Omokoroa School - 19/05/2016

1 Context

Omokoroa School is located near Bethlehem in the Bay of Plenty and currently provides education for children in Years 1 to 8.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the school leadership and most of the teaching staff have remained the same. Teachers have engaged in both internal and external professional development focused on further raising achievement and increasing teacher use of digital technology to enhance learning.

Parents, whānau and trustees, are highly supportive of the school and contribute to a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities. Children learn and play in a safe and inclusive school culture.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are to develop confident, connected, and actively involved 'Number 1 Learners'. These valued outcomes are fully described in the school's 'learner model'. This model reflects the learning dispositions and skills articulated in The New Zealand Curriculum.

The school's achievement information shows that in the past three years most children, including Māori children, achieved at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The number of children achieving below National Standards has decreased from 52 to 37 in that time, the number of girls achieving below in mathematics has halved from 34 to 17.

An ongoing challenge for the school is to raise boys' achievement in writing. The number not achieving National Standards has decreased from 40 in 2013, to 27 in 2015. Teachers have responded positively and participated in professional development in writing. Digital technology has been introduced to better engage boys in the writing process. In reading, only six out of 125 girls and 14 out of 116 boys are achieving below expectations. Reading recovery trained teachers and qualified teacher aides work specifically to raise the achievement levels of children achieving below expectations.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies such as effective questioning, modelling, scaffolding, authentic learning contexts, and revisiting learning to promote children's learning. They use te reo and Māori contexts to enhance bicultural knowledge and understandings for Māori children and for all children. Children who require extension are provided with opportunities to learn at a higher level and participate in local and national competitions and events. Children are keen to develop further opportunities to learn te reo Māori and other languages to a higher level.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the school has:

  • identified children at risk of underachieving through the use of robust assessment processes
  • developed an action plan for each Māori child and this helps teachers to better respond to their language, culture, identity and learning needs
  • developed individual education plans for children with high needs following meetings with parents
  • developed strategies with parents to assist with accelerating progress for their children
  • setting goals and targets to guide teachers and teacher aides in supporting these children.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Teachers and school leaders effectively respond to children whose learning and progress needs accelerating by:

  • using achievement and other information to plan, teach and monitor differentiated learning programmes in reading, writing and mathematics for individuals and groups
  • employing teacher qualified and experienced teacher aides who work with individuals and small groups to accelerate their learning
  • involving parents in meetings about the best ways to support their child
  • identifying groups of children who may be at risk of underachieving, for example in writing, and actively seeking professional development to build teacher knowledge and skills in that learning area
  • using internal and external expertise such as the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and experienced teachers to identify and support children with diverse learning needs and their families.

The school is able to clearly show how they are accelerating the progress of individual children who achieve below or well below National Standards. Leaders monitor children who make accelerated progress at the beginning, middle, and end of each year, and report this to the board. From this analysis, a range of strategies and interventions are recommended, acted on, and the progress of priority learners evaluated.

Leaders track and monitor students' achievement in relation to National Standards and other measures, and record the progress they have made. This information is reported to the board regularly. Trustees use student achievement information to monitor strategic goals and allocate extra resourcing to support children whose progress requires accelerating.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's vision and values are well established and focus on dispositions and thinking skills that underpin a range of learning expectations and competencies. Teachers, supported by the board and a number of parents, have introduced activities and events to embrace Māori culture and identity. This is contributing to the sense of identity and belonging for Māori children and their whānau. There is scope to review the school's learner model to incorporate values and dispositions that reflect the school's commitment to New Zealand's dual cultural heritage.

Children learn in well-resourced and stimulating environments where digital technologies enhance their learning experiences. Teachers work collaboratively to share and use good quality teaching practices. In classes, children were highly engaged in learning, were clear about the purpose of the lessons, and how to be successful. They were confident communicators and demonstrated qualities of leadership and independence.

Teachers effectively share assessment information in children's profiles, through teacher feedback, and at parent interviews. This process is for all children, including those children who need accelerating. They encourage parents/whānau to be actively involved in their child's learning and provide them with detailed reports about their progress and next learning steps.

Leadership roles and responsibilities are well distributed and collaboratively carried out. The board is highly supportive of the principal and staff, consults with parents, and encourages events and practices that promote equitable outcomes for Māori and non-Māori children. Leaders and trustees maintain an urgent priority on raising achievement for all children through target setting, analysing achievement information and making effective resourcing decisions.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school community works collaboratively and effectively to ensure that every child is well supported in achieving their goals and aspirations in a safe and inclusive school culture. Māori children are achieving at similar levels to non-Māori and are provided with appropriate support.

ERO, school leaders and the board agree that:

  • teachers should continue to help children understand their own learning needs and how they will achieve their next learning steps
  • teaching as inquiry should focus on accelerating the progress of children who are at risk of underachieving and evaluating the progress they have made
  • leaders and teachers should extend the visibility, presence and inclusion of Māori language, culture and identity within the school.

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

6 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 the following:

  • Board administration

  • Curriculum

  • Management of health, safety and welfare

  • Personnel management

  • 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

  • Processes for appointing staff

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • Attendance

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school adopt a strategic approach to extending the presence, practice and visibility of Māori language, culture and identity in the school vision, curriculum and documentation and operations. Teachers need to further develop teaching as inquiry approaches to promote positive outcomes for priority learners and continue to encourage children to be self-directed learners. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

19 May 2016

About the school

Location

Omokoroa, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

1863

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

288

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

8%

81%

11%

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

19 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

November 2008

January 2006