Renew School

Education institution number:
1138
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
180
Telephone:
Address:

2 Tarewa Road, Morningside, Whangarei

View on map

Christian Renewal School - 28/09/2017

Summary

Christian Renewal School, in Whangarei, has a roll of 185 Year 1 to 13 students. Most children are Pākehā, with 39 of these learners identifying as Māori.

In 2016 there were many changes to the senior leadership team. The school is now led by a new principal, who was previously a deputy principal in the school. Two new associate principals have also been appointed. Most trustees on the board including the chairperson are new.

Trustees, leaders and staff work collaboratively to provide education for learners that reflects the school’s special character and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

At the time of this evaluation there was no information available about the trends and patterns of Year 9 and 10 achievement over the past three years.

The school is a member of the Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako - (CoL).Ngā Kura mo te ako o Whangarei (Raki Whangarei)Group 3

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains. School processes are being developed to better respond to Māori and other learners who need to make accelerated progress.

The small and variable numbers of students in Years 11 to 13 make it difficult to accurately identify trends in student achievement of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In general, learners achieve well, are supported to follow their choice of learning pathway, and to gain relevant qualifications. School data show that overall achievement has averaged 83 percent across the National Standards during the past three years.

The board and senior leaders agree that next steps include further developing the school’s capability to support learners to make and sustain accelerated shifts in their achievement.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is becoming increasingly effective in responding to Māori learners who need to make accelerated progress.

Tracking trends and patterns in student achievement and progress is limited due to the small number of students at each year level. During 2014 to 2016, school data show that National Standards achievement in Years 1 to 8 has averaged 87 percent in reading, 79 percent in writing, and 84 percent in mathematics. Overall achievement of Māori students as a group remains significantly below that of Pākehā across the National Standards.

On average over the past three years, achievement in NCEA Level 1 averaged 77 percent, 90 percent in Level 2, 53 percent in Level 3, and 33 percent in UE (University Entrance). In 2016 there were merit and excellence endorsements at NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. There have been too few Māori students participating in NCEA to identify achievement trends.

Teachers in Years 9 to 10 are beginning to use learning progressions and standardised assessment tools to identify those students at risk of not achieving. Leaders recognise the value of using common assessment frameworks across the primary years and Years 9 and 10. This would help teachers to plan relevant programmes for individual students who need to make accelerated progress.

The board’s charter targets focus on raising the achievement of groups of students identified as of concern in the school’s achievement data. Action plans are set up for each target. ERO has discussed the value of the board receiving more frequent reports of progress towards each target. These reports should include evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies being used to support individual learners to make and sustain accelerated shifts.

Leaders and teachers use assessment information to identify students’ learning needs. Teachers provide programmes that are differentiated according to students’ ability and achievement. Teachers in Years 1 to 8 moderate children’s writing assessments to increase the reliability of their judgements about children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards. This year, teachers of Year 9 and 10 English have also moderated writing assessments with teachers of Year 7 and 8. Senior leaders expect that the school’s involvement in the CoL will enhance the robustness of teachers’ assessment judgements.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school is developing practices that are promoting greater equity and excellence. ERO acknowledges the efforts that leaders and teachers have made to more collaboratively focus on supporting priority learners’ progress.

The school's inclusive culture is fostering children's wellbeing and motivating them to engage and learn. This affirming environment reflects the school’s vision for students to be ‘confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners’. Tuakana/teina relationships are a feature of the culture and reflect the sense of family in the school.

The school’s values and the key competencies of the NZC underpin the school’s curriculum. Primary children have opportunities to research their own inquiries. Teachers make considerable efforts to ensure that senior students can access a curriculum that is responsive to their individual learning needs and pathways, and supports them to achieve meaningful qualifications. Secondary students have increasing opportunities to learn in cross-curricular programmes to build connectedness in their learning.

The board ensures that all learners have equitable opportunity to participate in curriculum activities. Trustees demonstrate an openness to learning, and commitment to reflecting on the influence of their stewardship. Their working relationship with leaders and staff is based on integrity and trust.

Senior leaders are keen to learn and adapt. They are committed to supporting students to succeed in their learning and in their personal growth as individuals. Leaders collaborate with staff to increase the school’s responsiveness to students who need to make accelerated progress. They are developing good systems for monitoring the quality of teaching practice, particularly in Years 1 to 8.

Leaders and teachers are developing useful ways to track individual student progress. Secondary curriculum leaders are meeting more frequently to monitor this and to discuss and plan strategies to assist individual students. The secondary SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) plays a key role in tracking, monitoring and coordinating this work.

Inclusive and responsive approaches support children with additional learning needs. The board provides funding for two SENCOs with oversight of either the primary or secondary departments. They have introduced useful systems to closely monitor the progress of these students both academically and holistically. Teachers and the SENCOs work alongside external agencies to support these children and their families/whānau.

Bicultural practices, such as pōwhiri, provide leadership opportunities for Māori students, and enhance the pride they have in their language and culture. Year 1 to 8 students can learn te reo Māori as part of the school’s curriculum, and senior students may learn this through Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

Parents are well informed about their children's achievement through written reports and learning conferences with teachers and their children. Leaders and teachers develop positive working relationships with the parents of priority learners. They share resources and strategies for parents to support their child's learning at home.

Internally led professional learning and collaborative dialogue are helping teachers develop a shared and cohesive understanding of effective teaching and assessment practices. Teachers show a willingness to adapt their practice to improve outcomes for learners. The principal acknowledges that teacher appraisal processes should be further developed to meet the requirements of the Education Council.

Trustees and senior leaders value, and are increasingly seeking, the perspectives of students, staff and the parent community. They are keen to make greater use of evidence-based evaluation and inquiry to; sustain improvements, guide school development, ensure the effectiveness of teaching practices and gauge their impact on students’ learning outcomes.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The board, leaders and staff show commitment to improving practices to support equitable and excellent outcomes for learners.

Relevant development priorities include:

  • more deliberate planning for accelerated learning for individual learners

  • teachers using a more targeted ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ approach to support students to make accelerated shifts in their achievement

  • more frequent, deliberate evaluation of charter action planning to measure rates of learners’ progress and as a basis for adapting learning programmes to sustain and increase progress

  • strengthening curriculum leaders’ reporting on Māori learners’ progress, and the evaluation of strategies implemented to raise their achievement

  • further developing evaluation at all levels: board, leaders, teachers and students.

Leaders are looking forward to working with CoL schools to find further ways to support Māori and other learners to make accelerated progress. The board is keen to seek support to further engage with whānau Māori to promote greater Māori learner success.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

To improve current practice, the board should consider using an external appraiser for the principal in order to support his professional reflection and ongoing development. The principal is working with trustees to update and rationalise the board’s policies and management procedures.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and some other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 September 2017

About the school

Location

Morningside, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1138

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

185

Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Filipino
Indian
other

21%
67%
7%
2%
3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

28 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2014
December 2011
July 2008

Christian Renewal School - 19/12/2014

Findings

Christian Renewal School provides a good quality education for its students. Students benefit from the school’s Christian character and a broad curriculum that supports their learning. Ongoing school improvement is guided by strategic planning and the leadership of the principal and board.

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

1 Context

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

Christian Renewal School is a state integrated Christian-focused Years 1 to 13 school, operating on a church site in Morningside, Whangarei. The school serves parents who want a Christian education and supportive learning environment for their children. The growing school roll reflects the many students who transition into Years 9 to 13 from schools in the wider Northland area. Twenty percent of students identify as Māori.

The school has a stable staff. Many teachers cover a wide range of curriculum areas to cater for student interests and strengths. The principal and two associate principals form the senior management team. In 2012 the principal was absent from the school on sabbatical leave.

The proprietors continue to enlarge the school’s facilities. Although this has reduced play areas, a local park has been accessed for students’ sport and recreational activities.

Students and staff benefit from the respected leadership of the principal and the board of trustees. Strategic priorities are guiding ongoing improvements and supporting learning outcomes for students. The recent development of a priority learner’s register for the junior and senior school is beginning to promote a more effective system to cater for student’s different abilities.

Senior managers have accessed workshops to support a more effective performance management system. They acknowledge the need for establishing more effective connections with the wider educational community and to keep up to date with developments in education and new government expectations.

2 Learning

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

Most teachers use achievement information to identify broad areas of student’s strengths and needs, and to group students for instruction.

The junior school’s achievement information in relation to National Standards for Years 1 to 8 suggests students, including Māori, continue to achieve very well throughout the school, and very well compared with other local area and national achievement levels. Tightening guidelines for making Overall Teacher Judgements [OTJs] and strengthening assessment moderation should help to ensure data reliability.

Steps could be taken to improve the planning and monitoring of students who are at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics in the primary school. A more comprehensive priority learners' register could be implemented to record specific student's needs, together with possible strategies to enhance the individual student's learning.

School managers should increase expectations that all teachers use explicit strategies designed to promote achievement and success for all students in their learning. They should also provide opportunities for teachers to review the impact of these strategies on students’ progress. Deepening student’s knowledge of their achievement levels and their individual next learning steps continues to be an area of development for the school.

Student achievement overall in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) appears to be on an upward trend and many students are achieving very well. Achievement results are similar to national averages and close to those of schools with a similar profile although the very small numbers of students make such comparisons difficult. Board targets are on track to reach the Ministry of Education goal of 85 percent for NCEA Level 2, in 2017.

Senior managers recognise that Māori student achievement in NCEA Levels 1 to 3 could be improved. As achievement information data is assessed and analysed, the expectation for curriculum leaders to report on Māori student progress and achievement could be strengthened.

Senior managers know senior students as individual learners. Close ongoing tracking and monitoring of senior students highlights individual students who may be at risk of not achieving. Monitoring and adjustment processes result in some positive shifts to student progress and achievement. The achievement of students with special abilities and needs in the senior school is analysed with suggested strategies identified for class teachers. A recent Year 9 literacy project supported by the Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) resulted in significant increases in reading achievement for some of these students.

Senior managers have identified that further achievement information, other than that from standardised assessment tools, would assist teachers to make useful gains in accelerating Year 9 and 10 progress and achievement. Using the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) could help achieve this objective and improve outcomes for students at NCEA Level 1.

ERO and school managers discussed the significance of developing a ‘teaching as inquiry’ approach across the school. Reflecting on how well teaching has supported student learning would support teacher’s to better diversify teaching approaches.

3 Curriculum

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

Overall the school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning and incorporates a school vision and goals that are reflective of the special Christian character of the school. A positive learning culture results in calm and settled students who are keen and enthusiastic learners. Students have good relationships with each other and value the commitment of their teachers.

The curriculum appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are used to enhance and extend learning. Teachers provide opportunities outside the classroom to engage students in real and meaningful learning.

The curriculum is flexible and responsive to student’s interests. It is adapted to student needs, particularly in the senior school. As a result, a wide range of courses are provided for senior students inclusive of correspondence courses and those provided by external providers. Students benefit from the school’s commitment to their individual learning pathways. These pathways enable students to plan their learning and prepare for their future education, training and employment.

The provision of vertical form classes in the senior school and student participation in assemblies and school camps provides opportunities for student leadership.

ERO and school managers agree that there should be further development in curriculum design to better reflect the principles and full expectations of the New Zealand Curriculum.

As part of the school’s commitment to reflecting the unique the position of Māori culture, teachers should account for how programmes promote and encourage success for Māori, and should deepen their understanding of the boards Treaty of Waitangi policy.

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

The BOT acknowledges that promoting greater success for Māori students is a key goal of the school’s strategic planning. An annual target for 2014 is focused on the improvement for Year 1 to 8 Māori students’ achievement in writing. Progress is being made to achieve this target.

A recent staffing appointment has increased the opportunities for Māori students to learn te reo Māori in Years 1 to 6. Students in Years 7 and 8 have the opportunity to follow a te reo Māori correspondence course which is a pre-requisite for NCEA Level 1. Teachers could now begin developing their capability in providing te reo me ōna tikanga to ensure this resource is sustained.

The BOT and senior managers agree that the development of an action plan with the Māori community in response to Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017, the Ministry of Education’s goals for improving outcomes for Māori students, should increase engagement and consultation with whānau Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Long serving leadership by the principal and BOT chairperson provide stability and confidence in the strategic direction of the school. Planning and reporting are aligned to the school’s strategic goals. Lifting student achievement is a central focus of the principal and senior managers.

New and experienced trustees bring a variety of skills and expertise to their roles. Board training has promoted effective governance and unity of purpose between the board and management of the school. Trustees annually review their performance in governing the school and set targets for improvement.

Self review is multi-levelled, responsive, and is particularly focused on making positive changes for learners. The principal’s review and analysis of the 2012 NCEA results focused on the achievement of every individual senior student, with specific recommendations for courses and future student pathways.

Further steps in school development include:

  • continuing to build the leadership capabilities of middle managers in data analysis and evaluation
  • refining and improving performance management systems and expectations
  • investigating further community consultation and board succession planning.

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

Christian Renewal School provides a good quality education for its students. Students benefit from the school’s Christian character and a broad curriculum that supports their learning. Ongoing school improvement is guided by strategic planning and the leadership of the principal and board.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

19 December 2014

About the School

Location

Morningside, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

1138

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

200

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Filipino

Pacific

African

other

20%

59%

12%

4%

3%

2%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

December 2011

July 2008

May 2005