Chertsey School - 10/08/2016

1 Context

Chertsey School is a small, rural school in Mid-Canterbury. It provides a welcoming, inclusive, family-like environment for children and their families.

The school has had a number of changes of staff and board members. The new principal was appointed in 2015, and has been part of the first-time principal programme. Two new teachers were appointed in 2016.

The school is part of a cluster of local schools. The principal has been actively involved in the establishment of a community of learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to equip children with the skills, values and attitudes to fulfil their potential. These include being cooperative and connected, having an open mind, aiming high, achieving, being motivated and persevering. The school’s achievement information shows that 80% of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has been unable to make progress in addressing all the recommendations due to the changes in principal, teachers and trustees. The recommendations related to increasing children's understanding and ownership of learning, including bicultural perspectives in the curriculum, are at the early stage of development. They have yet to develop clear expectations for children's learning and achievement at particular stages in their schooling and a framework for internal evaluation.

3 Accelerating achievementChoose section A or section B.

How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The board, principal and teachers are very responsive to children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. The small roll numbers allow teachers to know children and their families well. Teachers effectively identify and regularly monitor children's learning, progress and achievement. They have recently introduced individual learning plans for target children.

The principal and teachers have identified boys' engagement in writing and accelerating mathematics learning as areas targeted for development in 2016. Key actions to accelerate progress include:

  • use of achievement information to identify targets in writing and mathematics
  • appointment of an extra teacher aide
  • specific professional development with an external facilitator
  • increased use of digital devices in the senior room.

Teachers work closely together to identify a range of appropriate strategies and deliberately adapt their teaching practices to engage children in their learning. They agree that moderation processes should be developed to strengthen their assessment practices.

The board regularly receives updated information about children most at risk of not achieving. It provides additional classroom support to benefit children's learning. This allows teachers and teacher aides to give significant, individual attention to children and small groups.

The principal and teachers are involved in comprehensive professional development based on improving learning and teaching in writing and mathematics. Teachers make good use of external support and professional development to ensure they provide ongoing, targeted programmes and practices.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum in action is strongly focused on children achieving the school's vision for learning. The board, principal and ERO agree that the school's curriculum document needs to be reviewed to reflect the school's high expectations for learning, teaching and current practices.

There is a strong focus on children's learning, progress and achievement. The principal and teachers engage in collaborative inquiry and planning for children's learning. Teachers are responsive to children's interests and learning capabilities.

The principal and teachers are beginning to integrate Māori culture into the curriculum in meaningful ways. The school is actively involved with a group of local schools focused on strengthening bicultural practice. The sharing of new learning and good practice is having a positive impact on children's learning and wellbeing.

Parents are regularly informed about school events and their children's learning. The newly introduced goal setting meetings provide greater opportunities for parents, children and teachers to work together to plan for learning.

The principal has built strong relationships within the school and community. He has a collaborative approach to leadership and communicates clear, consistent expectations. The principal is developing effective alignment between children's learning needs, teachers' professional learning goals and processes for appraisal. He sets well-defined priority goals and learning targets, and seeks relevant external support, as needed.

Trustees have a range of useful skills and abilities. They are well organised and clearly focused on raising achievement of all children. The board provides appropriate support for the principal and staff. They have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and willingly participate in professional development to increase their own capabilities.

The board and principal have identified, and ERO agrees that the school needs to:

  • develop a new strategic plan in consultation with the community
  • update policies and procedures
  • establish a framework and schedule for ongoing internal evaluation. 

5 Going forward 

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. 

Children, including children at risk of not achieving, are actively engaged in their learning.

The board, principal and teachers are involved in ongoing professional development to build their capability and adapt practices.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance
  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

7 Recommendation

It is timely for the board, principal and teachers to:

  • further develop, document and implement effective internal evaluation
  • update the school's strategic plan
  • review policies and procedures
  • develop further curriculum documentation. 

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

10 August 2016 

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 19; Boys 11

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

10 August 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
June 2009
February 2006