Oak Park Primary School is located in the City of Moreland close to the border of the City of Moonee Valley. The school has a capped enrolment of 400 students. The original school buildings were established in 1954. Stage One of a total redevelopment of the school was completed in 2004. The remainder of the old school was demolished in 2006 and Stage two completed in September 2007. Stage two incorporated new General Purpose Classrooms, a Multi Purpose Centre, an Arts Centre and Library. The school also gained a full sized, non template gymnasium in 2011 as part of the BER initiative.
The 2014 School Family Occupation (SFO) index score of 0.3873 suggests that student achievement means could be expected to be in the top half of State results. During the current School Strategic Pan period the school seeks to improve student outcomes in English, develop resilient and self motivated learners who maintain positive relationships at all levels.
Teaching staff acknowledge the crucial role they play in the lives of our students with consensus that ‘teacher attributes’, ‘professional learning’ and ‘planning’ are the most significant factors in improving student outcomes. A major focus during the past few years has been to assist teachers to develop their pedagogy, to gain agreement on what good teaching is, and deliver that in every classroom. All teachers have more planning time than stipulated in the past two Victorian Government Schools Agreements and all have access to significant blocks of planning time with their Professional Learning Team.
Classroom teachers spend an average of 10 hours per week on English and 5 hours per week on Mathematics. With Specialist classes in Visual Arts, Physical Education, Japanese and Music as well as Religious Instruction, Sport and CASEA programs, there is a need for teachers to be very explicit and focussed in their instruction.
A significant feature of Oak Park Primary School, and one that is universally accepted as such, is the positive school community and supportive parent group. Parents feel a very strong connection to the school with many having attended themselves as students. The parent group is very active and take on major responsibilities for the organisation of significant events in the school calendar.
There is a very experienced staffing profile with only 5 teachers in the Classroom Teacher 1 category and 19 in the Classroom Teacher 2 category.
NAPLAN school means are around the State mean and there is a strong desire to improve on this. Student learning targets for the previous strategic plan period were achieved and in some instances the levels of achievement exceeded the nominated target. The school is very proud of the way in which teachers have worked hard to refine their practice. Of course there is still significant scope for improvement, particularly in student learning growth.
Student motivation appears to be on the increase as well as their engagement in Challenge Based Learning investigations. The school has well developed structures in place to support student wellbeing. The school presents as an attractive and orderly environment and student behaviour is generally very good.
A significant development in recent years has been the introduction of the school’s one to one netbook and iPad programs. Students now have ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to technology.
An evolving performance and development culture exists and openness, dialogue, inquiry, risk taking and trust are fostered. Teachers are typically focused on sustained improvement.
The challenge for the school over this next period of time is to maximise student achievement in literacy and numeracy, to increase the number of students moving from the middle to the upper cohort and to ensure that every child achieves at least one year’s growth each year, and more in some cases.