Sonrise Christian School

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Education institution number:
1149
School type:
Composite (Year 1-10)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
122
Telephone:
Address:

451 Nelson Road, Gisborne

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School Context

Sonrise Christian School is a state-integrated school in Gisborne that provides education for students in Years 1 to 10.

At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 86 students. Student numbers are higher in Years 5 to 10. Students in Years 9 and 10 learn their core curriculum subjects with one classroom teacher and a specialist science teacher.

The school’s Christian values are blended with those of The New Zealand Curriculum to underpin students’ holistic development. All students are supported to learn in an inclusive, caring environment. A friendly, family culture is promoted.

The school has a primary mission: to provide Christ-centred education to prepare children for life, both temporal and eternal. The school’s LIFE values are: Love, Integrity, Faithfulness and Excellence.

Its current goals and targets for improved student outcomes are linked to the areas of:

  • academic excellence, targeting improved outcomes for students below and well below school expectations in literacy, oral language and mathematics
  • embedding the special character values into the culture of the school
  • increasing community engagement
  • raising Māori achievement and supporting all Māori students to achieve success as Māori.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • school culture and curriculum areas
  • student wellbeing and attendance.

The land and buildings are owned by the proprietors, the Gisborne Christian Education Trust. The board of trustees governs the school.

There have been no changes of staff since the April 2016 ERO review. Professional development in 2018 was focused on raising achievement in mathematics. The school’s reporting history with ERO is positive and indicates continuing improvement.

The school is a member of the Whānau (Gisborne) Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

In 2018, most students achieved at or above school expectations in reading and mathematics. A large majority of students achieve at this level in writing.

Disparity between Māori and New Zealand European has reduced over time. However, some disparity remains for boys in mathematics and reading. New Zealand European students achieve slightly better than their Māori peers in mathematics while Māori achieve slightly better in writing.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Most students make expected progress. Acceleration is evident for many students, including Māori, in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school continues to implement effective practices and processes to promote equitable outcomes for all learners. This is reflected through their deliberate actions and strategic goals that focus on ongoing improvement. There is useful tracking of student achievement in place to monitor the progress of both individuals and groups.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Trustees are supportive. They actively represent and serve the school’s Christian community in their stewardship role. They are well informed through regular reporting on student achievement and curriculum. They have a range of systems and guidelines to support effective stewardship. Trustees work closely with the principal and staff. They fund initiatives to support students and their achievement and make considered resourcing of learning support for those students needing it.

Inclusive practices are highly evident in the school environment. Students with high and complex needs, plus those with additional needs, are well supported by teachers and their classmates to participate in all aspects of school life. Individual needs of these students are well known and individually planned for. Staff work collaboratively with parents and specialist staff to provide the support these students require.

Leaders are improvement focused and strongly support the school’s direction to achieve its vision and goals. Clear and consistent social expectations are in place that align to the school’s values and special character. Leaders have clearly defined roles. They have established suitable systems and processes to enable effective functioning of the school.

Students experience caring, inclusive and collaborative learning conditions. Their strengths, needs interests and identities are well known. Staff provide holistic support that is deliberate and intentional. Success is celebrated and diversity valued.

Students are well supported to progress their learning, to meet high expectations in behaviour, and to participate in optional opportunities. Increasing sporting engagement and interactions with other schools has strengthened the sense of one team and widened the school’s profile in the community.

Teachers are highly collaborative. They share knowledge and contribute to each other’s professional learning. Teacher assistants are highly valued and support learning within individual programmes and classrooms.

All are well supported with opportunities to participate in a range of relevant professional learning opportunities. Better alignment of professional learning with school priorities should further support school development.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s special character influences all areas of the curriculum. Students benefit from engaging in a holistic curriculum that is responsive to their academic and wellbeing needs. It draws on community resources to support learning opportunities.

A bicultural focus, that respects children’s individual identities, is being developed. While some progress in developing this bicultural perspective is evident, further development and progress of the school’s strategic goal is a matter of some urgency.

Leaders seek to build their knowledge of how change is impacting on student outcomes. Teachers and leaders are reflective, they consider ideas and new initiatives for ongoing improvement. Deepening understanding of internal evaluation and teacher inquiry practices are next steps.

Appraisal processes have been reviewed and strengthened. The new process supports and builds the professional capability and collective capacity of staff. Appraisal should be further strengthened through better linking teachers’ goals to school strategic priorities and improving outcomes for priority learners.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Sonrise Christian School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • collaborative teachers

  • inclusive practices

  • strong school vision and values.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • the bicultural curriculum

  • gaining a deeper understanding of teacher inquiry

  • further strengthening teacher appraisal processes.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • address the security of the area designated for staff parking to ensure no children have access during school operation.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

26 March 2019

About the school

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

1149

School type

Restricted Composite, Years 1-10

School roll

86

Gender composition

Male 52, Female 34

Ethnic composition

Pākehā                       47
Māori                         30
South African             5 
Other ethnic groups    4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

26 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2016
Education Review May 2013
Education Review July 2010

Findings

Sonrise Christian School caters for students up to Year 10. Most achieve at and above the expected levels for literacy and mathematics. Core learning for senior students is supplemented by correspondence education and some prepare for NCEA Level 1. Building capability for knowing effectiveness in accelerating progress is an area for improvement.

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?

Sonrise Christian School is a state-integrated school in Gisborne that provides education for students in Years 1 to 10. The land and buildings are owned by the proprietors, the Gisborne Christian Education Trust. The board of trustees governs the school. Teaching and learning facilities are well maintained and improvements are ongoing.

All school participants share the Christian values expressed in the charter. They are blended with those from The New Zealand Curriculum to underpin students’ holistic development. A friendly, family culture is promoted and enjoyed.

At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 77 students. Student numbers are highest in the beginning class and the board funds additional staffing support for the primary years. Five students in Years 9 and 10 learn their core curriculum subjects with one teacher. These students access learning in chosen areas through Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (The Correspondence School) and are able to work towards the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

There have been no changes of staff since the May 2013 ERO review. Professional development since then has focused on raising achievement in writing. The school is participating with other local schools to raise achievement in mathematics. The school’s reporting history with ERO is positive and indicates continuing improvement.

2 Learning

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

The principal analyses and uses achievement information effectively to reflect on schoolwide performance and set goals for improvement. She shares findings with staff and trustees for discussion about patterns and trends, and inquiry into reasons for significant differences across groups and learning areas. Responses are planned by the principal and resourced by the board.

Achievement data is reliable. Teachers’ judgements about students’ achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics are made with reference to assessments and tools used for monitoring against expected progression. Teachers engage in regular team moderation to be certain judgements are consistent and fair across the classes. These processes operate well under the principal’s leadership.

Students’ strengths, interests and learning needs are well known to the teaching team. Information is gathered at entry, updated as necessary and shared regularly. Staff have collective responsibility for the wellbeing and learning of each individual student. This knowledge is used to support transition through the years and develop individual education plans for specifically identified students.

Students with special learning needs are well catered for through a team approach. The principal, special needs coordinator, teacher and teacher-aides meet with parents and specialists to plan for each student's learning and inclusion. Monitoring records for these students are systematically documented, providing useful information for evaluating progress and setting new goals. Most reports to the board on the effectiveness of interventions or special programmes need to be more specific about progress to guide budget planning.

Most students achieve at or above expected levels in the first eight primary years. The 2015 National Standards data for the past three years indicates overall improvement in literacy and mathematics, particularly in writing. In 2015 about a third performed above expectations for their year. Māori students achieve better than non-Māori in writing but slightly more feature below the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Student achievement at Years 9 and 10 reflects similar patterns, with greater strength in literacy than mathematics. In other curriculum areas some Year 10 students achieve NCEA Level 1 in their chosen subject. This assists their transition to Year 11 at a full secondary school.

Reasons for patterns emerging from data analysis should be explored further as a team. Teachers’ records are not explicit about how analysed information is used to target student needs and plan for progress, especially for the accelerated progress of students achieving below curriculum level expectation. Steps for improvement include:

  • defining a measure of acceleration
  • documenting ongoing assessment
  • using the assessment information for responsive planning and providing a record of teaching strategies and progress over time.

Teachers’ evaluation of effectiveness of strategies to promote progress should be strengthened by:

  • written expectations for these processes
  • setting specific achievement targets for groups and individuals
  • using education research to help with deciding teaching strategies
  • focusing on the impact of the strategies used.

Professional development in mathematics has commenced. This is likely to assist with strengthening processes for targeting student progress and provide a basis for applying this learning in reading and writing.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is successful in engaging students in their learning and promoting their progress. Teachers have clear guidelines for curriculum design that incorporates the special character, values, principles, competencies and learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Programme planning reflects curriculum coverage and specific subject content, with integration of Christian, bicultural or local elements and other areas where meaningful. For the more senior students, some learning is the course content provided by the Correspondence School.

Students enjoy a positive, well managed and resourced learning environment. Interactions are respectful and caring. Routines are known and followed. Students are able to work with appropriate levels of independence, cooperate with others and remain on task. They know the school values and expectations for participation.

Internal evaluation of curriculum effectiveness should be undertaken to inform school review and future planning. This is especially relevant for ensuring the needs and pathways of students in Year 9 and 10 are catered for. Defining measures for knowing effectiveness should be part of the process.

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

Successive internal evaluations, led by the principal, shows a high level of reflection on how well Māori student success is promoted. Actions demonstrate value for cultural identity. Board planning has strengthened direction for improving cultural responsiveness. From consultation, an agreed view of what educational success for Māori as Māori means, has been documented. This will assist development of evaluative thinking.

Understanding of cultural responsiveness is growing. The principal and teachers have worked with Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013-2017 andTātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. These are useful tools for guiding action and making processes coherent.

Māori students engage in school life enthusiastically, step up to leadership roles and many enjoy academic success. Data analysis shows that those not achieving to expectation are more likely to be male. Inquiry into the reasons for this achievement pattern would be useful for programme design and resource provision.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Sonrise Christian School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal leads regular evaluation of key aspects of school operation to know what is going well and what could be of better quality or more effective. She guides the board in making decisions and staff in taking action for improvement.

The charter and board plans make school direction clear. Goals and actions prioritise areas, identified from monitoring and evaluation, as needing development or review. Building professional capability for improvement is deliberately planned and managed to embed change. Development of success indicators would assist the school to know how well goals have been achieved.

Community engagement is deliberately fostered. The presence and views of parents and whānau are invited. Feedback is valued and considered in planning.

The school interacts with other schools for various curriculum events and collaborative learning. These planned opportunities enrich students’ experiences and increase professional understanding.

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

Sonrise Christian School caters for students up to Year 10. Most achieve at and above the expected levels for literacy and mathematics. Core learning for senior students is supplemented by correspondence education and some prepare for NCEA Level 1. Building capability for knowing effectiveness in accelerating progress is an area for improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 April 2016

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

1149

School type

Composite (Year 1 to 10)

School roll

77

Gender composition

Male 45, Female 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

38

37

2

Special Features

State Integrated

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

27 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

July 2010

March 2007