Paeroa Christian School - 29/06/2020

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Paeroa Christian School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Paeroa Christian School is a small state integrated school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It is located in Paeroa. The current roll of 57 includes 16 students who identify as Māori. The school’s special Christian character is supported by its vision of ‘Growing Generations God’s Way’. The school mission is to provide a balanced Christian education where children are nurtured to their full potential and prepared, so they may give service to God and their community.

The 2018 ERO report identified several areas that required significant review and development. A new chairperson now leads the board of trustees and there continues to be a positive working relationship between the school and the board of proprietors. There have been a number of changes to the teaching staff and the school roll has increased.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • The management and use of achievement information.
  • Curriculum review and development.
  • Performance management systems.
  • Aspects of compliance with regulatory requirements.

Progress

The school has been effective in addressing the areas for review and development, and aspects of non-compliance identified in the 2018 ERO report.

The Management and Use of Achievement Information

Systems and processes for the collation and use of assessment data have been strengthened and aligned. This has enabled trustees, leaders and teachers to use data more effectively to support learning.

Assessment information is used well by leaders and teachers to identify students who are at risk of underachieving and to identify their learning needs. Assessment processes have been simplified and aligned to current theory and best practice. The system for making overall teacher judgements about student achievement and progress has been significantly strengthened.

Teachers have developed an effective system for monitoring and tracking the progress of students at risk of underachieving. The tracking tool includes baseline data for each student, a goal for the end of term that requires accelerated progress, suggested teaching strategies to achieve acceleration, outcomes and evaluative reflections.

Trustees now understand the need to track the progress of at-risk students as an important part of their stewardship role. The school charter for 2020 includes appropriate targets that focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are at risk of underachieving. Trustees receive termly progress reports against these targets and summaries of student achievement against benchmark expectations twice a year. This information enables them to maintain a focus on accelerating progress for at risk learners.

A key next step for teachers is to continue to strengthen and refine their use of learning progressions, particularly in planning and assessment.

Curriculum Review and Development

High expectations for quality teaching in relation to the school’s curriculum are evident in teacher practice and in some documentation.

Students benefit from warm, caring relationships with teachers. A relational approach to student behaviour management focuses on students learning social skills and managing emotions. School values are promoted, and students are encouraged to be the best they can be. The special Christian character of the school is clearly evident in classroom and school-wide programmes. In class students are settled and on task. Outside the classroom students feel safe to be themselves.

The identity of Māori students as Māori, and of others as bicultural citizens is well promoted. Teachers use a sequential approach to teaching te reo Māori and integrate it into daily interactions. Māori knowledge and perspectives are evident in classroom programmes. The school is proactive in developing a strong relationship with local iwi.

Effective systems are in place to identify and cater for students with diverse needs, and there is strong pastoral support for students and whānau who need this. The school also accesses appropriate external specialist support for these students.

Students are well supported to take responsibility for their own learning. Systems in classrooms enable students to understand their levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics and set appropriate learning goals. Students are able to follow their own interests in learning and student voice is used when programmes and initiatives are evaluated.

A key next step for the school is to complete the process of documenting a coherent local curriculum.

Performance Management

A process for appraising teachers has been developed, which includes a system for monitoring registration status and expiry dates. This process meets current Teaching Council requirements and has contributed to improved teaching practice. The principal is regularly appraised by an external provider.

A key next step for the school is to review the teacher appraisal process.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

How well placed is the school to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance?

Paeroa Christian School is developing effective processes and practices to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The school is establishing a foundation of values, leadership, tone and relationships necessary to sustain and improve student learning. This foundation includes the positive enactment of its special Christian character and increasing cultural responsiveness to support Māori students.

A strategic focus on improving outcomes for students at risk is now evident. Annual achievement targets, the tracking and monitoring of student progress, and ongoing analysis of outcomes, support a sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and self-review.

The school is building its capability to sustain and continue to improve student achievement. School data for 2017-2019 shows improvements in schoolwide levels of achievement and increasingly equitable outcomes for boys and girls.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

In order to improve current practice, the school should now:

  • fully implement the careers education programme for students in Years 7 and 8
  • ensure that reports are made to the board about emergency drills being carried out.

Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Paeroa Christian School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

29 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.