ERO 2009

 

 

EDUCATION REVIEW REPORT
MORRINSVILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL

AUGUST 2009

 

1............ About the School

2............ The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

3............ The Focus of the Review

4............ Areas of National Interest

5............ Board Assurance on Compliance Areas

6............ Recommendations

7............ Future Action

              Community Page


Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically.  However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO Corporate Office in Wellington.  Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, http://www.ero.govt.nz, for ERO office addresses.

This report has been prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.1.           About the School

Location

Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number

1834

School type

Contributing Primary (Year 1-6)

Decile rating[1]

4

Teaching staff:
       Roll generated entitlement 
       Other
       Number of teachers


14.10
15.20
16

School roll

263

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls 54%
Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European 47%, 
New Zealand Māori 46%, Cambodian 3%, 
Indian 2%, Other 2%

Special features

Attached Teacher
Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour

Review team on site

July 2009

Date of this report

07 August 2009

Previous ERO reports

Education Review Report, October 2006
Education Review Report, August 2003
Accountability Review, December 1999
Assurance Audit, February 1996
Effectiveness Review, December 1993
Review, July 1991

2.           The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Morrinsville Primary School is situated in the township of Morrinsville and caters for students in Years 1 to 6.  The review team was on site in July 2009.  The board of trustees continues to provide a highly functional and well-maintained physical environment.  A new technology centre, Te Ara a Tawhaki, is well-resourced and provides students with access to up-to-date information and communications technologies.

The school gathers a wide range of assessment information in literacy and numeracy.  Achievement information from 2008 indicates that most students school wide, including Māori, were making expected progress in relation to national expectations in reading, writing and numeracy.  In Year 6, students were exceeding national expectations in numeracy by the end of the year.  A feature of the writing programme in 2009 is the identification and close monitoring of writing target groups in each class.  Assessment information to date shows that these groups of students are making good progress against national exemplars.  The board has provided additional teacher and teacher aide assistance to support students with special learning needs.  Extension groups are in place in the senior school for mathematics, science and English.

Whanaungatanga is highly valued and evident in the culture of the school.  Many families appreciate the school’s open door policy and their contribution to sporting and cultural activities is appreciated.  Positive student, teacher and peer relationships are evident in the school’s environment.  The board of trustees provides a safe physical and emotional environment for students.

Teachers have had continued involvement in literacy professional development over the last few years which has impacted positively on student progress and achievement in reading and writing.  In addition, teachers have developed their confidence in the use of aspects of formative assessment and effective teaching strategies in classroom programmes.  Students would now benefit from opportunities to take greater responsibility for and ownership of their learning.

The experienced principal is well-respected by teachers and community members.  The recent reorganisation of the senior leadership team acknowledges and makes best use of senior managers’ strengths and talents.  The literacy leaders are using a consistent and methodical approach to providing teachers with a sound basis for literacy development across the school.  There is now a need to review the rate of progress the school is making towards implementing the New Zealand Curriculum for 2010.

The board of trustees is enthusiastic and committed to its role of governing the school.  It has established a comprehensive strategic statement for 2009.  Attention to policy review and embracing the intent of Ka Hikitia strategy for Māori engagement and success for learning should further enhance and strengthen school governance.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report.  ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

3.           The Focus of the Review

Student Achievement Overall

ERO’s education reviews focus on student achievement.  What follows is a statement about what the school knows about student achievement overall.

The school gathers a wide range of standardised assessment information in literacy and mathematics. 

In 2008, information in reading, using Supplementary Tests of Achievement in Reading (STAR) and writing using Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (asTTle) for Years 4 to 6, show that most students are achieving at age appropriate levels in comparison to national expectations.  Student achievement information in writing in Years 1 to 3 in 2008 using the national exemplars indicates that considerable progress has been made by most students since entry to school. 

The school identifies the achievement of its Māori students in literacy and mathematics.  In 2008, senior Māori girls made significant progress in reading and writing and were achieving in line with national expectations.  In addition, Māori boys made the most gains in literacy in comparison with other cohorts.

In 2008, school target information for numeracy shows that Year 2 students, including Māori, were achieving at national expectations.  By Year 6 most were exceeding national expectations as shown by the numeracy stages.  Students in Years 4 to 6 including Māori identified as being at risk in their learning made significant gains against national expectations in mathematics.

Outcomes from the analysis and interpretation of the 2008 targets have enabled management and teachers to set more focused student achievement targets for 2009.

Students experience success in a range of sporting codes, cultural events and external competitions.

School Specific Priorities

Before the review, the board of Morrinsville Primary School was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO.  ERO also used documentation provided by the school to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the board of trustees.  This discussion focused on existing information held by the school (including student achievement and self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to the achievement of the students at Morrinsville Primary School.

ERO and the board have agreed on the following focus areas for the review:

·          systems and initiatives that influence student achievement, particularly in literacy.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

Systems and Initiatives that Influence Student Achievement, Particularly in Literacy

Background

Since the last review the school has had a focus on literacy with specific attention given to improving students’ writing.  This emphasis is involving work on developing an effective literacy environment across the school.  Through a strategic approach the school is aiming to improve teacher knowledge across a range of literacy dimensions and strengthen the involvement of school leadership in developing a professional learning community.  The board of trustees and ERO agreed to evaluate systems and initiatives that influence student achievement, particularly in literacy.

Areas of good performance

Professional development:  Teachers have been involved in effective and sustained professional development in aspects of literacy since the last review.  Currently, the school is involved in a Ministry of Education literacy development contract using an outside facilitator.  This facilitator has assisted the school in developing an action plan to increase teacher knowledge and understanding in written language.  In addition to this contract, staff have sought other relevant courses to enhance their knowledge, understanding and implementation of literacy programmes.  Teachers have become proactive in accessing relevant readings and ongoing professional dialogue is a feature of staff and team meetings.  Ongoing professional development has impacted positively on student achievement in literacy.

Literacy leadership:  The knowledgeable senior leadership team, including the Special Education Needs Coordinator, provides strong direction and support for literacy development school wide.  This team meets regularly with the literacy contract facilitator to assess school-wide needs and to plan a programme of development that meets the ongoing requirements of all staff.  Within this programme, teachers are observed and receive valuable feedback based on the goals of the action plan.  A consistent and methodical approach by the literacy team is providing teachers with a sound basis for writing development across the school.

Learning environments:  Classroom environments are attractive, well organised and enhance students’ learning.  Students’ work is valued and well displayed.  Learning prompts, frameworks and activities support their literacy development.  Learning centres such as writing tables and library corners encourage exploration of language in a range of relevant contexts.  Students benefit from environments that motivate and reinforce their learning. 

Teaching strategies:  Teachers use a variety of effective literacy teaching strategies.  Some positive examples include:

·         teachers conferencing individual students;

·         the use of cameo writing as a teaching model;

·         differentiated groups for learning;

·         peer discussion and feedback between students;

·         extension groups in the senior school;

·         integration of literacy across the curriculum;

·         buddy reading programme; and

·         teachers using a structured format for the teaching of writing.

In addition, teacher aides and part-time teachers are used to support individuals and groups of identified learners.

Students are enthusiastic and engaged in reading and writing activities.

Formative assessment:  Teachers are progressively using aspects of formative assessment in classroom practice.  Learning intentions and success criteria are being increasingly shared with students.  Teachers make good use of modelling books and verbal and written feedback to students.  Teachers’ evaluation books include observational information on individual student achievement.  Teachers know their students well.  Students are becoming increasingly aware of the purpose of their learning.

Use of assessment information:  The identification and ongoing monitoring of targeted students is a feature of the literacy programme.  As part of the current professional development each teacher has identified a group of students with special literacy learning needs.  Ongoing detailed monitoring of these students has enabled teachers to address their specific needs.  Within the classroom programme these groups of students are making good progress in their knowledge, understanding and use of literacy functions.

Relationships:  Whanaungatanga is evident and highly valued in interactions in the school.  Relationships among teachers, students and parents/whānau are positive and respectful.  Families enjoy the school’s open door policy and their participation in cultural and sporting events, as well as Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) activities.  The school and community work together in the best interests of students.

Board support:  The board of trustees, through its 2009 strategic statement, demonstrates ongoing commitment to providing an education that meets the needs of students and their families.  Recently developed facilities such as the new Te Ara a Tawhaki computer suite, generous staffing provision and resourcing, all contribute strongly to raising student achievement.

Areas for improvement

Governance documentation:  While the board of trustees has undertaken some policy review many policies need to be updated and a cycle of review established to ensure that all policies/procedures remain current.  Attention to policy rationalisation and review should enhance the board’s governance and provide support and guidance for the day-to-day management of the school.

School charter:  The school mission statement is evident around the school.  There is a need to further develop understanding and ownership of the mission/vision, principles and values through consultation with the school and its community.  This process is likely to lead to a stronger sense of identity and purpose for the school’s learning community.

Independent learners:  Teachers are in the early stages of implementing good formative assessment practice in their classrooms.  Students could be further involved in goal setting and monitoring their own learning.  Teachers sharing and giving ownership of assessment information to students is likely to encourage them to understand and take more responsibility in becoming self-managing learners.

4.           Areas of National Interest

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole to Government to be used as the basis for long-term and systemic educational improvement.  ERO also provides information about the education sector for schools, parents and the community through its national reports.

To do this ERO decides on topics and investigates them for a specific period in all applicable schools nationally.

During the review of Morrinsville Primary School ERO investigated and reported on the following areas of national interest.  The findings are included in this report so that information about the school is transparent and widely available.

Success for Māori Students: Progress

In this review, ERO evaluated the extent to which the school was familiar with the Māori Education Strategy – Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success and progress made since the last review in promoting success at school for Māori students.

The school reports it has not yet discussed the document but expects to do so in the near future.

Refer Section: School specific priorities, which also applies to this area.

Area of progress

Engagement with the Māori community:  The staff and board of trustees have maintained positive relationships with the Māori community.  Māori parents are well represented on the board and in early 2009 consultation with the local iwi took place. This included the naming of the new technology unit and protocols surrounding the blessing and opening of the building Te Ara a Tawhaki.

Area for further improvement

Strengthening the Māori dimension:  Progress has been made in developing aspects of te reo me nga tikanga.  This is an area that could be strengthened by further developing the competence and confidence of the leadership team and teachers in the use of te reo and tikanga practices. 

Implementing the New Zealand Curriculum in 2010

Progress to date

In preparing for teaching the New Zealand Curriculum in 2010 the school has had two professional development days looking at the core values and key competencies.  It  has now included these within the school’s English implementation plan.

Next steps

The school has decided that its priorities for preparation over the next three to six months are to extend the English implementation plan model into the mathematics implementation plan.

Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Morrinsville Primary 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.  This is a requirement of all schools that enrol international students in terms of the Act.  Schools are also required to provide English language support for their international students.

The school complies with all aspects of the Code.

Area of good performance

Provision for international students:  The international student is well provided for in learning programmes, pastoral care and inclusion in the life of the school.  He is well settled, enjoys his learning, and has positive relationships with his teachers and his peers. 

Area for improvement

Reporting progress and achievement:  The principal should regularly report to the board about the progress and achievement of the international student.

5.           Board Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Morrinsville Primary School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  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; and

·          asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

·          emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);

·          physical safety of students;

·          teacher registration;

·          stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and

·          attendance.

Compliance

In order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

5.1       that the associate principals have an annual attestation against the appropriate professional standards; and

5.2       that the annual appraisal of the principal include future directions and recommendations to provide him with specific direction for professional growth and school improvement.

6.           Recommendations

ERO recommends that:

6.1       the board of trustees seek appropriate training to strengthen its roles and responsibilities in self review;

6.2       the principal and leadership team further develop the understanding and ownership of the mission/vision, principles and values of the school charter through consultation with the school community; and 

6.3       the board of trustees and staff in cooperation and collaboration with its local Māori community review and develop its strategic intent and approach to managing for success its Māori students to reflect the three key underlining principles of the Ministry of Education’s “Māori Education Strategy” Ka Hikitia.

7.           Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interests of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report.  ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

 

 

 

 


Dr Graham Stoop

Chief Review Officer

7 August 2009

7 August 2009

To the Parents and Community of Morrinsville Primary School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Morrinsville Primary School.

Morrinsville Primary School is situated in the township of Morrinsville and caters for students in Years 1 to 6.  The review team was on site in July 2009.  The board of trustees continues to provide a highly functional and well-maintained physical environment.  A new technology centre, Te Ara a Tawhaki, is well-resourced and provides students with access to up-to-date information and communications technologies.

The school gathers a wide range of assessment information in literacy and numeracy.  Achievement information from 2008 indicates that most students school wide, including Māori, were making expected progress in relation to national expectations in reading, writing and numeracy.  In Year 6, students were exceeding national expectations in numeracy by the end of the year.  A feature of the writing programme in 2009 is the identification and close monitoring of writing target groups in each class.  Assessment information to date shows that these groups of students are making good progress against national exemplars.  The board has provided additional teacher and teacher aide assistance to support students with special learning needs.  Extension groups are in place in the senior school for mathematics, science and English.

Whanaungatanga is highly valued and evident in the culture of the school.  Many families appreciate the school’s open door policy and their contribution to sporting and cultural activities is appreciated.  Positive student, teacher and peer relationships are evident in the school’s environment.  The board of trustees provides a safe physical and emotional environment for students.

Teachers have had continued involvement in literacy professional development over the last few years which has impacted positively on student progress and achievement in reading and writing.  In addition, teachers have developed their confidence in the use of aspects of formative assessment and effective teaching strategies in classroom programmes.  Students would now benefit from opportunities to take greater responsibility for and ownership of their learning.

The experienced principal is well-respected by teachers and community members.  The recent reorganisation of the senior leadership team acknowledges and makes best use of senior managers’ strengths and talents.  The literacy leaders are using a consistent and methodical approach to providing teachers with a sound basis for literacy development across the school.  There is now a need to review the rate of progress the school is making towards implementing the New Zealand Curriculum for 2010.

The board of trustees is enthusiastic and committed to its role of governing the school.  It has established a comprehensive strategic statement for 2009.  Attention to policy review and embracing the intent of Ka Hikitia strategy for Māori engagement and success for learning should further enhance and strengthen school governance.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report.  ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

 

 

 

 


Dr Graham Stoop

Chief Review Officer

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews.  The purpose of each review is to:

·         improve educational achievement in schools; and

·         provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on three review strands.

·         School Specific Priorities – the quality of education and the impact of school policies and practices on student achievement.

·         Areas of National Interest – information about how Government policies are working in schools.

·         Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this school has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement.  A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a school is performing poorly in relation to that issue.  There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this school.

 

[1] Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage,
Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage.