Fendalton Open Air School

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School Context

Fendalton Open Air School provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. It is in Fendalton, Christchurch, and has a roll of 462 students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The school’s vision is ‘Our commitment is for continual improvement to provide a future focused, culturally responsive and inclusive setting, inspiring a love for lifelong learning’. The vision is underpinned by the values of; relationship – whanaungatunga, respect – whakaute and relevance – whaitake.

The strategic focus for 2019 is centred on 3 achievement challenges; well-being and engagement, culturally responsive practices, improving quality teaching and learning.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress in relation to school targets

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been changes to principal and the leadership team.

The school is an active member of the Waimairi-iri 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?

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

School data shows that overall levels of achievement have been consistently high over recent years. Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is continued disparity for Māori students in literacy and mathematics however the achievement gap was reduced in writing in 2018.

Wellbeing survey information from 2019 indicates that almost all students feel:

  • a sense of belonging and pride in their school

  • respect each other and their teachers.

Students with additional learning needs are planned for individually. They have detailed plans that clearly show good levels of achievement in meeting their learning goals.

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

School learning information shows that the school is highly responsive to those students whose learning needs acceleration. Students who need extra help are effectively supported to accelerate their progress and succeed in their learning.

Student progress and achievement is closely monitored. Individual students are provided with extra programmes that best support their individual needs. School learning information shows high rates of acceleration throughout the year for students in targeted literacy and mathematics programmes.

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?

Fendalton Open Air School is relentless in its focus on continuous improvement. Leaders and teachers demonstrate adaptive expertise to better meet the needs of students. They critically apply new knowledge to problems and develop useful approaches and solutions. Increased collaboration between teachers shares effective teaching practices across the school. Teachers are well supported by focused professional development, robust appraisals, ongoing inquiries and clear guidelines and expectations for teaching.

The principal and other leaders foster collaborative relationships that promote learning across the school. There is a strong focus on supporting the wellbeing of all students and staff. As a result, there is an orderly and positive environment conducive to student learning, wellbeing and achievement. Students’ ideas and views are sought, valued and responded to.

Teachers effectively use differentiated learning approaches to engage students. They know students well, evident in the ways they cater for individual learning styles, and build on students’ prior knowledge, culture, language and identity. Enhancing student outcomes is the focus of purposeful, professional learning and the basis for evaluating its success.

The curriculum is highly responsive to children’s interests, learning and wellbeing. Students whose culture or first language differs from the culture or language of instruction are well supported to access learning. Māori students have increased opportunities to hear te reo Māori. Aspects of te ao Māori are incorporated in school practices. Leaders have collaboratively developed and pursued the school’s vision and values and aligned these to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Leaders and teachers recognise and affirm the diverse strengths, identities, languages and cultures of parents, whānau and the community. They actively broker their engagement and participation. A strong inclusive culture has been developed where students with additional learning needs and/or abilities are provided with support and challenge. There are strong connections with external agencies. Targeted school programmes and intensive interventions are focused on equity.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose. These provide meaningful evidence of student achievement and progress and are the basis for determining next steps to inform teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers work together coherently using relevant information at student, classroom, teacher and school levels, to promote improvement.

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

Leaders and teachers need to use learning information more effectively to further identify the rates of progress all students make each year. They should also extend internal-evaluation processes to more consistently evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce disparity for those Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Fendalton Open-Air 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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s processes for reviewing compliance against the code are robust, well documented and lead to change where needed.

At the time of this review, there were 19 international students attending the school. Students and their families receive a welcoming and personalised introduction to the school and the community. The international department is well resourced and experienced staff ensure international students’ needs are met throughout their stay. Valued outcomes for international students include academic and language learning, life skills and opportunities to participate in wider school curriculum programmes, including music, sport, outdoor education and camps.

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 Fendalton Open Air School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a curriculum that is highly responsive to children’s interests, learning and wellbeing
  • a strong inclusive culture where students with learning needs and/or abilities are provided with support and challenge
  • culturally responsive practices that affirm students’ language, culture and identity
  • strong pedagogical leadership that drives school improvement.

6.1 Next steps

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

  • making better use of learning information to further identify the rates of progress all students make each year

  • extending internal-evaluation processes to more consistently evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce disparity for those Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 October 2019

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3338

School type

Contributing School (Years 1-6)

School roll

462

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Maori 9%

NZ European/Pākehā 39%

Asian 38%

Other European 10%

Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2013

Education Review May 2010

Education Review April 2007

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Students come from a wide range of cultures and include international students. The school culture is inclusive. Relationships between students, with parents and staff, are strong, warm and affirmative. Students’ health and wellbeing is very well supported by effective pastoral care systems. School operations are effectively serviced by innovative information and communication systems.

The school is facing significant building redevelopment as a result of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

2 Learning

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

The school’s systems for monitoring, evaluating and using achievement information are very effective, and central to achieving best practice. Students engage very well in their learning. There is a strong school-wide focus on making sure that student learning is supported by high quality best practice. Most students, including Māori students, achieve at and above National Standards. Teachers have developed robust processes for gathering achievement information. This includes making sure their judgements are accurate and consistent between teachers. Teachers use student assessment information effectively to plan programmes that meet the range of learning needs in their classes.

The individual learning needs of students are well identified. Teachers can easily monitor achievement levels and the progress made by all students. Groups of students are also easily monitored. This includes boys, Māori students, second language learners, international students, gifted students, and students who are making slow progress.

Special achievement targets are set for those students who need to accelerate their achievement levels. Targets are set at whole-school, team and class levels. Students with learning needs benefit from high quality teaching in the school’s learning support programme. Students are withdrawn from the class when appropriate. They are also well supported by teachers within class programmes. Their progress is closely monitored to make sure their particular needs are well identified and met.

More able students can follow their interests through a wide range of additional programmes that extend their learning. The next step for school leaders is to make sure that the very good information about targets and programmes for these students is fully reported to the board.

The school’s electronic systems are unique and central to maintaining high quality monitoring and reporting of progress and achievement of students. Parents have very good opportunities to be involved in their children’s learning. They receive information about progress and achievement through digital learning reports, parent interviews, and students’ self-reporting.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very well designed and documented, and it effectively promotes and supports learning. It provides clear expectations for students’ learning, and for high quality teaching that enhances students’ progress and achievement.

The school’s vision for successful learning includes the innovative use of values and key learning strategies that support independent learning. This forms the basis for school-wide programmes that aim to foster students’ critical and creative thinking, and inquiry learning processes. Students’ learning is enhanced through setting and evaluating their own goals, and by explaining how they identify their next learning steps. Teachers give priority to effective teaching in literacy and mathematics.

Teachers are supported by a well-planned professional development programme. Curriculum leaders provide very good professional guidance and support that is resulting in high quality teaching school-wide. There is a current focus on ensuring consistency of teaching for students as they move through the school.

The school leaders have identified the following next steps to further develop the school’s curriculum. These include:

  • further refining and extending students’ individual goal setting
  • considering further developments in effective group teaching that will be appropriate in the school's planned new learning environment
  • reviewing and further developing bicultural elements across the school’s curriculum.

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

The school is making very good progress in promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. Students' educational progress and achievement is well monitored. Teachers are supported to work alongside Māori students and they help all students to develop respect and understanding of tikanga Māori, including participating in mihi whakatau and kapa haka. All students learn te reo Māori through a school-wide programme.

A school-wide action plan identifies further development and improvement for the benefit of Māori and all students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

This school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance through well-developed and effective governance and management systems.

New trustees to the board bring a useful range of skills and understandings. Trustees work closely with the principal to develop and implement policies and procedures that will enhance students’ learning.

The principal effectively leads learning and teaching across the school. He works collaboratively with the senior leaders and together they promote a team approach to school improvement at all levels. Curriculum and team leaders provide strong leadership to promote and support high quality learning and teaching. Teachers have many opportunities to take leadership roles and to learn about curriculum leadership. They benefit from their participation in a robust programme for professional guidance and improvement.

Effective self review is well established across all school operations. There is a strong reflective culture of improvement amongst teachers and leaders that is directly benefiting students. Reviews of curriculum areas are guided by development plans and use achievement information very well to identify what is going well, and what needs to improve.

The school has established close relationships with parents and the community. Parents are encouraged to be part of the school’s culture and their children’s learning.

The board and leaders have identified the next steps to further improve practices that sustain and improve school performance. These include:

  • extending opportunities for teachers to monitor and evaluate their own performance, including using more student feedback about their learning as part of this process
  • extending leadership and management of the school’s student management systems across all leaders
  • providing training and support for new trustees so they can fully participate in significant school developments the school is undertaking.

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 this review, there were three 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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

3 October 2013

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3338

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

427

Number of international students

3

Gender composition

Boys 52%; Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

66%

8%

3%

11%

12%

Review team on site

July 2013

Date of this report

3 October 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

April 2007

April 2004