Owairoa Primary School

Education institution number:
1413
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
825
Telephone:
Address:

85s Nelson Street, Howick, Auckland

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Owairoa Primary School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within seven months of the Education Review Office and Owairoa Primary School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

Owairoa Primary School in Howick, is a culturally diverse school, providing education for learners in Years 1 to 6. The school has a long proud history within the Howick Community. 

The school is a member of the Te Ara Bucklands Beach Kahui Ako and hosts a satellite class of Sommerville Special School.

Owairoa Primary School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are: 

  • Responsive Curriculum – raising levels of achievement for all students through effective teaching and learning
  • Professional Capability – through staff professional development, implement a responsive curriculum that provides inclusive and balanced educational programmes
  • Community Connections – strengthening school-community relationships to support learning pathways for students.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Owairoa Primary School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the effectiveness of literacy initiatives to further support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • to further raise levels of achievement in literacy for all learners through effective teaching and learning
  • to accelerate the progress of all learners who are working towards curriculum expectations in literacy
  • through professional learning continue to implement a responsive curriculum that provides all learners with a balanced learning programme.

The school expects to see:

  • excellent and equitable outcomes for all learners in literacy
  • consistency of effective teaching practice in literacy across the school
  • enthusiastic and engaged learners, who see themselves as confident and capable readers and writers.

Strengths 

The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to evaluate the effectiveness of literacy initiatives to further support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

  • effective leadership that enacts the school vision, values and strategic direction for equitable and excellent learning outcomes for all learners 
  • professional learning and development programmes that build staff capability and effective teaching focused on the learning all learners
  • assessment systems are used to effectively identify, monitor and report student progress and achievement
  • well-resourced indoor and outdoor learning environments that support the effective delivery of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • a strong sense of belonging and family ethos enhances the wellbeing of learners and staff.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise: 

  • continuing to provide relevant professional learning opportunities to further enhance outcomes for all learners, particularly in literacy. 

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years. 

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

9 May 2024 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Owairoa Primary School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2024 to 2027 

As of March 2024, the Owairoa Primary School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact Owairoa Primary School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

9 May 2024 

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Owairoa Primary School

Provision for International Students Report

Background

The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Findings

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self review of its implementation of the Code. 

At the time of this review there were thirty-one international students attending the school and no exchange students.

International students receive high quality English language learning programmes. They actively engage in teaching and learning and school wide activities. A special feature of the school is the education and networking programmes delivered by the international department for parents and families. 

The school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

9 May 2024

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home 

Owairoa Primary School - 22/10/2019

School Context

Owairoa Primary School caters for a diverse school community of approximately 790 students in Years 1-6. Four percent of the school’s roll identify as Māori and two percent have Pacific heritage. Approximately one-fifth participate in a formal English programme for speakers of other languages.

The board’s overarching vision for the school is to “lead children along pathways that prepare them for the future” and to “challenge them to continually strive for new horizons”.

The principles of respect/whakaute, integrity/Ngakau tapatahi, self-esteem/Whakaaro nui ako and excellence/hiranga (RISE), underpin the school’s valued outcomes for students. The board’s strategic goals are to maximise student achievement, provide a rigorous curriculum, and develop staff of the highest quality.

The principal and members of the senior leadership team are long serving. Two recently appointed assistant principals support the leadership team in their roles.

The newly formed board of trustees includes a mix of very experienced and new members. Trustees bring a wide variety of skills and knowledge to their roles.

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

  • achievement information for each year level in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Māori and Pacific student progress and achievement over time
  • programmes for students with additional learning needs
  • progress and actions undertaken in relation to school targets
  • progress and pastoral care of International students.

The school hosts a satellite class linked to Sommerville Special School and is a member of the newly established Kahui Ako/ CoL Te Ara Bucklands Beach.

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?

Owairoa Primary School achieves equitable and excellent outcomes for students. Most achieve at or above the school’s expectations in reading and mathematics, and a large majority in writing.

Student achievement information is closely analysed, monitored, and regularly reported to the board. The information is robust and reliable and is broken down to show achievement by year level, ethnicity and gender. The principal is considering how to report to the board the overall achievement of cohorts over their time at the school.

The board sets measurable and appropriate schoolwide targets for student achievement, and identify and support useful strategies and initiatives to address these targets.

The Senior Leadership Team reports to the board evidence of student progress in relation to the school’s valued outcomes. Processes and systems are in place to identify the impact that a schoolwide teaching focus on the school values is having on students and school culture.

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

The school is accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need it.

School-based information indicates that the small cohort of Māori and Pacific students achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics, and by Year 6 there is parity in achievement across all groups of students.

The achievement of children with additional learning needs is closely monitored, and their ongoing progress is tracked. Appropriate external support is accessed where appropriate. Senior leaders identify other students who are achieving below expectations and appropriate strategies are implemented to accelerate their learning. These students are making good and, in many cases, accelerated progress.

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?

Partnership with parents, prioritising student wellbeing, effective leadership, and a rich curriculum and responsive teaching are the key processes and practices enabling the school to achieve equity and excellence.

The board, leaders and teachers appropriately prioritise catering for the whole child and value highly close parent partnership in children’s learning. Information about children is shared between leaders, teachers and parents and used to ensure students make individual and positive progress. The board respects the community’s and students’ perspectives and regularly surveys them to inform strategic planning and ongoing improvement.

Promoting student, staff and family’s positive wellbeing is a feature of the school culture. This significantly supports students and their learning. Senior leaders implement very useful strategies for new families, and families who have English as an additional language, to support their successful integration into the community.

The long-serving principal is an effective chief executive and leader of the school. He is ably supported by the senior leadership team. They work collaboratively with all the leaders of the school and provide many opportunities to grow leadership schoolwide. Students participate in a variety of valuable leadership activities.

Children work in settled, attractive and supportive learning environments characterised by respectful teacher-student relationships. Teachers implement well-planned and richly-resourced learning programmes that respond to students’ strengths and needs. Students are building their capacity to monitor and manage their own learning.

The school’s localised broad curriculum encompasses the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It is well designed to be flexible and responsive to students’ needs. There is a focus on programmes that support students to become independent and inquiring. A recently introduced programme integrates several learning areas. This is proving highly engaging and motivating for students. The Board also funds additional resourcing to extend and challenge students’ interests. The board would benefit from evidence-based evaluation of the outcomes for students of these initiatives.

Teachers’ professional learning and development (PLD) and growth is highly valued. The board has significant investment in PLD offered both internally and externally. The PLD programme is well aligned to the board’s strategic aims.

Te ao Māori is increasingly evident in the curriculum. The programme is well led, and teachers are gaining confidence integrating Māori perspectives into classroom programmes. Students confidently lead pōwhiri and are gaining a greater understanding of tikanga Māori. There are strategic plans to increase the visibility of te ao Māori in the school.

The board is effective and strategic, and values staff and community voice. Trustees have separate portfolios of responsibility, including a newly implemented and useful portfolio focusing on cultural inclusiveness. The board manages school finances well and meets its statutory responsibilities.

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

The principal and senior leaders agree that for ongoing school improvement, they should:

  • further develop and embed ways to ensure students grow their understanding of their own learning and progress, and have enhanced opportunities to expand their creativity
  • report evidence-based evaluative information to the board using indicators of effective practice, of the success of specialist initiatives, and teacher PLD on outcomes for students
  • regularly report to the board on progress towards the goals of the school’s Māori and Pacific strategic plans.

Further governance training would support the development of newer members of the board.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 24 international students attending the school.

International students are integrated well within the school community. They can access quality pastoral care and education. The school monitors and supports their wellbeing, progress and achievement, and reports this to the board of trustees. Parents of international students participate well in the school’s ‘Parent Class’ programme which further supports their children’s integration into the school.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before 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:the

  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Owairoa Primary School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a rich, broad, localised and inclusive curriculum which is well monitored and tracked for consistency and high quality
  • family/whānau partnerships together with a strong focus on student wellbeing and teacher’s deep knowledge of students and their families
  • students’ high achievement and the individualised strategies teachers implement to support and accelerate their learning progress.

Next steps

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

  • the board further deepening its scrutiny of its own and the school’s performance in achieving equity and excellence
  • teachers continuing to support students through provision of an environment that sustains their language, culture and identity.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

22 October 2019

About the school

LocationHowick, Auckland
Ministry of Education profile number1413
School typeContributing (Year 1-6)
School roll859
Gender compositionBoys 51% Girls 49%
Ethnic compositionMāori 4% 
NZ European/Pākehā 41%
Chinese 20%
Indian 6% 
other European 13%
other ethnic groups 16%
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteSeptember 2019
Date of this report22 October 2019
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review February 2015 
Education Review December 2011 
Education Review September 2008

Owairoa Primary School - 27/02/2015

Findings

Owairoa School provides an environment where children engage in learning through trusting and respectful relationships with each other and teachers. Students achieve well against the National Standards, and their progress, achievement and wellbeing are central to school decision-making. The school’s strong connection to its community enriches school processes and systems.

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?

Owairoa School is located in the eastern suburb of Howick, Auckland. It is a large primary school catering for students from Years 1 to 6. A culturally diverse mix of students attends the school. The roll is growing, particularly at junior level, and this will continue to present challenges for the board of trustees.

The school’s culture is one where children and teachers work and learn together cooperatively. Inclusion of families is a key value actively promoted by all who participate in and contribute to the school’s success. The school acts as a community hub and parents report high levels of confidence in its philosophy and learning culture.

The curriculum values of respect, integrity, excellence and self-esteem are effectively promoted and are an evident part of children’s learning. The school’s curriculum is also enriched through a focus on eco-sustainability. School grounds are well maintained, attractively planted and encourage student pride in the school. The calm and inclusive school tone promotes children’s wellbeing.

ERO’s 2011 report identified some educational issues that have been capably addressed during the last three years.

2 Learning

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

Owairoa School leaders and teachers use school achievement information very well to track and analyse the learning progress of students. Senior leaders evaluate data from class teachers, to identify learning patterns and trends over time. This process ensures that individuals and groups of students receive learning support where needed. Inquiry by teachers into this data also helps staff to share effective teaching strategies.

Most students achieve well and perform at levels at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Students are aware of their own progress and can talk about their learning journey in conferences with parents and teachers. During conference time parents receive student reports and use the opportunity to inquire about their child’s learning. The school uses an appropriate format for reporting student progress and achievement against National Standards to parents.

Students with special learning needs are promptly identified. Accelerating the progress of learners who need additional support is a priority focus for the board of trustees. Success in this area is driven by specialist support teachers who use personalised approaches to promote children’s progress. They communicate with class teachers of identified children, so that their learning is strengthened within the main class programmes.

The majority of five year olds entering Owairoa School have experienced early childhood education. This helps them to transition well to school and enhances the early learning experiences the school offers to Year 1 children, particularly the Super Start programme. Other transition points for children, during and at the end of their primary school years, are well managed and supportive.

3 Curriculum

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

Owairoa School’s curriculum is well aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It is a values based curriculum that promotes student respect for one another and strong connections with the local community.

Teaching teams are provided with high quality curriculum leadership to support and enhance their delivery of the school’s learning programmes. Teachers' practice is underpinned by a school-wide expectation that formative learning is a key aspect of classroom practice. These formative strategies equip children to take more responsibility for their learning.

Within the curriculum there is emphasis on the importance of key competencies such as thinking, participating and contributing. The school’s values promote social connectedness as a positive basis for learning. A focus on co-operative and collaborative learning also promotes children’s well being.

Literacy and numeracy are appropriately prioritised in the curriculum as foundation learning areas. Other subject areas in the NZC document are positioned within the school’s inquiry programme that investigates various topics and themes and allows children to have some ownership of their learning.

The school’s planned e-learning vision is at the implementation stage and is designed to further enhance the quality of the school’s future learning processes.

An extensive range of co-curricular activities, sports and cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom engage many children within the school.

School leaders and ERO have agreed that the curriculum could be further developed through:

  • extending opportunities for children to have more choice and voice in the inquiry learning programme
  • promoting high expectations for different learning approaches alongside the high expectations set for student achievement.

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

Owairoa School effectively promotes educational success for Māori students as Māori. The principal models the use of te reo and seeks advice for school kawa for formal occasions. Whānau views and perspectives are sought by both the board of trustees and school leaders.

A school kaumatua is helping the Owairoa school community in relation to its journey with Māori language, culture and identity. The presence of language and culture in the school affirms Māori children and helps to develop an understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage for all children.

School leaders are currently pursuing their commitment to further develop te reo Māori me ona tikanga. They also wish to develop their partnerships with local iwi more fully.

Māori students make good academic progress at Owairoa School and achieve well overall. They are achieving at a slightly lower rate than other students collectively, in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, data also indicates that Māori students are performing at higher levels than other Māori students in the Auckland region and nationally.

Tuakana-teina and kaitiakitanga are examples of embedded Māori concepts that enrich school processes and are enjoyed by all children in the school.

Establishing a Māori Education Plan within the school’s wider strategic plan would help to bring a sustainable focus to these positive developments.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain ongoing development and capability. There is a culture of continuous improvement at all levels of the school.

The board of trustees is experienced and supportive of school leadership. Trustees bring varied community and business expertise to the governance role. Board resourcing decisions are based on student learning needs.

There is long-term and experienced leadership at all levels of the school and new leadership is grown and encouraged from within. The principal and other school leaders are an effective group of professionals who continue to be active contributors to local clusters and networks that promote initiatives for educational improvement.

During the course of the ERO review, the following considerations for future development were agreed to by the board and school leaders:

  • a more documented approach to the self review of strategic and annual plans by both the board of trustees and senior leadership team
  • rationalising policies and procedures to better reflect the current status of the school.

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.

At the time of this review Owairoa School had 16 international students. These students are well integrated into school life and benefit from high levels of connection with the school community. The school provides very high quality English language programmes for children who are learning English as a second language. Students also benefit from the high quality pastoral care systems in place. The board receives regular information about the progress and achievement of international students.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self review processes for international students were thorough.

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

Owairoa School provides an environment where children engage in learning through trusting and respectful relationships with each other and teachers. Students achieve well against the National Standards, and their progress, achievement and wellbeing are central to school decision-making. The school’s strong connection to its community enriches school processes and systems.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern 

27 February 2015

About the School

LocationHowick, Auckland 
Ministry of Education profile number1413 
School typeContributing (Years 1 to 6) 
School roll747 
Number of international students16 
Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

 
Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

African

Filipino

Middle Eastern

Samoan

other European

other Pacific

other Asian

7%

54%

9%

6%

2%

2%

2%

2%

12%

2%

2%

Review team on siteOctober 2014 
Date of this report27 February 2015 
Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

September 2008

August 2005