Manurewa West School

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School Context

The board of trustees and school leaders of Manurewa West School are currently managing a growing student roll and an extensive classroom building project. In the last 12 months, the board of trustees has also appointed a new principal and two new deputy principals.

The school’s vision and values are highly visible throughout the school, and are well known to children, their parents and whānau, and the staff. The valued outcomes for children to be “confident, curious, lifelong learners” underpin school decision making, resourcing and internal evaluation.

The school serves a culturally diverse community. Approximately 40 percent of children are of Māori and/or Pacific heritage. There is a growing number of Indian and Asian children. The connectedness of language, culture and identity has been the focus for recent community engagement and curriculum development.

ERO’s review in 2014 identified a cooperative learning environment for students and effective schoolwide teaching practices. While there has been a significant number of new teachers and school leaders appointed since that time, positive outcomes for learners have been sustained.

The board has undertaken purposeful review and evaluation training in the past two years. With the support of the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), trustees have extensively reviewed school governance. Together with the new principal, they have implemented new policies and reporting systems.

School leaders and trustees are committed to the Treaty of Waitangi principles, including developing closer relationships with Māori whānau, the local marae and iwi leaders. The school has recently joined the Te Kaahui Ako O Manurewa I Community of Learning.

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

  • mid and end of year student progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • variance against annual achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student participation, engagement and attendance
  • comparative achievement patterns for Māori and Pacific learners
  • external student wellbeing and bullying surveys
  • parent engagement and satisfaction survey.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Over the last four years, achievement information indicate that the majority of children achieve at expected national curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The achievement data for the last two years indicate that Māori students achieve at expectation in mathematics, and a slight decline in literacy achievement. Pacific students achieve at expectation in literacy, and data show a significant lift in mathematics achievement in 2019. The majority of Asian students achieve at expectation in literacy and mathematics.

The achievement information indicates in-school disparity for Māori students in literacy and mathematics, for Pacific students in reading, and for boys in writing. Senior leaders continue to strategise ways to bring greater parity between cohorts of students.

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

The school continues to focus on providing effective programmes to accelerate learning. A large number of children who enrol throughout the year have patterns of transience and disrupted learning. A high percentage of these students require accelerated learning programmes.

Students who are not reaching their learning potential are promptly identified and their progress is closely monitored. The school’s achievement data show that many new entrant students made accelerated progress in oral language and literacy. The 2019 achievement data indicate that Years 5 and 6 Māori students, and a large number of Pacific students across the school, made accelerated progress in mathematics.

The school has a significant number of students with additional learning and behaviour needs. These students are integrated in the mixed ability classrooms, and systems to support their individual goals are well coordinated and resourced.

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?

Distributed leadership is having a positive impact on enabling equity and excellence. The new principal is continuing to strengthen aspects of teaching practice and professional inquiry. Capable deputy principals and team leaders work collaboratively to embed clear teaching and learning expectations.

Students are gaining a good sense of themselves as leaders of their own learning. The new goal-setting system enables students and parents to better understand expected levels of achievements, learning dispositions and competencies. This shared information is likely to support the planned move in 2020 to Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) where children will be taking greater responsibility for managing their own learning progress and achievement.

The comprehensive and well-planned digital curriculum is supporting learning. School leaders are encouraged by an increase in student engagement and attendance numbers. The school’s evaluation shows that the breakfast programme, computer accessibility, sport equipment and physical education expertise, are enhancing students’ enthusiasm and participation in learning.

The curriculum is becoming more integrated and relevant to learners. Increasingly, local contexts are used, allowing students to develop inquiry approaches that are meaningful and action oriented. The focus on cultural connectedness encourages children and their families to participate in learning where their understandings and contributions are valued.

Teachers make connections to prior knowledge to deliberately build on what students know and have experienced. In mathematics they maximise the use of mixed ability groups to promote problem solving strategies to enable accelerated progress. Teachers and leaders use progress and achievement information to evaluate the impact of these strategies to improve equitable outcomes.

Students’ holistic wellbeing is strongly promoted and explicitly taught. They learn respect for others and the environment, and how to make informed choices. The positive tone of the school is enhanced by the bicultural classroom settings and schoolwide teaching of te reo Māori.

Stronger relationships within the kāhui ako are benefitting students. Liaison with local early learning services and schools is strengthening students’ transitions and making learning seamless across the community. Parents are becoming engaged as learning partners from the time of enrolment and are increasingly participating in whānau hui and Pacific fono.

At the time of this review the board was seeking assurance through an independent investigation that its financial systems and processes were sound. This was in response to the recommendations from the school’s auditors in 2017. The audit is now complete and in the process of being signed off as satisfactory. Trustees have accessed relevant training and financial management systems and processes have improved.

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

School leaders agree that closer evaluation is needed of the strategies used to accelerate learning, and to support students with additional needs. This would help them to determine the effectiveness and sustainability of these targeted approaches. Leaders also plan to develop specific and measurable annual targets to evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives.

The school’s inquiry model and exemplars are designed to support teachers’ professional learning. Continuing to deepen the use of inquiry, focused on improving outcomes for all students, should help to build the school’s collective capacity for internal evaluation and inform decision making.

Senior leaders agree that embedding agentic learning practices for students is a priority. Students will need continued support to build self-managing learning strategies to help with the transition into the new innovative learning environments opening in early 2020.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Manurewa West School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a relevant and responsive curriculum incorporating inquiry skills that support students to be lifelong learners
  • collaborative and distributed leadership focused on building professional practices for equity and excellence
  • coherent planning, goal setting and reporting that is aligned to agreed priorities and strategic direction
  • meaningful partnerships and relationships with the school community that serve to support students’ educational success.

Next steps

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

  • embedding consistent, schoolwide student-led learning approaches that support students to become confident, self-managing learners
  • strengthening teacher inquiry to align the evaluation of teaching practices more explicitly to improve outcomes for learners
  • identifying and sustaining initiatives that result in increased parity for those students who need to make accelerated progress
  • improve financial systems and processes.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

19 March 2020

About the school

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1356

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

530

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 37%
NZ European /Pākehā 4%
Samoan 18%
Indian 15%
Cook Island Māori 9%
Tongan 9%
Asian 4%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

19 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review October 2011
Education Review July 2008

Findings

Manurewa West School has a growing roll of mainly Māori and Pacific students. Students learn well in settled classrooms that reflect the school’s values and high expectations. Trusting, supportive relationships are evident across the school. A strategic focus on accelerating student learning and progress has resulted in improved achievement.

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?

Manurewa West School in South Auckland caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school serves a multicultural community with the largest groups of students being Māori, Samoan, Indian, NZ European/Pākehā and Cook Island. The school has experienced significant roll growth in recent years. Additional classrooms are planned to cater for this roll increase. The school manages unexpected changes in student numbers during the year.

The school promotes students’ wellbeing and creates an environment where diversity is accepted and valued. School values are prominent in learning programmes and are evident in interactions between students and teachers. High expectations are set for staff and students and are well understood by all. Positive and supportive relationships between teachers and students result in a calm and settled school tone.

Students, staff and the wider school community share a sense of pride in their school. The attractive outdoor areas reflect the cultural diversity of the community and are a feature of the school’s well maintained property. A community early childhood centre operates from the school site.

The 2011 ERO report noted the school’s positive culture, strong leadership and staff collaboration. These good features continue to be evident. Good progress has been made in the past three years to improve areas identified for development in the 2011 ERO report. These areas include strengthening the use of student achievement information, promoting student ownership of learning and increasing cultural responsiveness.

2 Learning

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

Teachers and senior leaders make very good use of student achievement information to make decisions about teaching and learning programmes. This good practice helps them to focus on supporting students to make accelerated progress.

Students are well engaged in their learning. They set goals for their learning each term and discuss their progress and achievement with their parents and whānau. These good foundations for students’ learning could now be further strengthened by involving them more in conversations about their achievement information and in planning their next learning steps.

The board and senior leaders use the government’s achievement goals well to guide their strategic decision making and to maintain a strong focus on improving outcomes for students. Senior leaders have set high and realistic goals to more closely align student achievement to the national expectations. This approach promotes a sense of urgency and collective responsibility amongst staff for lifting student achievement. Senior leaders confidently expect that students will meet the school’s achievement targets for the year.

Teachers know their students well as individual learners. There has been considerable improvement in student achievement over time. Teachers identify students who need to achieve better in reading, writing and mathematics. They also identify a wider group of students in their class whose rates of progress could be better. These students are very well supported by capable teacher aides.

Teachers reflect on the extent to which students are benefitting from teaching and learning programmes. They share successful teaching strategies and observe in each others’ classrooms. These good practices help teachers to improve their own teaching. Professional development has been significant in embedding teaching strategies and techniques that are likely to improve outcomes for students.

School leaders use effective systems to monitor the progress of low achieving students. Teachers are responsive to the changing needs of students. The progress of target students is well tracked and monitored. Senior leaders have identified attendance and engagement as key to lifting student achievement. Useful strategies are in place to encourage high rates of attendance and to address concerns about the attendance of some students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum supports student learning very effectively. Reading, writing and mathematics are appropriately emphasised. Senior leaders and teachers are now planning to review how effectively the curriculum reflects developments in teaching and learning. They agree with ERO that this approach to curriculum design could have a positive effect in encouraging teachers to continue innovating and experimenting with teaching and learning practices.

The school’s curriculum promotes thinking skills. Students investigate themes using the school’s inquiry model to plan their learning. Teachers collaborate well when interpreting school-wide inquiry themes, while also adapting them to suit their own students. Senior students increasingly undertake individual and group inquiries, while younger students explore these themes alongside the teacher. Inquiry studies are based on relevant and culturally inclusive themes that build on students’ prior knowledge. As a result students’ languages, cultures and identities are affirmed.

Senior leaders report that this school-wide approach makes it easier for families to participate in and support inquiry programmes as all their children are learning about the same concepts.

Oral language development is important for many of the school’s students. When students begin school they have the opportunity to participate in a play-based programme that aims to build oral language skills. It would now be timely now for teachers to review how effectively this programme is achieving its aim of improving oral language and learning skills.

Students make good use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to collaborate, research and present their learning. Teachers work together well so that those most skilled in the use of ICT provide good support for colleagues to use e-learning resources in effective and well considered ways.

The emphasis placed on providing a relevant and inclusive curriculum helps ensure the school responds well to the diversity of students’ ethnicities. It fosters a strong sense of belonging in the school for Pacific students, many of whom have good knowledge about strategies that most help their learning. Parents of Pacific students report feeling welcome in the school and are involved in a variety of ways. The fale provides a focus for cultural activities and performances.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori, well.

Māori students comprise 40 percent of the total roll. They affiliate to many different iwi. Māori students have a positive view of themselves as learners and as leaders within the school. School achievement information shows that Māori students overall achieve at higher levels than other groups of students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers include Māori cultural contexts within study themes. Tuakana/teina relationships are used very effectively to promote student leadership in learning and to provide peer learning support. Māori students see their culture as valued within classrooms and given prominence in the school.

Teachers have participated in professional learning to develop their knowledge of, and confidence in using, te reo Māori. Students have opportunities to learn te reo through incidental and planned lessons. They also enjoy opportunities to participate in activities such as kapa haka and harakeke weaving. Leadership for boys is promoted through tamatoa.

Senior leaders identify the need to now improve the consistency of quality in te reo Māori programmes across the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Strong governance and management practices and effective relationships between the board, senior leadership team and teachers underpin its strong focus on improving student learning.

Board trustees have undertaken training and value the knowledge they have gained about good governance practices. Trustees are representative of the various cultures in the school’s community. Succession planning and coaching for new trustees help to ensure the board is well led and confident in its work.

The senior leadership team is a good mix of experienced and newer members who collaborate well. They lead the school well and work with teachers to ensure that expectations and quality standards are met. A commitment to ongoing improvement is evident throughout the school. School leaders, teachers and trustees work well together to build shared understandings of best practices for promoting student wellbeing and educational success. As a result trustees are able to make well informed decisions.

Self review is planned and comprehensive. It includes valuable input from parents, teachers and students across a range of important matters. The board and senior leaders use this information when evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives and making decisions.

Senior leaders are continuing to explore ways to engage the community to enhance student learning. Future goals for the school include an emphasis on strengthening learning partnerships with parents and whānau so that teachers and families work closely together, sharing knowledge and understandings to promote successful and life-long learning for students.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

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

Conclusion

Manurewa West School has a growing roll of mainly Māori and Pacific students. Students learn well in settled classrooms that reflect the school’s values and high expectations. Trusting, supportive relationships are evident across the school. A strategic focus on accelerating student learning and progress has resulted in improved achievement.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

19 December 2014

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1356

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

489

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Indian

Cook Island Māori

Tongan

other Pacific

other

45%

9%

14%

11%

9%

6%

3%

3%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

July 2008

September 2005