Makuri School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

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Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Makuri School is a small rural school located in the Tararua District. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there are five students on the roll. A recent survey indicates the wider community are committed to the continued operation of Makuri School. The school has experienced changes in leadership this year. A new principal was appointed in Term 3, 2018.

The school vision emphasises ‘with strong community support Makuri students to grow as confident, self-directed learners’. Its values, ‘MAKURI: Motivated; Adaptable; Kind; United; Resourceful and Involved’ have been developed with community input.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading writing and mathematics

  • curriculum enrichment opportunities

  • wellbeing and attendance

  • Kāhui Ako activities and implications for student outcomes.

The School is a member of the Tararua Kāhui Ako.

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?

Historical data shows past students have achieved well.

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

All students are new to the school in 2018. Most are in Years 1 to 3. Base-line information has been gathered on these students to enable programmes to be developed and achievement monitored. All students have an individual learning programme (ILP) being developed for them. Current goals and targets for improvement focus on student outcomes in writing and mathematics.

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?

Trustees are reflective and bring a range of relevant skills and expertise to their role. They place importance on knowing about student progress and achievement and receive a range of appropriate student achievement information. Useful strategic planning is in place, targeted to student achievement. This requires adjusting to the needs of current students.

Suitable and current policy frameworks are in place and regular review occurs. On advice from New Zealand Trustees Association (NZSTA) the school has established an appropriate set of policies relating to the physical safety and wellbeing of students and staff within the school.

There are strong connections between the school and its community. Community expertise is valued and used. Opinions are sought and considered. Multiple opportunities exist to build relationships as the school is the hub of the community and well supported in fundraising and other events.

Staff actively seek relevant professional learning and development opportunities, especially to support students with complex needs. The leader is establishing a useful connection with the Tararua Kāhui Ako and making good use of this for professional support.

Teacher are seeking ways to integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and local history into the curriculum in authentic ways.

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

Positive relationships are evident. A robust framework for appraisal, linked to school goals is being established. The next steps are to develop a deeper understanding of the role and responsibilities of principal in:

  • revising curriculum delivery to meet the needs of current students
  • revisiting the school’s annual plan to make sure the goals are relevant to current students.

Students experience a broad and localised curriculum where considerable use is made of current technologies. They have a wide range of opportunities to interact with their peers and other children and adults. Opportunities to develop and demonstrate student leadership are valued and encouraged. A next step is to revisit individual learning plans to ensure these suitably reflect the next steps in learning for each student.

Teachers share reflections regularly and are beginning to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. They are revisiting the assessment schedule and assessment tools to ensure these are appropriate. Their next steps are to:

  • share effective practice and teaching strategies
  • ensure continuity of learning through improved collaboration when teachers plan
  • improve the goal setting within ILPs, especially for students with complex needs, to ensure short term goals are achievable so that progress can be measured and celebrated
  • develop processes for external moderation to ensure accuracy of assessment judgements.

There is evidence of a growing understanding of the importance of internal evaluation. A framework for policy review is in place and followed. The principal and trustees understand the value of collecting and considering the views of whānau and the wider community. Next steps are to:

  • further develop an understanding of the process and importance of strategic evaluation to inform school decision making
  • improve the depth of analysis of achievement data and to create clear steps for the implementation of actions in response to the identified needs
  • ensure outcomes are clearly articulated to trustees, whānau and students
  • evaluate the impact of learning opportunities, particularly those outside the school.

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:

  • relationships within the school and with the community that support school operation

  • stewardship that provides support and direction

  • teacher development that supports professional growth and curriculum delivery.

Next steps

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

  • curriculum to support the individualised learning of students

  • leadership to further develop an understanding of the role

  • internal evaluation to better measure the impact of actions and initiatives on learning and school operation

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • internal evaluation processes and practices.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

24 October 2018

About the school

Location

Makuri

Ministry of Education profile number

2895

School type

Full Primary, (Year 1 - 8)

School roll

5

Gender composition

Female 3, Male 2

Ethnic composition

Māori 2
Pākehā 3

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

24 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015
Education Review December 2012
Education Review November 2009

Findings

Students learn in a welcoming, family-like environment. The board of trustees, teaching team and members of the community work in partnership to continually improve outcomes for students. The school reports that most students achieve at and above National Standards. Students have ready access to the Virtual Learning Network to extend their learning opportunities.

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?

Makuri is a small, rural school that caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review twelve were enrolled. The principal and principal-release teachers know the students and their families well, and learning is supported by members of the community. Other important features that impact positively include students having:

  • ready access to the national Virtual Learning Network (VLN) programme to help them learn other languages and participate in online inquiry projects
  • opportunities to join surrounding schools for camps, learning activities and technology
  • easy access to the local environment, with additional trips to other parts of the country
  • well-resourced classrooms, including a good range of information and communication tools.

The board of trustees, community and teachers have high expectations. The recently reviewed charter and strategic plans aim for all students to be motivated, adaptable, kind, united, resourceful and involved.

Teachers and trustees participate with surrounding schools for professional learning and development. Teachers continue to be involved in Ministry of Education contracts related to literacy, The New Zealand Curriculum and science. The principal supports learning in the VLN to help enhance outcomes for students.

A range of positive developments have been undertaken to address areas for improvement in the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Teachers make good use of achievement information to support students’ engagement, progress and achievement. They gather and analyse a wide range of assessments for each student over eight years of schooling. The data is used to inform teaching and learning, and to report to families and the board of trustees. Since the 2010 ERO review, assessment tools have been appropriately streamlined.

At the end of 2014 all students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This year’s data indicates that most are on track to achieve at or above the Standards. Any student below or with special needs is identified early. Very good support is provided by teachers and the teacher aide. External expertise is sought on a needs basis. The progress of students with specific needs is closely monitored to inform teaching and learning.

The previous ERO report noted the need to further develop ways to match teaching more closely to the identified needs in a multi-level setting. Teachers plan to continue using well-analysed achievement data to adapt their practices. This will ensure teaching is closely aligned to the identified needs of students and help accelerate the progress of any below National Standards.

Students receive regular, constructive feedback from teachers about their learning. They are also encouraged to seek feedback from a class buddy. It is now timely to work together to develop success criteria. This will help students, buddies and teachers monitor progress and plan next learning steps.

Reporting to families is detailed and informative. They receive regular information about their child/children’s engagement, progress and achievement. This includes information against National Standards and how they can help at home. Opportunities are also provided for three-way conferences where students share work, reflect on their learning goals and set new ones.

Teachers continue to explore ways to moderate students’ work against the National Standards. They have worked with teachers in the local cluster to moderate writing. Teachers and ERO agree that continuing to explore ways to moderate outside the school for writing, reading and mathematics is a next step.

3 Curriculum

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

Makuri School’s curriculum is in the process of being reviewed and developed to include its unique local context, resources and history. The work undertaken to date is clearly aligned to the vision, principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum and captures the essence of the school’s charter. While the bicultural aspects of the curriculum are yet to be included, some are implemented in practice.

Students participate in a wide range of academic, social, cultural and physical learning opportunities. Literacy and numeracy are appropriately prioritised, with reading and writing being integrated across other curriculum areas. The community identified the need for more science, so teachers are working with an adviser to support this development. Students learn in a welcoming, settled, family-like environment where a strong sense of belonging is apparent.

The quality of teaching is sound. Students have many opportunities to receive one-to-one teaching as well as small group work. Older students help the younger ones and interactions are supportive and friendly. Good use is made of digital technology to support teaching and learning. Children regularly share their work with each other and the wider audience.

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

While no Māori students were enrolled at the time of this review, the board and teachers are familiar with The Māori Education Strategy - Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017. The principal’s appraisal also acknowledges Tātaiako – Cultural Competencies for teachers of Māori Learners.

The 2010 ERO report noted that whanaungatanga (building respectful relationships) was a priority of the school and was apparent in many aspects of everyday practice. This remains apparent.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Trustees are strongly committed to making good provision for students’ learning and wellbeing. They continue to undertake training and have a sound understanding of governance, including self review. Extensive community consultation was undertaken to inform the review of the charter and strategic plans, which have a clear focus on improving outcomes for students.

The principal keeps the board well informed about student progress and achievement. Trustees use this information to provide appropriate resourcing for teaching and learning. They are aware of the challenges in a sole charge school and continue exploring the best ways to support the teaching team as they work towards the board’s vision, goals and values.

The process for appraising the principal is sound. It is undertaken by an external consultant and identifies areas of good performance and next steps for development. Some aspects of teacher appraisal have not been completed. It is important this is carried out in a manageable way in accordance with policy expectations.

Agreed next steps for development are to strengthen:

  • annual planning, so objectives and targets to accelerate the achievement of students below National Standards are measurable
  • self review, by including indicators against which to evaluate programme effectiveness, especially when reviewing aspects of the curriculum.

School culture and tone are positive and conducive to learning. Students enjoy their schooling and community members willingly share their expertise and skills to help support achievement.

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

Students learn in a welcoming, family-like environment. The board of trustees, teaching team and members of the community work in partnership to continually improve outcomes for students. The school reports that most students achieve at and above National Standards. Students have ready access to the Virtual Learning Network to extend their learning opportunities.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 November 2015

School Statistics

Location

Pahiatua

Ministry of Education profile number

2895

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

12

Gender composition

Male 7, Female 5

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

12

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

19 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2012
November 2009
December 2006