Elim Christian College

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Education institution number:
1190
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1219
Telephone:
Address:

159 Botany Road, Howick South, Auckland

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School Context

Elim Christian College is a state-integrated school that caters for students from Years 1 to 15. Of the 1200 students currently enrolled at the school, five percent are Māori and 10 percent have Pacific heritage. The roll also includes smaller groups from a variety of other ethnic backgrounds.

The school’s vision, valued student outcomes and curriculum are based on Christian values and beliefs. The school’s mission statement ‘Arise to Reach, Serve and Influence’ reflects this. In addition, the school’s vision is for each student to be “inspired, responsible, academically and practically skilled life-long learners”.

Since the 2016 ERO review, a third campus has been established at Mt Albert, for Years 1 to13 students. This has resulted in an expanded senior leadership team. In addition, Years 7 to 10 students have transferred from the Botany campus to the Golflands campus.

The board’s strategic goals include raising academic achievement, increasing student agency and wellbeing, and catering more effectively for students who are at risk of not achieving.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for Years 1 to 8
  • achievement in curriculum areas for Years 9 and 10
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • student engagement with the special character of the school
  • progress in relation to the school’s strategic goals
  • wellbeing for success.

The school is part of the South East Christian Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning (CoL). It has a strong commitment to working with the CoL to raise achievement in the South East Auckland region.

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?

Elim Christian College works well to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

The school’s achievement data show that most students achieve success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This has been a consistent trend over time.

While boys achieve well, there is some disparity when compared with girls’ achievement in the school. There is also some disparity for the small numbers of Māori and Pacific students in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 endorsements and in University Entrance.

The majority of Years 9 and 10 students achieve at expected levels in each curriculum area.

Most students in Years 1 to 8 achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. There are small achievement disparities between genders.

The school’s other valued outcomes for students are highly evident in the school. Most students:

  • are self-disciplined, demonstrate positive attitudes and achieve their personal best
  • are becoming well equipped to make a valuable contribution to society
  • have a foundation of Biblical knowledge expressed in Christian values and character.

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

The school is successful in accelerating learning for students whose learning needs this.

The school has very good systems to identify students whose learning progress needs to be accelerated. Their achievement is carefully tracked and monitored by teachers and leaders, and data indicate that they achieve accelerated progress over their time at school. Many students whose achievement is not at expected levels in Years 11 and 12 are well supported to achieve NCEA Level 2.

The school’s learning support staff cater very well for students requiring extra support with their learning. Students who are English speakers of other languages (ESOL) are well supported to achieve success. ESOL students participate fully in learning programmes and are well integrated in the school’s inclusive culture.

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?

Strong educational and strategic leadership supports equity and excellence. A commitment to distributing leadership and maximising the strengths and talents of staff is evident in the many examples of highly skilled leadership at various levels of the school. A strategic and deliberate focus on growing leadership capacity across all three campuses is increasing the school’s capacity to focus on equity, excellence and the acceleration of learning.

Trustees have high expectations in relation to valued student outcomes, equity and excellence. They are well informed and have a clear line of sight to student learning progress and achievement. Regular review of annual and strategic goals supports the board’s evaluation of the effectiveness of school initiatives and helps to inform future resourcing decisions.

A significant development in the last three years is the broadening of the curriculum. The provision of a greater number of learning pathways and options is increasingly responsive to students’ individual strengths and interests. Some very good examples of collaboration and modern teaching and learning practices also cater for a wider range of learning styles.

Students with additional learning needs and abilities are identified and supported by a strong and coordinated school approach. Capable personnel provide a range of learning opportunities for students to access personalised and flexible strategies that support their learning pathway. There is effective coordination with students, teachers, whānau leaders and external agencies to ensure that students participate well in appropriate and supportive learning programmes.

Special programmes and practices are provided through additional learning support, ESOL, professional learning and the Kāhui Ako. These promote inclusion, increased access to the curriculum, and student success and progress with learning.

A strong focus on the school’s valued outcomes and holistic success for students pervades all aspects of the school. A clear vision for student outcomes, and high expectations for engagement and achievement are strategically prioritised, planned for and resourced. Leaders and teachers use adaptive expertise to promote student wellbeing, progress and achievement. They work collaboratively to align campus systems, processes and practices, to increase coherence and learner support, and to achieve cross-campus goals for all students.

The school has built strong connections and relationships with families and the local educational community. Relationships between teachers, students and families are respectful and affirming. Parents and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. The school is engaged in learning-centred relationships through the Kāhui Ako.

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

Senior leaders have identified relevant areas for further development. Reviewing and enacting the plan to enhance success for Māori students as Māori, will help to promote and embed further bicultural practices and partnerships in the school.

With the development of the middle years from Years 7 to 10 at the Golflands campus, leaders and teachers are working towards developing more consistent and coherent assessment processes to track and measure students’ progress through the middle school years. A greater focus on evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and programmes, and their impact on accelerated learning and learner outcomes, will provide more specific information for decision making.

The school has also identified the need to establish more consistent, effective teaching practices across all campuses and to build on current strategies for fostering and promoting students’ agency in their learning.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were 137 international students attending the school, including one exchange student.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

Elim Christian College has very effective systems and practices to ensure the quality of education and pastoral care for international students. Students’ course selections are carefully considered and personalised. Their progress and achievement are monitored well. Students integrate well into the school’s education community. High standards of evaluation ensure systems and practices continue to be developed and improved.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • high quality leadership that is focused on equity and excellence
  • clear lines of sight to student learning, progress and achievement
  • a broader and increasingly responsive curriculum
  • a strong focus on the school’s valued outcomes and holistic success for students
  • educationally powerful connections and relationships with parents, families and the local education community.

Next steps

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

  • strengthen the focus of internal evaluation on valued learner outcomes and rates of progress
  • build consistent and effective teaching practices across all campuses
  • review and enact plans to enhance bicultural practices and success for Māori students as Māori
  • continue to increase students’ agency in their learning.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

14 February 2020

About the school

Location

Howick South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1190

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

1206

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%

NZ European/Pākehā 40%

Chinese 22%

Indian 7%

South East Asian 5%

other European 8%

other ethnic groups 12%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

14 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016

Education Review May 2013

Education Review June 2010

Exemplar Review - Elim Christian College - A Journey Towards Implementing the Digital Technologies Curriculum Content - February 2020

In February 2020 the Education Review Office published an Exemplar Review on A Journey Towards Implementing the Digital Technologies Curriculum Content, please read it here.

Findings

Elim Christian College provides an inclusive Christian culture with high expectations for students’ learning and achievement. Close ties between the school, parents and Elim Church help ensure students’ wellbeing. The school continues to be well lead and governed, and to offer students engaging and enriching educational experiences.

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?

Elim Christian College is a state-integrated school that caters for students from Years 1 to 15. Christian beliefs and values form the basis of the school’s curriculum and operations. A culture of high expectations for achievement is balanced with a caring focus on student wellbeing.

The school continues to experience rapid roll growth and the board has plans for future property development. The student population is diverse and includes students from over 17 ethnicities.

The principal has focused on further developing coherent and systematic approaches for improving outcomes for students. Initiatives involve growing student leadership and a school-wide approach to teachers’ evidence-based inquiries. Digital citizenship and strategies to enhance student thinking are some of the aspects of the school’s ongoing professional learning and development.

ERO’s 2013 report recommended ways to further improve students’ educational opportunities and outcomes. These included reviewing the school leadership roles, increasing engagement with the Māori and Pacific communities, and improving self-review processes through an appreciative inquiry model. This review finds that trustees and senior leaders are making positive changes in each of these areas.

2 Learning

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

Elim Christian College uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement.

The school’s achievement information on the senior campus is being analysed and used by senior leaders, departments and teachers at class level in a variety of ways. Recent achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is showing a substantial lift at Year 12, Level 2 NCEA, compared with 2014 achievement results. NCEA Levels 1 and 3 achievements in 2015 was above eighty percent, and literacy and numeracy achievement at Level 1 in 2015 was above the national average. Nineteen students have achieved scholarships in the last three years. School strategies to support students’ learning are positively influencing their progress at NCEA Levels 1 to 3.

NCEA Levels 1 and 2 achievement for Māori students is below those of other students in the school, although all four Māori students achieved NCEA level 3 in 2015. Leaders and teachers know their Māori students well and they are implementing innovative strategies that have the potential to reduce this disparity over time.

Teachers and senior leaders in the senior campus monitor and analyse student achievement information, particularly for those students at risk of not achieving. This information helps teachers plan for students learning needs and guides adjustments to course content and curriculum delivery.

Heads of departments collate their Year 9 and 10 achievement information, using curriculum levels appropriate to expectations for student achievement. Analysing student achievement information across Years 9 and 10, including ethnic and gender analysis and information about accelerated student progress in learning over time, would further support curriculum planning and resourcing decisions.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students from Years 1 to 8 are at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This information shows that over the last four years, student achievement in reading and mathematics has improved. However, results in writing have remained relatively static.

Māori students as a group achieve significantly lower than the level of their peers in reading, mathematics and writing. Pacific student achievement reflects improvements in reading and mathematics, and is similar to their peers in writing.

Teachers at the junior campus moderate writing achievement as a team internally, and with other schools. Following ongoing professional learning, teachers are now using the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) to help improve their overall teacher judgements on student progress and achievement in writing. Consideration is currently being given to widen the use of PaCT into reading and mathematics.

Students with special learning needs and abilities are identified and supported by a strong and coordinated school approach. The outcomes of the initiatives and programmes are reported to support the board’s strategic decisions.

Professional learning, teaching as inquiry and appraisal processes are deepening teachers’ focus on their practice and improving learning outcomes for their students.

Future priorities for further developing the use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners are to:

  • extend learning partnerships with families and Māori whānau to identify student’s individual strengths and prior knowledge
  • improve the evaluative analysis of individual students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration and reflecting their progress over time
  • identify specific accelerated achievement targets focused on students who are underachieving.

3 Curriculum

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

Elim Christian College’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. The curriculum is relevant and authentic and in keeping with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers continue to focus on engaging students in programmes that encourage creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

Students and teachers across all curriculum areas use digital technologies in innovative ways to engage learners and enhance learning opportunities.

The school has recognised the need to broaden the curriculum to cater for the increasing needs and interests of their students. Chinese language study has been introduced for students from Years 9 to 13. Vocational option pathways, including the Gateway programme, support students for learning beyond the school. A variety of subjects are available for students through Te Kura: The Correspondence School.

Student engagement in the curriculum is strongly supported by a comprehensive and strong guidance and pastoral care network. A range of internal reviews on inclusive practices and staff and student wellbeing identify a positive school culture for learning.

School leaders and teachers have developed processes for ensuring the effective, well considered transition of students at all levels across the school. Good communication and support for students in these processes should improve the information for teachers about the learning and achievement of students new to the different campuses.

Across both campuses, there is evidence of high quality teaching practices that support the engagement and learning of students. Teachers scaffold and assist students to manage their own learning through providing greater choice. Increasing students’ capability to develop learning to learn capabilities, and to reflect on their own thinking and learning processes, is an ongoing development for the school.

Cross curricular inter-disciplinary connections continue to be developed to give additional breadth and depth to student learning and engagement. Increasingly subject departments collaborate to ensure concepts are reinforced and contextualised to give students increasing opportunities to deepen their understanding.

The college offers an enriching range of co-curricular activities. There are many opportunities for students to experience success and build leadership capability and social competencies. These include a variety of spiritual, cultural, academic and sporting activities.

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

Māori achievement information is analysed at both department and school-wide levels. Through the analysis of this data the school is aware of the ongoing need to raise Māori student achievement.

The school has 50 students (6% of the roll) who identify as Māori. These students are represented across a variety of leadership roles. The school provides opportunities for students to be part of junior and senior campus kapa haka groups who provide leadership in the school powhiri.

The school has a Success for Māori plan to determine how well school policies and practices help develop the potential of all Māori students. The board and school leaders could now:

  • extend strategic thinking and planning for the next phase of school development so that it includes more measurable and accountable goals for Māori success
  • ensure Māori students at risk of underachievement are central to the plan and to each teacher’s ongoing professional inquiry
  • consider ways to extend learning partnerships with families and Māori whānau so their goals and aspirations contribute to the school’s Success for Māori plan
  • complete a more robust evaluation of the school’s Success for Māori plan to ensure identified actions are achieved.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Elim Christian College is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school’s Christian character and vision underpins the school’s direction and is widely supported by the school community. Leaders and teachers build relational trust at all levels to support openness, collaboration and risk taking. They are receptive to change and improvement.

Shared respect and understanding are evident in the way the principal and board relate to each other and work collaboratively to establish a purposeful and successful learning environment for their students. Leaders are leading professionally across global and local educational contexts that build staff capability.

ERO and school leaders agree that the key priority for ongoing school development is to:

  • further enhance the strategic leadership approach to curriculum development and achievement outcomes across both campuses
  • continue to strengthen their evaluation capability across all levels of the school as they progress in their journey of ongoing improvement.

Provision for international students

Elim Christian College continues to provide its international students with high standards of education and support, including access to regular English language tuition. Students enjoy many opportunities to participate in school activities, including sporting and cultural events. They particularly value the significance of the school’s special character beliefs and values. Classroom teachers and specialist staff offer good quality pastoral care for students. As mentioned in the 2013 ERO report, regular reporting to the board should include information about international student achievement and the range of activities that these students participate in.

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. At the time of the review there were 41 international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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

Elim Christian College provides an inclusive Christian culture with high expectations for students’ learning and achievement. Close ties between the school, parents and Elim Church help ensure students’ wellbeing. The school continues to be well lead and governed, and to offer students engaging and enriching educational experiences.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 June 2016

About the School

Location

Howick, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1190

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

School roll

958

Number of international students

41

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

South East Asian

Samoan

Fijian

other European

other Asian

other Pacific

other

6%

48%

15%

5%

5%

4%

1%

11%

2%

2%

1%

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

29 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

June 2010

May 2007