St Andrew's School (Timaru) - 04/04/2014

1 Context

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

St Andrews is a rural school located in South Canterbury. Since the last review the school has had three principals. At the time of this review the newly-appointed principal had been in the position for two weeks.

Students’ achievements are valued and regularly celebrated through newsletters and assemblies. They benefit from a very supportive community. Parents are actively involved in a range of school-based activities, projects and events. The teachers seek every opportunity to extend students’ learning and provide experiences so that students are not disadvantaged by the location of the school. Students’ learning is enhanced through the interactions they have with other similar schools.

There is strong leadership in the development of te reo and tikanga Māori. All students enjoy the opportunities to be involved in learning about Māori culture, particularly kapahaka.

Students are able to explore their environment and develop their physical skills within the extensive playing areas around the school.

The board has a commitment to increasing the integration and use of information and communication technologies to further support students’ learning.

2 Learning

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

Overall, the school is making good use of achievement information. As the principal and teachers address the areas for review and development in this report they will be in a better position to ensure consistency of assessment practices across the school.

The board uses learning information to:

  • make decisions and allocate resourcing
  • monitor its progress towards achieving school targets.

Trustees are aware of the need to collect progress data to show how teaching is making a difference to students’ achievement over time. This will further support the board in making well-informed decisions about resourcing, the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes, and future planning.

There are useful assessment practices being implemented in most classrooms. In these classrooms ERO observed teachers:

  • talking to students about their learning and next steps
  • using information to plan future learning
  • reflecting on how they can improve their practice to meet the needs and abilities of students.

Next steps

Teachers need to provide more scope for students to take responsibility for their own learning.

Learning information does not clearly show whether some students have made the amount of progress needed for them to reach the National Standards. In some cases there is a lack of analysis of data and identification of next steps for individual and groups of students. Teachers need to have a greater focus on tracking student progress overtime to ensure that students are always learning at their point of challenge.

Teachers need to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of moderation practices.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports students’ learning well.

There are explicit guidelines and expectations for the teaching of the values, key competencies, literacy and mathematics. The curriculum identifies what the values of respect, friendship, citizenship, excellence and cooperation look like in this school. The students have been involved in identifying what the values mean to them. Teachers integrate the school’s values, local curriculum goals and learning priorities in their planning. They have effective ways for tracking and monitoring curriculum coverage.

The students who spoke with ERO said that they enjoy the range of learning opportunities and experiences they are involved in. The learning activities and content are relevant, meaningful and interesting.

ERO observed good to very good teaching practice. In most classrooms students were purposefully engaged in their learning.

There are effective practices for supporting the successful transition to school for 5 year old students.

Next steps

Teachers need to maintain a focus on the school’s values, particularly in the senior part of the school. The school is currently reviewing its curriculum statements. As part of this review teachers should consider:

  • developing key indicators for what an engaged learner looks like in relation to the school’s values
  • developing indicators for what best teaching practices look like in their school.

Reporting to the board about the effectiveness and implementation of curriculum areas needs more rigour. Curriculum reviews need to include:

  • the views of teachers, students and their families
  • the use of multiple sources of information from classroom practices
  • the school’s curriculum goals
  • recommendations and actions for ongoing improvement.

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

Māori students’ culture, identity and language are highly valued in the school. Teachers have expectations that all Māori students will progress and achieve.

Māori students demonstrate pride in their culture and confidently share their skills and knowledge about their culture.

Students’ learning benefits from the passionate attitude of the teacher who effectively leads the integration of Māori culture throughout the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

There are effective systems in place to govern the school. The board regularly checks the actions in the annual plan to monitor the progress being made towards achieving the strategic goals. It is committed to providing teachers with targeted professional learning and development that focuses on the school’s identified priorities.

The board’s processes and practices for the review of policies and procedures are well understood. Trustees focus on improving school performance and raising levels of student achievement.

Trustees have an awareness and a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They are able to speak knowledgably about governance matters and are committed to developing their knowledge and skills through ongoing training.

Area for review

The board needs to regularly monitor relationships as the school continues to implement ongoing changes to improve students’ learning and engagement. This is likely to ensure that relationships remain cohesive and collegial between the staff, board and school community.

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.

The board has yet to consult with its community about the school’s health education programmes. To meet legislative requirements the board must consult with its community every 2 years. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

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

4 April 2014

About the School

Location

St Andrews, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3519

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

102

Gender composition

Boys: 52%

Girls: 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other

86%

10%

4%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

March 2007

May 2004