Banks Avenue School

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Education institution number:
3289
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
368
Telephone:
Address:

91 Banks Avenue, Shirley, Christchurch

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School Context

Banks Avenue School is a Year 1-6 contributing school situated in east Christchurch. The roll is 398 students, 22% of whom identify as Māori. Since the 2016 ERO report there have been very few changes at senior leadership or governance level. The school is in the planning stages of a major property redevelopment, including moving to a new school site.

The school’s vision of ‘Living and Learning with HEART’ links directly to the values of Hauora, Excellence, Aroha, Respect and Togetherness. The values are incorporated in the areas for the strategic goals, which are:

  • Active Learners at HEART – teaching, learning and curriculum
  • Living HEART – wellbeing and support
  • Connecting to the HEART of the community – cultural responsiveness, community, Kāhui Ako.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and other curriculum areas
  • progress of target groups
  • student wellbeing.

Leaders and staff have undergone whole school professional learning in areas identified in the strategic goals. The school is an active participant in the Ōtākaro 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?

The school is making steady progress towards achieving equity and excellence for all its students. There has been an improvement over time in achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, with the most significant improvement being in writing, particularly for boys. School data for 2016 – 2108 show most students achieved at or above their expected curriculum level. Māori students consistently achieve well.

The achievement of Pacific students has shown considerable improvement over time. Most students are now achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading, and the majority are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in mathematics.

The school has identified, and is currently addressing, issues with its student management system regarding the validity of its 2019 midyear data.

The school monitors, assesses and reports individual students’ progress in developing key competencies and displaying the HEART values.

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for the small number of students whose learning is targeted for increased improvement. Accelerated progress was achieved by a small majority of target students in writing, a large majority in reading and a quarter of students in mathematics.

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?

Across the school there is a strong and effective commitment to a holistic approach to students’ wellbeing and learning. The centrality and enactment of the vision and values provide a shared sense of purpose. This is reflected in the collective responsibility for all students that is evident across staff, the strong community connections and outside expertise. A systematic approach to identifying, responding to and monitoring individual student learning and progress ensures that all students are known and supported well, within their school and whānau contexts. Positive, reciprocal relationships are fostered with families and whānau. The school is very proactive in seeking a wide range of appropriate support and programmes to build children’s readiness to learn and positive sense of self.

Effective school leadership provides an unrelenting focus on improving outcomes for children. A respectful, productive relationship is evident between the board, principal and senior leaders. The senior leadership team models and promotes a collaborative approach to practice and a culture of reflection. High expectations are clearly communicated and supported by well-developed systems and practices. A planned approach to growing leadership capability across the school has resulted in a cohesive, empowered middle leadership team, and other staff having opportunities for leading in areas of strength. A shared sense of responsibility for ongoing school improvement is fostered through all staff being involved in strategic priority groups.

The school’s curriculum reflects the breadth and depth of the New Zealand Curriculum and is strongly underpinned by its vision and values, which are embedded in planning and programmes. Students are engaged, confident and comfortable in their learning environment. They are provided with equitable opportunities which are responsive to their interests, capabilities and cultures. Rich, authentic learning contexts and meaningful links to the community, such as the Red Zone project, further enhance their learning and sense of connection to the world around them.

Students’ views on their learning and wider school issues are sought, valued and used. Achievement data is used to inform programme planning. Students with additional needs are well supported within an inclusive environment to succeed in their learning.

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

The school should build on its culture of reflection and review to develop a stronger understanding and use of evaluative planning and practices. This will better support the school to identify and respond to the impact of initiatives and innovations on outcomes for children.

Leaders and staff are growing their knowledge of te ao Māori and beginning to reflect bicultural practices. They should continue this development to ensure that the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand is meaningfully integrated into planning and practices at all levels of the school.

The achievement of target students is closely monitored and reported. These students, however, are a small percentage of the students whose progress needs to be accelerated. Classroom teachers have data on other students whose progress is insufficient. Leaders now need to gather, analyse and report to the board progress for all students whose learning requires acceleration.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • a strongly shared commitment to the equitable learning and wellbeing of students
  • effective leadership that ensures a sense of purpose, clarity of expectations and processes, and builds leadership capacity across the school
  • a rich and responsive curriculum providing authentic contexts and centred on the school values and vision.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening evaluative practice to better understand the impact of innovation and initiatives on outcomes for students and staff
  • continuing to develop and embed te ao Māori in planning and practice and give prominence to bicultural practice
  • ensuring that sufficiency of progress for all students is monitored, analysed and reported.

Dr Lesley Patterson Director

Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

18 June 2020

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3289

School type

Years 1-6 contributing

School roll

398

Gender composition

Females 46%

Males 54%

Ethnic composition

Māori 22%
NZ European/Pākehā 56%
Pacific 3%
Other ethnicities 19%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

18 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education review December 2016
Education review May 2015
Education review May 2013

1 Context

Banks Avenue School is a large multicultural school on the east side of Christchurch. The new leadership team, which has been in place for a little more than a year, has worked hard to provide a positive teaching and learning environment. This is in the midst of uncertainty about relocation of the school which suffered significant damage in the Canterbury earthquakes.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are summed up in its vision statement 'Learning Today to Succeed Tomorrow'. The school states that with community support, it endeavours to provide a happy, secure working environment. It aims to develop healthy attitudes and work habits while giving pupils a sense of pride and success.

The school's values are HEART: Hauora, Excellence, Aroha, Respect and Togetherness. There is a strong focus on the whole child.

The school’s achievement information shows that Māori children are achieving at similar levels to other children in the school. About 80% of all children are achieving the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Children achieve particularly well at reading, with around 40% achieving above the National Standard. School leaders and teachers have identified, and are working on, improving achievement in writing.

Teachers are using a good range of assessments, and are beginning to work more collaboratively within the school and with other schools to look at their assessment practices. This should help to improve the quality of their overall judgements of achievement against the National Standards.

Since the last ERO review, the school has continued to build on the good practices established and noted in the 2015 ERO report.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds very effectively to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school has comprehensive knowledge of children whose learning is at risk. They use a wide range of reliable assessments, together with other information to identify all children achieving below National Standards. They then identify how best to progress their achievement. Teachers, together with team leaders, identify realistic targets for the achievement of these children, and closely monitor their progress. The board receives a detailed report about these children's progress in the middle of, and at the end of the year.

A range of interventions is in place to support the acceleration of learning for targeted children. Teachers are increasingly using more effective strategies to improve acceleration. This should increase the proportion of children at or above the National Standards in this school.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other processes and practices are highly effective in enacting the school's vision, values and strategic goals.

Children participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning environments. The child is clearly 'at the heart' for all staff. There are positive relationships between children and staff, and among children. Programmes such as the buddy system between Year 1 and 6 children, the tuakana teina initiative, peer mediators and a variety of lunchtime clubs and activities all help to create a positive and settled environment. The recently introduced programme for positive behaviour and learning supports teachers and children to increasingly focus on learning rather than behaviour.

The school effectively promotes Māori children succeeding as Māori, and has a holistic focus on the success of Māori children.

Cultural responsiveness is one of the school's strategic goals. The school celebrates the diverse ethnic mix in the school. Sign language is embraced in support of a hearing-impaired child.

School processes and practices effectively promote and support student wellbeing outcomes and engagement in learning. Hauora is the first and foremost of the school's values. Parents, staff and students have many opportunities to provide their views on aspects of school life. These are analysed and used by school leaders to improve outcomes for children. Leaders and trustees are aware that they need to continue to monitor the wellbeing of staff and students.

School leaders, together with trustees and staff, are effectively implementing the school's strategic priorities. There is good alignment from the vision and values, strategic priorities, and the work of teachers and the learning of children. Teachers work in teams to enact the strategic goals, and to identify and monitor children's progress.

Leaders build collective capacity and capability for sustained improvement and innovation. There is a deliberate focus on devolved leadership, and providing leadership opportunities for staff. Senior leaders model best practice in collaborative leadership. The professional development and appraisal processes provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on and improve their practice. These processes result in some effective collaborative practice and ongoing improvements in teaching and learning. Leaders have identified that it is now time to review and update curriculum documentation to reflect their current and evolving good practice.

Teachers, whānau and community effectively engage in joint activities and interventions to support learning and behaviour. Parent mentors and helpers, and involvement of parents in a cultural day provide meaningful opportunities for parent participation in the life of the school. The board has employed a social worker for one day a week to assist with wellbeing concerns. Senior leaders have, and demonstrate, an open-door policy for parents and children. Parents have many ways to make contact with, and receive information from the school.

Trustees are highly effective in their role as stewards of the school. They have a strong focus on the achievement and wellbeing of the children. They are well informed, reflective and responsive in their decision making. Trustees bring a useful variety of expertise and experiences to the board.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The developing approach to shared leadership across the school, and the move towards collaborative teaching and learning, put the school in a strong position to continue to improve outcomes for children.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students.

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. At the time of the review, there were no international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet the requirements of the new (2016) Code of Practice. 

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to embed and consolidate its current strategic direction, including:

  • its distributed approach to leadership
  • the collaborative and current research-based approach to teaching and learning
  • further implementation of a values-based approach to managing behaviour
  • appraisal processes.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

15 December 2016

About the school 

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3289

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

372

Gender composition

Boys 52%; Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

63%

20%

17%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

15 December 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2015

May 2013

August 2008