Ohakune School

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School Context

Ohakune School, for students in Years 1 to 8, is located in the rohe o Ngāti Rangi in Ohakune. The current roll is 246, with 44% identifying as Māori.

The school’s vision is for all students to be ‘caring and connected, contributing community members, who make positive decisions and achieve their aspirations’. The values of ‘PRIDE: participation, respect, integrity, determination and environment’ are viewed as the core of everything they do and as a community they strive to show this in every area.

Annual goals for 2019 focused on: accelerating boys and Māori learners’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics; providing an educationally responsive localised curriculum; promoting the health and wellbeing of all students; and effective governance practice.

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

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

Since ERO’s June 2017 evaluation, leaders and teachers participated in Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL) and Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) professional development programmes. During 2018 and 2019, schoolwide professional development has focused on building teachers’ pedagogical understanding of relationship-based teaching and learning.

The school is a member of the Ruapehu 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 is moving toward achieving equitable outcomes for all learners. Student achievement trends from 2017 show a trajectory of improvement for students overall, with most achieving the expected levels of The New Zealand Curriculum. The end of 2018 school data, shows increased overall outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics.

Improved achievement for Māori boys in reading, writing and mathematics is significant in 2019. Girls achieve better than boys in all three areas. Reducing the disparity in outcomes for boys compared to girls remains a priority for the school.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve the goals set for them in their individualised wellbeing and learning plans.

Student attendance is monitored and strategies in place have resulted in an improved attendance rate from Term Two to Term Three of 2019.

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

School leaders have systems and practices that respond well to Māori and other students whose learning needs accelerating.

Over half of Māori boys requiring accelerated learning in 2019 progressed to meet the expected curriculum level 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?

Students have plentiful opportunities to experience appropriate learning within the school and wider community. The school’s localised curriculum is underpinned by relational teaching and learning and reflects the aspirations held by the schools’ community for children. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are highly valued and an integral part of students’ schooling experience. Te ao Māori is authentically incorporated through place-based learning and understanding the importance of mana whenua. Māori learners’ culture, language and identity are to the fore. All students’ developing capabilities, skills and competencies are fostered by teachers and support staff.

Students’ wellbeing, sense of belonging and academic progress is enhanced in an inclusive and positive learning environment. The school’s ‘PRIDE’ values are taught and enacted. Respectful reciprocal relationships promote a positive school culture. Opportunities for students to undertake leadership roles further enrich the culture of the school.

Engagement in learning and the wellbeing of students with complex needs are well-supported. Purposeful partnerships with families and whānau enable teachers to know and respond to students’ interests, strengths and needs well. School personnel access and work with external agencies, when appropriate, to support these students. They benefit from curriculum adaptations that respond to their specific needs. Transition practices are individualised, supportive and underpinned by inclusive practice that fosters the active participation of families and whānau in their child’s learning.

Efficient leadership practices have guided organisational change management well. Steady progress against the school’s strategic key priorities is evident. Funding and resourcing are strategically aimed at achieving equity for all learners. Teachers’ professional knowledge building and the evolving curriculum impacts positively on outcomes for students.

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

School leaders should develop annual achievement targets aligned to those students who require their progress and learning to be accelerated. Evaluating the quality of outcomes for these learners in relation to the school’s key strategic priorities is a next step. This should provide leaders with a comprehensive understanding of how well ongoing changes contribute to students achieving equitable and excellent outcomes.

Trustees are becoming familiar with their roles and responsibilities. Ongoing learning about their governance role in relation to school stewardship should inform their active participation in strategic planning and achieving equity and excellence for all learners.

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 Ohakune 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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the responsive localised curriculum that aligns to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • relational teaching and learning practices that promote an inclusive environment
  • practices that build teachers’ capability and the school’s capacity to improve outcomes for learners.

Next steps

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

  • using effective internal evaluation practice to know what has been successful in improving outcomes for those learners whose progress needs to be accelerated and to determine further decision making.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

4 February 2020

About the school

Location

Ohakune

Ministry of Education profile number

2410

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

246

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 44%

NZ European/Pākehā 48%

Other ethnic groups 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

4 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2017

Education Review May 2014

Education Review January 2011

Summary

Ohakune School is a rural Years 1 to 8 school located in Ohakune. The current roll is 175, with 40% identifying as Māori.

There have been staffing changes since the May 2014 ERO report. A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2017, the position of deputy principal was reinstated and an appointment made in Term 4 2016.

The school has participated in the Ministry of Education (MoE) Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme. This is effectively promoted through the values of PRIDE: participation; respect; integrity; determination; and environment. In 2016, the school participated in the MoE Accelerating Learning Literacy (ALL) intervention. In 2017, staff are participating in Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM).

The school is a member of the Ruapehu Community of Learning.

Continuity of trustees on the board has provided stability for the school during a time of change.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Accelerating achievement of Māori learners in reading, writing and mathematics remains a key priority.

The school reports that at the end of 2016, approximately 70% of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. However, disparity continues for Māori learners.

A strong focus on pastoral care and wellbeing of students supports their sense of belonging and engagement in learning.Students are confident, able to talk about their learning, and enjoy being at school.

The new principal’s leadership is focused on enhancing the positive learning environment, and collaborative and respectful relationships with parents, whānau and the wider school community. The board of trustees has sound systems and processes to manage the school well.

Some key practices require further development to increase effectiveness in promoting equity and excellence and sustaining good practice. This includes strengthening assessment practices, and developing an authentic and relevant curriculum. Developing internal evaluation to enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate what works and what needs to change to impact on progress and achievement, is a next step.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori children remains.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school reports that at the end of 2016, approximately 70% of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Half of Māori students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since the previous ERO report, achievement for all groups has remained static. Disparity continues to be evident for Māori learners in reading, writing and mathematics and for boys in reading and writing.

As a result of the ALL intervention in 2016, 18 of the 28 target students made accelerated progress. However this was not sustained for some learners.

Moderation in writing has occurred. Staff have undertaken professional development on the use of the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) and are implementing this in 2017. The use of this tool should strengthen teachers’ confidence in their overall judgements about student progress and achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Some systems and process to support the achievement of equity and excellence need further development.

A strong focus on pastoral care and wellbeing of students supports their sense of belonging and engagement in learning. Warm respectful relationships are evident. Students are confident, able to talk about their learning and enjoy being at school. They appreciate the range of curriculum and leadership opportunities available to them.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. They are well informed about their child’s progress and achievement and are regularly informed about school operation and events.

The school is strengthening relationships with the kindergarten and other early learning providers in the area and developing processes to support students’ successful transition to school.

The new principal’s leadership is focused on creating a positive learning environment, and collaborative and respectful relationships with parents, whānau and the wider school community.

The board of trustees has sound systems and processes to enable the school to be well managed. They have a clear understanding of, and commitment to, their governance role. They regularly consult with the community to seek their views and aspirations.

An appropriate appraisal process has been established for the principal and teaching staff to support their professional growth and development.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Some key practices require further development to increase effectiveness in promoting equity and excellence and sustaining good practice.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should:

  • strengthen their understanding and use of achievement information to enable them to effectively plan to meet the needs of individual students, particularly those whose learning and achievement need acceleration
  • further develop tracking and monitoring systems and processes to show the progress of target students
  • develop internal evaluation to move from checking what is being done, to evaluating the effectiveness of practice and the impact on studentprogress and achievement.

The principal has identified the need to review the curriculum to better reflect the local context and to be more responsive to student’s culture, language and identify. ERO’s evaluation affirms this.

To increase the effectiveness of trustees, leaders and teachers to promote equity and excellence,curriculum development should include:

  • making cultural responsiveness explicit in teaching practice
  • meaningful and relevant contexts for learning, responsive to students’ needs and interests
  • expectations for effective teaching of reading, writing and mathematics based on best practice
  • reviewing assessment practices and the range of assessment tools used to ensure they are fit for purpose
  • processes to support teachers’ judgements aboutstudent achievement and moderation. 

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
  • 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.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement
  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO. 

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for children.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

28 June 2017

About the school

Location

Ohakune

Ministry of Education profile number

2410

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

175

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 40%
Pākehā 50%
Other ethnic groups 10%

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review January 2011
Education Review December 2007