Endeavour School - 31/03/2016

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Endeavour School.

The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Endeavour School Hamilton, opened in February 2015. It caters for children from Years 1 to 6. The school will ultimately provide for up to 600 children from the growing Flagstaff area. The school buildings are designed to promote innovative teaching and learning. Groups of similar age children learn together in four flexible spaces known as communities.

Good systems are in place to welcome the ongoing new enrolments, particularly in the junior classes. This is important in establishing effective partnerships between new students and their families, and the school.  

The setup phase of this new school, including developing governance and management frameworks, has been capably led and managed by the establishment board, governance facilitator, principal and deputy principals.

3 Findings

The establishment board is committed to providing an innovative model of curriculum delivery in the first purpose-built modern learning environment in Waikato. They developed the school’s aspirational vision ‘Learning without Limits’ and have worked very effectively to put that vison into place.

The school’s curriculum has been developed as a result of robust debate among the trustees and between them and school leaders, and is based on current educational theory. Teachers prioritise exploration, thinking and citizenship as key components of the curriculum provided for students. They continue to refine and improve systems that help them to implement the school’s vision for learning. 

Children learn in calm, purposeful and well organised spaces. They speak confidently and positively about the learning culture of their new school. Children understand the expectations teachers have of their learning and behaviour. High levels of student engagement are evident. Children are self-managing and benefit from collaborative approaches to their learning. 

The modern learning environment is well used to enable children to make choices, share learning, and work independently and collaboratively. Open and shared teaching spaces allow flexibility for teachers and students in learning interactions. Children make good use of digital technologies to support and extend their learning. 

Senior leaders work well together to provide professional leadership for the school. They are closely involved in teaching programmes and school activities. This helps them to be well connected to what is happening for students and teachers, and to meet the ongoing challenges inevitable in the growth of a school. 

Continuing to build shared understandings of the curriculum and how best to implement it is the biggest challenge for staff. Senior leaders ensure very good foundations are established before introducing new expectations. This helps to embed good practices for children and teachers. 

The board now consists of elected parent trustees. While most are new to school governance, trustees bring a depth of experience and expertise to their roles. They are building on the strong foundation set in place by the establishment board, and have benefitted from a well-designed handover process.

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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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 students' 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.

Conclusion

Endeavour School has made a good start in providing an innovative model of teaching and learning. Children are well supported to become self managing learners as they move through the school. Trustees and leaders provide effective governance and leadership.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern 

School Statistics                           

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

6941

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

225

Gender composition

Girls       52%
Boys      48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
Korean
South East Asian
other

  7%
69%
  8%
  4%
  2%
  2%
  8%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

31 March 2016