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DESCRIPTION OF OUR SCHOOL

 

Rata Street School is a large state primary contributing school, catering for Year 1 (New Entrants) to Year 6 (Standard 4) pupils.  It is co-educational and has a pupil age range of 5 -11 years.  Our grading roll for 2016 is 365 and our socio-economic rating (decile rating) is Decile One.

We are a multicultural school the current composition being: NZ Maori 49%, NZ Euro 21%, Pacifika 24%, African 2%, Asian 3%, Other 1% 

 

In the junior syndicate, we have eight fulltime classroom teachers, an Assistant Principal, and two support teachers. In the senior syndicate we have seven fulltime classroom teachers, and a Deputy Principal. We have a total staff of 40 (including all non-teaching staff). The Principal is a non-teaching Principal.  The Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal do not have a class allocated but are in curriculum and support/special needs roles. There are ten teacher aides, an administration manager/bursar, an administration assistant/receptionist, a resource manager, a librarian, and a caretaker.

The school opened in 1950 and was built on a single cell model.  A three classroom block was added in the mid 1990’s, and another three classrooms added in 2008 and 2009. There have been refurbishments to many areas of the school. These have included staff and student toilets, the ‘linkway’, the hall, our administration block, staff room, and a classroom block. The next phase of the refurbishment programme will be to continue the classroom refurbishment. Our facilities now include a central resource and teachers work room, library, artroom, Gifted Kids Programme, reading recovery room, school hall – which is frequently used by the community, three adventure playgrounds, outdoor hard court area for netball and PE/sport, PE storeroom, caretaker’s room, boiler room, administration block, teachers’ aide rooms, medical room and a staffroom.

The school has an emphasis on student achievement in Literacy and Numeracy. To complement these programmes, there are strong cultural, arts, and sport programmes. The school uses its cultural and arts programmes to celebrate its cultural diversity. A Cultural Club is a feature of our cultural programme, and songs and dance of Maori, Samoan, Tokelauan and other Pacific cultures are experienced by the students.

Delivery of student support programmes is also a strength. Students needing extra help or extension because they have a special talent are catered for. Support programmes include English as a Second Language (ESOL) and Reading Recovery.  As well, there is teacher and teacher-aide support in both senior and junior areas.

To complement school programmes and to address wider community issues, Rata Street School has a Family Support Worker (Social Worker in Schools Scheme) and a Health Clinic. Students and parents are able to access these services. The school is also involved in the Health Promoting Schools initiative. Current projects include the successful Breakfast Co-operative – whereby parents have access to discounted breakfast foods for their families, and participation in the Fruit in Schools initiative. An OSCAR before and after school care facility is also based at the school.

Outside agencies involved with Rata Street School include: Wellhealth (health nurse), Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour, Speech Language Therapist, Resource Teacher of Literacy, and the Police (Education officer).

The school has an up-to-date telecommunication and computer network system. All classrooms have computers and phones. Data projectors, scanners, digital cameras, video cameras, and fax machines are available to support classroom programmes. Internet and email access is available throughout the school.

Throughout the school there is an ethos of high expectations – in both achievement and behaviour. Annual achievement targets are set and the results reported to the Board of Trustees. Achievement data shows a steady improvement by pupils in Literacy and Numeracy, although many students are achieving below national norms. Professional development initiatives are aimed at improving achievement for these students.


There are several school development themes – the core areas of  Literacy and Numeracy, and the area of Learning for Life.

Literacy and Numeracy: Supported by our schooling network (Naenae LEAP), the focus is on effective teaching practice – with specific attention to the specific learning needs of priority learners. The overall aim is to raise achievement levels of all students. For priority learners this means accelerating their achievement through effective targeted teaching practice. We are constantly looking at how we can do this better. This involves asking the students themselves, and their parents how they learn best.

Learning for Life: We know that our students are living in the here and now, and that we are preparing them for a future that is unknown. Because of this we view effective teaching practice through a future-focused lens. Our definition of Learning for Life was developed by our students, whanau, teachers and leaders. It involves students having more choice and managing their own learning; it involves the use of technology and other resources to gather and share information; and it involves lateral learning within the school, the community and the wider world. Learning is any time, any place, anywhere.