Owhiro Bay School - 24/05/2016

1 Context

Owhiro Bay School is located in south Wellington and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll has grown steadily over the last three years. The school continues to work with the adjoining kindergarten to provide a connected learning community and facilitate transition to the next stage of education.

Since the June 2013 ERO review there have been significant changes in staff. A new principal, senior leadership team and four new teachers have been appointed. The school retains its management role for a large Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) cluster.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all students are to foster a sense of belonging that encourages lifelong learning. 'Through collaborative relationships to celebrate diversity and honour family and whānau aspirations'. The whakatauki, E tipu e rea – In our children lies the future, frames strategic planning. School values of respect, inclusion, co-operation, responsibility and aiming high, have been reviewed and restated.

The school’s achievement information shows that the majority of students are achieving at or above National Standards expectations for reading and mathematics. There remains disparity for Māori learners. This has been consistent over time and is still a challenge for the school. Boys achieve better than girls in some areas. Annual achievement targets are set to raise the percentage of students achieving at or above the relevant National Standards. Raising achievement in writing is a priority for 2016.

School leaders and ERO have identified the importance of having a clear, shared understanding of the effective use of achievement information to monitor, track and respond to all students whose achievement requires acceleration.

Since the last ERO evaluation, the school has accessed external expertise as it works to strengthen governance, leadership, teaching and learning, appraisal and community engagement. A recent focus has been to develop a student-inquiry approach to learning.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Māori students whose progress requires acceleration are well identified and monitored at class and syndicate level. Teachers plan collaboratively to share strategies and promote better learning outcomes. Data shows that a positive difference is being made for a number of these students.

The school knows that not all Māori students have their achievement accelerated in reading, writing and mathematics. During the course of this ERO review the school began reframing targets to more closely focus on achieving equity for Māori learners. Leaders recognise that growing educationally powerful partnerships with whānau is a key step to support accelerated progress.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Many students with additional learning needs make significant progress over time. Teachers and leaders work with families and external agencies to identify each student's needs and put relevant support in place.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

Students learn in a positive, affirming and highly supportive school culture that is inclusive and welcoming. The holistic wellbeing of each student is valued.

Teachers maintain supportive and affirming relationships with their students. A range of appropriate strategies is used to engage students with learning. Staff have a collective focus on, and responsibility for, student wellbeing.

A robust appraisal system supports teachers to use research and evidence to reflect on their practice. These reflections contribute to whole staff professional discussion. There are ongoing, externally facilitated, schoolwide professional development programmes focused on effective teaching and assessment.

Leaders are reviewing and redeveloping the overarching curriculum framework, in consultation with staff, students, parents and community. This includes developing clearly articulated expectations for systems and processes to implement, integrate and monitor teaching and learning, the use of local contexts, knowledge and experiences, and culturally responsive teaching practices. Having specific indicators of best practice in each of these areas should promote shared understanding, common approaches and the effective evaluation of outcomes.

Board members bring a range of skills and valuable community links to their governance role. They access appropriate, targeted training and focus on student achievement and school improvement. School leaders are enthusiastic about their school and students. There is a collective commitment to growing and developing teaching practice and staff capability.

An established self-review process is in place that is reflective, informs decision making and leads to ongoing improvement. Enhancing this process to strengthen internal evaluation should support trustees and teachers to more effectively measure the impact of systems and processes on student outcomes.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

The principal and leadership team clearly understand the challenges and are working systematically to develop a consistent approach to improving teaching, learning, assessment and achievement.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement Plan and the progress the school makes.

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

6 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 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.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

The board, school leaders and teachers should:

  • more clearly focus on achieving equitable outcomes for Māori learners
  • grow a shared understanding of the effective use of achievement information to monitor, track and respond to all students whose achievement requires acceleration
  • review and develop the overarching curriculum framework, in consultation with staff, students, parents and community
  • focus on school-wide professional development programmes to increase effective teaching and assessment. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 May 2016 

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnic composition



Other European


Other ethnic groups






Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

July 2010

June 2007