Medbury Preparatory School

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Education institution number:
4118
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
411
Telephone:
Address:

109 Clyde Road, Fendalton, Christchurch

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Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Medbury Preparatory School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body. More information about ERO reviews of private schools can be found on ERO’s website www.ero.govt.nz/Reviews-Process.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

a) has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

b) usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

c) has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

d) has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

e) has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

f) has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

g) has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Medbury Preparatory School is a private boys’ school for students in Years 1 to 8, located in Christchurch. Its hostel caters for full time and casual boarders.

The school’s vision is to unlock the potential of every boy through personalised learning, world class curriculum delivery and the promotion of traditional Christian standards. Since ERO’s review in 2013 there has been significant change in the senior leadership of the school.

Governance is very effective, with experienced trustees. They consult widely and communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders to contribute to strategic planning. Trustees are future focused in their decision making, while remaining mindful of the Medbury special character.

A capable senior leadership team is managing carefully paced change throughout the school. Leaders are improvement focused and their decisions are research informed. They are supporting a collaborative staff culture through distributing leadership and building internal staff capacity.

Students benefit from effective teaching practices and learn in a supportive environment. Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools and practices to inform their teaching. Boys who are below expected levels are quickly identified, carefully monitored and receive targeted support. Specialist teachers bring expertise to different learning areas. Teachers ensure parents are well informed and actively involved in supporting their children’s learning. The staff collaborate closely to ensure students’ learning and wellbeing needs are met. A specialist student counsellor has recently been appointed. Planning is underway to implement a new programme to enhance boys' wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers have developed a broad and deep curriculum. There is an extensive range of extra-curricular activities available, enabling all students to find a context where they may experience success. The curriculum provides rich extension opportunities, and technology is well used to support learning. Teachers consider the specific needs and interests of boys in their curriculum planning and delivery. There is an increased valuing and visibility of te reo and te ao Māori through the school. Students, especially senior students, experience many leadership opportunities.

The school provides high quality facilities and resources. Recent property developments include new classroom blocks which provide flexible, transparent learning spaces. Specialist teaching facilities and programmes for music, drama, sport, technology and library services are well resourced. Student work is celebrated throughout the visually attractive environment. Students enjoy age appropriate play areas that cater well to boys’ active learning and social interactions. Trustees have engaged in significant long-term property management and development planning.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were six international students attending the school.

International students are very well supported as members of the Medbury family. Over time they make good progress with their learning. Those who are English Language Learners (ELL) benefit from a high quality ELL programme.

There are strong pastoral care systems for international students. The school is welcoming and inclusive of children from different cultural backgrounds. Leaders regularly review how well international students are supported and how well legal requirements are met.

Provision for students in the school hostel

At the time of this review the school hostel accommodated 20 students, 5% of the school roll. It is owned by the school’s Trust Board. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The hostel provides boys with a caring and supportive environment. This is ensured by:

  • strong pastoral care systems supported by well qualified and experienced staff
  • frequent communication between hostel staff, school staff and parents about boys’ learning and wellbeing
  • a varied activity programme for boarders
  • effective management systems to ensure boarders’ physical and emotional safety.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Medbury Preparatory School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

31 May 2019

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

4118

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

381

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnicities

7%
67%
17%
9%

Special Features

Hostel provision

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

31 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

September 2013
September 2009
October 2006

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Medbury Preparatory School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

ERO reviews of private schools are significantly different in process and more limited in scope and reporting than those for state and state-integrated schools, focusing as they do on the Criteria for Registration set out in section 35C of the Education Act.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989 requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for registration. The schools are privately owned and the legislative requirements are significantly different to those for state and state-integrated schools. Private schools are not required to follow the National Education Goals or National Administration Guidelines.

What does apply in place of the legislation imposed upon state schools by the Education Act is the contract between the persons paying for the tuition of the child at the school – the parents – and the school authority. Those are matters between the parent and the school’s governing body.

The criteria for registration are that the school —

a) has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

b) usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

c) has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

d) has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

e) has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

f) has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

g) has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

Medbury Preparatory School is a fully registered private school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Medbury Preparatory School is a long-established independent, Year 1 to 8 boys’ school located in Christchurch. The school’s extensive facilities include a hostel.

The school aims to be one of Australasia’s leading preparatory schools for boys. Its vision is to realise every boy’s potential through a personalised learning programme, world class curriculum delivery and the promotion of traditional Christian values.

Effective governance and good leadership and management have helped to foster ongoing school development and a positive school culture. Some significant improvements have occurred at the school since the September 2009 ERO report.

Teachers are using a wider range of ways to effectively engage boys in learning. For instance, they are using a variety of high quality practices to foster literacy and numeracy skills. The way specialist subjects are taught, together with the extensive extra curricular activities, help to motivate and further support boys’ learning.

The relationships among boys, and between staff and boys help to create a supportive learning-focused environment. Active promotion of the school’s values fosters a highly positive school culture. The boys that spoke with the review team were confident, respectful and articulate.

The board continues to extend and improve the school’s facilities. For example, the Medbury Centre which includes an auditorium/gymnasium has recently been reconfigured and enhanced for the performing arts. Existing buildings and grounds are well maintained. The school has been made more secure and there are well-advanced plans to extend and update classrooms.

The school is suitably staffed. The board recruits and retains staff who are well qualified to teach the school’s curriculum and meet the varied needs of students. The staff are strongly committed to the special character of the school and provide learning-focused classrooms. There is a good mix of managers and support staff, curriculum and team leaders, specialist teachers and class teachers as well as learning support staff and tutors.

Teachers are well supported within the school and helped to support their teaching through ongoing professional development, feedback through the appraisal system and the high level of staff collegiality. A reflective culture exists among staff. Further refinements to some self-review practices would add to this culture.

Boys and teachers have access to a wide range of equipment and resources to support their learning and teaching. The school has a music suite, and a 1:1 laptop programme from Years 5 to 7 has been implemented, and is planned for Year 8 in 2014, to support e-learning. Library resources, along with those related to recreational and cultural activities, also continue to be expanded in response to learning needs.

The learning opportunities provided for students reflect the school’s definition of a suitable curriculum. Ongoing curriculum development continues to provide students with an effective range of experiences that help to foster their development in all areas of learning.

Recent initiatives have improved the school curriculum and learning opportunities for students. These include updating the curriculum so that it more closely reflects the New Zealand curriculum while retaining the school’s uniqueness. Associated developments have helped teachers to make sure their programmes and activities are more integrated, sequenced and meaningful.

Teaching programmes are becoming increasingly responsive to each boy’s interests, strengths and needs within and beyond the classroom. Teachers are focusing on helping boys to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

The school makes suitable provision for ensuring details of the curriculum and the delivery of programmes are available to parents. The school reports, student-led and teacher/parent learning conferences provide parents with clear information on the progress and achievement.

The standard of tuition provided for students is suitable. The quality of teaching has continued to improve since the September 2009 ERO review. These improvements have included teachers making better use of a wider range of information to focus their teaching and provide suitable additional support to students.

Teachers are using a wider range of ways to effectively engage boys in learning. For instance, they are extending effective practices to foster literacy and numeracy skills. Increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is helping to further motivate and support students’ learning.

The school managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to them being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Other Statutory Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review, there were five international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code.

The school provides good quality pastoral care and English language support for its international students. The progress, achievement and wellbeing of the international students and their involvement in school life, is closely monitored.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Medbury School’s boarding house accommodates 25 students, 9% of the school’s roll. It is owned by the school’s Trust Board.

The school’s boarding house is well managed. Particular strengths of the school’s hostel are:

  • the degree to which the boarding house is an integrated part of the school and routines are well established
  • the extensive extra-curricular activities available for the boys
  • the family-like environment created by the staff and boys
  • well supervised study, additional tutoring and access to school facilities during out-of-school hours
  • regular sharing of information about boys’ learning and welfare within the hostel, with other school managers and staff, and with parents.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Medbury Preparatory School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

6 September 2013

About the School

Location

Fendalton, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

4118

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

280

Number of international students

5

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

African

Indian

Latin American

Middle Eastern

European

73%

5%

5%

1%

2%

5%

1%

8%

Special Features

Hostel Provision

Review team on site

July 2013

Date of this report

6 September 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

September 2009

October 2006

February 2004