Muritai School

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Education institution number:
2920
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
375
Telephone:
Address:

Muritai Road, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt

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School Context

Muritai Primary School, in the Lower Hutt suburb of Eastbourne, caters for children in Years 1 to 8. Of the 414 learners enrolled, 7% identify as Māori. Two thirds of Māori students are in Years 1 to 3. Over the last year, the Māori roll has significantly increased.

The school’s vision of ‘Be the best that we can be’ is supported by its mission statement of ‘an inclusive community of creative, courageous, connected explorers’ and the learning values of explore, connect and contribute. Strategic goals are underpinned by four keys to success: ‘our learning is dynamic; our community is connected; our people know themselves as learners; and our children make progress and achieve’.

Annual targets for 2019 are focused on improving students’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • progress, achievement and acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics
  • trends and patterns in reading, writing and mathematics over time
  • target groups and support programmes
  • wellbeing.

Since the February 2015 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and there have been changes to the senior leadership team. The majority of board members are newly elected.

The school is a Green/Gold Enviroschool. Teachers are involved in professional learning and development (PLD) for the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme and mathematics.

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 is working towards equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Achievement information for 2017 indicates that most students achieve at or above the school’s curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2018, almost all students achieved at or above expectations in reading, and the majority achieved at expected levels in mathematics. Trustees, leaders and teachers are aware that overall mathematics achievement has been decreasing over time, and strategies have been put in place to address this.

In 2017, boys achieved significantly below girls in writing. This was successfully addressed for some students in 2018, so that boys’ achievement was similar to girls.

Achievement data for the end of 2018 shows that some disparity exists in reading, writing and mathematics between Māori students in relation to their non Māori peers. 2019 midyear data indicates that achievement has improved for many Māori learners, especially in reading and mathematics.

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

The school is effectively responding to the small group of targeted students whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Information for 2018 and mid-year 2019 shows that many students, including Māori and the school’s targeted students, made accelerated progress.

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?

Each student’s progress and achievement is carefully tracked, monitored and responded to. Teachers use a suitable range of assessment tools to gather achievement data. Students at risk of not achieving are well known and appropriate teaching strategies and programmes are planned and implemented to support them. Moderation practices support teachers to make dependable judgements about achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Trustees are well informed and carefully scrutinise data to support decision-making about strategic priorities, programmes and resourcing.

School leaders work collaboratively with staff to create a positive learning environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes wellbeing. Students’ transitions into, through and out of the school are well considered and supported. Children with additional and complex needs are well provided for. Detailed records are kept of their needs and progress towards their goals. External expertise is accessed as needed. The board generously resources learning assistance to cater for children’s needs.

The principal is effectively leading the re-development of the curriculum. This has involved revisioning the school values after wide consultation. Leaders and teachers are working collaboratively with students, families and the community to establish a highly relevant, localised curriculum.

Teachers make effective use of the local environment to promote authentic learning experiences and student engagement. Children work collaboratively, responding positively to the broad range of opportunities presented. They confidently articulate their ideas and demonstrate understanding of their learning.

Positive, respectful relationshipsare evident among staff and students.Strong links with the local community support children’s sense of belonging.

A whānau group is strongly contributing to positive actions being taken to build Māori success. An authentic and carefully considered approach promotes improved outcomes for Māori students. Whānau and student input is sought and valued to support decisions about teaching and learning. An action plan to promote Māori students’ success is linked to the school’s strategic intent. All teachers are supported through PLD to increase their knowledge of, and competence in, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

A robust and meaningful appraisal process is well implemented. Leaders and teachers are effectively supported to build their capability through relevant internal and external PLD. Coaching training is strengthening senior leaders’ capability to support teachers to identify relevant goals and evaluate the impact of their practice on outcomes for students. Provisionally certificated teachers are well supported by a comprehensive induction and mentoring programme.

A strong, relentless focus on improvement effectively supports learners to progress and develop their potential. Senior leaders work cohesively to create the conditions that promote the school’s valued outcomes.

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

Leaders have identified the need to continue to review and embed the new curriculum developments and inquiry learning process.

Many new initiatives have been introduced to improve outcomes for students. A comprehensive range of information is gathered to identify progress made in meeting goals. Frameworks are in place to support a more evaluative approach to decision-making and development. A key next step is for leaders and teachers to use indicators of success more effectively to measure the impact of actions taken.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school. Appropriate support and education programmes are in place for this student. Sound processes are used to review the school’s provision and outcomes for international students.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a strong and relentless focus on improvement that effectively supports learners to progress and develop their potential
  • staff collaboration to create a positive learning environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes student wellbeing
  • effective use of the local environment to promote authentic student participation and engagement
  • positive, respectful relationships and strong links with the local community that support children’s sense of belonging.
  • an authentic and carefully considered approach that promotes improved equity of outcomes for Māori students
  • meaningful appraisal processes and PLD that effectively supports teachers to build their capability.

Next steps

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

  • evaluating the effectiveness of strategies put in place to raise student achievement, particularly in mathematics
  • continuing to review and embed the new curriculum developments and inquiry learning process
  • using indicators of success more effectively to measure the impact of actions taken on outcomes for students.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure a suitable system is in place to support the timely renewal of police vets for employees who require them.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

25 November 2019

About the school

Location

Eastbourne, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2920

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

414

Gender composition

Males 54%, Females 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 7%

NZ European/Pākehā 78%

Other ethnicities 15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

25 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015

Education Review January 2011

Findings

Students at Muritai School achieve well. Strong leadership drives ongoing improvement. Student leadership is a feature. Students' strengths and interests inform the curriculum. Teachers continue to develop their teaching practice through high quality professional learning and development. The collegial teaching teams are making good progress towards individualised learning for all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Muritai School is an Enviroschool serving the seaside community of Eastbourne. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8 and operates over a split site. It has a roll of 462, with 3% identifying as Māori. There is stable staffing. The recently changed management structure provides a wide range of leadership opportunities covering the four syndicates and all curriculum learning areas.

The school philosophy features courtesy, consideration, cooperation and common sense, along with CARE (citizenship, achievement, responsibility and effort) for each other. The culture is encapsulated in the motto “Be the best you can be”.

There is a new library, and considerable refurbishment of existing teaching blocks is underway.

High quality practices identified in the January 2011 ERO report have been sustained. The school has continued to make good progress towards personalising teaching for students' different learning styles.

2 Learning

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

The school makes extensive use of student achievement information to make positive changes for learners.

School-reported National Standards data for 2013, shows the majority of students achieve at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. A high percentage of girls achieve above expectation in literacy. Moderation of overall teacher judgements between year levels is evident. Teachers continue to undertake external moderation with staff from other schools.

A wide range of assessment tools is used to gauge progress and identify students requiring extra support and extension. Teams use thoroughly analysed data for annual target-setting and grouping. Curriculum committees identify trends, strengths and weaknesses to review and inform future focus.

Teachers use assessment to identify students' next learning steps. They develop strategies to support students to articulate their own next steps. Students are developing ownership of their goals and achievement. These practices are especially strong in Years 7 and 8. A next step is for individual teachers to more consistently analyse and document their assessment information to clearly show how they differentiate teaching to accelerate progress.

Schoolwide systems ensure students who are behind expectation are regularly tracked and well monitored. Information is shared between teachers, learning support staff, leaders and the board. Inclusion is a high priority and there is a schoolwide focus on catering for the needs of students who are identified as dyslexic. The learning support leader reviews inclusive practices and coordinates professional development, with a new focus each term. There is a cohesive, creative approach to exploring adaptive strategies that teachers can use to support diverse learners.

Additional strategies and personnel support students in their learning. An agreed next step is for more robust evaluation of the impact of the many actions and strategies implemented. This should determine which strategy has been most effective in bringing about the desired acceleration of progress. Students can develop their special abilities and strong interests through a programme covering many curriculum areas.

Relationships are positive and affirming. Teachers demonstrate a strengths approach to supporting student wellbeing. They find ways to engage students through their particular interests. Collaborative two-way partnerships with families are established which enhance student confidence and achievement.

A positive tone supports the school culture. Students are well engaged in their learning activities. They help each other with their work in class. All senior students select leadership roles across a wide range of areas.

Parents are well informed about their child’s progress and achievement. Written reports clearly show achievement in relation to National Standards with next learning steps and progress in other curriculum areas.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in engaging and promoting learning for all students.

Comprehensive guiding documents state the vision and values, which inform school culture and curriculum design. They provide consistent expectations for planning. Values are revisited, promoted at the start of each year, and enacted. Curriculum review is ongoing. There is a deliberate focus on the key competencies to support engagement of those learners who are not achieving to potential.

Students experience a broad curriculum with a range of extension opportunities, such as visual arts, dance, sport, information technologies and languages for Years 7 and 8. Science and environmental studies are strengths of the curriculum. Student inquiry provides opportunities for integration across curriculum areas.

The teaching of te reo Māori is well supported by the teacher-in-charge with provision of kete of resources for each syndicate and information that parents can also access. Leaders should continue to explore ways of developing teachers’ confidence in the everyday use of te reo Māori. A growing kapa haka group provides opportunities for senior students to gain knowledge of aspects of te ao Māori.

Transition processes for students in and out of the school and through the school are well considered. Staff have strong relationships with local early childhood centres and secondary schools.

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

The school focus on high expectations for student achievement is clearly evident for Māori students. They achieve well in relation to the National Standards.

Māori students have opportunities to experience aspects of Māori language and culture. Consultation with Māori whānau is informal. Leaders and trustees should develop a strategic direction for Māori learners, as part of their strategic planning toward 2020. This should be informed by consultation with whānau, iwi and current best practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The board is very well informed and forward looking. Trustees are highly aware of the school’s position at the hub of its community. The board has developed a policy to review its performance as a board. Trustees should now consider how they might do this to further determine their effectiveness to promote positive outcomes for students.

Leadership is strong across the school. Distributed leadership and mentoring of emergent leaders are promoted and suitable professional development provided. A collegial climate encourages teachers to be innovative and share ideas. There is a collaborative and supportive culture. Developing leadership in teachers’ areas of strength and interest supports students' success.

The school's established processes for self review inform improvement. These include sound appraisal, and teachers reflecting on their own goals and practice. A next step for teachers is to make greater use of evidence to strengthen their inquiries.

The school is well supported by its parents, whānau and community.

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 at Muritai School achieve well. Strong leadership drives ongoing improvement. Student leadership is a feature. Students' strengths and interests inform the curriculum. Teachers continue to develop their teaching practice through high quality professional learning and development. The collegial teaching teams are making good progress towards individualised learning for all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.Image removed.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

24 February 2015

About the School

Location

Eastbourne, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2920

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

462

Gender composition

Male 50%

Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

3%

95%

2%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

24 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2011

July 2007

June 2004