Miramar Central 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.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Miramar Central School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

1 Background and Context

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

Miramar Central School, in Wellington, caters for students in Years 1 to 6, and includes Years 7 and 8 Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) students. The school roll has grown since 2017 and is 235 at the time of this report.

Twenty nine ethnic groups are represented, including 31 Māori students and 18 Samoan students. Ten ORS students are based in room ten, Kowhai the special education class, and are mainstreamed with their cohort classes. At the end of 2018, 26% of students were funded as English language learners.

The June 2017 ERO report identified concerns relating to student achievement, leadership, strategic stewardship, the curriculum and internal evaluation.

With the support of a Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner, trustees and leaders developed an action plan that was aligned with the school’s change and improvement plan and strategic and annual plans. Over the next one and a half years, leaders and trustees worked with ERO to action, report on and evaluate progress towards meeting the identified goals.

During this time, there have been changes in leadership. A new principal began at the start of 2018 and three new senior leaders were appointed during 2018.

Professional development since June 2017 has focused on: understanding behaviour – responding safely, positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) and inclusion. Teaching and learning in mathematics and improving teacher practice in writing have also been a focus of professional development. The board of trustees participated in professional development with the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

The school belongs to the kāhui ako Motū Kairangi.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The June 2017 ERO report identified the need to:

  • increase student achievement, especially for Māori and Pacific students

  • develop assessment, reporting and evaluation processes

  • develop professional leadership

  • design a responsive, student-led curriculum and increase consistency of teaching

  • continue strategic stewardship

  • ensure legislative requirements in relation to the Health curriculum, school records and meeting minutes are met.

Progress

Overall student achievement has increased. Achievement information from the end of 2018 showed that most students were achieving at and above curriculum expectations in mathematics. A large majority were achieving at and above in reading and a small majority in writing.

Māori student achievement has increased since 2016 in mathematics and reading. Pacific student achievement has increased in mathematics during that time. However, there continues to be significant disparity between Māori and Pacific students’ achievement when compared with that of Asian and Pākeha students. Addressing this disparity is a priority for the school.

The school has clearly identified where improvement in individual student achievement is necessary. Achievement data from 2018 shows that approximately half of the students at risk of not achieving made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders have taken a considered approach to redefining school assessment practices. A collaborative reflective team approach to assessment is being developed. Assessment tools have been reviewed and the use of a more formative approach is evident. The moderation of teacher judgements has been strengthened in writing. Leaders have identified that ongoing work in moderation is a planned next step.

The board receives comprehensive reports with detailed information about students’ progress in relation to school goals. Reflection on what is working, and consideration of next steps is well documented. These reports show the impact of teaching and intervention programmes on student achievement.

The principal and senior leaders are strongly focused on building a collaborative and positive staff culture. This is embodied in the whakatauki ‘He waka eke noa, a canoe that we are all on together’. Promoting an environment conducive to student and staff learning and wellbeing, and strengthening relationships with the community, are leadership priorities. Senior leaders are continuing to build their capabilities collaboratively as they embed recently developed systems and practices and sustain ongoing improvement.

The board and senior leaders have worked hard to foster an inclusive school environment to best meet the needs of the school’s diverse community. PB4L is having a strong impact on the school’s culture. Teachers are beginning to seek and acknowledge individual students’ interests and ideas when planning for learning. Most children have learning goals. Leaders have identified the need to continue to develop a responsive local curriculum with student agency at the centre.

A positive, purposeful tone is evident in classrooms. Most children are confident, enthusiastic contributors to their learning. A next step is for teachers to continue to focus on differentiating their classroom programmes to ensure that all students’ needs are met.

The board of trustees has ensured that the legislative requirements noted as not compliant in the June 2017 ERO report have been met. The community has been consulted about key learning areas in the health curriculum and this feedback has been used to inform the school programme. Trustees have improved their practice in relation to school record keeping.

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 continue to improve and to sustain improvement. Initiatives and programmes introduced since the June 2017 ERO report have the potential to strengthen student outcomes.

Trustees work conscientiously to meet their governance responsibilities. They seek and use feedback from parents and children to inform their decision making. Trustees have built their understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They receive well-analysed achievement information to determine the impact of teaching on outcomes for children.

The appraisal process is robust and well aligned to the school’s direction. Teachers inquire into their practice to better meet the learning needs of those students at risk of not achieving. A next step is to strengthen the way that appraisal actively supports the development of practice that reflects Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The impact of approaches and strategies is beginning to be measured in terms of student outcomes. A suitable framework for internal evaluation has been adopted. An agreed next step is to develop a shared understanding of evaluation across the school to better inform decision making about teaching, learning and operation.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Miramar Central School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

25 March 2019

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2915

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

235

Gender composition

Boys 55%, Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Other ethnic groups

13%
27%
8%
52%

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

25 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2017
June 2014
June 2011

Summary

Miramar Central School had 219 students enrolled at the time of this external evaluation. The roll is made up of a wide range of ethnic groups, including 28 students who identify as Māori, 26 Pacific, 29 Cambodian, 13 Indian, 11 Chinese and many other ethnicities. In 2017, 37% of children receive learning support, including 44 who are English Language Learners.

Since the June 2014 ERO evaluation the leadership team has changed with the appointment of new deputy and assistant principals. The school has responded to aspects of the areas for improvement outlined in the previous ERO report, particularly through their focus on culturally responsive teaching practice. Professional development has included a focus on working collaboratively and using coaching alongside teachers’ professional inquiries into their practice. Most recently, following the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) September 2016 Investigation Report, the school has embarked on Understanding Behaviour-Responding Safely and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). The school applied to the MoE, and extra assistance was given in 2016, to increase learning support for the diverse learners who attend the school.

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

The school has a strong focus on children’s wellbeing and is developing its approach to supporting students whose achievement requires acceleration. Significant levels of disparity of achievement are present for some groups of students, including Māori and Pacific children.

The school reports that in 2016, just over half of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics, with slightly fewer at the Standard in writing. This pattern of achievement is similar to previous years with limited progress over time. There are significant numbers of children receiving additional learning support whose achievement requires acceleration.

Leaders have identified the need to build consistency and shared understanding when making overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards.

Students with high or very high needs, and those who do not have English as their first language, receive extensive support.

Increased urgency is needed to enhance student achievement, through focused professional leadership and teaching, continued strategic stewardship and development of the student-led curriculum.

At the time of this ERO review, this school is developing conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in school disparities.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Urgent action is needed to boost the achievement of the diverse learners in the school. NationalStandards data from 2016 showed that Māori and Pacific children are not yet achieving at levels similar to their Pākehā peers.

Teachers are aware of the individuals whose learning needs acceleration. A range of interventions are in place. Greater use of progress data should be made to evaluate and report on the impact of programmes and interventions. Although data indicates some individual children’s progress is being accelerated, the school does not effectively evaluate the collated data to determine what works best in accelerating progress for Māori or Pacific children.

The school’s special needs unit caters for 11 children with high and very high needs. They are involved in mainstream classroom programmes for portions of the week. A review of processes and practices that support these children, has resulted in programmes that are more responsive to children’s learning and behaviour needs. Inclusion is a priority, with structures in place to support this.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The board actively serves the school in its stewardship role and works conscientiously to effectively meet its governance responsibilities. Trustees appropriately seek clarification of the achievement information and often request additional data to determine the impact of processes on outcomes for children. Board members also use feedback from parents and children to inform their decision making. Trustees have an action plan in place to support effective governance and are actively building their understanding of their role and responsibilities.

All staff are involved in the recently redeveloped appraisal processes. These appropriate processes have the potential to contribute to improving teacher capability and studentoutcomes. Positive aspects of appraisal include:

  • coaching and collaborative co-construction with links to the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • goal setting, inquiry and reflections, and classroom observations
  • a useful annual summary document.

ERO observed positive relationships and an inclusive tone throughout the school. Children from different backgrounds work well together. Students are increasingly encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Curriculum expectations and guidelines are appropriately designed to include ‘learning to learn’ capabilities and key competencies across the learning areas.

Connections are made to learners’ diverse cultural backgrounds. Visible reflections of cultures in classroom environments enhance children’s sense of belonging in some classes. Children know the expectations for routines that support learning.

Reports to parents clearly show children’s achievement in relation to National Standards and include ideas for how parents can support their children at home in literacyand mathematics.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

While a range of actions is being taken to support student progress, reducing disparity in achievement between groups of students requires urgent attention. School leadership should focus on systems and processes for ongoing monitoring, evaluation and development, including:

  • improving the consistency of effective teaching practice and the way school guidelines are implemented
  • developing understanding of acceleration and further consideration of assessment tools and practices to support consistency and greater dependability of judgements about progress and achievement
  • linking teachers’ inquiry into their practice to more specific student outcomes and increased use of student progress data to consider the impact of their teaching
  • closer tracking and monitoring of target students’ progress, consistently implemented across the school
  • reporting progress, including the impact of special programmes, to the board.

Internal evaluation is not well understood, nor effectively implemented. Leaders and teachers are engaged in extensive reflection. They should make greater use of internal evaluation to build knowledge about what works, what does not work and what needs to change to improve teaching and learning.

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 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. 

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consulting with the community about the health curriculum. In order to address this the board must:

  • adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum after consultation with the school community at least once every two years. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure it complies with the Public Records Act (2005) in relation to the retention and disposal of school records
  • document full records of in-committee meetings.

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school is developing conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are:

  • professional leadership and the consistency of teaching practice
  • use of student achievement information to design a responsive curriculum and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of school conditions.

Leaders and teachers:

  • need to build their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years. 

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

2 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2915

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

219

Gender composition

Male 59%, Female 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 32%

Cambodian 13%

Pacific 12%

Indian 6%

Chinese 5%

Other ethnic groups 20%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

2 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014

Education Review June 2011

Education Review August 2008