Orere School - 25/06/2014

Findings

The board of trustees has a strong commitment to the school and has increasing support from the Orere Point community. The school has made progress in developing effective curriculum practices that promote and support students’ learning. With continued support from professional development advisers, the school is well placed to sustain existing good practices and to continue improving in key areas that require further focus.

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?

Orere School is a small rural school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8 in a spacious and attractive learning environment. The school has a stable roll and most students are of New Zealand European or Māori heritage. A small number of students are of Pacific heritage.

Students benefit from a positive school culture that reflects the school motto, ‘Through knowledge, we grow’. The school promotes the values of respect, learning, teamwork and leadership within its curriculum. Students proudly maintain the school’s gardens and poultry and are developing a good understanding of environmental sustainability.

The new principal, appointed since the 2011 ERO review, provides committed leadership and has promoted leadership opportunities for students and staff. Teachers are supportive of and committed to the students’ wellbeing. The school tone is settled, with students focused on their learning. Students are confident, articulate, and proud of their school. They mix well between Year levels and have a strong sense of belonging in the school and its community. Students are responding well to high expectations for learning in a well resourced learning environment.

Orere School has developed very good links with the local community. Whānau/parents are becoming increasingly involved in supporting students’ learning. The board of trustees includes Māori and Pacific representatives and is committed to school improvement.

ERO’s 2011 report noted that teaching and learning was an area of strength throughout the school. Leaders and teachers have made progress in improving areas identified by ERO for review and development. The school has worked with professional development providers and Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function (SAF) advisers on curriculum design, implementation and review.

2 Learning

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

Orere School is using achievement information well to improve learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The school’s data shows that most students, including Māori students, are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics. Teachers are continuing to develop moderation processes to ensure the reliability of their National Standards data. The board and parents receive good information about student achievement.

The school provides well for students requiring additional support in literacy and mathematics. Teachers and leaders use achievement data to plan learning programmes for these students. The school accesses external support for students with special needs and provides an effective initiative to support children’s learning of literacy at home. Teachers appreciate students’ strengths, interests and abilities and are using them increasingly to plan classroom programmes. As a result, student learning is well supported.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports students learning well. Teachers have further clarified and developed their approach to The New Zealand Curriculum. The school accesses external support for students with special needs.

Teachers are reviewing and developing the curriculum so that it is increasingly culturally responsive and engages students in their learning. Attractive classroom environments reflect students’ creativity. School leaders ensure that the curriculum provides a variety of learning experiences outside the classroom. Students have good opportunities to participate in programmes that promote and celebrate the performing arts, outdoor education, environmental science and sport.

Students use information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance their learning in a range of learning areas. They are encouraged to be motivated, resourceful and to contribute to their community.

Good opportunities are provided for interactive learning and for students to share their learning with the community. The school’s strong environmental focus has a positive impact on students’ wellbeing and their awareness of sustainability issues. These strategies to celebrate learning are part of the school’s strategic intent to promote students’ confidence and to support them to be resilient.

School leaders are focused on developing a school curriculum that makes learning more visible. This focus provides increasing opportunities to develop students’ confidence in sharing their learning with their community. School leaders are now keen to promote student-led inquiry learning with a stronger focus on critical thinking and problem solving. They should also ensure the school’s provision of careers education in Years 7 and 8 supports the development of students’ knowledge about possible careers and the study and qualifications needed to achieve these.

Teachers could strengthen self-review processes to sustain and improve outcomes for students by:

  • reviewing their curriculum against the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • evaluating how well the teaching strategies they have identified as effective are embedded in the school’s teaching culture
  • develop the school’s evaluative reporting to focus on the impact of teaching initiatives on students’ learning outcomes.

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

Māori students make up 47% of the roll. Orere School is beginning to promote educational success for Māori as Māori. Teachers are increasingly providing opportunities for students to have pride in their language, culture and identity. Kapa haka is developing in the school with whānau support.

Teachers are developing a culturally responsive curriculum with an increased focus on te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. It would be useful for teachers to implement a sequential te reo programme using the Ministry of Education document, Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki, Te reo Māori in English Medium Schools.

Māori students are well represented as student leaders and as high achievers throughout the school. Most achieve at levels that are at or above the National Standards.

The principal has developed good links with Māori in the community and should now continue to explore ways to develop effective consultation with whānau. The principal and board recognise the importance of documenting their consultation with whānau.

Teachers’ professional learning is having a positive impact on students’ learning. Teachers’ contact with the SAF adviser has helped them to provide students with a more culturally responsive curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Orere School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal provides teachers with good opportunities to develop leadership. Senior leaders support the principal and staff and have high expectations for students’ learning. Orere School has an inclusive learning environment in which students are valued and respected as capable, competent learners.

The board of trustees has a strong commitment to the school and has long-standing links with the local community. The board receives information from the principal about school operations and student achievement and uses this to inform its strategic decision making. Trustees recognise that to support sustainability and ongoing improvement, their next steps are to continue developing:

  • more coherent, systematic and improvement focused self-review processes
  • a challenging, relevant and engaging curriculum
  • a better understanding of the board’s governance role and legal obligations.

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

The board of trustees has a strong commitment to the school and has increasing support from the Orere Point community. The school has made progress in developing effective curriculum practices that promote and support students’ learning. With continued support from professional development advisers, the school is well placed to sustain existing good practices and to continue improving in key areas that require further focus.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

25 June 2014

About the School

Location

Orere Point, Papakura

Ministry of Education profile number

1405

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

46

Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Cook Island Māori

22

22

2

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

25 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

December 2007

January 2005