Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School - 15/09/2016

Findings

Since the appointment of a permanent principal and the stabilisation of staffing the school is able to show good progress in strengthening the areas requiring improvement identified in June 2014 ERO report. Trustees, the principal and teachers have a strong and appropriate focus on improving children’s achievement.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Hamilton Seventh Day Adventist School is a state integrated Christian school located on the Southern outskirts of Hamilton City. It caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 58, including 9 of Māori descent. Most staff, children and parents are members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

A new, permanently appointed principal began at the beginning of 2015. Now that school staffing has stabilised, he has been able to concentrate more fully on the areas for review and development identified in the June 2014 ERO review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

As a result of the June 2014 ERO review it was identified that significant development needed to occur in the following areas in order to ensure that all children could engage, progress and experience success:

  • Personnel management
  • Māori succeeding as Māori
  • Review of the school’s curriculum
  • Planning and assessment.

Progress

Personnel Management

Teacher appraisal has been strengthened. New processes contain all the elements identified by the Education Council as necessary for a robust process. These include professional discussions as a result of classroom observations undertaken by the principal, teacher inquiry into their practice, the collation of evidence, and attestation in relation to the Practicing Teacher Criteria, (PTCs), promulgated by the Education Council.

Māori Succeeding as Māori

Leaders and teachers have a good understanding of the importance of increasing the visibility of Māori language and culture in the school in order to promote the progress and achievement of Māori children.

Elements of a culturally responsive and relational curriculum that are already in place include:

  • regular teaching of te reo Māori
  • annual Matariki celebrations
  • regular marae visits
  • an emphasis on restorative behaviour management practices
  • a comprehensive approach to empowering children to take charge of their own learning.
Review of the School’s Curriculum

The school has revised its vision and valued outcomes in line with new requirements of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It has also developed expectations for teaching and learning in mathematics. Curriculum documents that can serve as exemplars have been collected from other schools. Completion of this document is important to ensure that expectations for quality teaching are clear and that children have opportunities to learn across the breadth and depth of The New Zealand Curriculum while still meeting the aspirations of parents and whānau.

Planning and Assessment Practices

A range of appropriate assessment tools is used to assist teachers to make overall teacher judgements about each child’s achievement in relation to National Standards. Children at risk of not achieving are identified and targeted in classroom programmes. A new system for monitoring children’s rates of progress in mathematics and literacy is in place. This system should help teachers to measure the impact of their teaching, and adapt their programmes to ensure those who are not yet achieving at expected levels are further assisted to do so. Teachers have improved the way they use literacy and mathematics progressions for identifying learning needs and planning more responsive learning programmes.

Key next steps

Personnel Management

Trustees need to ensure the principal’s appraisal includes attestation against the PTCs.

Māori Succeeding as Māori

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • institute a sequential te reo Māori programme with clear outcomes for each year level
  • develop a systematic approach to including Māori knowledge and Māori contexts in all learning programmes
  • develop a systematic approach to teaching and learning about the Kingitanga
  • explore further and enact culturally responsive ways of teaching and learning as part of the school’s exploration of other innovative teaching practices
  • identify and monitor the progress of groups of Māori children at board level
  • strengthen the way the school celebrates all the diverse cultures present in the school.
Planning and Assessment

The process for making overall teacher judgements about children’s progress and achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics needs further strengthening. This should include:

  • reviewing the timing of formal testing with nationally, norm-referenced tests
  • strengthen anecdotal record keeping
  • strengthen transparency by collating all the evidence in one place to show how the judgement was made.

Teachers also need to continue to strengthen the use of the literacy and mathematics progressions by children and make clearer links to these progressions in their planning.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

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

A new principal, with a clear vision for the school, has now been permanently appointed and staffing has been stabilised. A new board has been elected and contains a good mixture of both new and experienced trustees who are representative of the school community. Board members are committed to ongoing training. The principal’s reports on student achievement, includes the new reports about rates of progress, and should ensure that trustees are able to focus on lifting student achievement.

A robust appraisal system and a good range of both internal and external professional development aligned to a strategic vision will ensure teachers are supported to grow and improve. The school continues to enjoy the support of the Seventh Day Adventist 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.

In order to ensure that the school is meeting its legislative obligations the board of trustees must ensure that:

  • There is an appropriate career education and guidance programme for all children in Year 7 and above.
    [NAG 1f]
  • The principal is appraised annually against the relevant Practising Teacher Criteria.
    [s77c state Sector Act 1988; NZ Education Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]

Conclusion

Since the appointment of a permanent principal and the stabilisation of staffing the school is able to show good progress in strengthening the areas requiring improvement identified in June 2014 ERO report. Trustees, the principal and teachers have a strong and appropriate focus on improving children’s achievement.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 September 2016

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

4105

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

58

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Pacific

Māori

Asian

Other European

26

15

9

4

4

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

15 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2014

May 2011

May 2008