Mt Pleasant School - 17/12/2012

1 Context

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

Mount Pleasant School is a focus for community activities in its suburban Christchurch hillside location. The community around the school was significantly affected by the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes and the school grounds provided a safe area where families were able to support each other.

There is a positive and supportive school culture in which students feel safe. Parents are warmly welcomed at the school. They are well informed about their children’s learning and school activities. The school strongly promotes parent involvement in goal setting and in actively supporting their children’s learning.

Mount Pleasant School is involved in collaborative partnership arrangements with other local schools. They share practice, moderate assessments and each year plan learning events that students can participate in together.

2 Learning

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

A high number of students at Mount Pleasant School achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This high level of achievement is also evident for Māori students.

ERO observed high levels of student engagement in learning activities. Students spoken with were very positive about their learning programmes and their relationships with teachers.

Students engage well in learning with some very good standards of teaching. Teachers have taken useful steps to further improve their judgements of student achievement in relation to National Standards through moderation processes with staff of other schools. Student achievement targets now more clearly identify groups of students whose progress needs to be accelerated. Interventions to support these students with their learning are implemented in inclusive ways.

Student learning programmes in the junior area of the school give priority to developing literacy and numeracy skills. Teachers in these classes are improving their use of assessment information to closely monitor student learning, identify needs and adapt their teaching.

The next steps for the senior leaders and teachers are to:

  • review the effectiveness of interventions for targeted groups of students who require additional support with their learning
  • further strengthen the analysis and reporting of student achievement information,
  • strengthen performance appraisal by including student progress against achievement targets in the appraisal process.

3 Curriculum

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

Since the January 2009 ERO review the board and staff have developed the curriculum to include a strong focus on the school’s vision, values and competencies that guide students’ learning and social interactions. These are well understood by students who can clearly explain their purpose.

Guidelines for teachers' planning have also been extended to cover all learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum. These provide an effective basis for teachers’ planning of integrated units of work that make links across curriculum areas to add meaning and enrich students’ learning experiences. A useful procedure has been developed for assessing student progress in developing key competencies.

Implementation of a comprehensive information and communication technologies (ICT) development plan has begun. In 2012 the focus is on upgrading of equipment and infrastructure. Teachers identified that they now need more professional learning so that they are better able to support students in the effective and efficient use of ICT tools for learning.

Next steps for trustees, senior leaders and teachers are to:

  • further explore opportunities to integrate learning areas, extend student skills and opportunities for inquiry learning, and foster student directed learning within the New Zealand Curriculum
  • increase the visibility of bicultural values and strategies that teachers use that reflect New Zealand’s bicultural heritage
  • develop guidelines that reflect teachers’ shared understanding of school wide beliefs and practices for effective teaching.

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

The school monitors Māori student progress and achievement and reports that most Māori students achieve at or above National Standards.

Teachers should now continue to develop their cultural competencies and bicultural perspectives in programmes and in the environment of the school.

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.

The board has a comprehensive programme of self review that covers curriculum and the school’s operation. This is implemented in a well structured manner and provides useful information for the board to use in decision-making. This process could be further strengthened by more consistent use of measurable targets, particularly in relation to planned improvements for students.

Strong supportive relationships exist between trustees and school staff. Trustees collaborate as a team and are committed to supporting the school and improving outcomes for students. The board uses a number of effective strategies to gain parent views on directions the school should take.

The senior leaders work effectively together focusing on improving learning outcomes for students. They provide opportunities and support for teachers to take on leadership roles. The leadership team has effectively lead the development of a positive, collaborative and inclusive school culture.

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 three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

17 December 2012

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3443

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

341

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other Ethnicities

85%

4%

1%

10%

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

17 December 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2009

June 2005

June 2002