Oruaiti School - 23/05/2014

1 Context

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

Oruaiti School is situated in a rural community in the Far North. It provides good quality education for its Year 1 to 8 students in a supportive, learning-focused environment. The board, principal, senior leaders and staff work together effectively to meet school goals and are committed to continuous improvement.

Long-standing whānau associations with the school contribute to a sense of belonging for adults and children. The school/home partnerships are founded on well formed, trusting relationships. Trustees and staff value the contributions of whānau and the community. Māori students, who make up over half the school roll, have opportunities to learn through their language and cultural heritage.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the board and principal have improved quality assurance processes to ensure that school initiatives and effective teaching and learning programmes are implemented consistently. Recent work with an external adviser has provided the school with a framework that guides trustees and teachers to identify ways in which they can further contribute to enhanced student outcomes.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to make positive changes in learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students engage confidently with their school work and contribute to the direction of their learning. Tuakana/teina relationships support effective learning in classrooms and across the school. The school reports that students progress well during their time at the school.

The National Standards have been used to inform and improve teaching and learning practice. Senior leaders are thoughtful about ways of promoting students’ wellbeing. They set realistic targets to build on students’ capabilities. Teachers have responded flexibly and purposefully to the needs of students who enrol at Years 6, 7 and 8 to provide them with a good foundation for secondary school.

Currently, while most students achieve at or above the National Standards, the school is focused on embedding successful teaching and learning strategies that accelerate progress for students achieving below expectations. Senior leaders recognise that goal setting could be enhanced so that students can more easily identify their next steps for learning and monitor their own progress.

Recently available national comparative data for 2012 is yet to be formally used to inform charter and strategic planning or self review. The school is committed to accelerating student progress in order to meet the target of 85% of students achieving at and above the National Standards.

The school has good processes for evaluating student progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. Senior leaders have plans to extend this school moderation practice and to discuss student achievement information with teachers from other schools.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting student learning. The principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum are well reflected in classroom programmes.

The school values, reflected in the school motto of ‘caring, confident and responsible lifelong learners’, help promote friendly, constructive relationships. This positive school culture contributes to students having a sense of whanaungatanga (connectedness), and kaitiakitanga (responsibility for their environment). The school values have been reinforced by Māori concepts that have been identified by kaumātua and supported by whānau. Artistic interpretations of Māori concepts are displayed around the school. A prominent waharoa (gateway) forms the entrance to the school. It reminds students and whānau about the value placed on tikanga Māori in the school and the links people have to each other, the school, community and the land.

The school’s broad curriculum is designed to engage students by allowing them to follow their interests and providing opportunities for them to apply their learning to real-life situations. Students experience this type of learning through well coordinated education outside the classroom (EOTC) activities and regular market days.

Good quality teaching and learning practices are evident across the school. Teachers plan and implement programmes that:

  • meet students’ diverse wellbeing and learning requirements
  • recognise and value students’ cultures, languages and identities
  • enhance students’ connections with the local area and family histories.

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

The board, senior leaders and teachers uphold bicultural practices that reinforce te ao Māori and provide opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori. Students have a sense of belonging and connection to the school. They profit from opportunities to act as leaders, and to hear and see their culture being valued.

The school has specific strategies for lifting Māori student achievement in reading and writing by building on gains made in achievement in mathematics. Senior leaders could seek Ministry of Education support to help develop with parents/whānau of Māori children partnerships that are more focused on learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. While some positive initiatives recognised in the 2009 ERO report have not progressed because of changes in staff and a falling school roll, senior leaders and the board have responded to this situation with well considered future planning. Teachers, with support from senior leaders, are continuing to develop practices that promote student-led learning. The principal and deputy principal work well together as leaders of learning. The principal provides staff with worthwhile feedback that is focused on raising achievement levels.

The board works well with senior leaders to achieve school goals. Trustees understand the importance of the board’s role in supporting senior leaders and teachers in their work. Trustees access training to build their capability, target financial resources well, and collaborate and support each other in their governance role.

Parent and community views are sought as part of a variety of self-review processes that focus on promoting student wellbeing and learning. To improve current good practice, the board recognises that more evaluative approaches could be used to identify the school’s next steps.

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 three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 May 2014

About the School


Oruaiti, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 38 Boys 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Review team on site


Date of this report

23 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

November 2006

May 2003