Otumoetai School - 31/08/2015

Findings

Otumoetai School provides high quality, inclusive education in a learning focused environment. Good systems are in place to promote student safety and wellbeing, and there are close and supportive relationships among students, staff and parents. Students achieve very well, and targeted programmes cater for those achieving below expected levels.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Otumoetai School, located in Tauranga, provides a broad and well-designed curriculum for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a roll of 561 students. Māori students make up 15 percent of the roll, and the school's increasing ethnic diversity includes a growing number of students for whom English is a second language.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Since ERO’s last review in June 2012, school leadership has remained constant, resulting in ongoing self review and school improvement. There has been a school-wide approach to promote positive learning behaviours. This development, coupled with extensive community consultation about the school vision, values and wellbeing is contributing to an inclusive school culture.

The school continues to enjoy support and positive relationships with its parent community. The senior leadership team and teachers provide a variety of opportunities for parents to discuss their children’s learning and aspects of the school curriculum and teaching approaches. The active and hard working Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) continues to make a significant contribution through fundraising and support, to aspects of the curriculum, school facilities and events.

The school has well-established relationships with other schools and early childhood services in the Otumoetai Cluster. Members of this group meet regularly to discuss trends and patterns in education, including levels of student achievement. This group is well placed to work together to raise awareness within the community about the importance of a national focus on children's oral language capability.

2. Learning

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

There is an established culture of self review among trustees, senior leaders and staff. They use student achievement information and self review effectively to benefit all learners. Effective assessment processes enable the school to respond, monitor and report on:

  • all learners’ engagement, progress and achievement
  • patterns of achievement over time, strategic targets, resource allocation and self-review findings
  • groups and individuals identified as being at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • Māori learners, English as second language learners, and students with diverse educational needs
  • the professional learning and development needs of teachers, senior leaders and trustees

The school’s 2014 Public Achievement Information (PAI) shows that most students, including Māori, achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, and achieve very well in comparison to national and regional achievement data. School data also shows that most at risk learners show accelerated progress toward expected standards.

Students are actively involved learners who confidently engage in classroom programmes and conversations about their learning. They understand their learning and know what they need to do next to improve their progress and achievement.

A further consideration for the school is to investigate ways to deepen parent and community participation as ‘actively involved learners’.

3. Curriculum

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

The Otumoetai School curriculum strongly promotes and supports student learning. It is well designed and reflects the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum, and the aims and aspirations of the school community. The school’s vision of ‘Actively Involved Learners’ guides the implementation of a rich and broad curriculum. Features of this curriculum include:

  • the ongoing review and development of literacy and mathematics programmes to enhance student learning
  • a deliberate emphasis on ensuring students receive a balanced education by including the Arts, sports, sciences, extra curricula and cultural experiences
  • many opportunities for students to learn in authentic and meaningful contexts
  • students developing positive attitudes, behaviours and relationships underpinned by the school’s CARE (confident, adventurous, respectful and encouraging) values
  • effective leadership by the senior leadership team and curriculum leaders that is resulting in high quality curriculum implementation.

Teachers are reflective practitioners who set high expectation for all learners. There are consistently high levels of focused and responsive teaching practice across the school. Classroom environments and practices are vibrant, positive and motivate students’ engagement in learning.

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

Since the previous ERO review in 2012 there has been significant development in the school’s commitment to promoting success for Māori students as Māori. A range of well considered approaches have been used. These include strengthening teacher confidence in using te reo Māori, the use of Māori contexts in planning, teaching and professional learning and development for teachers and trustees relating to culturally responsive practices. Further professional development and planning should assist the school to more specifically plan for, and review engagement with, and outcomes for, Māori learners and their whānau.

There are high levels of Māori student attendance and engagement. These students achieve above regional and well above national levels in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. School data also shows that identified groups of Māori students are making accelerated progress toward expected standards.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Otumoetai School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Significant factors that contribute to the school’s sustainability are:

  • evidence-based self review and critical reflection at all levels that leads to continued school improvement
  • highly effective governance where trustees have an unrelenting focus on improving student outcomes
  • strong, collaborative and highly effective leadership from the principal and deputy principals
  • safe and inclusive school culture where diversity is celebrated
  • consistently high quality teaching practices
  • the coherent, well-designed and rich curriculum
  • community engagement that is highly effective and contributes to school direction and improvement.

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.

Conclusion

Otumoetai School provides high quality, inclusive education in a learning focused environment. Good systems are in place to promote student safety and wellbeing, and there are close and supportive relationships among students, staff and parents. Students achieve very well, and targeted programmes cater for those achieving below expected levels.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 August 2015

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1879

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

561

Gender composition

Boys 55%  Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other European

Other

Pacific

72%

15%

5%

5%

2%

1%

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

31 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2012

July 2009

October 2006