Ramarama School - 18/12/2015

Findings

Ramarama School provides students with good opportunities to learn in a well-resourced rural environment. Students achieve well and are provided with a variety of authentic experiences for learning. The school’s curriculum is becoming increasingly student-centred and well suited to the needs of learners.

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

1 Context

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

Ramarama School is situated in a semi-rural location in South Auckland. It provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school population is becoming more culturally diverse. Currently Māori students make up 10 percent of the roll, Pākehā students comprise about 75 percent, and students of Cook Island Māori, Indian and other cultural heritages account for the remainder. The school provides good quality facilities and a well-resourced learning environment.

The students’ rural experiences and the school’s attractive environment are valued by parents, students and the community. School leaders recognise these rural aspects in planning the school’s curriculum and learning programmes. There is a strong sense of community in the school. Open and supportive relationships between students, their teachers and parents are evident.

The school’s 2012 ERO report noted that students were highly motivated and engaged well in learning. These aspects continue to be strengths of the school. The school is beginning to focus on setting targets to further promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

In mid-2014 the principal resigned from Ramarama School to take up another leadership role. The deputy principal capably managed the school until a new principal was appointed. A new and experienced principal started in term 4, 2014 and is taking a careful and considered approach to leading the school.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers use student achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. This information contributes to decisions about teaching directions and enables teachers to work together, sharing the responsibility for students and their learning.

Most students achieve National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, with a high number achieving above the expected standard. Teachers focus on useful student achievement targets and design specific strategies and programmes that encourage ongoing improvement in student progress and achievement. These strategies and programmes include supporting at risk learners to succeed. The school has evidence to show that students make good progress in mathematics, reading and writing, with some making accelerated progress.

Students engage well in their learning. Some teachers provide very good levels of challenge and link learning contexts well to students’ experiences to help maximise opportunities and motivation for students to achieve. Students are offered choices within learning tasks, and teachers use flexible groupings to continually respond to the changing learning needs of students.

Teachers set high expectations for learning and behaviour. They develop and maintain good relationships with students. Teachers foster close learning partnerships with parents. They keep them well informed about progress children’s progress with learning and next steps. Parents engage well in their children’s learning processes.

Teachers maintain an inclusive and accepting environment where students’ wellbeing is promoted. Leaders and teachers plan to continue to develop student-led learning. This will include work to further strengthen learners’ ability to monitor their own learning as part of processes to promote consistent high quality teaching practice across the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports students’ learning effectively. The school provides a broad curriculum with an emphasis on literacy, mathematics and science. The meaningful use of digital devices is also encouraged. Students talk about their learning. They explore, record and present their learning using a range of approaches and resources.

Teachers use collaborative practices to plan learning programmes. They plan inquiry approaches that are meaningful to students and increasingly use students’ interests and questions to engage and motivate students. Consequently, students are provided with authentic learning opportunities that offer varied experiences. Parents are invited to participate in the process, sharing their skills and knowledge to further enrich learning experiences for children.

Leaders support and encourage teachers to be innovative with their teaching approaches. Teachers and students are respected as learners. Teachers reflect on their practice effectively and focus on teaching improvements.

Teachers are provided with multiple opportunities to grow their professional capability. They collaborate in small groups to support and improve practices. This approach gives opportunities for teachers to share ideas and new teaching techniques. Teachers are increasingly focused on the needs of identified groups of students. They are currently concentrating on improving boys’ writing and the effective use of digital devices.

The school continues to develop its curriculum. New designs for a more responsive curriculum with the learner at the centre are progressing. This work should offer opportunities for greater professional collaboration by focusing on teachers’ strengths and research-based findings, including the social aspects of learning.

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

Māori students achieve well and the school has taken some useful steps to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. School leaders and teachers know their students and whānau well. The school’s strategic planning includes intended consultation meetings with its Māori community.

Some school practices enhance the language, culture and identity of Māori students. There are elements of Te Ao Māori in learning programmes, including Māori art. Matariki was celebrated as a school and te reo Māori week was given specific attention. Māori students are supported to give their whaikorero/speech in te reo Māori.

The school environment shows some evidence of te reo Māori being used, and teachers’ planning reflects New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school continues to strengthen its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

The leadership team knows staff and students well. It recognises the strengths of the school. Collaborative and consultative approaches are used to reflect on school policies and systems, and to promote changes. Self-review includes a teacher appraisal process that builds the capacity of teachers and leaders through collaborative inquiry processes.

The principal is considered and reflective in her approach to change management. A key aspect of development is the consultative re-visioning process that she has undertaken with staff and community. The school’s values now align to strategic planning and teachers’ practice.

School trustees have a good understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities, and provide effective stewardship to the school. They support the principal and school direction. Trustees work collaboratively, are well informed, and use information they receive well to make strategic decisions and to promote equitable outcomes for students.

The school’s self-review processes help to ensure ongoing responsiveness to parents and a focus on continued improvement. Trustees recognise themselves as learners too, and participate in very good professional learning. This has included familiarising themselves with Hautu, a resource developed by the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) for helping boards evaluate their responsiveness to Māori learners and their whānau.

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

Ramarama School provides students with good opportunities to learn in a well-resourced rural environment. Students achieve well and are provided with a variety of authentic experiences for learning. The school’s curriculum is becoming increasingly student-centred and well suited to the needs of learners.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Drury, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1456

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

212

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Indian

other

10%

75%

4%

4%

7%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

18 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

July 2009

October 2006