Waimate Centennial School - 28/08/2013

1 Context

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

Students at Waimate Centennial School come from the town and surrounding farms. Many travel to school by bus. They benefit from the high expectation the school has that all students will experience success in their learning. Factors that contribute to student success include:

  • few changes in staff over time
  • strong and supportive relationships between students, students and adults, and amongst adults
  • close home-school learning partnerships
  • the board’s commitment to low class numbers
  • students learning in a safe environment.

Students spoken to told ERO their teachers care about them and their learning. New students arriving through the year are made to feel welcome and included. These students are very well supported and quickly become part of the positive school culture.

2 Learning

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

The teachers and school leaders use achievement information effectively to make positive changes to students’ learning.

Teachers use learning information to:

  • identify priority learners, students’ next learning steps, the teaching strategies needed and the progress made by students
  • identify their own next personal professional learning and development (PLD) needs
  • evaluate and reflect on the impact of their teaching practices and classroom programmes.

School leaders use learning information to:

  • identify students and groups of students who need extra support or extension, the specific learning needs these students have, and how these can best be supported
  • decide on school-wide (PLD) requirements and student achievement targets
  • evaluate the difference the PLD has made to students’ progress and achievement
  • report to the board.

Trustees use progress and achievement reports to enable them to make well-considered decisions about resourcing, such as teachers’ PLD and staffing.

Area for review and development

School leaders and teachers need to further develop the students' level of involvement in their learning as required by the school’s guidelines for teachers. ERO observed examples of very good practice, where students were very aware of their learning and what they had to do to make further progress. The school’s next step is to make these good practices common practice.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. Students take part in a broad range of experiences across all learning areas.

The school’s curriculum focuses on developing the whole child. The values, skills and attitudes needed to be an effective citizen and learner are clearly defined in the Centennial Centurion model. Teachers are well supported by detailed guidelines for what to teach and how. School leaders closely monitor how well teachers implement the school’s high expectations for effective teaching and learning.

All students receive very good to high-quality teaching. Teachers know their students well and the learning strengths and needs within their classes. Teachers and the principal show a high level of urgency to support students to make the appropriate progress to reach expected standards. Achievement and progress reports show that those students needing to make more than one year’s progress within a year, did so in 2012. This accelerated progress was especially noted in reading and mathematics.

Teachers are using ICT effectively to engage students in and enhance their learning. The board has provided teachers and students with up-to-date ICT equipment. Trustees plan to increase this provision.

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

Teachers, leaders and trustees appreciate the importance of providing an environment that values the culture, identity and language of Māori. This is seen through:

  • a number of teachers undertaking te reo Māori PLD and using te reo Māori in their classrooms
  • the inclusion of Māori protocols within school events
  • the employment of a specialist support person for kapahaka and aspects of tikanga Māori
  • the gathering of opinions and aspirations of the parents of Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has a culture of rigorous, critical reflection that means it is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school's systems to monitor, support and improve teacher performance are effective. They are closely linked to the PLD programme school wide and for individual teachers. They are responsive to the identified needs of students and teachers.

Teachers take responsibility for improving their own teaching practices and are well supported by the board and school leaders to do this. A positive feature of the school’s PLD is the exposure teachers have to new ideas and practices. The competent and knowledgeable professional leaders have a deliberate and purposeful focus on driving up the teaching practice within the school.

The school has a useful process to guide its reviews. Regular surveys of students and the community inform reviews.

There are logical links from strategic goals to annual and PLD plans, and to classroom programmes. Trustees find the annual plan a useful working document to guide their work.

Area for review and development

School leaders and trustees recognise the need to review and refine the school’s planning and review processes. ERO agrees. This development should:

  • focus on reviewing what is important
  • ensure questions are evaluative
  • include in the strategic plan those things that need to be strategically developed.

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.

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

28 August 2013

About the School

Location

Waimate, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3573

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

141

Gender composition

Boys: 54%

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

86%

13%

1%

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

28 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

October 2009

October 2006

June 2005