Manurewa Central School

Education Review Office Report (ERO)

ERO External Evaluation
Manurewa Central School

1 - Context

Manurewa Central School was established in 1906. Many of the students, community members and staff share long-standing connections with the school. The school is attractively maintained, well resourced and provides a high quality learning environment for children.

The school's long-serving principal is well supported by a professional senior leadership team and board. They work collaboratively to promote ongoing school improvement and positive outcomes for students. The board and senior leaders see the school's diverse community as its strength. Maori students make up 23 percent of students, 25 percent have Pacific heritage and 24 percent are of Indian ethnicity. A highly inclusive school culture underpins student learning and wellbeing

ERO's 2012 report on the school highlighted its welcoming environment for students and parents. Students achieved well and benefited from extensive learning opportunities. Next steps for further enhancing school performance included more clearly defining effective teaching and learning strategies for teachers, and formalising self review to further promote student learning.

The senior leadership team and board have made good progress since the 2012 ERO review. High quality self review and learner-centred teaching approaches have been instrumental in consolidating the school's systems and practices for supporting student wellbeing and achievement.

To the Parents and Community of Manurewa Central School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office's latest report on Manurewa Central School.

2 - Equity and Excellence

The school's vision 'Ka ako te tamaiti katoa - every child will learn' and its motto of 'effort brings reward' guide the school's work to promote equity and excellence for all and are strongly promoted throughout the school. Valued outcomes for all learners in this school community focus on learners:

  • engaging well in learning, taking responsibility for their personal learning, being creative and critical thinkers and life-long learners

  • feeling confident, secure, accepted and sucessful

  • being confident in their own culture, and accepting and celebrating cultural diversity

  • respecting self, others and the school environment

The school's achievement information shows that a large majority of students, including Maori and Pacific, achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall levels of achievement have reached, or are very close to reaching government goals for 2017 of 85% of students achieving or exceeding these standards.

Maori students achieve at levels consistent with other students in the school. School leaders and teachers closely track Maori students who need additional support to achieve the standards. Information gathered shows that the school has very good levels of success in accelerating the progress of these students, with a large proportion of students achieving the appropriate National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics by the time they complete their schooling at Manurewa Central

Pacific students generally achieve at similar levels to Maori and other students in the school. Those needing additional help with learning are also well identified and benefit from the ongoing individualised support provided for all targeted students through a range of in-class and other targeted interventions.

Data also show some gender-based differences, with the overall achievement of girls exceeding that of boys. This is evident from Year 3 onwards, especially in writing. The school has set achievement targets since 2013 to raise boys' achievement and teachers continue to work with identified individuals and groups to improve learning outcomes. Significant improvements in boys' writing achievement over the past three years points to the increasing effectiveness of the school's teaching and learning strategies. School leaders and teachers continue to focus on further reducing this disparity.

Since the 2012 ERO evaluation the school has worked actively to promote positive outcomes for all learners. School strategic goals and targets prioritise equity. Systems and processes for tracking and monitoring student progress continue to develop. They are used well to promote flexible teaching programmes that respond to student needs and aspirations. Teacher professional learning and development is well matched to goals and targets for student learning. High levels of parent and whānau support for and involvement in the school helps strengthen learning partnerships between teachers and families.

These developments have been effective.

3 - Accelerating Achievement

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

The school responds very well to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Inquiry-based teaching, culturally responsive classroom practices and a values-based curriculum help maintain a clear focus on inclusiveness and the promotion of equitable outcomes for students. Charter targets and strategic plans prioritise Māori achievement. Systems and process for identifying and responding to the needs of at risk Māori learners are well implemented. They result in accelerated progress for a significant proportion of these students. Senior leaders and teachers are continuing to refine these approaches.

The inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori into classroom programmes reflects the school's understanding of The New Zealand Curriculum principles. It affirms and celebrates the cultural heritage, language and identity of Māori students. The school has a long-established involvement with the Kotahi group, and an ongoing commitment to promoting whanau involvement in the school. These positive connections support student success at the school.

Tuakana/teina relationships bring older and younger students together, building a sense of whanaungatanga and belonging for Māori. Wellbeing surveys and other strategies for gathering input from Māori students during 2014 and 2015 show increasing levels of satisfaction with opportunities the school provides for helping students to be successful in an environment that values and supports their culture. The introduction of Tama Toa, a confidence building programme, has been well received by Māori boys in Years 5 and 6.

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

The school responds very well to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. This group includes those with special learning needs and those with needs associated with learning English as an additional language. These students are identified through well established school-wide systems for scrutinising achievement data and other information relevant to children's successful engagement in learning.

They benefit from carefully considered group and individualised strategies and interventions that are planned collaboratively by teachers, team leaders and senior leaders with the students and their parents. Support provisions include targeted in-class strategies together with a variety of interventions delivered by specialist teachers and external agencies, where needed, as part of the school's holistic approach to meeting identified student needs.

Student progress is regularly tracked and reviewed. Information from these reviews is well used to refine and adapt programmes as needed to help maximise success for students. The principal's reporting to the board shows positive outcomes and accelerated progress for students involved in these interventions. High and increasing levels of student achievement are also evident in publicly available information about the school's performance.

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?

The school's curriculum and other organisational process and practices are very effective in promoting successful learning outcomes for students.

School conditions for supporting equity, excellence and ongoing improvement are well promoted through the close attention paid to ensuring students receive high standards of teaching and learning. Teachers and school leaders work collaboratively, using information gathered about student achievement, engagement in learning, and wellbeing to provide an inclusive and culturally responsive curriculum. Input from students and their families is an important element in decision making, helping to build strong learning-centred relationships between the school and its community. The school also participates in local education networks and clusters as part of a wider community focus on improving outcomes for students.

Professional development and performance appraisal for school leaders and teachers are well connected to school strategic goals and learning priorities for students. Teaching practice continues to progress in accordance with current research about effective teaching and learning. These features are reflected in the way the school's curriculum emphasises student wellbeing, personalised learning, learning-to-learn approaches, and the development of confident self-managing learners.

Students are provided with a well resourced and broad-based curriculum that offers a wide range of meaningful contexts for stimulating interest and engagement in learning. Settled classroom environments and child-centred teaching approaches result in high levels of student participation in learning activities. The integration of digital learning technologies in teaching programmes enriches student learning opportunities, and is underpinned by a strong emphasis on ensuring equity of access for students.

The principal and senior leaders serve the school well. Leadership is distributed across teaching teams to build teacher capability and further extend the school's professional and improvement-focused culture. Self-review practices are well established and generate high quality information to guide ongoing curriculum development and organisational adaptations, as needed.

The board of trustees exercises capable stewardship. Trustees work productively with the principal and staff, and board decisions are based on well evaluated self-review information from school leaders, teachers and other relevant sources. Trustees maintain a clear focus in their discussions and decision making on student outcomes, and demonstrate a strong sense of duty of care for students.

5 - Going Forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children who need their learning and achievement accelerated

  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child

  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is workjing for these children

  • act on what they know works well for each child

  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

Manurewa Central School is well placed to sustain current very good practices and ongoing improvement. Its vision and values derive from strong and enduring commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming learning environment that supports equity and excellence in student outcomes. Any disparity in student success is responded to with a sense of urgency and shared endeavour by senior leaders, teachers and the board.

Senior leaders foster a professional school culture that is open to change, challenge and innovation. Board trustees bring a range of skills and expertise to their work. They resource the school very well, and are highly mindful of their responsibility to represent the school's diverse community.

High expectations of students and staff are evident. Teaching approaches reflect school leaders' and teachers' knowledge and understanding of effective practices in the modern-day world. Learning-focused partnerships with students and parents are seen as a key component of school success. Strong connections between home and school contribute to students' emotional security and engagement in learning.

Next steps self-identified by school leaders and the board include continuing:

  • to progress work on valued student outcomes and associated indicators for these outcomes

  • with learning-to-learn and self-managing approaches to further support equity and excellence in student outcomes

  • to integrate Treaty of Waitangi principles within the school environment

  • to implement modern learning practices and school processes for reporting to parents about student progress and achievement.

These next steps should be beneficial to the future development of the school and for strengthening its capacity to sustain and continue to improve educational outcomes for students.

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

7 - Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to use internal evaluation to promote excellence and equity in outcomes for all students

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern
23 May 2016

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school, print this page or download the pdf - here