Cannington School - 06/07/2018

School Context

Cannington School is a Years 1 to 8 full primary school which provides education for 19 students.

The school’s vision is to educate and develop confident, connected and committed learners who positively contribute to society through authentic learning experiences. The school motto ‘We Can and We Do’ is supported by values of diversity, respect, excellence, active involvement and motivation.

The school states that its current priorities are providing a curriculum that supports student progress, enhancing the learning environment, fostering positive relationships in the wider community and developing internal evaluation.

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

  • achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics

  • some information about science

  • student wellbeing.

Since the previous 2015 ERO report, there has been stable staffing at the school. Leaders and teachers have been involved in a Ministry of Education Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) project.

The school is part of the North Timaru Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning.

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 making good progress with achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. Students are achieving very well in reading, writing and mathematics. This has been sustained since the 2015 ERO review.

The school has high expectations that every student will achieve success.

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

Leaders and teachers demonstrate an ability to address underachievement. They identify and respond to students whose learning needs to be accelerated. The school’s achievement information shows that most students make good progress in their learning over time.

The school now needs to report clearly to the board on the extent to which all students are making sufficient and/or accelerated progress.

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?

The school has a number of processes and practices that are effective in enabling the achievement of equity. Teachers at Cannington School know the students and their families well. The low teacher student ratios, a strategy supported by the board, enables students to receive a more individualised learning programme.

The curriculum is well resourced, wide and varied. There is a strong focus on the mathematics and science curriculums. Opportunities are provided for students to revisit their learning. Teachers work collaboratively to teach to their strengths and use resources and outside expertise to make the curriculum accessible to all students.

Students’ learning is promoted through some well-considered teacher strategies which connect with students’ lives. There is a focus in the school to develop quality questioning and extend children’s critical thinking. Education and learning opportunities outside the classroom enhance children’s understanding of the local community and the world beyond. Children have a variety of opportunities to excel in outdoor activities. This supports the enacting of the school values, and is recognised as beneficial for all students.

Teachers work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of teaching and learning. The newly-introduced internal evaluation tool contributes to teacher reflection and aspects of curriculum improvement. Leaders and teachers, along with the board, should now embed effective internal evaluation practices at all levels of the school.

The board and staff are actively fostering relationships and connections with the local community to better support student learning opportunities. The board actively seeks and responds to survey feedback from the wider school community, and community opinions are sought and used to inform decision making.

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

The school curriculum needs to be reviewed to better reflect current teaching and learning practices and programmes. A more specific plan should be developed to show how leaders and teachers can further develop bicultural understandings and practices. Teachers need to formulate and implement plans to develop and embed bicultural perspectives in the curriculum.

Reporting to the board should be further developed to show sufficiency of progress for targeted students and all students. Teachers need to develop more specific planning and monitoring of targeted students.

School leaders and teachers must continue to strengthen internal evaluation to clearly demonstrate the impact that curriculum programmes and practices have on outcomes for children’s learning and wellbeing.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • implement appropriate in-committee processes, including recording of in-committee minutes

  • strengthen the management of the complaints process to ensure that robust processes are in place and are followed.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a learning environment that maintains consistently good student achievement

  • a range of education-outside-the-classroom opportunities for students

  • the board’s focus on strengthening connections with the local community to increase opportunities for students.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing and updating the school’s curriculum to reflect current programmes and practices

  • developing a culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum to reflect the bicultural nature of New Zealand

  • developing further opportunities for children to set goals and reflect upon their learning and progress.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • strengthening board capability and effectiveness

  • developing a framework to support and implement robust internal evaluation at governance level.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

6 July 2018

About the school


Cannington, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 8 ; Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori 3

Pākehā 15

Other ethnicities 1

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

6 July 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2015

Education Review June 2012