Oceanview Heights School - 29/10/2019

School Context

Oceanview Heights School is a Year 1 to 8 school with 75 students from a culturally diverse community. The roll includes 16 students who identify as Māori and 21 are of Pacific heritage. Almost 20% of the students are English language learners (ELLs). During the school year a significant number of the students arrive from or leave to other schools within and beyond Timaru.

The school’s vision is for ‘all students to reach their full potential in order to provide Aotearoa/New Zealand with responsible, contributing individuals’. Its values are: to Cooperate; Achieve; Respect and Encouragement (CARE).

The school’s strategic goals are to: promote student learning and engagement; ensure additional support for at risk learners; ensure Māori children are successful as Māori; develop student and staff understanding of te ao Māori; provide a safe and secure learning environment; and encourage parents and wider whānau to take an active role in supporting their children’s learning.

Current school achievement targets are to increase the number of students achieving at or above expected levels in writing and reading.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • attendance
  • wellbeing.

Since the August 2016 ERO review, teachers have been involved in professional development to improve teaching and learning in writing and reading. Two of the four teachers are new to the school this year. The school is part of the Timaru North Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (COL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for many of its students. However, a significant number of these students have recently transferred from other schools or are ELLs.

At the end of 2018, close to half of all students achieved at or above expected levels in mathematics and reading. A majority of all students achieved at or above expectations in writing.

There is a significant disparity in achievement for Māori students in mathematics and reading and for Pacific students in mathematics in relation to their peers.

Wellbeing reports state that almost all students report feeling safe and positive about their school with a strong sense of belonging.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school has effective systems to identify, track and monitor students who need additional support and their learning accelerated.

In 2018 the school was successful in accelerating the progress of about half of the Year 2-8 students who were below in reading and writing. Of the targeted students below in reading, many made accelerated progress.

Māori students below expected levels in reading at the beginning of 2018 over half made accelerated progress. Those Māori students who were below expected levels in writing, most made accelerated progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative environment. The principal and teachers know them and their families very well. They provide comprehensive pastoral care, working closely with children, their whānau/families and with external agencies. Relationships between children and teachers are respectful. Children that were spoken to feel that the school’s inclusive practices are evident and that difference and diversity is valued.

Children learn through a wide range of experiences and opportunities. This is guided by clear curriculum guidelines and procedures which include expectations for effective teaching practice. Teachers use assessment practices that are effective and used well to inform teaching. Relevant professional development and deliberate teaching programmes and approaches are supporting a school-wide focus on raising achievement in reading and writing.

The school has developed well-considered policies, procedures and systems to promote a consistent approach to meeting student needs. There are effective systems to identify, track and monitor children who need additional learning support. Action planning, such as for annual goals, specific projects and initiatives has been informed by some useful internal evaluation. Coherence and alignment from strategic and annual planning through to other practices, including appraisal and teaching programmes is driving improvement.

The board is well informed about student outcomes and school developments and makes resourcing decisions to support the children’s learning. This includes the provision of an additional teacher aide in every classroom and funding a fourth teacher for literacy and mathematics. These initiatives are likely to support and add value to children’s learning and lift achievement.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The board, principal and teachers need to continue to address the achievement of students whose learning needs accelerating. Leaders and teachers need to set more explicit targets and ensure regular analysis and reporting of rates of progress and achievement for groups of students.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to further develop internal evaluation practices and processes to know what is working well or not and why. This could include a better use of the school’s inquiry model to know how effective recent approaches and programmes are in lifting student achievement and improving attendance.

3 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

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

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • strong pastoral care for students that helps them to be ready to learn
  • effective processes that support teachers to identify, track and monitor students who need additional support
  • clear guidelines for teaching and school systems that give clarity for teachers practice and contribute to school wide consistency.

5.1 Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • setting, analysing and reporting on explicit targets to show rates of progress and urgently address disparity in achievement
  • strengthening of inquiry and internal evaluation to know what is working, what is not and to inform sustained improvement.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 October 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 39

Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Māori 16

Pacific 21

NZ European/Pākehā 35

Other 3

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review August 2016

Education Review February 2012

Supplementary Review May 2009