Glentunnel School

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School Context

Glentunnel School is situated in Mid Canterbury. This contributing primary school caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has a roll of 109 children, 14 of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is ‘Accepting challenge, bringing effort and persevering. He rakau morimori, e kore e taea te piki’. The school’s values encourage students to be respectful citizens (manaakitanga), confident communicators (wananga), relationship builders (whanaungatanga) and to have a growth mindset (mahi tahi).

The school’s current strategic priorities include the provision of a responsive curriculum, effective teaching and the opportunity to learn, underpinned by inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation.

Since the ERO review in 2014, there has been a change in key personnel including a new principal, board chair and board members. A purpose-built classroom has been added to the school site.

The school is an active member of the Malvern Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL) with chairmanship of both stewardship and principal’s leadership groups.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing and behaviour information.

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 working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Over the last three years, the school’s data shows that most students have been performing at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There have been slight increases for students identifying as Māori in reading. There continues, however, to be significant disparity for these students in writing and mathematics achievement.

Boys and girls are performing at similar rates in reading and mathematics. In 2018 rates of achievement for boys in writing showed improvement.

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

As the school was in the early stages of developing systems to track students over time ERO was not able to evaluate how well the school was accelerating progress.

However, the evidence provided did show that children who identify as Māori, and those with identified learning needs, are supported well in a number of different ways to make progress. The 2018 report shows that improvements were made in mathematics, reading and writing for Maori and other targeted students.

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?

An improvement-focused board, leadership and staff are working together to build relational trust and collaboration throughout the school. The team has established positive expectations to support consistent practices in teaching and learning. These refer directly to the school’s values, the newly-created learner profile and the key competencies. There is a strong culture of care and a deliberate focus on promoting the wellbeing of students.

The learning environment supports participation and engagement for students. Themes within the curriculum enable students to engage in relevant teaching and learning topics. The board makes appropriate resourcing available for staff and learners to ensure the needs of students are met.

Teachers are engaged in individual inquiry topics and a range of professional learning opportunities, supported by external providers. As a result, they are developing useful frameworks to reflect on their practice and increase their capability and capacity. Leaders and teachers engage with the Kāhui Ako as a positive partnership for improvement and innovation.

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

The board, leaders and teachers have developed a well thought through values and well being curriculum. They have identified the next step in this process is to develop a future focused curriculum linked to the well being and values. The board have allocated resources and have a framework for a strategic approach for consultation to develop this localised, responsive curriculum. This includes opportunities to better reflect the historical and cultural context of the school community and the aspirations of students.

Aspects of internal evaluation would benefit from further development. The board, leaders and teachers collect a range of useful information. They have identified from analysis of this information that more targeted learning and social skills goals are needed to further accelerate the students learning. Clearly identifying evaluation outcomes and the impact on students will further assist decision making at all levels of the school.

Some areas of culturally responsive practice need further development at the school. Teachers are building their knowledge and use of te reo Māori and now need to extend this to ensure that te ao Māori concepts are integrated into the curriculum and classroom programmes. The board has recognised the need to extend the way it engaged and consults so that collectively-developed strategic plans reflect the aspirations of Māori.

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 Glentunnel School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • a culture of collaboration and relational trust that supports consistent practices in teaching and learning
  • a values based learning environment which encourages participation, manaakitanga, and high levels of engagement for students
  • professional learning opportunities to develop capability and capacity in teachers and leaders
  • close connection to the local and wider community that results in improved learning opportunities for students.

Next steps

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

  • the completion of the localised and responsive curriculum
  • strengthening internal evaluation so it is more strategic, and informed by analysed data regarding student achievement and acceleration of progress
  • taking a more strategic approach to developing culturally responsive practices that reflect te ao Māori and include increased consultation opportunities.

Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

10 July 2019

About the school

Location

Glentunnel

Ministry of Education profile number

3352

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

109

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 13%

NZ European/ Pākehā: 87%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

10 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2014

Education Review July 2011

Findings

Glentunnel School uses its strong community links and attractive local environment to support students’ achievement and extend learning opportunities for them. Student wellbeing and achievement remain the key focus for the board, leaders and teachers. Ongoing improvements to some aspects of school planning and review will further enrich learning programmes and school practices.

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

1 Context

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

Glentunnel School highly values its role as the central focus of a small community in rural Canterbury. The board, principal and staff strongly support the school to take a leadership role in a number of community events.

The school has high levels of community support and parent participation in the school. A home and school group is very active in contributing to increased resourcing for the school.

Since the July 2011 ERO review, a number of staff changes have been well managed by the board and school leaders. Playground development has also been undertaken to further enhance the attractive environment and extend the range of activities for students.

Significant roll growth in recent years is placing increasing pressure on existing teaching spaces.

Due to the school's location and limited access to early childhood services, a high proportion of new entrants to the school have no formal early childhood involvement. Leaders and teachers are involved in a local school cluster that is focused on continuing improvement to education provisions and practices in the area.

The principal and teachers have effectively addressed the recommendations made in the 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Leaders and teachers use achievement information to maintain a strong focus on students’ learning needs and progress. This is most evident in the ways this information is used to:

  • identify and respond to students’ learning needs when they enter the school
  • share literacy and numeracy information with the board and set annual targets for improving student progress and achievement
  • adjust programmes and groupings in response to the range of classroom learning needs
  • report to the board about student progress and achievement.

Teachers know students’ learning needs very well. The school provides a range of additional support for children who need extra help with their learning. The progress of these students is regularly monitored. Students with particular strengths and abilities are provided with extension opportunities within and beyond classrooms.

Students benefit from the way teachers use achievement information to provide comprehensive reports to parents. This is helping to build positive learning partnerships and keep parents well informed about their children’s progress.

School achievement information against the National Standards in 2013 shows that achievement is highest in reading where most students are achieving at or above the National Standards. Progress over students’ time at the school is most evident in writing and mathematics, especially in Years 5 and 6. The majority of students in these year levels are achieving at or above the National Standards.

School leaders have recently sought feedback from parents about students’ reports. Most parents were very positive about the quality of information being received. A few stated that some language needs to be easier to understand. The principal and staff have identified that this is an area for ongoing improvement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. Leaders and teachers make very good use of the local environment to build interest and engagement by providing a wide range of rich learning opportunities for students.

The school’s vision and values are strongly linked to community priorities and students’ learning interests and needs. The curriculum also effectively integrates the values and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum. Curriculum guidelines provide clear expectations for teaching and learning practices and priorities.

Teachers promote and support the high expectation that all children will achieve beyond their potential. In classrooms, students clearly benefit from:

  • well-planned, interesting programmes that stimulate learning, creativity and curiosity
  • the support they receive to take an active role in their individual learning and their shared learning with peers
  • the integrated use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to motivate and enhance learning.

Senior students benefit from increasing opportunities to develop their leadership skills. They told ERO that their support for younger students is important to them.

Children’s wellbeing is actively promoted and supported across the school and community. The relationships between teachers and students and among students strongly reflect the school’s key values of respect and caring for others. The principal and teachers are highly committed to students’ learning progress and achievement.

Areas for review and development

The principal and teachers have identified priorities for ongoing curriculum improvement. These include continuing to:

  • embed the school’s new vision in class programmes and self review
  • integrate the use of ICT as tools for learning
  • develop further opportunities for students to give feedback about teaching approaches that are having the greatest impact on their learning and achievement.

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

The school is making good progress with promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Areas of progress since the last review include:

  • improved planning that is beginning to clearly identify school priorities for the development of Te Ao Māori in the school’s practices and programmes
  • developing an increasing understanding and awareness of te reo and tikanga Māori through professional learning programmes for all staff
  • increasing opportunities for all children to engage in a range of bicultural learning and activities
  • increasing opportunities for Māori parents to contribute to school planning and practices.

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to:

  • continue to develop relationships with the local rūnanga in order to further strengthen progress in this area
  • ensure that success as Māori is formally included in the school’s self review programme.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The trustees and school leaders are strongly committed to working closely together to achieve positive outcomes for students. They are focused on the achievement and wellbeing of students and the quality of their learning programmes and support provisions.

The board is well organised and trustees have a broad range of experience and expertise. Documented guidelines on roles and responsibilities support effective board practices. Very good self review processes are in place. A recent review of the appraisal system has led to improvements in this area. All trustees have participated in governance training.

Strategic and annual planning processes are effectively focused on support for students and continuous school improvement. The board receives high quality information about student achievement and progress. Trustees use this to make decisions about resourcing to support interventions aimed at further improving students’ learning programmes and achievement.

A particular strength of the school is the extent to which the board and principal use external expertise to support improvements at the school. This includes the principal’s involvement in an external appraisal programme and external support for curriculum development and professional learning. This is contributing to, and strengthening, ongoing improvements in these areas.

Areas for review and development

Trustees recognise that there may be value in more formally reviewing the effectiveness of their own governance practices.

Curriculum reviews could be further strengthened by ensuring that:

  • review questions are answered more evaluatively
  • next steps are clear in regard to specific actions to be taken and outcomes expected.

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

Glentunnel School uses its strong community links and attractive local environment to support students’ achievement and extend learning opportunities for them. Student wellbeing and achievement remain the key focus for the board, leaders and teachers. Ongoing improvements to some aspects of school planning and review will further enrich learning programmes and school practices.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

7 July 2014

About the School

Location

Glentunnel, Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3352

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

116

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other Ethnicities

75%

14%

6%

5%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

7 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

July 2011

April 2008

June 2006