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Hands Up!


 
11
JUNE 2012

To the Parents and Community of Orewa North School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office's latest report on Orewa North School.

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

Orewa North School is a well established school catering for students in Years 1 to 6. The school roll continues to be stable. The number of students identifying as Māori has increased significantly over the past three years, bringing a change to the school's ethnic composition.

The school's positive culture provides a sound foundation for learning. Students benefit from teachers' caring and supportive approach and the settled classroom environments they create. Students come to school as willing and enthusiastic learners. Parents are made welcome and encouraged to be involved in school activities. The school continues to enjoy, and students benefit from, high levels of parent and community support.

The Board of Trustees works effectively with the Parent Teacher Association to ensure that the school is well resourced. The school is continually updating and improving resources for students. Ongoing development of property and grounds continues to beautify the site and enhance outdoor opportunities for students.

2 Learning
How well are students learning - engaging, progressing and achieving?
The school's comprehensive range of student achievement information indicates that students
achieve well and have positive attitudes towards their learning.

Achievement information includes the results from individual assessment tools which show how well students are meeting school indicators and benchmarks for achievement.

ERO notes that some teachers could make better use of assessment information to plan more systematically for the learning
needs of individual students.

 

The school has made good progress in reporting student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Achievement information is well analysed to identify students who would benefit from additional support.

Senior staff monitor the progress and achievement of groups of students, including Māori and Pacific students and year level cohorts. The school reports that students make good progress over time.

More specific class by class monitoring of student achievement would assist senior leaders to identify where classroom programmes could be improved so that students are more likely to reach their potential. Comparing the school's overall levels of achievement with that of other schools of a similar decile and type, could enable the school to better gauge its success in promoting learning.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?
Several teachers successfully affirm Māori students' culture, language and identity. They do this by incorporating Māori themes in their programmes and using practices that acknowledge the cultural heritage of Māori students. Māori students and non-Māori students benefit from the successful kapa haka group which is trained by skilled parents.

Overall, however, ERO notes that there is limited recognition of New Zealand's bicultural heritage in evidence across the school. Previous school initiatives aimed at embedding Māori cultural experiences have not been maintained or extended. With an increasing number of students who identify as Māori, school leaders should make building staff capability to meet the Government's goal of Māori students achieving success as Māori a higher priority.

School leaders' analysis of National Standards achievement information indicates that the majority of Māori students achieve at National Standards. However, they are not appropriately proportionally represented among the students achieving above the National Standards.

School leaders could consider the merits of setting a target to redress this. They have appropriately set achievement targets to support Māori students at risk of not achieving. Māori students who receive additional support programmes make good progress while participating in them.

The school has identified some attendance issues with a small group of Māori students. The
school should review the effectiveness of the steps it has taken to address this. More
emphasis on providing culturally responsive teaching to meet the needs of Māori students
may help to improve the engagement of this group of students and of Māori students more
generally.

3 Curriculum
How effectively does this school's curriculum promote and support student learning?
Aspects of the school's curriculum effectively promote and support student learning well.
These include:
  • a strong focus on the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics
  • frequent opportunities for students to be physically active
  • good use of local facilities as resources for learning
  • well functioning special needs provisions for students needing extra learning assistance
  • supportive classroom environments in which students feel positively motivated to learn.


Professional development for teachers has focussed on literacy/written language, numeracy,inquiry learning and Information Communication Technology. Lead teachers support their peers to implement new approaches. In order to ensure that all students benefit from new approaches, senior staff should monitor how well teachers are implementing them. Higher expectations for implementation, improved teacher appraisal processes and further support and guidance could help all teachers to better embed new practices and approaches.

Teachers have begun to develop a long-term outline of inquiry learning that should broaden the curriculum for students. This development provides a good opportunity for teachers to consider how to offer students increased opportunities to make choices about what and how they learn. School leaders should also reflect on ways to ensure that this new curriculum approach results in programmes that are sufficiently challenging and interesting for students.
More open consultation processes may also provide better opportunities for the parents and students to be involved in curriculum review and development.

School leaders maintain strong links with the local college. The college's requirements are incorporated into teaching programmes in order to assist senior students' transition to secondary school.

4 Sustainable Performance
How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?
The school has the capacity to sustain its performance.

The senior management team is long serving and knows teachers, students and families well. Teachers are collegial and supportive of students and each other. The school has a high profile in the community which is maintained through strong links between senior managers and other local schools and with the community in general. The board operates efficiently. Trustees continue to support the school and generously fund teacher professional development. The school's open-door practices promote good relationships with the community. All of these factors help to create a stable foundation for the school to sustain its performance.

School leaders and the board use good self-review processes in their strategic and annual planning. By making increased use of review information the board and principal could further enhance the school's development. A useful approach would be to use self review findings and recommendations as a basis for developing action plans which outline relevant goals and strategies to promote development. Regularly monitoring and evaluating progress in relation to these action plans would significantly enhance the school's cycle of self review and its capacity to further improve students' learning.

Provision for international students
The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


In order to improve current practices, the board should ensure that risk analysis management
system plans (RAMS) are prepared prior to students going on trips and camps.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please download it HERE or see the ERO website http://www.ero.govt.nz

 

 

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