Tauranga Adventist School - 30/06/2016

Findings

Students receive a well-balanced curriculum with a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. There are clear and high expectations for student achievement, and school data shows that most students are achieving at and above National Standards. The school provides additional learning support for students who are yet to achieve expectation.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Tauranga Seventh Day Adventist School is located in the Bethlehem area of Tauranga city and provides Christian-based education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has a current roll of 102 students and 19 are of Māori descent.

The ERO review in July 2014 identified areas of professional leadership needing to be improved. The principal, deputy principal and board of trustees have responded very positively to these findings and significant development and change has occurred. School leaders are now providing effective leadership for teaching staff.

Staffing has remained mostly unchanged, with the make-up of the teaching team in the junior school being strengthened and consolidated to maximise the use of individual teacher’s skills. The principal has sought expert guidance from an external consultant to support his leadership of school-wide development in teaching and assessment practice.

The school has been giving careful consideration to consultation with its community, and ways in which this could be enhanced. Work to strengthen the bicultural dimension of the school’s curriculum is inclusive of the parent community and is well underway.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

  • Leadership of learning
  • Management and use of achievement information
  • Performance management
  • Curriculum development and review.

Progress

Leadership roles and responsibilities have been reviewed and clarified. The principal and deputy principal now take joint responsibility to lead learning and teaching across the school. The deputy principal has a particular focus in Years 1 to 4 classes and is supported in this role by a senior teacher.

School leaders and teachers have benefited from review and development of best teaching and assessment practice. This process began in August 2014 and has involved the services of an external consultant who is continuing to provide support and guidance. The capability of leaders and teachers to interpret and use achievement information to inform decision making has been significantly strengthened.

Leaders are identifying trends and patterns in school-wide data and using this information to:

  • review and refine curriculum programmes in literacy and mathematics
  • plan relevant professional learning and development for teachers
  • identify students who are underachieving
  • report fully to the board about achievement and progress at each year level.

A culture of reflective and purposeful practice, led by the principal, is now evident in the school.

Teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their practice and use achievement information to inform this inquiry. They are confidently using assessment information to plan specifically, and teach deliberately to address identified gaps in students’ learning.

The board has engaged the services of an external consultant to appraise the principal. This robust process has been ongoing and has set clear direction for the principal’s professional learning and development. Relevant and measurable goals have been set, and performance monitored against indicators of best leadership practice, and performance criteria. This process has been inspiring for the principal and he is now confidently providing informed professional leadership for the school and its community.

The principal and deputy principal are now working collaboratively with teachers to develop and implement this model for appraisal across the school.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is now well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance because:

  • the principal is focussed on building a reflective and well-informed community of learners
  • there are better systems for managing and using achievement information at governance, management and classroom levels
  • school leaders and teachers are now interpreting achievement information to make informed decisions about learning and teaching
  • there is now a more robust appraisal process for the principal that places emphasis on accountability as well as improvement
  • self-review systems are more purposeful and are enabling trustees, the principal and staff to monitor and reflect on school performance.

Key next steps

Moderation systems and practices: Leaders should work collaboratively with teachers to strengthen decision making for overall teacher judgements (OTJs) in relation to the National Standards. Particular attention needs to be given to the consistency and coherence of judgements between teachers, and across year levels.

Targeted action to accelerate achievement: Leaders need to specifically target identified at risk students in the school’s charter and annual plan, and continue to strengthen deliberate teaching practice to accelerate their progress.

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.

Conclusion

Students receive a well-balanced curriculum with a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. There are clear and high expectations for student achievement, and school data shows that most students are achieving at and above National Standards. The school provides additional learning support for students who are yet to achieve expectation.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

30 June 2016

About the School

Location

Bethlehem, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

4144

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

102

Gender composition

Girls 52 Boys 50

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Other

Māori

47

36

19

Special Features

Christian-based education

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2014

November 2011

December 2008