Onepoto School - 21/04/2017

Summary

Onepoto School is a small school, located on Auckland’s North Shore. The school caters for children from Years 1 to 6. Currently, the school has a roll of 82 children, comprising 22 Māori and 35 Tongan, with the balance made up of children from other Pacific and Middle Eastern nations. Nearly a quarter of the children enrolled are learning English as an additional language.

Many families and staff having long standing connections with the school. A special feature of the school is the wide variety of services provided for student wellbeing. These include, SWiS (Social Worker in School), a school community meeting place, named ‘our place’ and a ‘Breakfast Club’ run by parents and the local community police. These services help to provide strong pastoral care for children and promote community participation in the school.

Overall achievement results have been poor for children in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has made little progress in lifting overall National Standard achievement levels over time and outcomes are not equitable for all children.

The school’s systems for analysing achievement information and evaluating the effectiveness of programmes in lifting achievement and accelerating children’s learning progress are not effective. This is limiting the school’s capacity to raise children’s achievement.

The school has recently joined the Northcote Community of Learning|Kahui Ako (CoL), a group of local schools and two early childhood services that have a focus on lifting student achievement in the wider Northcote community. This is likely to assist the school in addressing low achievement and disparity.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation the board has appointed several new trustees and had several changes of board chair. While areas of non-compliance identified in the last ERO review have been addressed, recommendations to do with learning, curriculum and sustainable performance continue to be areas for school development.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

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

Onepoto primary school is not responding effectively to Māoriand other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s Public Achievement Information for 2016 shows that less than half of the children have achieved the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In addition, there has been little progress in lifting overall achievement levels over time. The school is not yet achieving equitable outcomes for all children. There is disparity in achievement evident between boys and girls and between Māori children and their non-Māori peers. Boys’ overall achievement in writing is particularly low.

Teachers use a variety of assessment tools to assess children’s progress and achievement. Teachers’ use of achievement information to plan differentiated programmes is however, variable in quality. School leaders recognise that there is potential for widening the use of the school’s action plans for children with special needs. Currently, these are being used only by specialised teachers but could help all teachers to address the need to accelerate the progress of children at risk of not achieving.

The school has yet to implement robust systems and processes to ensure overall teacher judgements for National Standard are reliable. The principal has identified that working with other schools in the CoL to moderate assessments should help teachers to make more reliable overall teacher judgments.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school has some processes in place that may help teachers build equity and excellence. With further refinement teachers’ ‘teaching as inquiry’ cycle has potential to help them to lift and accelerate children’s progress.

Currently, teachers identify the children who are at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics and document the in-class and additional support that children receive. An important next step for the school is to strengthen the evaluation aspects of this process. This could be done by collecting longitudinal information about each child's learning progress, highlighting key acceleration points and showing rates of progress that are maintained or improved over time.

The recent review of some areas of the integrated curriculum could also help teachers better promote children’s learning. However, it will be necessary to continue this review to ensure that the breadth and depth of the curriculum is evident and aligned to the school mission and expectations. Greater clarity about expectations for high quality delivery of the curriculum could help to address the variability in the quality of teaching that is currently evident in the school.

The school’s mission and school-wide behaviour expectations have been underpinned by the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme. Parents who spoke to ERO during this review confirmed that there have been positive changes in the school’s culture following the introduction of the PB4L programme

School leaders have a long association with the school and the community. They have good links with local support services and agencies. This focus on student and family wellbeing provides a positive foundation for lifting children’s learning.

School leaders are consulting with the school’s Māori community and gathering whānau feedback. A next step is to develop and make known to whānau the school’s plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Key school processes and conditions are not well enough established to help achieve equity and excellence for all children. These include school governance and stewardship, educational leadership and curriculum development. External support is required to improve school systems and processes to achieve equity and excellence.

To improve the curriculum it is necessary to:

  • build greater coherence into the school's curriculum framework, align it with the school mission, and ensure that it affirms children’s language, culture and identity, and builds on their prior knowledge and experiences
  • increase opportunities for children to manage their own learning, through goal setting and opportunities to evaluate their own success
  • develop teachers’ understanding of acceleration and assessment and the teaching strategies that promote accelerated learning and lift children’s achievement
  • establish consistently high quality teaching practice across the school.

To improve educational leadership it is necessary to:

  • build leadership capacity and capability at all levels of the school
  • ensure that the principal’s written reports to the board are evaluative and include information about the impact, quality or effectiveness of programmes and initiatives on children’s learning
  • promote a sense of urgency for accelerating the progress of all target students.

In order to improve governance and stewardship of the school it is necessary for the board to:

  • seek greater assurance from the principal about the quality of school processes to support equity and excellence for all children
  • use external support to help it to better fulfil its responsibilities with regard to appraising and managing the performance of staff including the principal
  • develop a policy framework to support the ongoing and thorough review of school policies and procedures
  • develop robust systems and processes to ensure transparency around the use of additional funding

improve provision for children for whom English is an additional language, including processes for reporting the outcomes of the programmes designed to support these children.

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

  • 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.

Appraisal audit

The school does not have systems and processes that are aligned to the New Zealand Council requirements for the appraisal of teachers.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of international Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has not attested that it complies with all aspects of the code. 

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

This school is not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school student achievement disparities.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education considers intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • improve the quality of leadership, curriculum and teaching and learning
  • use robust internal evaluation to inform strategic planning and support actions for ongoing improvement
  • build trustees understanding and capacity in their role as good employers and stewards of the school
  • ensure that board policies and school practices align with the NAGs and legal requirements.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 April 2017

About the school

Location

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1400

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

82

Gender composition

Boys 43, Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Niue

Middle Eastern

other ethnicities

22

5

35

4

6

10

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

21 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2014

June 2009

June 2006