Wentworth Primary - 23/05/2014

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Wentworth Primary meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1. Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body. More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website www.ero.govt.nz/Reviews-Process.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

a) has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

b) usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

c) has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

d) has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

e) has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

f) has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

g) has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

Wentworth Primary School is a fully registered, private, co-educational school in Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa. It caters for students from Year 1 to 6. The school opened in 2008 and the student roll continues to increase. In response, the school has employed an additional classroom teacher. The school is managed by the Wentworth College Education Trust Board. The executive principal has overall leadership responsibility for both Wentworth Primary School and Wentworth College.

Strong links between the primary school and the college include an emphasis on school-wide principles and values. The school’s curriculum is based on the recently adopted International Cambridge Primary curriculum for mathematics, English and science, and The New Zealand Curriculum.

A sense of family, identified in earlier ERO reports on the school, continues to underpin the school tone.

2. Criteria for Registration

The school meets requirements relating to the provision of a suitable curriculum. Since ERO’s 2011 review, the school has expanded its curriculum focus, using specialist teachers to provide an emphasis on science learning. The curriculum is very well communicated to parents in school publications and during parent evenings. The school partners with parents to meet the unique needs of each child. Students, teachers and parents collaboratively develop students’ academic and personal goals. Written reports to parents about their children’s learning and achievement in all curriculum areas are useful and informative.

Parents, students and teachers have high expectations for every student to achieve. Students achieve well in nationally normed assessments and there is good evidence of their progress throughout the year. Students benefit from very favourable student to teacher ratios and small class sizes. Wentworth school values are clearly demonstrated in relationships and caring for others. Students are encouraged to contribute to community wellbeing.

Students with special needs and abilities are very well catered for. Leaders have continued to investigate ways to enhance the already high levels of reciprocal collaboration with Wentworth College. This collaboration enables primary school students to experience a seamless transition to the college, as well as experiencing a variety of additional learning opportunities and interactions. There are many opportunities for students to develop and display their leadership capabilities. Teachers are continuing to consider ways of supporting students to further develop as self-managing and independent learners.

The school has suitable standards of tuition. Students are happy, confident and articulate. They enjoy warm, affirming relationships with teachers and their peers. Teachers provide well planned learning programmes with a focus on New Zealand’s context. Leaders continue to develop an emphasis on New Zealand’s bicultural heritage within the curriculum.

All teachers are registered. The executive principal mentors teachers towards full registration. Both teaching and non-teaching staff demonstrate a high level of commitment to supporting each child’s personal growth and development, learning and achievement. Specialist teachers from the college enhance the Wentworth Primary School curriculum in science, art, music and second language learning.

ERO’s 2011 report noted that the school’s performance management system was under review. The school and the college continue to work together to implement an effective, school-wide, annual performance appraisal system for all staff.

The school is well equipped for teaching and learning. Students learn in an attractive environment that is well suited to the size of the school and the delivery of its curriculum. Classrooms are well presented, bright, and reflect students’ work. An additional feature is the school’s access to high quality sporting resources through the use of college facilities and all-weather Astroturf. Students are successful in their sporting ventures.

School managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G of the Education Act 1989 in respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3. Other Statutory Obligations

Good systems are in place to assure the Wentworth Education Trust Board that its other statutory obligations are met. Many health and safety policies and procedures are shared with the college. The principal agrees that it would be useful to ensure that there is a clear distinction between college and school documentation.

4. Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

Since ERO’s 2011 review, the school has amended its prospectus information for international students attending the primary school. It now includes information about its provision for classroom-based second language learning.

5. Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Wentworth Primary meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 May 2014

About the School

Location

Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa

Ministry of Education profile number

605

School type

Private School (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

40

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

British

Dutch

35

4

1

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

23 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

June 2011

August 2008