Christchurch East School - 14/01/2016

Findings

This inner city school provides well planned and targeted education for a diverse population of students. The school’s strong sense of family and community is reflected in the positive and caring relationships.

Significant improvements in school management have contributed to a stable and collaborative working relationship between staff and senior leaders. A board of trustees is now in place, after some years with a commissioner governing the school.

The board is a newly constituted governance body.

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?

Christchurch East School has made significant progress since the 2014 ERO review. The school has responded positively to all of the recommendations made in the 2014 ERO Report. Substantial improvement is evident in the areas identified by ERO for development in education reviews since 2010.

The roll is beginning to increase as the Christchurch rebuild programme attracts families for employment in Christchurch city. The student population is increasingly diverse and includes migrant and refugee students. There is a range of cultural, learning, and social needs. The school has responded positively to the increasing numbers of students in the junior classes.

The school’s strong sense of family and community is reflected in the positive and caring relationships between students and with adults.

The board returned to full self governance in June 2015. An alternative constitution is in place to ensure the board is representative of its diverse and changing community. The external support received by the school has contributed to the strategic development of the capacity and capability of the senior leaders and staff.

2 Review and Development

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

The school is effectively addressing its areas for review and development.

Priorities identified for review and development

  • Student achievement, including Māori student achievement.
  • Curriculum evaluation.
  • Self review.
  • Management and governance.

Progress

Student achievement is well analysed and reported to teams, senior leaders and the board. The information shows:

  • teachers use a comprehensive tracking system to identify the shifts in progress and achievement of all students, including groups of students over time
  • teachers now have more responsibility for monitoring the progress of individual and groups of students in classrooms
  • senior leaders are making good use of classroom data to highlight rates of progress across the school and reporting this to the board
  • an increased focus on tracking individual Māori student progress and achievement by teachers and senior leaders.

Teachers and leaders are using student achievement information well to identify learners at risk of not achieving. These learners are well supported in a range of targeted learning support programmes. The effectiveness of these programmes is regularly reported to the board with a strong focus on student achievement.

The school provides a useful range of support for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students. The numbers of students with second language learning needs is increasing. It is now timely for school leaders to evaluate how well current ESOL provisions are supporting teachers to meet the learning needs of students in the classroom.

The school’s curriculum and core values are well embedded. Whole-school consistency is evident in planning and teaching practices.

The school has made significant progress in evaluating curriculum initiatives and programmes. Students are well engaged in their learning. The use of authentic learning contexts is contributing to increased opportunities for choice and greater participation across classes.

The school has strengthened its focus on bicultural aspects within the curriculum. Māori learners experience aspects of their language, culture and identity. This is strongly evident in the kapa haka group and the purposeful participation of whānau.

The school has increased access to and use of digital technologies to support a range of learning and support programmes.

Senior students benefit from a broad and responsive technology curriculum.

Key next steps

The school has identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps to improve learning outcomes for students are:

reviewing assessment systems and processes to improve the use of assessment data and identify its impact on the quality of learning and teaching.

continuing to build on improvements in progress and achievement of all students and sustain a sense of urgency, especially for Māori

reporting on student achievement across the curriculum in areas other than mathematics and literacy.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Improved strategic leadership, management and direction of the school are contributing to a positive and collaborative school culture. Focused and purposeful discussions between senior leaders and teachers have led to improved planning, regular self review and the development of useful guidelines and expectations for high quality teaching.

A highly reflective culture is helping teachers to make improvements to teaching practices in classrooms, contributing to team decisions about planning to meet students’ learning needs and informing senior leaders and the board about learning outcomes for students.

The use of external expertise in the evaluation of teaching and learning teams, the strong focus on student achievement and wellbeing and reporting outcomes to the school community are positive features of self review.

The principal and senior leaders have developed an improved and efficient appraisal process. They are providing teachers with robust feedback that is contributing to improved and more consistent teaching practice.

The new board is at an early stage of development.

Key next steps

The key priorities for the board are to:

  • build governance capacity and capability to provide high quality stewardship and scrutiny of the school’s vision, practices, processes and outcomes
  • refine self-review processes to increase the evaluative nature within reviews and reports to the board
  • develop an action plan that identifies school priorities and goals for current and future development of educational success for Māori, as Māori.

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.

Conclusion

This inner city school provides well planned and targeted education for a diverse population of students. The school’s strong sense of family and community is reflected in the positive and caring relationships.

Significant improvements in school management have contributed to a stable and collaborative working relationship between staff and senior leaders. A board of trustees is now in place, after some years with a commissioner governing the school.

The board is a newly constituted governance body.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3317

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

260

Gender composition

Boys 143; Girls 117;

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific (Tongan 8; Fijian 8; Samoan 6; Niue 2)

Asian

African

European

Middle Eastern

31%

24%

10%

26%

5%

3%

1%

Special Features

Technology Centre (hosts 11 local primary schools)

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 January 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2014

January 2013

October 2010