Saint Kentigern Girls' School - 15/12/2014

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Saint Kentigern Girls' 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.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body. More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website.

The criteria for registration are that the school:

  1. has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and
  2. usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and
  3. has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and
  4. has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and
  5. has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and
  6. has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and
  7. has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Saint Kentigern Girls' School provides students with a suitable curriculum, staffing, standards of tuition, equipment and premises. The school is located in the Auckland residential suburb of Remuera. It caters for girls in Years 1 to 8 and occupies the site of the former Corran School for Girls. The school was previously reviewed by ERO in 2010, soon after it was established. The school roll has doubled since over the past two years: a reflection of the community’s confidence and the school's well considered change management processes.

The school is one of the four campuses administered by the Saint Kentigern Trust Board. In 2012 the trust board opened an early childhood education centre within the grounds of the girls’ school. The close proximity and shared vision enables children from the centre to transition smoothly into the girls’ school or the nearby Saint Kentigern Boys’ School.

The school’s values and religious education programme support the Trust Board’s Presbyterian mission and purpose. The Trust has extensively renovated the school buildings and facilities, providing students with a comfortable and modern learning environment. The redeveloped grounds and gardens provide an attractive setting for students and have considerably improved access and security.

The Saint Kentigern model of “one school” supports effective administration and operational systems. As the leader of Saint Kentigern junior school education programme, the principal has overall responsibility for the girls’ and boys’ schools and the early childhood education centre. The principal works strategically with school leaders to achieve high quality outcomes for students.

Saint Kentigern Girls’ School provides a diverse and enjoyable curriculum that is based largely onThe New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Literacy and mathematics are central to learning programmes at all levels. The curriculum also encompasses religious education and chapel services. French and Mandarin are taught as well as sport, music, art and dance.

In the junior classes, most subjects are taught by the home room teacher. As students move to the middle and senior school they enjoy specialist teachers and facilities for subjects such as science, art, physical education, and food and fabric technology. Computers are available in all classrooms and a large computer suite provides additional access to information and communication technologies.

The school provides excellent facilities to support the curriculum. The library, the swimming pool and playgrounds are well utilised. Student work is used to personalise classrooms and their art is displayed throughout the school. Older students also use facilities at Saint Kentigern College to further extend their athletic and sporting interests.

New Zealand contexts are integrated through the school’s curriculum, together with sustainability topics and global concepts. School leaders acknowledge the place of the Treaty of Waitangi and are developing ways to strengthen students’ bicultural experiences. Students are enthusiastic about marae experiences, museum visits and the newly established kapa haka.

A strong emphasis is placed on service and leadership. The student council actively seeks the views of representatives at each year level and senior girls take on responsibilities as prefects, sport, chapel, service and house leaders. Students organise fund-raising activities for selected charities and make contributions to causes that broaden their social awareness.

Students are confident and capable learners and achieve very well. Student progress is monitored carefully and learning interventions are used to support any student with additional learning needs. Teachers are developing shared understandings of desired student learning outcomes. They are making learning expectations more explicit and differentiating their practice to best meet students’ individual learning abilities.

The school management team provides effective support for teachers. The current school-wide review of teaching and learning is clearly aligned to teachers’ professional learning and development. Teachers’ planning, assessment and reporting practices are becoming more consistent. Parents receive good information through the new reporting systems, on-line newsletters and the school website.

Further developments in the school’s vision for learning are likely to emphasise independent learning and strategies that will increase students’ management of their own learning progress. School leaders are also considering a strategic e-learning plan to support the continued focus on personalised learning.

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.

3 Other Obligations

There are appropriate 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

Saint Kentigern Girls’ School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school. The school requires all international students to be living with parents. Documentation is well managed within the school and international student systems are monitored by experienced Saint Kentigern College staff.

The school provides good services for international students. Staff who are responsible for student admissions and orientation manage the needs of international students and their parents well. Tutor teachers monitor their individual progress and report regularly to parents.

International students are supported appropriately to improve their English language skills. They are encouraged to participate in school activities and in the wider life of the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

5 Conclusion

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

15 December 2014

About the School

Location

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

60

School type

Private Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

200

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Pacific

other European

other Asian

2%

72%

5%

5%

3%

8%

5%

Special Features

On-site Early Childhood Education Centre

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

15 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

September 2010