Arthur Miller School

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Education institution number:
2543
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
365
Telephone:
Address:

210 Guppy Road, Taradale, Napier

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School Context

Arthur Miller School in Napier has students in Years 1 to 6. The roll has continued to grow since the March 2016 ERO report and there are currently 366 children attending. Twenty one percent identify as Māori.

The vision defined by the school is for all children to strive for excellence. ‘3C’ values underpin the vision – being ‘Caring (Kia Manaakitanga), Collaborative (Kia Mahi Tahi) and Curious (Kia Pakiki)’. The current priority for improvement in student outcomes is to continue to raise achievement through extending teacher capability in the teaching and assessment of reading and writing.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • end-of-year progress and achievement in relation to school targets for reading and writing
  • outcomes for children with additional learning needs
  • wellbeing.

Since mid-2017, a new principal and members of the senior leadership team have been appointed. Some of these appointments have included existing staff. Recent developments in enhancing learning, linked to the vision, are the adoption of a learning through play approach in the junior school, introducing a shared hub space in the middle area and encouraging ‘bring your own device’ in the senior classrooms.

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’s achievement information shows that in the past three years most students are at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Nearly all achieve the expected curriculum level as they leave Year 6.

Most Māori students achieve well in reading and mathematics. The disparity between Māori and non-Māori overall achievement in literacy areas has declined over time. It remains significant in writing. Girls achieve higher in literacy and lower in mathematics than boys. The gap is small and has remained similar over the past three years.

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

A range of processes and practices identify and successfully assist Māori and other students to accelerate their progress to meet curriculum expectation at their year level. School data indicates that in the past two years around half of those below curriculum expectation in reading, writing or mathematics made this significant accelerated shift.

A range of appropriate programmes are in place for children identified as having additional needs and requiring learning support. Teachers work closely with families and external agencies to develop collaborative action plans and to provide suitable assistance. Well-considered transition for these students successfully supports their inclusion. Progress is regularly monitored and outcomes for specific programmes are reported to the board of trustees.

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?

The highly supportive learning environment is conducive to enhancing children’s wellbeing and learning. The ‘3C’ values promote wellbeing, underpin positive relationships and empower students to take greater responsibility for their learning. Student voice is valued and responded to.

Student strengths and interests are well known and fostered through a broad curriculum attuned to learner interests, including challenge and encouragement to problem solve. Providing opportunities to ‘learn to learn’ across the curriculum are prioritised. Learner self-direction is promoted through a range of deliberate teacher strategies. Students increasingly lead their own learning. Goals are set to assist achievement of realistic next steps. Well-resourced environments enrich learning.

Partnerships with families and the community are promoted. Children share their learning with parents and whānau. Transition-to-school programmes ensure students and their families are well supported to begin school. Learning strengths and needs are promptly recognised and responded to.

Valuing and promoting te ao Māori is prioritised in schoolwide practices and within classrooms. Student learning is enriched through access to te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers continue to build knowledge and understanding of competencies likely to extend success of Māori students.

A systematic focus on building teaching and leadership capability successfully contributes to improvement. A collaborative approach is prioritised. Professional learning is aligned to strategic priorities, teacher and student needs. Relevant internal and external professional expertise is used to grow knowledge and understanding of effective practice to promote learning.

An appropriate framework for appraisal has been developed over the past year. The Standards for the Teaching Profession are used to promote teachers’ understanding of their capability and to set goals for improvement. Appraisal includes reflection about practice and provides opportunities for teachers to learn from their peers and share their learning. Leaders continue to ensure the focus of appraisal is on improving teaching to enhance valued learner outcomes.

Expectations for teaching and learning are collaboratively developed by senior leaders. The principal effectively promotes inquiry and knowledge building to support student outcomes. Building leadership capability across the school is prioritised.

Trustees confidently carry out their role and effectively meet statutory responsibilities. They focus on knowing about and improving student learning, wellbeing and achievement. A range of student data and information is accessed to support understanding of school effectiveness and to contribute to decision making. Progress towards objectives identified in the annual plan is regularly reported by the principal. Trustees review their effectiveness in supporting the school to realise its vision, values and strategic objectives.

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

Assessment processes have been strengthened and are contributing to greater consistency across the school. Leaders and teachers should continue to build assessment practice through further clarifying the process for making dependable overall judgements, relative to curriculum expectation and identifying specific measures to show the extent of acceleration in learning.

Students below expectation are identified through reference to a range of assessment information. Strategies are put in place to support accelerated progress for the identified children. The school is continuing to develop targeting processes to increase its effectiveness in accelerating learning. Further development should include ensuring more focused responses for those learners identified as part of the targets and more deeply evaluating the impact of strategies on the outcomes for these learners.

Expectations for teacher practices that will promote successful learning are regularly shared. Leaders should continue to build consistency of implementation across the school of high quality teaching and learning practices identified as contributing to valued outcomes.

Evaluation frameworks are in place to support ongoing review and development. Strengthening analysis of outcome information should better support identifying the impact of strategies and promote continued improvement.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a consistently high percentage of students achieving well in the foundation areas of reading, writing and mathematics
  • enactment of the caring, collaboration and curiosity values that support positive relationships and purposeful learning
  • a future-focused curriculum that supports learners to develop their ability to direct their own learning
  • expectations and processes in place that support ongoing improvement
  • knowledgeable trustees with a focus on improving conditions to promote student wellbeing and learning.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to improve assessment practice
  • ensuring consistent implementation of teaching and learning expectations
  • improved analysis of outcome information to strengthen evaluation.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

24 December 2018

About the school

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2543

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

366

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 21%
Pacific 1%
Pākehā 71%
Asian 4%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

24 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2016
Education Review February 2012
Education Review December 2008

Findings

The school’s curriculum responds effectively to students. Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. There is a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau and families. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

1 Context

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

Arthur Miller School is located in the Napier suburb of Taradale. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll of 328 includes 48 Māori students. The school’s values of caring, collaboration and curiosity underpin learning and relationships amongst students and staff.

A comprehensive range of systems and practices supports students’ wellbeing. Transitions into and beyond school are carefully considered. Students’ participation and achievement in a wide variety of school and community activities are fostered and celebrated.

Since ERO’s 2012 review there has been an increase in the roll. Staffing has remained stable. Responsive relationships and regular communication with families and whānau are a feature of the school. Community views are sought and valued.

Areas identified for further improvement in the previous ERO report have all been addressed. The school continues its positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers use achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Purposeful systems and processes usefully gather data and monitor student progress and achievement. Schoolwide, collective data analysis is used to set charter targets and identify students most at risk with their learning. Data is reviewed and closely tracked during the year. Teachers use assessment information to plan teaching programmes based on students’ identified needs.

In 2015, data shows that targeted groups of students made accelerated progress during the year. Achievement information for the end of the year indicates that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve well, most at or above the Standards in mathematics, reading and writing. Of those students identified as requiring acceleration, most have made good progress. A small group of these students are below in reading and also more significantly below in writing.

Leaders and teachers have identified that a schoolwide emphasis on improving writing achievement is a priority for 2016. Mathematics remains a focus for 2016.

Useful moderation of teachers' assessment judgements occurs for reading and mathematics. Teachers’ moderation of the assessment of students’ work is done within and between teaching teams. School leaders and ERO agree that a next step is to continue to strengthen schoolwide decisions about student achievement levels in writing.

The junior teaching team is trialling data-boards to display assessment information for reading. This should enable teachers to increasingly focus their discussions about student progress and achievement.

Parents and whānau are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum responds effectively to students as learners.

Students are highly engaged in learning. Classrooms are literacy rich, with multiple resources for students to use. Students confidently participate in learning conversations and collaborative group work with their peers. Positive relationships are evident. Digital devices enhance learning. Teachers’ use of questioning prompts students to articulate their mathematics strategies and understanding. Students enjoy their learning.

Curriculum documents guide practice. A staff-developed framework for effective teaching in mathematics has enhanced practice. Leaders are reviewing and developing similar frameworks for literacy. These should continue to support the embedding of shared understandings about effective teaching at Arthur Miller School.

Leaders have a planned approach to implementing the use of one-to-one digital devices in Years 5 and 6. Self-directed learning, that builds students’ independence as learners, is being introduced across the school, underpinned by use of an information technologies (IT) platform.

Well-coordinated systems and practices are in place for students requiring extra support.

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

The school has a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau. Conversations with the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi education adviser have given trustees and leaders guidance on practices related to Māori success and engagement with whānau.

The school’s Māori Success plan is the basis for blending and integrating cultural competencies in a seamless way. Pōwhiri, waiata, kapa haka and stories about local Māori are evident in the school environment and curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has appropriate processes and practices to sustain and improve its performance.

Policies are regularly reviewed to ensure they align with current legislation and practices in the school. Trustees are well informed about student progress and achievement, and school operations through the principal’s reports. The board’s decision-making is focused on ensuring all students have equity of access to a diverse range of learning opportunities and success.

Leaders use review to inquire into practices and initiatives, with a view to making changes for improvement. Discussions with staff and use of education research are integral to these inquiries. Leaders agree with ERO that a next step is to more formally embed and document evaluation as part of ongoing practices. This should enable trustees and leaders to know what is most effective in improving outcomes for students.

Leaders know their teams well. They are actively involved in the planning, coordination and review of the curriculum, teaching and learning. There are opportunities for staff to undertake leadership roles. Leaders ensure alignment between students’ needs, teachers’ goals and processes for the appraisal of teacher practice.

External professional development expertise is accessed to build internal leadership capacity. ERO and senior leaders agree that this focus on growing leadership in the school should be continued. Appraisal is strongly focused on supporting the growth of teachers’ practice.

Teachers’ professional learning is linked to school goals and student achievement targets. Observations and reflections on practices most likely to improve outcomes for students have created a high trust environment for teachers and leaders to share knowledge and learning. Strengthening personal reflections to evaluate the impact of changes in teaching on student outcomes is a next step.

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’s curriculum responds effectively to students. Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. There is a planned and considered approach to engaging with whānau and families. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 March 2016

School Statistics

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2543

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

328

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

15%

80%

1%

4%

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

2 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

December 2008

December 2005