Gloriavale Christian Community School - 28/05/2015

a) Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body. More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website www.ero.govt.nz/Reviews-Process.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

b)has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

c)usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

d)has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

e)has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

f)has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

g)has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

h)has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

i) Criteria for Registration

Premises

The buildings and premises are suitable for teaching the school’s curriculum. They comply with local authority regulations and provisions of the building code. A large facility is currently being built for the school to replace the temporary classrooms previously in use.

Facilities in other parts of the community have been further enhanced and are very effectively used to closely support school programmes. These include a well-resourced engineering workshop and a school farm, with a dairy and gardens that the students are responsible for and which are also used to feed the community.

Spacious grounds, including a large heated swimming pool, provide regular opportunities for students’ physical activities.

Staffing

The school has staffing that is suitable for the students, the curriculum that is taught, and the size of the school. Teachers strongly uphold the values and beliefs of the community. Students are well supported by teachers who know them individually and care about their wellbeing. Staff include registered teachers, those who have limited authority to teach (LAT) and experienced teacher aides.

Since the 2011 ERO review:

  • teachers completing teacher training are now registered teachers at the school
  • professional development has focused more on improving the quality of teaching and learning
  • teachers provide more support to each other about teaching practice
  • teachers have established closer links between the school and the work programmes to ensure the students have the skills that the community needs

The Gloriavale Christian Community School's strategic plan identifies the need to strengthen the process to demonstrate that teachers meet the criteria for teacher registration. ERO agrees that this is a priority.

The school manager has attested that he complies with the provision of section 35G in respect to being a fit and proper person to manage the school.

Equipment

The school has suitable teaching resources for delivering its curriculum.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the school has increased resources for practical aspects of the curriculum. Managers and teachers are ensuring that students in the senior school have increasing access to technologies as part of their workshop programmes. They should also consider making more use of technologies across all levels of the school.

Tuition Standards

The tuition standard is suitable for teaching the school’s curriculum.

Student achievement information throughout the school shows that students achieve very well in reading and mathematics. Almost all students in the senior school achieved qualifications on the national qualifications framework. Older students successfully transition into the working life of the community.

Teachers have high expectations for the students and their learning. Small class numbers and high adult-to-student ratios help to ensure the teachers know the best ways for each student to learn. This is resulting in more practical and group learning experiences that are engaging students more in meaningful learning. This is particularly so in the senior school.

Parents are kept well informed about their children’s learning by frequent conversations with the teachers and their observations of the ways their children are engaging in community life.

Students in Grades 1 and 2 have detailed portfolios. These show that teachers carefully analyse students' work to identify their progress and achievement. Parents also comment on the quality of the work. The teachers could consider extending the portfolios to include students’ comment on their learning.

Curriculum

The school’s curriculum reflects the community’s philosophy. Students are well supported to learn literacy and mathematical capabilities and develop appropriate skills for life in the community.

Since the 2011 ERO review the managers and teachers have:

  • placed a stronger emphasis on developing and applying critical thinking and problem-solving strategies to real-life situations
  • focused more on making sure the process from school to work is seamless
  • given older students more leadership opportunities through supporting younger students.

The school curriculum provides an appropriate framework for teaching and learning. Teachers have begun to update their curriculum. The English, clothing and home economics documents provide good examples to follow. These initiatives should be extended to other curriculum areas to establish closer integration links across the curriculum.

The arts programme is a strong feature of the school. It helps students to develop their creativity, problem solving, leadership and practical skills. The biennial productions for the wider community showcase the students’ skills, innovations and enjoyment of the arts.

Students in Grades 1 to 4 have a number of opportunities to learn te reo and tikanga Māori and to learn about the local Māori history. Managers and teachers should consider extending these initiatives to include all students.

j) Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

k) Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Gloriavale Christian Community School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

28 May 2015

About the School

Location

Lake Haupiri, West Coast

Ministry of Education profile number

1587

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

161

Gender composition

Boys 53%;

Girls 47%;

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

3%

97%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

28 May 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

June 2011

January 2008

November 2004