Haeata Community Campus - 19/07/2018

New School Assurance Review Report

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 Haeata Community Campus. 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

Haeata Community Campus is a newly established co-educational school providing for students in Years 1 -13. The school currently has over 770 students. Māori students comprise 47% of the total roll, with 30% identifying as Pākehā and 17% as of Pacific origin.

Preparations are underway for an elected board to replace the establishment board appointed by the Ministry of Education.

The philosophy of the school is centred on students being supported to achieve in a highly personalised way that is responsive to their needs and interests. The school values wellbeing and learning equally and sees achievement as encompassing all aspects of a young person’s development.

The new buildings have been constructed to enable students to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities within five flexible learning spaces. The school’s close links with Ngāi Tahu are reflected throughout the environment and te ao Māori is visible.

There has been considerable support for the school from the Ministry of Education and other external agencies. The school is developing useful links with community organisations.

The school includes a bilingual unit for children from new entrants to Year 5, a satellite unit for students with additional needs, and a Services Academy. Leaders are aware that some students need extra support to engage with their learning. They are currently trialling a programme, delivered off-site, that is designed to meet the specific needs of these students.

3 Background

Haeata Community Campus opened in January 2017, replacing four schools (three primary and one secondary) which had closed as part of the Christchurch post-earthquake Shaping Education – Future Direction Programme. The school serves a diverse multicultural community.

Key staffing appointments were made throughout 2016. This enabled significant planning and community consultation to occur.

The opening roll was considerably higher than expected. Leaders and staff agree that 2017 was a particularly difficult year as staff, students and the community adjusted to the new learning environment, developed understandings of the new approach to learning, and established relationships of trust.

As a result of surveys, consultation, observation and reflection, leaders and staff made operational and structural changes for 2018. These changes are intended to provide greater whole-school cohesion and the continuation of positive relationship building. The new initiatives are designed to:

  • better support a personalised learning model for students

  • enable greater whole-school consistency and coherence of systems

  • improve the alignment of policies and practices

  • improve communication within and beyond the school

  • provide professional learning targeted to key school priorities

  • increase community engagement.

4 Findings

The establishment board and leaders have a clear understanding of the long term vision for the school. They have established three main priorities for 2018: wellbeing, students’ learning, and community engagement. There is a strong commitment across the school to these priorities.

The school’s values of alofa, manaakitanga, success, hanga whare, and service were developed after extensive consultation. The values are reflected in the school’s environment and practices and, in particular, in the importance given to building positive relationships in the school and wider community.

Leaders and staff have a strong focus on students developing dispositions such as resilience, collaboration and compassion to enable them to achieve positive wellbeing and learning outcomes. These are a central part of all programmes and link to the school values.

The school has established an innovative student-centred, culturally responsive curriculum framework that emphasises a holistic approach to learning. The curriculum strongly reflects the school’s firm belief that wellbeing and learning dispositions are key factors in student success. Working with their teachers, students develop courses that build on their dispositions and interests, and support them to achieve their goals.

Online personal learning plans, co-constructed by students and their teachers, are central to the improvement of outcomes for all learners. These provide ongoing documentation of learning. A current focus of the leaders is to ensure that the learning plans are implemented more consistently and methodically across the school. This will assist the school to identify, track and report on group and individual students’ progress and achievement over time, and to implement effective targeted teaching and learning strategies. It is intended that parents will be able to easily access and contribute to these plans.

The school’s bi-lingual unit, Kōmanawa, supports the school’s aspirations. Children are well engaged in their learning in a settled environment. Whānau are involved in their children’s learning and in the wider Kōmanawa activities.

Academic results for students of Haeata Community Campus in 2017 showed low achievement across most groups. Leaders must ensure that schoolwide systems, programmes and interventions continue to be strengthened to improve achievement of learning outcomes for all students in 2018.

Since 2017 the school has put in place a range of strategies to minimise barriers to learning. There are reduced rates of behavioural issues and increased attendance. Data shows that more students have positive attitudes towards school. The school recognises that a consistent and structured approach, built around the school values and shared understanding of behavioural expectations, is necessary to continue these improvements.

A well-resourced Hauora (wellbeing) team, comprising specialists from within and outside the school, works proactively to ensure tailored and comprehensive support for students and families who most need it. This aligns effectively with the school’s key priorities of building positive relationships and enhancing students’ wellbeing so that they are better placed to achieve success.

Staff are supported to build their capability through a comprehensive professional development plan that is linked to priority areas of school development. The school has implemented useful strategies to grow the leadership capacity of teachers who have key leadership roles in the learning areas.

Key next steps

The board and leaders have begun to put in place initiatives and systems to strengthen consistency across school operations and to improve outcomes for students. Leaders and ERO agree that they need to ensure that:

  • there are detailed action plans for identified areas for improvement

  • planning and implementation timelines reflect the need to ensure positive outcomes for students across all aspects of achievement in 2018

  • rigorous internal evaluation is built into all planning and processes

  • reporting to the board against outcomes is regular and includes relevant data.

Leaders have identified that a key priority for 2018 is to achieve greater consistency and improve processes in relation to curriculum planning and assessment. In order to ensure that positive outcomes for all students are central to this, leaders are focused on ensuring that:

  • the assessment strategy, already begun, is completed and implemented effectively

  • the needs of students requiring additional support are identified, addressed and evaluated, and that their progress is regularly reported to the board

  • specific teaching and learning expectations and strategies are included in the personal learning plans, and that the board is appropriately updated about the effectiveness and impact of the personal learning plans on student progress and achievement

  • systems and programmes are in place to develop and sustain high quality teaching that meets the learning and achievement needs of the students.

The school has identified a need to improve communication, both within the school and with the wider community, as part of its focus on building strong relationships and engaging positively with the community. The digital platform that the school uses has presented challenges in this regard. The school recognises that it has to ensure that all parents are able to easily access and understand school information, and particularly information about their child’s progress and achievement.

The school has consulted extensively and has growing support within its community. The board and leaders now need to clarify the school’s vision to ensure that it reflects the achievement aspirations of parents/whānau and students, and that it is easily understood by all.

In the time that the school has been fully operational the board and leaders have carried out some useful self review with a clear focus on improvement. It is now timely to build on this to create a systematic approach to evaluating the impact on students’ learning and achievement of the school’s processes, programmes and interventions. This requires shared understandings of evaluative thinking and a robust framework and schedule for evaluation.

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.

Aspects of compliance, especially relating to National Achievement Guidelines concerning progress, assessment and reporting, are yet to be fully in place.

Conclusion

The board, leaders and staff of Haeata Community Campus have a strongly-shared philosophy for the school and its students. After a very challenging first year the school has begun to put in place improved systems and practices aimed at supporting students to achieve positive outcomes within the framework of the school’s approach to learning.

A strong and effective emphasis on wellbeing has been established. The focus must now be on ensuring that the academic outcomes for all students are consistently addressed through schoolwide systems, understandings and practices. Effective systems must be in place to ensure that the progress and achievement of learners in both wellbeing and learning are rigorously monitored and assessed. ERO’s evaluation shows that:

  • the school is operating in a manner consistent with the intent and values of the establishment board and leaders

  • in order to achieve positive outcomes for learners, the planned consistency of expectations and more cohesive practices and systems must now be implemented with progress regularly reported to the board.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Southern Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

704

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

772

Gender composition

Boys 57%

Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnicities

47%

30%

17%

6%

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

19 July 2018

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