Otaki School - 27/11/2018

School Context

Ōtaki School provides education for 173 students in Years 1 to 8. The majority, 80%, identify as Māori. There has been a slight roll decrease since the December 2015 ERO report.

Ko te kawa o Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga te kawa o te kura; the kawa of Ngāti Raukawa is the kawa of Ōtaki School. The school has three learning pathways. Te Korowai Whakamana offers four classes of total immersion in te reo Māori, Kia Manawanui comprises two bilingual classes, and Matariki, with four classes, is English immersion.

The school’s vision, mission and graduate profile articulates the school’s valued outcomes for students: to achieve high levels of educational success; to acquire a wide range of life skills; and in te reo rumaki to have fluency as speakers, readers and writers in te reo Māori.

‘STAR’ values outline the school’s expectation for student learning and wellbeing schoolwide, which are: ‘safe, totally responsible, awesome learner, respectful – be a STAR; te noho haumaru, me ū ki ngā haepapa, tau kē ki te ako, whakaute atu, whakaute mai – Kia rangatira te tū’.

The school’s current aim is that the majority of students will make progress at a rate consistent with the levels of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and/or The New Zealand Curriculum statements. There is a focus on accelerating progress of students identified as achieving below expectation in reading; and for students in Years 2 to 4 in Matariki and Kia Manawanui students, learning pathways.

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

  • achievement in relation to the levels of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum

  • wellbeing, holistic care and development

  • effectiveness of reading interventions

  • attendance and the impact on progress and achievement.

At the beginning of 2018, the school started a three year commitment to the Manaiakalani Outreach project with four other kura/schools in the Ōtaki area. This is focused on building teacher capability, knowledge and use of digital learning tools to guide, plan for and promote learning and accelerate student achievement.

Ōtaki School is part of Ōtaki Kāhui Ako.

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?

End of data 2017, for students in Māori immersion indicates that almost all students achieve at or above expectation in pangarau, korero a waha, tuhituhi and pānui. All Year 8 students achieved at and above expectation. Achievement has remained at similar levels overtime.

Reported 2017 end-of-year data showed the majority of students in English immersion and bilingual learning pathways achieve in reading, writing and mathematics at or above expectation. Trends over time indicates a positive trajectory as students move through the school.

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

Deliberate actions, strategies and initiatives are in place to accelerate the learning and progress of identified students. Reported information for 2018 in literacy for these students shows steady progress for many and accelerated progress for some.

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 curriculum blends The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, expressing a commitment to and a focus on te ao Māori, that is an integral part of the school culture. The breadth of the curriculum provides students with an extensive range of authentic and engaging learning experiences. As the use of digital technology continues to evolve in the curriculum, there is increased motivation and opportunity for students to be creative and innovative through their learning. There is a positive and respectful tone in the learning environment, where students are enthusiastic, engaged in and share their learning.

Those with additional, more complex needs are well supported through a range of appropriate programmes and initiatives, including use of external expertise. Appropriate systems and processes support the identification and learning of students with additional learning needs.These learners successfully participate and engage in learning alongside their peers.

Leaders and teachers are committed to building their capability through a wānanga approach to professional learning to promote positive outcomes for all students.Culturally responsive practices are strongly evident across the school. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga underpin all aspects of the life of the school.

Priority is given to the holistic wellbeing and learning of students.Teachers within and across the three learning pathways work collaboratively and take collective responsibility to improve wellbeing and learning outcomes for all students.

Strong and effective relationships and engagement with parents and whānau support their involvement in the life of the school and their children’s learning. Leaders and teachers actively participate and contribute to local and regional learning networks and initiatives.

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

The principal and senior leaders have a clear vision to promote equity and excellence. Having closer alignment across strategic, annual and appraisal goals, curriculum and teaching practice should better support achievement of this vision.

Leaders should develop achievement targets and refine actions that focus specifically on acceleration of groups of students who have been identified as underachieving. More deliberate tracking and monitoring at class level of these students’ progress and achievement, should support teachers to know about effectiveness of strategies implemented and further promote accelerated learning and improved outcomes.

The school should strengthen the schoolwide shared understanding of internal evaluation to better identify and know about what is most effective in accelerating learning and to inform decision making.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of collaboration among leaders and teachers that supports ongoing building of capability, aligned to school priorities
  • pastoral care, that systematically responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning
  • connections and relationships with whānau, the wider community, iwi and other education organisations that focus on positive outcomes for students.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • use of data from the range of sources available to better target and respond to those students at risk of underachieving
  • internal evaluation that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed to support greater levels of success
  • alignment across school systems and processes enabling a clear line of sight from strategic goals to effective teaching and classroom practice.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 November 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 79%
Pākehā 11%
Pacific 6%
Asian 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


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


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

27 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Report December 2015
Education Report November 2012
Education Report September 2009