Mornington School

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Summary

At the time of this review Mornington school had a roll of 263 children in Years 1 to 6. Of these, 43 identify as Māori. Another 31 children come from ethnicities other than New Zealand European. There are a number of children for whom English is a second language.

Since the last ERO review (2014) the school has participated in a Ministry of Education professional development programme focused on accelerating learning in mathematics (ALiM).

The board of trustees includes many new members and has undertaken relevant training to build its capability.

The school has maintained good achievement levels in mathematics and reading over time. Lifting achievement levels in writing is the school’s current priority. At the time of this review the school had started a programme of professional learning in the teaching of writing.

The school has responded well to most of the areas for development identified in the last review. How well school programmes incorporate bicultural perspectives remains an area for review and development.

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

The school responds well to most children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Further development is needed to lift achievement levels in writing, particularly for boys.

The school has many processes that are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence. These include evaluative processes for identifying areas needing development to improve.

There is a strong focus on student well-being and equity of outcomes for learners. The school’s curriculum and the provision of learning support respond well to children’s interests and diverse needs. Leaders promote and support effective teaching in a range of ways. The school needs to make better use of school-wide assessment information to identify key learning needs. It also needs to ensure it is monitoring children’s rate of progress against the National Standards in order to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and teaching.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for some children remains.

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

Equity and excellence

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

This school responds well to most children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s achievement information shows that for the last three years:

  • a high proportion of children achieve well in relation to the National Standards in mathematics (84%) and reading (86%)
  • around 75% of children achieve at expected levels in writing.

Māori children achieve equitable outcomes in mathematics, writing and reading. The school’s planned actions have reduced disparity in outcomes for Māori children in reading in recent years.

Over time the proportion of boys achieving at or above the National Standards in writing has decreased. The school needs to develop targeted planning and effective approaches to lifting boys’ achievement in writing.

School information shows that planned actions to accelerate the progress of some children in reading and mathematics in recent years have been successful.

Children for whom English is a second language make good progress in English language learning over time and are effectively supported to access the curriculum at appropriate levels alongside their peers.

Children with additional learning needs make meaningful progress against their individual goals.

The school has appropriate processes for moderating teachers’ judgements about children’s achievement. These include some moderation with other schools and regular review of assessment practices.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

The school has many good quality processes that are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

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

The school’s vision and strategic goals provide clear direction and prioritise student achievement and well-being and teacher effectiveness. These priorities are clearly evident through leadership, curriculum and teaching plans.

The school’s curriculum effectively supports children to develop the skills and attitudes valued by the school community – to be confident, resilient, healthy, thinkers. Teachers plan programmes that make good use of rich, authentic contexts for learning and respond well to children’s interests, strengths and needs. Teachers encourage children to be active participants in their learning and support them to know what they need to do to make progress. 

There are effective processes for identifying children needing additional learning support and a wide range of specialist programmes and services to meet the diverse needs of children.

The school has a strength in the provision of English language learning for children for whom English is a second language.

Teachers build purposeful relationships with whānau and parents to support children’s well-being and learning. This includes working closely with parents to support successful transitions into, through, and on from school.

Leaders have high expectations for effective teaching. Leaders support teachers to meet these expectations by:

  • ongoing development and improvement of performance appraisal processes
  • supporting teachers to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching
  • planning and providing relevant and evidence-based professional learning
  • building and embedding shared understandings of effective teaching
  • ongoing review and evaluation of teaching programmes and interventions.

Leaders promote a strong sense of collective ownership for positive learning outcomes for children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

Overall the school has good processes for identifying areas needing development to better address and overcome barriers to achieving equity and excellence. Addressing the areas identified below will further strengthen these processes.

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

Trustees and leaders need to:

  • ensure school achievement targets are focused on all children who are at risk of not achieving at expected levels
  • ensure monitoring and reporting systems clearly focus on the rate of progress all children are making against the National Standards – particularly those at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • improve the use of school-wide assessment information to identify specific and common learning needs to inform planning
  • strengthen systems for supporting and monitoring the quality of teacher’s planning to accelerate the progress of children not yet achieving at expected levels
  • continue to build the depth of teachers’ evaluation of the impact of their teaching on outcomes for learners.

ERO agrees with the school’s current priority of building the capability of teachers to accelerate the progress of children yet to achieve at expected levels in writing, particularly boys. 

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. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Going forward

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

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for some children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement in writing.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress. 

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

21 September 2017

About the school 

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3776

School type

Contributing Primary

School roll

263

Gender composition

Female: 45% Male: 55%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%
Pākehā 76%
Asian 6%
Pacific 3%
Other 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

21 September 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2014
Education Review March 2011
Education Review May 2007

1 Context

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

Students at Mornington School are part of a very welcoming, caring learning environment. All students are made to feel special. They come from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities. Students’ countries of origin are celebrated and this enriches all students’ learning. A specialist teacher works with students who have English as a second language.

The school roll has recently increased. This has resulted in an enrolment scheme beginning in Term 3, 2014. The school prioritises keeping junior class sizes small.

Since the March 2011 ERO review, the school has a new principal, deputy principal, board and several teachers. The school has built further on good practices that were already a feature of the school. Of particular note is the acknowledgement of the place of Māori as tangata whenua (people of this land) and building the confidence and knowledge of teachers and students in te reo and tikanga Māori.

Significant developments have been made in improving ICT, e-learning opportunities for students and staff. The school has recently leased a significant number of iPads. Easily accessible online resources contribute to the effective communication within the school and between home and school. This gives parents and students the means to access current school information and what is happening for students’ learning.

Parents and grandparents of students at the school provide strong support for their children through reading programmes, sports coaching, organising school events and fund raising.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used well to make positive changes for students’ learning.

Findings

A large proportion of students achieve consistently at or above the National Standards in mathematics and reading, with recent improvements noted in reading.

Although students’ achievement in writing has not yet matched the levels of achievement in reading and mathematics, most do reach or exceed the National Standards.

Teachers are having ongoing professional development and have implemented specific programmes to raise the achievement of students who are at risk of not achieving in writing. Students in these programmes are making accelerated progress in their writing.

A significant strength of this school is the way in which senior leaders, teachers and the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) share their knowledge of each student’s learning and wellbeing in order to place them in the most appropriate programmes. The deputy principal and the SENCO coordinate and implement high quality support and extension programmes for students.

Teachers are effectively using student achievement information to:

  • know their students and students’ learning needs very well
  • identify the specific learning needs, provide tailored programmes which engage students in their learning and promote their progress
  • closely monitor and record students’ progress.

Senior leaders and trustees effectively use student achievement information to identify staff professional learning needs and programmes. Students are benefitting from this use of information. Leaders and teachers target areas of specific need and this helps to shape school goals. Resourcing decisions about intervention programmes are reliably informed by student achievement information.

Next Steps

Students could have a better understanding of how well they are achieving, what they are learning, why they are learning it and what they need to do to improve in that area.

The school’s charter targets could more specifically focus on accelerating the progress of those students who are achieving below or well below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These could be more usefully linked to other school documents that guide teaching practices.

3 Curriculum

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

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

The redeveloped school vision of 'Together we live and learn – Noho tahi ako tahi' guides the way adults and students interact with and learn alongside each other.

Teachers plan units of student learning collaboratively. This helps to build a shared understanding of expectations and effective teaching practices. Planning for reading, writing and mathematics is tailored to the needs of individual students in each class.

Other positive features of the school curriculum include the ways in which:

  • the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics are interwoven through the other learning areas
  • students take part in rich learning experiences within and beyond the school
  • teachers provide hands-on learning experiences for students
  • students are motivated by the use of everyday learning contexts
  • teachers in junior classes place an emphasis on developing students’ oral language.

Learning environments are orderly and interesting. Student behaviour is managed positively and they enjoy very caring relationships between them and their teachers.

Students’ wellbeing is supported by:

  • an extensive range of programmes and initiatives
  • leaders and teachers making sure students are placed in classes where they will feel secure
  • the practice that 'no student misses out', for example, by helping out with providing food and/or uniforms and ensuring all children have access to all activities
  • the school working effectively with outside agencies
  • strengthened systems to ensure that all students are the responsibility of all adults at the school
  • teachers who up-skill themselves to be sure they understand specific students’ needs.

Reviews and reports on the teaching and learning in each subject area are evaluative and focused on improvement. In the process of gathering this information, opinions and ideas have been sought from students, teachers and parents.

Next Step

The quality of curriculum review and reports could be further improved by strengthening links to the intentions of the school goals and curriculum objectives.

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

The school is quickly building a kawa and tikanga (culture) that promotes educational success as Māori. The principal is providing very effective leadership in this. He models and enables teachers to see the value in continuing to extend their knowledge and confidence in te ao Māori.

The school is effectively using Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success to guide planning to ensure that Māori students enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori. School leaders and teachers have high expectations for Māori students and work together to ensure all students make appropriate progress to achieve success.

Students and teachers learn, hear and use some te reo Māori throughout their school day. This is well supported by an action plan and kete of resources for teachers. Māori students and the school community are learning more about tikanga Māori through events and activities such as Matariki celebrations, whānau hui, mihi whakatau and kapa haka.

A next step for the school is to review how well learning programmes and the school environment reflect New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and Māori perspectives.

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 capacity and capability of the new board to govern the school effectively is increasing as it develops more ownership and understanding of the school’s governance framework. Trustees are all learning together, participating in training, and taking a strategic approach to board succession. They are well informed about student achievement and the impact of some school programmes. Resourcing decisions are based on student achievement and progress information.

The new principal is placing a strong focus on developing a community of learners. He is effectively leading staff professional learning and development (PLD). The significant changes introduced during his leadership have been effectively managed. His collaborative and consultative approach to leadership and change is helping them succeed. The principal and deputy principal reflect on what is happening and respond quickly. They have identified what structures and processes were working well, built on these, and developed other initiatives and systems.

Next Step

In light of recent changes and initiatives, the school has identified, and ERO agrees that these need time to consolidate. It is important for the board to know how well these are embedded, can be sustained and their impact on student wellbeing, progress and achievement. Robust self review should provide them with this information and inform future strategic planning.

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. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is satisfactory.

The international student’s welfare is monitored by her teachers and the principal. The student’s English language learning needs are being well provided for. The child's educational needs are being very well met and closely monitored. The board could be regularly informed about how well school programmes are meeting international students’ needs.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

10 June 2014

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3776

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

243

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls: 54% Boys: 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific Island

Asian

Other ethnicities

75%

12%

3%

4%

6%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

10 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

May 2007

June 2004