Tasman Bay Christian School

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Findings

Tasman Bay Christian School has made sufficient progress in relation to the key next steps identified in ERO’s May 2019 report. The school will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement approach.

1 Background and Context

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

Tasman Bay Christian School is a state integrated school for students in Years 1 to 8 in the Tasman District. It provides education for 36 students, about twenty percent of whom identify as Māori. From Term 2 2019 until Term 1 2020 the school received support from a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function Practitioner (SAF).  A Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was also in place from February 2020 until April 2021 at the request of the board.   

The current principal took up the position in an acting capacity in Term 3 2020 and assumed the permanent role in Term 4 2020. Two new teachers were appointed from the beginning of 2021, one of whom has significant leadership responsibilities. 

The school’s mission is to provide a Jesus-centred, student-oriented education. Its vision is:

  • Taking action (Mā te mahi-tahi): ‘Working together as the whānau of God’
  • Being servant hearted (Mā te Manaakitanga): ‘Reflecting God’s love to the world around me’
  • Chasing wisdom (Whaia te whakaaro nui): ‘Understanding the way God wants me to think’
  • Showing character (Kia tū te mārohirohi): ‘Being who God created me to be.’

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school’s May 2019 ERO report identified that improvements were required in strengthening assessment processes and practices, building a cohesive curriculum, enacting a robust appraisal system, supporting high quality teaching practices, and strengthening leadership and governance. 

ERO also identified areas of non-compliance in relation to the implementation of policy and procedures for teacher and principal appraisal.

Progress

School leaders and teachers have made significant progress in strengthening assessment practices that are inclusive and appropriate to the school’s learning contexts. Student progress is measured against agreed valued outcomes. A schoolwide focus on engagement for learning, that emphasises relationship-building, is supporting inclusion for equity and excellence and opportunities for students to take responsibility for their learning. School leaders and teachers have now established a clear picture of student achievement across the school. As at mid-year in 2021, the majority of students are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is some disparity in achievement for boys in writing.

A coherent curriculum framework aligns the school’s faith-based mission, special character, identity and values with the New Zealand Curriculum. The learner is at the centre of the curriculum’s design and enactment. Learning programmes are responsive to students’ strengths, needs and aspirations and make connections to their prior knowledge, culture, language and identity. Teachers actively encourage students to engage in social and collaborative learning that reflects the school’s valued outcomes. Collaborative teacher planning has strengthened understandings about what effective teaching looks like and expectations for best teaching practice.

A well-considered approach to managing the professional learning and other needs of leaders and teachers is building their capability and capacity for improvement. Targeted professional learning and development (PLD) and an effective professional growth cycle have been implemented to support teachers to engage in open-to-learning conversations. Teachers are challenged to seek evidence-based solutions to improve their practice. The board is effectively managing the formalised process for the principal’s appraisal, professional practice and PLD needs.

Trustees have strengthened key aspects of governance and support for the development of effective school leadership. They have sought ongoing training, clarified responsibilities and developed sustainable governance systems. The policies and procedures frameworks are complete, current and ‘fit for purpose’. The board has worked with the school community to ensure that inclusive strategic decisions are made about the future of the school. Priorities for completing the local curriculum have been included in strategic planning, and in particular for those aspects relating to the school’s special character.

School leaders build trust and actively involve parents/whānau and the community in collaborative, learning-centred relationships. Leaders ensure an orderly and supportive learning environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing.

Trustees and leaders have successfully addressed all areas of non-compliance.

Key next steps

Trustees, leaders and teachers should:

  • consolidate improved data management processes and practices to demonstrate progress over time, and document progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • further foster and strengthen relationships with, and involvement of, local whānau and iwi to provide greater opportunities for students to learn about te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
  • integrate multiple learning strands through the school inquiry model of learning to facilitate increasing student ownership of their learning.

Trustees must continue to build their capability, using strategic planning and internal evaluation to scrutinise the effectiveness of the school in achieving equitable, valued outcomes.

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 well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Strengthened governance processes and practices have led to a more coherent school vision that aligns special character with valued outcomes for learners. Effective school leadership is building an inclusive, trust-based learning community for equity and excellence. The localised curriculum is relevant, inclusive and responsive to students’ needs. Teachers’ PLD is targeted to strengthen their capability to enact the learning programme. Increasingly robust assessment practices ensure that the school knows its learners’ progress and wellbeing needs.

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

Conclusion

Tasman Bay Christian School has made sufficient progress in relation to the key next steps identified in ERO’s May 2019 report. The school will transition into ERO’s Evaluation for Improvement approach.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

14 December 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

School Context

Tasman Bay Christian School is a state integrated school for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review, there were 46 students on the roll with nine identifying as Māori and four as Pacific. Students live throughout the wider Tasman area.

The school’s vision is that each student will become ‘a child of purpose, action, character and wisdom’. This is underpinned by the values of love and respect for God, ourselves, people, creation and learning.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • the enactment of the special character of the school.

Since the August 2015 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and there have been personnel changes in both the board and staff. Teachers have participated in professional learning and development in digital fluency.

The school is a member of the Motueka Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

A clear picture of schoolwide achievement from 2018 is not available during the onsite phase of the review. Assessment practices need strengthening. These should include the implementation of the school’s assessment guidelines and procedures, robust moderation and effective data analysis practices.

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

Teachers report that students who require support make good progress over time. There are some examples of students making accelerated progress. Additional learning support interventions are in place.

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, the principal and teachers are committed to the school’s special character and vision. A positive tone throughout the school reflects its values and children are knowledgeable about these. The values are highly visible in classrooms and permeate the school’s learning and teaching programmes. Classroom practices, including prayer and devotions, appropriately support the schoolwide valued outcomes.

Classrooms are welcoming and settled environments with a clear focus on student wellbeing. Teachers and support staff know students well. Teachers care about, and promote children’s participation in learning.

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

The curriculum is not sufficiently developed to provide full coverage of The New Zealand Curriculum or to respond to student needs. Developing an overarching document is a key next step. This should clearly define:

  • the school’s vision, faith values and unique place in the community, including whakapapa and history, as determined by the community

  • expectations and guidance for culturally responsive teaching practice and learning

  • a shared vision of success for Māori, informed by whānau and iwi aspirations.

The school’s annual targets are not focused on accelerating the achievement of those who require it. These need to be based on analysed, dependable schoolwide achievement data. This should enable the principal to more clearly identify student groups and cohorts requiring acceleration. It should better inform trustees’ decision-making about appropriate support, based on the impact of teaching interventions on learner progress.

A useful and robust process to support the principal’s and teachers’ professional growth and ongoing learning is not in place. The principal and staff should seek assistance to understand the importance of appraisal in developing high quality teaching practice and implement this process. An appraisal system that is appropriate and meets legislative requirements needs to be established and used.

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 Tasman Bay Christian School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • the shared commitment by the board, principal and staff that upholds and contributes to school’s special character and values

  • welcoming and settled classroom environments.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening assessment processes to systematically evaluate the impact of teaching strategies and initiatives on student outcomes

  • building a cohesive curriculum that reflects the school’s vision, aspirations and clearly states the expectations of effective teacher and assessment practices

  • enacting a robust appraisal system that supports high quality teaching practice.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to appraisal. The school has not implemented its policy and procedures for appraisal.

In order to address this, the Board of Trustees must:

  • ensure teachers are appraised and the board receives reports at least once a year to confirm the procedures are being implemented. [Part 31 Education Act 1989]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that all school policies and procedures are fully implemented and followed, including the appraisal of the principal.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the school seek support from:

  • the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to strengthen governance and fully enact policies and procedures

  • the Ministry of Education for specific support in developing effective leadership.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

28 May 2019

About the school

Location

Tasman

Ministry of Education profile number

1178

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

46

Gender composition

Girls 24, Boys 22

Ethnic composition

Māori 9

NZ European/Pākehā 25

Pacific 4

Other ethnicities 8

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015

Education Review June 2012