Tua Marina School

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School Context

Tua Marina, a rural school located near Blenheim, caters for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review the roll was 131 students, with 18% identifying as Māori.

The school aims to develop resilient, lifelong learners who strive for peak performance in their community and beyond, ‘me whakapau kaha’. The charter outlines the schools’ valued outcomes and expects the best for and from every child. It recognises that whānau are important contributors to each child’s success and wellbeing.

Culturally responsive practice is a key within the school, and is an ongoing focus for teachers’ professional learning and development. It is a strategic priority along with wellbeing, leadership, a responsive curriculum, internal evaluation, and professional and collective capability.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • targets for improvement
  • wellbeing
  • attendance.

The school is a member of the Piritahi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

School reported data for 2018 shows that almost all students, including Māori, achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The overall picture in literacy and mathematics shows improvement over time. While there is an achievement gap for boys this fluctuates and reduces as students move through the school.

In 2018, there was highly significant improvement for Māori students in writing, as well as improvement in reading and mathematics.

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

There is evidence of acceleration for students who need it. Those who require additional support are well identified, tracked and monitored. Regular professional conversations and collaborative teaching practices enable teachers to adapt their teaching and personalise instruction to actively support children’s 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?

Strong leadership provides positive guidance and promotes innovation and development across the school. There is a well-considered approach to change, with time taken to develop, implement and embed new initiatives.

Bicultural practices are highly evident. The 2019 Culturally Responsive Practices Action Plan aims to ensure that every student and their whānau feels included and supported to enable every student to make optimal progress. Staff work collaboratively to make this happen.

Māori success is effectively promoted. Teachers have developed cultural competence and expertise to provide inclusive and productive learning environments. Māori language, culture and identity is enhanced with the outcome that these students experience high levels of achievement and success.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. They work together with teachers to identify strengths, learning needs, set goals, and plan responsive learning strategies, joint activities and interventions to improve learning.

Evaluation and inquiry are well embedded in systems, processes and practices that inform school plans and actions to realise the school’s vision, values, goals and targets. Relational trust supports collaboration, risk taking and openness to change. Leaders and teachers engage with evaluation for improvement and innovation.

A comprehensive appraisal and performance management system is in place. It involves all staff and is designed to support and develop teacher practice. It uses a strong inquiry framework where teachers share and inquire into their practice to determine the impact for selected learners.

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

The school, through its strong internal evaluation, has identified its priorities for ongoing development. These include:

  • enhancing culturally responsive learning through bicultural practices
  • redeveloping documentation of their localised curriculum
  • further supporting wellbeing at all levels.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • internal evaluation processes that inform decision making and future actions for student success
  • leadership that supports innovation and change
  • cultural responsiveness that includes high levels of partnership with whānau and parents.

Next steps

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

  • documenting the localised curriculum to better reflect the high quality practice already demonstrated in the school
  • continuing professional development in culturally responsive practice to sustain the gains made
  • an ongoing focus on the wellbeing of all to promote continued success.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

25 October 2019

About the school

Location

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

3050

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

131

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%
NZ European/Pākehā 76%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

25 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review February 2012

Findings

The school effectively caters for students’ learning and wellbeing. Student achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics are high. Māori students are achieving very well against the National Standards. Quality teaching practices support the implementation of the school’s broad curriculum. E-learning is well established in classrooms. School governance and leadership is strong. Strengthening Māori success as Māori is an ongoing focus.

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?

The school’s rural location strongly influences the curriculum and students’ learning. There is a positive, inclusive school culture. Students have many opportunities to learn about their community and beyond.

Students learn in an attractive and well-resourced learning environment, with a wide range of facilities, including a school pool.

There have been few changes in key leadership roles since the last ERO review in 2012.

The school has a positive reviewing history with ERO. It has continued to build on the areas of strength identified in the 2012 ERO report. Self review, the only area for improvement, has been strengthened.

The school is part of a group of schools that are planning to work more closely together to share effective teaching practices and improve students’ learning and wellbeing.

2 Learning

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

The board, principal and teachers make very effective use of achievement information to promote students’ learning.

Teachers use a range of carefully chosen strategies to successfully increase students’ rates of progress and achievement. Approaches to lift achievement are highly evident in teachers’ planning. Data is well analysed to identify, monitor and plan programmes for students at risk of not achieving.

School leaders have monitored achievement of student year groups over time. They have a thorough understanding about the learning patterns of these groups of students. This information shows consistent improvement, for year groups, over several years.

The board, principal and teachers all play an active role in setting annual achievement targets. Trustees receive high quality achievement information about how well students are progressing toward targets. They also know how well students are achieving at school, regional and national levels against the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

Students are fully involved in goal setting and sharing this with their families. These goals are regularly updated so they remain relevant. Students' learning goals are well linked to reports to parents.

The principal and teachers work together to find useful ways of tracking student progress and achievement in subject areas other than literacy and mathematics. Some careful consideration and trialling has occurred. ERO agrees this is a useful focus for ongoing school improvement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning. School-wide assessment data shows high levels of student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are achieving at levels slightly above their peers against the National Standards.

The school vision is well embedded in strategic planning, school culture and the curriculum. Students understand the vision and how it relates to their learning and wellbeing. Teachers skilfully reinforce the vision and its underlying values regularly in classroom programmes. Students and their parents have contributed to the vision’s development over time.

Teachers work collaboratively. They reflect on their practice and engage in regular, robust, professional discussions about ways to promote better learning outcomes for students. They skilfully select strategies most likely to engage and motivate student learning.

Students benefit from a broad, balanced curriculum that is carefully linked to their learning needs and wellbeing. Teachers ably plan inclusive classroom lessons with specific learning outcomes for groups and individuals. Students have many opportunities to experience learning outside the classroom.

Teachers use a consistent approach to help students carry out investigations across a range of integrated subjects. Students contribute ideas for topic work. Teachers actively seek to incorporate students’ contributions and interests in relevant ways. The school’s curriculum is well documented with useful guidelines for teaching and learning.

Students are increasing their confidence and capability in using technologies to support and extend their learning. Teachers effectively integrate e-learning into classroom programmes. School leaders and teachers value the contribution e-learning can make to students’ independent learning. They have a useful e-learning strategic plan in place to direct future developments.

The principal and teachers know their students and families well. There is a shared approach for supporting the learning and wellbeing of students.

School leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to continue to extend their knowledge, understanding and use of modern learning practices and the implementation of their e-learning to further support students' learning outcomes.

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

The school demonstrates an ongoing commitment to providing opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori. Examples include:

  • use of te reo and tikanga Māori in teaching practices and aspects of the environment
  • Māori contexts and concepts regularly included in learning programmes
  • leadership opportunities across all areas of school life
  • conscious use of Māori role models to share skills and experiences with students
  • recognition of what a gifted and talented learner looks like in a Māori cultural context.

Teachers are making effective use of professional development to increase their awareness and knowledge of teaching practices known to foster the progress and achievement of Māori learners. Teachers have high expectations that students will achieve well.

Māori are well represented on the board and amongst the staff. The board and school leaders recognise the importance of building purposeful relationships with school whānau and local iwi and the impact this has on student’s learning and wellbeing. This is an ongoing journey for them. ERO has identified that the next steps include:

  • raising the status and sharing of a Māori strategic plan, in consultation with Māori, and ensuring feedback on progress is regularly monitored and communicated
  • reviewing the local curriculum to ensure the high quality school practices are well reflected in documentation.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is sustaining and improving its performance effectively.

Trustees, school leaders and teachers are strongly focused on gaining positive outcomes for students. They receive high quality achievement information and use this effectively to inform decision making. The board’s charter, strategic and annual plans are effectively linked. School priorities are evident in classroom programmes.

Self review is well established at all levels and used to improve learning outcomes for students and improve school operations. The board values self review to inform forward planning.

Trustees are mindful that they represent and serve their school community. They regularly gain parents’ views in a wide range of different areas and respond appropriately.

Trustees have a strong governance model in place. The board chair understands the roles and responsibilities of trustees and provides regular useful training for the board.

The principal and teachers work well together. The principal’s approach to leadership benefits students’ learning and wellbeing through a strong focus on effective teaching practice. Effective and specifically-targeted professional development balances the needs of individuals and the school as a whole.

The principal and teachers are supported through rigorous appraisal.

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 effectively caters for students’ learning and wellbeing. Student achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics are high. Māori students are achieving very well against the National Standards. Quality teaching practices support the implementation of the school’s broad curriculum. E-learning is well established in classrooms. School governance and leadership is strong. Strengthening Māori success as Māori is an ongoing focus.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

5 May 2015

About the School

Location

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

3050

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

117

Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

76%

19%

5%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

5 May 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

September 2008

November 2005