Otaki School

Education institution number:
2939
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Bilingual Year 7 and Year 8 School
Total roll:
158
Telephone:
Address:

Mill Road, Otaki

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Otaki School - 27/11/2018

School Context

Ōtaki School provides education for 173 students in Years 1 to 8. The majority, 80%, identify as Māori. There has been a slight roll decrease since the December 2015 ERO report.

Ko te kawa o Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga te kawa o te kura; the kawa of Ngāti Raukawa is the kawa of Ōtaki School. The school has three learning pathways. Te Korowai Whakamana offers four classes of total immersion in te reo Māori, Kia Manawanui comprises two bilingual classes, and Matariki, with four classes, is English immersion.

The school’s vision, mission and graduate profile articulates the school’s valued outcomes for students: to achieve high levels of educational success; to acquire a wide range of life skills; and in te reo rumaki to have fluency as speakers, readers and writers in te reo Māori.

‘STAR’ values outline the school’s expectation for student learning and wellbeing schoolwide, which are: ‘safe, totally responsible, awesome learner, respectful – be a STAR; te noho haumaru, me ū ki ngā haepapa, tau kē ki te ako, whakaute atu, whakaute mai – Kia rangatira te tū’.

The school’s current aim is that the majority of students will make progress at a rate consistent with the levels of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and/or The New Zealand Curriculum statements. There is a focus on accelerating progress of students identified as achieving below expectation in reading; and for students in Years 2 to 4 in Matariki and Kia Manawanui students, learning pathways.

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

  • achievement in relation to the levels of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum

  • wellbeing, holistic care and development

  • effectiveness of reading interventions

  • attendance and the impact on progress and achievement.

At the beginning of 2018, the school started a three year commitment to the Manaiakalani Outreach project with four other kura/schools in the Ōtaki area. This is focused on building teacher capability, knowledge and use of digital learning tools to guide, plan for and promote learning and accelerate student achievement.

Ōtaki School is part of Ōtaki 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?

End of data 2017, for students in Māori immersion indicates that almost all students achieve at or above expectation in pangarau, korero a waha, tuhituhi and pānui. All Year 8 students achieved at and above expectation. Achievement has remained at similar levels overtime.

Reported 2017 end-of-year data showed the majority of students in English immersion and bilingual learning pathways achieve in reading, writing and mathematics at or above expectation. Trends over time indicates a positive trajectory as students move through the school.

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

Deliberate actions, strategies and initiatives are in place to accelerate the learning and progress of identified students. Reported information for 2018 in literacy for these students shows steady progress for many and accelerated progress for some.

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?

The curriculum blends The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, expressing a commitment to and a focus on te ao Māori, that is an integral part of the school culture. The breadth of the curriculum provides students with an extensive range of authentic and engaging learning experiences. As the use of digital technology continues to evolve in the curriculum, there is increased motivation and opportunity for students to be creative and innovative through their learning. There is a positive and respectful tone in the learning environment, where students are enthusiastic, engaged in and share their learning.

Those with additional, more complex needs are well supported through a range of appropriate programmes and initiatives, including use of external expertise. Appropriate systems and processes support the identification and learning of students with additional learning needs.These learners successfully participate and engage in learning alongside their peers.

Leaders and teachers are committed to building their capability through a wānanga approach to professional learning to promote positive outcomes for all students.Culturally responsive practices are strongly evident across the school. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga underpin all aspects of the life of the school.

Priority is given to the holistic wellbeing and learning of students.Teachers within and across the three learning pathways work collaboratively and take collective responsibility to improve wellbeing and learning outcomes for all students.

Strong and effective relationships and engagement with parents and whānau support their involvement in the life of the school and their children’s learning. Leaders and teachers actively participate and contribute to local and regional learning networks and initiatives.

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 have a clear vision to promote equity and excellence. Having closer alignment across strategic, annual and appraisal goals, curriculum and teaching practice should better support achievement of this vision.

Leaders should develop achievement targets and refine actions that focus specifically on acceleration of groups of students who have been identified as underachieving. More deliberate tracking and monitoring at class level of these students’ progress and achievement, should support teachers to know about effectiveness of strategies implemented and further promote accelerated learning and improved outcomes.

The school should strengthen the schoolwide shared understanding of internal evaluation to better identify and know about what is most effective in accelerating learning and to inform decision making.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of collaboration among leaders and teachers that supports ongoing building of capability, aligned to school priorities
  • pastoral care, that systematically responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning
  • connections and relationships with whānau, the wider community, iwi and other education organisations that focus on positive outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • use of data from the range of sources available to better target and respond to those students at risk of underachieving
  • internal evaluation that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed to support greater levels of success
  • alignment across school systems and processes enabling a clear line of sight from strategic goals to effective teaching and classroom practice.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 November 2018

About the school

Location

Ōtaki

Ministry of Education profile number

2939

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

173

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 79%
Pākehā 11%
Pacific 6%
Asian 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

6

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

112

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

66

Number of students in Level 1 MME

75

Number of students in Level 2 MME

37

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

27 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Report December 2015
Education Report November 2012
Education Report September 2009

Otaki School - 23/12/2015

Findings

Students at Ōtaki School experience a positive, inclusive environment where te ao Māori is valued and celebrated. The curriculum comprises three pathways: Māori language immersion; bilingual; and English medium. Expectations for learning and behaviour are clearly articulated and understood. Leaders and trustees provide sound support for continued improvements in student achievement.

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?

Ōtaki School provides education for 227 students in Years 1 to 8. The majority, 88%, identify as Māori. There has been an overall roll increase of 20 since the November 2012 ERO report.

The school has three learning pathways. Te Korowai Whakamana offers five classes of total immersion in te reo Māori. Kia Manawanui comprises two bilingual classes, and the third, Matariki, is English medium.

The newly revised curriculum is a blend of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Teaching and learning are underpinned by the school’s vision: Ko ā tātou tamariki ngā rangatira o āpōpō - Learners today, leaders tomorrow. The STAR values (safe, totally responsible, awesome learner, respectful) express expectations for students’ learning and behaviour schoolwide.

Leaders and trustees have made good progress in addressing the areas for further development identified in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school has good knowledge about the progress and achievement of individuals and groups of students. Leaders, teachers and trustees use this to:

  • identify students in need of additional support
  • set annual improvement targets
  • highlight aspects of students’ learning that require building, strengthening or extending
  • provide in-class targeted teaching to accelerate their progress
  • access appropriate internal or external support
  • monitor the impact of these strategies
  • report progress to and set goals with parents and whānau
  • inform board decisions about resourcing for learning support.

Teachers’ assessment practices are guided by well-documented expectations. Overall judgements about students’ progress against National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga are moderated within the school to test their accuracy. To further strengthen the reliability of judgements, leaders should explore opportunities for external moderation with other schools.

The school’s analysis of literacy and mathematics data for 2014 shows that in recent years, the percentage of students whose achievement is well below expected levels in relation to National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga has decreased. The targets set for 2014 were all met or exceeded.

The small number of Pacific students achieve well. Those who require English language tuition are identified and appropriate support is put in place. In 2014, all five Pacific students were above the National Standards.

Percentages of ākonga in Te Korowai Whakamana who achieve at or above expected levels are significantly higher than national patterns.

National Standards data from 2014 showed that mathematics achievement was tracking well over time. Smaller percentages of boys and Māori were at or above expected levels. A pattern of underachievement for boys is noted by the school as a concern across all three learning areas.

The target for 2015, based on this data, is to increase the percentage of students who achieve at or above the National Standards in reading. The principal provided the board with a mid-year report showing students’ progress towards the target. There is still some way to go to show success for all students.

Students with additional or complex learning needs are carefully monitored. Personalised support for them is provided in classes alongside their peers.

Leaders and trustees recognise that specific targets aimed at particular priority student groups should be considered for 2016. This approach should help teachers to develop and implement strategies that focus on the precise aspects of learning that need strengthening. Close monitoring and regular reporting of the impact of these strategies is likely to contribute to accelerated student learning and improved outcomes.

3 Curriculum

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

The design of the curriculum reflects a collaborative approach, incorporating the ideas and aspirations of parents, whānau, staff and students. Teachers have clear guidelines and expectations to inform the planning and implementation of learning programmes that respond to diverse student needs. The curriculum is relevant and meaningful, reflecting te ao Māori, local contexts and the community.

The school’s priorities, goals and values are highly evident in documentation and classroom practice. Building students’ literacy and numeracy skills is a key focus. Appropriate professional learning supports ongoing development of teaching and improvement in outcomes for students.

Learners’ language, culture and identity are valued, celebrated and infused throughout the curriculum. A sense of wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and tūrangawaewae is evident schoolwide.

Students and teachers have good access to digital devices. They are well supported to build their capability in using them effectively to promote learning and progress. Students in four classes have their own devices, which they can keep and take with them as they move on to secondary school. The school reports that integration of digital learning has accelerated the engagement and progress of significant numbers of students.

Bringing together three learning pathways in one school has been a major focus for school leaders. Consistent, shared understanding and enactment of expectations of teachers and students are evident in programmes, relationships interactions and tikanga schoolwide.

Staff work together collegially in teams and as a cohesive group across the pathways. They demonstrate a shared commitment to the school’s vision, values and kaupapa.

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

Ōtaki School fully reflects te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori.

Māori students experience an environment where their cultural heritage is valued and authentically integrated into every aspect of the school day. They show confidence and pride in their identity.

Most of the staff are Māori. They, along with ākonga, demonstrate strong leadership and modelling of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers are well supported to build their cultural knowledge and responsiveness.

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.

Students, staff and whānau benefit from the school’s positive culture and tone. The environment is orderly, supportive and conducive to learning and wellbeing. Relationships are respectful at all levels of the school community.

The school actively seeks and fosters learning-centred relationships that engage and involve parents, whānau and the community. A range of strategies and opportunities successfully encourages families to play a meaningful and active part in school activities.

The principal and senior leaders form a strong, cohesive team with a high level of professional commitment and capability. They work collaboratively to develop and enact the school’s vision, goals and priorities. Their consultative approach promotes unified support for agreed priorities and planned strategies.

A comprehensive set of policies and procedures provides sound guidance for school operations. Until now there was very little documentation kept for appraisal and endorsement of teachers' practising certificates. Recent changes in the appraisal system are consistent with good practice and legislative expectations. It is timely for the board to review related documentation to align with these changes.

Leaders and trustees are developing processes to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives. To increase the rigour, usefulness and consistent quality of evaluative inquiries, a recommended next step is to create a guiding framework to inform practice schoolwide.

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.

Two aspects of health and safety provision were found to be inadequate. To address these the board of trustees must:

  1. ensure that further police vetting is obtained for all non-teaching employees every three years if they still work at the school[Education Act 1989, sections 78C to 78CD]
  2. ensure that the board understands and accepts its responsibility for students and others involved in EOTC activities.[National Administration Guidelines 5; Ministry of Education EOTC Guidelines]

Conclusion

Students at Ōtaki School experience a positive, inclusive environment where te ao Māori is valued and celebrated. The curriculum comprises three pathways: Māori language immersion; bilingual; and English medium. Expectations for learning and behaviour are clearly articulated and understood. Leaders and trustees provide sound support for continued improvements in student achievement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 December 2015

About the School

Location

Ōtaki

Ministry of Education profile number

2939

School type

Contributing

School roll

227

Gender composition

Boys 54%, Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

88%

6%

5%

1%

Special Features

Five Level 1 Māori Immersion classes Years 1-8

Three Level 2 Bilingual classes Years 1-8

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

23 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

September 2009

August 2006