Maniototo Area School

Maniototo Area School - 27/05/2019

School Context

Maniototo Area School is a small rural school for students in Years 1 to 13, with a roll of 160. About one quarter of students identify as Māori. A growing number have English as a second language.

The school’s vision for students is that they will demonstrate the values of participation, respect, integrity, determination and empathy - PRIDE. It also states that students will be supported to be independent learners and confident risk takers who experience success and wellbeing.

To achieve this, trustees and leaders have identified strategic priorities for teaching and learning, wellbeing and building community partnerships. In particular they aim to: improve student achievement in Years 1 to 10 in writing and mathematics and senior achievement of national qualifications; improve aspects of student wellbeing; and, promote a positive learning culture.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 1 to 10
  • achievement in national qualifications in all learning areas
  • engagement and wellbeing.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been two changes in principal and significant staffing changes. Teachers have participated in Ministry of Education funded professional development programmes for the teaching of writing and mathematics and for promoting a positive learning environment.

A whole school rebuild is planned to start late in 2019. The school hosts on site the community library and provides technology education for another local primary school.

The school is a member of the South Island Area Schools’ 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?

The school is mostly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

The school has introduced new systems and practices for the collection and analysis of student achievement information in Years 1 to 10. Therefore, it is difficult at this stage to compare and describe trends in achievement over time.

School information for 2018 shows:

  • the majority of students in Years 1 to 10 achieve at or above the school’s expected levels in reading and writing

  • most students achieve at or above expected levels in mathematics

  • Māori students in Years 1 to 10 achieve equitable outcomes with non-Māori within the school; and an increasing proportion of Māori boys are achieving above curriculum level expectations

  • more work is needed to ensure boys achieve equitably with girls in literacy.

In the last three years most students have achieved the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) Levels 1 and 2. Some students take more than one year to achieve Level 2.

In 2018, students identified areas for improvement in conditions promoting their engagement and wellbeing. The school has taken a range of actions to respond to these. Student feedback indicates that these actions are leading to the desired changes.

There is limited documentation showing the progress that students with high and complex needs make against their personalised goals.

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

The school has been moderately effective in accelerating the learning of students who need this. School information shows that in 2018 about a third of students in Years 1 to 8 targeted for acceleration in mathematics and about a half of those targeted for acceleration in writing made accelerated progress. Few students made accelerated progress in reading.

The introduction of special assessment conditions for senior students attempting assessments for national qualifications supported a number of students to achieve success.

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?

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes opportunities for students to learn about and demonstrate the school’s values. The values are explicitly taught, celebrated and evaluated. Students know the values and understand how these contribute to a positive learning culture. ERO observed calm, settled learning environments and positive interactions between teachers and students, and amongst students.

Students’ self-management skills and growing independence are appropriately fostered and promoted at each level of the school. This is supporting students to take increasing responsibility for their learning. Teachers use a range of tools, programmes and practices to help students know about what they are learning, how well they are achieving and what they need to do to improve. Students have increasing and meaningful opportunities to develop and show leadership and to contribute to decisions in the school.

Leaders and teachers work closely with students to develop individualised courses and learning pathways that are relevant and responsive to student interests and aspirations. This includes the development of agricultural programmes that reflect the school’s farming community.

The valuing of Māori perspectives and culture in school practices and programmes has been strengthened. This is effectively affirming the mana and sense of belonging and identity of Māori students. All students have increased opportunities to learn te reo Māori and participate in kapa haka. A high proportion of students take advantage of these opportunities. The board and leaders have also strengthened resourcing for this part of the curriculum in response to student interest. Māori perspectives are increasingly integrated in other learning programmes. This is an area for ongoing focus.

Leaders and teachers know most students very well as learners and individuals. They have systems for identifying individual learning needs. They are building collaborative practices for planning and implementing strategies to respond to needs and promote engagement.

School leaders are purposefully developing an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. Following a period of leadership change, senior leaders are appropriately focused on:

  • building relational trust at all levels

  • encouraging and modelling collaboration and collaborative practice across teaching teams and with students

  • promoting the school values and establishing clear, high expectations for students’ learning and behaviour

  • developing systems and tools to gather and manage a range of information about student achievement, progress and wellbeing to better support internal evaluation.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to deepen internal evaluation in order to better know the impact of programmes, interventions and practices on student learning and wellbeing. Key development areas include:

  • building teacher capability to systematically inquire into the effectiveness of teaching, particularly in the secondary levels of the school

  • deepening the analysis of achievement and progress information to know about the impact of teaching programmes and interventions, particularly for those students needing to make accelerated progress

  • strengthening the evaluation of strategic and annual planning and goals.

Trustees need to continue to build their governance capability to scrutinise the effectiveness of the school in achieving its valued student outcomes. Together with school leaders, they need to refine achievement targets to ensure they are well focused and inclusive of those students needing to make accelerated progress.

Targeted approaches to accelerate the progress and learning of students in Years 9 and 10 need to be more evident.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in relation to implementation of all aspects of the school’s policy and procedures for safety checking of the workforce.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must ensure:

  • appropriate checks are made of an original primary identity document (e.g. NZ passport); and a secondary identity document (e.g. NZ driver licence) as part of safety checking of the workforce.
    [Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and regulations 5-8 of the Vulnerable Children (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers Regulations 2015]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • formally consult with the school’s Māori community to develop and make known the school’s policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students (National Administration Guideline 1 (e))

  • ensure that risk management and mitigation documentation for students participating in agricultural programmes is regularly reviewed

  • improve aspects of the principal’s appraisal to meet current requirements.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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:

  • provision of a responsive curriculum that promotes the school’s values and enacts its vision for learners
  • collaborative school leadership that is focused on building a positive learning culture
  • the provision of flexible, individualised learning pathways that respond well to students’ interests and needs.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation at all levels to better know the impact of teaching programmes, interventions and practices, and to support and sustain school improvement
  • trustees continuing to develop their governance capability, particularly in relation to scrutinising the performance of the school in achieving valued outcomes.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to bring about improvements in:

  • scrutiny of the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes
  • rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of goals and strategies designed to improve valued student outcomes.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

27 May 2019

About the school

Location

Ranfurly

Ministry of Education profile number

370

School type

Area School (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

160

Gender composition

Girls 54%, Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
NZ European/Pākehā 66%
Other ethnicities 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

1

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

27 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review January 2016
Education Review December 2011

Maniototo Area School - 22/01/2016

Findings

Teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best. Students make the most of the many opportunities to learn from a broad and varied curriculum. There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between teachers and students.

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?

Maniototo Area School provides an education for Years 1 to 13 students in an environment that strongly reflects the values and expectations of its wider community. The school vision is for students to have attitudes and skills to continue learning beyond school, and be positive, actively-involved community members. This involvement is evident within the school and the community.

Teachers and students minimise the school’s isolation with the effective use of ICT and distance-learning programmes. The low numbers in many classes, especially for secondary subjects, allows individualised support for learning.

Since the 2011 ERO review there have been significant staffing changes, including the principal and junior school assistant principals. These changes have impacted on the coherence of planned school development.

There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between adults and students.

Students’ individual academic and wider successes are recognised and celebrated by all. Most Year 1 to 8 students achieve at or above in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards. School leavers make successful transitions into employment, training or tertiary education. Most senior students achieve the NCEA goals they set with their teachers. The school has set an appropriate target to increase the number of merit and excellence endorsements in NCEA.

The school has made progress since the 2011 ERO report. Some previously identified areas are still part of ongoing development.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement information well to make positive changes to students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

Students:

  • have appropriate awareness of their achievement and progress, with monthly reports being a major contributor for this for students in Years 7 – 13
  • use teachers’ guiding comments to improve their work
  • with teachers, set goals in a variety of areas which are regularly reviewed and reset.

Teachers have extensive knowledge about students and their learning strengths and needs. They use this knowledge well to:

  • identify learning gaps and inform their teaching to meet the needs of individuals and groups of students
  • inform decisions about subject and course selections, especially in the senior school
  • monitor and track students’ progress and regularly report this to the students and their parents
  • share assessment results with students and next steps for learning
  • evaluate the impact of their teaching strategies.

School leaders and teachers make effective use of analysed achievement information to:

  • set useful charter targets to raise achievement levels
  • identify and monitor progress of students at a school-wide level, particularly those at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • review the effectiveness of teaching programmes in curriculum areas over time.

Trustees receive useful information to make resourcing decisions. This helps them to maintain their focus on achievement and good outcomes for all students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Findings to support this judgement

The curriculum is responsive to the students’ interests, and their pastoral and learning needs. It effectively reflects the aspirations and expectations of the community. Students make the most of the many opportunities to:

  • learn from a broad and varied curriculum
  • experience and learn about their unique environment, including its rich history
  • gain useful ICT skills and knowledge
  • take on leadership roles.

Since the last ERO review the school has successfully established a middle school for the students in Years 7 to 10. This section of the school helps students have a smooth transition between their primary to secondary level learning.

The senior students, in Years 11 to 13, work closely with their teachers to select study courses that are personalised to their learning strengths, interests and needs. For these students there is a greater emphasis on managing and taking responsibility for their own learning.

The school’s curriculum guidelines describe in detail what the school values, New Zealand Curriculum principles and desired learning attributes should look like. As a result, staff have a common understanding of expectations. School and curriculum leaders, and teachers are developing a whole-school approach to curriculum delivery. There are examples of strong alignment and coherence for learning from Year 1 to Year 13. The school leaders acknowledge the curriculum guidelines do not give sufficient detail for some aspects of teaching practice.

Other features of the curriculum include teachers and leaders:

  • focusing on enhancing purposeful classroom teaching to meet the identified needs of all students
  • strengthening the learning partnerships they have with parents.

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

Maniototo Area School is in the early stages of providing an environment in which Māori students and whānau have their language, culture and identity reflected in school practices and programmes. The new principal is championing this development and making good use of Ministry of Education resources to support this. With the teachers, she is increasing the visibility of Māori culture throughout the school.

Māori students comprise a quarter of the school’s roll. The board is responsive to the views of the parents of Māori. These help inform how the school will grow its respect and value for the language, culture and identify of its Māori students and community.

Students have regular opportunities to learn Māori language, culture and waiata through kapa haka. Their teachers provide them with some meaningful cultural learning. This is planned for within the daily programmes and/or through other events beyond the school, such as visits to local marae and polyfest cultural celebrations.

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. The board and new principal have identified appropriate areas for focus and improvement.

Findings to support this judgement

Trustees have high expectations that students will continue to be well supported to achieve well and experience wide success. These expectations help ensure that teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best.

A strong alignment links the school vision, strategic and annual plans, teacher professional learning plan, and the school’s budget and resourcing.

The planning for 2015 is based on the findings from the useful self review undertaken in 2014. Trustees have recognised, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to:

  • develop and use a consistent format for reporting to the board on curriculum areas
  • carry out an in-depth review of its policies and associated procedures in line with the board’s current plan
  • strengthen self-review processes in general.

The appraisal process has been strengthened to meet legal requirements, and in conjunction with professional learning and development, should now be used to develop high-quality teaching practices across the school.

Other areas for review and development

Trustees need to regularly and appropriately gather the views of parents, staff and students, especially in relation to satisfaction and wellbeing. This would enhance the school’s ability to review and respond to emerging or unforeseen issues that arise from surveys and concerns or complaints to the board and/or the principal.

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • improve the curriculum guidelines so that they promote consistency of effective practice, and support the sustainability of new developments and learning
  • give greater emphasis to Māori culture in school practices and documentation.

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

Teachers and leaders provide students with an education that respects individuality and challenges students to do their best. Students make the most of the many opportunities to learn from a broad and varied curriculum. There are caring and supportive relationships among students, and between teachers and students.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 May 2015

About the School

Location

Ranfurly

Ministry of Education profile number

370

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

165

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

70%

24%

4%

2%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

December 2011

November 2008

April 2006