Orewa School - 18/01/2017

1 Context

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The board comprises a mix of experienced and new trustees who have useful skills and expertise. Teachers have participated in professional learning and development that has focused on collaborative teaching and learning practice. Since the 2013 ERO external evaluation, internal evaluation processes have been strengthened and now better inform the school's goals to improve teaching and raise achievement levels for all children.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are focused on empowering students to achieve personal excellence in a learning culture that values all. The school motto, "where everybody is somebody" is well understood by children and the school community.

The school’s achievement information shows that just over ninety percent of children achieve National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. There is little disparity when comparing Māori and Pacific learners with all children.

A focus on accelerating the achievement of the few children who have not yet reached National Standards remains a school priority. Trustees, leaders and staff are also aware of children achieving at National Standards but requiring support to realise their potential. School analysis of achievement information in mathematics has identified the need to support girls who could be achieving above national standards.

Children with learning needs progress well towards National Standards. Their view of themselves as successful learners is enhanced in the way they have a sense of control over their lives and learning. Teachers adapt their practice to accommodate these children’s preferences. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) reflect shared goals formed by parents, teachers and children that are measurable.

Teachers make good use of moderation processes to determine how well children are achieving in relation to National Standards. Overall teacher judgements reflect the breadth of the National Standards and are informed by children's ongoing learning and nationally referenced assessment tools.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • improved systems and processes to support teachers and teacher aides to accelerate the progress of learners at risk of underachieving
  • strengthened partnerships with parents/whānau that are focused on improving learning
  • supported staff to explore and implement collaborative teaching and learning practices in order to develop children’s capability to direct their learning. 

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds well to the needs of Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school is able to demonstrate the difference it has made to the achievement of the few Māori children that require accelerated progress.

Māori children who are at risk of not achieving are well identified through the use of thorough, school-wide tracking and monitoring processes.

The learning needs of these Māori children are catered for through:

  • a strong sense of whanaungatanga that supports Māori learners to have a sense of connection to the school, to each other, and to their teachers
  • high levels of collaboration and trust among staff to successfully support the transition of Māori learners as they progress through the school
  • the promotion of children's confidence in their learning helps accelerate the progress of Māori children who are at risk of not achieving.

Achievement targets that expect accelerated progress are set by the board of trustees for Māori children who are at risk of not achieving. Regular reports to the board about how well Māori children are progressing, help trustees to ask questions about achievement trends and patterns in order to target resources effectively.

Senior leaders and teachers have high expectations of all children succeeding in relation to the National Standards. Teachers skilfully support Māori children’s progress by helping them develop their confidence and leadership skills.

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

The school responds effectively to other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The number of Pacific children in the school is small and therefore it is difficult to summarise the overall achievement levels of this group of learners.

Consistent with principles of accelerating all children’s progress, teachers:

  • provide opportunities for children to apply skills immediately to what they are learning
  • plan active, fast paced, hands-on experiences
  • support children to keep pace with what their peers are learning in order to avoid the sense of needing to catch-up.

Teachers have high expectations for the achievement and learning of children with special learning needs. These expectations support children with high or moderate needs to participate fully in classroom programmes. Provision for these learners is reviewed in an ongoing manner.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are effective in developing and enacting the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

Senior leaders, teachers and trustees have a common understanding of, and commitment to accelerating children's progress. Teachers personalise programmes and modify their practice to accelerate the progress of children at risk of not achieving.

Broad curriculum themes and meaningful learning contexts support children who are at risk of not achieving. They have good opportunities to build on their interests and capabilities.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is reflected by initiatives to support teachers to promote te āo Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally responsive practices across the school.

Positive and caring interactions between children and teachers are enhanced by the knowledge teachers have of children and their parents/whānau. Consultation with whānau helps teachers identify Māori children's capabilities, interests and strengths. Māori children see themselves as successful learners, secure in their Māori identity.

Positive relationships with parents are developed when their children enrol and continue through the time children are at the school. Senior leaders and teachers are receptive to feedback and share with parents and whānau how the school might best cater for their children’s learning and wellbeing. Children who are at risk of not achieving benefit from regular mentoring by key staff members.

The board receives information about the effectiveness of programmes and professional learning and development initiatives in raising children's achievement. Internal evaluation is improvement focused and provides insights about areas that are working well and areas that require further development.

Trustees and senior leaders are keen to enhance and extend professional networking for accelerating the progress of children who are at risk of not achieving. Involvement with the Orewa Community of Learning (CoL) that the school joined in 2015 will support this school priority.

5 Going forward

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

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.

School leaders and trustees support staff to engage all children in a curriculum that builds on their capabilities and accelerates the progress of those who are at risk of not achieving.

To further strengthen school performance the board, in discussion with ERO has identified that its own internal evaluation processes could be strengthened. This development would be consistent with the significant developments since the 2013 ERO review in the way senior leaders and staff evaluate the impact of their work on improving outcomes for children.

The school has also identified that it would be timely to develop a set of expectations for staff in regard to the capabilities required for effective collaborative teaching practice. This set of expectations would complement the recently formed expectations for children as collaborative learners.

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

  • provision for international students

7 Recommendation

The school should continue with its pursuit of learner-centred education goals by building on the current development of collaborative teaching and learning practices. Further developing internal evaluation processes and identifying valued teacher capabilities is likely to support the school's strategic direction.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 January 2017

About the school 

Location

Orewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1407

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

385

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

South African

Pacific

other

9%

68%

13%

5%

1%

4%

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

18 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2014

February 2010

November 2007