Otamatea Christian School - 11/06/2018

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Otamatea Christian School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

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

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration.

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

Otamatea Christian School is a small co-educational school established by Maungaturoto Congregational Church on church land. It caters for students from 5 to 18 years of age. Its roll of 27 students includes seven Māori students. The school is managed by The Board of Governors, made up of members from various churches.

The school mission statement espouses to:

  • affirm basic Christian values with students
  • equip students to lead others
  • provide a quality academic education.

2 Criteria for Registration

Suitable premises and equipment

The premises and equipment are suitable.

The school’s open-plan learning space is well used by children of all ages, and for school assemblies. The junior class also uses an attractive space upstairs in the same building. Afternoon programmes take place in adjoining buildings. Teaching spaces are attractive, with displays of student work and art. Outdoor playing spaces are modern and attractive for students to enjoy.

The spacious rural outdoors are well used as learning areas. The native bush reserve, located next to the school, resources part of the school’s environmental programme.

The school is suitably equipped to meet curriculum needs. Children and teachers access a range of specific resources and materials that support learning.

Volunteers maintain the school premises. Health and safety requirements are met. 

Suitable Curriculum

Otamatea Christian School continues to provide students with a suitable curriculum.

The curriculum aligns with the school’s philosophy of seeking to affirm Christian values as part of a Christian worldview. The curriculum encourages responsibility and mutual respect for others. An inclusive family atmosphere is highly evident.

The school follows the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) philosophy and programmes for Years 1 to 13. Students learn through a sequenced mastery learning and assessment programme that is aligned to each year level. Many parents and whānau volunteer their time to help in the programmes. Students with additional learning needs are further financially supported by parents, to access extra resources.

The ACE programme is complemented by a broader curriculum that includes opportunities for students to compete at Christian conferences as part of learning, and to be involved in the wider life of the school. The afternoon programmes for Years I to 10 extend students through skills based and group learning. Key competencies from The New Zealand Curriculum are evident.

Students are able to achieve qualifications widely accepted by tertiary organisations. They can enrol with Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu to receive correspondence learning in a broader range of subjects. Students are well supported to consider their career pathways before they leave school.

The school’s bicultural curriculum is promoted by staff and supported by parents. The understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori across the school is developing well, and is recognised in current strategic planning process.

Students attending the school are focused, diligent and proud of their achievements. They enjoy the calm, respectful attention they receive from adults and the open relationships developed within the school.

Leaders agree that refining the school’s vision, re-establishing strategic goals, formalising an annual plan and developing robust internal evaluation practices are useful next steps. These would help to ensure that goals are transparent for all stakeholders and that programmes and practices are aligned to support a continual focus on improving outcomes for children.

Suitable Staffing and Tuition

Staffing and tuition are suitable.

The school employs two registered teachers, including the principal. The principal takes appropriate steps to ensure that the teacher aide, volunteers and monitors of students are trained and police vetted. Children benefit from a good ratio of teachers to learners, in small classes.

Teachers meet regularly and work in a collaborative environment where there is shared responsibility for all children. They know their students well and support their continuity of learning over time. Teachers have opportunities to take responsibility for specific roles across the school and to develop their leadership potential. They have opportunities for professional learning and development.

Parents and whānau strongly support the work of the school. They are well informed about the programme and about the school’s expectations for their support of children’s continued learning at home. Regular reporting through newsletters about school events and twice yearly formal reports keep parents informed of their children’s progress. Active fundraising by parents helps to ensure that the amount and quality of equipment in the school is suitable.

Fit and Proper Persons

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school. The school’s board is relatively new and would benefit from training that supports their stewardship role. Board members fulfil other governance roles in school maintenance, health and safety monitoring and managing school finances.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

The school’s practices and processes provide very good support for pastoral care, and ensure monitoring and support for students’ learning and achievement. International students are involved in a wide range of school activities and are well integrated into the school community.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Otamatea Christian School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 June 2018

About the School 

Location

Maungaturoto, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

283

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

25

Number of international students

  2

Gender composition

Girls       16
Boys        9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan

  7
16
  2

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

May 2013
October 2009
August 2006