Omata School - 30/01/2019

School Context

Omata School is a semi-rural school, located on the outskirts of New Plymouth. It provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there were 166 students, with 14 identifying as Māori.

The school’s vision is enacted through the Omata Way: ‘He hapori tauawhi. He ākonga matatika. A supportive environment challenging children to become responsible learners’.

Since the February 2016 ERO report, the library has been relocated enabling the establishment of a seventh classroom and the construction of an orchard garden and cycle pump track.

Annual targets for 2018 focus on accelerating the progress of all priority learners, in particular Year 3 children who need acceleration in reading and mathematics.

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

  • Māori student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • student wellbeing

  • outcomes for children with additional and or complex needs.

There have been few changes in staffing and board membership. Teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in writing, mathematics, cultural responsiveness and teaching philosophy to children.

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 continues to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Most Year 1 to 8 students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics, with over a third achieving in the above category. A majority of Māori students achieve above school expectations.

Achievement data from 2017 shows that girls are achieving better than boys in reading, writing and mathematics. An identified disparity for boys in reading, writing and mathematics is generally addressed by Year 8.

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

The school is highly effective in accelerating the learning of Māori and other students who need this.

Response to students with additional needs is well considered. Useful processes are in place to monitor and track their progress. There are many examples of accelerated progress made from targeted teaching. Additional learning support programmes contribute to improved student outcomes.

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?

Trustees, leadership and staff are committed to the learning and holistic wellbeing of each child. They care about and promote students’ success. Deliberate evidence-based strategies promote the engagement, participation and achievement of all children, including those at risk of underachieving. These initiatives are developed and enacted through teachers’ practice-based inquiries and collective discussions about effective teaching and student achievement.

A wide range of achievement information is gathered and used deliberately by leaders and teachers to identify, track and monitor students at risk of not achieving and inform teaching programmes and interventions. Students identified with specific learning needs have tailored individual plans, inclusive of parents and whānau.

The Omata Way and The New Zealand Curriculum appropriately underpins teaching and learning across the school. Students engage fully in well considered activities, in stimulating and inclusive classroom environments. They are effectively supported to know about and reflect on their learning. They respond well to positive and constructive feedback from their teachers and peers. Their strengths, interests and needs are well known and nurtured by classroom teachers. Positive respectful relationships are highly evident.

The wider curriculum enables a range of opportunities for students to engage and demonstrate leadership in environmental, sporting and cultural activities. Their key role in the consultation, planning and development of bush walking tracks and an orchard garden has led to authentic, rich learning about sustainability, the environment and being kaitiaki, guardians of the land.

There is a well-considered, strategic focus on improving educational outcomes for Māori learners. Leaders and teachers are collectively committed to growing their bicultural understanding and knowledge. Tikanga and te reo Māori is beginning to be integrated throughout the curriculum in meaningful ways. Māori students’ culture is valued and affirmed.

The leadership team collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision. There is clear alignment between the vision, strategic and annual plans. Strategic goals are informed by reflection, review and consultation. A range of information is deliberately gathered and contributes to decision making, change and improvement.

The board represents and is committed to serving the school community. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and school operations. Their resourcing decisions enhance teaching and learning and enable students to experience individual success as learners.

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

The school’s internal evaluation identifies appropriate strategic priorities. ERO affirms plans to further develop cultural responsiveness and digital learning. These should continue to enhance delivery of the school curriculum.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collective practice that responds effectively to students’ identified needs and wellbeing

  • curriculum enrichment opportunities

  • effective professional capability and practice, leadership and governance.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school’s priorities for further development are in:

  • cultural responsiveness

  • digital learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

30 January 2019

About the school

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2214

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

166

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
Pākehā 87%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

30 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review December 2011
Education Review November 2008