Christian Renewal School - 28/09/2017


Christian Renewal School, in Whangarei, has a roll of 185 Year 1 to 13 students. Most children are Pākehā, with 39 of these learners identifying as Māori.

In 2016 there were many changes to the senior leadership team. The school is now led by a new principal, who was previously a deputy principal in the school. Two new associate principals have also been appointed. Most trustees on the board including the chairperson are new.

Trustees, leaders and staff work collaboratively to provide education for learners that reflects the school’s special character and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

At the time of this evaluation there was no information available about the trends and patterns of Year 9 and 10 achievement over the past three years.

The school is a member of the Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako - (CoL).Ngā Kura mo te ako o Whangarei (Raki Whangarei)Group 3

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains. School processes are being developed to better respond to Māori and other learners who need to make accelerated progress.

The small and variable numbers of students in Years 11 to 13 make it difficult to accurately identify trends in student achievement of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In general, learners achieve well, are supported to follow their choice of learning pathway, and to gain relevant qualifications. School data show that overall achievement has averaged 83 percent across the National Standards during the past three years.

The board and senior leaders agree that next steps include further developing the school’s capability to support learners to make and sustain accelerated shifts in their achievement.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is becoming increasingly effective in responding to Māori learners who need to make accelerated progress.

Tracking trends and patterns in student achievement and progress is limited due to the small number of students at each year level. During 2014 to 2016, school data show that National Standards achievement in Years 1 to 8 has averaged 87 percent in reading, 79 percent in writing, and 84 percent in mathematics. Overall achievement of Māori students as a group remains significantly below that of Pākehā across the National Standards.

On average over the past three years, achievement in NCEA Level 1 averaged 77 percent, 90 percent in Level 2, 53 percent in Level 3, and 33 percent in UE (University Entrance). In 2016 there were merit and excellence endorsements at NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. There have been too few Māori students participating in NCEA to identify achievement trends.

Teachers in Years 9 to 10 are beginning to use learning progressions and standardised assessment tools to identify those students at risk of not achieving. Leaders recognise the value of using common assessment frameworks across the primary years and Years 9 and 10. This would help teachers to plan relevant programmes for individual students who need to make accelerated progress.

The board’s charter targets focus on raising the achievement of groups of students identified as of concern in the school’s achievement data. Action plans are set up for each target. ERO has discussed the value of the board receiving more frequent reports of progress towards each target. These reports should include evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies being used to support individual learners to make and sustain accelerated shifts.

Leaders and teachers use assessment information to identify students’ learning needs. Teachers provide programmes that are differentiated according to students’ ability and achievement. Teachers in Years 1 to 8 moderate children’s writing assessments to increase the reliability of their judgements about children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards. This year, teachers of Year 9 and 10 English have also moderated writing assessments with teachers of Year 7 and 8. Senior leaders expect that the school’s involvement in the CoL will enhance the robustness of teachers’ assessment judgements.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school is developing practices that are promoting greater equity and excellence. ERO acknowledges the efforts that leaders and teachers have made to more collaboratively focus on supporting priority learners’ progress.

The school's inclusive culture is fostering children's wellbeing and motivating them to engage and learn. This affirming environment reflects the school’s vision for students to be ‘confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners’. Tuakana/teina relationships are a feature of the culture and reflect the sense of family in the school.

The school’s values and the key competencies of the NZC underpin the school’s curriculum. Primary children have opportunities to research their own inquiries. Teachers make considerable efforts to ensure that senior students can access a curriculum that is responsive to their individual learning needs and pathways, and supports them to achieve meaningful qualifications. Secondary students have increasing opportunities to learn in cross-curricular programmes to build connectedness in their learning.

The board ensures that all learners have equitable opportunity to participate in curriculum activities. Trustees demonstrate an openness to learning, and commitment to reflecting on the influence of their stewardship. Their working relationship with leaders and staff is based on integrity and trust.

Senior leaders are keen to learn and adapt. They are committed to supporting students to succeed in their learning and in their personal growth as individuals. Leaders collaborate with staff to increase the school’s responsiveness to students who need to make accelerated progress. They are developing good systems for monitoring the quality of teaching practice, particularly in Years 1 to 8.

Leaders and teachers are developing useful ways to track individual student progress. Secondary curriculum leaders are meeting more frequently to monitor this and to discuss and plan strategies to assist individual students. The secondary SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) plays a key role in tracking, monitoring and coordinating this work.

Inclusive and responsive approaches support children with additional learning needs. The board provides funding for two SENCOs with oversight of either the primary or secondary departments. They have introduced useful systems to closely monitor the progress of these students both academically and holistically. Teachers and the SENCOs work alongside external agencies to support these children and their families/whānau.

Bicultural practices, such as pōwhiri, provide leadership opportunities for Māori students, and enhance the pride they have in their language and culture. Year 1 to 8 students can learn te reo Māori as part of the school’s curriculum, and senior students may learn this through Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

Parents are well informed about their children's achievement through written reports and learning conferences with teachers and their children. Leaders and teachers develop positive working relationships with the parents of priority learners. They share resources and strategies for parents to support their child's learning at home.

Internally led professional learning and collaborative dialogue are helping teachers develop a shared and cohesive understanding of effective teaching and assessment practices. Teachers show a willingness to adapt their practice to improve outcomes for learners. The principal acknowledges that teacher appraisal processes should be further developed to meet the requirements of the Education Council.

Trustees and senior leaders value, and are increasingly seeking, the perspectives of students, staff and the parent community. They are keen to make greater use of evidence-based evaluation and inquiry to; sustain improvements, guide school development, ensure the effectiveness of teaching practices and gauge their impact on students’ learning outcomes.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The board, leaders and staff show commitment to improving practices to support equitable and excellent outcomes for learners.

Relevant development priorities include:

  • more deliberate planning for accelerated learning for individual learners

  • teachers using a more targeted ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ approach to support students to make accelerated shifts in their achievement

  • more frequent, deliberate evaluation of charter action planning to measure rates of learners’ progress and as a basis for adapting learning programmes to sustain and increase progress

  • strengthening curriculum leaders’ reporting on Māori learners’ progress, and the evaluation of strategies implemented to raise their achievement

  • further developing evaluation at all levels: board, leaders, teachers and students.

Leaders are looking forward to working with CoL schools to find further ways to support Māori and other learners to make accelerated progress. The board is keen to seek support to further engage with whānau Māori to promote greater Māori learner success.

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

  • 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.

To improve current practice, the board should consider using an external appraiser for the principal in order to support his professional reflection and ongoing development. The principal is working with trustees to update and rationalise the board’s policies and management procedures.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and some other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 September 2017

About the school


Morningside, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition



Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

28 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2014
December 2011
July 2008