Raurimu Avenue School - 05/03/2015

Findings

Raurimu Avenue School provides students and families with an inclusive, welcoming and culturally affirming environment. The school is committed to raising student achievement. Support and development in the areas of teaching and learning, curriculum implementation and self review are recommended to improve outcomes for students.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

Raurimu Avenue School in Onerahi, Whangarei, has a current roll of 126 students, of whom 69 percent are Māori. The school is strongly linked to the community, through long standing and inter generational connections. Tikanga Māori is central to the school’s kaupapa. Features of the school’s setting include attractive and well maintained school gardens, grounds and a bike track.

The school provides a caring and welcoming learning environment for its students and families. Students know each other well. A safe and inclusive culture is promoted. The school caters for several students who have a high level of special learning needs. These students receive targeted support within the school and from external specialists.

Teachers have participated in a variety of professional learning and development opportunities to build their practice and raise student achievement. The school is currently working with the JR McKenzie Trust to increase community engagement and support student learning. Whānau are increasingly engaged in school activities and regularly attend school sporting and cultural events.

In 2011, ERO’s report noted that good foundations were in place to support student learning. It recommended that teachers continue to develop their understanding and use of achievement information to plan appropriate programmes. ERO also suggested that teachers build inquiry-learning processes to support greater student engagement in learning. The principal and deputy principal together with teachers continue to work on making progress in these areas.

2 Learning

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

School achievement information is used to make positive changes to students’ progress and achievement. However, school data confirms that almost half of the students are not achieving expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

School leaders agree that gathering and analysing achievement data more effectively to form overall judgements about students’ programmes and achievement in relation to the National Standards is a continuing priority. By drawing on a wider range of information to assess and monitor student learning across the curriculum, teachers should be able to plan more effectively for students’ learning needs and strengths.

Students need more targeted teaching to help them make the accelerated progress necessary to reach their learning goals. Teaching that is more targeted to specific students and responsive to achievement information is a development priority for the school.

The principal recognises the need to review and further develop assessment systems to help support students’ progress and achievement. Better school-wide assessment systems should improve reporting of achievement information to the board. Trustees should continue to develop their understanding and use of achievement data to inform decision-making.

Specific targets for children with high learning needs are monitored. School leaders and trustees should extend achievement targets to include all individuals and groups of students at risk of not achieving to their potential.

The school reports four times a year to parents, including twice against the National Standards. This is in response to families wanting more regular information about their children’s progress. A high number of families attend evenings to discuss their children’s learning. Teachers provide useful ideas about ways families can support learning at home.

Students are keen and capable learners. Increased attendance and engagement in classes indicates that they are beginning to benefit from a collaborative home/school approach to supporting learning.

School leaders acknowledge that important next steps to raise student achievement include:

  • continuing to develop teachers’ understanding and use of achievement information
  • encouraging students to be more involved in their own learning by providing them with reliable, regular information about their progress and achievement
  • continuing to strengthen formative teaching strategies.

3 Curriculum

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

School leaders continue to develop school’s curriculum to more effectively promote and support student learning.

The curriculum is aligned to the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The school has a strong commitment to affirming Māori language, culture and identity. This provides a positive foundation for a curriculum that promotes students’ and parents’ engagement in learning. Working in partnership with whānau to support students’ learning is an integral aspect of the school’s approach.

There are warm and respectful relationships between teachers and students. Students benefit from supportive learning environments. They demonstrate a sense of pride and belonging. Tuakana/teina relationships are a strong and an enriching feature of school culture. Students can participate in and experience success in sporting, leadership and cultural activities.

Digital technologies are a current focus of the school’s curriculum and teacher development. Teachers and students are increasingly exploring a variety of possibilities to extend their use of e-learning tools.

The principal acknowledges the need to continue supporting teachers to design and implement relevant learning programmes. This could help to engage students in taking a more active role in their own learning. School leaders and teachers should work collaboratively to develop school-wide expectations about teaching approaches and curriculum plans that respond to all learners and accelerate their progress and achievement. Important next steps are to:

  • further develop teachers’ critical review of their own practice
  • embed and build on improvements that have resulted from professional learning and development and link these developments to reviews of the curriculum and teaching programmes.
  • School leaders should continue to monitor the implementation of the curriculum through the regular review of teachers’ planning and classroom observations of teaching practice.

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

The board and school leaders value practices that celebrate te ao Māori. Trustees are building their knowledge and use of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori in their governance role.

All teachers are involved in delivering a programme of te reo Māori. Students regularly experience and participate in pōwhiri, haka, karakia, mihi and waiata. This contributes to the pride that Māori students have in their language, culture and identity within the school.

School leaders and teachers are committed to making the improvements necessary to accelerate Māori students’ achievement. They recognise the importance of promoting positive relationships with whānau, and between students and their teachers.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school continues to build its capacity to sustain positive features and improve its performance. While there is a vision for improvement, there is a need to increase the rates of progress in improving the curriculum and teaching practice to lift student achievement.

The school has positive and inclusive relationships with its community and a supportive board that comprises new and experienced trustees. The board has attended training to help trustees gain clarity about their governance roles and responsibilities and about effective board processes, including succession planning.

The principal has a pivotal role in leading the school. She promotes school improvement and works collaboratively with the board. She is proactive in accessing appropriate professional development for staff to support school development and improve teaching and learning. It would now be useful for school leaders to participate in specific professional development to build educational leadership capacity across the school.

ERO recommends that school leaders and teachers work to develop shared understandings and robust self-review and school-wide systems to support improvement. Ongoing evaluation of school priorities with staff may help to sustain progress. More evaluative reporting processes would better inform the school’s strategic direction and support the board’s self review.

Important priorities are to:

  • ensure strategic goals in the charter are supported by specific and measurable action plans
  • implement a coherent cycle of self review that includes regular evaluation of progress towards achieving strategic goals.

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.

ERO identified two areas of non-compliance. In order to meet legal requirements, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff must

  • provide career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and 8

[National Administration Guidelines 1998, 1 (f)]

  • maintain an ongoing programme of self review relating to the board’s policies, plans and programmes

[National Administration Guideline (NAG) 2 (b)].

In order to improve current practices, the board should also:

  • establish procedures for board meeting minutes that protect the privacy of individuals and formally record when meetings go into committee
  • ensure that procedures for education outside the classroom (EOTC) align with the board’s policy regarding risk assessment and management, and board approval.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board to bring about improvements in curriculum design and implementation, the quality of teaching practice to accelerate student progress and self review.

Conclusion

Raurimu Avenue School provides students and families with an inclusive, welcoming and culturally affirming environment. The school is committed to raising student achievement. Support and development in the areas of teaching and learning, curriculum implementation and self review are recommended to improve outcomes for students.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer NorthernSelect Region

5 March 2015

About the School

Location

Onerahi, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1092

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

126

Gender composition

Boys 75 Girls 51

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Niue

other ethnicities

69%

25%

2%

3%

Special Features

Resource Teacher Māori; Specialist Teaching Room

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

5 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2011
October 2008
November 2006