Ormiston Junior College - 12/02/2018

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Ormiston Junior College. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Ormiston Junior College opened in February 2017 for Year 7 to 10 students. It has been established under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) model. The school has been built to accommodate over 1,000 students, and there are currently 172 students enrolled.

3 Background 

The school has been established under the guidance of an establishment board that has also been responsible for the establishment of Ormiston Primary School on an adjacent site. In August 2017, a new board was elected to oversee governance and stewardship of both schools.

The college includes a satellite class for students enrolled in Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC). These students work in environments alongside other students and are included in the wider life of the school.

The vision for Ormiston Primary and Junior College is to “guarantee every learner engages in innovative, personalised world-class learning”. The school values of ‘integrity, innovation, excellence, relationships, inspiration’ underpin the curriculum and teaching practice.

4 Findings 

Preparatory work to ensure the opening of Ormiston Junior College in February 2017 was very well managed by the establishment board, the governance facilitator, the principal, and the leadership team. This good management continues, and as a result, the college is very well placed to promote the learning and wellbeing needs of students. The school’s vision and values are well reflected in leadership and teaching practice, and in the curriculum that students readily engage in.

The school’s emphasis on whanaungatanga and student wellbeing promotes an environment that is highly inclusive of students’ diverse cultures, and students with additional learning needs. Senior leaders and teachers know students well as individuals and as learners. Relevant programmes and practices have been developed to ensure students who require extra support are known and well supported.

Students appreciate the support from teachers and leaders to be successful in their learning, and the ready access to their achievement data to guide their own learning. Students enjoy the freedom to choose their own inquiries, who they work with, and where they work. Curriculum programmes offer learners many opportunities to develop leadership, collaboration and strategising skills.

Senior leaders provide high quality professional leadership that is guided by the school’s vision, and founded on building working relationships for positive learner outcomes. They work collaboratively to ensure teachers have a good understanding of the innovative teaching approaches designed to enact the vision for the school. As a result, senior leaders have a good understanding of the successes and challenges within the school’s model for learning. Internal evaluation is inherent in all processes. It is contributing significantly to ongoing refinement, adaptation and improvement in curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

The school’s curriculum is highly reflective of the principles and values of the New Zealand Curriculum. The way that it is presented enables students to confidently self-manage and demonstrate their learning, and to understand themselves as learners.

There is a complementary emphasis on continuing to build students’ skill base in literacy and numeracy. Relevant assessment practices are implemented with termly progress checks. Teachers and leaders have a deliberate focus on supporting low achievers in their learning. As a result, many of these students have made accelerated progress during this year.

A culture of relational trust and sharing is evident in the ways teachers work together and learn from each other. Leaders maintain a high quality induction programme. This is evidenced in the quality of curriculum programmes, and students’ active engagement in authentic learning, and systems and frameworks that support teachers and students.

The school maintains a valuable partnership with the local iwi, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki. Local history has influenced aspects of the school. Ngai Tai ki Tamaki gifted Mauri stones for the entrance and chiefs’ names for areas within the school. Teachers and students learn about the Māori heritage of the local area.

Parents who spoke with ERO were positive advocates of the school, sharing their appreciation of the success they see in their children’s wellbeing and engagement in learning. There are multiple opportunities for parents to share their perspectives on aspects of the school. They can digitally access regularly updated information about their child’s progress and achievement. Three times each year, students lead parent/teacher conferences sharing their progress and current learning goals.

At the time of this review, the board had only been recently elected. Its role is to oversee the stewardship of both schools, and support coherence and continuity for students and their families as they transition between the schools. A likely challenge for the board is to ensure that trustees have a clear understanding of the uniqueness of each school’s curriculum and practices.

Senior leaders agree that development priorities include continuing to:

  • consider how well students are prepared for relevant curriculum pathways in their senior secondary education
  • refine teacher appraisal processes to meet requirements of the Education Council.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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 students' 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

Preparatory work to ensure the opening of Ormiston Junior College in February 2017 was very well managed by the establishment board, the governance facilitator, the principal, and the leadership team. This good management continues, and as a result, the college is very well placed to promote the learning and wellbeing needs of students. 

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)
Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 February 2018 

About the School 

Location

Flat Bush, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

709

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 10)

School roll

172

Gender composition

Boys      54%

Girls       46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Fijian

Samoan

Vietnamese

Cambodian

other Asian

other Pacific Peoples

other ethnicities

  5%

  7%

27%

18%

  6%

  6%

  6%

  5%

10%

  6%

  4%

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 February 2018