Raurimu Avenue School - 28/09/2017

Findings

Raurimu Avenue School is entering a new stage of development. A strategic approach is in place to improve outcomes for all students. Working on meaningful changes and sustaining successful initiatives are priorities for the board. 

While some good progress has been made to improve teaching and learning, many of the initiatives are new and yet to be embedded. For this reason;

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

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

Raurimu Avenue School caters for students from Year 1 to 8. Māori students make up nearly 75 percent of the school roll.

The 2015 ERO report noted that students enjoyed a friendly and inclusive environment for learning. However, the report highlighted concerns about curriculum leadership and levels of student achievement. For these reasons, ERO decided to continue to monitor the school’s progress through a longitudinal review process.

Staff have participated in numerous Ministry of Education (MoE) professional learning and development (PLD) contracts to increase their capability to make positive changes for learners. Over the last two years there have been several changes in school leadership and teaching personnel. A new permanent principal began mid-way through 2016. A high turnover of teaching staff continues. A new board was elected June 2016.

Evidence collected through ERO’s contact with the school since June 2015 has been used to evaluate progress made over the past two years. ERO’s findings are outlined in the following sections of this report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO developed the following priorities for the review:

  • using achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement
  • implementing a relevant school curriculum that responds to all learners and supports raising achievement
  • strengthening strategic planning and self review to support ongoing improvement
  • any other issues relevant to the governance, management and operation of the school that arise during the course of this review.

Progress

The school is making some useful progress on the longitudinal review priority areas.

School leadership is now stable. A new distributed leadership structure is in place to support a strategic approach to improving outcomes for all students. People are in the early stages of working in these positions of responsibility, and some positive signs of improvement are apparent.

Classrooms are settled and have a more focused learning tone. The purpose of learning tasks is clearer. Students are better able to talk about their learning. The outcomes of teacher professional learning and development are beginning to be evident in classroom practices, namely, deliberate acts of teaching in response to assessment information. This is helping to lift levels of student engagement.

There continue to be significant fluctuations in the school’s National Standards achievement levels. This inconsistency of results has been due to teachers using different tools each year to make overall teacher judgments in relation to National Standards achievement. Recently, senior leaders have set in place an appropriate schedule of assessment practices that they are closely monitoring. These developments have the potential to ensure that dependable data is available to students, teachers, trustees and whānau in the future.

The 2015 ERO report noted that the school provided well for children with additional needs and children who need learning and behavioural support to meet their potential. This good provision has been sustained and strengthened. The newly appointed specialist teacher and special needs coordinator are building a collaborative and skilled team where teachers and learning assistants share a commitment to and responsibility for student progress. As a result, students participate fully in appropriate learning programmes and classroom activities.

In 2017 there have been some positive developments towards establishing a relevant and responsive school curriculum. The curriculum is being placed around the local community’s pepeha, with different contexts for learning each term. There is a renewed focus on sport in the curriculum. More work is required to support effective implementation of the curriculum and establish shared understandings of what effective teaching practices look like at Raurimu Avenue School.

Connections and relationships with parents, whānau and community have been strengthened. A more strategic and ongoing approach is proceeding for consultation and building learning partnerships. The school is engaging in community health initiatives led by external providers. These approaches have the potential for the school to gain access to a greater range of resources to support their educational efforts.

The principal has appropriately aligned external professional learning and development opportunities with the school’s strategic direction. Changes in school leadership have led to minimal opportunities for teachers to participate in valuable appraisal processes. Some recent work on reviving an effective appraisal system should help teachers and school leaders monitor and evaluate the impact of teaching practices on student outcomes.

The board has developed appropriate strategic goals in the school’s charter. These goals are supported by relevant annual goals that can be used by the board and school leaders for reporting, monitoring, and evaluating the school’s progress through the year.

In 2015 the board rationalised school policies and a supporting set of procedures. This revised approach needs to be revisited to ensure easy access and clarity of information. This will help the board and school management to be confident they are meeting legal requirements.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

There are still areas where further work is required to support sustainable good performance.

The key next steps for the board and school leaders are to:

  • provide a formal induction programme for new staff to ensure that improvements made are sustained
  • document and fully enact a coherent school curriculum
  • continue to grow staff capacity to use achievement information to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement
  • establish internal evaluation as a basis for determining actions for ongoing improvement.

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.

ERO identified one area of non-compliance. To address this, the board must:

  • Ensure that all teaching staff are appraised annually
    State Sector Act 1988, 77C

Conclusion

Raurimu Avenue School is entering a new stage of development. A strategic approach is in place to improve outcomes for all students. Working on meaningful changes and sustaining successful initiatives are priorities for the board.

While some good progress has been made to improve teaching and learning, many of the initiatives are new and yet to be embedded. For this reason;

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 September 2017

About the School

Location

Onerahi, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1092

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

88

Gender composition

Girl 46, Boys 42

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

65
21
2

Special Features

Resource Teacher Māori

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

28 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

March 2015
December 2011
October 2008