Ohakune School - 04/02/2020

School Context

Ohakune School, for students in Years 1 to 8, is located in the rohe o Ngāti Rangi in Ohakune. The current roll is 246, with 44% identifying as Māori.

The school’s vision is for all students to be ‘caring and connected, contributing community members, who make positive decisions and achieve their aspirations’. The values of ‘PRIDE: participation, respect, integrity, determination and environment’ are viewed as the core of everything they do and as a community they strive to show this in every area.

Annual goals for 2019 focused on: accelerating boys and Māori learners’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics; providing an educationally responsive localised curriculum; promoting the health and wellbeing of all students; and effective governance practice.

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

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

Since ERO’s June 2017 evaluation, leaders and teachers participated in Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL) and Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) professional development programmes. During 2018 and 2019, schoolwide professional development has focused on building teachers’ pedagogical understanding of relationship-based teaching and learning.

The school is a member of the Ruapehu Kāhui Ako.

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 moving toward achieving equitable outcomes for all learners. Student achievement trends from 2017 show a trajectory of improvement for students overall, with most achieving the expected levels of The New Zealand Curriculum. The end of 2018 school data, shows increased overall outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics.

Improved achievement for Māori boys in reading, writing and mathematics is significant in 2019. Girls achieve better than boys in all three areas. Reducing the disparity in outcomes for boys compared to girls remains a priority for the school.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve the goals set for them in their individualised wellbeing and learning plans.

Student attendance is monitored and strategies in place have resulted in an improved attendance rate from Term Two to Term Three of 2019.

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

School leaders have systems and practices that respond well to Māori and other students whose learning needs accelerating.

Over half of Māori boys requiring accelerated learning in 2019 progressed to meet the expected curriculum level in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 have plentiful opportunities to experience appropriate learning within the school and wider community. The school’s localised curriculum is underpinned by relational teaching and learning and reflects the aspirations held by the schools’ community for children. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are highly valued and an integral part of students’ schooling experience. Te ao Māori is authentically incorporated through place-based learning and understanding the importance of mana whenua. Māori learners’ culture, language and identity are to the fore. All students’ developing capabilities, skills and competencies are fostered by teachers and support staff.

Students’ wellbeing, sense of belonging and academic progress is enhanced in an inclusive and positive learning environment. The school’s ‘PRIDE’ values are taught and enacted. Respectful reciprocal relationships promote a positive school culture. Opportunities for students to undertake leadership roles further enrich the culture of the school.

Engagement in learning and the wellbeing of students with complex needs are well-supported. Purposeful partnerships with families and whānau enable teachers to know and respond to students’ interests, strengths and needs well. School personnel access and work with external agencies, when appropriate, to support these students. They benefit from curriculum adaptations that respond to their specific needs. Transition practices are individualised, supportive and underpinned by inclusive practice that fosters the active participation of families and whānau in their child’s learning.

Efficient leadership practices have guided organisational change management well. Steady progress against the school’s strategic key priorities is evident. Funding and resourcing are strategically aimed at achieving equity for all learners. Teachers’ professional knowledge building and the evolving curriculum impacts positively on outcomes for students.

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

School leaders should develop annual achievement targets aligned to those students who require their progress and learning to be accelerated. Evaluating the quality of outcomes for these learners in relation to the school’s key strategic priorities is a next step. This should provide leaders with a comprehensive understanding of how well ongoing changes contribute to students achieving equitable and excellent outcomes.

Trustees are becoming familiar with their roles and responsibilities. Ongoing learning about their governance role in relation to school stewardship should inform their active participation in strategic planning and achieving equity and excellence for all learners.

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 Ohakune School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed

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:

  • the responsive localised curriculum that aligns to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • relational teaching and learning practices that promote an inclusive environment
  • practices that build teachers’ capability and the school’s capacity to improve outcomes for learners.

Next steps

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

  • using effective internal evaluation practice to know what has been successful in improving outcomes for those learners whose progress needs to be accelerated and to determine further decision making.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

4 February 2020

About the school

Location

Ohakune

Ministry of Education profile number

2410

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

246

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 44%

NZ European/Pākehā 48%

Other ethnic groups 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

4 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2017

Education Review May 2014

Education Review January 2011