Oruaiti School - 08/05/2017

Summary

Oruaiti School is a small rural school of approximately 104 children. The roll has doubled in the last two years. Just over half of the children are Māori and the roll includes a small number of Asian children.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation there have been several changes in board membership and staffing. New trustees have been well supported by the long serving board chair. A new principal, deputy principal and teaching team have been appointed. These changes have led to a review of school practices and processes as part of building a new leadership and professional team.

The school is a member of the Far North Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL) which comprises 21 schools. This CoL has agreed to focus on providing children with greater opportunities to become self-directed learners. The CoL also plans to work more collaboratively to support transition for children as they move across the year levels and between schools. These initiatives are likely to enhance children’s learning pathways.

A number of the strengths identified in ERO’s May 2014 report have been sustained and Oruaiti School continues to provide good quality education for children.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Oruaiti School is becoming increasingly effective at responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school’s most recent data show that overall about three-quarters of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and writing and about two-thirds achieve the Standards in mathematics. Data show that achievement in National Standards is improving over time, with significant improvements in writing. There have been lifts in reading achievement for Māori learners and boys. The school has appropriate planning in place to continue improving achievement for Māori children in writing and mathematics.

School leaders are building trusting relationships with the school community. This is contributing to a strong sense of collective ownership of the school’s new direction. Trustees are unified in their commitment to serving the school and education community well by actively representing the interests of children and whānau. A Ministry of Education facilitator is helping teachers to build capability in assessment and the use of achievement information.

Next steps for the school include continuing to develop learning-focused partnerships with whānau, a culturally responsive curriculum, and more rigorous internal evaluation.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

Oruaiti School is increasingly effective at responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School leaders and teachers are reflective and focused on making improvements to help promote equity and excellence. A number of children with additional learning needs attend the school. Leaders and teachers are developing new processes with parents/whānau and external agencies to support these diverse learners. The school has inclusive practices that support all learners to achieve more equitable outcomes.

The school’s curriculum and teaching programmes support children to achieve the valued learning outcomes identified in the school’s charter andThe New Zealand Curriculum. Most notably the children have positive attitudes towards enacting the school values of being caring, responsible and confident lifelong learners.

The school’s most recent data show that overall about three-quarters of all children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and writing and about two-thirds of all children achieve the standards in mathematics.

The school is able to show that it is accelerating the progress of some Māori children at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics. Data show that between 2014 and 2016 overall achievement in reading and mathematics has lifted for all children, including Maori. Children’s achievement in writing has lifted significantly.

There is increasing parity in achievement for Māori children and boys in reading. However, some disparity in achievement remains for Māori children in writing and mathematics. Appropriate planning and professional development is underway through 2017 to help teachers to address this.

Teachers continue to extend the good practices they use to ensure they are making dependable overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s processes and actions that are most effective in helping to achieve excellence and equity for all children include; leadership, the building of relational trust with children and the community, consultation and opportunities for children to experience an authentic and bicultural curriculum.

Strong leadership is evident. The principal builds relational trust through her integrity and openness with the school community. She is working successfully to build collective ownership of the school’s new direction. She distributes leadership opportunities to staff in ways that contribute to greater equity and opportunity for learners.

Internal evaluation processes support the school’s new direction. Leaders use consultation processes to seek staff, trustees and whānau input when deciding priorities for improvement.

Trustees are unified in their approach to actively represent and serve the school and community. They have strengthened board processes and continue to develop their understanding of the board’s roles and responsibilities. Trustees use school data to help them with resourcing decisions in order to contribute to improving outcomes for learners.

Regular professional learning is helping teachers to integrate education theory and practice to support learners. Teachers have high expectations of themselves and children. Effective strategies help teachers to establish learning-focused relationships with children. Support staff are an integral part of strategies designed to support the diverse needs of children.

Children value participating in real-life learning contexts such as environmental education. Staff bring skills and expertise in te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. These experiences are developing teachers and children’s confidence as bicultural citizens. Māori children appreciate opportunities where they can experience educational success as Māori.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School leaders and teachers work collaboratively to improve school processes to help achieve equity and excellence. The school’s leaders, teachers and the board use internal evaluation to identify further areas for development.

Leaders have begun to review and document the school curriculum. This will be an opportunity to continue the development of a culturally responsive curriculum that promotes student-centred approaches.

Leaders and teachers are committed to working with parents and whānau to improve outcomes for children. Several initiatives have been identified for 2017 to help strengthen learning partnerships with parents and whānau so they can better support their children’s learning at home.

Consultation with the school community is helping leaders develop collective ownership of the school’s new direction. School internal evaluation processes require strengthening to help leaders clearly identify what is not working well and why, as well as what is working well and for whom. This step would also help the board to make targeted resourcing decisions.

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
  • 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.

Going forward

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue developing a culturally responsive curriculum that promotes student-centred approaches to teaching and learning
  • strengthen learning partnerships with parents and whānau that will help them to support their children’s learning at home
  • improve internal evaluation processes through greater use of evaluative critique.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Oruaiti, Mangonui

Ministry of Education profile number

1066

School type

Full Primary

School roll

104

Gender composition

Girls       51%
Boys      49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian

  55%
  43%
    2%

Provision of Māori medium education

0

Number of Māori medium classes

No

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

0

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

104

Number of students in Level 1 MME

0

Number of students in Level 2 MME

0

Number of students in Level 3 MLE

0

Number of students in Level 4a MLE

104

Number of students in Level 4b MLE

0

Number of students in Level 5 MLE

0

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

8 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review

  October 2009
  May 2014