Owhiro Bay School - 07/06/2013

1 Context

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

Owhiro Bay School is located in south Wellington and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Staff know children and their families well. The school works with the adjoining kindergarten to provide a connected learning community and facilitate transition to the next stage of education. The large fields and grounds support physical outdoor activities. The semi-rural location and surroundings provide rich opportunities for environmental and conservation learning.

The long-serving principal and two deputy principals provide stability of staffing. In 2012, staff numbers were increased considerably when the board undertook to be a lead school for a large Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) cluster.

The July 2010 ERO report identified the need to improve the use of assessment information. Professional learning around use and reporting of assessment, and moderation, have been undertaken using external facilitators and strengths of staff members. Considerable progress has been made.

2 Learning

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

Most students achieve at or above in relation to the reading, writing and mathematics National Standards. High expectations set for students to be successful in their learning, continue.

Schoolwide data is well analysed and reported to the board and the community. The scheduling of assessments was recently reviewed and adjusted to provide timely information to report to parents and whānau. Teachers are highly reflective and regularly share professional readings, experiences, ideas and challenges. A culture of adult learning is becoming established.

Following review and professional development about cultural responsiveness a change team now leads staff to support colleagues' continued improvement in aspects of teaching practice. Resulting actions have had an impact on improved success for Māori students in particular and all students generally.

Teachers give importance to early identification of children needing additional support in their learning, by taking prompt action. Accelerating learning for these students is a school focus and addressed in a number of ways. The class teacher has primary responsibility to provide a suitable plan for children with special needs or abilities. Senior leaders agree that review of provision for students with special abilities is a next step.

Monitoring of student progress that results from some special needs interventions occurs informally. Improved documenting of the monitoring will enhance the school's ability to measure the impact of the various interventions.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum effectively engages children in meaningful, authentic learning. Teachers strive to follow known student interests and use the school location well. Children have some input into what they are learning or creating. The curriculum appropriately gives priority to literacy and numeracy with recent professional development focusing on these.

Students are encouraged to take ownership of learning. They speak knowledgeably about their learning. A consistent language for talking about learning has been introduced across the school. Leadership opportunities for older students encourage social responsibility and self management.

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

Leaders have worked hard to build success for Māori as Māori. They have sought outside assistance as part of a comprehensive review of the school’s cultural practices. A Māori support teacher works with teachers in all classes, supporting teacher confidence to integrate te ao Māori. Whole staff involvement in professional development has strengthened school and teacher practices and improved student engagement. Increased use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident.

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.

The board is committed to ongoing school development, seeks external expertise when needed and is planning for the future. Trustees receive well analysed school wide student achievement data and other information on which to base decisions.

Strategic priorities reflect the school vision and values and are based on student information. There is good alignment with guiding documents. The staff appraisal process is sound. Personal goals could be strengthened by making specific links to student outcomes.

A shared vision is evident amongst staff. High expectations are in place for teachers to reflect on their own practice and for students to succeed as learners. Leadership opportunities are promoted for staff and students.

Leaders have implemented a robust, evidence-based self-review process to bring about changes in thinking and improve practices in the school. A full strategic review of cultural responsiveness has resulted in developments in the environment and curriculum, increased targeted use of achievement information, exploration of success for Māori as Māori and improved engagement with whānau. It is now time to include all staff in the entire planned review cycle.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

7 June 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Other European

Other ethnic groups







Special Features

Lead School for RTLB Cluster 28 (Ngā Hāu e Whā)

Review team on site

April 2013

Date of this report

7 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

June 2007

September 2004