Ohinewai School

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Education institution number:
1856
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
129
Telephone:
Address:

39 Ohinewai South Road, Ohinewai, Huntly

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School Context

Ohinewai is a small, rural community situated north of Huntly. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 8 and at the time of this ERO review the roll of 148 students included 64 who identify as Māori.

The school has experienced recent roll growth in 2018 from within their enrolment zone. This has meant that the out-of-zone enrolment proportion has decreased from 83% to 75% of the roll. Since the last ERO review in 2015 there have been changes to the teaching staff with a number of new teachers appointed.

The schools’ vision is to be the ‘rural school of our future’ and the school has recently reviewed its curriculum. The strategic goals are to embed a mindfulness program, develop a contingent curriculum, and to refine evidence based practice to improve student achievement.

The school has recently joined the Te Kauwhata Kāhui Ako, To Tatou Tere Ako.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

The school is working towards equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Achievement patterns over time indicate that there has been steady improvement in achievement in reading and mathematics for most groups of students. Achievement patterns have remained relatively consistent with all groups of students achieving at comparable levels in mathematics.

The schools reported achievement data for 2018 shows that most students are achieving at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. However, this data also indicates that there is significant disparity in achievement for Māori students compared with their Pākehā peers in reading and significant disparity for boys in reading and writing when compared with girls.

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

On the basis of its current data for 2018, the school reports accelerated progress for Māori and other identified at-risk learners in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Leaders and teachers are responsive and supportive of students with additional needs. Students with additional needs are clearly identified and there is ongoing tracking of their progress and achievement. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) supports parents and works closely with external agencies to develop individual plans to support learning for these students.

Students who are underachieving are well supported. These students are clearly identified by the analysis of achievement data and there is regular tracking of their achievement and progress. Leaders know these students well and form effective partnerships with parents that enable them to achieve success in their learning.

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

Priority should be given to:

Leadership to build and strengthen teacher capability, giving particular attention to:

  • improving formative assessment practices

  • developing consistent and clear expectations for teacher planning and assessment

  • using assessment information to inform teacher planning and deliberate strategies to raise and accelerate achievement.

Management and use of achievement information by leaders, and in particular moderation practices to ensure that data is consistently dependable.

Relationship management to develop and maintain a collaborative professional environment contributing to staff wellbeing.

Developing and implementing a localised curriculum that includes strengthening the commitment to school-wide bi-cultural and culturally responsive practices.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • consistently implement appropriate board meeting procedures.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective support systems for students with additional needs that provide meaningful learning opportunities for them to make appropriate progre

  • commitment to the provision of interventions that enable at-risk learners to accelerate their learning.

Next steps

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

  • leadership for learning to establish clear, agreed expectations for learning and teaching

  • quality assurance systems by leaders and trustees to ensure that practice is consistently in accordance with policy guidelines and expectations.

ERO recommends that the board seeks advice and guidance from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) about governance systems and practices.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

23 January 2019

About the school

Location

north of Huntly

Ministry of Education profile number

1856

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

148

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 43%
Pākehā 54%
Other 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

23 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Revie2w May 2012
Education Review May 2009

Findings

Ohinewai School is a small rural primary school with a positive culture for learning. Students and families enjoy the welcoming environment where teachers are approachable and focused on enhancing educational outcomes for students. A high majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above national expectations in literacy and mathematics.

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

1 Context

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

Ohinewai School caters for students in Years 1 to 8 who come from local and surrounding rural areas. It is located north of Huntly and at the time of this ERO review, there were 127 students on the roll, of whom 50 identify as Māori. The school’s vision is to be ‘the rural school of the future’ and the school motto, ‘he rawa mo ake tonu’ means ‘our best always’. Students learn and play in a spacious and well-resourced environment that reflects the school’s rural context.

Since the previous 2012 ERO review, there have been significant changes to school personnel and the board has worked with external consultants to manage these changes. A new principal took up his position at the beginning of 2014, and a new deputy principal was appointed the same year. In addition, four new teachers have been appointed and new responsibilities allocated. At the time of this review, senior leaders were building a shared understanding about teaching and learning with a future-focus within the new teaching team.

The senior leaders and teachers have responded positively to the areas identified for development in the previous ERO report. They relate to further improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Current initiatives and programmes are focussed on preparing teachers and students to succeed in a 21st century learning environment.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The board of trustees has a clear understanding of how to use student achievement data to make resourcing decisions, inquire into the effectiveness of programmes, and fund professional development for staff. Senior leaders collate and report school- wide student achievement information in relation to National Standards. These reports effectively evaluate what has gone well and include strategies for further improvement.

Teachers use a robust range of assessment tools to inform their overall teacher judgements. They reflect on and moderate these decisions with teaching colleagues from other schools. Student achievement data is also used to group students, plan appropriate programmes, and respond to students who are ‘at risk’ of underachieving. As part of a new initiative and in response to the areas for development in the last ERO report, students are increasingly developing their own learning goals and are taking greater responsibility for their next learning steps.

A significant majority of students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are achieving as well as, and at times, better than their non-Māori peers. The Ministry of Education goal of 85% of students achieving at or above National Standards in 2017 has been reached in mathematics. Students ‘at risk’ of underachieving are identified and participate in intervention programmes to address their learning needs. Students with high learning needs receive extra support, and are provided for in an inclusive manner in the classroom.

ERO and senior leaders agree that there now needs to be greater consistency in the way teachers use individual student achievement information to better track, monitor and plan for students’ next learning steps.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has developed a curriculum that effectively promotes and supports student learning. Senior leaders and teachers have recently reviewed and rewritten aspects of the curriculum to better respond to the learning needs of students. The curriculum reflects the spirit and content of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the local rural context. Recent developments have included preparation for a future-focused modern learning environment, including improved digital technology.

The curriculum has a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. Ongoing school-wide teacher professional learning and development continues to support this focus. Students benefit from a broad and holistic curriculum that encourages their participation in sporting, musical and cultural events, outdoor education activities, and caring for animals in the rural environment. Parent involvement in extra-curricular activities is welcomed and appreciated.

Teachers work collaboratively to improve educational outcomes for students. They regularly reflect on their teaching practice and are engaged in professional development, both within the school, and from a range of external providers. ERO observed many positive aspects to teaching and learning that included:

  • high levels of student engagement
  • positive and respectful relationships amongst teachers and students
  • learning progressions and expectations for learning that were visible and explicit
  • positive behaviour management strategies based on the Ohinewai Learner dispositions that encouraged students to be self managing and independent in their learning.

Senior leaders and teachers have introduced a number of agreed teacher practices for assessment and learning that are being trialled and implemented. The challenge for leaders is to ensure that agreed practices are being implemented according to school expectations and guidelines. This will involve strengthening aspects of teacher appraisal such as observations, teacher discussions, and reflections on target students.

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

The school is increasing its effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori students, as Māori. About 39% of the student roll is made up of Māori students from a range of iwi. Māori student achievement has significantly improved since the last ERO review. The most noticeable improvement is in writing, which increased 24% in the last three years, and mathematics a 16% increase due to deliberate and effective teaching strategies.

The school has shared and celebrated Māori student achievement with parents and whānau. Community consultation led to a new initiative for an award to an Outstanding Māori Student at the end of each year. New school uniforms now reflect the school community’s Māori context and are worn with pride.

Students participate in, and lead karakia and waiata. This promotes leadership and cultural appreciation in the school. Māori students are increasingly being used as experts in te reo Māori in their classes. Kapahaka is provided by an outside tutor and is popular with both Māori and non-Māori students.

In keeping with the school’s annual aims, a teacher supported by the leadership team, has been given responsibility for overseeing staff professional development and the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori into the curriculum.

There is Māori representation on the board, including key people who have connections to local Māori iwi, and provide support and guidance. The board and senior leaders are in the process of developing a te ao Māori strategic plan. The next step is to consult with students, whānau and local iwi to guide and drive this process, and ensure the development and implementation of ako, wānanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and whanaungatanga.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board has worked extensively with an external consultant to build their capability and guide the school in appointing a new principal. The board and senior leaders have undertaken extensive training in governance and management and led the review of the school’s vision and values. There is now a clear and shared understanding that can be articulated by trustees, leaders, teachers, students and parents.

The new principal brings considerable knowledge and experience to his leadership role. In the short time he has been principal, he has established positive, productive relationships with staff and community. He has overseen appropriate staffing changes to enact the future-focused vision for the school.

The principal is effectively supported by a dedicated deputy principal and together they are leading and managing changes in professional learning and practice. The senior leaders use self review effectively to bring about ongoing school improvement and development.

Parent engagement has increased and the school is well supported by its community. Students learn and play in a safe, caring school environment.

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

Ohinewai School is a small rural primary school with a positive culture for learning. Students and families enjoy the welcoming environment where teachers are approachable and focused on enhancing educational outcomes for students. A high majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above national expectations in literacy and mathematics.

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

Dalr Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2015

About the School

Location

north of Huntly

Ministry of Education profile number

1856

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

127

Gender composition

Boys 59% Girls 41%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Cook Island Māori

Other

54%

39%

4%

3%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

16 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

May 2012

May 2009

April 2008