Orautoha School - 07/06/2017

Findings

Students benefit from effective teaching, focused on individual needs and next steps. They are highly engaged in their learning in an inclusive environment. Respectful relationships are clearly evident. School leadership focuses on improving student outcomes. A growing effective partnership between home and school supports learning. Trustees continue to build their understanding of governance.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Orautoha School is a sole charge school, situated in a rural valley 15 kilometres northwest of Raetihi. Of the 22 students on the roll, 15 identify as Māori. The majority travel from Raetihi and Ohakune.

Since the June 2015 ERO report, there has been significant change to school personnel. The present principal was appointed to her position soon after the 2015 review. There has been steady roll growth over the past eighteen months.

Following the previous review, ERO supported the principal to develop and evaluate a plan in response to the areas identified for improvement. The principal has led trustees in making the necessary changes.

The principal and trustees have continued to work with the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association to support them in their leadership, management and governance roles. Orautoha School is one of a group of schools working within a Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

This ERO report evaluates the progress made since 2015 and how well placed the school is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

An action plan outlined key priorities for development. The actions taken and outcomes achieved as a result of planning, were monitored throughout the process.

The overall goal was to build staff and trustees capability to provide conditions to promote learning, progress and achievement of all students. The actions that support this have been to:

  • improve the quality of teaching
  • improve the use of student achievement information
  • review and develop the school’s curriculum
  • build trustees' capability in their governance role and in meeting their statutory responsibilities, including policies, appraisal and use of internal evaluation.

Progress

The school has made significant progress, evident in schoolwide documentation that supports teaching to promote positive learning outcomes for students.

The principal has established effective teaching expectations, with an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics. Staff access relevant professional learning and development that builds their capability and improves practice. Students have suitable and meaningful opportunities to learn. Respectful and productive relationships assist students to be actively engaged in their learning in a positive, inclusive environment. Recently implemented Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) outline each student’s learning goals for reading, writing and mathematics. Senior students contribute to the development of these, supporting them to take more control of their learning.

Trustees receive useful information about student learning, including progress over time and end of year National Standards data. End of 2016 data, indicates an increased percentage of students achieving at and above in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics. The school has established appropriate targets to raise achievement in response to writing data, where 50% of students achieve below expectation.

The principal uses data effectively to inform planning and provision of learning opportunities responsive to identified needs. The information is appropriately used to report to parents and whānau about progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Students share their learning and celebrate their successes with their parents.

Trustees need to continue to build their understanding and capability in scrutinising student achievement data. This should further support them to make informed decisions about resourcing to promote learning.

A well-considered, measured approach has led to significant development of the school’s curriculum. Consultation with whānau to ascertain their aspirations for their children is ongoing. The curriculum now clearly aligns with the priorities of The New Zealand Curriculum and appropriately focuses on literacy and mathematics. The principal has identified the need to continue to develop the curriculum to reflect the context of the school and its community, including a shared vision, values and beliefs.

The principal has a relentless focus on building relationships with parents, whānau and the community. This has led to their increasing involvement in a range of school and communal activities and events. Parents and whānau as respected and valued partners in their children’s learning.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

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

The principal has supported the board to address areas identified in the 2015 ERO report. They are working effectively together to focus on student learning outcomes and lead the school forward.

The board are well informed about student achievement, curriculum development and school priorities. Trustees have undertaken targeted training. They have an increased understanding of their roles and responsibilities. It is important that they build on this and use their knowledge to more effectively be involved in the development and implementation of the school’s strategic goals.

Continuing involvement in professional learning and development effectively supports staff to promote positive learning outcomes for students. An appropriate performance appraisal process, focused on reflection and improvement, is now in place. It provides a clear framework and expectations. It is important that the process is fully implemented to further improve effective practice and growth.

Teachers continue to provide an inclusive, caring and stable environment. They promote positive and considerate relationships with students, based on mutual trust and respect. Students develop a connection to their surroundings.

Self review is at an early stage of development. Trustees regularly review and update school policies. Schoolwide student achievement information is reviewed to set strategic goals and targets. Internal evaluation should to be improved by strengthening the emphasis on evaluating the impact of teaching on student learning.

The board and staff should embed the developments identified in this report to further accelerate student learning, progress and achievement.

The school has requested that ERO provide them with an internal evaluation workshop. 

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.

Conclusion

Students benefit from effective teaching, focused on individual needs and next steps. They are highly engaged in their learning in an inclusive environment. Respectful relationships are clearly evident. School leadership focuses on improving student outcomes. A growing effective partnership between home and school supports learning. Trustees continue to build their understanding of governance.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

7 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Raetihi

Ministry of Education profile number

2413

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

22

Gender composition

Female 11, Male 11

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

15

7

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

7 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2015

May 2012

August 2009