Royal Oak Intermediate School - 05/04/2013

1 Context

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

Royal Oak Intermediate is a multicultural school in Auckland city. Māori students represent sixteen per cent of the roll and over fifty per cent of the students are of Pacific nationalities. The school provides education for students in Years 7 and 8.

Since ERO’s 2010 review there have been significant changes in the school. During 2011 and 2012 the board sought external support to help address challenges relating to financial management, self review and school leadership. In July 2012 a new principal was appointed. In late 2012, in response to a board request, a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was also appointed to provide support with personnel and employment matters. The effective use of a number of external advisors is now helping the board and principal to build capacity in school governance and management.

The new principal has restructured the school’s leadership team and appointed new teaching staff. Extensive self review, incorporating input from staff, students, parents and community has been undertaken. The principal has identified clear priorities for improved outcomes for students. Significant positive changes are evident. Particular progress has been made in regard to school operations and property.

Staff support the principal’s vision and direction for the school. The school tone is increasingly positive. Students and teachers demonstrate respectful relationships in a settled learning environment. The principal is developing strong links with families, the community and other local schools.

2 Learning

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

School leaders are still working to improve the use of achievement information to enhance student learning. Data is beginning to be used to identify students at risk, to set targets to improve learning outcomes, and to monitor progress over time. Improved structures implemented by the principal are enabling a more systematic approach to the collection, analysis and use of student achievement data. Some good frameworks to support this approach are evident in the school. Clear, consistent approaches to managing and using achievement data should assist all teachers’ understanding of assessment and evidence-based teaching and learning practices.

The school is still working towards developing robust and accurate student achievement data in regards to National Standards. Teachers are well supported to build their capability through current professional development. The principal is working with a local secondary school and plans to work with local primary schools to increase the reliability and usefulness of data collected and to provide continuity in students’ learning.

Processes for reporting to the board have been improved to provide trustees with more detailed information about student achievement. Reports include the evaluation of how well support programmes identify outcomes for targeted students. Leaders could also evaluate the effectiveness and impact of extension and enrichment programmes.

Leaders are continuing to refine reports to parents to provide more useful information about their child’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

School leaders and ERO agree that continued development and support is required to:

  • build teacher capability in effective moderation to inform reliable overall teacher judgements about student achievement
  • develop whole staff understanding of, and consistency in, effective analysis and use of student achievement data
  • develop internal leadership capacity to sustain recent and future improvements.

3 Curriculum

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

School leaders are currently reviewing the school curriculum and agree that this is a significant area for development.

Students are provided with a variety of specialist programmes and many participate in, and experience success in, sporting and cultural activities.

Recent positive initiatives include:

  • the review of specialist programmes to ensure students receive relevant and broad learning opportunities
  • links with the local secondary school to assist with the development of careers education
  • a newly introduced model of second language learning.

A revised school values system has also been introduced. Based around the notion of ‘RERE: to Fly’, this provides good direction for the development of shared values throughout school programmes.

A variety of professional development opportunities has been provided for teachers in recent years. The principal has developed a strategic plan to ensure a more cohesive approach to professional development is taken. This plan prioritises the areas that are most likely to have a positive impact on student progress and achievement.

Some good teaching practices are evident. These include differentiated teaching based on student achievement data and teachers’ knowledge of individual students, and effective strategies to increase student engagement and involvement in their learning. However, there is considerable variability in teaching practice across the school. The next step is to develop cohesive, shared understandings of best practice and to develop a Royal Oak Intermediate approach to teaching and learning. The school could more clearly demonstrate how The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is delivered in the context of the school’s vision and its learning and teaching philosophy.

Consistent knowledge and use of The Pacific Education Plan would support the review and development of provision for Pacific students’ learning.

The principal and ERO agree that priority areas for development and implementation include:

  • a school curriculum that is responsive to and reflects the students and community
  • curriculum statements that give effect to the NZC within the school’s context
  • a more systematic approach to embedding and monitoring teachers’ learning from professional development initiatives
  • an integrated, inquiry model of teaching and learning.

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

The school is in the early stages of developing a curriculum that promotes success for Māori. Leadership roles have recently been clarified to help ensure a commitment to improved outcomes for Māori students.

A strategic appointment is increasing staff and students’ awareness of bicultural practices and strengthening te reo and tikanga Māori in the school. School leaders state that this improvement has resulted in increased participation in pōwhiri and kapa haka.

Achievement data for Māori students is analysed and reported to the board. Deeper analysis of this data would enable the board and school leaders to set more meaningful targets and support teachers to use effective strategies to raise Māori student achievement.

School trustees and leaders agree that it is timely to develop a strategic plan for Māori students’ success. This plan should include consultation processes to help ensure that the school curriculum promotes the values, beliefs and aspirations of Māori whānau. Leaders should consider how Ministry of Education resources, such as Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, could be used to better engage students and enhance their learning experiences.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is continuing to build its capacity to sustain and improve performance.

The principal and trustees have a good understanding of self review. In the past six months significant changes have been initiated and good progress is evident. Key priorities for further improvement have been identified. The principal has established good external support networks to support improved leadership and teaching capability.

The board has engaged in external development and training. Trustees are reviewing and strengthening board operations to increase their capability to develop and sustain effective governance practices. Strategies include the formation of sub-committees and the development of a governance manual to guide board operations.

The LSM is working with the principal and trustees to improve personnel management in the school. Recent changes in performance management systems have strengthened staff appraisal processes. Improvements include good alignment between teacher goals, school strategic goals and professional development. With ongoing monitoring and evaluation these systems should help embed planned improvements.

In order to increase the school’s capacity to sustain ongoing improvement, trustees and leaders should:

  • continue to develop shared, consistent school wide expectations about teaching and learning approaches and curriculum implementation
  • ensure robust quality assurance processes are implemented and evaluated
  • continue to investigate strategies to sustain improved outcomes for Māori and Pacific students
  • develop school leadership capacity and accountability to ensure a coherent and cohesive approach to achieving improvement goals and priorities.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. Systems are in place to monitor compliance with the Code, provide an appropriate education programme, and integrate international students into the life of the school. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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.

In order to improve current practice the Board of Trustees should:

  • ensure that strategic documents and reports provide good evidence and assurance that requirements of the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) are met
  • continue its review and update of school policies and procedures to ensure they are specific to the context of the school
  • improve health and safety reporting to provide assurance to the board that all legal requirements are met.

In order to meet the school’s legal obligations, the principal and teaching staff must:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s communities, policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students[National Education Guidelines 1993; National Administration Guideline, 1(e)]
  • adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community [Education Act 1989, Section 60B].

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing the current intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • developing shared and consistent school-wide expectations and approaches to teaching and learning and curriculum
  • giving effect to the NZC within the school’s context and through school curriculum statements
  • developing whole staff understanding of, and consistency in, the effective analysis and use of student achievement data
  • implementing robust quality assurance processes
  • improving school leadership and governance capacity and accountability to ensure a coherent and cohesive approach is taken to achieve improvement goals.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 April 2013

About the School

Location

Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1351

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

440

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Indian

Chinese

Other

16%

15%

22%

21%

9%

6%

3%

2%

6%

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

5 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2010

November 2007

November 2004