Ormiston Primary School - 24/12/2015

New School Assurance Review Report

Findings

Ormiston Primary School has made a good start in providing an innovative model of teaching and learning. A personalised and responsive curriculum supports students to become confident, self-managing learners. Students demonstrate high levels of engagement and are affirming of their school. Trustees and leaders provide effective governance and leadership.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools.

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Ormiston Primary School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Ormiston Primary School opened in February 2015 and caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school is part of the Ormiston Community Campus that currently consists of the primary school and senior college, with the junior college due to open on an adjacent site in 2017.

The school roll is currently 180. The school will ultimately provide for up to 700 students. Roll growth has been rapid, particularly in the junior area of the school. Students have been enrolled from a number of different schools and early childhood centres.

The school is a host school for the Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC). Currently 15 hearing-impaired students across Years 1 to 6 attend the school. The inclusion of KDEC staff and students is valued.

The setup phase of the new school, including developing governance and management frameworks, has been capably led and managed by the establishment board and governance facilitator, the principal (Leader of Learning) and two senior leaders (Associate Leaders of Learning).

3 Findings

The Ormiston Primary School vision guides the school’s curriculum design and implementation. The school’s curriculum is clearly aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum and incorporates elements of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum.

Notable features of the school’s curriculum include:

  • a personalised approach to learning
  • relevant learning contexts that reflect and build on children’s interests
  • approaches that are well grounded in current educational research and literature
  • the use of digital technologies as an integral part of teaching and learning.

The school’s four vision principles (curious, collaborative, connected and capable) underpin teaching and learning programmes, and provide a framework for many other aspects of school operations.

Children are highly engaged in their learning. They value opportunities to be involved in decision making about their learning and many aspects of daily school operations, including major school events. Children at all year levels have meaningful opportunities to take on leadership roles.

Teachers use the modern learning environment well to enable children to make choices, share learning, and work both independently and collaboratively. Open and shared teaching spaces allow flexibility for teachers and children in learning interactions.

Assessment processes have been established for monitoring children’s progress and achievement. Parents receive regular information about their children’s learning through narrative assessments, learning stories and reporting in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Trustees receive ongoing reports about student progress and achievement.

School leaders have established an inclusive and welcoming culture. The use of New Zealand sign language is well embedded as part of school culture. Teachers and children are confident and increasingly fluent in using NZ sign language as part of all school activities. For many of the children this is their third or fourth language. Parents affirm the way in which teachers engage their children, stimulate their enthusiasm for learning and are growing their confidence and self-management skills.

Senior leaders are working strategically to implement the school vision and direction. They provide good support for teachers as they continue to develop shared understanding of teaching and learning approaches and embed good practices. School appraisal systems are being implemented in a way that contributes to building a reflective school culture. Induction of new staff will be ongoing as the school continues to grow.

The diverse cultural makeup of the school population reflects the school community. One of the ongoing development points for school leaders is to ensure that the curriculum is responsive to the children’s context and cultural heritage while also reflecting the school’s commitment to honouring bi-culturalism. The earlier consultation with iwi in the development stage of the school will provide a foundation for this work.

The establishment board and senior leaders have been proactive in establishing effective communication with the parent community. Parents value the school’s open door policy and feel welcome at the school. School leaders are continuing to develop opportunities for parents to engage with the school’s approach to teaching and learning, to ensure that parents are kept informed about all aspects of their children’s education. Digital learning technologies are helping to build partnerships in learning between the children, their home and the school.

Good strategic planning and documentation are providing a sound platform to guide school development. Self-review processes have been established, including a board work plan to guide self review. Leaders and trustees are continuing to refine systems to implement the school’s vision for learning and to promote continuous improvement. They are considering how they can continue to build leadership skills and capability to best support the next phases of school development.

Trustees bring a depth of experience and expertise to their roles, and are continuing to build individual and collective capability. The Establishment Board is also responsible for the establishment of Ormiston Junior College. Trustees are considering strategies to ensure a well-managed transition to an elected board of trustees to serve both schools in 2017.

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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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 students' 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.

Conclusion

Ormiston Primary School has made a good start in providing an innovative model of teaching and learning. A personalised and responsive curriculum supports students to become confident, self-managing learners. Students demonstrate high levels of engagement and are affirming of their school. Trustees and leaders provide effective governance and leadership.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

School Statistics

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

688

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

180

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Cambodian

Fijian

Middle Eastern

other Asian

other

3%

7%

26%

25%

10%

10%

5%

3%

11%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

24 December 2015