Fendalton Open Air School - 29/10/2019

School Context

Fendalton Open Air School provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. It is in Fendalton, Christchurch, and has a roll of 462 students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The school’s vision is ‘Our commitment is for continual improvement to provide a future focused, culturally responsive and inclusive setting, inspiring a love for lifelong learning’. The vision is underpinned by the values of; relationship – whanaungatunga, respect – whakaute and relevance – whaitake.

The strategic focus for 2019 is centred on 3 achievement challenges; well-being and engagement, culturally responsive practices, improving quality teaching and learning.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress in relation to school targets

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been changes to principal and the leadership team.

The school is an active member of the Waimairi-iri Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

School data shows that overall levels of achievement have been consistently high over recent years. Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is continued disparity for Māori students in literacy and mathematics however the achievement gap was reduced in writing in 2018.

Wellbeing survey information from 2019 indicates that almost all students feel:

  • a sense of belonging and pride in their school

  • respect each other and their teachers.

Students with additional learning needs are planned for individually. They have detailed plans that clearly show good levels of achievement in meeting their learning goals.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

School learning information shows that the school is highly responsive to those students whose learning needs acceleration. Students who need extra help are effectively supported to accelerate their progress and succeed in their learning.

Student progress and achievement is closely monitored. Individual students are provided with extra programmes that best support their individual needs. School learning information shows high rates of acceleration throughout the year for students in targeted literacy and mathematics programmes.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Fendalton Open Air School is relentless in its focus on continuous improvement. Leaders and teachers demonstrate adaptive expertise to better meet the needs of students. They critically apply new knowledge to problems and develop useful approaches and solutions. Increased collaboration between teachers shares effective teaching practices across the school. Teachers are well supported by focused professional development, robust appraisals, ongoing inquiries and clear guidelines and expectations for teaching.

The principal and other leaders foster collaborative relationships that promote learning across the school. There is a strong focus on supporting the wellbeing of all students and staff. As a result, there is an orderly and positive environment conducive to student learning, wellbeing and achievement. Students’ ideas and views are sought, valued and responded to.

Teachers effectively use differentiated learning approaches to engage students. They know students well, evident in the ways they cater for individual learning styles, and build on students’ prior knowledge, culture, language and identity. Enhancing student outcomes is the focus of purposeful, professional learning and the basis for evaluating its success.

The curriculum is highly responsive to children’s interests, learning and wellbeing. Students whose culture or first language differs from the culture or language of instruction are well supported to access learning. Māori students have increased opportunities to hear te reo Māori. Aspects of te ao Māori are incorporated in school practices. Leaders have collaboratively developed and pursued the school’s vision and values and aligned these to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Leaders and teachers recognise and affirm the diverse strengths, identities, languages and cultures of parents, whānau and the community. They actively broker their engagement and participation. A strong inclusive culture has been developed where students with additional learning needs and/or abilities are provided with support and challenge. There are strong connections with external agencies. Targeted school programmes and intensive interventions are focused on equity.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose. These provide meaningful evidence of student achievement and progress and are the basis for determining next steps to inform teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers work together coherently using relevant information at student, classroom, teacher and school levels, to promote improvement.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders and teachers need to use learning information more effectively to further identify the rates of progress all students make each year. They should also extend internal-evaluation processes to more consistently evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce disparity for those Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Fendalton Open-Air School is a signatory to The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s processes for reviewing compliance against the code are robust, well documented and lead to change where needed.

At the time of this review, there were 19 international students attending the school. Students and their families receive a welcoming and personalised introduction to the school and the community. The international department is well resourced and experienced staff ensure international students’ needs are met throughout their stay. Valued outcomes for international students include academic and language learning, life skills and opportunities to participate in wider school curriculum programmes, including music, sport, outdoor education and camps.

4 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Fendalton Open Air School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a curriculum that is highly responsive to children’s interests, learning and wellbeing
  • a strong inclusive culture where students with learning needs and/or abilities are provided with support and challenge
  • culturally responsive practices that affirm students’ language, culture and identity
  • strong pedagogical leadership that drives school improvement.

6.1 Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • making better use of learning information to further identify the rates of progress all students make each year

  • extending internal-evaluation processes to more consistently evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce disparity for those Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 October 2019

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3338

School type

Contributing School (Years 1-6)

School roll

462

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Maori 9%

NZ European/Pākehā 39%

Asian 38%

Other European 10%

Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2013

Education Review May 2010

Education Review April 2007