Chertsey School

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School Context

Chertsey School is a contributing primary school in Mid-Canterbury catering for students in Years 1 to 6. It has a roll of 28 students, three of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is for students to be well-educated learners who reflect the school’s ‘CHAMP’ values. These are to be cooperative and connected, to have an open mind, to aim high and achieve, to be motivated, and to persevere. To support the school’s vision and values, the current strategic goals include increasing a sense of belonging and involvement in the school for the whole community, and ensuring a high quality and diverse learning and physical environment.

The school has a mixture of experienced and newly-elected trustees.

The school set specific annual targets for 2019 in relation to literacy and mathematics.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • students with additional learning needs
  • student wellbeing for success.

The school is part of the Opuke 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 achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for the majority of its students.

School achievement information for 2017 to mid-year 2019 shows that the majority of students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. However, this shows a fluctuating picture of achievement between girls and boys during this time, particularly in writing and mathematics.

Wellbeing survey data for 2019 shows that almost all students feel they belong at the school and that students and teachers care about each other.

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

The school is accelerating learning for most students who need this. School information for 2017 to 2018 shows that most priority learners who needed additional support made accelerated progress in reading and writing, and the majority made accelerated progress 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?

Students benefit from responsive, inclusive and caring learning environments that effectively address their learning and wellbeing needs. Classrooms are well-resourced and inviting environments where student work is celebrated. There are increasing occasions for students to take ownership of their learning. Senior students have opportunities to demonstrate leadership and run whole school activities. Priority students are effectively identified, supported with interventions, and their ongoing progress is monitored and reported. Positive, strong and reciprocal learning relationships between teachers and students are clearly evident and uphold the school values.

The values are highly evident, understood and enacted at all levels of the school. Well-developed systems and processes support teaching and learning programmes. Students are given sufficient opportunities to work at their own pace and apply their learning to purposeful activities.

Leaders demonstrate reflective thinking and use self-review tools to provide the board with good quality information to support decision making. Trustees, leaders and teachers share a focus on student wellbeing and achievement. They work collaboratively to resource programmes to support positive student outcomes. Leaders support teacher engagement in individual inquiry topics and a range of professional learning opportunities. As a result, teachers are developing useful frameworks to reflect on their practice and increase their capability and capacity.

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

Internal evaluation needs to be strengthened. The use of internal evaluation at all levels of the school needs to identify what is working for students’ learning and prioritise where improvements are needed.

Differentiated approaches and themes within the curriculum enable students to engage in relevant topics. The school has identified, and ERO agrees, that they should further develop and review the curriculum. This is to ensure it reflects the local context, effective teaching and learning strategies, including moderation and bicultural practices.

Board members are developing a shared understanding of their roles as trustees.

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 Chertsey School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing

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:

  • reciprocal relationships that ensure teachers and leaders have an extensive knowledge of individual students
  • a values focused approach to all aspects of learning relationships
  • leadership practices with a focus on improving outcomes for learners and the community.

Next steps

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

  • the use of internal evaluation to know the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes
  • developing a curriculum to reflect current and future-focused practice.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement to:

  • strengthen knowledge for new trustees in governance systems and practices.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

13 March 2020

About the school

Location

Ashburton

Ministry of Education profile number

3313

School type

Contributing primary (Years 1-6)

School roll

28

Gender composition

Female 16, Male 12

Ethnic composition

Māori 3
NZ European/Pākehā 24
Other Ethnicities 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

13 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016
Education Review June 2012

1 Context

Chertsey School is a small, rural school in Mid-Canterbury. It provides a welcoming, inclusive, family-like environment for children and their families.

The school has had a number of changes of staff and board members. The new principal was appointed in 2015, and has been part of the first-time principal programme. Two new teachers were appointed in 2016.

The school is part of a cluster of local schools. The principal has been actively involved in the establishment of a community of learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to equip children with the skills, values and attitudes to fulfil their potential. These include being cooperative and connected, having an open mind, aiming high, achieving, being motivated and persevering. The school’s achievement information shows that 80% of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has been unable to make progress in addressing all the recommendations due to the changes in principal, teachers and trustees. The recommendations related to increasing children's understanding and ownership of learning, including bicultural perspectives in the curriculum, are at the early stage of development. They have yet to develop clear expectations for children's learning and achievement at particular stages in their schooling and a framework for internal evaluation.

3 Accelerating achievementChoose section A or section B.

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

The board, principal and teachers are very responsive to children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. The small roll numbers allow teachers to know children and their families well. Teachers effectively identify and regularly monitor children's learning, progress and achievement. They have recently introduced individual learning plans for target children.

The principal and teachers have identified boys' engagement in writing and accelerating mathematics learning as areas targeted for development in 2016. Key actions to accelerate progress include:

  • use of achievement information to identify targets in writing and mathematics
  • appointment of an extra teacher aide
  • specific professional development with an external facilitator
  • increased use of digital devices in the senior room.

Teachers work closely together to identify a range of appropriate strategies and deliberately adapt their teaching practices to engage children in their learning. They agree that moderation processes should be developed to strengthen their assessment practices.

The board regularly receives updated information about children most at risk of not achieving. It provides additional classroom support to benefit children's learning. This allows teachers and teacher aides to give significant, individual attention to children and small groups.

The principal and teachers are involved in comprehensive professional development based on improving learning and teaching in writing and mathematics. Teachers make good use of external support and professional development to ensure they provide ongoing, targeted programmes and practices.

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 in action is strongly focused on children achieving the school's vision for learning. The board, principal and ERO agree that the school's curriculum document needs to be reviewed to reflect the school's high expectations for learning, teaching and current practices.

There is a strong focus on children's learning, progress and achievement. The principal and teachers engage in collaborative inquiry and planning for children's learning. Teachers are responsive to children's interests and learning capabilities.

The principal and teachers are beginning to integrate Māori culture into the curriculum in meaningful ways. The school is actively involved with a group of local schools focused on strengthening bicultural practice. The sharing of new learning and good practice is having a positive impact on children's learning and wellbeing.

Parents are regularly informed about school events and their children's learning. The newly introduced goal setting meetings provide greater opportunities for parents, children and teachers to work together to plan for learning.

The principal has built strong relationships within the school and community. He has a collaborative approach to leadership and communicates clear, consistent expectations. The principal is developing effective alignment between children's learning needs, teachers' professional learning goals and processes for appraisal. He sets well-defined priority goals and learning targets, and seeks relevant external support, as needed.

Trustees have a range of useful skills and abilities. They are well organised and clearly focused on raising achievement of all children. The board provides appropriate support for the principal and staff. They have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and willingly participate in professional development to increase their own capabilities.

The board and principal have identified, and ERO agrees that the school needs to:

  • develop a new strategic plan in consultation with the community
  • update policies and procedures
  • establish a framework and schedule for ongoing internal evaluation. 

5 Going forward 

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

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. 

Children, including children at risk of not achieving, are actively engaged in their learning.

The board, principal and teachers are involved in ongoing professional development to build their capability and adapt practices.

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. 

7 Recommendation

It is timely for the board, principal and teachers to:

  • further develop, document and implement effective internal evaluation
  • update the school's strategic plan
  • review policies and procedures
  • develop further curriculum documentation. 

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

10 August 2016 

About the school 

Location

Chertsey

Ministry of Education profile number

3313

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

30

Gender composition

Girls 19; Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tongan

  1
27
  2

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

10 August 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
June 2009
February 2006