Oceanview Heights School

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Education institution number:
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

241 Selwyn Street, Marchwiel, Timaru

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School Context

Oceanview Heights School is a Year 1 to 8 school with 75 students from a culturally diverse community. The roll includes 16 students who identify as Māori and 21 are of Pacific heritage. Almost 20% of the students are English language learners (ELLs). During the school year a significant number of the students arrive from or leave to other schools within and beyond Timaru.

The school’s vision is for ‘all students to reach their full potential in order to provide Aotearoa/New Zealand with responsible, contributing individuals’. Its values are: to Cooperate; Achieve; Respect and Encouragement (CARE).

The school’s strategic goals are to: promote student learning and engagement; ensure additional support for at risk learners; ensure Māori children are successful as Māori; develop student and staff understanding of te ao Māori; provide a safe and secure learning environment; and encourage parents and wider whānau to take an active role in supporting their children’s learning.

Current school achievement targets are to increase the number of students achieving at or above expected levels in writing and reading.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • attendance
  • wellbeing.

Since the August 2016 ERO review, teachers have been involved in professional development to improve teaching and learning in writing and reading. Two of the four teachers are new to the school this year. The school is part of the Timaru North Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (COL).

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 yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for many of its students. However, a significant number of these students have recently transferred from other schools or are ELLs.

At the end of 2018, close to half of all students achieved at or above expected levels in mathematics and reading. A majority of all students achieved at or above expectations in writing.

There is a significant disparity in achievement for Māori students in mathematics and reading and for Pacific students in mathematics in relation to their peers.

Wellbeing reports state that almost all students report feeling safe and positive about their school with a strong sense of belonging.

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

The school has effective systems to identify, track and monitor students who need additional support and their learning accelerated.

In 2018 the school was successful in accelerating the progress of about half of the Year 2-8 students who were below in reading and writing. Of the targeted students below in reading, many made accelerated progress.

Māori students below expected levels in reading at the beginning of 2018 over half made accelerated progress. Those Māori students who were below expected levels in writing, most made 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?

Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative environment. The principal and teachers know them and their families very well. They provide comprehensive pastoral care, working closely with children, their whānau/families and with external agencies. Relationships between children and teachers are respectful. Children that were spoken to feel that the school’s inclusive practices are evident and that difference and diversity is valued.

Children learn through a wide range of experiences and opportunities. This is guided by clear curriculum guidelines and procedures which include expectations for effective teaching practice. Teachers use assessment practices that are effective and used well to inform teaching. Relevant professional development and deliberate teaching programmes and approaches are supporting a school-wide focus on raising achievement in reading and writing.

The school has developed well-considered policies, procedures and systems to promote a consistent approach to meeting student needs. There are effective systems to identify, track and monitor children who need additional learning support. Action planning, such as for annual goals, specific projects and initiatives has been informed by some useful internal evaluation. Coherence and alignment from strategic and annual planning through to other practices, including appraisal and teaching programmes is driving improvement.

The board is well informed about student outcomes and school developments and makes resourcing decisions to support the children’s learning. This includes the provision of an additional teacher aide in every classroom and funding a fourth teacher for literacy and mathematics. These initiatives are likely to support and add value to children’s learning and lift achievement.

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

The board, principal and teachers need to continue to address the achievement of students whose learning needs accelerating. Leaders and teachers need to set more explicit targets and ensure regular analysis and reporting of rates of progress and achievement for groups of students.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to further develop internal evaluation practices and processes to know what is working well or not and why. This could include a better use of the school’s inquiry model to know how effective recent approaches and programmes are in lifting student achievement and improving attendance.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strong pastoral care for students that helps them to be ready to learn
  • effective processes that support teachers to identify, track and monitor students who need additional support
  • clear guidelines for teaching and school systems that give clarity for teachers practice and contribute to school wide consistency.

5.1 Next steps

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

  • setting, analysing and reporting on explicit targets to show rates of progress and urgently address disparity in achievement
  • strengthening of inquiry and internal evaluation to know what is working, what is not and to inform sustained improvement.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 October 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 39

Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Māori 16

Pacific 21

NZ European/Pākehā 35

Other 3

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review August 2016

Education Review February 2012

Supplementary Review May 2009

1 Context

Oceanview Heights is a small school that supports children and their families from diverse backgrounds. Children learn in multi-levelled classes, in newly developed purpose-built teaching spaces. Further building work on other parts of the school is still to occur.

A new principal was appointed in 2014. The rest of the teaching team has mainly remained unchanged. The board has a mix of new and experienced trustees following the 2016 elections.

Oceanview Heights is the lead school for the South Canterbury Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour service (RTLB) and hosts Special Education Services on its site.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are the CARE values - co-operate, achieve, respect and encourage. These support children getting along with others, working to their potential, treating everyone with respect and helping them to be their best.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has increased the range of assessments used, including standardised tests in maths. The ways parent and child views and opinions are gathered has been strengthened. The board has improved health and safety policies and practices.

The school’s achievement information shows that additional support is needed for children when they first arrive at school to enable them to be better prepared to learn. Many children do not achieve at expected levels, however many make very good progress over their time at the school. Achievement is highest in reading. The school has identified that the areas of greatest need are boys' and Māori children's achievement. Pacific children achieve at mostly higher levels than their peers, particularly in reading and writing, although there has been some variation over time.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly responsive to Māori children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating.

Teaching staff are inclusive and highly responsive to individual children's emotional and wellbeing needs. They know children well. There are well-established systems for quickly identifying, appropriately planning and closely monitoring Māori and other groups of children who need additional support to progress.

Teachers use many targeted strategies and programmes to accelerate children’s learning. They also make use of an extensive and wide range of external specialist agencies to support children and their families. This is helping to accelerate learning for children in need of additional support. The ongoing and targeted professional training for teachers is having a positive impact on children’s learning. The principal and teachers agree that they need to continue to improve moderation practices, to ensure that teachers’ assessment judgements are robust and reliable.

Māori and all other children have increasing opportunities to hear and see Māori language and culture within the school environment and learning programmes. They are well supported by positive Māori role models and have opportunities to experience success in a range of learning activities.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has similar processes and practices to effectively respond to other groups of children whose learning needs acceleration.

Teachers deliberately plan a range of interesting experiences to broaden children’s opportunities to extend on, accelerate and enhance their learning.

Priority is being given to extending the ways teachers engage with Pacific children and their families.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The curriculum and other organisational processes successfully support the school’s vision and values.

Children learn in a caring and supportive environment that promotes their sense of belonging and wellbeing and helps them focus on their learning. Positive relationships are promoted among children, and between children and staff. The school has highly effective links with groups in the local community who offer practical support and additional funding for school programmes. Parents and whānau are actively encouraged to be involved in school activities and with their children’s learning.

The curriculum successfully reflects the emphasis the school places on life skills, literacy and numeracy. Guidelines are in place so that teachers are clear about what and how to teach. Teachers provide a broad range of relevant and meaningful learning experiences. This includes education outside the classroom and beyond the school.

Teachers are reflective and responsive to identified areas of need in teaching and learning. They effectively engage children in learning and make it enjoyable. Teachers make good use of professional learning and development to strengthen aspects of the curriculum. The principal is clearly focused on raising student achievement. She provides teachers with ongoing opportunities to build their capacity in teaching and promoting learning. The principal facilitates a team approach in planning for future school developments.

Governance is supportive and focused on improvement. While many members of the board are new to their role, the experienced trustees have a good understanding of governance responsibilities. There is a collaborative working relationship between the principal and trustees. The board receives useful information to inform its decision making. It is particularly focused on ensuring sufficient provisions are in place to support children’s learning needs. The board and teachers regularly discuss and informally evaluate aspects of programmes and practices.

Next Steps:

ERO, the principal and board agree that the next steps are to:

  • strengthen processes for reporting to parents
  • continue to develop the school’s vision and direction for new flexible learning spaces and teaching approaches
  • develop strategic planning with the new board.

The board and teachers also need to develop more systematic and formalised school-wide evaluation processes. This includes having a clearer process for evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum.

5 Going forward (Sustainability, overall finding)

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers: 

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Children and their families are well supported. The school and community are proactive in providing all children with opportunities to be successful in their learning. There is a culture of high expectations for teachers and children. Continued focus on raising achievement and building teaching practices are the key priorities for this school.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

In order to improve on current practice the school should further strengthen appraisal practices so that:

  • policies and procedures are in line with the Education Council expectations, including the school's responsibility for attestation of RTLBs
  • teacher aides' appraisals are introduced.

The board should also continue work relating to updating policies and procedures relating to the Vulnerable Children's Act and Health & Safety Act.

7 Recommendation or Recommendations

For the school to continue to improve its performance, ERO recommends that the next steps identified in this report are acted upon. 

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

18 August 2016 

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 31

Boys 29

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

18 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

February 2012
May 2009
June 2008