Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

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School Context

Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School is a state integrated semi-rural Christian school in Hamilton. It is a full primary school, located on the outskirts of Hamilton City providing education for students in Years 1 to 8.  The current roll of 62 includes nine students who identify as Maori and 13 Pacific students. The roll has increased slightly since the previous ERO review in 2016 and the principal remains in his position. The school’s vision prioritises the values of respect, responsibility and resilience. The current strategic goals are focused on student learning, engagement, progress and achievement within a culturally responsive environment.

Two new teachers were appointed to the staff in 2018. The experienced board chairperson continues in the role and several new trustees were elected in 2019.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 equity and excellence for all its students.

Schoolwide data for 2019 shows nearly all students are achieving at expected levels in reading and most students are achieving at expected levels in writing and mathematics. Data collected over a longer period shows these high levels of achievement have been sustained for many groups of students, including Māori and Pacific. There has been a significant lift in achievement in mathematics. This data also shows that over time girls outperform boys in reading and writing but achieve at comparable levels in mathematics. Achievement of Māori as a group has improved over three years and is comparable to their peers in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement of Pacific is comparable with other groups in reading and writing with some disparity in mathematics. Students with identified special needs are well supported to achieve their learning and developmental goals.

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

The school is yet to use achievement information to show rates of accelerated progress for all identified groups of at-risk learners, in particular Māori, Pacific boys, girls. Data gathered and analysed by the school is showing that teacher-targeted students are making progress, with some on track to make accelerated progress by the end of the current school year.

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?

The school has a strong reciprocal partnership with its parent community. The values of respect, resilience and relationships are clearly articulated in the school’s vision and are integral to the life of the school. Parents appreciate the many opportunities to be involved in the school community and feel well supported and informed. Relationships are underpinned by the shared Christian values. These factors contribute to an inclusive environment for learning and teaching that supports student wellbeing.

The school provides a supportive culture for students’ holistic learning and development. Leaders and teachers demonstrate the importance of relational trust. Diversity is valued and celebrated, and students are able to experience success. A culture of collaboration amongst leaders, students, teachers and parents is enabling students to reach their potential.

Teachers are providing meaningful learning opportunities for all students. Small class sizes and close liaison with families enable teachers to be responsive to the interests, needs and abilities of students. Teachers regularly assess student achievement and implement useful strategies including sharing learning intentions and success criteria with students. Senior students are well supported to take ownership of their own learning. These practices are contributing to high levels of achievement and engagement for most students.

The principal and board cooperatively plan school direction focused on student learning and wellbeing. Decision making about professional learning and development (PLD) for teaching staff is informed by the school wide achievement data. Writing PLD in 2019 has focused on building teacher knowledge about progressions and aligning of these with the localised curriculum. This work is contributing to improved learning outcomes for students in writing.

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

Curriculum review and development is an ongoing priority for school leaders. Leaders now need to:

  • provide opportunities for parents to share their aspirations for their children’s learning
  • develop an agreed teacher understanding about best practice for teaching and learning
  • document guidelines and expectations across all learning areas, replicating recent successes in writing.

The analysis and the use of achievement information needs to be refined so that:

  • achievement and progress data for all groups of learners is accessible and used to establish programme effectiveness for the various cohorts in the school
  • the board is able to identify and set targets in its annual plan, to accelerate progress for all students who are achieving below expected levels
  • leaders are able to more easily track and monitor rates of progress and acceleration for all identified at risk learners.

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 Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School Seventh-Day Adventist School 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:

  • partnerships and connections that contribute to positive learning outcomes for students
  • a school culture that enables students to reach their potential
  • the localised curriculum and teaching practices that support students’ learning and achievement
  • leadership and governance that provide clear strategic direction.

Next steps

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

  • curriculum review and development to provide clarity and shared understandings across the school
  • the use of achievement information to inform internal review at all levels of the school with a specific focus on acceleration of students who need this.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community develop and make known policies plans and target for improving progress and achievement of Māori students.
    [NAG 1] (e)]

In order to improve practice the board of trustees should now ensure the consistent implementation of the recently adopted:

  • New Zealand School’s Trustees Association policy framework

  • Ministry of Education guidelines for practices and procedures to be followed in relation to physical restraint by authorised staff

  • Practices and procedures for the surrender and retention of property and search of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

19 December 2019

About the school

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

4105

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

62

Gender composition

Female 32 Male 30

Ethnic composition

Māori 9
NZ European/Pākehā 18
Pacific 13
Other ethnicities groups 19

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

19 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2016
Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2011 

Findings

Since the appointment of a permanent principal and the stabilisation of staffing the school is able to show good progress in strengthening the areas requiring improvement identified in June 2014 ERO report. Trustees, the principal and teachers have a strong and appropriate focus on improving children’s achievement.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Hamilton Seventh Day Adventist School is a state integrated Christian school located on the Southern outskirts of Hamilton City. It caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 58, including 9 of Māori descent. Most staff, children and parents are members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

A new, permanently appointed principal began at the beginning of 2015. Now that school staffing has stabilised, he has been able to concentrate more fully on the areas for review and development identified in the June 2014 ERO review.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

As a result of the June 2014 ERO review it was identified that significant development needed to occur in the following areas in order to ensure that all children could engage, progress and experience success:

  • Personnel management
  • Māori succeeding as Māori
  • Review of the school’s curriculum
  • Planning and assessment.

Progress

Personnel Management

Teacher appraisal has been strengthened. New processes contain all the elements identified by the Education Council as necessary for a robust process. These include professional discussions as a result of classroom observations undertaken by the principal, teacher inquiry into their practice, the collation of evidence, and attestation in relation to the Practicing Teacher Criteria, (PTCs), promulgated by the Education Council.

Māori Succeeding as Māori

Leaders and teachers have a good understanding of the importance of increasing the visibility of Māori language and culture in the school in order to promote the progress and achievement of Māori children.

Elements of a culturally responsive and relational curriculum that are already in place include:

  • regular teaching of te reo Māori
  • annual Matariki celebrations
  • regular marae visits
  • an emphasis on restorative behaviour management practices
  • a comprehensive approach to empowering children to take charge of their own learning.
Review of the School’s Curriculum

The school has revised its vision and valued outcomes in line with new requirements of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It has also developed expectations for teaching and learning in mathematics. Curriculum documents that can serve as exemplars have been collected from other schools. Completion of this document is important to ensure that expectations for quality teaching are clear and that children have opportunities to learn across the breadth and depth of The New Zealand Curriculum while still meeting the aspirations of parents and whānau.

Planning and Assessment Practices

A range of appropriate assessment tools is used to assist teachers to make overall teacher judgements about each child’s achievement in relation to National Standards. Children at risk of not achieving are identified and targeted in classroom programmes. A new system for monitoring children’s rates of progress in mathematics and literacy is in place. This system should help teachers to measure the impact of their teaching, and adapt their programmes to ensure those who are not yet achieving at expected levels are further assisted to do so. Teachers have improved the way they use literacy and mathematics progressions for identifying learning needs and planning more responsive learning programmes.

Key next steps
Personnel Management

Trustees need to ensure the principal’s appraisal includes attestation against the PTCs.

Māori Succeeding as Māori

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • institute a sequential te reo Māori programme with clear outcomes for each year level
  • develop a systematic approach to including Māori knowledge and Māori contexts in all learning programmes
  • develop a systematic approach to teaching and learning about the Kingitanga
  • explore further and enact culturally responsive ways of teaching and learning as part of the school’s exploration of other innovative teaching practices
  • identify and monitor the progress of groups of Māori children at board level
  • strengthen the way the school celebrates all the diverse cultures present in the school.
Planning and Assessment

The process for making overall teacher judgements about children’s progress and achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics needs further strengthening. This should include:

  • reviewing the timing of formal testing with nationally, norm-referenced tests
  • strengthen anecdotal record keeping
  • strengthen transparency by collating all the evidence in one place to show how the judgement was made.

Teachers also need to continue to strengthen the use of the literacy and mathematics progressions by children and make clearer links to these progressions in their planning.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

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

A new principal, with a clear vision for the school, has now been permanently appointed and staffing has been stabilised. A new board has been elected and contains a good mixture of both new and experienced trustees who are representative of the school community. Board members are committed to ongoing training. The principal’s reports on student achievement, includes the new reports about rates of progress, and should ensure that trustees are able to focus on lifting student achievement.

A robust appraisal system and a good range of both internal and external professional development aligned to a strategic vision will ensure teachers are supported to grow and improve. The school continues to enjoy the support of the Seventh Day Adventist community.

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.

In order to ensure that the school is meeting its legislative obligations the board of trustees must ensure that:

  • There is an appropriate career education and guidance programme for all children in Year 7 and above.
    [NAG 1f]
  • The principal is appraised annually against the relevant Practising Teacher Criteria.
    [s77c state Sector Act 1988; NZ Education Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]

Conclusion

Since the appointment of a permanent principal and the stabilisation of staffing the school is able to show good progress in strengthening the areas requiring improvement identified in June 2014 ERO report. Trustees, the principal and teachers have a strong and appropriate focus on improving children’s achievement.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 September 2016

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

4105

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

58

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Pacific

Māori

Asian

Other European

26

15

9

4

4

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

15 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2014

May 2011

May 2008