Tauranga 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.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Findings

Students receive a well-balanced curriculum with a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. There are clear and high expectations for student achievement, and school data shows that most students are achieving at and above National Standards. The school provides additional learning support for students who are yet to achieve expectation.

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?

Tauranga Seventh Day Adventist School is located in the Bethlehem area of Tauranga city and provides Christian-based education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has a current roll of 102 students and 19 are of Māori descent.

The ERO review in July 2014 identified areas of professional leadership needing to be improved. The principal, deputy principal and board of trustees have responded very positively to these findings and significant development and change has occurred. School leaders are now providing effective leadership for teaching staff.

Staffing has remained mostly unchanged, with the make-up of the teaching team in the junior school being strengthened and consolidated to maximise the use of individual teacher’s skills. The principal has sought expert guidance from an external consultant to support his leadership of school-wide development in teaching and assessment practice.

The school has been giving careful consideration to consultation with its community, and ways in which this could be enhanced. Work to strengthen the bicultural dimension of the school’s curriculum is inclusive of the parent community and is well underway.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development
  • Leadership of learning
  • Management and use of achievement information
  • Performance management
  • Curriculum development and review.
Progress

Leadership roles and responsibilities have been reviewed and clarified. The principal and deputy principal now take joint responsibility to lead learning and teaching across the school. The deputy principal has a particular focus in Years 1 to 4 classes and is supported in this role by a senior teacher.

School leaders and teachers have benefited from review and development of best teaching and assessment practice. This process began in August 2014 and has involved the services of an external consultant who is continuing to provide support and guidance. The capability of leaders and teachers to interpret and use achievement information to inform decision making has been significantly strengthened.

Leaders are identifying trends and patterns in school-wide data and using this information to:

  • review and refine curriculum programmes in literacy and mathematics
  • plan relevant professional learning and development for teachers
  • identify students who are underachieving
  • report fully to the board about achievement and progress at each year level.

A culture of reflective and purposeful practice, led by the principal, is now evident in the school.

Teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their practice and use achievement information to inform this inquiry. They are confidently using assessment information to plan specifically, and teach deliberately to address identified gaps in students’ learning.

The board has engaged the services of an external consultant to appraise the principal. This robust process has been ongoing and has set clear direction for the principal’s professional learning and development. Relevant and measurable goals have been set, and performance monitored against indicators of best leadership practice, and performance criteria. This process has been inspiring for the principal and he is now confidently providing informed professional leadership for the school and its community.

The principal and deputy principal are now working collaboratively with teachers to develop and implement this model for appraisal across the school.

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 now well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance because:

  • the principal is focussed on building a reflective and well-informed community of learners
  • there are better systems for managing and using achievement information at governance, management and classroom levels
  • school leaders and teachers are now interpreting achievement information to make informed decisions about learning and teaching
  • there is now a more robust appraisal process for the principal that places emphasis on accountability as well as improvement
  • self-review systems are more purposeful and are enabling trustees, the principal and staff to monitor and reflect on school performance.

Key next steps

Moderation systems and practices: Leaders should work collaboratively with teachers to strengthen decision making for overall teacher judgements (OTJs) in relation to the National Standards. Particular attention needs to be given to the consistency and coherence of judgements between teachers, and across year levels.

Targeted action to accelerate achievement: Leaders need to specifically target identified at risk students in the school’s charter and annual plan, and continue to strengthen deliberate teaching practice to accelerate their progress.

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

Students receive a well-balanced curriculum with a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. There are clear and high expectations for student achievement, and school data shows that most students are achieving at and above National Standards. The school provides additional learning support for students who are yet to achieve expectation.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

30 June 2016

About the School

Location

Bethlehem, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

4144

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

102

Gender composition

Girls 52 Boys 50

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Other

Māori

47

36

19

Special Features

Christian-based education

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2014

November 2011

December 2008

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

This school provides a sound Christian-based education for students. Positive and caring interactions among students and staff are evident, and older and younger students work and play well together. Students benefit from a broad curriculum and levels of achievement improve as they progress through the school.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

Tauranga Adventist School is located in the Tauranga suburb of Bethlehem. It provides Christian-based education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll has increased since 2011 and is now 112. Families choosing to enrol their children at this school have strong connections with local Seventh Day Adventist Church communities. There are approximately 14 students who are of Māori descent, and the number of Pacific families is increasing.

Since ERO’s last review in 2011, there has been considerable staff turnover. In addition, several members of the board are new to their roles and are continuing to develop an understanding of school governance.

This report identifies significant areas for development in professional leadership and school-wide curriculum development and implementation.

The school continues to provide an inclusive and family-oriented environment for staff and students. This culture is underpinned by shared Christian value and beliefs.

2 Learning

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

The principal and deputy principal have developed clear guidelines for teachers about gathering and recording assessment information. There is a school-wide schedule which sets timeframes for testing and reporting achievement each term. Teachers gather achievement information about reading, writing and mathematics, using an appropriate range of nationally referenced assessment tools. While the principal reports on student achievement to the board at regular intervals, these reports do not include information about achievement of students in Years 1 to 3. The new senior teacher in the junior school would benefit from assistance in developing assessment systems across junior classes so that information in reading, writing and mathematics is available for reporting to the board.

Teachers carefully record and monitor individual student achievement throughout the year. This enables them to measure student progress in relation to National Standards at key points and report fully to parents about their children’s development. Moderation processes are continuing to develop. Students needing additional support with their learning are identified, and programmes are designed to meet their needs, particularly in Years 1 and 2. These programmes are developed by teachers, with support from the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The board now needs to give urgent consideration to extending the allocated time for the SENCO to fulfil this crucial role. This is important because the school’s data for 2012/2013 indicates gaps in children’s literacy learning at this level.

The school’s 2013 achievement data shows that the majority of students overall, are achieving the expected National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2014, the board, with guidance from the principal, has developed achievement targets in mathematics and writing. The principal and board recognise the importance of accelerating the progress of priority learners (those students at risk of not achieving the standard). The provision of focused professional learning and development for teachers is now necessary to build their capability in the core curriculum areas of literacy and mathematics.

Leaders and board members report that Māori students are achieving at levels comparable to their non-Māori peers. However, the principal acknowledges the need to more closely track the achievement and progress of Māori as a group. Consideration now needs to be given to applying a similar process for Pacific students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school is continuing to develop a curriculum that strongly emphasises an agreed set of values-based intentions for holistic learning, and which aligns with The New Zealand Curriculum. Staff demonstrate a high level of commitment to the shared Christian values that are integral to the life of the school.

Under the leadership of the principal and deputy principal, the school scheme continues to evolve. Recent consultation with parents has led to the Health and Physical Education Curriculum being strengthened. However, further consultation with parents and whānau would enable them to share their ideas and aspirations for the all-round education and development of students. It is now necessary for the principal to lead a focused review process of the school’s curriculum, involving current staff, trustees and parents so that understanding and ownership are established.

Teachers develop attractive learning environments for students that place emphasis on the school’s special Christian character, and which reflect a range of curriculum areas. Whole-school units of work have a thematic approach and provide direction for teachers about how particular learning areas might be explored. Teachers plan and group students for instruction in reading, writing and mathematics. The ERO team discussed with teachers the value of making this planning more focused by improving the way they use assessment information to identify students’ learning needs and strengths.

Priority areas for development

Teaching as Inquiry: Embed systems for regular analysis and discussion of collated achievement information. Include as a regular feature, collaborative sessions for all teachers to: interpret assessment information; identify the learning gaps/needs; share strategies and teaching practices likely to accelerate progress of these students.

Appraisal for teachers: Review this process and consider how its alignment with charter targets and professional learning and development could be strengthened.

Parent engagement: Continue to consider ways to deliberately collaborate with and involve parents and whānau of priority learners in plans and programmes to accelerate their learning.

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

The school is yet to develop a specific focus in its curriculum to promote educational success for Māori as Māori. Some aspects of curriculum programmes include a Māori perspective, but this dimension of the school scheme is still to be developed.

ERO has recommended that the principal includes the Ministry of Education publication Ka Hikitia Accelerating Māori Success as a focus for shared professional reading and reflection for staff. The introduction of Tātaiako, Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners (Ministry of Education) into the appraisal process for teachers should also be considered.

Assessment information gathered by teachers indicates that Māori students are achieving and progressing well in relation to the National Standards.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The principal is experienced and well supported by the school community.

The board of trustees is committed and most aspects of governance practice are sound.

The school buildings and grounds are well maintained, ordered and resourced appropriately to support the curriculum.

The roll is continuing to increase, and the school is well supported by its parent and church community.

The school benefits from support from the association and proprietors.

There is an inclusive school culture, underpinned by Christian values in which positive and respectful relationships are evident.

There is a shared focus on student achievement.

However, in order to sustain and improve the school’s performance, the principal and board must prioritise the following critical areas for ongoing development:

School self review:

  • the use of achievement information to inform strategic decision making at all levels (board, leaders, teachers).
  • consultation as part of policy review to ensure that ‘parent voice’ is acknowledged. Of immediate need is an agreed policy and procedural guidelines for behaviour management.
  • a more strategic approach to the planning for, and provision of, professional learning and development for leaders and teaching staff.

Professional leadership:

  • clarify roles and responsibilities
  • strengthen school-wide curriculum management and leadership for learning
  • build teacher capability within a mainly new team of teachers.

Curriculum review and development:

  • document agreed expectations for teachers about teaching and learning.
  • include explicit guidance for teachers about teaching of the English curriculum.
  • develop the Māori dimension to ensure that the programme provides all students with knowledge and understanding of the dual cultural heritage of New Zealand.

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

This school provides a sound Christian-based education for students. Positive and caring interactions among students and staff are evident, and older and younger students work and play well together. Students benefit from a broad curriculum and levels of achievement improve as they progress through the school.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

9 September 2014

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

4144

School type

Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

109

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other

14%

52%

5%

29%

Special Features

Christian-based education

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

9 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

December 2008

October 2005