Raurimu Avenue School

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Education institution number:
1092
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
62
Telephone:
Address:

Raurimu Avenue, Onerahi, Whangarei

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Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Raurimu Avenue School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

1 Background and Context

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

Raurimu Avenue School in Whangarei, caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Most of the 67 students are Māori. Students are taught in four multi-level classrooms.

ERO’s 2017 report noted stable school leadership, improved student engagement, good relationships with whānau and community, and greater alignment of the school’s strategic planning documents. These positive aspects continue to be developed.

The 2017 ERO report identified areas for improvement. These included the use of achievement information, school curriculum documentation, formalised induction for new staff, and internal evaluation. Good progress has been made in most of these areas.

Evidence collected during ERO’s ongoing contact with the school has been used to evaluate progress 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:

  • implementing a responsive curriculum and effective teaching strategies

  • establishing educationally powerful connections with whānau and the community

  • building the professional capability and collective capacity of staff

  • strengthening governance and leadership for equity and excellence.

The school has made good progress in responding to the review and development priorities.

Progress
A responsive school curriculum that is supporting student engagement through building professional capability and collective capacity of staff

The documented school curriculum continues to evolve. It is underpinned by a renewed mission statement, school values and identified approaches aimed at enhancing student engagement. Student inquiry as a learning process is becoming more consistently integrated. The board has greatly improved access to digital technology for students.

The curriculum aligns well with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It is based on consultation with students and whānau that has included a recent review of the health curriculum. A key foundation is the board’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is demonstrated by:

  • featuring the local pepeha as an integral part of the school’s place-based curriculum

  • establishing, at the start of 2019, Te Whānau Rumaki o Owhiua, which provides high levels of spoken te reo Māori for children in Years 1 to 4

  • teachers supporting each other to speak te reo Māori more frequently with their students.

Positive relationships and interactions are evident in classrooms. Students are settled, purposefully engaged, and focused on learning tasks. There is an increasing focus on personalising learning to better meet students’ individual learning needs.

Teachers are committed to ongoing learning and development that supports improvement in their professional capability. They continue to strengthen their understanding and use of assessment tools and practices. Professional learning in 2019 is linked to writing and mathematics. An outcome of 2018 teachers’ professional learning has accelerated progress for many students in reading.

Students with additional learning and behavioural needs are very well supported. Teacher aides are an integral part of the teaching team and proactively participate in professional development to update their skills. They provide very good support for students with high learning needs. A number of other strategies are used to support children with additional needs.

Key next steps

Key next steps for ongoing development of the school curriculum include:

  • continuing to identify and develop shared understandings about effective teaching strategies that make the biggest difference in raising student achievement

  • in consultation with whānau, developing a responsive/dual curriculum to support the vision for children’s learning in Te Whānau Rumaki o Owhiua
  • ensuring the principles and aims of each of the curriculum areas are highlighted, planned and assessed, and outcomes reported to parents

  • deepening curriculum implementation plans to broaden the contexts for learning, so that the curriculum is implemented effectively across multi-level classrooms.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Progress
Governance and leadership for sustainability of equity and excellence

The board has recently updated the school charter based on consultation with students, whānau and the school’s wider community. There is now greater coherence and alignment with the charter and action plans to address goals and targets. School priorities align closely with goals for raising student achievement and promoting school improvement.

The board has developed sustainable systems and processes that support trustees’ roles and responsibilities. A new policy framework is now in place and an updated governance manual helps guide practice. Trustees proactively access New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) for advice as appropriate.

The board employs a fully funded specialist teacher/special education needs coordinator (SENCO). She has established robust systems, processes and several approaches that provide education, support and care for students who need it most. Developing a code of practice (roles, rules and responsibilities) could be a useful next step.

The principal continues to prioritise the alignment of student learning needs, teacher professional learning goals, and systems for teacher appraisal. ‘Teaching as inquiry’ processes give leaders and teachers an opportunity to think deeply about their priority learners. This helps teachers to examine the effectiveness of their teaching practices and their impact on accelerating student progress.

Key next steps

The school has made good progress in addressing the review and development priorities. Several new initiatives and programmes are being established. The principal agrees that it is timely to consider how they might evaluate progress against the school’s priorities. Evaluating progress against the school goals and plans, and measuring their impact for those learners at risk of not achieving, will help the board with further decision making.

The principal should explore how to regularly report student achievement to the board. Reports should include overall trends and patterns based on the board’s achievement targets. Reporting on progress for all students, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics, and identified target groups of students, will help the board make resourcing decisions.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

In order to improve current practice, the board should:

  • ensure all risk analysis and management processes are completed comprehensively prior to each trip so that all possible risks and responses are considered

  • document procedures for dealing with students who have severe behavioural difficulties

  • develop crisis management policy and procedures and make the updated child protection policy available to parents/whānau

  • align the school’s appointment procedures with the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Raurimu Avenue School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

26 August 2019

About the School

Location

Onerahi, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1092

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

67

Gender composition

Boys 40 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

53
13
1

Special Features

Te Whānau Rumaki o Owhiua established at the start of 2019 (Level 2 provision of te reo Māori for students in Years 1 to 4)

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

26 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

September 2017
March 2015
December 2011

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