South New Brighton School - 11/09/2012

1 Context

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

The school’s shared vision, values and expectations are well understood by students and staff, and communicated to the school community. The positive relationships across the school were an important factor in the successful response of the school to the Canterbury earthquakes.

The 2010-2011 earthquakes affected the school in variety of ways. The school was closed for approximately four weeks, with substantial damage to amenities, especially waste water and sewerage systems, and some building damage. The hall is still not able to be used. The roll has declined by around 10%. Many staff members and school families are still dealing with damaged homes and other effects on their lives.

The board and staff made good use of a variety of effective systems to support children and their families, including effective communication and pastoral care.

The school has built strong networks in the community and actively involves parents in the life of the school. Teachers make regular use of the local environment and facilities in their programmes.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are actively involved in learning activities and lessons, and show good levels of interest in their learning. Those spoken with by ERO:

  • feel well supported in their learning
  • are aware of the progress they are making and how they can build on this progress
  • feel their ideas and opinions are listened to and valued.

Reports to the board in 2011 show that over three quarters of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, mathematics and writing. In response to this information, the board has set targets to raise student achievement. This includes targeting specific groups of students who were not achieving at expectations.

Each class teacher makes good use of their assessment information to identify students at risk of not achieving and the areas in which they need the most support.

The school has high expectations about the progress students will make within a year. Reports to the board about the progress students are making in their first year of school shows most students make significant progress in literacy. School-wide achievement information could be further analysed to show the rate of progress across years for groups of students.

Students at risk of not achieving benefit from a good range of programmes and interventions that support them in their learning. These include specific reading programmes, cross-class groupings and the well-planned use of teaching and support staff.

Area for review and development

Class teachers and leaders are making increasing use of assessment information to guide their decisions about teaching, resourcing and planning.

Senior leaders acknowledge that the ongoing analysis of achievement information could be more significantly linked to school-wide targets. This data could be used by teaching teams to further evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching and learning programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well developed and is promoting and supporting students’ learning.

Clear guidelines and expectations are provided for teachers in the school's kete.

Students are provided with a broad range of learning experiences and contexts, including sporting, cultural, academic and performing arts opportunities. At the beginning of every year, students are purposefully involved in setting their class expectations for learning and behaviour. Senior students have many leadership roles and responsibilities.

Teachers use an inquiry approach to deliver aspects of the curriculum, such as science and social studies. The school continues to emphasise good environmental attitudes and understandings, with students having school-wide responsibilities in this area.

School leaders have taken a well-considered approach to the design of the school’s curriculum, including the vision for learners and school values. The school’s CARE values are well integrated by teachers into classroom programmes and whole-school activities.

There are useful guidelines for teachers about good teaching practice to be used across the school. This is resulting in consistent approaches to planning and assessment. Teachers demonstrate a variety of purposeful practices. These include:

  • well planned programmes and lessons
  • good feedback to students about their learning and what they need to do next
  • useful integration of ICT into learning and teaching
  • providing appropriate challenge for students’ learning
  • developing students’ responsibility for their learning, for example, goal setting and students leading their interviews with parents and teachers.

School leaders and teachers work well together to achieve school-wide developments. Teachers told ERO that they feel well supported in their work.

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

There has been an increased focus on bicultural practices since the 2008 ERO review. This includes greater staff awareness of tikanga Māori and raising the profile of te ao Māori across the school. For instance, teachers are making links between Māori values and those in the school’s curriculum, and beginning to explore teaching practices that are more likely to engage Māori learners.

School leaders and teachers are providing additional support for those Māori students who are not yet achieving at their expected level.

Area for review and development

School leaders and trustees need to continue to explore ways to engage with the whānau of Māori students to discuss their wishes and aspirations for their children.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has good systems in place to sustain and improve its performance. The school’s charter and strategic planning effectively guide school-wide developments and operations. Trustees have recently modified their roles and responsibilities and are considering ways to ensure a smooth change of trustees at the 2013 board elections.

Features that help to sustain and improve school performance include:

  • supportive and innovative leadership
  • a good range of leadership opportunities for teachers
  • a belief in maintaining a whole-school approach to programmes and developments
  • targeted professional learning for teachers, especially in literacy
  • a reflective professional culture.

Areas for review and development

Trustees and school leaders need to:

  • use their self-review processes to evaluate progress towards their goals and targets, including making further use of the information already reported to the board
  • set targets that focus on those students most at risk in their learning and develop action plans that show more specifically how they will meet these targets.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

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

11 September 2012

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3508

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

Decile

5

School roll

453

Gender composition

Girls 53%; Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Other ethnicities

85%

11%

1%

3%

Review team on site

July 2012

Date of this report

11 September 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

March 2008

November 2004

October 2001