Orini Combined School - 02/04/2013

1 Context

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

Orini Combined School is situated in a small rural settlement east of Taupiri and south of Lake Waikare. The school serves the previous school districts of Mangawara, Te Hoe and Netherby. At the time of this review there were 115 Year 1 to 8 students on the roll, of these students 18 identify as Māori. A recent focus has been to develop stronger partnerships with parents, whānau and Ngāti Wairere.

The principal provides highly effective and inclusive leadership in the development of a school-wide focus on raising student achievement. She sets high expectations and takes an active role in leading the learning to promote quality teaching practices. An enthusiastic collegial team includes trustees and staff. Together they manage the implementation of school goals and professional development. Parents are an integral part of the school. They are regularly consulted about their aspirations, which are woven into the school’s mission statement, vision and values. The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

A notable feature of the school is a focus on building positive partnerships among students, teachers, parents and whānau. Together they are developing a highly effective and sustainable learning community. This inclusive approach ensures all groups contribute to improving the quality of education for children.

Students enjoy involvement with all aspects of the learning programme. They are enthusiastic about learning and have a good understanding about their progress and achievement. The implementation of the school’s information communication technology (ICT) has a positive influence on learning outcomes for students and involves teachers, students and parents in learning conversations.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information indicates that most students are achieving at levels above national expectations. School leaders, teachers, students and parents make effective use of achievement information to promote student engagement in learning. A wide range of assessment tools support teacher judgements. Parent and student comment is purposely sought and highly valued by teachers. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and make good use of this information to make resourcing decisions that benefit all students. Teachers, parents and students regularly and frequently use the school ICT system to monitor student progress and achievement over time.

Robust self-review processes ensure learning goals and associated measurable targets are achievable. Māori students are achieving at levels comparable to and slightly above non-Māori students. Parents and whānau have a clear understanding of student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics and they are frequently provided with good information through ICT about how they can help their children.

Teachers and students use ICT to record achievement, provide examples of work and monitor progress. Parents are able to participate by making appropriate affirming comments and offer next steps for learning. Students self assess and peer assess their work. This combined approach to learning ensures that parents, teachers and students are fully informed and focused on student learning.

The school has engaged external consultants to assist in the development of learning as inquiry to promote student knowledge of their progress and achievements. This has strengthened internal systems and the capability of teachers to effectively implement school goals and improve learning. Students set their own learning goals and benefit from a consistent and integrated approach to implementing learning-to-learn strategies. They effectively use the language of learning.

National Standards reading and writing achievement information shows that at the end of 2012, most students across all year groups were progressing and achieving at or above national expectations. Mathematics assessment data showed that most students were above national expectations. School wide student achievement information is shared with teachers and reported to the board. In addition teachers and students report twice a year to parents in student led conferences.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience a coherent and rich curriculum. The curriculum is well designed to promote and support student learning. It is inclusive and responsive to the needs of students. The school has achieved the overarching aim of the curriculum, which is to develop a combined learning community for personal excellence.

There are clear and shared expectations for teaching and learning. Teachers are focused on improving their teaching to promote and support student achievement outcomes. Factors contributing to improved teaching practices include:

  • focused and sustained professional learning and development (PLD) programmes
  • rigorous self-reflection and regular feedback from peers
  • sharing the purpose of learning with students and parents
  • individualised learning plans for students

Teachers have specific goals linked to targeted priority learners in reading, writing and mathematics. These are appropriately identified in teacher planning and in student e-portfolios. These goals are also used to evaluate teaching effectiveness against student achievement results. Teaching strategies are monitored and show that raising the quality of teaching is having a significant influence in supporting student learning.

The school writing programme is well embedded and integrated across the curriculum. An external provider guided the implementation of the programme and all teachers were observed and evaluated with regard to their performance. This programme has had a significant and positive effect on the quality of student engagement and learning in writing. The effective integration of e-learning and inquiry learning with writing promotes and supports students as they explore and extend their capabilities across all curriculum areas.

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

The principle of partnership and the school vision provides clear expectations for the promotion of Māori student identity and success. The school has implemented an action plan to promote educational success for Māori students. The principal and teachers are focused on strengthening the school’s te ao Māori programme. The school aims to ensure all teachers have the capability and confidence to implement a differentiated programme that promotes education success for Māori as Māori.

The school charter includes the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. During 2001 the school established an annual hui and made links with the Ngāti Wairere and in 2012 a kaumatua was consulted. A visit to Tauhei marae was a success and a local adviser supported students to learn a school waiata and coach boys in taiaha and kapa haka. The school kapa haka group is able to confidently welcome manuhiri to the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A learning culture that is based on strong partnerships among students, parents/whānau and staff is significantly contributing to the school being very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors that contribute to school sustainability are:

  • enthusiastic and knowledgeable trustees
  • a principal who has a clear future vision
  • collaborative leadership opportunities
  • comprehensive appraisal
  • a school-wide focus on establishing positive relationships
  • a teaching culture of professional learning
  • well-embedded self review
  • high levels of community support and involvement
  • regular whānau hui/workshops.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

2 April 2013

About the School


Orini (north east of Hamilton)

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 58% Boys 42%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori









Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

2 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

May 2007

March 2004