Onepoto School - 30/06/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Positive and inclusive relationships provide a sound foundation for student learning at Onepoto School. The school's holistic curriculum includes some relevant Māori and Pacific learning contexts. School leaders recognise the need to accelerate student learning and achievement. The school is committed to continuous improvement and is working collaboratively to meet its goals.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Onepoto School is a small suburban school for students from Years 1-6. The school roll has remained stable since ERO’s 2009 report, despite continuous high levels of student transience. Students come from diverse cultural backgrounds and many are speakers of languages other than English. Forty-four percent are Māori and thirty-seven percent are Tongan. A further six percent are from other Pacific Island nations.

The school has built close connections with its Māori and Pacific communities. Many volunteers, staff and trustees have a long association with and commitment to the school, and second generation families now attend the school. This sense of history is valued by the school and the community.

Strong relationships contribute to a positive tone in the school. A focus on fostering student wellbeing supports the learning of all students. Students are confident and physically active. They have pride in their school. They mix well between year levels and have a strong sense of belonging to Onepoto School.

In the past two years, a new principal and two associate principals have been appointed. Two of these new leaders were internal appointments and have taught at the school for a number of years. Leaders, staff and a newly elected board are committed to continuous improvement and work collaboratively to meet school goals.

All staff, including support staff, have participated in a variety of professional learning and development opportunities. In 2013, the school worked with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to raise student achievement and increase community engagement. In 2014 professional development extends these goals to focus on enhancing students’ learning through the effective teaching of mathematics and literacy.

The 2009 ERO report identified areas for improvement related to developing a more studentcentred learning culture, strengthening home/school partnerships and extending self-review practices. The board and school leaders continue to make progress in these areas.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Teachers make good use of achievement information to differentiate learning programmes and to manage their classroom planning. Consistent school-wide approaches to assessment and external moderation with other schools contribute to the reliability of achievement data. School leaders have recently established systems to monitor achievement levels across the school.

The school’s public achievement information shows that over half of all students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. School charter targets for 2014 are appropriately focused on continuing to accelerate overall student achievement, particularly in writing. The school has set realistic long-term targets to reach the target of 85 percent at and above the National Standards by 2017. Refining these achievement targets could support the school to more effectively monitor progress for specific groups of students.

Pacific students generally achieve higher than other groups of students in the school. School leaders and teachers continue to prioritise strategies that support Māori learners to make accelerated progress. Targeted professional learning and development supports this goal and promotes positive outcomes for student learning and achievement, particularly for Māori students.

Leaders and teachers monitor the progress of students with special education needs and those who are at risk of not achieving to their potential. They know students and many of their families very well. As a result, teachers are modifying classroom programmes to better support individual students to experience success.

Parents receive good information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school continues to work with its diverse community to increase parents’ understanding of achievement information and to share ways that parents can support their children’s learning at home.

The school recognises that teachers should increase opportunities for students to manage their own learning; discuss the knowledge, skills and strategies they are learning; set goals and evaluate their own success.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum promotes student learning effectively. It reflects the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and is clearly based on the school’s vision and values. Programmes place an appropriately strong emphasis on building students’ oral language skills as the foundation for academic success.

The school offers students a range of sports and cultural opportunities. The holistic curriculum engages students in some relevant and meaningful Māori and Pacific learning contexts. Teachers could now extend this good practice with inquiry learning approaches to make clearer connections with children’s prior knowledge.

Inclusive, welcoming and respectful relationships are a feature of the school. Positive interactions between teachers and students contribute to good levels of student engagement. Students develop social and leadership skills as they move through the school. Their sense of responsibility and giving back to the school and community is highly evident. Pastoral care provisions focus on the best interests of students.

Teachers’ professional learning programmes help them to work collaboratively, share their practice and identify goals for improvement. Participation in these programmes is strengthening their subject knowledge and teaching skills. Teachers are using this professional learning well to plan classroom programmes that meet the needs of students.

School leaders agree that teaching and learning could be improved by:

  • embedding teachers’ reflective practices in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • increasing the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the curriculum
  • strengthening students’ self management of their learning through an integrated approach to inquiry learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The percentage of Māori students at the school has increased over the last five years and Māori students are now the largest ethnic group enrolled in the school. There is a continued commitment to making the school a place where Māori language, culture and identity are valued and evident in the environment and school practices. The school’s environment and emphasis on positive relationships encourage Māori students to participate in learning programmes. Some teachers skilfully integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into their practice.

School achievement information shows that prioritising strategies to support Māori learners to make accelerated progress remains an ongoing and urgent priority.

School leaders and teachers have developed positive partnerships with whānau. Māori families provide the school with very good information about their aspirations for their children’s learning. The school could consider how to respond more effectively to whānau feedback. This could include reporting to parents about improvements made as the result of community consultation.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school’s charter and vision provide clear direction and expectations for parent/whānau engagement and student learning success. The leadership team and board are working collaboratively to support the implementation of these school goals and targets. Continuing to build leadership capacity throughout the school remains an ongoing priority for improvement.

Trustees are reflective of the diverse community and bring a range of skills to the board. Many have established community networks and work with wider community agencies for the benefit of students. The board is attending training as a group to increase their awareness of their governance roles and responsibilities.

A focus on raising student achievement is helping to promote the provision of effective teaching and learning programmes. School leaders recognise the importance of consolidating professional learning to accelerate student achievement. A newly established performance management system encourages teachers to reflect on and improve their teaching practice. Documenting improvement focused feedback to teachers could strengthen the robustness of teacher appraisal processes.

Self review is used to gather information, identify new possibilities and manage change. Leaders should now strengthen self-review processes by:

  • consulting more regularly with students
  • reporting to parents about how the school has responded to community consultation and aspirations
  • evaluating and documenting progress against school goals.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of this ERO review.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review processes and records relating to provision for past international students are thorough.

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:

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

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

During the course of the review, ERO identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • ensure that systems are in place to undertake a police vet for all non-teaching staff on employment and every three years. [Education Act 1989, s78C].

To improve current practices, the board should establish procedures for board meeting minutes that protect the privacy of individuals and formally record when the meeting goes into committee.

Conclusion

Positive and inclusive relationships provide a sound foundation for student learning at Onepoto School. The school's holistic curriculum includes some relevant Māori and Pacific learning contexts. School leaders recognise the need to accelerate student learning and achievement. The school is committed to continuous improvement and is working collaboratively to meet its goals.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

30 June 2014

About the School

Location

Northcote

Ministry of Education profile number

1400

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

108

Gender composition

Boys 62

Girls 46

Ethnic composition

Māori

Tongan

South East Asian

Samoan

Niue

NZ European/Pākehā 

other Asian

other ethnicities

44%

37%

5%

3%

3%

3%

3%

2%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

30 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

June 2006

March 2003