These are the findings of the
Education Review Office's latest report on Orewa North School.
If you would like a copy of the full report, please download it
or see the ERO
Education Review Report Orewa North School
The purpose of ERO's reviews is to give parents and the wider
school community assurance about the quality of education that schools provide
and their children receive. An ERO school report answers the question "How
effectively is this school's curriculum promoting student learning - engagement,
progress and achievement?" Under that overarching question ERO reports on the
quality of education and learning outcomes for children and for specific groups
of children including Māori students, Pacific students and students with special
needs. ERO also reports on the quality of the school's systems for sustaining
and continuing improvements. The report answers four key questions about the
What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student
Orewa North School is a located in a community with a city
growing around its boundaries. The school's previously semi-rural context,
valued by the school community, is changing rapidly. The school caters for Year
1 to 6 students. Māori students make up 18 percent of the roll and there is an
increasing number of students of other ethnicities.
Since ERO's 2012 report, the board of trustees has appointed a
new principal who started at the beginning of 2015. He has begun to review the
extent to which students are able to express their interests, strengths and
aspirations and have these reflected in the school's curriculum. He is also
working with all staff to enhance their professional practice. His collaborative
and consultative approach is helping him to build a good understanding of the
school community. This should help ensure that any change is well considered.
Previous ERO reports have identified strengths within the
school. These included a positive school culture, a supportive climate and
settled children. Students had reported that they enjoyed being at school and
valued the learning opportunities the school offered. The school continues to
benefit from high levels of parent and community support.
The 2012 ERO report also identified areas for school
improvement which included developing a more bicultural approach. This report
acknowledges the considerable work done to enhance the school's curriculum and
promote success for Māori students. The school's Kaumatua and Māori whānau
continue to play a significant role in these ongoing developments. Professional
learning in literacy is also helping teachers to improve student achievement.
Further improvement is necessary in the areas of governance and self review.
How well does this school use achievement information to make
positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement?
The school's National Standards data indicates that most
students, including Māori students, continue to achieve particularly well in
reading, writing and mathematics in comparison to local and
national student achievement levels. The school is well placed
to achieve the Ministry of Education goal of having 85%of its students at or
above National Standards by 2017.
Student achievement information is used by the school to
promote learners' progress and achievement. Teachers use appropriate assessment
processes to determine student achievement levels. School leaders use data to
set priorities, identify professional learning and development and make
Teachers set school-wide and class achievement targets. The
progress and achievement of students at risk of not achieving well is monitored.
Teachers reflect on their teaching as a syndicate team and support each other to
explore a range of teaching practices to help these students. The principal is
now establishing specific expectations for teachers to assist them to more
systematically plan for, track and report the progress and achievement of these
students. School leaders recognise the value of continuing to strengthen the
focus placed on outcomes for targeted students.
To promote successful learning and achievement for all
students, senior leaders have increased their expectation that teachers identify
and use explicit teaching strategies in their planning and practice. Teachers
are also being given opportunities to review the impact of their teaching on
students' progress. Improving teachers' understanding and use of assessment
should help them to share achievement levels and next learning steps with their
students. Teachers' use of exemplars and learning progressions displayed in
classrooms will contribute to deepening student's knowledge about their
individual learning. This should enable students to set more learning focused
goals and to better monitor their own progress.
Students with special needs receive focused support for their
learning. Students withdrawn from their classrooms receive extra learning
assistance in literacy, numeracy and oracy. Additional specialist programmes
support students with social, emotional and behaviour needs. A number of special
needs students have individual education plans (IEPs). They receive support in
class from experienced teacher aides. The SENCO works hard to provide good
quality learning programmes for all of these students.
The school's introduction of The
English Language Learning Progressions
as an assessment tool is timely. Greater use of
these progressions should help all teachers to better identify, monitor and plan
for the progress of students who are new speakers of English.
The leadership team plan to make more effective use of the school's
achievement information by deepening their analysis of it. They plan to examine
trends and patterns and scrutinise syndicate and individual class level
achievement data. This will provide better information to help leaders and
teachers shape the school's strategic direction, curriculum development and
allocation of resources.
How effectively does this school's curriculum promote and
support student learning?
The school's curriculum is effective in promoting and
supporting student learning.
Strong bicultural development is extending the school's
curriculum. The school's new Māori values, Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Ako,
Kaitiakitanga, Kotahitanga and a focus on Whakataukī are being developed with
the school community. These values will guide expectations for the culture of
Students have good relationships with
each other and their teachers. They cooperate well and classrooms are
purposeful and settled environments. The inclusive school tone has a
positive influence on students' wellbeing and their sense of belonging.
Parents involved in the school appreciate teachers' openness and their
opportunities to support children's learning.
School leaders could now consider how they could
extend opportunities for all parents to learn more about the school's curriculum
and how to support their children's learning at home.
Literacy and numeracy are appropriately
prioritised in the curriculum. Improving student learning in writing has been a
recent focus. Art, music, kapa haka and taiaha classes compliment sport and
physical education programmes and students' opportunities for leadership. Kapa
haka now takes place within the school day to increase student participation and
reflect the value the school places on this for all students.
Professional development for teachers supports
the design of a plan for delivering te reo Māori. This programme is effectively
taught by a Māori teacher. It involves students and their teachers learning
alongside each other. Students from Year 1 to 3 have been welcomed onto Te Henga
o Marama Marae to learn about Māori tikanga. Students have an increasing
understanding of New Zealand's bicultural heritage as a result of these
Students have opportunities for inquiry learning
about different curriculum concepts through a range of authentic contexts. Some
students are developing their own inquiry questions and ideas through the focus
on these concepts.
The principal and school leaders recognise that
that school's curriculum could do more to respond to students' strengths, prior
knowledge, interests and aspirations. Clearly documented curriculum statements
and expectations are needed for all curriculum areas to give guidance to
teachers. This would help teachers to more consistently implement and sustain
programmes. The school is now poised to:
- undertake extensive curriculum review to ensure students experience a
rich and balanced curriculum that better reflects the full expectations of
The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
- continue to provide authentic opportunities
for students to enrich their inquiries and develop critical and higher order
thinking skills across the curriculum
- continue to purposefully integrate
information and communication technologies (ICT) to extend and enhance
learning opportunities for students.
How effectively does the school promote educational success
for Māori, as Māori?
Orewa North School has many effective ways of promoting
educational success for Māori as Māori. Accessing a range of successful and
appropriate professional learning and extending the skills of staff has
supported the school's genuine commitment to building its bicultural
responsiveness and capacity.
School strategies, including close connectedness with Te
Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae, and careful attention to the perspectives of the
school's Kaumatua and whānau have made an important contribution to building
bicultural approaches. Kaumatua and whānau play a key role in school powhiri,
provide cultural support and skills and are inspiring role models for Māori
students. Importantly, the school provides leadership opportunities for Māori
students and promotes and monitors their achievement.
The school recognises the positive impact that bicultural
school practices, curriculum content and the use of tikanga and te reo Māori can
have on Māori student language, culture and identity. Good progress is being
made in acknowledging all three within the school. School leaders could consider
how they can build on the strengths of their key Māori resource people to extend
and strengthen partnership with whānau. Strengthened partnership with whānau
would enable them to contribute to decision making and share what they want for
School leaders could also continue to promote educational
success for Māori as Māori through their strategic plan, specifying significant
and important outcomes.
4 Sustainable Performance
How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its
The school is well placed to sustain and improve its
The new principal is continuing to improve school performance.
As a result, the school is well positioned to sustain its strengths and to
embark on further development. The principal is establishing positive
relationships with the school and community. He is developing clarity for staff
and students around expectations and responsibilities. Appraisal and
professional development processes are being developed with school leaders and
teachers. Well considered and school-wide teacher professional development has
The principal and senior leadership team are working
collaboratively and positively as they embark on new initiatives to sustain and
improve the school's performance. The leadership team also plan to enhance their
professional skills so that they can purposefully inspire and facilitate new
development within and across their teams.
The board of trustees recognise that school governance needs
to grow and develop. This report identifies a number of governance weaknesses to
do with self review, procedures for appointing staff and aspects of
documentation. Trustees should undertake training to help them develop and
improve their knowledge and implementation of school governance expectations.
They should also review how the board operates. More formal school self
evaluation and review processes would help inform trustees and improve board
The school's self-review processes would benefit from greater
depth and focus on how well and effectively the school is improving outcomes for
children. Increased community, staff and student contribution to reviews would
also significantly improve the quality of the school's self-review processes and
Provision for international students
The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for
Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of
the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time
of the ERO review.
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
- 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
During the course of the review ERO identified
weaknesses in school governance. In order to address these, the board of
trustees with the principal must ensure that the school:
- maintains an ongoing programme of self
review in relation to policies, plans and programmes[National Administration
Guidelines 2 (b)].
To improve current practices, the board should:
- keep clear documentation of any student
stand-downs and suspensions and record the provision of appropriate in-class
and wider school support and outcomes for these students
- ensure public meetings maintain the privacy
of individuals and improve the recording of minutes when the public is
excluded from board meetings
- ensure compliance with its legal obligations
and appropriately implement and review policies and procedures.
The new principal at Orewa North School
is working collaboratively and inclusively with staff, students and
parents to sustain the school's strengths and implement change. He has
increased the school's emphasis on providing focused teaching to improve
outcomes for students, particularly those at risk of not achieving.
Further growth and development of school self-review and governance
practices is very likely to promote improvements in school performance.
ERO is likely to carry out the next
review in three years.