Moawhango School

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Findings

The school has made sufficient progress in relation to priorities identified in this report and will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement process. 

1 Background and Context

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

Moawhango School, in the central North Island, caters for thirteen students in Years 1 to 8, eleven of whom identify as Māori.

Most children whakapapa to iwi that constitutes Nga iwi o Mokai Patea. The school continues to deliver Level 2 Te Reo across the curriculum. The school values: whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga and manaakitanga underpin all decisions at Moawhango School and align with the Mokai Patea Matauranga Strategy.

The April 2018 ERO report identified significant areas for improvement. Over the past three years the school has participated in an ERO evaluation process to support improvement. During this time trustees and staff accessed appropriate external professional learning and development (PLD) to support them in their roles and practice.

The school is part of the recently established Ōtaihape Kāhui Ako.

This ERO report evaluates the progress made and how well placed the school now is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The overall goal was to improve governance, school practice and operation to promote

positive learning outcomes and accelerate progress of all students. Areas of focus to support this have included:

  • consultation with whānau to ascertain aspirations and expectations
  • redevelopment of the charter with an annual plan focused on student achievement
  • implementation of Level 2 Māori Medium
  • development of the local curriculum
  • reviewing and strengthening policies and procedures, including the principal’s appraisal process
  • building internal evaluation capability.
Progress

The 2019 midpoint report noted that progress and development was evident in relation to the following:

  • consultation with whānau to ascertain aspirations and expectations
  • redevelopment of the charter with an annual plan focused on student achievement
  • implementation of Level 2 Te Reo Māori Medium.

School leadership continues to implement processes that contribute to positive change and improvement in the school.

School reported data at the end of 2020 indicates that most students are achieving at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics and that student capability in the understanding and use of te reo Māori continues to increase. The 2021 student achievement targets appropriately focus on accelerating the learning for those few students identified as achieving below expectation and the continued improvement for all students.

Positive relationships with personnel from local marae, iwi, community and a range of contexts, support student learning. Consultation with whānau has been used to identify skills, dispositions and expectations for learning.

The recently developed localised curriculum framework is guided and informed by iwi. It includes and acknowledges matauranga Māori of the rohē along with the histories and cultural backgrounds of all who are part of the Moawhango community.

Staff know students well and are collectively responsible for all learners. They use a range of effective strategies to support students to be engaged in their learning. Respectful, reciprocal relationships across the school promote a sense of wairua, belonging and wellbeing. Students are supported to make choices in their learning.

The board is well informed about student learning, curriculum development and learning focuses. Trustees discuss and question information that they receive. They use this information to inform their decision-making.

The school has moved to an online platform to support the management and review of policies and procedures that guide school practice and operation.

Key next steps

School leaders and ERO agree the next step is to use the recently developed curriculum framework to continue to further progress and embed the localised, culturally responsive curriculum.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has improved its capacity to sustain, improve and review its performance. The principal and the board have worked in a focused way to address areas identified in the previous ERO report and are working well together to lead the school forward. They are focused on continuing to improve student achievement.

As the curriculum and new initiatives are embedded it is appropriate to use internal evaluation practices to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts on outcomes for students.

Key next steps

A next step is to further develop understanding and use of internal evaluation to determine the effectiveness of programmes and innovations. This should support leaders to know what impact these have on student learning and inform further 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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

The school has made sufficient progress in relation to priorities identified in this report and will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement process. 

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

21 July 2021

 

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Findings

The principal, appointed since ERO’s 2015 review, has been well supported to develop sustainable practice and procedures. The curriculum is more appropriate, student achievement has improved and trustees are meeting their stewardship responsibilities appropriately.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Moawhango School is a small rural school located in the Taihape district. Some students are transported to the school from Taihape in board-funded buses. Most children whakapapa to the local iwi Ngati Whitikaupeka, one of four iwi that constitutes Nga iwi o Mokai Patea.

ERO’s July 2015 report identified the following areas for development to:

  • develop a local curriculum which shows progressions between each level of the school
  • improve assessment practices and reliable reporting
  • identify students at risk of not achieving and implement strategies to accelerate progress
  • improve the appraisal system for the principal
  • organise and review policies, procedures and actions so that there is clarity about the health and safety conditions that support students and staff 
  • ensure regular trustee meetings focus on the goals and targets of the school
  • over time, evaluate the effectiveness of trustees' role in governing the school.

These have formed the terms of reference for this review. Since the July 2015 review, ERO carried out an ongoing process of evaluation to ascertain evidence of growth in meeting the identified issues.

At the time of this evaluation the principal had resigned and an acting principal had been appointed.

2 Review and Development

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

Considerable progress has been made in most of the areas for development identified in the July 2015 review. The principal and teacher have been well supported by New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner and an external professional learning development (PLD) facilitator.

The acting principal has been the classroom teacher, so there has been little disruption to practice.

Progress

The previous curriculum planning in 2015 had been externally developed and was not sufficiently relevant to the school's context. Since then, the school has taken a creative approach to designing a curriculum with a strong local flavour. With the appointment of a permanent principal, it will be timely to review the school’s vision and values as part of ongoing curriculum review.

There are now strong iwi connections. A set of cultural standards has been developed in collaboration with the local iwi. Children have developed a better understanding of te ao Māori after the rebuilding of relationships with the local marae. Consultation has enabled the curriculum to be aligned to Te Mokai Patea Education Plan. A graduate profile, waiata and karakia, are also enhancing the cultural responsiveness of the curriculum.

The new principal conducted a full assessment of children's achievement to establish baseline data. A student management system has been introduced to allow data to be electronically recorded. This facilitates sustainability.

Teachers are using a suitable range of assessment tasks to gather baseline data. Assessment of writing is externally moderated to assure the board that achievement information is dependable. Since 2015, there is clear evidence of improved student achievement. Almost all children reach the school expectations.

Improved assessment procedures have enabled teachers to identify elements constraining children's learning and provide individual programmes to meet their needs. Children at risk of underachieving have made progress and some have made accelerated progress. The next step is to accelerate progress to achieve above the expected standard.

As a result of external support, a suitable appraisal system has been developed. This has provided a strong framework for teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice and identify strategies to promote accelerated learning. A rigorous external appraisal has recorded evidence of high quality teaching by both teachers. The next step is to document this process as a school procedure.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Towards the end of 2017, a new chair person was elected. She has provided a good direction and vision and has facilitated a well-functioning board.

The board:

  • is achievement focused
  • scrutinises student achievement data
  • understands its responsibilities and communicates well with the school and local community
  • reviews its own performance
  • has developed policies and procedures
  • is having ongoing professional development.

Since 2015 the board’s policies and procedures have been reviewed. They are now current, meet legislative requirements and facilitate assurance that all reasonable steps are taken to provide a safe physical and emotional environment. The board recognises that further documentation and review of policies and procedures is required.

With NZSTA support, trustees have begun to review their own performance. They have developed a useful self review approach. The next step is to build internal evaluation capability.

Key next steps

As part of its ongoing development the board should:

  • continue to develop the local curriculum
  • document the current appraisal process
  • continue to review and strengthen policies and procedures
  • build internal evaluation capability.

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 principal, appointed since ERO’s 2015 review, has been well supported to develop sustainable practice and procedures. The curriculum is more appropriate, student achievement has improved and trustees are meeting their stewardship responsibilities appropriately.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 April 2018

About the School

Location

Taihape

Ministry of Education profile number

2401

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

21

Gender composition

Male 14, Female 7

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

17
3
1

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

30 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2015
June 2012
December 2007