Leithfield School - 05/11/2013

1 Context

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

Leithfield School is a small, rural school in North Canterbury. The school works successfully to maintain its strong links with the community and learning partnerships with parents.

Students benefit from an inclusive school culture and they show a caring attitude towards each other. They value the fact that students know one another well and help each other with their learning.

The board is enthusiastic about the school and committed to supporting positive outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

Teachers make good use of student achievement information to plan to meet students’ different strengths and needs. This helps to engage students in learning. ERO observed confident and engaged students who were enjoying participating in their learning tasks.

Most students achieve well in relation to the National Standards. Student achievement is strongest in reading. Assessment information is well used to develop targets for raising the achievement of students who are not doing as well as expected.

Parents and caregivers are kept well informed about student learning and achievement. The principal provides the board with good quality information about the progress the school is making towards the annual achievement targets.

Teachers foster warm, positive relationships with students that contribute to a positive learning environment.

Area for development and review

ERO has identified that the school’s annual achievement targets should include more challenging objectives in relation to the proportions of students expected to make faster progress.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience a broad and interesting range of learning opportunities that effectively promotes their learning. Teachers collaborate and support each other well.

The school values and makes good use of teachers' strengths, particularly during interchange. The timetable aligns subjects across the school to allow for cross-class teaching. This way student needs and interests can also be better developed.

Students benefit from good quality resources in classrooms including the increased availability of information and communication technologies (ICT). Teachers recognise the importance of further developing the use and usefulness of ICT with students.

ERO observed students who were motivated in their learning and demonstrated independence and effective self-management skills.

Students appreciate the range of leadership opportunities that is available to them. Student views are valued in aspects of school organisation and actions are taken as a result of their contributions. Teachers, parents and students work together to set appropriate goals for student learning.

The board uses resources to engage additional teaching expertise that reflects school and community priorities for student learning. These include kapa haka, music and sports. Students are proud of the strong sporting culture within the school and the community.

Area for development and review

Senior leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that they need to give greater emphasis to promoting the school’s vision and values with students. Their place in the school’s curriculum should also be made clear.

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

The school has a range of strategies that are effective in promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. The deputy principal has a key role in this.

Maori students achieve at similar levels to their peers. They have many opportunities to take on leadership roles within the school. Many students represent the school in various sporting activities.

The kapa haka group provides Māori students with an opportunity to celebrate their culture and heritage.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated into the school curriculum. This is most evident in the senior area. Teachers at all levels are continuing to improve their practices to give greater prominence to biculturalism in their programmes.

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. Some trustees are new to their role as governors of the school. They have had some training to further their understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities. These trustees are well supported by more experienced board members.

The board and staff work well together in the interests of students. Senior leaders make good use of well-established and robust appraisal systems that support the ongoing development of teaching practices and the growing of leadership skills.

Areas for development and review

The senior leaders have recently undertaken professional development to assist in improving self-review processes. They have developed some useful guidelines. The next step is to use these guidelines to provide a more comprehensive approach to self review including the review of curriculum areas.

The board needs to give greater emphasis to the tracking and updating of policy and procedure reviews.

ERO has identified that improvements should be made to the way additional learning support for students is evaluated and reported.

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.

An area of non-compliance was identified during the review.

1. The school has not reported in writing to parents twice a year on their children’s progress and achievement against the National Standards. [National Administration Guideline 2A]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

5 November 2013

About the School


Leithfield, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 51; Boys 45

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities




Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

5 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2010

August 2007

March 2004