Living Way Christian School - 23/11/2010

1. Background

Introduction

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

Under section 35A of the Education Act 1989, private schools are required to be “efficient”. The Act defines “efficient”, in relation to a private school as -

(a) Having suitable premises, staffing, equipment, and curriculum; and

(b) Usually providing tuition for 9 or more students who have turned 5 but are under 16; and

(c) Providing suitably for the inculcation in the minds of students of sentiments of patriotism and loyalty; and

(d) Giving students tuition of a standard no lower than that of the tuition given to students enrolled at schools of the same class.

This report focuses on the extent to which the school meets this requirement and other statutory obligations.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

2. Efficient

Living Way Learning Centre is an established private school situated in Wellsford, in the Rodney district north of Auckland. The school provides a Bible-based education for children from Years 1 to 13. The principal is working in partnership with parents to provide students with the type of the education that their parents want for them.

The senior curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education programmes (ACE) and is supplemented by courses from The Correspondence School. The junior curriculum is based on the ‘Interactive Programme’ and includes aspects of the ACE programme for older students. Some students have set days at home each week where they continue to work under the guidance and supervision of parents.

The principal provides inclusive leadership and, with the assistant teacher, works closely with full-time parent teacher aides, known as monitors, to support children in their learning. Parents, students and teachers set weekly goals for the students and plan individual work schedules to enable students to reach their goals. Students can study at their own pace and are able to monitor their own progress. Year 7 and 8 students attend technology classes at a local school. Parents meet each term to plan group topics and make good use of community resources to broaden these programmes. Parents also assist in planning and delivering a Home Skills programme that is based around a character trait or theme being studied.

Small class sizes mean that teachers know students well and can focus on meeting their individual learning needs. Teachers encourage students to evaluate and monitor their own progress effectively. A daily communication book between home and school continues to reinforce the partnership between teachers and parents. Parents also receive regular written reports on their child’s progress and achievement. While teachers support senior students to map learning pathways and record their achievements, further consideration could be given to how learning pathways could lead to tertiary study or work place opportunities. The emphasis on student behaviour and values-based learning helps to ensure that classrooms are settled environments.

Since the 2007 ERO review, the junior class has moved to a more spacious area upstairs in the school and the seniors have moved to a dedicated downstairs space that has been set up to meet their needs. Students now have increased access to computers to support their learning.

Students generally enjoy the school, work together in positive ways, and are enthusiastic about their opportunities to manage their own learning. They are encouraged to participate in a range of co-curricular activities, including a school camp, cross country, and sports activities with other schools. A student council has been established to promote student voice and leadership and to provide opportunities for mixed age group activities to further generate school spirit.

The teacher appraisal system has been strengthened to help ensure that teachers can meet ongoing requirements for teacher registration. Teachers set appropriate professional development goals, which include attending education conferences, workshops, and making visits to other schools to support their professional learning.

The principal and board of governors have sought to strengthen school self-review processes. An increasing amount of data is now gathered, analysed and reported to the board, including findings from a 2009 whole school evaluation that grew out of the work between the principal and his external mentor. The information gathered provides a good basis for the further development of strategic and management planning.

3. Statutory Obligations

The further development of good reporting processes and ongoing self review will enable the board of governors to remain assured that all statutory obligations are met.

4. Conclusion

Living Way Learning Centre provides its students with suitable premises, equipment, staffing and curriculum. The school meets its statutory obligations and continues to be efficient under Section 35A of the Education Act 1989.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

23 November 2010

About the School

School type

Private Composite (Year 1-15)

Decile1

6

Numbers of teachers

2

School roll

37

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 34,

Māori 3

Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 16

Review team on site

August 2010

Date of this report

23 November 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, September 2007

Education Review, July 2004

Accountability Review, June 2001

1 Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage, Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage.