Mellons Bay School

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Education institution number:
1371
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
499
Telephone:
Address:

140 Mellons Bay Road, Howick, Auckland

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Summary

Mellons Bay School is a contributing primary school located in East Auckland and currently caters for 477 children from Years 1 to 6. The roll is culturally diverse, comprising 21 percent Asian children, eight percent Māori, two percent with Pacific heritage and 56 percent Pākehā. There are also children of many other ethnicities.

The board consists of mainly new trustees. They have a professional approach to their stewardship role and are considering ways to expand their knowledge by exploring professional development opportunities. An experienced new principal was employed at the beginning of 2017.

Since ERO’s 2012 ERO review, Assessment for Learning (AFL) strategies have been a significant focus of teachers’ professional development. Trends in achievement over the past four years show National Standards results in reading and mathematics have remained consistently above the government target of having 85 percent of students at or above the standards.

Senior leaders have identified a drop in writing achievement over the past three years and have made this a target area for improvement. The drop in writing achievement is partially attributable to significant increases in the number of English second language learners and the specific extra support has been implemented for them. Parity between Māori and non-Māori children has improved over this time.

The school has renovated some classrooms and created two innovative learning environments. Children have the opportunity to bring their own digital devices for learning. These developments are supporting the school’s direction towards increasingly personalised learning.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Mellons Bay School responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. At the time of this review, 90 percent of children were achieving at or above the National Standards by Year 6.

The school has many useful processes and practices in place to achieve equitable outcomes for students. The school community has high expectations for all children to succeed and for children to have greater ownership and understanding of their learning. Trustees and senior leaders are aware that ongoing school improvement centres on the implementation of robust internal evaluation procedures.

Children are achieving very well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Mellons Bay School responds very effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Māori children achieve on a par with their non-Māori peers.The number of Pacific children is very small and they are tracked individually by senior leaders. The senior leadership team is taking steps to reduce the widening gap between boys and girls in writing achievement.

The board is assured of the robustness and validity of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s progress and achievement. Teachers use a variety of useful school-based and standardised assessment tools.

Achievement information is used well by teachers to plan learning programmes and meet children’s individual learning needs. They moderate children’s assessment samples within teams and school-wide. Moderating assessments in other areas of the curriculum and reinstating moderation practices with other schools would help to maintain the validity of OTJs.

The school’s valued outcomes focus on children being connected, confident, communicative and creative. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities to enhance these learning dispositions. In order to show the outcome of these experiences, senior leaders could report on the progress children make to grow these dispositions and associated skills over their time at school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Mellons Bay School has many effective, sustainable processes in place to enable the achievement of equity and excellence. Children learn in caring and inclusive environments in three age-level teams.

Senior leaders and teachers have high expectations for children to succeed. The school’s community strongly advocates for, and willingly supports the school in a variety of valuable ways. Parents have many opportunities to have input into the direction of the school and to know about their children’s learning. Parents are highly supportive of the wide range of opportunities provided.

Senior leaders and teachers know children very well and share responsibility for their learning. The progress of target children is individually and regularly monitored. A special education coordinator closely tracks and implements programmes to support children’s ongoing progress. Learning assistants support children individually in class under the direction of the class teacher.

Children’s awareness and management of their own learning through the consistent use of AFL strategies is increasing. Their input into the curriculum is emphasised and used by teachers to motivate learning engagement. Children’s interests inform programmes and the increased choice of activities offered. Teachers are increasingly personalising learning for children.

New and relevant initiatives are helping teachers to raise children’s achievement. Teachers in each team are selected to be literacy, maths and e-learning coaches to support colleagues to enhance their practices. Teachers are beginning to use evidence effectively to inquire into the impact that these initiatives are having on improving outcomes for target children.

Trustees and teachers are committed to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The school’s ‘leaders of Māori’ ensure there is an increased focus in the curriculum on the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Teachers are using a variety of resources to teach te reo and tikanga Māori daily. They receive regular professional development to increase their knowledge and confidence. Children participate proudly in kapa haka and perform respectfully at pōwhiri and at the Māori and Pasifika enrichment programme.

The board is well informed of the progress and achievement that children make over time. They receive informative reports from senior leaders about student engagement and any health and safety matters.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has many effective processes in place to raise children’s achievement. Trustees’ decision-making could be enhanced by receiving more evaluative reports from senior leaders that show the extent to which specific initiatives have impacted positively on outcomes for children.

Trustees and senior leaders are aware that the priority for ongoing school improvement centres on the implementation of robust internal evaluation. Evaluation in relation to the school’s specific valued outcomes for children would help to identify priorities for achieving excellence and equity.

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

  • 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. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 three international students attending the school.

The school provides very well for the pastoral care of its international students. Their wellbeing and progress are closely monitored. Very good support is available to children whose home language is other than English. Families of international students are supported to integrate socially into the community.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

enable children to experience greater personalised learning

  • strengthen school-wide internal evaluation

  • explore opportunities for trustees to further develop their stewardship role.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 June 2017

About the school

Location

Howick, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1371

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

477

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Pacific
Other

8%
56%
21%
2%
11%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012
September 2009
September 2006

 

1 Context

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

Mellons Bay School, a Year 1 to 6 primary school in east Auckland, provides future-focused learning while respecting traditional values. Teachers regard students as capable, competent learners who respond positively to challenge and high expectations. Students benefit from high quality environments that promote their learning and wellbeing. All students have opportunities to learn and achieve through an inclusive, holistic approach.

The board of trustees and staff demonstrate a commitment to biculturalism and to supporting Māori students to succeed.

The school has strategic and capable senior leaders and a committed board who focus on improving achievement outcomes for all students. Explicit and shared values underpin the school’s well considered vision and values for education.

2 Learning

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

Students, including Māori and Pacific students, are highly engaged in their learning. Teachers make good use of information about student progress and achievement to plan programmes. The school’s emphasis on increasing students’ ownership of their learning is apparent. Teachers share expectations for learning with students and help them to identify their next learning steps. Students are increasingly able to set goals, assess their own progress and take an active role in reporting to their parents.

Students make very good progress and achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has effective systems for monitoring, tracking and using student achievement information to ensure good outcomes for students.

Special features of monitoring systems include:

  • the use of a range of assessment processes to make judgements about student achievement
  • a collaborative school and cluster-wide approach to the moderation of assessment
  • the use of data to identify students requiring learning extension and support.

The school’s culture is inclusive. Teachers respond well to the diversity of learners, using a range of appropriate approaches. Students who achieve below expectations are well supported through a holistic approach of targeted programmes and specialist staff. Teachers meet regularly to review student progress against goals and targets.

Students benefit from the relationships that teachers and school leaders develop with their parents, whānau and the wider community. Staff and the community are proud of their school, its focus on learning and its high expectations for children and teachers. Parents receive good information about children’s learning, progress and achievement through student-led conferences and written reports.

School leaders are developing strategies to continue improving school-wide understanding about the moderation and use of National Standards for assessment.

3 Curriculum

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

The Mellons Bay School curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. The curriculum encompasses the school’s values, vision and guiding principles, resulting in high levels of alignment between philosophy and practice.

Significant elements of the school’s curriculum design include:

  • teachers’ planning that relates closely to the school’s guidelines and expectations for classroom programmes
  • an inquiry approach to learning that provides a range of opportunities for students to investigate their ideas in meaningful contexts
  • the promotion of students’ skills and knowledge in their own learning through explicit teacher practices
  • high quality classroom environments that support and build on student learning
  • a wide range of co-curricular opportunities that enable students to achieve success.

The curriculum is underpinned by effective teaching practices. Teachers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their teaching. They use student achievement information to evaluate their teaching and make changes to their practice to improve outcomes for students. Teacher appraisal that includes looking at the progress made by identified, targeted students will support teachers’ deepening understanding of factors influencing children’s progress and achievement.

School leaders agree that increasing opportunities for students to be further involved in planning lines of inquiry in the curriculum will be a worthwhile development.

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

Māori students comprise eight percent of the school roll. Since the last ERO review there has been significant progress in the school’s strategic approach to enhance the success for Māori, as Māori.

Through a respectful well considered plan, senior managers and the board have created multiple roles and opportunities to support the language, culture and identity of Māori students. This includes the provision of an enrichment programme that:

  • provides opportunities for students to experience leadership roles and academic success
  • provides experiences that promote traditional Māori knowledge
  • invites whānau engagement and encourages families to learn together
  • facilitates tuakana/teina relationships for students to share knowledge and expertise with their teachers and peers.

The board is assured through regular reports that Māori students are engaging, progressing and achieving well. Leaders and trustees have a good understanding of the importance of Māori students achieving well and experiencing success as Māori. Teachers are increasingly providing opportunities for Māori students to take leadership roles and to share experiences that reflect the Māori world. There is a school-wide commitment to continuing to develop teachers’ capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The board and senior leaders continue to consider ways to enhance their provision and support for Māori student success. This includes exploring ways to reflect Tātaiako, cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners, in practices that are culturally responsive to students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Mellons Bay School is very well placed to sustain its performance and make on-going improvements.

The principal is strategic and collaborative in her leadership approach. She promotes a shared vision for the school. The professional school culture provides a good foundation for teachers to perform effectively. Teachers are reflective and seek ways to refine teaching practices so that they encourage students’ understanding and ownership of their learning. Teachers’ strengths are valued. They have opportunities to build their leadership and share good practices throughout the school.

Trustees are capable and committed to high quality education. They bring a variety of expertise and understandings to their roles. Together with the senior leadership team, they value school-wide self review and external review to promote ongoing improvement.

Parents and whānau participate in the school community at many levels and their skills and resourcing are used to enhance students' learning opportunities.

ERO, school leaders and the board discussed the value of strengthening school-wide self-review processes. They agree that there would be value in further monitoring the outcomes and impact of self review and lifting the level of evaluative critique.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Compliance for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of this ERO review.

Ongoing self review of systems is of high quality.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson
National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

7 November 2012

About the School

Location

Howick, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1371

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

491

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

other European

other

69%

8%

8%

10%

5%

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

7 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

September 2006

August 2003