Upper Moutere 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.

Summary

Upper Moutere School is situated in rural Nelson. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 142 children. A small number of children identify as Māori or Pacific.

There is stability in the teaching staff and leadership.

The principal is the leader for the newly established Motueka Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

The school has made good progress in addressing the recommendations from the 2012 ERO report.

Many children achieve very well in relation to the National Standards. These high levels of achievement have been sustained over time. The school demonstrates a strong commitment towards achieving equity and excellence in educational outcomes for all children.

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

The school is very successfully achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

Many processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence. These includestrong and collaborativeleadership that contributes greatly to the culture of ongoing improvement supported by teaching staff. A well-planned strategic approach to school priorities ensures they are closely aligned to annual planning, appraisal, internal evaluation, professional development and resourcing. The school has robust systems to identify, plan and monitor progress for all children, especially for those who are at risk of not achieving.

At the time of this evaluation, many children were achieving at or above in relation to the National Standards. The school demonstrates a strong commitment towards achieving equity and excellence in educational outcomes and has effective and sustainable processes.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is very effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Leaders are aware of where there is disparity and can show they are able to address this. The school has maintained high levels of achievement over time.

The 2016 achievement data shows that most children achieve at and above the National Standards (NS). The achievement information at the end of 2016 shows that 90% of children are achieving at or above NS in reading, 87% at or above NS in writing, and 88% at or above NS in mathematics.

Leaders and teachers use effective processes to ensure achievement data is valid and reliable. They have developed robust assessment and moderation practices within the school and with other local schools.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has very good systems and processes to promote and sustain equity and excellence for all children.

Children’s learning benefits from a rich, authentic curriculum, collaborative teaching practices and well-resourced, flexible learning spaces that promote independence and student agency. The school’s vision and values provide a meaningful focus for the whole school. These are well known and help children to become confident, creative and show pride in their school.

School leaders have effectively created a culture of ongoing improvement among teaching staff. They make very good use of internal evaluation processes to identify areas for further development.

School leaders are future focused and have high expectations that build teacher capability and leadership capacity. Purposeful links with the wider education community provide leaders and teachers with professional learning groups that challenge and extend teaching and learning practices.

There are coherent systems in the school. School priorities, including priorities for raising student achievement, are clearly aligned to annual planning, appraisal, internal evaluation, and professional development and resourcing. Children at risk of not achieving are effectively supported by robust systems that identify and respond to individual needs.

Strong leadership within the school has led to a greater valuing of, promoting and celebrating Māori culture in ways that are respectful to Māori and all children.

The board is providing strong governance to the school. Comprehensive guidelines support the trustees to undertake their roles and responsibilities. Children’s wellbeing, learning and progress are well supported. These are the core concern and collective responsibility of the trustees, school leaders and staff.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school is improvement focused and has very good internal evaluation processes that are effective in identifying practices that are working well and those that need to be further improved. This includes the recent refreshing of the curriculum, after consultation with the school community. 

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

Leaders and teachers now need to:

  • continue to increase bicultural perspectives in key school documentation

  • further develop teaching as inquiry processes across the school

  • continue to strengthen evidence-based appraisal processes.

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.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

7 September 2017

About the school 

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3229

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

142

Gender composition

Male: 50% Female: 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
Pacific 3%
Other 15%
Pākehā 74%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

7 September 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education review April 2012
Education Review April 2009
Education Review May 2006

 

1 Context

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

Upper Moutere School, situated in a small historic village in rural Nelson, provides high quality education for students from Years 1 to 8. It features New Zealand’s oldest existing classroom. This is put to good use as an additional teaching space for supporting identified groups of students. The school and community have a strong partnership. There is a positive reporting history with ERO.

The collaborative vision and values are clearly expressed through ‘learning lights’ that provide a meaningful focus for the whole school. These are demonstrated through respectful relationships between teachers and students. Learners are confident and creative and show pride in the school.

Stability in leadership, staffing and at board level contributes to the continual ‘strive for excellence’. Professional development is well resourced for all staff. The principal and teachers regularly participate in professional discussion, critique their teaching practice and observe models of effective teaching. This has a positive influence on teaching and learning.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are highly engaged in productive learning environments. They work cooperatively and are focused and motivated to achieve. Students knowledgeably discuss their learning, the purpose of their work, how they are achieving and their next learning steps. They demonstrate strong sense of ownership of their learning, set goals and regularly reflect on progress.

The school reports that most students achieve at or above, in relation to the National Standards, in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement data is thoroughly interrogated to identify school-wide priorities. Student achievement targets related to National Standards are based on this well-analysed data. Progress is regularly reported to trustees.

Students who identify as Māori make up 6% of the school roll. The school reports that the majority achieve at or above National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information shows these students made good progress in 2011 with a significant proportion making accelerated progress.

Students identified as achieving below expectations are effectively supported through a range of programmes, innovative use of staffing and generous resourcing by the board. Teachers use data to plan for individual and group needs and identify strategies to raise the achievement of target students within their classroom programmes. In 2011, many of these students made significant progress in mathematics, moving from well below to achieve at expectations.

A Special Education Needs Coordinator works closely with teachers and support staff to plan and implement individual programmes and record, track and monitor target students’ progress. This information has yet to be fully reported to the trustees to enable them to evaluate the success of their resourcing.

The whole school community works together to support the success and progress of all students. Practices and resources are continually reviewed and reallocated to best meet students’ needs. Outcomes of assessment are shared with students and used to set individual learning goals. Strategies are shared with parents so they can support their child with these at home. Progress is celebrated and reported to parents at student-led conferences twice a year.

3 Curriculum

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

The Upper Moutere School curriculum design is highly focused on students and responsive to their interests. There are clear links to the vision, values and 'learning lights' and the rich local geographical and historical perspectives, including Māori, are celebrated and reflected. The integrated approach is well used for inquiry learning. This emphasises the importance of students seeing the relevance of their learning and making connections with their prior knowledge and experiences.

The broad curriculum provides good opportunities for the creative arts, sports and thinking skills alongside reading, writing and mathematics. Benchmarks have been established in most learning areas. The curriculum identifies effective teaching practices, planning expectations, and assessment, implementation and reporting overviews.

Many effective teaching practices are evident in classrooms, and these are clearly focused on developing independent and successful learners. Practices include:

  • discussing success criteria with students, modelling good practice and giving clear, specific written and oral feedback
  • using good questioning techniques to promote thinking, recall, and develop understanding
  • high-quality class descriptions that provide comment on achievement, progress and strategies to accelerate progress to inform teaching and learning
  • planning that incorporates targeted teaching, deliberate grouping of students and appropriate and relevant learning tasks
  • using e-learning effectively as a tool to engage students.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Since the April 2009 ERO report teachers have undertaken professional development to build their confidence in te reo Māori. As a result of consultation with Māori whānau, kapa haka is now inclusive across the school.

A sound draft plan has been developed to increase effective teaching and learning and to promote higher levels of achievement specifically for Māori students. This plan is in the early stages of implementation and is being used for ongoing review and development during 2012. The school has identified that success as Māori is a priority focus for development and review and in 2012 all teachers have related appraisal goals. The embedding of all aspects of the plan is highly likely to raise the profile of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori across the school and further promote success of Māori students as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

High-quality self review drives a culture of continuous improvement and development at all levels of the school community. This is appropriately informed by student achievement data, the outcomes of consultation and relevant research. The process identifies next steps for development and implementation. These priorities are generously resourced to enable achievement of the set goals. A well-developed cycle of review is established and followed.

The charter, strategic and annual plans are clearly aligned. They provide clear direction for all school operations and a strong basis for ongoing self review. A comprehensive self appraisal of the board structure and function enabled trustees to identify strategies for improved performance. Succession planning provides for continuity of knowledge and leadership.

The principal effectively leads and promotes an inclusive, consultative and collegial team approach. The leadership structure has been widened to make the most of staff strengths. A sound appraisal system is well implemented and linked to school-wide targets. Teaching is observed and the regular, constructive feedback and feedforward informs reflection and improvement. School leaders are considering ways to strengthen aspects of this process. High levels of professional development are accessed to support ongoing practice.

Inquiry into teaching practice is deliberate and embedded in the culture of the teaching team. This has been fostered through participation in the Moutere Hills Cluster professional learning networks for the principal and all teachers. This contributes to positive outcomes for teaching and learning.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

3 July 2012

About the School

Location

Upper Moutere, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3229

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

154

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

93%

6%

1%

Review team on site

April 2012

Date of this report

3 July 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2009

May 2006

December 2002