Roto-O-Rangi School - 22/12/2014

Findings

Roto-o-Rangi School is the hub of its rural community. A high percentage of students are achieving at or above National Standards. There is a strong emphasis on agreed values and a meaningful local curriculum. Students enjoy learning in a family-like atmosphere.

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?

Roto-o-Rangi School is situated south-west of Cambridge. The school is a strong focal point for its local community and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Twenty percent of students on the roll identify as Māori. Some students travel out from Cambridge.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the principal and deputy principal have remained in their positions and there have been changes to the board of trustees. Staff members have focussed on developing and promoting the school’s shared vision, values and local response to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). This has involved regular consultation with the community, including Māori. Teachers have engaged in professional development to enhance instructional writing and been proactive in interacting with other schools to share good teaching practice and moderate assessment judgements. The board has significantly extended the school’s information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.

The school has a positive culture that reflects its values of respect, consideration, responsibility, enthusiasm, cooperation and resilience. Parents continue to participate keenly in school activities and events. They appreciate the approachability of the principal, teachers and members of the board. Smooth transitions from early childhood services are actively encouraged, and communication with the middle school helps to prepare students for the next step of their schooling.

An inclusive culture is promoted and sustained. Classes continue to be settled and purposeful. A family-like atmosphere strongly supports student learning and achievement.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. This includes the use of data to regularly review and reflect on curriculum priorities and the impact of teaching practices.

A high percentage of students are achieving at or above National Standards, and this is above national comparisons and close to the Ministry of Education’s target of 85% of students achieving at or above National Standards by 2017.

The board uses achievement data for setting targets to raise achievement and inform decision-making. The principal and teachers use achievement information to identify students requiring support or extension and put suitable programmes in place to cater for their learning needs and abilities. Achievement data also informs staff professional development priorities.

Teachers use assessment information to group students and differentiate learning tasks. They are beginning to increase their focus on strategies to accelerate the progress of priority learners. Students engage in personal goal setting and participate actively in conferences about their learning, with parents and teachers. Their 'Poutama' (portfolio) books provide a record of learning, progress and achievement across the curriculum. These portfolios are shared with parents each term.

Teachers have developed suitable processes for determining overall judgements about student achievement. They moderate these judgements internally and with local schools. Norm-referenced assessment tools provide national comparisons and support consistency.

The principal and ERO agree that next steps are to ensure that:

  • mid-year reporting to parents and the board is closely aligned to National Standard requirements
  • teachers provide students with strategies for self and peer assessment so they can take more responsibility for their learning
  • parents have further opportunities to engage with their child’s learning through the increasing use of ICT
  • annual targets to the board are more clearly focused on accelerating the progress of students under achieving in relation to National Standards
  • the progress of targeted students is more specifically tracked and monitored.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports and promotes student learning. There is a strong emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers make effective use of curriculum expectations to provide meaningful, integrated contexts for learning. They increasingly use ICT to motivate and extend students to achieve to their potential.

Teachers are experienced and knowledgeable. They know students and their families well and maintain positive relationships consistently. Teachers use a wide range of strategies to engage students in their learning including the maintenance of attractive and educationally stimulating learning environments.

Teachers and ERO agree that the next steps are to continue to engage in professional development to improve students’ writing, and to further develop inquiry-learning approaches to teaching.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori. These students achieve above the national average for Māori and at equivalent levels to non-Maori. This is close to the Ministry of Education's target of 85% of all students achieving at or above the National Standards by 2017. A high level of academic success is experienced by most Maori students and they participate in the school’s extension programmes.

Māori student leadership is fostered and valued. Te reo Māori is integrated within everyday classroom practice and is explicitly included in curriculum planning. Māori tikanga and culture is encouraged, respected and celebrated throughout the school. Whānau are consulted and their aspirations are included in the school’s vision and values.

ERO and the school agree that the next steps are to:

  • tailor programmes to extend their language and affirm their culture and identity
  • continue staff development in te ao Māori knowledge and practices
  • further develop relationships with tangata whenua (beyond immediate whānau) to enrich all students’ bicultural experiences.

Continuing these developments within the school programme should support Māori students to achieve to their potential and further enrich bicultural learning experiences for all students and their whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • trustees are committed to supporting the principal, staff and students
  • the board seeks external advice as needed and regularly consults the community to inform decision-making
  • the principal has a collaborative approach to leading and managing the school and is well-supported by staff and parents
  • teachers work and plan with professional collegiality
  • processes for strategic planning and self review have been strengthened and are resulting in a clear future direction and culture of continuous improvement.

The agreed priority is to strengthen the appraisal process for all teaching staff and the principal. The appraisal process should include meeting the needs of priority learners and providing robust feedback about next steps for improvement and development.

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.

To improve current practice the board of trustees should:

  • receive regular reports of attendance trends and patterns
  • survey parents and students about emotional wellbeing.

Conclusion

Roto-o-Rangi School is the hub of its rural community. A high percentage of students are achieving at or above National Standards. There is a strong emphasis on agreed values and a meaningful local curriculum. Students enjoy learning in a family-like atmosphere.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

22 December 2014

About the School

Location

Cambridge, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

1927

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

94

Gender composition

Girls 50

Boys 44

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other European

69

24

1

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

22 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

November 2008

February 2006