Ramarama School - 13/12/2012

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Ramarama School, in rural south Auckland, caters for students from Year 1 to 8. The school’s 145 year history contributes to the strong sense of ownership demonstrated by a supportive, proud school community. Diversity is celebrated and an inclusive culture is evident throughout the school. Since the 2009 ERO report a new deputy principal has been appointed.

In 2009 ERO noted that well resourced learning environments, appropriately structured lessons and student-focused learning were evident in the school. These positive practices have been sustained and contribute to an effective learning culture. ERO also noted that the school had continued to strengthen the teaching of numeracy.

Since the 2009 ERO report the board of trustees has undertaken a thorough review of the school’s vision, values, principles and strategic goals, resulting in a revised school charter. The board follows effective consultation and communication practices that involve the school community in helping to determine the vision and future direction of the school.

The school provides a place in which students and teachers are valued, lifelong learning is embraced, and innovation honoured.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school learning environment effectively supports learning. Students are highly motivated and engage well in the learning process. Goal setting and identifying their next steps in learning enable students at all levels of the school to take ownership of their progress and achievement.

The school has good systems in place to support the use of achievement information. School leaders and teachers use this information effectively to inform learning programmes and to set appropriate school-wide targets. Teachers use achievement information well to inform their planning and teaching approaches to cater for students with special needs. There is clear reporting to the board about student achievement. The academic achievement of Māori and Pacific students is analysed and reported separately to the board. The board, principal and teachers monitor students’ progress against targets set by school leaders.

Despite having undertaken relevant development and consultation, the school only began implementing National Standards in the later part of 2011. Over the past year, the board and senior leaders have been able to meet National Standards requirements fully. Strong guidelines are in place to support teachers to make accurate overall teacher judgments in relation to the National Standards. Good systems are in place for reporting to parents on student achievement. Parents have a number of opportunities to contribute to this reporting process.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The rich, broad school curriculum promotes a culture in which learning is celebrated. The curriculum reflects the school’s vision of creating an innovative and responsive learning culture that is representative of the students and community. The school respects the strong traditions of the past as well as embracing the twenty- first century learner. The board’s new vision statement underpins the curriculum document and provides good guidance for teachers in planning teaching and learning programmes. The curriculum provides meaningful opportunities to integrate Māori concepts. Further development in this area would enable all children to have more opportunities to increase their understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The school’s curriculum enables students to engage in purposeful learning across all areas and to follow their own interests. The school has identified an ongoing priority of continuing to take opportunities to extend learners’ experiences.

Teachers have high expectations of all students. The school’s learning model allows for ongoing innovation. It promotes a common language of learning across the school. Community Learning Days are a feature of the school and provide teaching and learning opportunities for students, staff and adults in the school community. Teachers are continuing to seek effective ways to integrate the learning model into all curriculum areas.

Good quality teaching practices are evident across the school. Teachers implement the school curriculum well. They work collaboratively, share professional practice, and take responsibility for improving student achievement.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school has 13 students who identify as Māori. Most Māori students achieve well and good progress is being made to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Māori students engage fully in the curriculum and have positive attitudes to school and learning. They have opportunities to be involved in a curriculum that affirms their identity as Māori. They benefit from the respectful relationships that underpin the school culture and from educational opportunities that support their learning. Teachers use a variety of resources that reflect Māori perspectives and the use of te reo is evident in classrooms. Staff have high expectations of all Māori students.

Strong relationships have been developed with whānau. The principal consults with the school’s Māori families through an annual hui and informal discussions. Whānau provide support to help staff understand the aspirations they have for their children.

The school has also used the Ministry of Education’s Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success, as a means to review how well the school is developing the potential of all Māori students. The school should now set targets that promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The leadership of the school is highly effective. The principal provides professional leadership and has a key role in building the strong learning culture that is evident in the school. He has a clear plan for implementing the school vision and manages school initiatives thoughtfully. The principal is ably supported by the deputy principal. Teachers are given opportunities for leadership and are encouraged to continue to improve their professional practice.

The board is effective in governing the school. Their strategic decision-making focuses on improving outcomes for all students. They understand their community and principal well and have developed good communication and working relationships. Trustees are well informed through good reporting processes. Sound self-review processes support ongoing improvements throughout the school.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

13 December 2012

About the School

Location

Drury

Ministry of Education profile number

1456

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

215

Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

British

Samoan

Other Pacific

Other

80%

7%

3%

2%

2%

2%

4%

Special Features

Host school for 8 supplementary learning support teachers

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

13 December 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

October 2006

May 2003