Royal Oak School - 02/06/2011

1 Context

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

Royal Oak Primary School is a long-established, urban primary school with an increasing roll that caters for more than 600 students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Its multi-cultural student population includes a large number of learners with English as a second language.

The school is presented in a park-like setting with exceptionally well-maintained buildings and grounds.

Until the arrival of its new principal in 2009, the two highly skilled and knowledgeable deputy principals continued to manage the school effectively. The new principal, with the support of capable staff and trustees, is working collaboratively towards establishing a professional learning community.

Students benefit from the active participation and support of families and whānau. The school aims, through its vision and values, to provide a foundation for students to achieve success and develop life-long learning skills and competencies.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students demonstrate high levels of enthusiasm and purposeful engagement in their learning and most are progressing and achieving well. School leaders are skilled in using student achievement information to improve outcomes for students. The school gathers an appropriate range of achievement information using norm-referenced tools in aspects of literacy and numeracy. The numeracy data indicates that a high majority of students are achieving at or above expected levels.

In reading, the information indicates that in Years 1 to 3 the majority of students is reading at or above their chronological age. In Years 4 to 6, students are performing at slightly higher levels. Many in this cohort are students for whom English is a second language.

In writing, using the school's current assessment processes, data indicates that about half of the students are achieving at or above expected levels. Teachers have identified the need to provide more reliable achievement information in this area.

The school has identified the need to focus on raising overall levels of literacy achievement of its Pacific students. Initiatives are being introduced to address this matter.

Students requiring further support in literacy and numeracy are identified and provided with high quality programmes and resources that are overseen by competent, trained staff.

There are many examples of high quality teaching practice across the school that include:

  • clearly articulated high expectations for student behaviour and learning success
  • consistent assessment and planning processes which are integral to teaching and learning
  • differentiated ability groups and goal setting to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • interesting and meaningful learning contexts
  • relationships that contribute to an enjoyable and positive climate for learning
  • outstanding classroom environments and high quality learning resources.

The work of the education for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and special education needs coordinator (SENCO) leaders is highly effective.

Agreed priorities

School leaders have identified and ERO agrees that teachers continue to review and refine:

  • the purpose and use of student journals and portfolios
  • the integration of inquiry learning across the curriculum
  • ways of strengthening teachers' confidence and capabilities in te reo me ona tikanga Māori.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Māori students are keenly engaged and experience success in their learning. Their overall achievement levels are parallel to other students in the school. Significant aspects that contribute to their success are:

  • a whole school initiative "whare kura", involving regular te reo me ona tikanga Māori lessons, provided by skilled and experienced teachers
  • tuakana/teina (buddy) groups where older students foster positive relationships and support for younger students
  • regular consultation with Māori whānau
  • making meaningful connections with, and receiving support from, kaumatua for occasions such as pōwhiri.

3 Curriculum

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

A visionary leadership team has developed an appropriate curriculum that is responsive to and inclusive of the diverse needs of students, their families, school staff and the community. The curriculum reflects the unique context of Royal Oak Primary School and notable features include:

  • an holistic approach to provide students with a wide range of learning experiences
  • fostering students' understanding of progress through embedding a philosophy of "Better than before"
  • building students' understanding of the learning process through the visual representation of learning pathways linked to the school's oak tree logo
  • the acknowledgement of Māori as tangata whenua
  • reflecting The New Zealand Curriculum and current educational theory and practices.

Enhancements to the curriculum include the implementation of inquiry learning and the ongoing improvement of information and communication technologies (ICT) resources for teaching and learning. Reflective teachers participate in regular and relevant professional learning to support curriculum development, teaching and learning.

Students experience success in the arts and a range of cultural, sporting and leadership opportunities.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is in a strong position to sustain its ongoing development and improvement through:

  • well embedded, high quality self review and strategic planning practices
  • knowledgeable and experienced professional leadership
  • collaborative and collegial staff
  • well-informed governance provided by committed trustees
  • ongoing support and involvement of families and whānau.

All stakeholders are focused on positive learning and social outcomes for students.

School leaders and ERO agree that embedding the more consistent appraisal process will provide all teachers with quality feedback about their teaching practice.

Provision for international students

There are no international students enrolled at Royal Oak Primary School.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Royal Oak Primary School does not have a school hostel.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

2 June 2011

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 324 Girls 294

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā





South East Asian

New Zealand Maori

Other European


Other Asian

Cook Island Maori


Other Pacific


















Review team on site

March 2011

Date of this report

2 June 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

February 2008

May 2005

June 2001