Prebbleton School - 01/02/2013

1 Context

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

The school makes very good use of its semi-rural location near Christchurch to extend students’ learning and their awareness of the history and uniqueness of the area. The board, school leaders and staff maintain a close relationship with the wider community, including the local rūnaka.

The school has experienced significant roll growth since the 2009 ERO review. Two senior managers have been appointed in this time. The deputy principal acted in place of the principal who took study leave for a term in 2012.

Recent property developments have included a new library and resource area, and four new classrooms built around a shared learning space. The school has adopted a new approach to learning that involves more interaction between teachers and students from different classes and year levels.

The school’s inclusive culture strongly supports students’ learning. Respectful relationships exist between teachers and students and among students.

The school receives strong support from parents for school programmes and activities.

The board, school leaders and staff responded positively to the 2009 ERO report by making some improvements to self review and strengthening their inclusion of bicultural perspectives and protocols in school programmes and events.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to promote students’ learning, engagement and progress. This was most evident in the way:

  • teachers make early and ongoing identification of students’ strengths and needs and plan appropriate programmes and interventions
  • the board is informed about students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics and uses this information to set targets for raising achievement
  • students progress towards the annual targets, and in relation to the National Standards, this information is monitored closely and reported to the board.

Student achievement is highest in reading and mathematics with a good proportion of students performing at and above the National Standards. The school has identified that achievement in writing could be improved and has set a target in 2012 to address this.

Most students are making good progress and enjoy their learning.

Areas for review and development

Some assessment practices need further development to increase the accuracy of teachers’ judgements and involve students more in their own learning. School leaders and teachers need to be more consistent in the following areas:

  • identifying clearly what students need to know and do in learning areas other than literacy and mathematics
  • defining agreed assessment criteria for all learning areas
  • identifying students’ next steps in learning more consistently
  • extending the use of moderation practices used in writing to mathematics and reading
  • setting annual targets for specific groups of students who are not achieving at the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum strongly supports students’ learning, particularly in literacy and mathematics.

The school’s curriculum vision, values and skills for learning are well known and evident in practice. Different curriculum areas are often integrated to make learning more relevant for students.

A range of rich and diverse learning experiences, often taking account of students’ strengths and interests, are provided in the school and further afield.

Bicultural learning is now a strong feature of the curriculum and highly valued by students and staff.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are well used by teachers to support students’ learning of new concepts and to reinforce learning.

Student leadership is actively promoted. Students have regular opportunities to contribute to school decision making.

Some senior students spoken with by ERO said that they valued the opportunities they have to learn with and alongside students from different classes and year levels and with different interests and abilities.

Areas for review and development

The school continues to appropriately review and refine aspects of the curriculum. School leaders have identified that the next steps in this process will involve:

  • making the expectations for high-quality teaching practice clearer for teachers
  • carefully monitoring the impact of the new approach to learning (involving flexible and shared teaching spaces and cross-class groupings) on students’ outcomes
  • teachers more consistently inquiring into the effectiveness of their programmes and practices and, where necessary, making changes to benefit students
  • completing the review of all curriculum areas.

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

Māori students have good opportunities to succeed educationally, and in 2012, have had greater opportunities to succeed as Māori.

Most Māori students in Years 5 to 8 are achieving at similar levels to other students in reading and writing. Younger Māori students are currently achieving less well compared with their peers.

The school is well supported by a kaumatua from the local Taumutu Marae. Professional development, led by an external provider, has extended teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the best ways to create a supportive learning environment for Māori students. Māori students’ identity, language and culture are now given greater prominence in the school, particularly in the values and in class programmes.

Teachers and students use te reo Māori more confidently throughout class programmes.

The school has made good use of Ministry of Education guidelines and resources, such as Ka Hikitia, and Tātaiako, to ensure that its vision for recognising and realising the potential of Māori students is achieved. The views of Māori students have been appropriately sought and responded to.

Areas for review and development

School leaders are aware that the many positive steps already taken to promote success for Māori students as Māori need to be consolidated and built on. The school charter needs to better reflect current initiatives and proposed developments.

A progressive reo Māori programmes across the school is needed to further support students.

The school needs to find more effective ways to meet with Māori whānau and gain their views about the best ways to support their children to succeed as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has made some significant changes to the organisation of classes and approaches to learning. When these, and other recent initiatives, are securely in place, the school should be in a better position to sustain and improve its performance.

School leaders are providing clear direction for ongoing developments. They are actively involved in professional development and provide consistent support for staff. The leadership of the deputy principal in professional development is especially valued by the staff.

Teachers have responded positively to professional development in a range of areas by extending their use of effective strategies to benefit students.

School leaders use appraisal well to recognise good practice and identify areas for improvement.

The board chair provides strong leadership. Some useful systems exist for reviewing board policies and practices.

Areas for review and development

The board chairperson recognises the need to formalise and extend some of the board’s practices. Aspects of self review could be strengthened such as the board reviewing the effectiveness of its own performance on a regular basis.

Staff provided feedback to ERO on various topics that impact on teaching and learning. They identify the attitudes of students to learning, the involvement of parents, and the commitment of staff and the board as being positive factors that support teaching and learning. Teachers have mixed views about other aspects such as the changes in approach to learning and some areas of decision making.

ERO recommends that the board regularly surveys staff, students and parents anonymously to find out their perspectives on teaching and learning in the school and uses this information for ongoing improvement.

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.

Action 1

1. The board has not yet consulted the parents of Māori students about the school’s policies, plans and targets for promoting the learning of Māori students.National Administration Guidelines 1

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

1 February 2013

About the School


Prebbleton, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52%; Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā




Other ethnicities






Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

1 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

September 2006

September 2003