ERO Report 2019
Makara Model School
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Education institution number:
04 476 9522
399 Makara Road, Karori, Wellington
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19 OCT 2015
Makara Model School is a small rural school near the southwestern Wellington coast, catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Of the 68 students enrolled, 14% are Māori. Significant roll growth has occurred since the August 2015 ERO review, resulting in the addition of a fourth teacher.
The school’s vision is to be a high quality, progressive, inclusive learning environment for children. Valued outcomes are kindness, mindfulness and respect. The philosophy underpinning teaching and learning emphasises the importance of manaakitanga, caring for the wellbeing of others.
Goals and targets for student achievement in 2019 are to accelerate the progress of those at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics. There is an ongoing focus on strengthening inclusive education.
Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:
achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
progress and achievement in relation to school targets.
The school has a large garden and heated swimming pool. These support a focus on water safety and the environment, valued by this coastal community. The school is an Enviroschool.
A long-standing principal leads the school. There have been significant changes in staff and trustees since the previous ERO review. A deputy principal was appointed from existing staff in 2018. Two teachers commenced at the school at the start of 2019.
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 continues to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for learners.
In 2018, school information showed that almost all students achieved at and above the school expectations in writing, with most achieving at and above expectations in reading and mathematics.
Māori learners’ achievement in 2018 was slightly above that of their non-Māori peers in the core curriculum areas. Boys and girls had similar rates of achievement.
1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?
School data for 2018 shows that, through the implementation of targeted class programmes and interventions, the majority of students identified as at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics, had made accelerated progress by the end of the year.
Appropriate achievement targets are set by trustees and leaders and a range of systems, processes and strategies is used to identify, track and address the individual needs of students at risk of not achieving at expected curriculum levels.
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?
School trustees, leaders and teachers have a strong focus on fostering students’ wellbeing. Manaakitanga is effectively promoted through the emphasis on the outcomes of mindfulness, kindness and respect. Children benefit from being part of a close-knit, friendly and inclusive learning community. Relationships across all levels, including tuakana teina, are respectful and productive, contributing to the positive culture. Community interest and involvement are high. Parents and whānau take part in school activities and are encouraged to actively contribute to their children’s learning goals.
Children benefit from participating in a range of authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Opportunities are made available for older students to lead aspects of school life. All children participate in learning contexts that reflect Māori culture and language. The use of the natural environment enriches the curriculum.
Leaders and teachers work collaboratively with whānau and external agencies to identify and implement strategies that enable children with additional needs to be successful. Responsive planning and resourcing contribute to effective provision for those with complex needs. Active participation in the life of the school and ongoing positive interaction with peers supports these children’s academic and social progress.
A range of communication strategies usefully share information about students’ achievement, school developments and events. Reports to parents provide information about children’s strengths and next learning steps in reading, writing and mathematics, and progress in relation to key competencies and other curriculum areas.
Targeted professional development promotes improved teacher capability aligned to school priorities and individual needs. Teachers collaborate, research, reflect and inquire into their practice in ongoing ways to improve outcomes for students.
Trustees actively represent and serve the community through their stewardship of the school. Relevant training and support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association has been accessed to assist them in their roles and responsibilities. They receive regular updates about student achievement and generously fund initiatives and interventions to improve teaching and learning.
2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?
Leaders and trustees are positive about ongoing development and agree their key next steps for development include:
adopting a framework to support a more structured approach to internal evaluation and developing a shared understanding of the process across all levels of the school. This should better inform decision making about strategic direction, and the effectiveness of teaching strategies, programmes, learning interventions and operation in improving student outcomes.
leaders and teachers undertaking more in-depth analysis of achievement data for those individual and groups of students at risk, to clearly show their rates of progress and acceleration. This should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to better measure the impact of practices on these learners’ outcomes.
reviewing and updating curriculum guidelines to ensure they reflect current practice and the expectations and values of the community. Developments should include identification of:
valued outcomes for Māori learners, determined in collaboration with whānau Māori
expectations for effective culturally responsive practices across all learning areas
a localised curriculum
guidelines for moderation practices in reading, writing and mathematics.
school leaders further embedding the use of the revised appraisal process, particularly in relation to the curation of evidence of practice, and evaluation of teacher impact on learner outcomes.
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:
management of health, safety and welfare
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
school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
4 ERO’s Overall Judgement
On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Makara Model School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.
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:
achieving outcomes for students that are equitable for all groups and show consistently good levels of achievement
implementing pastoral care and inclusive practices that systematically respond to students’ needs, promote their wellbeing and support their learning success
maintaining close community connections that promote parent and whānau participation in the school and their children’s learning.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:
internal evaluation that effectively measures the impact of practices and programmes on outcomes for students and supports decisions about priorities
curriculum review to support improved cultural responsiveness, and guidelines for some aspects of teaching and learning
embedding the appraisal process with a particular focus on the curation of evidence of practice and measurement of teacher impact on student outcomes.
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
2 May 2019