Royal Oak Intermediate School - 30/07/2018

School Context

Royal Oak Intermediate School is a culturally diverse school that caters for students in Years 7 and 8. Māori students represent 23 percent of the roll, and over 40 percent of students are of Pacific heritage. Māori students have the option of joining the school’s te ao Māori class.

The school’s vision states ‘together empowering confident, motivated learners to achieve success in all walks of life’. The vision is further developed in the school motto, ‘gliding from the past, rising in the present and soaring into the future’. ‘Ka Rere’ (to fly) supports students to understand and use the school’s values of respect, excellence, resilience and empathy. The values underpin the schoolwide approach to fostering positive attitudes for learning.

The school charter and strategic plan identify goals to promote student learning and the school’s vision for learners. Detailed actions to reach achievement targets are included.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement in relation to school targets

  • attendance patterns and trends

  • student success across the curriculum.

Since the 2015 ERO evaluation, the school has appointed a new principal. The charter, leadership structures, and curriculum implementation have been reviewed. The provision of digital devices and e-learning opportunities for all learners has been extended.

Royal Oak Intermediate School is a member of the Te Hi Kahurangi Kāhui Ako|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?

Royal Oak Intermediate School is working positively towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School achievement information, over the last five years, shows that the majority of students achieve at expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Although overall achievement levels of all groups of students have lifted significantly over time, disparity remains evident for Māori and Pacific students in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2017, disparity for boys in writing has significantly reduced.

The school has identified these trends. Leaders have set targets, identified actions and initiatives to lift student achievement. School achievement information shows that many students have made accelerated progress.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. Students:

  • experience strong and positive relationships founded on care, respect, wellbeing and hauora

  • experience a strong sense of whānaungatanga in action and spirit

  • are knowledgeable about their school and programmes offered

  • have opportunities for success in their interests and passions

  • demonstrate ‘Ka Rere’ values in everyday school life.

The school values are modelled and explored as part of everyday life. They are well understood by children, teachers and the community.

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

Māori students in the school’s te ao Māori class have very good levels of accelerated learning. Students in this class have made accelerated progress, particularly in mathematics and writing.

The achievement of boys shows significant gains in reading and writing. Many Pacific students have made progress in reading. The school’s analysis of Pacific student achievement includes identifying specifically how well students from each Pacific nation are progressing. This information is then shared with parents at fono meetings.

Leaders, teachers and learning assistants respond effectively to children with additional learning needs within an inclusive environment. These students are supported well to experience success. In-class programmes and the provision of specialist teaching programmes contribute positively to their learning and wellbeing.

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?

School leadership is very effective. Leaders collaboratively enact the school’s vision, values and priorities for equity and excellence. The principal actively promotes and models the school values to influence practice for students and staff.

The principal and senior leaders have an inclusive and respectful approach to leading and managing change. Leadership roles have been restructured to provide additional support and guidance for teachers’ professional practice. Teachers are affirmed and valued as professionals, and consequently teachers confidently and enthusiastically support change.

Leaders and teachers emphasise the importance of positive relationships. They recognise that student wellbeing is a necessary foundation for learning success. They have a very strong focus on collectively building students’ positive ‘can do’ learning attitudes, confidence, and belief in themselves as learners.

Students benefit from a responsive and engaging curriculum. They enjoy a wide range of learning experiences and opportunities to learn. The integrated and inquiry focused curriculum places emphasis on:

  • authentic, relevant and meaningful inquiry topics

  • te reo and te ao Māori programmes

  • hauora, wellbeing and the school values

  • opportunities to learn additional languages.

The curriculum also places emphasis on reading, writing, and mathematics. Appropriate challenge and support for all learners is provided through specialisation, electives, and extensive arts, sports and cultural programmes.

Several innovative schoolwide organisational strategies have been introduced recently. These are designed to increase and maximise students’ optimal learning time and opportunities. Some of these key innovations include:

  • differentiated class organisation that includes the te ao Māori class, an enrichment class, and a physical education/sports focus class

  • reorganising school timetables to maximise student learning time

  • providing specialist teacher support for students who are working below expected levels.

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

Leaders identify that building a schoolwide understanding of acceleration is a necessary next step. This is likely to assist with deepening and further refining monitoring and analysis of achievement information for those students at most risk of not achieving.

Leaders are now well placed to use achievement information from the numerous programmes and recently introduced initiatives to evaluate how effective they have been in accelerating target students’ progress. This next step would provide good information for the board to make resourcing decisions.

Leaders acknowledge that developing the school’s collective evaluation capacity is an area for improvement. Deepening the extent to which evaluative thinking is used could help strengthen current internal evaluation processes.

While tudents have access to an engaging curriculum, leaders identify that further developing opportunities to increase students’ ownership of their learning is a next step. Continuing to implement schoolwide strategies to promote critical thinking could strengthen student agency and opportunities.

Parents are becoming increasingly involved in the life of the school. Leaders and teachers foster ways for parents and whānau to effectively partner with the school to further promote positive learning outcomes for students.

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:

  • leadership that is promoting significant change and improvement in teaching and learning

  • school organisation that promotes students’ wellbeing, relationships, sense of belonging, positive attitudes, and the engagement of whānau

  • teachers who provide wide ranging and extensive learning experiences for students

  • a broad, responsive and engaging curriculum that supports learners.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to build teachers’ capacity to further enhance the student-centred curriculum

  • strengthening the evaluation of programmes and initiatives intended to accelerate student achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

30 July 2018

About the school


Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 & 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
Pākehā 18%
Tongan 19%
Samoan 17%
Cook Island Māori 5%
other Pacific peoples 5% 
other 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

30 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review April 2013
Education Review September 2010