New Plymouth S D A School - 06/10/2014

Findings

The school's curriculum effectively supports students' learning. Many achieve positive results in relation to the National Standards. Learners experience an inclusive environment and vibrant learning community, in which their self management is promoted. The board of trustees, school leaders and staff are strongly committed to their obligations, roles and responsibilities.

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

1 Context

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

New Plymouth Seventh Day Adventist School caters for Years 1 to 8 students from the wider New Plymouth region and from diverse cultural backgrounds.

At the time of this ERO review, there were 38 students on the roll and of these eight identify as Māori. There has been recent roll growth at Year 1 and in Years 7 and 8. Stable staffing supports student learning in two classrooms.

The special Christian character is expressed in the school’s practice and core values. Low student-to-staff ratios encourage interactions between students and teachers to promote learning Extensive, well-maintained grounds encourage outdoor activities. Students enjoy inviting and vibrant learning environments.

2 Learning

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

The school uses effective processes to determine individual students' learning needs and progress, and to promote student achievement.

Data from 2013 in reading, writing and mathematics indicates that the majority of students are meeting or exceeding in relation to the National Standards. Assessment information informs the setting of appropriate annual targets for the achievement of identified individuals and groups of learners.

The 2014 target focuses on accelerating progress in reading for a Year 5 group. These students are progressing at an appropriate rate, and the majority are on target to reach the identified goal at the end of the year. Teachers collaborate to progress students’ learning.

Teachers are continuing to develop their practice for schoolwide and external moderation to strengthen their assessment judgements about students' achievement.

Portfolios celebrate and document students' learning, progress and achievement. The value of parents’ participation in their child’s learning is acknowledged and partnership is encouraged through contribution and conversation. Students' areas of strength and focus for future learning are highlighted. Expressions of the school's special character are integrated throughout the portfolios.

Students with complex needs are well supported within a highly inclusive, family friendly learning environment. Reporting to parents takes place through interviews and written reports that provide clear information about students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

Special character values and beliefs, aligned with the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum, underpin school programmes. Social sciences, technology, cultural pursuits, physical education, arts and inquiry learning weave through teaching and learning and provide breadth to the curriculum. A specific focus has been to integrate the school's core values throughout the curriculum.

Students are highly engaged and motivated learners. Frequent opportunities for them to lead learning, individually and collaboratively, are fostered. Students experience learning as fun. Their ideas are valued by teachers and each other. The classroom tone is settled and calm. Teachers are flexible and responsive in catering for students' differing learning needs and abilities.

Highly respectful relationships promote students' confidence, self esteem and self management. The inclusive environment supports teaching and promotes students' sense of wellbeing, belonging and trust.

Spontaneous review of the curriculum occurs through teacher reflection. Further development, and deeper understanding, of processes for evaluating the effectiveness and impact for students of programmes and interventions is required and should be documented.

School leaders identify that further development is needed in the curriculum and in the consistency of teaching practice across the staff. ERO's evaluation affirms this finding.

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

Māori students experience educational success as Māori. This is promoted effectively by the school.Planning for Māori student achievement is evident in strategic and annual goals. Students' language, culture and identity are affirmed through incorporating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori schoolwide. Te ao Māori resonates through values, practices and respectful relationships.

The school has identified the need to develop its expectations for culturally responsive teaching. ERO affirms this direction. This should provide a good basis for self review against the expectations, and support sustainability of the current practices and outcomes for Māori students and their whānau.

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 is well informed about student achievement and has an appropriate focus on improvement. Trustees are highly interested in student achievement information. They use it to identify needs and patterns, and to inform planning decisions for the future.

The school's vision, philosophy, strategic and annual plans, teaching and practice are established and leaders identify that further alignment and greater cohesion between these are required.

The principal continues effective leadership of a collaborative teaching team. Personal and professional development goals for staff link to the school's strategic priorities.

The staff performance management and appraisal system is comprehensive. It identifies and addresses areas for ongoing improvement in the quality of teaching. School self review, focusing on inclusive practices, is being undertaken and the information gathered analysed.

ERO and school leaders identify that next steps for the school are to:

  • further develop schoolwide self-review practices to promote best practice, and board self review
  • review the principal’s role and its impact on school leadership
  • incorporate Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners in the appraisal process
  • further develop partnerships with parents, whānau and iwi.

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.

Conclusion

The school's curriculum effectively supports students' learning. Many achieve positive results in relation to the National Standards. Learners experience an inclusive environment and vibrant learning community, in which their self management is promoted. The board of trustees, school leaders and staff are strongly committed to their obligations, roles and responsibilities.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

6 October 2014 

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

4123

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

38

Gender composition

Male 16, Female 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Africa
Other ethnic groups

8
15
1
14

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

6 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

October 2011
August 2008
June 2007