Marfell School

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Summary

Marfell School, is a Years 1 to 6 primary in New Plymouth. At the time of this ERO evaluation, 107 children were enrolled, with 67% identifying as Māori. The school site hosts the Marfell Community Trust and Te Kopae Piripono, an early childcare service. A specialist unit caters for children with high and complex learning needs, in two classrooms.

The principal and many members of the board are experienced in their roles. The leadership team includes a deputy principal, who is new to the role, and a special education needs coordinator (SENCO), who began at the school this year.

Teachers have participated in literacy professional learning and development (PLD) in 2016, which has now been extended into 2017. Other ongoing PLD focuses include: Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and Schools that Deliver. The school continues to be involved the New Plymouth Māori Achievement Collaboration project.

The school has developed strong relationships with the community to support children and their families. Tama Tu Tama Ora – Happy Healthy Learners: is the school’s vision, and MANA values, manaakitanga, ako, ngāwari and āwhina, (respect, learning, tolerance and caring), support the enactment of this.

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

Student achievement data shows steady improvement in writing since 2015. However, many children are not achieving in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, especially Māori learners and boys.

Positive relationships across all levels of the school’s community support the school’s vision, values, priorities and direction.

There is a supportive board of trustees and strong relationships with parents, family and whānau and the wider community.

The school has processes in place to support student learning. Better aligning these to targeted student outcomes to reduce schoolwide disparity is a next step. This includes improving tracking, monitoring and evaluating the progress of targeted children.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

The school has requested an internal evaluation workshop to support it to develop effective planning and monitoring processes that support equity and excellence for all children.

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?

School leaders, teachers and trustees need to focus more deliberately on their response to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School data shows steady improvement in the percentage of learners at or above in writing since 2014. However, in 2016 many children were not achieving in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There is significant disparity for Māori and boys across all areas.

The school’s annual achievement targets identify numbers of children in ethnicity, year level and gender groups. In 2016, some targeted students accelerated their progress. The school is not yet sufficiently successful in using targeted actions to reduce disparity between groups of students. School leaders acknowledge the urgency of the need to accelerate many children’s progress to achieve equity and excellence in outcomes.

Teachers have worked collaboratively, using a range of resources, to develop school indicators of expected learning and progress. This helps teachers to make more dependable judgements about children’s progress and achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has processes in place and continues to build its capability in refining and using these to more successfully support equity and excellence.

MANA values are well enacted, fostering respectful relationships and a settled learning environment. ERO observed a range of teaching practice and children engaged in learning activities.

The leadership team works collaboratively to support teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders discuss and share strategies and practices that are impacting positively on improving outcomes for children. This fosters shared responsibility for all children at the school.

The newly appointed SENCO is supporting cohesion of the special needs unit and mainstream, as well as a culture of inclusiveness across the school. Processes and systems are being developed to assist referral for additional support and reporting of outcomes.

The integrated curriculum includes focuses that reflect the school’s locality and context. Children’s culture and identity are evident in the curriculum. There is an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics in programmes of learning.

Trustees and staff, in consultation with the community, have developed the school’s strategic goals, vision and values. The school is involved with the wider community to support learning. A parent partnership initiative, ‘He Ara Hou’, fosters learning connections with whānau.

The board is informed about curriculum practice, school operation and student achievement. Trustees respond to requests for resourcing for PLD, personnel and interventions.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

School operational conditions require strengthening and better alignment to achieve equity and excellence.

The school has processes in place to support student learning. Better aligning target setting, teacher inquiry and appraisal to more clearly focus on children whose progress needs accelerating and reduce schoolwide disparity is a next step.

School leaders, trustees and teachers need to better evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and initiatives used to support learning for Māori students and boys. This includes reviewing systems to track, monitor and report these children’s progress.

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 children (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of children

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of children

  • attendance

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

Appraisal audit

School leaders are investigating how to more consistently align the appraisal process with the school’s targeted actions. Trustees should better demonstrate that teacher registration has complied with current requirements.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and boys remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of those children
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

The school has requested an internal evaluation workshop to support it to develop effective planning and monitoring processes that support equity and excellence for all children.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

3 August 2017

About the school 

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2192

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

107

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 67%
Pākehā 32%
Other ethnic groups 1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

3 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2014
Education Review, June 2011
Education Review, August 2009

 

1 Context

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

Marfell School, in New Plymouth, caters for 89 Year 1 to 6 students. Most students are Māori. The school site hosts the Marfell Community Trust, Te Kopae Piripono, an early childcare service, and a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour. A specialist unit caters for students with high or complex learning needs in two classrooms.

The school works with a wide range of agencies and volunteers to support students and their families. Initiatives, including partnerships with local businesses and schools, support student wellbeing and enrich learning opportunities. Promoting healthy practices is a priority.

Recent engagement in the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme (PB4L) has supported the development of the MANA values which support the shared vision for the school: Tama Tu, Tama Ora – Happy, Healthy Learners.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its effectiveness in using achievement information. Strengthened processes for supporting teachers to improve their overall judgements in relation to National Standards are in place.

School data shows over half of students achieve at or above the standard in reading and mathematics. The school recognises there are substantial groups of students achieving below in relation to National Standards, particularly in writing.

Teachers set targets in response to data and report twice a year to trustees to inform resourcing. School leaders and trustees acknowledge that further analysis of data is likely to identify patterns and trends in progress and achievement. This should contribute to a more strategic, aligned focus for accelerating the progress of identified learners.

Teachers liaise with a range of agencies and use relevant assessment tools to identify students’ needs on entry to the school. They work collaboratively with teacher aides and parents to share students’ ongoing needs through good communication systems.

Staff share responsibility for students’ positive engagement in learning and celebrate their progress. Teachers recognise the need to strengthen their monitoring of students’ ongoing learning and progress to inform next learning steps.

Teachers are working to support students to know about their learning and progress. Written reporting has been reviewed to more clearly communicate students’ learning to parents. Teachers share useful information with families about how they can help learning at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum supports students to be happy, healthy learners.

Teachers and trustees have a clearly defined vision and values for the school which have been reviewed in consultation with families. The MANA values provide a good vehicle for establishing clear expectations for learning and positive engagement in the school.

Further development of the curriculum is required to align guiding documents more clearly with the expressed vision for learning and teaching. This alignment includes having an emphasis on literacy, numeracy and accelerating learning for priority learners.

Development of the curriculum should also consider ways to strengthen the use of information and communication technologies for learning. Reflection of the school’s commitment to te ao Māori within the local context should also be a consideration.

Teachers actively work to promote a positive, constructive learning environment where students feel safe and supported to participate in learning. Classrooms promote a sense of belonging. Teachers know their students well and care for their wellbeing and learning.

A specialist unit provides opportunities for focused interactions and learning support for high needs students. This provision is enhanced by carefully considered specialist support to provide students with increased access to the curriculum. An adapted curriculum has been developed to guide and support individualised learning for these students.

Teachers are collaborative and reflective. Engagement in professional learning in mathematics has resulted in changed practices to support students to be more independent in their learning. Further inquiry into their teaching should help staff evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies in raising achievement.

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

Trustees and staff are clearly focused on ensuring the curriculum responds to Māori students and supports them to be successful as Māori.

The school has built a number of strong partnerships within the community. Staff and trustees recognise the importance of reflecting te ao Māori and mana whenua. Both trustees and staff are building their capacity in te reo Māori by undertaking courses through Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Teachers are developing their understanding of appropriate teaching and learning strategies in relation to te ao Māori. They demonstrate some effective practices in supporting and engaging learners, including deliberate support for tuakana teina learning relationships.

The curriculum provides opportunities for Māori students to make meaningful connections to their language, identity and culture. Further development of curriculum responsiveness should occur through staff exploration of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain improvement.

Staff and trustees actively promote the success of the school and its community. Productive partnerships are sought and maintained to improve learning opportunities and support wellbeing and equity for students. Providing opportunities to engage families in the school and building learning partnerships are priorities.

Trustees, drawn from the local community, show a high level of commitment to the vision and success of the school. They regularly contribute to school initiatives and collaborate well with staff and support networks. The board is working to develop systems for self review to evaluate the success of programmes put in place. They recognise the need to focus more clearly on accelerating student achievement.

Good guiding documents and clear strategic goals guide school operations and developments. School leaders establish clear expectations for staff, students and families to support them to contribute meaningfully to school life and support positive outcomes for students.

The appraisal system has been improved and helps teachers to be reflective about their professional practice. Further development is planned to strengthen the evidence base to measure progress towards teachers’ goals. This should include targeted observations of teaching practice.

Self review is developing. A framework is established and a consultative approach is evident. This should be further developed by increasing its evaluative focus, and accessing and analysing evidence from a wider range of sources.

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 students' 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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

18 June 2014

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2192

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

92

Gender composition

Male 49, Female 43

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

70

21

1

Special Features

Special Needs Unit

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

18 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

August 2009

June 2008