Knights Stream School- Mingimingi Hautoa

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1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Knights Stream School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Knights Stream School – Mingimingi Hautoa is located in the suburb of Halswell, Christchurch. It opened to students in February 2019. The school serves a fast-growing catchment area and provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 235 students and growing at approximately 70-80 students per year. More than half of the roll is in Years 0 to 3. The student population is culturally diverse. Approximately 10% of students identify as Māori. The school has a high number of students with English as a second language (ESOL). A Waitaha special education satellite unit is on the school site. 

3 Background

Planning for the new school commenced in 2017 under the guidance of an establishment Board of Trustees. Leaders and teachers were appointed and began working in 2018. Students began in 2019. A new board of parent representatives was elected in 2019.

The development of the school was planned in two stages. Stage One has been completed and can accommodate 450 students. Stage Two will bring the total capacity to 700 students. In the early stages of development, leaders consulted with mana whenua of Te Taumutu Rūnanga to name the school and learning spaces. The school was gifted its Māori name Mingimingi Hautoa.

4 Findings

Knights Stream School – Mingimingi Hautoa has made a very good start to its operation as a result of well-considered strategic planning and effective leadership. Well-documented policies and procedures have been developed to ensure the school runs efficiently. The board and strong professional leadership team ensure that decisions are consistent with the school's clearly articulated school vision. The trustees bring a wide range of complementary expertise and knowledge to the board. They participate in ongoing training to support them in their governance roles. They are taking a well-considered and strategic approach to school governance. School leaders have developed relevant strategic goals which are reflected in the annual plan.

Positive relationships are evident between the board and staff. The intention of the school from the planning stages and into the future is for the school to be the hub of the wider community. Close relationships with mana whenua, partnerships with whānau, external agencies and other local educational organisations benefit the students and community. The school culture reflects a growing understanding and recognition of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and local sense of place and identity.

The school curriculum and teaching and learning practices clearly reflect the school’s vision and values and are well aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Programmes give priority to building sound foundations in reading, writing and numeracy. All other curriculum areas are integrated.

Flexible, indoor and outdoor learning spaces give students choice and enable whole class, small group and individual learning. Detailed and useful guidelines support teachers to meet school expectations and provide positive outcomes for students. Classroom observations showed students were focused on their learning and many were aware of their achievement and next learning steps. The school actively seeks to work with whānau to ensure they are positively engaged and involved in their children’s learning. Students have access to technology and use it effectively to support their learning.

The school has developed effective processes for assessment, recording, monitoring and tracking student progress. Effective systems of moderation support teachers to make reliable judgements about students’ learning and to tailor programmes to meet their needs. Well-documented analysis of data shows trends and improvements. Many students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Data shows boys’ achievement in reading is below that of girls. The school’s response to this is resulting in improved outcomes. Māori students are achieving similarly to non-Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. Students who are at risk of making insufficient progress are identified, closely monitored and effective strategies are put in place to accelerate their performance.

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:

  • school management and reporting
  • 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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Since establishment, the school has made very good progress towards developing effective systems to support students’ learning and wellbeing.

Key agreed next steps for the school are to continue to:

  • develop strategies to promote and strengthen inter-racial harmony and tolerance amongst students
  • develop a framework to support robust internal evaluation.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

4 March 2021

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.