Rongomai School - 10/10/2014

Findings

Rongomai School has transformed its curriculum to cater more effectively for students’ interests and build on their strengths. Positive developments have been well led by the principal with the support of an enthusiastic board. Teachers are well supported by senior leaders to improve learning outcomes for students.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Rongomai School caters for students from Years 1 to 6. At the time of ERO’s education review in November 2012, school systems, including leadership practices in the school, were not supporting students to reach their potential. ERO’s decision to monitor and support the school’s development through a longitudinal review process began in March 2013.

In April 2013, a new principal was appointed to lead the school in its next phase of development. He and the board have been strategic in restructuring roles and responsibilities, and supporting teachers to improve teaching and learning in the school. An action plan was formed to guide development in these areas. Regular communications between ERO, the board of trustees and senior leaders have focused on the school’s progress in addressing the agreed concerns identified in the February 2013 ERO report.

The board, senior leaders and staff have a commitment to ongoing school improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The school and ERO agreed that the following priorities for review and development were:

  • strengthening student learning: engagement, progress and achievement
  • improving teaching effectiveness
  • developing leadership and management
  • enhancing school governance
  • promoting a safe and inclusive school culture.

Progress

Since ERO’s 2012 review, the board, senior leaders and staff have focused on developing and implementing strategies for improving student outcomes. With support from the Ministry of Education, the school has developed effective processes for making improvements. The school’s new learning approach, ‘torohu rawa (unlimited potential)’, reflecting high expectations and a stronger focus on learning, has had positive outcomes for students.

Increased attendance levels and greater student engagement in learning are contributing to improvements in student achievement. Students have become more confident to talk about what they are learning and how they can develop their abilities. The curriculum has become more flexible and responsive to students’ strengths, interests, home languages and cultural identity.

The board receives good quality student achievement information from senior leaders. As a result, the board is better positioned to support the principal in leading school improvement and teachers in their work to raise student achievement.

Twenty-five percent of students identify as Māori. Their identity, language and cultural heritage continue to be affirmed through school protocols and through the regular teaching and use of te reo Māori. Whānau of Māori children report that their children are more confident and have greater opportunities to succeed as Māori. School leaders and teachers are now better able to monitor Māori students’ achievement and progress. As a result, the board is informed about how well groups of students, including Māori and Pacific students, are progressing.

More clearly defined roles and responsibilities have supported teachers to confidently contribute to school initiatives that are focused on raising student achievement. Well considered change management has ensured significant development in teaching practice. A new, shared vision embraces children’s different experiences and capabilities and supports them to aspire to reach their potential. School-wide professional learning and development focuses on teaching practices that meet diverse learners’ requirements. Teachers have responded positively to professional learning and development.

Trustees value parent contributions and are exploring ways to strengthen partnerships with whānau that are focused on children’s learning as a priority. School leaders and teachers are exploring ways to engage meaningfully with the diverse groups of parents, whānau and aiga. Parents are becoming more confident to approach teachers about their children’s learning and wellbeing.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is now well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Progress

More consistent, good quality teaching practice is evident across the school. Effective monitoring of curriculum delivery by senior leaders, and targeted professional learning and development are contributing to positive outcomes for students.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively with Ministry of Education personnel to improve teaching and learning. The principal and senior leaders have strengthened the school’s capacity to implement effective planning that is focused on the school’s vision.

The new principal and board have worked together effectively to strengthen systems that support sustainability. The principal’s purpose and drive are well supported by trustees, some of whom are new to their role. This positive relationship, which is focused on what is best for Māori and Pacific students, has contributed to a more settled tone in the school.

Trustees have benefitted from training to help strengthen their governance role and responsibilities. The board is developing a sound foundation of systems and processes to sustain and build on current good practices. Trustees are now committed to self review that informs the school’s strategic direction and continuous improvement. The board has a current focus on strengthening partnerships between the school and parents/whānau. Trustees, senior leaders and teachers are more confident and capable in their communication with parents/whānau and aiga about how the school’s curriculum recognises their aspirations for their children and promotes high quality student learning.

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

Rongomai School has transformed its curriculum to cater more effectively for students’ interests and build on their strengths. Positive developments have been well led by the principal with the support of an enthusiastic board. Teachers are well supported by senior leaders to improve learning outcomes for students.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

10 October 2014

About the School

Location

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1468

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

175

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Tongan

Niue

25%

36%

21%

13%

5%

Special Features

Attached Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

10 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

November 2009

August 2006