Moturoa School

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Findings

The school has made significant progress in addressing the identified areas for improvement from the 2015 review. School leaders and teachers work collaboratively on improving learning, progress and achievement for all students. Trustees understand their governance role and show commitment to ongoing improvement.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Moturoa School caters for 104 learners from Years 1 to 6 in New Plymouth. Of the students enrolled, 41% identify as Māori.

Students in one of the four classrooms follow a programme based on the Montessori philosophy. The schoolwide focus on environmental education and the virtues programme continues.

Following the 2015 ERO review, ERO, school leaders and trustees developed a plan in response to the areas identified for improvement. Trustees and staff have been committed to making the necessary changes.

The principal and trustees have continued to work with the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to support them in their leadership, management and governance roles. This ERO report evaluates the progress made since 2015.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

An action plan outlined key priorities for development. The actions taken and outcomes achieved as a result of planning were monitored throughout the process. The overall goal was to build leaders’ and teachers’ capability to promote learning, progress and achievement of all students. Priorities have been to:

  • build leadership and management practices in leading learning, to improve teacher practice
  • make better use of student achievement information
  • strengthen self review/internal evaluation and understanding of how it contributes to student learning outcomes and changes for improvement
  • meet legislative requirements.
Progress

Significant work has been undertaken to establish organisational systems and processes that build capability and collective capacity to continually improve.

The principal’s leadership inquiry has focused on leading the school in the use of reliable achievement information to inform teaching and learning. The use of the Progress and Consistency Tool (PACT) has resulted in leaders and teachers deepening their understanding of the mathematics curriculum and assessment practice. Staff are now extending and adapting this learning to writing and reading.

School leaders and teachers analyse and use student achievement information effectively to identify priorities for improvement. They recognise disparity in learning for individuals and groups of students. Analysis of variance and National Standards information is used to develop annual achievement targets identifying those students whose progress should be improved with additional support.

Collaborative knowledge building has led to improved confidence in the dependability of achievement data. Useful information is provided to the board about student achievement, including progress of target students along with curriculum developments. Trustees use this data to make learner-focused resourcing decisions.

The principal has identified that it is timely to bring together curriculum documentation so that it provides clear expectations to guide practice.

Appraisal processes that have been implemented are now embedded practice. Teachers reflect on and share best practice collaboratively. The school’s planned approach to teacher inquiry supports this and is clearly aligned to the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTCs). The principal’s appraisal goals support the school’s vision and priorities and promote professional development.

Appraisal and inquiries into practice are learner focused and help teachers and leaders to investigate and scrutinise their practice. They have used appropriate sources of evidence to review processes and systems that guide schoolwide operation. This has led to considerable change for improvement. The principal acknowledges that as initiatives are embedded it is appropriate to evaluate their effectiveness and impact on student learning.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The principal and the board have worked in a focused way to address areas identified in the 2015 ERO report and are working together effectively to lead the school forward. They are focused on continuing to improve student achievement. Trustees are well informed about student achievement, curriculum development and school priorities. 

The school’s continuing involvement in professional learning and development effectively supports leaders and teachers to promote positive learning outcomes for students. This is supported by the performance appraisal process, focused on reflection and improvement. School leaders, teachers and trustees should continue to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of effective internal evaluation to sustain good practice and identify priorities for improvement.

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

The school has made significant progress in addressing the identified areas for improvement from the 2015 review. School leaders and teachers work collaboratively on improving learning, progress and achievement for all students. Trustees understand their governance role and show commitment to ongoing improvement.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

13 June 2017

About the School 

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2203

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

104

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

41%

54%

5%

Special features

One Montessori class

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

13 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2015

August 2012

March 2009

Findings

A shared vision statement articulates aspirations for learners across the school. Respectful relationships are clearly evident. Trustees understand their governance role. School leaders and staff require further support to improve the learning, progress and achievement of all students. The school should continue to address the areas for improvement identified in the 2012 ERO report.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

Motorua School is a contributing primary school catering for learners from Years 1 to 6 in New Plymouth. Of the 72 students enrolled, a third identify as Māori.

Students in two of the five classrooms follow a programme based on the Montessori philosophy. The schoolwide focus on environmental education and the virtues programme continues.

Following the 2012 ERO review, school leaders developed a plan in response to the areas identified for improvement. Trustees and staff have been committed to making the necessary changes.

The school is going through a time of significant change. Since the previous ERO report, a number of staff and board changes have occurred. These include the appointment of a new principal at the start of Term 2, 2013 and a complete turnover of teaching staff. Property issues identified at the time of the principal's appointment are being addressed.

The principal and trustees have worked with the Ministry of Education and New Zealand Trustees Association (NZSTA) to support them in their leadership, management and governance roles.

2 Learning

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

The school, with support, is beginning to use achievement information to make positive changes to student learning. It reports that many students achieve at the National Standard in reading. However, the data also shows serious underachievement for some groups of students. Leaders and teachers recognise the need to improve teaching and learning in writing and mathematics as a priority. Annual achievement targets are developed in response to this data.

Learners who require additional assistance to enjoy success are supported in classroom programmes through a range of interventions. The impact of these has yet to be evaluated.

Reports to parents provide useful information about their children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics and about broader curriculum learning areas. Teachers are investigating how best to report progress and achievement for students in their first three years of schooling.

The use of assessment data at the class level and school practices for moderation of assessment judgements continue to strengthen. Teachers' thinking about their practice and its effectiveness in raising student achievement in literacy is at an early stage. Teachers reflect on and share their practice in relation to their class focus group’s achievement information. This should further consolidate teachers’ knowledge and implementation of effective teaching.

Areas for review and development

School leaders recognise, and ERO’s evaluation confirms, that ongoing development is required to build leadership, improve teaching practice and make better use of student achievement information, to raise achievement. Strengthening these practices should support more appropriate decision-making in response to student needs.

3 Curriculum

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

The board of trustees, leaders and teaching team are developing a coherent school curriculum. The collaboratively developed mission and vision statements express the school community’s shared aspirations for students. Literacy and mathematics are prioritised. Environmental education and the virtues programme provide contexts for learning.

In response to the school’s focus on literacy, leaders and teachers continue to participate in externally facilitated professional development to build:

  • leadership capability
  • pedagogical and content knowledge
  • understanding and use of achievement information.

Positive, affirming and respectful relationships are evident across the school. Students work cooperatively and are well-engaged in their learning. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are a meaningful part of class programmes and learning. There is a strong focus on the holistic development of students.

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

Leaders and teachers continue to build their cultural competence and understanding of Māori learners and culture as unique. As part of curriculum review and development leaders should:

  • continue to plan and implement a progressive te reo Māori programme across the school
  • decide how te ao Māori will be incorporated across the breadth of the curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is developing the capacity to sustain and improve its performance. The board have a shared understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities. They have a strong commitment to improving the quality of education. Trustees and the principal continue to work with NZSTA to identify, prioritise and develop systems and processes to guide school practice and operation.

The previous ERO report identified the need to develop and implement appraisal processes for teachers and the principal. An appropriate appraisal process has been developed, clearly aligned to the Registered Teacher Criteria and the professional standards. However the implementation lacks rigour and consistency.

The charter and strategic plan express the shared aspirations held for all students across the school. The principal reflects and reports on actions and next steps in relation to the strategic plan and annual goals.

Areas for review and development

ERO’s evaluation identifies that the principal requires further support in developing management and leadership practice in leading learning.

Self review requires strengthening. Trustees, the principal and teachers should continue to increase their understanding of self review and how it contributes to student learning outcomes and changes for improvement.

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.

During the review an area of non-compliance was identified. The board of trustees must:

  • provide to the Secretary for Education before 1st March each year, a statement providing an analysis of any variance between the school’s performance and the relevant aims, objectives, directions, priorities, or targets set out in the school charter when providing the updated charter under NAG 7.[NAG 8]
Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide support for the board to continue to improve its capacity to address the concerns in this report.

Conclusion

A shared vision statement articulates aspirations for learners across the school. Respectful relationships are clearly evident. Trustees understand their governance role. School leaders and staff require further support to improve the learning, progress and achievement of all students. The school should continue to address the areas for improvement identified in the 2012 ERO report.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

12 June 2015

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2203

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

76

Gender composition

Male 39, Female 37

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

25

47

4

Special features

Two Montessori classes

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

12 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

March 2009

June 2005