Sumner School - 21/12/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Sumner School is a Years 1 to 8 primary school located in the seaside suburb of Christchurch. The school grounds are attractive and well maintained. Classroom environments support and encourage learning. A new hall is in the process of construction. Since the 2007 ERO review, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed.

Students learn in a positive school environment. Supportive and respectful relationships reflect the emphasis placed on promoting the school’s values. Students spoken with by ERO said that they felt safe at school. Senior students are given leadership roles that give them opportunities to be involved in decision making about school matters.

Students benefit from very good quality teaching overall. ERO observed high levels of student engagement during class lessons. All groups of students, including Māori students, generally achieve well. Teachers identify students with particular learning needs or abilities and provide specific support both within and beyond the classroom.

School leaders support teachers to develop effective systems to assess students’ progress against National Standards. This is helping teachers to make consistent judgements about student achievement. Students are able to discuss their levels of progress and achievement at learning conferences with their parents.

The principal and deputy principal provide effective leadership. They set clear expectations for teachers, provide leadership opportunities and foster a positive team culture. They consult staff regularly and have good systems for monitoring the quality of teaching across the school.

The board has a good understanding of its governance role. Trustees know the importance of planning strategically and have developed an ongoing cycle of self review. The board, senior leaders and teachers are focused on improving outcomes for students. They consult regularly with parents and encourage their involvement in the learning and life of the school.

The board and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that aspects of the school curriculum need further review and development to build on existing good practice.

Future Action

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

2. Sumner School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Sumner School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

Relationships

Positive, supportive and respectful relationships are evident across the school. The school values are reflected in the relationships between teachers and students at all levels of the school. Māori perspectives of these values are shared regularly with students. Older students support younger students within class programmes and in the playground. Staff told ERO that their relationships and teamwork are a strength of the school.

The board, principal and teachers value the opinion and contribution of parents. Parents are regularly consulted about student learning and are provided with opportunities to learn about curriculum developments. They are encouraged to be involved in class programmes and school activities.

Senior leaders and teachers make good use of community expertise and the local environment to support and extend student learning.

Student achievement

Teachers effectively use a range of achievement information to support their judgements about students’ learning and progress. School leaders provide teachers with very clear guidelines for assessment practices.

School leaders and teachers have developed effective systems to assess students’ progress against National Standards. These systems support teachers to make consistent judgements about student achievement based on a range of assessments.

The board and senior leaders have developed specific student achievement targets that focus on raising the achievement of identified groups of students. The board receives regular reports on the progress and achievement of targeted students. Trustees also receive useful information about school-wide student progress and achievement, including that of Māori students, in literacy, numeracy and other curriculum areas.

Students can confidently describe how well they are achieving against national standards. Teachers provide them with clear information about how well they are achieving and how they can improve their learning. They guide students to set learning goals. Students can discuss their progress against National Standards at conferences with their parents.

Quality of teaching

Students experience very good quality teaching overall, including examples of high quality practice. ERO observed high levels of student engagement during class lessons and teachers consistently using a range of effective teaching practices including:

  • detailed planning for groups of different needs and abilities; and
  • sharing the purpose of the lesson and what students needed to do to be successful.

Teachers have high expectations for students’ learning and behaviour.

The principal and deputy principal use appraisal and regular, informal classroom contact to identify the strengths of individual teachers and support their further development.

Leadership

The principal and deputy principal provide strong professional leadership. They have worked with the school community to develop a coherent curriculum that reflects the New Zealand Curriculum and community expectations. This includes a commitment to New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The principal and deputy principal have set clear expectations and guidelines for teaching and learning. They provide many opportunities for teachers to develop and exercise their leadership abilities. Teachers told ERO that their opinions are valued and they are encouraged and supported to trial new approaches.

Senior students are provided with a range of opportunities to develop their leadership skills. They told ERO that they are listened to and are able to influence decision making in the school.

Governance

The board is focused on improving student achievement. Trustees have clear understandings of their responsibilities as governors of the school. The board understands the importance of effective planning and review. It has identified, and ERO agrees, that the school’s long term and annual planning needs to be more strategic. The board is using external support to help it more clearly identify its strategic objectives and plan appropriately to achieve them. This will enable it to better focus its self review on improving outcomes for students.

The board is supportive of the school’s leadership and staff, while having high expectations for their performance.

Area for review and development

Curriculum

School leaders and teachers need to further develop aspects of the school’s curriculum. These include:

  • providing more opportunities for students to have ownership of their learning;
  • reflecting more consistently on the impact of teaching practices and identifying next steps to improve outcomes for students; and
  • integrating te reo and tikanga Māori more effectively into every day practices and programmes.

School leaders are aware, and ERO agrees, that these developments are next steps for the school to support its vision for learning and teaching.

3. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Sumner School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and ERO also checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

4. Future Action

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

21 December 2010

About The School

School type

Full Primary (Year 1-8)

School roll

433

Gender composition

Boys 54%;

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 85%;

Māori 2%;

Other 13%

Review team on site

October 2010

Date of this report

21 December 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Review Report November 2007

Education Review August 2004

Accountability Review September 2001

To the Parents and Community of Sumner School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Sumner School.

Sumner School is a Years 1 to 8 primary school located in the seaside suburb of Christchurch. The school grounds are attractive and well maintained. Classroom environments support and encourage learning. A new hall is in the process of construction. Since the 2007 ERO review, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed.

Students learn in a positive school environment. Supportive and respectful relationships reflect the emphasis placed on promoting the school’s values. Students spoken with by ERO said that they felt safe at school. Senior students are given leadership roles that give them opportunities to be involved in decision making about school matters.

Students benefit from very good quality teaching overall. ERO observed high levels of student engagement during class lessons. All groups of students, including Māori students, generally achieve well. Teachers identify students with particular learning needs or abilities and provide specific support both within and beyond the classroom.

School leaders support teachers to develop effective systems to assess students’ progress against National Standards. This is helping teachers to make consistent judgements about student achievement. Students are able to discuss their levels of progress and achievement at learning conferences with their parents.

The principal and deputy principal provide effective leadership. They set clear expectations for teachers, provide leadership opportunities and foster a positive team culture. They consult staff regularly and have good systems for monitoring the quality of teaching across the school.

The board has a good understanding of its governance role. Trustees know the importance of planning strategically and have developed an ongoing cycle of self review. The board, senior leaders and teachers are focused on improving outcomes for students. They consult regularly with parents and encourage their involvement in the learning and life of the school.

The board and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that aspects of the school curriculum need further review and development to build on existing good practice.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and self-review information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region