Royal Oak School - 31/07/2015

Findings

Royal Oak School offers high quality education to students. The school provides an inclusive and caring environment for its diverse students and their families. Teachers work collaboratively to provide a highly effective and student-centred curriculum. The positive impact of highly effective professional leadership and the board’s stewardship is evident throughout the school.

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

1 Context

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

Royal Oak School is a long established urban school and provides education for students from Year 1 to Year 6. Its multicultural student population includes a large number of learners for whom English is an additional language. The school’s vision ‘We Always Give Our Best’ is evident in all aspects of school life.

Staff, students and families are proud of the long-standing and inter-generational connections the school has with its community. A significant feature of the school is the way that the school community is working with the school to create a positive culture. This culture is about being inclusive and valuing diversity. It encourages students’ sense of belonging in the school and their wellbeing for learning.

The principal and senior leaders are a stable and experienced leadership team. The team promotes the use of current educational research findings and best teaching practice.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. School leaders and teachers have responded positively to recommendations and extended the good practices noted in the 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement. Senior leaders and teachers share their knowledge of students as individuals and take collective responsibility for students as learners. This helps to promote and support students’ wellbeing and impacts positively on student engagement and learning.

Students are articulate, capable learners. They show pride in their learning, set learning goals and work individually with adults and staff to monitor their progress against these goals. They share their progress towards their goals with family members throughout the year.

School achievement data indicate a steady rise in student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics to meet the National Standard requirements. This rise is evident at all levels of the school. School leaders use achievement information to set appropriate goals to further raise student achievement. Currently, there is an emphasis on professional development in the teaching of writing to lift student achievement in this learning area.

Teachers use achievement information to plan and adapt programmes and teaching practices in response to students’ learning needs and interests. The board uses student achievement information and information from the community to determine priorities and inform the school’s strategic direction.

Teachers work alongside each other and with teachers from other schools to moderate assessment. This promotes teachers’ confidence to make reliable judgments about students’ levels of achievement in relation to the National Standards. This approach will be an ongoing focus for the school.

Students for whom English is an additional language are very well supported to access the curriculum. Teachers plan well to accelerate these students’ learning progress and ensure they achieve success. Rigorous school systems mean that students at risk of not achieving well are identified early and close teacher monitoring helps to ensure they achieve good outcomes.

Teachers use reporting to parents as an opportunity to establish learning focused partnerships. Parents and whānau that ERO spoke to as part of the review said they receive very good information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to all of the National Standards. The school promotes opportunities for parents to be involved in supporting and promoting their children’s learning at home.

Māori and Pacific students are well represented across all achievement bands. The board of trustees, senior leaders and teachers have an appropriate focus on raising Pacific student achievement. They are committed to working alongside Pacific families to strengthen learning partnerships and promote positive outcomes for Pacific students.

School leaders and trustees are continuing to build partnerships with the school’s diverse family groups and are considering new ways to strengthen these partnerships.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very effectively. It reflects The New Zealand Curriculum vision, values and principles. Literacy and mathematics are integrated throughout other curriculum areas. Teachers work collaboratively to provide a highly effective student-centred curriculum.

Students and teachers share respectful and affirming relationships that promote learning. Students experience focused learning environments, benefit from effective teaching and have opportunities to follow their interests. Teachers are continuing to build strategies to encourage students to be self‑directed learners. The aim is to have students take increasing ownership of their own learning.

The curriculum is inclusive and responsive to the strengths and interest of each child. This is encouraging students to be active inquirers. Teachers incorporate real life contexts and experiences that reflect local needs into learning programmes. This enables students to see that learning is relevant to them and connected to real life issues. These experiences promote opportunities for students to collaborate with, learn from and facilitate the learning of others and become more confident and capable learners themselves.

E-learning is integrated into the curriculum. Students have good access to a range of e-learning tools to support their learning. Further development in this area is strategic, well planned and supported by good resourcing.

School leaders ensure that effective planning, implementation and evaluation of the school’s curriculum are embedded. They provide very good guidance to teachers and have strong systems to promote teacher dialogue and reflection. This helps foster shared understandings and consistency in good teaching practice.

Leaders and the board are continuing to build on the school’s curriculum foundation of culturally responsive teaching practices. This will strengthen and promote the language, culture and identity of all the cultures represented in the school.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori. Māori students engage well in learning, and in school activities. Māori students are encouraged to take pride in being Māori and are well represented in school leadership roles.

Staff and students benefit from, and value the help of, a specialist teacher of Māori language and culture. This is helping them to promote te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum. The school-wide te reo and tikanga Māori programme has expectations for each year level and teachers use this to monitor students’ progress over their time at school.

The school values and celebrates kapa haka, which is attended by a large group of students from Years 4 to year 6. Tuakana/teina relationships that involve older or more experienced students supporting their younger and less experienced peers are evident. There is a school wide expectation that children know and are given opportunities to introduce themselves in Māori using pepeha.

Environmental gardens are purposefully planted and cared for by students and staff to include Māori plants and symbols which are native to New Zealand. Cultural days are an inclusive part of the curriculum which celebrates key events in New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Highly effective leadership and stewardship is evident at all levels of the school. There is clear evidence of ongoing reflection and evaluation throughout the school. This is positively impacting on teaching and learning.

Trustees are improvement focused. The board is made up of experienced and new trustees who bring a variety of expertise to governing the school. Trustees have very good knowledge of their governance role and responsibilities and provide very good support to the principal. Trustees receive strong assurance from senior leadership that the school enacts systems to provide a safe and healthy environment for children and adults.

The principal promotes a model of capable leadership. This involves intentionally encouraging distributed leadership and recognising potential to build the collective capacity of staff. This leadership approach emphasises that it is the school community’s collective responsibility to create the conditions in which all students experience success.

Leaders promote a culture of collegiality, inclusiveness and respect among all staff. The school’s organisational structures, processes and practices strengthen and sustain professional learning and collaborative activity, aimed at improving teaching and learning.

Staff work collaboratively in different teams throughout the school. New staff appreciate the school’s well considered induction processes and the opportunities they are given to develop good teaching and leadership practices.

High quality self review is used well throughout the school to drive and inform ongoing improvement. Policies and practices are aligned with the schools’ strategic direction. The board of trustees plans a comprehensive review of current school provisions. They are confident that this will verify the strengths of the school’s strategic direction and also be a catalyst for further development.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

International students benefit from the school’s inclusive culture and pastoral care. Students and their families are supported well to integrate into the school’s community. They receive very good English language support to complement the high quality classroom teaching and learning programmes.

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

Royal Oak School offers high quality education to students. The school provides an inclusive and caring environment for its diverse students and their families. Teachers work collaboratively to provide a highly effective and student-centred curriculum. The positive impact of highly effective professional leadership and the board’s stewardship is evident throughout the school.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 July 2015

School Statistics

Location

Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1475

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

598

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys      55%
Girls       45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European / Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Tongan
Filipino
Samoan
Cook Island Māori
other

  9%
35%
14% 
10%
  7%
  5%
  5%
  2%
13%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

31 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2011
February 2008
May 2005