Royal Oak Intermediate School - 13/09/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Royal Oak Intermediate School caters for Year 7 and 8 students from a culturally diverse area that includes Royal Oak, Onehunga and parts of Mangere.

The ERO 2007 review noted that a new principal had just been appointed and that some progress had been made in improving teaching and learning practices. While the report commented positively on progress made since 2004, considerable work remained to be done to ensure that effective practices were used consistently across the school to raise student achievement.

The major findings of this review in 2010 are that senior managers and staff have a strong focus on learning, undertake capacity building at teaching and leadership levels, and provide well co-ordinated pastoral care that supports students to engage in learning. Significant developments have been made in assessment, curriculum, property and resourcing.

Students have good opportunities to engage in learning and to achieve through a broad curriculum that appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. The school’s curriculum provides students with a wide variety of learning experiences, including language learning, the arts, sporting, cultural, Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) activities, and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Students have good opportunities for leadership. ERO and the senior managers and staff agree that a key priority is to support students to have increased ownership of their learning, and to contribute more to decision making about the school’s curriculum content and contexts for learning.

Students make significant progress in literacy and numeracy over their two years at the school. Achievement data for reading and numeracy indicate that, although most students enter the school with low levels of achievement, they make accelerated progress in reading and numeracy. Increasing numbers of students are achieving national expectations by the time they leave the school. Opportunities are available to provide for students who achieve highly and for those who require personalised learning support.

The principal leads the school effectively and pursues excellence in teaching and learning. He is making necessary changes to improve teaching practices in order to raise levels of student engagement, progress and achievement. Leadership capacity is actively built to ensure that curriculum developments are sustained. The principal sensitively manages, and is responsive to, teachers’ innovations. As a result, teachers show commitment to and ownership of school developments. The principal has made critical appointments and decisions that support the school’s curriculum and focus on improved teaching practices.

Most teachers are continuing to reflect on and improve their teaching practices. A positive staff culture has been established, providing a climate in which staff can increase the pace of improvements so that more students leave Royal Oak Intermediate well placed to continue their learning.

Future Action

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

2. Royal Oak Intermediate School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Royal Oak Intermediate School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

Promoting student learning. Trustees, senior managers and most staff focus strongly on promoting student learning. Senior leaders are open to trialling innovative practices that are increasingly resulting in students having positive attitudes to learning and making accelerated progress and achievement. Some teachers use overall teacher judgements effectively and provide learning programmes that are responsive to students’ identified needs. Programmes are pitched at a level that challenge students and engage them in meaningful learning. The board provides facilities, resources and opportunities that help enhance students’ academic, sporting and cultural strengths, and expose them to a wide variety of learning experiences.

Student progress and achievement. The board, principal and teachers know how well students progress and achieve in the school. Nationally normed and externally referenced assessment tools are used at regular intervals to identify students’ progress and achievement in reading and numeracy. The principal collates and analyses assessment data for reading, writing and numeracy.

Achievement information is broken down by year level, gender and ethnicity. Recent data in reading show an improved rate of progress from the previous year’s positive results, with increased numbers of students achieving at and above national expectations for their age. Teachers have started to use an externally referenced assessment tool to moderate their assessment of students’ achievement in writing so that their assessments are more consistent.

Success for Māori. Trustees, the principal, senior managers and staff actively promote the school as an environment that reflects, respects and values te ao Māori. They follow appropriate protocols to reflect bicultural practices. A planned approach has been taken to increase the use of te reo Māori in classroom programmes that involves teachers and students learning together. The school’s curriculum includes relevant and meaningful contexts for learning as Maōri, including visual and performing arts. Students have good opportunities to participate in kapa haka.

The board uses the Ministry of Education’s strategy, Ka Hikitia-Managing for Success, as a basis for its strategic planning. They have a schedule for consultation with the school’s Māori community to further develop plans and targets to raise the achievement of Māori students. School information on the achievement of Māori students in literacy and numeracy indicates that they enter the school with low levels of achievement and make accelerated progress over their two years at the school, with increasing numbers reaching appropriate achievement levels. Māori students are represented in the accelerate class and in learning support programmes.

Success for Pacific students. The board and principal, use the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Plan as part of their strategic planning. Pacific student numbers have increased to over half the total student roll, with the two largest groups being Tongan and Samoan. The school’s curriculum includes relevant contexts for the learning of Pacific students. Pacific students also have good opportunities to develop their sporting and cultural skills. The principal uses the strengths of staff to establish good links with the community and to tap into community strengths.

Curriculum leaders have worked with Ministry of Education personnel so that they can provide better support for the learning of Pacific students. The school is currently participating in a contributing schools in strengthening the links with Pacific parents and community to help improve the progress and achievement of Pacific students.Pasifika School Community Parent Liaison (PSCPL) initiative, which involves

The principal and board have a good knowledge of Pacific student achievement, including the specific achievement of Tongan and Samoan students. School information about the achievement of Pacific students indicates that these students are the lowest achieving group on entry to school but that they make accelerated progress, with increasing numbers meeting expected levels of achievement. Senior managers and teachers use data to further target specific Pacific groups of students to improve their progress and achievement.

Curriculum. The school provides a broad curriculum that reflects the aspirations of parents and the community. Teachers appropriately prioritise literacy and numeracy and respond to students’ strengths and interests. As part of the curriculum design process, senior managers investigated curriculum models used by other intermediate schools. They are continuing to develop an integrated curriculum that reflects the findings of current educational research. They acknowledge that further work is needed to embed the curriculum in teaching practice and to incorporate the key competencies, values and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Teaching. Most teachers enjoy positive and respectful reciprocal relationships with students. Examples of effective teaching practices evident in the school include:

  • differentiated programme planning for reading, writing, mathematics and numeracy;
  • strategies that promote high levels of student engagement, including teaching as inquiry;
  • good use of questioning to promote students’ understanding;
  • use of formative assessment practices, including student self assessment;
  • use of ICT to support students’ learning;
  • high quality oral and written comments on students’ work to show what they have done well and to identify next steps for learning.

The principal and senior managers are working to ensure that these effective teaching and learning practices are used consistently across the school. Teachers with strengths in literacy and numeracy areas use their skills to support other teachers so that the quality of teaching and learning will be high in all classrooms. Lead teachers have professional learning and development opportunities to support them in their curriculum leadership roles.

Areas for development and review

Growing a cohesive leadership team. Senior managers are relatively new to working together as a team. They should take planned steps to continue to develop as a collaborative and cohesive leadership team.

Analysis and use of achievement information. Senior managers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are:

  • to improve students’ ownership of their learning by sharing achievement information more consistently with them;
  • for teachers to participate in school-wide analyses of data and to use achievement information more effectively to plan targeted next steps of learning for groups and individual students;
  • to improve processes for the analysis of achievement data, involving teachers more in the process; and
  • for senior managers and teachers to continue to work towards implementing the National Standards, and towards reporting to parents on student progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Curriculum design and review. Senior managers should include students more in decision making about the school’s integrated curriculum. They could also formalise and document their regular curriculum development reviews.

Quality assurance. Senior managers should implement rigorous quality assurance practices to monitor the quality of teaching and learning practices and levels of students’ participation and engagement.

Learning partnerships with Pacific parents and families. The school has identified, and ERO agrees, that further engaging Pacific parents and focusing on building two-way learning partnerships would benefit the engagement, progress and achievement of Pacific students. Current initiatives in place to encourage Pacific parents’ involvement in their children’s learning include home-school partnership evenings for reading and numeracy.

3. Agreed priorities

ERO and the board of trustees agree that the next stages of school development should focus on continuing to improve quality assurance practices, to ensure that students’ progress and achievement are supported through consistent and effective teaching practices, and that students’ understanding and ownership of their own learning is strengthened.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Royal Oak Intermediate School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked policies, procedures and practices about compliance in the following areas because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement):

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

13 September 2010

About The School

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 and 8)

Decile1

4

School roll

519

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%,

NZ European/Pākehā 19%,

Tongan 19%,

Samoan 18%,

Cook Island Māori 8%,

Indian 5%,

Niuean 5%,

Fijian 3%,

other 6%

Review team on site

June 2010

Date of this report

13 September 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, November 2007

Education Review, November 2004

Discretionary Review, February 2001

13 September 2010

To the Parents and Community of Royal Oak Intermediate School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Royal Oak Intermediate School.

Royal Oak Intermediate School caters for Year 7 and 8 students from a culturally diverse area that includes Royal Oak, Onehunga and parts of Mangere.

The ERO 2007 review noted that a new principal had just been appointed and that some progress had been made in improving teaching and learning practices. While the report commented positively on progress made since 2004, considerable work remained to be done to ensure that effective practices were used consistently across the school to raise student achievement.

The major findings of this review in 2010 are that senior managers and staff have a strong focus on learning, undertake capacity building at teaching and leadership levels, and provide well co-ordinated pastoral care that supports students to engage in learning. Significant developments have been made in assessment, curriculum, property and resourcing.

Students have good opportunities to engage in learning and to achieve through a broad curriculum that appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. The school’s curriculum provides students with a wide variety of learning experiences, including language learning, the arts, sporting, cultural, Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) activities, and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Students have good opportunities for leadership. ERO and the senior managers and staff agree that a key priority is to support students to have increased ownership of their learning, and to contribute more to decision making about the school’s curriculum content and contexts for learning.

Students make significant progress in literacy and numeracy over their two years at the school. Achievement data for reading and numeracy indicate that, although most students enter the school with low levels of achievement, they make accelerated progress in reading and numeracy. Increasing numbers of students are achieving national expectations by the time they leave the school. Opportunities are available to provide for students who achieve highly and for those who require personalised learning support.

The principal leads the school effectively and pursues excellence in teaching and learning. He is making necessary changes to improve teaching practices in order to raise levels of student engagement, progress and achievement. Leadership capacity is actively built to ensure that curriculum developments are sustained. The principal sensitively manages, and is responsive to, teachers’ innovations. As a result, teachers show commitment to and ownership of school developments. The principal has made critical appointments and decisions that support the school’s curriculum and focus on improved teaching practices.

Most teachers are continuing to reflect on and improve their teaching practices. A positive staff culture has been established, providing a climate in which staff can increase the pace of improvements so that more students leave Royal Oak Intermediate well placed to continue their learning.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.

1 School deciles range from one to ten. Decile one schools  draw their students from low socioeconomic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.