Otumoetai School - 17/07/2012

1. Context

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

Otumoetai Primary School, located in Tauranga, caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a roll of 528, of whom 16% identify as Māori. Since the previous ERO review in 2009, there have been few changes to staff, other than to the senior leadership team, with the appointment of two new deputy principals. Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in aspects of literacy, mathematics and positive behaviour management.

Students and teachers learn and work in spacious, attractively presented and well-resourced learning environments. Positive and affirming relationships among teachers and students contribute to the calm and settled environment for learning that is evident throughout the school.

The school continues to enjoy positive relationships with its parent community. Senior leaders have increased opportunities for parent education about aspects of parenting and the school’s curriculum. Students benefit from the ongoing fundraising and support of an active Parent Teacher Association. Close and constructive relationships have been maintained with neighbouring schools that provide valuable professional sharing and learning for teachers and school leaders.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

School leaders have a good understanding of student achievement levels. They use this information to report to the board of trustees and to identify students who require additional support. They are continuing to develop effective processes to support teachers in making robust judgements in relation to National Standards. Comprehensive school-wide systems have been developed to help teachers identify, monitor and meet the needs of students who are achieving below the National Standards. Parents are provided with two written reports each year which detail how their children are achieving and progressing in relation to National Standards.

The school’s student achievement information for 2011 showed that the vast majority of students achieved at or above National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. This information indicated that, while Māori students achieved slightly below their non Māori peers at the school, most achieved at or above National Standards. Achievement information from 2010 to 2011 showed that most students, including Māori, made expected or better than expected progress during that time in relation to National Standards. There are many opportunities for students to experience success in a wide-range of academic, sporting and cultural competitions and events.

The effective use of student achievement information to provide appropriate learning programmes is well embedded in many teachers’ practice. Teachers use a wide range of strategies that promote student engagement, and ERO observed high levels of engagement in class programmes.

3. Curriculum

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

The school provides a broad-based curriculum that places high priority on literacy and mathematics. School leaders have developed comprehensive guidelines which set out clear expectations for teaching practice and curriculum delivery. There are many examples of teachers who effectively implement these expectations. ERO and school leaders agree that in order to ensure consistent, high quality teaching practices across the school, processes should be implemented to provide teachers with ongoing and robust feedback and feed forward that align to the school’s expectations.

The board is committed to the provision of a broad range of support programmes for students with identified learning and behaviour needs. These programmes are effectively monitored by a deputy principal who works in close partnership with families and external agencies.

Students benefit from the provision of specialist teachers in te reo Māori, music and physical education. Frequent class trips, and annual school camps for older students, provide opportunities for authentic learning experiences. Younger students are well supported in their learning through regular interactions with their older peers in buddy classes. There are many opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills in class and school initiatives.

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

Māori students’ sense of identity and belonging is enhanced through initiatives such as:

  • recent school visits to the local marae
  • incorporating aspects of tikanga Māori in school events
  • opportunities to participate in the school’s kapahaka group
  • the provision of te reo Māori learning programmes for all classes.

School leaders acknowledge a need to further promote the school’s commitment to success for Māori as Māori, by strengthening the current te reo Māori programme and including a greater Māori dimension in class environments and contexts for 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 on its performance because:

  • trustees provide sound governance, are well informed about student achievement and are supportive of the leadership team and school staff
  • self review processes are well established and contribute to school decision making
  • senior leaders work collegially and provide knowledgeable leadership for the board, staff and community
  • the principal is successfully leading the implementation of systems that promote teachers’ ongoing self reflection about their teaching practice
  • teachers work collegially and are focused on the best interests of students.

Undertaking more frequent consultation and sharing of information with parents and staff are likely to assist the board and senior leaders to establish clearer priorities and develop a more focused and better understood approach to ongoing school development.

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
  • 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

17 July 2012

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1879

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile[1]

7

School roll

528

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

Indian

Other

76%

16%

2%

6%

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

17 July 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

October 2006

November 2002

[1] School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.