Oropi School

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Education institution number:
1870
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
341
Telephone:
Address:

Oropi Road, Oropi, Tauranga

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School Context

Oropi School is in the rural outskirts of Tauranga and provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 318 includes 50 Māori students and a small number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds. The school has 13 fee paying international students.

Since the October 2014 ERO report, there has been significant roll growth, and the principal and deputy principal have continued to lead the school. There has been an increase in staffing levels across the school mostly in response to the roll growth. In 2018, a bilingual class that provides 30% to 50% te reo Māori instruction was established and currently there are 20 students enrolled.

The school’s motto is ‘Be all you can be, whaia te mātauranga’. The recently developed core values of ‘ako, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga and whakairo’ are priorities of the school.

In 2020, the strategic intent is to accelerate progress in learning through the school curriculum. This focus should support and enable students to access and know their passions, talents and interests, to develop successfully and remain engaged in learning beyond Year 8.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics and student wellbeing.

The school is a member of the Tauranga Peninsula Kāhui Ako.

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 has made good progress in achieving equity and excellence for all students, with significant increases in achievement for Māori learners since 2017 in reading, writing and mathematics.

Achievement data for 2019, shows that the large majority of students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading and writing, and most in mathematics. The data also shows that Māori and non-Māori achieved at comparable rates in reading and writing but non-Māori achieved at higher rates than their Māori peers in mathematics. Girls and boys achieved at comparable rates in mathematics. However, in reading and writing, girls achieved at higher rates than boys, significantly so in writing. Schoolwide student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics has fluctuated between 2018 and 2019. However, girls have consistently achieved at higher rates than boys in reading and writing.

Information collected in a survey of students indicates that the school effectively supports student wellbeing and learner engagement.

Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning and behaviour goals.

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

The school is accelerating learning for some identified students who need this.

School data gathered in 2019, about additional reading programmes, indicates that the interventions effectively accelerated student achievement for some of the Māori and others that were targeted.

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 collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, values and goals for equity. They actively seek out the perspectives and aspirations of teachers, students, parents and whānau. They build relational trust and communicate effectively with the school community. Leaders are well supported by the board of trustees. Programmes and initiatives in the school are informed by research and leaders positively support building teacher capability. A caring learning community has developed that is inclusive of diverse learners and aimed at maintaining the school’s values and rural character.

Teachers provide orderly and supportive environments that promote student learning and wellbeing. There are respectful and warm relationships among students and adults. Student learning is scaffolded through a wide range of teaching strategies, cooperative learning opportunities, active discussion and provision of quality resources. Teachers plan differentiated programmes for reading, writing and mathematics based on sound assessment information. They promote achievement of learning outcomes by deliberately aligning task design, teaching activities and home support. There are effective processes for student transition into and within the school to improve outcomes for at-risk learners.

The school’s curriculum makes meaningful connections to learners’ lives, prior understandings and real-world contexts. A schoolwide approach to teaching through play prioritises the needs and interests of individual students. The bilingual class models and contributes to the growth of te ao Māori across the school. This class is well integrated and valued throughout the school. Culturally responsive practices are underpinned by well-embedded school values. Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed, involved in school activities, respected and valued as partners in learning. Rich and broad learning experiences allow for students to become confident risk takers and actively involved learners.

Students with additional needs are well integrated into the life of the school. Systems for the monitoring and tracking of students are established. Teachers and support staff provide a range of effective interventions that respond to student needs, including accessing external expertise. Parents are well informed about their child’s learning and progress.

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

The school understands the importance of internal evaluation. A wide range of information is gathered about school operation and reported to the board of trustees. Leaders recognise the need to focus on aligning systems and practices with assessment information.

To enhance progress and further support equity and excellence, ERO and the school have agreed on the following areas for development:

  • refining assessment systems to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives that seek to achieve the school’s valued outcomes
  • developing achievement targets for all identified groups of at-risk learners and reporting regularly to the board about how effectively their progress is being accelerated.

The school is continuing to strengthen students’ understanding of their learning pathways, particularly their progress and next learning steps.

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 ERO review there were 13 international students attending the school.

The school has highly effective practices and systems in place for the provision of education and care of its international students. There are positive opportunities promoted for these students to share their culture, integrate and involve themselves in the rich life of the school and its community, achieve academic success and make very good progress with their English language acquisition.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • an inclusive culture that underpins all aspects of systems and practices
  • a motivating curriculum that is responding to students’ strengths, needs and interests.

Next steps

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

  • aligning systems and practices with assessment information to improve accelerated learning outcomes for students
  • strengthening practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning pathways.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

19 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

The board and senior leaders provide highly-effective governance and leadership for learning. The well-designed curriculum promotes student engagement, progress and success through a comprehensive range of learning experiences. Māori language, culture and identity are valued and visible in the school. A strong home and school partnership promotes success for students.

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?

Oropi School is located in a spacious, attractive rural setting close to Tauranga City. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8 from Oropi village and surrounding areas. Since the 2011 ERO review there has been substantial roll growth and the school now has 184 students and operates 8 classrooms. The increasing roll has led to plans for major developments in property in 2015. The board of trustees is liaising with the Ministry of Education to establish an enrolment scheme to manage roll growth.

A feature of the school is the close and reciprocal relationship maintained over many years with the local early childhood service. This positive partnership contributes to well-planned and seamless transition to school for children who begin in the new entrant class.

Students have the opportunity to learn Mandarin, Spanish and Māori through systematic and sequential programmes of instruction. A group of students is undertaking a trip to China to further enrich their understanding of Chinese language and culture.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. Good progress has been made with the agreed priority in the 2011 ERO report related to strengthening aspects of student learning. Students have developed a range of skills that enables them to talk confidently about the purpose of their learning and share with teachers in decisions about their next learning steps.

The school’s vision is highly evident. This vision is to provide a ‘place where children can be children, take considered risks, explore their ideas and have a sense of excitement about their own life-long learning.’

2 Learning

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

The school gathers information about student achievement using a wide range of appropriate standardised assessment tools. This information is used very well to make decisions about student achievement in relation to the National Standards (NS) in reading, writing and mathematics. Data shows that a significant majority of students are achieving at or above NS in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students are achieving above national comparisons in writing and at similar levels in reading and mathematics. The school is making good progress towards the Ministry of Education goal to have 85% of students achieving at and above NS by 2017.

School leaders have established robust and well-managed processes to accelerate student achievement. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) is providing strong and effective professional leadership for teachers, and support for children with identified special needs and abilities. The SENCO makes highly effective use of achievement data to provide targeted interventions that address the individual needs of each student achieving below expected levels. The progress of these students is closely monitored and data collected by the school shows that many of these students make accelerated progress to reach the standard required.

The board of trustees makes very good use of the extensive achievement data regularly shared by the principal and senior leaders. They set relevant long-term, strategic goals and targets based on carefully analysed achievement information. This information is also used to make appropriate and purposeful decisions about school resourcing, personnel and professional learning and development for teachers.

The principal is providing skilled and effective leadership. His strong understanding of self review is resulting in significant school development and improvement. He has established positive, transparent and highly professional working relationships with senior leaders, teachers, students and families. School leadership places priority on positive community engagement and improving learning outcomes for students.

Teachers are a collegial team that share a commitment to realising the school’s vision. They are enthusiastic about professional learning and implementing innovative programmes founded on current best-practice and theories of teaching and learning. Students demonstrate high levels of understanding in managing their learning, particularly in the senior school. They benefit from teaching practices and positive relationships that affirm, extend and challenge their ideas, language and learning.

The school has established a shared and coherent set of sound beliefs and values about teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers are now in a good position to further develop and integrate a school wide, cohesive language of learning and assessment. This is likely to further enhance the understanding of the learning process amongst teachers, students and their families.

Parents have many opportunities to be well informed about their child’s achievement, progress and successes while at school. They make many valuable contributions to the life of the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well designed and highly effective in promoting students as capable, confident, self-managing learners. Aspects of the curriculum that contribute to student success are:

  • a focus on integrating literacy and mathematical learning with all curriculum areas
  • rich and coherent programmes that prepare students well for further education and learning
  • contextually relevant programmes with close links to the historic and local environment
  • ready access to a range of computer technology for teachers and students to extend learning and research
  • learning environments that celebrate student success and reflect the value the school places on high-quality learning outcomes
  • student participation in sporting, academic, artistic and cultural activities in the wider community.

Students have many opportunities to take responsibility and build on their leadership skills. Teachers have fostered high levels of trust with students as they progress through the school. Senior students share their skills and act as mentors for younger students. Positive and respectful relationships are evident both in classrooms and as students enjoy their play times.

The school provides a familiar, play-based learning context for new entrants. This experiential approach is centred on children’s identified strengths and interests and enhances their growing understanding of literacy and mathematical learning in meaningful contexts. Planned transitions promote a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging for the new entrants. Teachers need to consider how to further include children in planning to add complexity and purpose to their learning and play in the primary school context.

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

The school has a strategic and planned approach to integrating Māori cultural values in the life of the school. Māori protocols are being established for welcoming visitors. A kaiāwhina with skills and knowledge about local Māori heritage and culture is providing leadership for teachers and students as they learn te reo Māori and participate in kapa haka.

Data gathered by the school shows that Māori students are achieving well. The school has a positive partnership with whānau who support school initiatives and share their knowledge about Māori culture and celebrations. The school has made progress towards strengthening connections with Ngāti Ranginui, the local Iwi. ERO observed Māori students contributing, confidently engaging in learning and enjoying leadership opportunities alongside their peers. Some classroom displays and environments place high value on Māori cultural identity. The school is making good use of Ministry of Education guidelines Ka Hikitia to sustain their focus on accelerating success for Māori as Māori.

School leaders and teachers are committed to continuing to build their understanding of cultural competencies that promote success for Māori learners. An important next step is to continue to build teacher competencies to consistently integrate and model te reo Māori as a normal part of everyday conversations with students.

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 because:

  • trustees and school leaders set high expectations and have a very good understanding of self-review processes and practices
  • students learn skills to keep themselves safe in an inclusive country-school environment
  • leadership is highly effective at all levels of the school
  • high-quality appraisal promotes teaching practices that contribute to student success and enjoyment of learning
  • Māori students experience success in culturally appropriate contexts
  • there is strong partnership between the school, parents and wider community.

Trustees and school leaders are in the process of establishing a longer term approach to strategic planning to accommodate and prepare for an increasing roll and major property developments.

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

The board and senior leaders provide highly-effective governance and leadership for learning. The well-designed curriculum promotes student engagement, progress and success through a comprehensive range of learning experiences. Māori language, culture and identity are valued and visible in the school. A strong home and school partnership promotes success for students.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 October 2014

About the School

Location

Oropi, near Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1870

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

184

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other European

Pacific Island

Other

77%

11%

9%

1%

2%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

21 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

February 2009

July 2006