Hillview Christian School - 20/05/2013

1 .Context

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

Hillview Christian School provides education for students in Years 1 to 10. The school is on two adjacent sites in the suburb of St Martins, Christchurch.

The school’s special character is developed from an interdenominational Christian context and the proprietors on the board are from the South City Christian Centre. The school’s special character has a strong focus on developing the talents of each student, responsibility for service to others, and on building and maintaining high-quality relationships at all levels of the school.

The school roll has continued to grow since the 2009 ERO review. The board has planned well to provide extra resources and buildings. The board and leadership have responded positively to the challenges facing Christchurch schools as a result of the earthquakes and have given emphasis to maintaining good relationships.

The board chair and many trustees have had a long involvement with the school. Staffing levels are stable. Trustees and staff relate well to the parent community and they provide a safe supportive learning environment for students.

2. Learning

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

Students from Years 1 to 10 engage very well in their learning and achieve highly. For Years 1 to 8 pupils this is reflected through the results of the National Standards. In reading and writing, 86% of students achieve at or above the Standards. In mathematics, 83% achieve at or above the Standards. Māori students achieve at equivalent levels to their peers. Achievement levels are shared with students and their progress is recognised and celebrated with them and their parents.

The recognition and development of students’ individual gifts and talents is central to the school’s special character. These are identified in the junior school, and their development is regularly monitored as students move through the school. These gifts and talents include personal qualities, academic achievements, and students’ involvement in a range of co-curricular activities.

Teachers encourage students to set high expectations for their learning and behaviour. Students have good understanding of these expectations and enjoy the challenges of meeting them. They are well supported through pastoral care and a supportive learning environment.

Teachers effectively use a range of assessments to gather reliable and useful information about students’ learning, progress and achievement. Teachers use this information very well to identify individual learning needs, and to plan appropriate class, group and individual programmes of work.

Learning progress is shared well with students and this helps them to make their own learning decisions.

Senior leaders gather and analyse school-wide achievement information and regularly report this to the board. This information is effectively used by trustees and leaders to make planning and resourcing decisions, and to inform review. Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. The school is aware that the next step is to review the written reports so that they are more easily interpreted by parents.

Students with learning needs are provided with high levels of teaching to ensure their progress is accelerated and their self esteem fostered. These students are well included, supported and monitored within class programmes. Specialist teachers and teacher aides are used at all levels to provide teaching that helps further learning in literacy and mathematics.

The next step for learning support is to gather achievement information for students who are in withdrawal groups so their rate of acceleration can be better monitored, and the effectiveness of each intervention programme can be evaluated.

The board’s achievement targets are school-wide and aim to accelerate the achievement levels of students that achieve below National Standards. These targets could be further refined at team level so each teacher can specifically identify groups and individual students who will be monitored against the board’s targets for the National Standards.

3. Curriculum

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

The school has a well-designed and documented curriculum that responds very well to students’ interests, needs and abilities. Curriculum strengths include:

  • the provision of a wide range of learning opportunities
  • the school’s vision and values for learning within a Christian context are strongly reflected across the curriculum
  • students are encouraged to use what they learn to support other students and the wider community
  • teachers are knowledgeable about the curriculum and work collaboratively to monitor, develop and refine its content and how it is taught
  • teachers have clear guidelines that support school-wide consistency in planning and assessment
  • the principal and associate principal work closely with Year 9 and 10 students to discuss and consider future learning and career pathways.

Students benefit from high-quality teaching at all levels across the school. Teachers establish positive, supportive and respectful relationships with their students. Classroom environments are calm and learning focussed. Teachers are committed and enthusiastic about learning and teaching. They support each other and use their individual strengths to enhance learning school-wide. Their good practice helps students to set meaningful and challenging learning goals and maintains a strong focus on developing independent learners.

Teachers are provided with good quality professional development that focuses on improving outcomes for students.

The board and senior leaders are well positioned for the further development of information and communication technologies (ICT) that will further help students’ learning. Trustees recognise that their next step is to prepare a development plan for the future resourcing and use of technologies that will better support student learning across the curriculum.

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

The school’s curriculum and culture supports Māori students well. There is a school-wide programme in te reo Māori. In addition, there is a range of initiatives for students wanting to learn more about te reo and tikanga Māori that include kapa haka, mana whānau, and a language and arts option for students in Years 9 and 10. There are school-wide celebrations for Māori successes.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

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

The board provides strong, effective governance that significantly contributes to students’ learning and wellbeing. Strengths of governance include:

  • the board is well led by a chair who is experienced and a highly effective leader
  • trustees have in-depth knowledge about the school and its community
  • trustees have very good understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities
  • the development of strategic goals that give strong direction for the school’s future
  • a close and cooperative working partnership between trustees, principal and staff to achieve a shared vision for learning and teaching.

The principal’s leadership is highly valued by trustees, staff and students. He works closely with the senior leadership team to make sure students benefit from high-quality teaching. Together they make sure that:

  • teachers are well supported and are provided with leadership opportunities
  • teachers receive high-quality, regular feedback through appraisal to help them achieve the school's expectations for high-quality learning and teaching
  • the pastoral care needs of students and staff are given priority
  • students are given good opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

The board and principal implement a high-quality programme of self review that guides future direction and decision making. Leaders use student achievement information well to inform review. The board receives reports of in-depth scheduled curriculum reviews. Leadership of these reviews is delegated across staff to best use teacher strengths and to build leadership capability. This reflective culture is evident in teacher practices, including the ways they foster students’ reflection and evaluation.

The board and staff are effective in engaging the parent community in a partnership for learning, and in the life of the school.

The next development steps for the board and senior leadership team are to further strengthen strategic planning by:

  • prioritising strategic goals over a 5 year time period
  • preparing a more detailed annual plan that prioritises goals, and identifies actions and responsibilities so that goals are manageable and achievable.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

20 May 2013

About the School

Location

St Martins, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

341

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 10)

School roll

518

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other Ethnicities

74%

13%

5%

8%

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

20 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Education Review

October 2009 March 2006 August 2002