Ormond School - 12/12/2017

Findings

Very good progress has occurred since the 2015 ERO review.  Trustees and staff are focused on improving learning outcomes for all students. Progress has been made on reflective practice and reviews of school operation. Trustees, the principal and teachers now need to extend this to evidenced-informed internal evaluation.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Ormond School is a rural school for Years 1 to 6 students, 23 kilometres from Gisborne. The roll of 98 includes 43 Māori students.

Since the August 2015 ERO report, the school has experienced changes in personnel. A new principal and deputy principal were appointed at the start of 2016. A number of new trustees were elected in May 2016.

Community engagement continues to be a strong feature of the school.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The August 2015 ERO report included recommendations for:

  • the board and principal to strengthen the work with the school's community to determine what is valued and important for teaching and learning
  • the principal to lead the completion of the documentation that outlines the Ormond School curriculum and expectations for high quality teaching and learning
  • staff to further develop learning partnerships with parents and whānau, focused on student outcomes
  • the board and principal to ensure that there are clear processes for evaluating the effectiveness of curriculum provision
  • the principal to ensure that the board receives regular reports about student progress, particularly for those students at risk of not achieving
  • at classroom, senior management and board levels, further development of self-review practices that evaluate the effectiveness of what is happening for students.

Progress

In September 2015, the board of trustees and the principal, with support from the Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner, developed a plan in response to the areas for review and development identified in the previous ERO report.

The focus of this plan was to:

  • accelerate the achievement of target students
  • review and develop the school’s curriculum and ensure the school vision is clear, well understood and promoted
  • ensure clear, regular, two-way communication between parents, whānau and the school
  • develop agreed school-wide internal evaluation policy, practices and procedures
  • use internal evaluation procedures and practices for ongoing school improvement.

In 2016, following the appointment of the new principal, the SAF project focused on supporting the principal to implement the plan. Very good progress has been made in relation to all of these priorities.

Most students are achieving well. At the end of 2016 most students achieved well in reading writing and mathematics. Reading continues to be an area of strength. The school has yet to achieve equity for some Māori learners in reading and writing. They are achieving better than their peers in mathematics.

Since 2016 there has been a strategic focus on improving achievement in writing for all students.

There is a clear focus on Māori learners whose progress requires acceleration. Sound systems and processes have been developed to identify, track and monitor their progress. Through teacher inquiry, specific teaching strategies, programmes and interventions have been implemented to support students' learning. Teachers should continue to develop their analysis and evaluation of the impact of these initiatives on improving outcomes for students.

A cohesive, school-wide approach to assessment is in place. Teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools. They moderate their judgements about students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. This has improved the dependability of achievement information.

Trustees are regularly informed about student progress and achievement.

The introduction of three-way conferences has strengthened learning partnerships with parents and whānau. Parents are regularly informed about their child’s engagement, progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is a deliberate approach to building teacher capability and developing a learner-centred curriculum. A school-wide focus on writing and assessment for learning has provided a platform for this development.

The school’s curriculum has been developed in consultation with its community. This is coherent, and clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Priority is given to literacy, mathematics and inquiry learning and includes clear guidance and expectations for teaching and learning aligned to current best practice. There is a strong focus on the key competencies through the valued learner outcomes identified for students. Further curriculum development is required to make explicit how teachers integrate te ao Māori and digital technologies.

A clear learning focus and positive interactions between students and teachers are evident in classrooms. Students are keen to talk about their learning. Ensuring that the learning focus is personalised for students should make the learning more responsive to individuals.

The principal has actively sought external advice and guidance to inform change and improvement. He has participated in the first-time principals' programme and valued and responded well to the support given by the SAF process.

The board have undertaken training to develop trustees' understanding of their stewardship role. There is a well-considered approach to succession planning and inducting new board members. They are well informed about school operation, student achievement and strategic goals. Good progress has been made in reviewing and developing a policy framework. The board now needs to develop appropriate supporting procedures to guide school operation.

A suitable appraisal process is in place. Continuing to embed this should support teachers’ capability and professional leadership.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance?

The school is well placed to continue to improve and review it performance. The principal is leading the school well through a period of change and improvement. Consistency in school operation and conditions is improving to promote equity and excellence for all learners.

Progress has been made on reflective practice and review of school operation. Trustees, the principal and teachers now need to extend this to evidence-informed internal evaluation.

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:

  • board administration
  • 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 student 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

Very good progress has occurred since the 2015 ERO review. Trustees and staff are focused on improving learning outcomes for all students. Progress has been made on reflective practice and reviews of school operation. Trustees, the principal and teachers now need to extend this to evidenced-informed internal evaluation.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 December 2017

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

2631

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

98

Gender composition

Male 50, Female 48

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

43
53
2

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2015
August 2012
June 2009