Christchurch South Intermediate - 14/05/2013

1 Context

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

The long-established school focuses on meeting the needs of students in the middle years (Years 7 and 8) of learning. It provides an extensive range of experiences and specialist programmes for students in and outside the school.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are well integrated in all aspects of teaching and learning. The school is moving towards having all students bring their own ICT devices to use in their learning. The interactive school website is regularly used by students, staff and parents to gain and share information including achievement and progress.

The board, school leaders and staff strongly promote inclusive practices. They value the contribution students from a wide range of cultures and with special learning differences bring to the school. They work actively to engage them successfully in learning and the life of the school.

Students benefit from the close relationship the school has with other local schools and organisations and a similar school in Nelson.

Significant developments to school property include the completion of four innovative teaching blocks (pods), each with separate classrooms opening onto shared learning spaces. These spaces, designed with input from the board and staff, provide increased opportunities for teachers and students to work in a variety of ways and learn together.

The board responds positively to external reviews. The school has addressed fully all the recommendations in the 2009 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is used well to improve students’ learning.

Areas of strength

School leaders and teachers make good use of a range of reliable assessments to identify students’ strengths and gaps in learning and plan their programmes.

With support from school leaders, and some well-considered guidelines, teachers are increasing the accuracy of their judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Students with specific learning needs and abilities are identified and receive well-planned and monitored additional support or extension.

The board and school leaders are highly interested in, and maintain a focus on, raising student achievement. Clear expectations and reporting procedures help to ensure that trustees are kept well informed about the progress and achievement of all students, including international students.

Reports to the board at the end of 2012, showed that most students achieved at and some above National Standards and made good progress in their time at the school. Māori and Pacific students also made some good progress.

Areas for development and review

The school has identified groups of students that are not achieving as well as expected compared to the National Standards. Annual targets have been set to lift the performance of these students. However, the quality of these targets could be strengthened.

While raising the achievement of priority learners such as Māori and Pacific students and those with special learning needs is a school focus, these groups of students need to be more explicitly included in the school’s annual targets. Other areas for further development include:

  • increasing the rate of progress expected of priority learners each year
  • more specific action planning by teachers to show how the targets will be met.

Students would benefit from greater opportunities to know about and report on their own learning and progress. This development should include students:

  • knowing how well they are achieving against the National Standards
  • more consistently assessing their own progress and identifying their next steps in learning
  • making better use of achievement information to set goals to guide the direction of their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning.

Areas of strength

The school’s shared vision and values are given appropriate emphasis in curriculum programmes and events. These contribute significantly to the positive and supportive environment for learning.

Teachers’ key beliefs about the importance of relationships in engaging students in learning are clearly evident throughout the school.

Teaching programmes give suitable priority to increasing students’ understanding, skills and knowledge in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers appreciate the support they get from their colleagues and school leaders in planning their programmes and finding new ways to better meet the needs of their students.

An inquiry-approach to learning provides good opportunities for students to make decisions about the purpose and content of their learning. The very good quality of work produced by some students shows their high level of interest and engagement.

School leaders and teachers have completed some detailed reviews of the curriculum that have led to improvements in teaching and learning.

Student leadership is a prominent feature of school activities. Students take advantage of the many opportunities they have to contribute to school decision making and to support the learning of others.

Area for development and review

Teachers have identified the need to broaden the curriculum to make it more responsive to students’ individual interests, strengths and needs. This development could also involve:

  • greater integration of specialised learning with regular class programmes
  • deciding what will be assessed and reported to students, parents and the board in areas of the curriculum other than English and mathematics over time.

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

The school is continuing to develop its effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori students as Māori.

The board, school leaders and teachers have taken some very positive steps to improve the profile of Māori students, give greater recognition to their language and culture, and to raise their achievement. These developments have included:

  • the board and school leaders valuing and responding to the views of Māori whānau
  • the board’s commitment of considerable funding to support the kapa haka group
  • a respected kaumatua effectively supporting students to know about and value their own cultural identity
  • school leaders and teachers increasing their use of te reo and tikanga Māori at school celebrations and events.

A school survey of Māori students shows that they enjoy school and feel valued as Māori.

Area for development and review

The school leaders need to continue to strengthen teachers’ understanding and use of the most effective practices for raising the achievement of Māori students.

A comprehensive review of Māori education, carried out by the school, identified that more could be done in the environment and key documentation to recognise tangata whenua and to better reflect the multicultural nature of this school.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific students?

The board and principal have made some good progress in acknowledging Pacific students and supporting their progress and achievement. In 2010, the school’s Pacific teachers identified a range of effective ways that could be used to continue to improve outcomes for these students.

While there has been a significant improvement in the presence, engagement and achievement of some Pacific students, the board and senior leaders should consider how these positive changes can be sustained and build on.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Areas of strength

The school has a well-developed and continuous cycle of self review that is used to identify what is going well and where improvements may be needed in all aspects of the school’s operation.

The principal and other school leaders have high expectations for student learning and teachers as professionals. They provide strong ethical direction for ongoing school improvement.

The board and principal ensure, through appointment procedures, targeted professional development, and appraisal, that the staff have the knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of diverse groups of students.

The knowledgeable board makes good use of thorough long and short-term planning to make continuous improvements to the school. Regular reports from the principal show how well the school is progressing towards its main goals. There are clear links between board planning and what happens in school programmes.

The board and school leaders use a variety of successful ways to communicate and seek the views of the school’s community. They make good use of survey information from students, staff and parents to make any necessary changes to practices and procedures. Recent feedback from these groups indicates that the school is a safe and supportive place in which to learn and teach.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review, there were four international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Self-review practices are well used to make sure that international students are happy, settled and well supported within the school and the wider community. Their class programmes are carefully planned and closely linked to their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes. The teacher responsible for international students maintains close contact with the students and their host families. She regularly visits the homes and makes sure that international students have friends at school and in the community.

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

14 May 2013

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3318

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

514

Number of international students

4

Gender composition

Girls 51%; Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/ Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Other Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

71%

12%

2%

3%

5%

7%

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

14 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

December 2009

May 2007

May 2006