2016 ERO Review

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Matipo Road School Te Atatu, Auckland
Education Review Office External Evaluation

ERO External Evaluation Matipo Road School

1 Context

Matipo Road School on the Te Atatu Peninsula, West Auckland, caters for students from Years 1 to 6. A culturally diverse mix of students, as well as a number of second generation families, attend the school. Approximately fifteen percent of students identify as Māori and nine percent of students are of Pacific heritage. The school has a growing roll.

Matipo Road School is an integral part of the Te Atatu community. It has a positive profile in the area and is enriched by numerous local associations and partnerships. The school is a member of the recently established Te Atatu Community of Learning that comprises a number of learning services in the area.

The school is served by experienced and knowledgeable trustees who bring a rich variety of backgrounds and expertise to their governance role. The long-serving principal and staff promote a strong ethos of care for students, their parents and whānau.

Respectful and affirming practices help students to have a sense of belonging and security while at school. The school’s culture is welcoming, inclusive and maintains a strong focus on students’ wellbeing, progress and achievement.

2 Equity and excellence

The school has a vision for achieving excellent and equitable outcomes for all learners. Its vision, philosophy, and values form strong foundations for learning. Teachers use students’ backgrounds, interests, strengths and needs well to inform programme planning. There is a strong expectation for teachers to ‘know me, before you teach me’. Positive relationships are regarded by the school as essential to meaningful learning, and to promoting equity and excellence in student outcomes.

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are visible and clearly embedded in its culture. Parents comment that the school values of Mana, Aroha, Wero and Kia Kaha are widely understood and practised. Students learn in a positive, caring environment that develops children holistically. Teachers foster a school culture where students experience success, challenge and the joy of learning.
The school’s achievement information shows that over the last three years students have been achieving very well against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2014 and 2015 more than 85% of students achieved at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students and students from Pacific backgrounds achieve well, although at lower levels than other students. An ongoing challenge for the school is to decrease the disparity between the achievement of Māori and Pacific and other students. School leaders have also identified the need to continue to raise the achievement of Māori and Pacific students in writing and mathematics. Other individual students whose progress and achievement in writing and mathematics needs to be accelerated have been also been identified.

Since the 2011 ERO report, teachers have participated in internal and external professional learning programmes to accelerate student progress in reading, writing, and mathematics. They have implemented well considered and resourced mathematics and writing intervention programmes.

Staff and students have also benefited from professional learning programmes in te reo Māori and te Ao Māori. The appointment of a te reo teacher is supporting the teaching of te reo and tikanga Māori in authentic contexts across the school. Students of all ages have the opportunity to participate in kapa haka and pōwhiri. Collectively these practices help to affirm and promote Māori students’ pride in their language, culture and identity.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Matipo Road School is increasingly effective in responding to Māori students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school has a Māori Education Plan and a specific aim to accelerate Māori achievement in writing. Identification of learner strengths and needs comes from students’ individualised personal learning goals. This information is gathered from parents and whānau, previous teachers and from students themselves. Progress against goals is updated, monitored and responded to on an ongoing basis.

Targeted teaching programmes in writing and mathematics respond well to the needs of Māori students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school employs two specialist teachers in writing and mathematics. Identified students attend classes provided by these specialists four days a week, in addition to their participation in regular class-based writing and mathematics programmes. Achievement information provided by the school shows that the majority of students in these programmes made accelerated progress in 2015. These successful initiatives are continuing in 2016. Students’ progress is shared with parents and whānau in a number of ways.

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

The school is increasingly effective in responding to other students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. School leaders analyse achievement data well. They inquire into emerging trends for specific year levels, groups and individual students. As a result teachers and leaders know which students are at risk of not achieving. This includes a group of Pacific students, and a Pasifika Education Plan has been developed with a specific aim of accelerating their achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has good systems to record and respond to students’ individual learning needs. Leaders work with teachers and external agencies to ensure that students have access to appropriate interventions and resources. Teachers collaborate well and share good practice to promote accelerated progress for students. They plan appropriate learning programmes and a new software programme is aiding the process of tracking of students’ progress over time. Teacher aides provide additional learning support in classrooms. These strategies contribute to high levels of student engagement in classrooms and improved learning outcomes for targeted students.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

Matipo Road School’s curriculum and organisational processes are very effective.

The school’s curriculum reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It appropriately prioritises reading, writing and mathematics as the foundations of learning. Leaders and teachers use innovative approaches and a school inquiry model that is responsive to the strengths and interests of students. The school’s outdoor environment and well resourced art, music and performing arts facilities help enact the school’s vision, values and commitment to holistic education.

Students experience a culturally rich curriculum with opportunities to learn te reo Māori, Samoan and Mandarin. The broad curriculum includes many lunchtime and after school activities, and education outside the classroom learning opportunities.

Self review is used effectively to inform next steps of school development. Leaders have reviewed the school’s progress against the school’s improvement plan, its future focus plans and ERO’s recently published School Evaluation Indicators. It could now be useful to use these school evaluation indicators at the board level.

Teachers and students benefit from high quality school leadership that is underpinned by a moral imperative to promote equity and excellence. There is an appropriate sense of urgency to do things differently and better to raise student achievement.

The principal is future focussed and successfully promotes continuous improvement. School leaders provide clear guidelines and expectations for staff. They promote and value the strengths and contributions of all staff. Ongoing professional development and a collaborative school culture builds staff capacity and provides opportunities for teachers to take on leadership roles. Leaders use relevant external expertise well to build teacher capacity for improvement and innovation.

Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in the school. Good communication systems inform parents about students’ learning and engage them in partnerships for learning.

The board of trustees is representative of the school community. Trustees have a clear understanding of student progress and achievement. They utilise achievement information well to make strategic resourcing decisions. They are responsive to the needs of the community and facilitate active participation in the school. Good examples of this facilitation include the Friends of Matipo committee and the establishment of the parents’ room.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

The school is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children who need their learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.
  • Students are at the heart of Matipo Road School. Their learning and wellbeing are central to all decision making. The school whakatauki “I believe in you, I care about you, I value you” underpins the positive, affirming and high quality interactions between teachers and students.

There are effective systems and processes to manage the learning environment and ensure teachers know their learners’ backgrounds, strengths, interests and next learning steps. Transitions into the school and through class year levels are very well managed and responsive to the needs of individual students.

The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum and learning experiences, with many opportunities for students to experience success in the arts, sport, music and culture. Students are able to talk about how teachers help them to learn and how they make learning interesting, challenging and fun.

School leaders and ERO agree that the next steps in school development include continuing to:

  • align school documentation to reflect current school practice
  • refine the documentation of teacher appraisal processes
  • utilise the school software programme to clearly show student progress
  • promote te Ao Māori as an integral, authentic part of school life.

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

6 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 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students.
Matipo Road School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238Fof the Education Act 1989.

At the time of the review there were no International students 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 processes for international students are thorough.

7 Recommendations
ERO recommends that the school continues to develop its internal evaluation processes so that it can more clearly show progress for children whose achievement needs accelerating.

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern
1 June 2016

About the school
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