Rotorua S D A School

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School Context

Rotorua S D A School is a small state integrated school located in central Rotorua. This special character school caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 42, including 24 Māori and five who identify as being of Pacific origin. Students learn in two multi-level classrooms. Since the 2015 ERO review there have been changes to teaching staff, however the principal remains in her role.

The school vision and mission state that they are: ‘Building for Eternity’ and ‘Developing the character of God and achieving personal excellence.’

The Rotorua S D A School aims to nurture the holistic GROWTH of students. Leaders and teachers pursue, Godliness, Rich relationships, Ownership of learning, Wisdom in decisions, Transformational learning and have a Harvest focus.

The school’s strategic aims are:

  1. All students are able to access the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) as evidenced by progress in relation to The New Zealand C curriculum levels.

  2. To know, live, commit and multiply as disciples for Jesus Christ.

  3. Commitment to the Rotorua Central Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako to focus on visible learning and assessment capable learners.

  4. To provide school leadership and effective governance.

The teaching and leadership team have been involved in professional learning and development in the use of the progress and consistency tool in writing and reading, learning progressions and visible learning.

The school is a member of the Rotorua Central Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

School achievement information for 2018 shows that the majority of students, including Māori, are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading and writing. Most students are achieving at or above the expected curriculum expectations in mathematics.

School achievement information from 2016 to 2018 shows significantly improved levels of achievement for Māori in mathematics and a decline in reading. There has been a decline in reading for all students over the last three years.

Girls are outperforming boys in reading and writing and this disparity has remained consistent over time. Disparity between boys and girls in mathematics has fluctuated with boys outperforming girls in 2018.

Students with identified learning needs are making progress against their individual learning goals.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is effectively accelerating the progress of some students who need this.

Achievement information in 2018 shows effective acceleration for most students achieving below curriculum expectations in writing. Effective acceleration for those students who are underachieving in reading remains a challenge.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leadership actively promotes the vision, mission and values, including the special character,of the school. Collaboration and relational trust is evident at every level of the school community. Leaders have fully engaged with the local CoL to support school improvement and raise student achievement. Clear expectations for teaching practices support learning and teaching. Leadership opportunities within the teaching team are promoted. Professional learning and development is building teacher capability both in the school and in the wider education community.

A broad curriculum, including local and authentic contexts, empowers students to learn, achieve and progress. Students increasingly understand their learning journey and many students can identify their own goals and next steps. Multiple opportunities for success in leadership, sport and culture are pursued by students.

Students participate and learn in caring and inclusive environments. Classroom teachers are focused on building relationships and know students and their families well. Te ao Māori is actively promoted and affirms the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Tuakana teina practices are evident and support student learning. Liaison with a range of agencies to support and facilitate learning for those with additional needs occurs as needed.

Reciprocal relationships between home and school support learning and progress. Aspirations of parents and whānau are actively sought to inform programmes of learning. Parents and whānau feel welcomed and participate in the life of the school resulting in a strong sense of belonging for students and their families.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school now needs to:

  • develop specific school-wide targets focused on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students.

  • track and monitor the progress and achievement of these students school-wide and report regularly to the board against the targets

  • analyse achievement information to evaluate the impact strategies, initiatives and interventions have on accelerating learning.

3 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • finance

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Rotorua Seventh Day Adventist School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that is actively engaged in the wider education community to support school improvement and improved learning outcomes for students

  • responsive relationships that support effective partnerships for learning

  • a school curriculum that strongly reflects the community values and enables students to achieve.

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • establishing school-wide targets to enable more effective monitoring of students whose learning needs accelerating

  • evaluating strategies and interventions designed to accelerate achievement.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • fully implement the annual cycle of appraisal to meet the requirements of the Teaching Council for the issue and renewal of practicing certificates. This was also identified as a priority in the 2015 ERO report.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

12 April 2019

About the school

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

4129

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

42

Gender composition

Boy 23 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori 24
Pākehā 7
Pacific 5
Other 6

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

12 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2014
Education Review November 2011

Findings

The principal and board consistently focus on improving their collective knowledge, systems and practices to address areas of need. They actively seek the views and aspirations of the parent and church community and keep positive student outcomes at the centre of planning and decision making about school direction and development.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Rotorua Seventh Day Adventist School is a small state integrated primary school that caters for students in Years 1 to 8 in multi-level classrooms. The newly refurbished and modernised school building is situated adjacent to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in central Rotorua. At the time of this ERO review 40 students were enrolled including 25 of Māori descent.

ERO’s last review in 2014 identified key priorities for review and development in relation to:

  • governance
  • professional leadership of learning, including implementation of effective teacher appraisal
  • use and reporting of student achievement
  • improving teaching practice, including teachers’ capability to increase students’ understanding and ownership of their own learning.

Since this time the school has continued to actively participate in, and benefit from, significant support and development opportunities provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), alongside other external opportunities accessed by the principal. The school is also a member of the recently established Rotorua Central Community of Learners. The main purpose of this group is to accelerate the progress and achievement of students at risk of under achieving within this community of learning. While there has been stable membership of the board of trustees, there were significant changes within the teaching team in 2014.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

Governance

School governance is effective. The board is led by a knowledgeable board chair and is focused on positive educational outcomes for students. Trustees are committed to ongoing training and have developed a sound understanding of their roles and responsibilities. The school charter reflects the values and aspirations of the church and parent community, and provides clear strategic direction for continual school improvement. Trustees have become confident about scrutinising reported student achievement information, and have a solution focused approach to decision making. They are strongly supportive of the principal and staff and value their work.

Professional leadership of learning

The principal has continued to develop her leadership capability with a clear emphasis on positive outcomes for students and support for teachers to develop their practice. She has developed appropriate skills and knowledge for effective personnel management, including the introduction of a sound teacher appraisal process. She has also prioritised the development of good systems for school operations.

The principal has continued to develop professional networks in the local and wider educational community. Connections with local iwi have been strengthened and this has led to the observance of local kawa and traditions. The principal has continued to strongly influence significant improvement in the school culture and positive relationships at all levels.

Use and reporting of student achievement information

The principal and teachers have reviewed assessment tools and practices. This has resulted in more reliable overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about student achievement in relation to National Standards. Information about students’ progress and achievement, and systems to identify groups of students who are at risk of underachieving are now also more robust. Increasingly effective use of the school’s student management system and other digital technologies assist the monitoring and tracking of student achievement across the school.

Digital monitoring has also supported increased professional and collaborative sharing among teachers about achievement, planning and teaching to accelerate student progress. Reporting to parents has been strengthened to include student portfolios, written reports, and face-to-face interviews that increasingly involve students. Regular parent meetings provide information about the curriculum and school-wide achievement information.

Trustees and teachers have recently begun work with the student achievement facilitator (SAF) from the MoE. The SAF framework has the potential to more specifically focus teaching practices that positively influence educational outcomes for students.

Teaching practice

Teachers have high expectations for learning and behaviour. The school’s positive culture continues to be underpinned by its special character values. New learning environments promote students’ learning and engagement. Wall displays celebrate students’ writing and art, particularly in the senior room. Senior students enjoy opportunities to participate in collaborative discussions about their learning. Routines are well established and understood by students across the school. ERO observed examples of differentiated planning and teaching to cater for students’ identified learning needs.

Teachers have benefited from a range of opportunities to observe teaching practice in other schools and to moderate assessment judgements. Staff meetings include discussions about professional readings to improve teaching practice.

Students continue to enjoy a curriculum that increasingly responds to their interests, culture and spontaneous community events. School-wide studies promote opportunities for student leadership, collaboration and tuakana/teina relationships

Key next steps

ERO has identified and the board agree important next steps for continued school development are:

  • further development of the board’s policy framework and review processes
  • embedding teacher appraisal processes and strengthening the teaching as inquiry process to more regularly monitor the progress of targeted students and more closely monitor the effectiveness of teaching
  • the development of shared understandings about school-wide assessment tools and practices, and expectations for the use of data
  • more specific diagnostic use of assessment information to inform teaching to cater for students’ identified needs
  • further development and use of learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics by teachers and students to increase students’ understanding of, and decisions about, their learning and progress
  • the review of the school’s curriculum to include agreed and shared expectations for teaching practice, particularly in literacy and mathematics. This review should also include aspects of innovative learning practice in the school.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is now well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Trustees have a proactive approach to succession planning for sustainability, including induction plans and training for new trustees. They are committed to open and honest sharing of information and transparency in decision making.

The principal is benefitting from a thorough and constructive performance management and appraisal process from an external consultant. She is enthusiastic about the potential sharing and learning within the recently established Rotorua Central Community of Learners.

The school continues to be well supported by its church and parent community.

After a number of changes staffing is now settled. Teachers are willing to engage in professional learning and development to improve student achievement.

Māori and Pacific learners are actively engaged in class programmes, the school and wider community activities.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the board and principal develop an action plan to prioritise and address the key next steps identified in this report. This action plan should be included in the school’s ongoing strategic and annual planning process.

Conclusion

The principal and board consistently focus on improving their collective knowledge, systems and practices to address areas of need. They actively seek the views and aspirations of the parent and church community and keep positive student outcomes at the centre of planning and decision making about school direction and development.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

4129

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

40

Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Other Pacific

African

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Indian

Pākehā

Tokelauan

25

5

3

2

2

1

1

1

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

17 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review 

December 2015

February 2014

November 2011