Harewood School - 26/03/2013

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Harewood School provides a welcoming environment for students and their families. It is a small school with a strong level of community involvement and support. Harewood School celebrated its 150th Jubilee in 2012.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. The board of trustees and principal work well together providing effective leadership and forward planning.

Many students were able to talk confidently about their learning and enjoyment of school.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

The school uses assessment information very well to identify and promote students’ learning needs and abilities. Most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Their progress and achievement is closely monitored by teachers and senior leaders.

Teachers have high expectations of students' learning and achievement. They talk to students about their progress and help them set and reflect on their own goals. Students are highly engaged. They understand what they have to do and why.

Senior leaders and teachers gather good quality assessment information and use it well. Teachers know about individuals and groups of students. This helps teachers to make well informed decisions about learning programmes.

The special needs coordinator ably leads learning support. She works well with the senior leadership team and teachers to effectively provide for gifted and talented students and those who are at risk of not achieving.

Teachers regularly have professional discussions about students’ progress and achievement. They reflect on students' learning and share ideas about how they can best meet their needs.

Area for review and development

While there is a strong focus on improving the progress of students who are not achieving, a next step for the board and principal is to clearly state this in annual achievement targets.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum is well balanced and effectively assists teachers in planning programmes to promote and support student learning. Teachers understand the high expectations set for student achievement and have good quality guidelines to support them when planning.

The school’s appraisal system strongly supports improved teacher practice and programmes for students. Teachers receive useful feedback through the appraisal process. They review their own performance. Feedback, self review and student information help to affirm teachers or highlight changes needed.

Teachers plan programmes that are varied with good levels of challenge. Students have a say in how and what they learn. They are well supported by teachers who:

  • encourage them in their learning
  • provide useful feedback on their work
  • recognise their efforts and talk with them about their learning
  • help them to understand their next level of challenge
  • link learning to their interests and what is happening in the world around them.

Students spoken with by ERO felt the teachers knew them well and cared about them and their learning.

Area for review and development

Teachers evaluate students’ progress and achievement effectively. To strengthen this process, teachers now need to recognise the effect specific teaching strategies and interventions have made in improving or strengthening outcomes for students.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Areas of strength

The school is very effective in promoting educational success for Māori as Māori.

Māori students enjoy positive relationships with their teachers and kapa haka tutors. They have many opportunities to participate in activities relating to their cultural background. Teachers include meaningful contexts for learning that reflect Māori culture. All students benefit from Māori enrichment programmes including preparing a hāngi and involvement in pōwhiri for school events.

Māori students told ERO that they feel proud and valued as Māori. They particularly like it when the principal and teachers use the Māori language. Te reo Māori is seen and heard regularly across the school.

Regular and purposeful consultation with the Māori community has seen changes to the school programme and increased involvement by some whānau.

Area for review and development

Increasing teachers’ understanding of how their practice impacts on Māori students succeeding as Māori is likely to be strengthened by continuing to use the Ministry of Education resources Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako and reviewing their Māori curriculum statement.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Self review at all levels is strong with good processes in place to support teacher practice and promote students’ progress and achievement.

Trustees have a good understanding of their responsibilities and work together with the principal to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff.

The board takes its role as a good employer seriously. Trustees:

  • regularly seek teacher, student and community views and act on information gained
  • receive good quality information about students’ learning
  • support student progress and achievement
  • value a broad curriculum.

The board is well informed about student progress and achievement through good quality, detailed reports. Trustees use this information to effectively allocate resources.

There is a strong connection between the board’s long term planning, the school’s curriculum and what happens for students in their learning programmes. This seamless approach provides clear direction for staff and effectively supports student learning.

The principal provides good-quality leadership. She is knowledgeable about teaching practice and together with the board, is focused on continuous improvement.

Students’ progress and achievement is well supported by quality professional development for teachers. The principal takes an active role, learning alongside staff and sharing relevant professional readings.

Area for review and development

With a number of trustees looking at stepping down at the next elections, it is important that a suitable induction process is developed to support this transition.

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
  • 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 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
  • attendance.

Minutes of board meetings do not show when trustees move into and out of the public excluded section of the meeting (commonly known as in-committee) or the general purpose for doing so. The minutes from this section which are kept separately are not signed and dated by the Board chair as being a true and accurate record of what has occurred. Often these minutes contain sensitive information and may be called upon should legal matters arise.

The board must ensure that the in-committee minutes meet legal requirements.

[Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, Public Records Act 2005].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

26 March 2013

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3370

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

154

Gender composition

Girls 50%

Boys 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Asian

South African

84%

9%

1%

4%

2%

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

26 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

November 2006

October 2003