Emmanuel Christian School - 15/09/2015

1. Context

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

Emmanuel Christian School is a multicultural interdenominational school for students from Years 1 to 10. The proprietor is the Emmanuel Proprietor Trust.

Students are effectively provided a supportive learning environment that reflects the school’s special character. This is evident in the positive school culture and the way Christian education is purposefully integrated into the curriculum.

The school roll has been steadily growing over recent years. A building development to cater for senior students will enable flexible ways of learning and teaching.

The school is a part of a local cluster of schools. This provides opportunities for professional development and learning for school leaders and teachers.

The board, school leaders and staff have retained and built on the strengths identified at the time of the 2012 ERO review. Teachers are making good use of student achievement information to identify and meet the needs of students who are at risk of not achieving.

The board and staff have also made good progress towards addressing areas for improvement from the 2012 ERO report. This progress is most evident in the way the board reviews and monitors progress towards achieving the school’s strategic goals.

2. Learning

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

Leaders and teachers effectively use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. This is particularly evident in the way:

  • leaders and teachers share literacy and mathematics information with the board and set annual targets for improving student progress and achievement
  • teachers modify programmes and adjust groupings in response to students’ emerging learning strengths and needs
  • teachers evaluate the effectiveness of learning programmes
  • a range of assessment is used to make teacher judgements against the National Standards.

Achievement information shows positive trends across the school. Achievement is highest in reading and mathematics, where most students are achieving above the National Standards. Teachers have identified a focus is still needed to raise the achievement level of boys’ writing.

The school has good systems for identifying and responding to those students with the greatest learning needs. Students are positive about their learning and the support they are receive.

Areas for review and development

Teachers work with students to develop their learning goals. School leaders agree they now need to:

  • make these goals more visible
  • better inform students about their learning, progress and achievement levels
  • develop school learning progressions so students are able to independently set their own goals and measure their progress and achievement over time.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning well.

Students experience a broad and balanced curriculum. Within this curriculum, particular emphasis is given to literacy and mathematics, religious education, sports and music. An increased emphasis on science is also evident. Many students effectively use technology to support their learning.

Students learn in a positive and inclusive environment. Respectful and supportive relationships promote an environment where all students are prepared to take risks to extend their learning. Students give and receive helpful peer support. Older students are provided with good opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

Teachers are well supported through professional development to meet students’ diverse learning needs and interests. They work collaboratively and share ideas about good practice that assist students’ learning.

Areas for review and development

Most senior students are currently involved in extension classes. Students identified with special abilities are involved in a number of activities to extend their interests. School leaders agree that their gifted and talented programme still needs further development. This includes:

  • developing a clear definition and procedures
  • finding ways to measure its success, and how much progress the students are making over time beyond English and mathematics
  • finding further ways to extend the individual learning programmes. 

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

The school has consulted with the Māori community and developed a ‘Responsiveness Plan’ to foster Māori culture. Students have some opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori. The staff have had professional development to strengthen their understanding of ways they can support Māori students to achieve success, as Māori.

Area for review and development

The principal and staff through the school's responsiveness plan, strengthen the use of te reo Maori.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

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

The committed board and leaders work in partnership towards reaching school goals. Reports to the board are informative and support trustees to make well considered decisions.

Trustees have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities and undertake ongoing training. Supportive relationships exist between the school and its community.

Senior leaders provide clear direction and expectations for learning and teaching. Teachers are provided with opportunities to develop their leadership abilities and share good practice that benefits student learning and wellbeing. The appraisal system is robust and effectively used to improve teachers’ practice and levels of student achievement.

The board, leaders and teachers have developed a strong reflective culture that is contributing to ongoing improvements for learning and teaching. Reflection and strong self-review practices are evident at teacher, leadership and governance levels.

Area for review and development

The strategic plan would benefit from further refinement so that the schools most important goals continue to be prioritised.

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

Emmanuel Christian School is an Interdenominational catering for students from Years 1 to 10. Achievement is highest in reading and mathematics where most students are achieving above the National Standards. Curriculum emphasis is given to literacy and mathematics, Christian education, sports and music. Trustees have good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Senior leaders provide clear direction for learning and teaching.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

15 September 2015

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

1168

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 10)

School roll

148

Gender composition

Boys 52%;

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 59%

Māori 10%

Asian 22%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnicities 6%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

15 September 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review April 2012

Education Review October 2009

Education Review October 2008