Ormiston Senior College - 18/10/2018

School Context

Ormiston Senior College (OSC) currently provides education for 588 students in Years 11 to 13. Māori students comprise five percent of the roll and students with Pacific heritage represent nine percent. While a separate entity, the school is located in a campus that includes a primary school and junior college.

The 26 percent increase in the roll since the 2015 ERO external evaluation is a result of increased housing developments in the local area. The school’s ethnically diverse community means students have many different languages and experiences. The school reports that over 80 percent of students can speak at least two languages.

The school’s vision “preparing and inspiring our students to achieve their very best in a global society” is underpinned by the ‘OSC Norms’. This set of guiding values and dispositions use references linked to te ao Māori to support students and staff to ‘strive, grow, inquire, create, utilise, contribute, and value’. 

School goals for student achievement in 2018 relate to:

  • supporting groups of learners who are at risk of not achieving through a variety of innovative strategies
  • improving attendance and punctuality so students do not miss out on important learning opportunities
  • partnerships with parent/whānau that are focused on improving outcomes for learners.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets and national qualifications
  • pathways and destination outcomes
  • pastoral and wellbeing information about groups and cohorts
  • participation, contribution and engagement information across a number of sporting, arts and cultural areas.

The school is actively involved in the “Flatbush 7”, a cluster of local schools that is focused on collaboratively seeking improved outcomes for all learners.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The college is working well towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

Leaders, trustees and staff successfully instil in learners a belief that they are capable and can achieve.

Most students gain National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Over the past three years there has been an increase in achievement at Levels 2 and 3, and an increase in excellence endorsements at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Many achieve highly, including some Māori and Pacific learners. Those Māori and Pacific students who are at risk of not achieving are closely monitored. Targeted support helps these and other learners to make good progress.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported by personalised teaching approaches that adapt to, and build on students’ interests and strengths.

Other valued student outcomes evident in the school’s culture include:

  • capability to pursue preferred futures and lifelong learning
  • confidence in one’s identity, and an appreciation of diversity
  • responsibility for personal learning, and for the learning of others
  • active participation in learning and an ambition to extend one’s abilities
  • a willingness to contribute to the life of the school and community.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

College leaders and teachers successfully address small parity concerns for some groups of learners. Staff work relentlessly and purposefully to strengthen parity for Māori, Pacific, and students with additional learning needs.

School information shows that most learners make good progress over a two-year period to achieve senior NCEA qualifications at Level 2 or above. There are some minor disparities in outcomes for Pacific learners which are being strategically addressed.

Learning support for students with additional needs is well-coordinated. Action plans are collaboratively constructed with students and parents/whānau and form the basis of relevant interventions and support. The school’s highly inclusive learning culture helps all students participate in a breadth of learning experiences. 

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s processes and practices are very effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence for learners.

Capable, professional leadership for equity and excellence is guided by well-considered internal evaluation that is outcomes focused. Leaders have high expectations of themselves, staff and students and they have a strong belief in students’ potential and capability. Leaders and staff generate and maintain a professional culture based on high relational trust and collaboration.

Trustees and leaders are learner-focused in their decision-making. Leaders are well supported by the board’s scrutiny of the school’s work regarding student achievement. Trustees bring professional expertise and knowledge to their stewardship roles. Through responsive, strategic thinking and resourcing, they support leaders and staff in their work to improve outcomes for all students.

The college’s highly inclusive and collaborative culture enables students to work and learn with and from adults and their peers. Diversity is respected and valued by students and adults. Leaders and staff take a shared responsibility for supporting students’ success, and self-efficacy in their wellbeing and learning. Partnerships with parents/whānau contribute significantly to student progress and wellbeing.

The school’s future-focused, responsive curriculum is adapted to cater for students’ different interests and aspirations. Students access a variety of digital tools and innovative resources to connect with the curriculum and show and grow their problem-solving capability. Personalised and meaningful pathways for students are aligned to individualised assessment. Very good guidance is given to students as they set and follow their learning pathways. They experience success in achieving meaningful qualifications. Students have opportunities to explore their ideas and meet qualification criteria across curriculum areas.

Students experience success and develop a sense of self-efficacy in their learning. They demonstrate good levels of self-management skills and independence to support their academic and holistic success. The OSC Norms are integrated through the curriculum and provide relevance for students to develop dispositions to learn and pursue a successful life. Student leadership is actively encouraged, and there are many opportunities for them to contribute to the evaluation of teaching practices, curriculum and planning.

Coherence from the strategic level to student outcomes is underpinned by internal evaluation that guides teaching practice development and learning opportunities for students. Well-coordinated systems and structures enable flexibility and innovation to support student learning. Individualised appraisal and coaching approaches are also helping to maintain the school’s curriculum expectations and to support the growth of teaching capability.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

College leaders have identified relevant areas for further school improvement, including:

  • developing a two-year pathway to NCEA Level 2 that is consistent with the school’s philosophy and the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • enhancing te ao Māori in the school by providing more and varied opportunities for students to experience te reo and tikanga Māori
  • continuing to address any disparity between different groups of learners in their progress and achievement.

3 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • 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 and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (The Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 23 international students attending the school. International students are well cared for and experience programmes that are well matched to their learning needs and interests, and promote their wellbeing. The school’s monitoring system for international students is well administered. The board receives reports about the quality of education provided for international students, their care and how well they are progressing and achieving.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • knowing learners’ strengths and interests
  • creating personalised pathways, with high expectations for all learners
  • a strong commitment to the wellbeing of all students and staff
  • support for Māori achieving as Māori and Pacific achieving as Pacific.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, leaders’ planned priorities for further development include:

  • implementing a new Year 11 programme in 2019 that engages students more deeply in their learning
  • broadening course choices at Years 12 and 13 to enhance learning and career pathways for all students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 October 2018

About the school 


Flat Bush, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Year 11 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls       51%
Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                      5%
Pākehā                                   7%
Indian                                   34%
Southeast Asian                      16%
Chinese                                  15%
African                                    5%
Samoan                                   4%
other Pacific                             5%
other ethnic groups                  9 %

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

18 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            June 2015
Education Review            May 2012