Ramarama School - 18/01/2019

School Context

Ramarama School is a small, rural primary school. The school has a long-established relationship and historical links with the local community. It celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017. There are 206 students on the roll, with 14 percent identifying as Māori. Nearly half of the students are from outside the local community. The school is planning for roll growth over the next five years.

The school’s vision is focused on ‘growing successful futures, together’. Leaders, teachers and the school’s community have identified values and capabilities for students that include being:

  • respectful, connected and caring – tiaki taonga (treasure)
  • curious, creative and resourceful – whakatūhuia (explore)
  • courageous, resilient and collaborative – whakawero (challenge).

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and accelerated learning of targeted students

  • success in broader curriculum experiences and personal growth.

Since the 2015 ERO review there have been a number of staff changes, including the appointment of a new principal and deputy principal. The current board is a mix of experienced and new trustees.

Leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development initiatives including Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALIM) and Accelerating Learning in Literacy (ALL). There has also been a strong emphasis on incorporating play-based learning into junior classes and across the school.

Ramarama School is a member of the Rosehill Pathways Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in achieving positive outcomes for most students. Overall, levels of achievement have remained consistently high over time.

Most students, including Māori, achieve at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers use a range of appropriate assessment methods. Moderation within the school enables teachers to make consistent judgements about children’s learning, progress and achievement.

The school deliberately celebrates a wide range of students’ successes to build confidence as learners and to foster achievement.

Leaders and teachers have anecdotal information about students’ achievement of the clearly identified capabilities. They consistently reinforce students’ achievement of these valued outcomes and include this information in reports to parents.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school effectively identifies, monitors and responds to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The majority of targeted students made accelerated progress in 2018. The school continues to target progress and achievement in students’ writing and mathematics, and where necessary, reading.

The school has effective systems to monitor and assist all students, including those who start part way through the year. Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve their personal best through regular, careful planning and tracking of their progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

A number of school processes and practices are effective in supporting the school to achieve equity and excellence across the school, and accelerate students’ learning. There is clear alignment of the school’s shared vision and valued outcomes for students that contribute to achieving the school’s priorities.

Ramarama School promotes an inclusive, respectful culture at all levels of the school. Leaders and teachers place students at the centre of learning, teaching and decision making. They take collective responsibility for children’s learning and wellbeing by creating and maintaining welcoming, supportive relationships with children, parents and whānau.

Leaders and teachers know students and their families well and incorporate these meaningful connections into the curriculum. Parents and whānau who spoke with ERO are appreciative of the small class sizes and the many ways they are kept informed about and involved in the life of the school. This results in strong community support for students’ learning and wellbeing, and for the direction of the school.

Students are purposefully involved in a broad, responsive curriculum that is firmly based in local, real-life contexts. They value education outside the classroom and the wide range of leadership opportunities available to all students. Students regularly take part in creative, collaborative learning experiences and many student-led physical activities. Teachers create inviting, visually appealing learning environments where students’ work is valued and carefully displayed. This helps to foster their strong sense of belonging and pride in the school.

The cohesive staff team fosters students’ development and love of learning. Teachers purposefully use the (NZC) key competencies, and the school’s values and capabilities in planning to promote life-long learning skills. They are sensitive to students’ abilities and interests. Teachers skilfully support students to build social and emotional competence through fostering their confidence, self-esteem and self-management skills.New Zealand Curriculum

Leaders set high expectations of themselves, teachers and students. They thoughtfully implement changes to benefit children’s learning and wellbeing. Leaders promote an orderly, purposeful environment and the use of deliberate strategies to foster students’ learning, progress, achievement and confidence.

School leadership promotes open communication and collaborative professional practice. There is a thoughtful approach to sharing leadership across the school that is helping to build a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Teachers participate in relevant professional learning and development that supports the achievement of school priorities, builds teacher capability and contributes to student success.

The board is representative of and responsive to the school’s community, direction and vision. Trustees are well informed and make evidence-based decisions including how best to resource the school.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Some areas of the school’s processes and practices need to be strengthened and embedded more fully to increase the achievement of equity and excellence across the school.

Leaders and teachers should continue to develop curriculum documentation. It would be useful to include well-founded expectations about teaching approaches that enable students’ depth of thinking and increase opportunities for them to lead their own learning.

Teachers should further enhance approaches to bicultural practices by placing a stronger emphasis on tikanga and the use of te reo Māori, school wide.

Leaders need to strengthen the appraisal process to promote the consistency of effective practice and to ensure the Education Council’s Standards for the Teaching Profession are clearly met.

Internal evaluation activity is building a reflective culture in the school. However, leaders and teachers should extend current internal evaluation processes and practices to include:

  • the use of evaluative questions and indicators of success
  • deliberately evaluating board effectiveness and staff wellbeing
  • evaluating how well the principles and key competencies of the NZC are reflected in curriculum documentation.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the inclusive and respectful culture that places children at the centre of learning and teaching to promote their wellbeing, engagement and learning

  • a collaborative and cohesive approach to learning and teaching that ensures high expectations for students and teachers

  • the broad, relevant curriculum that uses the local environment to engage students in learning

  • strong school leadership that creates trusting relationships through effective communication and promotes meaningful parent and whānau involvement in learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • deepening understanding of and extending of te reo and tikanga Māori to extend bicultural practice across the school

  • strengthening internal evaluation processes to measure the impacts of plans, programmes and practices on outcomes for students and support ongoing development

  • reviewing and improving appraisal practices to enable teachers to better demonstrate and build their professional capabilities.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 January 2019

About the school

Location

Drury Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1456

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

206

Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%
Pākehā 74%
Asian 7%
other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015
Education Review December 2012
Education Review December 2009