Rangiora New Life School

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Education institution number:
418
School type:
Composite
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
453
Telephone:
Address:

Denchs Road, Southbrook, Rangiora

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Findings

The board, principal and staff work well together to make the school a welcoming and supportive place for students. The school’s Christian character strongly supports the quality of teaching and learning. Significant numbers of students achieve at high levels in literacy and mathematics in the primary school and at NCEA Level 2 in the secondary school. Good progress has been made in promoting success for Māori students.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

1. Context

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

Rangiora New Life School’s special Christian character and values continue to provide a strong foundation for students, staff and board. The school has experienced a steady increase in the roll. Students come from a wide area beyond the school’s locality.

The board, staff and students are well supported by the church proprietors and the wider community. The completion of the latest building programme, including a highly functional events centre, enables the board to share the school’s facilities with its community. The principal and teachers are involved in a cluster of local schools where shared professional benefits are regularly achieved.

The board and senior management team have addressed some areas identified for further improvement in the May 2011 ERO report.

A small committee supports staff in developing a bicultural programme for the school. Students have improved opportunities to develop their awareness and understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The board and senior management team still need to strengthen the usefulness of some of the school’s documentation so that it is clear that the school's goals are being monitored and evaluated.

2. Learning

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

Teachers effectively use achievement information to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

This is most evident where teachers and leaders:

  • make sure learning programmes meet individual needs
  • identify and provide extra support for students who have difficulties with their learning
  • monitor student progress and make necessary changes to programmes to further support learning needs, including the needs of highly able students
  • provide information to the board about student achievement for all year levels.

Achievement information for National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) in 2013, shows that students achieve best at Levels 1 and 2. High achievement in NCEA Level 2, including an increasing number of merit and excellence endorsements, shows that the school has well exceeded the predicted national target for this level. Achievement of Level 1 literacy and numeracy continues the strong trend of high achievement in these areas over time. Leaders have begun to develop ways to increase achievement at NCEA Level 3.

In the primary school, a good number of students achieve above both regional and national levels in literacy and mathematics. In particular, a significant number of students entering Year 4 and at the end of Year 8 are at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Areas for review and development

The board and leaders, when appraising staff, could identify what has been having the greatest impact on student progress and any next steps for further improvement.

Leaders could also consider ways to provide increased support and opportunities for teachers and curriculum leaders to analyse achievement information within their classes and learning areas.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effectively promoting and supporting student learning, progress and achievement. Students have a wide range of learning opportunities within and beyond the school. This includes access to distance learning that expands curriculum choices for individual students.

The curriculum is flexible and responsive to the interests, needs and aspirations of students. For example, in 2013, a high-quality Year 11 programme was developed to meet the needs of students having difficulties with their learning. Extensive support resulted in very successful outcomes for all students. In 2014, the programme is providing effective individual support for students’ vocational pathways.

A major strength of the curriculum is the extent to which the special Christian character helps to define the school’s values. A range of desirable learning and teaching qualities and expectations are linked to the school’s motto to seek, serve and soar high.

Students spoken with by ERO said that the school’s positive and caring culture, and its focus on service to others, helped them to have a sense of belonging and pride in their school.

Areas for review and development

Leaders should ensure that:

  • current initiatives in the junior school to improve the accuracy of teacher judgements about student achievement are reviewed and reported on
  • planning, reviewing and reporting is effectively used to set the direction and priorities for vocational pathways across the school.
How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The Māori committee is strongly committed to promoting educational success for Māori students as Māori. The school now has:

  • an active kapa haka group
  • opportunities for students to learn te reo and tikanga Māori across the school
  • good links with the local marae
  • useful feedback from Māori parents to help staff in developing future plans.

To further strengthen the school’s bicultural programme:

  • the board could set targets based on meeting the needs of Māori students
  • the Māori committee could develop a plan that outlines the goals for the bicultural programme and how these will be met and reviewed.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board has well-defined roles and responsibilities and maintains a good focus on continuing to lift and support student achievement. Trustees bring a useful range of expertise to governance at the school. The steady roll increase is being well managed by the board.

The school charter strongly reflects the school’s special character and has broad goals for improvement.

The senior management team is stable and cohesive. The managers' positive relationships with staff and students encourage and promote a culture of collaboration and collegiality. A variety of opportunities are available for teachers to develop their own leadership skills. This is helping to share leadership responsibilities across the staff. Many staff told ERO how much they enjoy working at the school.

A recent survey of the community has led to improvements in communication with parents and staff. Leaders told ERO that further developments to the school’s student management system should contribute to ongoing improvements in this area.

Area for review and development

The board could more clearly identify its current specific strategic priorities in its strategic plan and how these are being monitored and evaluated.

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 11 international students attending the school.

The school provides high-quality pastoral care and learning support for international students. Students have good opportunities to participate in a range of programmes including educational and cultural experiences in and beyond the school and involvement in community service.

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

The board, principal and staff work well together to make the school a welcoming and supportive place for students. The school’s Christian character strongly supports the quality of teaching and learning. Significant numbers of students achieve at high levels in literacy and mathematics in the primary school and at NCEA Level 2 in the secondary school. Good progress has been made in promoting success for Māori students.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 December 2014

About the School

Location

Rangiora, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

418

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 13)

School roll

379

Number of international students

11

Gender composition

Girls 52%; Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Cook Island

Samoan

Other Pacific

Asian

Other Ethnicities

80%

9%

1%

1%

2%

5%

2%

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review Education Review Education Review

May 2011 January 2008 December 2004

1. Context

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

Rangiora New Life School is an integrated area school for students in Years 1 to 13. The board, principal and staff actively foster the school’s special Christian character.

The school has maintained many of the positive features noted in the January 2008 ERO report and made very sound progress in addressing the areas identified for improvements in teaching and learning.

Behaviour management has been strengthened so that students can enjoy a safe and supportive learning environment.

There has been a significant increase in the number of secondary students enrolled at the school. The principal, senior staff and teachers have extended the range of course options and other learning experiences for these students, including the Cambridge International Examinations programmes, sports and performing arts.

Primary and secondary students benefit from the school’s close relationships with similar schools, in particular, the increasing opportunities provided for distance learning and sport.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Most secondary students achieve well. Reports to the board show ongoing improvements from year to year in the number of students succeeding in Levels 1 to 3 in the National Certificate in Educational Achievement. Students achieve better than in similar schools in completing certificates and in Level 1 literacy and numeracy.

Results in 2010 show a 100% pass rate at Year 11 (Level 1), 76.5% at Year 12 (Level 2) and 85.7% at Year 13 (Level 3). Overall, more students gained merit and excellence endorsements than in previous years. The school gained its first scholarship award in statistics. The pass rate of 84% for University Entrance was well above that in similar schools.

Student achievement in literacy and mathematics in Years 1 to 8 is variable. Many students achieve at, and some above, national expectations in reading, mathematics and writing. Achievement is higher in reading and mathematics than in writing which reflects the national trend.

Teachers have identified several groups of students who are achieving below, and in some cases, well below National Standards. The board and school leaders have set some appropriate targets to lift the performance of these students.

School leaders and teachers are making increasing use of assessment information to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programmes and practices and consider the best ways to raise achievement.

The school has well-developed systems for identifying and responding to students’ individual learning needs, particularly in reading. Withdrawal programmes, included opportunities for gifted and talented students are well planned, taught and monitored. Steps have been taken to strengthen teachers’ knowledge and skills in meeting these students’ strengths and needs within their classroom programmes.

School leaders recognise the need to continue to improve student records and track the progress groups of students make over their time at the school. This will help them to evaluate more effectively how well the school’s curriculum is promoting student learning.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Achievement reports show that while most Maori students in Years 1 to 8 are achieving at and some above National Standards in literacy and mathematics, almost half of Māori students are achieving below these standards, particularly in reading and writing.

School leaders are aware that they need to do more to promote success for Maori students and foster biculturalism. They have developed a comprehensive development plan, along with a detailed annual plan, to further improve the learning outcomes for Maori students in 2011 and over time. These initiatives now need to be given priority.

The school has not maintained its consultation with the parents of Māori students. This process is planned for 2011.

The targets set for raising the achievement of Māori students are included with the targets for all students. These targets should more clearly show students’ individual learning needs and how teachers plan to lift performance.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s new curriculum is well designed. It strongly reflects the school’s special character and takes into account the needs, interests and strengths of students.

Particular features of the school’s curriculum include:

  • the continuity it provides for students as they move through the school
  • the successful integration of, and emphasis on, school values, beliefs and the competencies required for successful learning
  • the widening range of course and study options for Years 9 to 13 students and the introduction of a diploma of learning to help motivate Years 9 and 10 students
  • the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to extend and enhance class programmes and for distance learning.

The quality of teaching continues to improve. This is largely the result of the school leaders’ focus on improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding and use of effective teaching practices and well-targeted professional development. For example:

  • more teachers are using a wider range of practices to successfully motivate and engage students in learning than at the time of the previous review
  • clearer expectations for high quality teaching and more guidance and support now exist for teachers to meet these expectations
  • most students spoken with by ERO said that they were well supported in their learning by teachers and their peers.

School leaders acknowledge that they need to continue to support teachers in developing and embedding teaching methods that successfully engage students in learning and cater for their varying strengths, interests and needs.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is in a good position to sustain and improve its performance and enhance student learning because:

  • the board and school leaders have high expectations and are making ongoing improvements to the quality of education for students
  • the board and school leaders regularly and systematically undertake reviews and make good use of the findings to plan for the future
  • the board, school leaders and staff have developed a positive school culture that encourages collaboration and reflection
  • curriculum leadership and management is helping to support the ongoing implementation of, and improvements to, the curriculum.

The quality and usefulness of some plans and reviews could be improved. For example:

  • strategic and annual plans could include clearer indicators of success to help focus action and evaluate their effectiveness
  • reviews in areas such as literacy and mathematics should identify what may be contributing to patterns of student achievement and progress so that these can be extended or changed to benefit students.

Provision for international students

The school has generally good systems for reviewing compliance with the Code. Students receive effective pastoral care and quality of education. Although most students stay for a short time, they have good opportunities to mix with New Zealand students.

Currently, the board does not receive reports on the progress and achievement of international students so that they can be assured that programmes and resources are benefitting these 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. At the time of this review, there were nine international students attending the school.

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

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

Provision for students in the school hostel

Rangiora New Life School does not have a school hostel.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Recommendations to other agencies

Not applicable

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

11 May 2011

About the School

Location

Rangiora, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

0418

School type

Composite (Years 1 to 15)

Decile1

8

School roll

314

Number of international students

9

Gender composition

Girls 51%;

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other

74%

10%

4%

12%

Special Features

Christian School

Review team on site

February 2011

Date of this report

11 May 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

January 2008

December 2004

April 2002

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrate schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides