Lemonwood Grove School - 24/08/2018

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 Lemonwood Grove 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

The Rolleston area is growing rapidly. To accommodate this population growth, a number of new primary schools and a secondary school have been established. Lemonwood Grove School was established to provide education for school-aged children predominantly in the Faringdon community.

3 Background

From June 2016, a process was undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to assess the school’s readiness to open at the beginning of 2017. A readiness to open report was provided to the MOE in May 2017.

Lemonwood Grove School successfully opened in January 2017 with 59 students, from Years 1 to 8. The roll has continued to increase as the Faringdon community in Rolleston has grown. It is increasingly diverse as new families settle in the area. At the time of this review the roll was 192.

The school’s mission is to provide a landscape of possibilities where people connect and ideas flow in challenging, collaborative and creative ways. There is a strong focus on the key GRIT values and dispositions (grit, responsibility, integrity and thinking) for learners to adopt and develop. These values will equip learners to achieve the holistic vision to be ‘the best of you, as you’.

4 Findings

The school’s vision is highly evident in all aspects of its operations. Effective, positive partnerships among trustees, staff, learners and families are based on a shared understanding of the school’s vision. Comprehensive consultation and communication are fundamental to the well-considered design, development and delivery of the curriculum. The curriculum aims to provide all learners with the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

The core values, beliefs and principles are visible in the learning environment and in the actions of learners and teachers. Fundamental to these values is the first principle that learners are at the centre of practices and expected outcomes. In order to meet the vision for learners, projects, initiatives and programmes are explicitly linked to best outcomes for learners.

The wellbeing/hauora of learners and staff is prioritised. It is directly linked to the school’s vision and strategic goals. This reinforces the school’s desire to develop and respond to the needs of learners in every way.

The school is very well placed to provide for students.

There is a focus on purposeful, meaningful assessment and reporting. A comprehensive review process, with stakeholder consultation, is currently enabling leaders and teachers to continue strengthening the school’s ability to provide for students. Teachers and leaders use a range of valid reporting tools to ensure rich learner achievement information is communicated to families.

Students are given the framework to control what, when, where and how they learn. This framework is well organised and planned, but flexible. Planning for learning is future-focused and emphasises the development of strong learner-centred relationships. This planning philosophy prioritises connected learning that embraces the knowledge, skills and attitudes the school’s vision promotes for each learner. The unique school-based learning approach includes learning through play, enrichment programmes, links between the values and dispositions (competencies), and clear alignment with the school’s principles for learning.

There are comprehensive, well understood systems for identifying, monitoring and tracking students at risk of poor outcomes. Students are rigorously supported to be the best they can be. This support comes from other learners, teachers, learning assistants, senior leaders and (where appropriate) external support agencies. Parents are involved and included in partnerships which focus on the learning of their children. The school has worked hard to develop and achieve an inclusive culture.

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees and leaders have developed thorough, well documented ‘living’ policies and procedures. Stewardship roles are strategically organised within a thoughtful structure of working groups which report regularly. Leadership is highly collaborative and committed to the continuous improvement and development of the school. Strong alignment of purpose and action is evident, from vision to its enactment.

The school and ERO agree that the key priorities for the future are to continue to:

  • respond to growth in the school community

  • embed the school’s appraisal process for staff

  • develop cultural responsiveness.

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

The school is very well placed to provide for students. It is clearly evident that the board, leaders and staff are operating in accordance with the school’s vision. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

24 August 2018

About the School

Location

Rolleston, Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

6967

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

192

Gender composition

Girls: 48%

Boys: 52%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnicities

9%

61%

6%

24%

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

24 August 2018