Otorohanga South School - 26/06/2017

Summary

Otorohanga South School is a full primary school catering for children in Years 1 to 8. The school roll of 321 includes 129 Māori children.

Since the 2012 ERO review the school has continued to develop and enhance the school curriculum, build teacher capability through ongoing professional learning and development and strengthen its focus on improving outcomes for target at-risk children.

Levels of student achievement overall have remained consistent since the previous ERO review. Māori children achieve at lower levels than their peers in reading and at slightly lower levels in mathematics and writing. An ongoing challenge for the school is to reduce this disparity.

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

The school responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement require acceleration.

School processes related to professional leadership, building teacher capability, culturally responsive practices and partnerships with parents contribute to equitable outcomes for children.

Further development is needed to deepen internal evaluation processes.

At the time of this ERO review approximately 70% of children were achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

In order to further accelerate the achievement of at-risk learners, the school needs to strengthen internal evaluation processes.

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?

The school responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement require acceleration. Leaders clearly identify the specific needs of children at risk in their learning. A range of support programmes, including targeted teaching, are focused on accelerating the progress of these children. There are well established processes for monitoring the progress of target children. The school can show accelerated and sustained achievement for some of these children.

Levels of student achievement overall have remained consistent since the previous ERO review in 2012. Māori children achieve at lower levels than their peers in reading and at slightly lower levels in mathematics and writing. An ongoing challenge for the school is to reduce this disparity.

The school has very strong assessment and moderation procedures that support the dependability of teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

School processes related to professional leadership, building teacher capability, culturally responsive practices and partnerships with parents contribute to equitable outcomes for children.

School leaders, trustees and teachers are focused on improving educational outcomes particularly for children at-risk. Comprehensive and detailed assessment data is analysed in depth by leaders and teachers. The annual priority learner plan identifies and monitors the progress of other at-risk learners. Detailed targets are developed for cohorts of children including Māori and at-risk learners. Trustees receive regular and thorough information from the principal to inform decisions about targeted resourcing, professional learning and development and intervention programmes. Children’s learning needs are well considered resulting in equity of access to learning.

There are comprehensive processes that build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of at-risk learners. Detailed documentation provides clear guidelines that support effective teaching and learning. Teachers receive regular feedback about their practice through observations, coaching and ongoing professional development. This feedback is supported through a robust teacher appraisal system. A comprehensive teaching as inquiry process guides teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice in accelerating the achievement of at-risk learners. Children benefit from school-wide systems focused on building teacher capability to accelerate achievement.

Culturally responsive practices are highly evident in the school. The school’s Māori achievement plan has been developed in consultation with whānau and local iwi. All children benefit from learning in school-wide sequential te reo and tikanga programmes. Leaders and teachers focus on the principles of Ka Hikitia and include these in their planning. Culturally responsive practices promote the language, culture and identity of Māori and other learners, and focus on improving outcomes for all.

The school has established effective approaches to engage parents in positive learning partnerships. Leaders and trustees regularly seek the views and aspirations of the parent community. Specific parent education programmes have been provided in reading and mathematics to support parents to assist with their children’s learning. There are high levels of attendance at regular parent/teacher interviews. A well-embedded programme supports children and whānau when they transition to school at five years of age. A strong pastoral care process, that includes external support agencies, underpins the school’s commitment to supporting the well-being of children and their families. Meaningful relationships with parents support positive outcomes for children. 

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further development is needed to deepen internal evaluation processes to focus on raising the achievement of at-risk learners. This is likely to support leaders and teachers to improve and sustain accelerated learning through a longitudinal approach to evaluation.

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

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

In order to further accelerate the achievement of at-risk learners, the school needs to deepen and strengthen internal evaluation processes.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

26 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Otorohanga

Ministry of Education profile number

1877

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll

321

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 51%
Māori 40%
Pacific 2%
Other 7%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2012

Education Review July 2009