Rangiora Borough School - 09/05/2013

1 Context

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

Rangiora Borough School provides a friendly, welcoming and safe environment for students and their families. This positive and inclusive school culture focuses on students' learning and wellbeing.

The school has developed good relationships with parents and the wider community. Parents appreciate the care and interest teachers show their children. There is stability and experience within the board and staff.

Student learning is also well supported by a number of modern learning environments. Student and parent participation in sport and community activities has increased with the opening of the new school hall.

2 Learning

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

The school is well positioned to make good use of achievement information to support students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Findings

The board receives high quality end of year achievement information. It shows that between 70% and 80% of students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This enables trustees to better understand how well students are succeeding. Trustees use this information to discuss and make decisions about how to best support student learning.

The school has high quality systems for gathering, recording and reporting school-wide achievement information. The deputy principal ably supports teachers to look closely at assessment data to monitor student progress. The data also shows where teachers have added value to students' learning outcomes.

Teachers effectively gather and use achievement information to identify students' learning needs. They plan appropriate programmes to meet the needs of individuals. High quality teaching practices that support student learning include:

  • sharing the purpose of learning
  • learning discussions with and between students so they understand their learning
  • reflecting on what students already know and using this to build new knowledge
  • providing specific feedback about students' learning successes and next learning steps.

Teachers know students well and take care to build on their strengths and interests. Students are well supported to focus and extend their learning in class lessons.

Students set learning goals with teachers that are specific to their needs and level of achievement. These are shared with parents and regularly reviewed. Students know their goals and what they need to do to be successful.

Areas for development and review

ERO identified that the next steps for the school are to:

  • strengthen the analysis of student achievement data by better tracking progress over time
  • set annual school achievement targets that clearly identify groups of students who need to accelerate their progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum effectively promotes student understanding of learning.

Findings

School leaders and teachers have designed a comprehensive curriculum that offers students a broad range of learning experiences. There is a strong focus on students developing understanding and skills in reading, writing and mathematics. The timetable gives appropriate emphasis to these learning areas.

Students become increasingly independent in the management of their learning during their time at school. The school’s curriculum provides a range of opportunities for students to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Students in Years 7 and 8 benefit from an innovative and well planned curriculum. This enables students to experience a wide range of specialist subjects in smaller groups. Students told ERO they enjoy the range of teachers they get to work with. They feel this prepares them well for secondary school.

New entrant students' specific needs are well catered for by a reception room programme that supports their transition into the school.

Professional development helps teachers to effectively implement the school’s curriculum. It also links well to school-wide student achievement goals. Professional learning includes useful whole staff and individual development programmes.

Teachers are supported by regularly updated and helpful guidelines for teaching, planning and assessment. The guidelines set clear expectations for each term.

Area for development and review

The next step is for teachers to extend the curriculum to better reflect New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

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

The principal is aware the school needs to provide more opportunities in the curriculum for Māori students to succeed as Māori. The board’s long term plans are likely to provide students and teachers with these opportunities.

Findings

There are some good examples of teachers using te reo Māori effectively in classroom programmes.

Some staff are learning te reo Māori at evening classes, on the school’s site, alongside parents and the wider community. This is a substantial commitment to improving their knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Areas for development and review

Next steps for the school are to:

  • look for further ways to effectively acknowledge Māori culture and promote Māori success as Māori
  • continue to increase teachers’ understanding of how their practice can impact on Māori students succeeding as Māori
  • find successful ways of consulting further with Māori parents and whānau.

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.

Findings

The board and principal work collaboratively to provide clear direction for the school. Trustees understand their governance roles and responsibilities and have established specific guidelines for their work. They are strongly focused on doing what is best for students. Trustees have a useful strategic plan that shows how they will work towards meeting their goals over three years.

Trustees are supportive of new innovations to improve learning outcomes for students.

The principal and deputy principal provide strong curriculum leadership across the school. This includes promoting innovation and open communication.

Teachers are collaborative and take part in quality professional discussions about student learning and welfare. They are reflective about their practice and share their knowledge and skills with one another. Teachers are given many opportunities to take leadership roles in areas of expertise.

Areas for development and review

The principal and ERO agree that in order to further improve the school’s ability to sustain and improve its performance the next steps are to:

  • establish guidelines for self review at board, leadership team and teacher levels
  • use these guidelines to evaluate the effectiveness of specific initiatives and curriculum programmes
  • clarify leadership roles and responsibilities and review leadership effectiveness at all levels.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

9 May 2013

About the School

Location

Rangiora, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3481

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

490

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacifika

Asian

Other Ethnicities

81%

14%

2%

2%

1%

Special Features

Host School to Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

9 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

February 2007

June 2004