Sheffield Contributing School - 06/11/2017


Sheffield Contributing School is a small school of 104 children, situated in rural Canterbury. 82% of children identify as New Zealand European/Pākehā and 12% identify as Māori.

A new first-time principal has been in the role for three years. The roll has increased considerably and an enrolment zone is to be put in place in 2018.

Leaders and teachers are actively involved in the Malvern Kāhui Ako|Community of Learners (CoL).

The school has made very good progress in addressing the recommendations identified in the 2013 ERO report.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is very effectively achieving equitable outcomes for all children. The board and staff have high expectations for children’s learning and wellbeing.

Teachers collaborate to regularly review the broad-based curriculum, to ensure all children have a range of meaningful opportunities to succeed in areas that match their interests and abilities. Teachers work well together to support children who require additional programmes to help them learn.

Leaders and teachers closely monitor and track children’s progress over time. The school has very good examples of children who have successfully made accelerated progress.

At the time of this review, learners were achieving excellent educational outcomes. These have been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school is successfully addressing identified in-school disparity in educational outcomes as these arise.

The agreed next steps for leaders and teachers are to continue to build the integration of te reo and Māori perspectives across school practices, and strengthen the school’s internal evaluation process.

ERO intends to return to the school in four-to-five years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and teachers are effectively responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

A high number of children are achieving at or above the National Standards (NS) in reading, writing and mathematics. School information shows that the results in reading and mathematics have been reasonably stable over the last three years.

Māori students achieve well against the NS. They make similar rates of progress as other students and are achieving well in reading and particularly highly in mathematics.

Effective systems for assessment and moderation are in place. The school is engaged in moderation processes across the Malvern cluster of schools to support robust judgments about children’s progress in writing.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

School processes are highly effective in supporting equity and excellence.

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Leaders and teachers are very responsive to meeting the needs of all children. Achievement targets clearly state expectations for teachers and children. Teachers know the children well, and carefully plan a range of interventions to support their learning and progress.

Teachers consistently demonstrate this through:

  • leading, enacting and modelling the school’s values and virtues

  • building and maintaining a caring and positive learning environment

  • increasing leadership capability through collaborative practice and professional sharing

  • working in partnership with parents and whānau to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

Clear guidelines and useful systems are in place to support school practices and keep the focus on outcomes for children. Innovative internal professional development programmes ensure school needs are suitably addressed. Teachers make effective use of teaching as inquiry as an improvement model to help build teacher capability and to support positive outcomes for children.

The school’s broad-based curriculum responds to the interests, needs and abilities of learners. Some improvement in the school’s bicultural programme is evident.

Teachers effectively manage the specific needs of learners requiring additional support. The impact of programmes is regularly monitored to track progress.

Teachers use a range of effective practices to address identified disparity in writing and mathematics. Rates of accelerated progress are well documented, and this information is used to make the adjustments needed to help sustain learner’s progress.

Children have a positive view of their school experience. They know the schools values and are able to explain how these apply in their daily lives.

A range of strategies are used to successfully achieve community engagement in learning at the school and beyond. The contribution the community makes to school programmes is highly valued. A “learning in partnership”, parent team promotes and encourages meaningful home and school links. The school provides frequent opportunities for parents to learn about learning at workshops and information evenings.

The board and staff place high value on building relational trust across all levels of the school and between the school, home and community. The board are well-informed and scrutinise the work of the school in achieving the outcomes they value for children’s learning and wellbeing. Trustees bring a wide range of skills and experience to their role.

Since the 2013 ERO review the school has improved the integration of te reo, tikanga and Māori perspectives in the school’s programme. The expertise of a Māori tutor for kapa haka strongly supports this integration.

The board, leaders and teachers have created a strong culture of continuous improvement across all aspects of the schools operation and in terms of students and their learning. They have a comprehensive internal evaluation timetable with a focus on curriculum, policies and procedures, and health and safety.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The next step is for teachers to better demonstrate the ways they value the language, culture and heritage of all children but more particularly of Māori children.

A stronger focus on quality and the effectiveness of the school’s internal evaluation system will further strengthen the process.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

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

There are robust processes in place to help ensure staff and children’s safety and wellbeing.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving very good educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school successfully addresses in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are

  • to continue to build teachers’ cultural responsiveness

  • to strengthen the school’s internal evaluation process.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

6 November 2017

About the school


North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 54

Boys: 50

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

6 November 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review:

Education Review:

Education Review:

September 2013

October 2010

September 2004