Southwell School

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Education institution number:
4141
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
643
Telephone:
Address:

200 Peachgrove Road, Claudelands, Hamilton

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Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Southwell 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.

This report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review officer.

Southwell School is a fully registered private school in Hamilton city, providing high standards of education for boys and girls from Years 1 to 8. The school was established in 1911 as a preparatory boarding and day school for boys. In the year 2000 girls were enrolled as part of the school’s response to modern education systems. 

A new headmaster was appointed for the start of Term 4, 2016. He is well supported by an experienced and competent senior leadership team. They are taking a strategic and considered approach to change management, which is supporting the building of relational trust throughout the school community.

The school is affiliated with the Anglican Diocese, and Christian values and practices are strongly promoted. The All Hallows Chapel was completed in 1926 and is central to the spiritual wellbeing of children, staff and the school community. The long-serving chaplain leads a daily service in the chapel during which opportunities are taken to recognise, value and affirm children.

‘United as Southwell’ is the strategic vision document being developed currently. It gives focus to teaching and learning, relationships, balance and wellbeing, and spaces. Environments are spacious, and attractive, and purposefully planned to support children’s learning and development in academics, sports, culture, spiritual and social areas.

Southwell School Trust Board is an appointed group of trustees who oversee the Deed of Trust objectives and support for high quality education and care for children. Trustees bring a strong range of skills and expertise to their governance role. They are working on positive school developments, in close partnership with the new headmaster.

2 Criteria for Registration

The new headmaster is bringing a renewed focus on values, manners and wellbeing for all. He seeks and respects input on school developments from a wide range of stakeholders. In addition to reviews of the senior leadership structure and boarding hostel staffing, he has initiated an ‘ako nui’ review team to consider support for strengthening bicultural practice in the school.

Children have outstanding opportunities to develop as confident and competent learners, in academic, cultural, sporting, spiritual, EOTC and social areas. School data indicates consistently high levels of achievement and progress throughout the school. Achievement information is well used to inform planning, monitor children’s progress and report to parents. Children with additional learning needs, and their classroom teachers, are very well supported through the learning support staff and facility which adjoins the school library.

Learning is expected, affirmed and celebrated in extensively resourced classroom environments. The deans coordinate teacher planning and curriculum design in line with The New Zealand Curriculum. The use of whole-school themes to integrate areas of learning promotes authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Strengths of the curriculum include the:

  • appropriate emphasis on literacy and mathematics
  • creative and performing arts programmes, which include the annual ‘opera’ production, and are a feature of Southwell School
  • use of specialist teachers in science, languages, technology and drama
  • extensive and effective use of digital technologies by children and staff.

Teachers work successfully as a collegial team to provide children with challenging and engaging programmes of learning, balanced with a culture of affirming and supportive pastoral care. Very high levels of engagement in learning by children are evident. Teachers set and model high expectations for children. They establish safe classroom cultures where children are able to learn from each other and help one another to succeed. Many examples of formative practice, where children are able to understand and lead their own learning, were observed.

Staff are highly committed to reflecting on their teaching practice and professional development. Many generously give additional hours outside the classroom to sustain the numerous extra-curricular opportunities for children.

A feature of Southwell School is the intergenerational identification with, and pride in, the rich history and legacy of the school by past students, staff and families. This wider community is welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners at important school events.

The school meets its statutory requirements outlined in the Private School Assurance Statements in regards to premises, health and safety, curriculum, informing parents and operational policies. School managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of Section 35G in respect to being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Other Obligations

The board and school management are acting to ensure that appraisal of teaching staff by the professional leader of the school is evidence-based on the Practicing Teacher Criteria, established for the issue and renewal of practicing certificates. The appraisal of staff with additional school-wide responsibilities is being acted on by the new headmaster to bring it into line to reflect board policy.

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, and has attested that it complies with all aspects The Code. At the time of this ERO review there were eight international students attending the school.

International students benefit from the welcoming, inclusive and affirming culture present in the school. They are supported by ‘student buddies’ to settle in to their classes and to become involved in the wide range of activities available, including music tuition and sport. Two experienced teachers oversee the pastoral and academic needs of international students, and they coordinate language support and academic assessments. Formal and informal communication with parents is effective and reinforced through regular group meetings that allow for face-to-face conversations and the building of mutual understanding and partnerships.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Southwell School hostel, boarding house, accommodates 55 students, 9% of the school roll. It is owned by the Trust and is centrally placed in the school grounds. The hostel owner has attested that all requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

  • The headmaster has overall responsibility for the hostel, and he is supported in this role by the two Directors of Boarding, a matron and associated house staff.
  • Hostel students experience high-quality pastoral care and oversight of their daily routines.
  • There is close and effective liaison between hostel and academic staff, and students have access to tutors and digital technologies to support their academic work.
  • Hostel students enjoy significant access to the wide range of outstanding school facilities outside teaching hours.

5 Conclusion

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

30 May 2017

About the School 

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

4141

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

569

Number of international students

8

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Chinese
Indian
Other Asian
Other European
Pacific Island

64%
6%
15%
6%
4%
4%
1%

Special Features

Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

30 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

May 2013
June 2010
September 2007

 

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Southwell 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.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

Southwell School is a fully registered private school in Hamilton city. The school has recently celebrated its centenary and has a proud history of providing high standards of education for students from Years 0 to 8. In 1911 Mr C Ferris established Southwell as a preparatory boarding and day school for boys, based on Christian values and the Anglican faith. Over the years the school has adapted to the requirements of a modern education system. In the year 2000 girls were enrolled as students.

All Hallows Chapel was completed in 1926 and is central to the spiritual well-being of students, staff, families and school community. The chapel is situated in spacious grounds and is complemented by purposefully planned and contextually designed buildings. Well-appointed centres of learning provide many opportunities for students to have rich learning experiences in stimulating and attractive environments.

The school vision ‘Every Child a Star’ is well embedded and understood by school leaders, teachers, students and their families. The vision aims to recognise students’ talents, and nurture and celebrate their successes through a comprehensive curriculum, which challenges them to achieve excellence.

Southwell School Trust Board is an appointed group of trustees who oversee the Deed of Trust objectives to maintain the financial security of the school and support the principles of New Zealand education. Trustees are kept well informed and effectively promote the educational needs of students. They provide high-quality resources required to run a modern primary school.

2 Criteria for Registration

The chaplain leads the Christian traditions of Anglicanism and promotes the wellbeing of all members of the school community. He has a strong spiritual role and guides the pastoral development of students.

The headmaster has a clear vision for teaching and learning. He is a highly effective professional leader focused on all students achieving the school vision. The headmaster promotes the complementary strengths and expertise of the senior leadership team and staff to develop and implement the educational vision and direction of the school. He models the values of the Anglican faith and promotes the spiritual development of students.

The knowledgeable and skilled leadership team effectively implement curriculum design and delivery. They have high expectations for learning and teaching in line with The New Zealand Curriculum. Features of effective practice include:

  • targeted professional development
  • teachers reflecting on teaching and learning
  • classroom observations and professional discussions with teachers
  • developing shared understandings for teaching and learning
  • professional learning networks in the wider education community.
  • These strategies are contributing to student engagement, progress and achievement.

The school deans play a key role in leading and supporting teachers to implement expectations for learning and teaching in their classrooms. They work well together and monitor curriculum design. With teachers they are integrating whole school themes across learning areas. This approach is providing students with meaningful and authentic learning experiences.

Respectful and trusting relationships are highly evident among teachers and students. There are examples of outstanding teaching practice that promote student engagement, progress and achievement. Strategies that enhance student engagement in learning include:

  • sharing the purpose of learning
  • the encouragement of high order thinking skills
  • modelling open-ended questions
  • using information and communication technologies effectively for communication, publishing, reporting and planning
  • an intellectually and emotionally safe environment for learning.

Teachers demonstrate high levels of knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching and deliver the schools’ curriculum using effective strategies to engage students in meaningful learning. Specialist teachers extend the classroom programme in areas such as languages, the arts, science, technology, music and drama. In addition well staffed specialist learning centres such as a performing arts centre, the library, gymnasium, ICT suite extends and enriches student learning. The effective use of ICT by students is evident in all learning areas and promote students independent learning.

Highly effective communication systems ensure families are well informed. Regular newsletters celebrate student achievements. School cultural events, drama productions and sporting activities are well attended by parents and families. A comprehensive school induction booklet provides parents with information about school operations and requirements. Parents receive regular information about their child’s progress and achievement.

Students’ are highly motivated learners. They have many opportunities to work collaboratively with their peers. They confidently and meaningfully engage with each other in discussions about their learning. Students establish their own learning goals, and share their progress and achievement during student conferences with teachers and their families. They enjoy a sense of belonging and realise their potential as learners in an environment that supports their interests and learning.

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

3 Other Statutory Obligations

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

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Southwell School provides an excellent standard of quality care and tuition for its international students (IS) who attend the school. While most IS students reside with their parents or guardians, other students are hostel boarders. All IS have access to the school’s extensive range of sporting, cultural, pastoral and care facilities.

The IS department is well led by an experienced manager who ensures that all aspects of student life are carefully considered. The school has very capable qualified English second language teachers who provide expert tutoring to raise students’ skills in English. Students are part of the school community and their relationships with peers and staff are rewarding. Teaching and learning interactions promote their academic and cultural development.

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 six international students attending the school.

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

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

Provision for students in the school hostel

Southwell School hostel, boarding house, accommodates 55 students, 9% of the school roll. It is owned by the trust and is centrally placed in the school grounds. The school headmaster has overall responsibility for the hostel. The hostel is managed by the Director of Boarding, matron and associated house staff.

Special features of the hostel include:

  • a very high standard of hostel care for boys and girls
  • close liaison between the Director of Boarding, headmaster and staff which ensures that all boarding students are provided with a safe physical and emotional environment that supports educational learning for students within the school at all year levels
  • an efficient and professional Director of Boarding who oversees a comprehensive set of hostel policies and procedures, which are made known to all parents and boarding students
  • a strong commitment to the welfare of students by boarding staff and due diligence in undertaking their supervisory duties
  • all students having access to the full range of sporting, cultural and social opportunities, which are a feature of Southwell School.

5 Conclusion

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 May 2013

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

4141

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

609

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

Chinese

Pacific

Other European

Other

72%

4%

7%

7%

1%

6%

3%

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

20 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

Private School Review

Private School Review

June 2010

September 2007

September 2004