

Conclusion

Mairangi Bay school students achieve very well in a caring environment. Teachers deliver a broad and relevant curriculum that supports the learning of all students. Effective self review and strategic planning provides clear direction for ongoing improvement. The school has made significant progress in supporting students to be lifelong learners.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 July 2015

About the School

Location

Mairangi Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1343

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

444

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Girls 53%

Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

British/Irish

Korean

African/African origin

South East Asian

other European

other Asian

other

3%

58%

14%

7%

3%

2%

2%

5%

2%

4%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

31 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

November 2007

November 2004

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Mairangi Bay School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education to students from Years 1 to 6. Students are very well served by the school’s attractive facilities, the high quality curriculum provided, and effective teaching that meets their learning needs. As a result, students are articulate, confident, and value the opportunities they have to learn and achieve.

High levels of student achievement and progress distinguish the school. A significant number of students achieve at or above expected levels or norms for their year groups. Analysed student data in reading and mathematics indicate that many students make accelerated progress. The achievement of Mairangi Bay School students in reading and mathematics compares favourably with that of students in similar high decile schools.

Responsive and focused teaching contributes to students’ high levels of achievement. Teachers use data well within their teaching teams to identify approaches that will enhance students’ learning. They plan the curriculum carefully, using frameworks developed and reviewed by their teaching peers. Students have valuable opportunities to identify and improve their levels of achievement. Senior leaders have identified that, as a next step in fostering student self management, they will support teachers to provide more opportunities for students to set the direction of their learning. Warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to students’ engagement in learning.

A strong and knowledgeable senior leadership team supports teachers well. Senior staff were recruited for their complementary skills, including their ability to promote teachers’ professional growth and to create systems and processes that build coherent teaching practice across the school. The team provides a strong direction and effective support for staff. Leaders have responsibilities for achieving the school’s strategic priorities in the areas of learning and teaching. They carry out these responsibilities well.

The principal, senior leaders and the board are focused on improvement. They are reflective and strategic in their thinking and planning. Significant good quality self-review occurs at all levels of the school. Self review is carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning. A well informed board of trustees governs the school capably. An active Parent Teacher Association has made a significant financial contribution to the school. Students of Mairangi Bay School benefit from high quality programmes and the inclusive and caring culture that is provided for them.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

2. Mairangi Bay School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Mairangi Bay School promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

In response to a recommendation from the previous ERO review, the board and staff have worked strategically to sustain and extend effective teaching practices and to realise their vision of students as self-directed, lifelong learners. The board’s strategic plan outlines five key areas that the school has been working on, and will continue to work on over the next few years. Good progress has been made in each aspect of the annual plan and in developing a curriculum that is meaningful to students.

Supporting teachers in their work are two layers of school leadership: senior leaders and syndicate leaders. The senior leadership team was established in 2008 with the purpose of creating and implementing a planned programme of change and creating a professional learning culture. Its work is characterised by detailed self review related to designated responsibilities derived from the annual plan, and carefully developed systems to promote consistent good practices across the school. Five syndicate leaders work directly with teachers to develop their professional skills so that they can respond well to students’ needs.

Areas of strength

Student achievement and progress. A member of the leadership team provides very good quality data analysis and clearly identifies the specific implications of her findings for teachers, leaders, and the board of trustees. Useful comparative data, such as the progress of cohorts over time, has been collected and analysed. These data enable senior leaders to make focused decisions about how to best resource school programmes.

High levels of student achievement and progress are evident across the school, including for Māori students. School data indicate that, in reading and mathematics, many students achieve above national expectations or norms. Teachers are improvement focused and have high expectations for student achievement and progress. Increasing numbers of students are moving into the above-expectations achievement bands in reading and mathematics. In 2009, Year 4 to 6 students achieved well in reading in comparison with the achievement of students in other schools of a similar decile and type. Good quality data are being collected on student achievement in writing, are used by teachers and school leaders, and will be presented to the board of trustees.

Effective teaching practice. The following good teaching practices contribute to high levels of student learning and engagement:

  • teachers and students enjoy mutually warm and respectful relationships;

  • students are well catered for in differentiated programmes in key learning areas;

  • classroom environments are well resourced, attractive places that celebrate children’s achievement;

  • students receive good quality oral and written comments on their achievement and next steps in their learning, as appropriate for their age and stage of development; and

  • rubrics, exemplars and criteria support students to identify their current achievement levels and to formulate their own next learning steps.

Building capacity amongst staff. At all levels of the school, three key aspects of school practice foster the growth of teachers’ professional skills. These are:

  • internal and externally provided professional learning for leaders and aspiring leaders;

  • local cluster professional learning communities for school leaders; and

  • teachers and leaders collaborating with trained peer coaches to identify individual professional goals, work towards achieving these, and review ongoing progress.

Curriculum design. Over the last three years, leaders have guided staff to develop a shared understanding of The New Zealand Curriculum, including the content of the curriculum and the best ways to teach it and to assess students’ progress. Through professional development for teachers, considerable work has been achieved in:

  • producing detailed curriculum planning and assessment processes for writing that will serve as a useful model for future curriculum development; and

  • developing a useful student inquiry learning model.

These plans and documented processes have given teachers confidence in implementing programmes and have helped to ensure that good practices are used consistently across the school.

Effective self review. Significant good quality, planned review has been carried out by the board and senior leaders to inform the strategic direction of the school. Some of this review has been undertaken with the support of an external facilitator. Other work has been carried out as leaders evaluate how well they are moving towards achieving the board’s strategic plan for the development of the school. Self review is ongoing, carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning.

A culture of reflection and inquiry is evident in:

  • teacher team meetings, in which student progress, achievement and teaching practices are discussed;

  • development and review processes, through which lead teachers develop curriculum, consult with teachers, and review school-wide planning; and

  • end-of-term evaluations, which enable teachers to reflect on the extent to which their programmes have supported student achievement and progress.

Partnerships with parents and the community. A strong partnership between the school and the school community benefits students, their parents, and teachers. The partnership is characterised by effective consultation, communication, and inclusive practices. The positive relationships that have developed between the school, parents and whānau help to ensure a close alignment between community aspirations and school programmes.

Agreed priorities

During the review, Mairangi Bay senior leaders identified areas for further development and review to enhance learning and teaching in the school. ERO agrees with school leaders that, as next steps in the development of the school, teachers could:

  • support students to routinely identify their next learning steps, set and review personal learning goals, and take a more active role in reporting their achievement to their parents;

  • consider how they can provide more opportunities for students to participate as active learners in the three phases of the inquiry learning model.

  • implement, at all levels within the school, a regular programme that helps children to develop a clear understanding of biculturalism and the cultural practices of Maori so that they are developing the skills to take an active part in New Zealand society.

It would be useful for senior leaders to identify teachers who have expertise in using the inquiry learning approach and to use them as resources in extending participatory practices across the school.

Recommendations

The board of trustees and ERO agree that the next stage of school development should focus on improving opportunities for students to engage in decision-making about the direction of their learning.

3. Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Mairangi Bay School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school meets the requirements of the Code.

A robust process is used to identify students who require additional support in acquiring English language. Their needs are met through the English for Second Language Speakers programme and in-class support provided by teacher aides.

Many useful initiatives have been implemented to cater for the pastoral care of international students, and to include their parents in the school community. Good quality self-review processes enable the board and leaders to monitor the provision made for these students. It would be useful if school leaders included information about the achievement of international students in reports to the board of trustees.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Mairangi Bay School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

6 October 2010

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

10

School roll

423

Number of international students

15

Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 65%,

Māori 5%,

Chinese 8%,

British 6%,

Korean 5%,

Samoan 1%,

other European 9%,

other1%

Review team on site

August, 2010

Date of this report

6 October 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, November 2007

Education Review, November 2004

Accountability Review, February 2001

6 October 2010

To the Parents and Community of Mairangi Bay School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Mairangi Bay School.

Mairangi Bay School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education to students from Years 1 to 6. Students are very well served by the school’s attractive facilities, the high quality curriculum provided, and effective teaching that meets their learning needs. As a result, students are articulate, confident, and value the opportunities they have to learn and achieve.

High levels of student achievement and progress distinguish the school. A significant number of students achieve at or above expected levels or norms for their year groups. Analysed student data in reading and mathematics indicate that many students make accelerated progress. The achievement of Mairangi Bay School students in reading and mathematics compares favourably with that of students in similar high decile schools.

Responsive and focused teaching contributes to students’ high levels of achievement. Teachers use data well within their teaching teams to identify approaches that will enhance students’ learning. They plan the curriculum carefully, using frameworks developed and reviewed by their teaching peers. Students have valuable opportunities to identify and improve their levels of achievement. Senior leaders have identified that, as a next step in fostering student self management, they will support teachers to provide more opportunities for students to set the direction of their learning. Warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students contribute to students’ engagement in learning.

A strong and knowledgeable senior leadership team supports teachers well. Senior staff were recruited for their complementary skills, including their ability to promote teachers’ professional growth and to create systems and processes that build coherent teaching practice across the school. The team provides a strong direction and effective support for staff. Leaders have responsibilities for achieving the school’s strategic priorities in the areas of learning and teaching. They carry out these responsibilities well.

The principal, senior leaders and the board are focused on improvement. They are reflective and strategic in their thinking and planning. Significant good quality self-review occurs at all levels of the school. Self review is carefully documented, inclusive of the perspectives of students, teachers and community, and focuses on key areas that have an impact on teaching and learning. A well informed board of trustees governs the school capably. An active Parent Teacher Association has made a significant financial contribution to the school. Students of Mairangi Bay School benefit from high quality programmes and the inclusive and caring culture that is provided for them.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.

1 School deciles range from one to ten. Decile one schools  draw their students from low socioeconomic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.