Pegasus Bay School - 06/08/2019

School Context

Pegasus Bay is a large, purpose-built primary school north of Christchurch. It is part of a community that is increasingly culturally diverse. Since the school opened in 2014, it has continued to experience rapid growth. A classroom suite for the junior school was added in 2016.

Aspects of culture, important to the local area, are highlighted and visible within the school’s modern learning environment.

The school’s vision for students to ‘Be the Somebody’ is underpinned by the intent of growing inspiring and challenging adventurers, creators and thinkers who demonstrate the values of ako, kaitiaki and whanaungatanga.

The school’s strategic priorities relate to clarity of vision, a high quality curriculum and whānau engagement and wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • student achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to the school’s targets
  • approaches to teaching and innovations to strengthen students’ learning.

Due to the strong focus on developing students as digital citizens the school has been acknowledged by an international information technology company as a ‘Distinguished’ information technology school.

The school belongs to the Katote Kāhui Ako| Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effectively working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

The 2018 achievement data shows that:

  • most students, including Māori, achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics

  • the large majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in writing

  • by the time students reach Year 8, almost all are achieving at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics

  • students with additional needs, including those who are English Language Learners (ELL), also achieve well in relation to expected levels of performance.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is successfully accelerating learning, in some cases significantly, for many targeted students, including Māori, those with additional learning needs, including ELL students.

Leaders are aware that there is some disparity of outcomes for boys’ in their writing achievement. The planning and intervention programmes that have been put in place to address this are showing early indications of accelerated progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

School leaders have built systems that support a collaborative culture in which teachers have shared responsibility and ownership for the way things work. There are positive and respectful relationships at all levels. The school values are prominent, known, articulated and enacted.

Students benefit from a future-focused localised curriculum. This provides them with rich, meaningful learning experiences. There is a strong focus on developing digital capability across the school, including building infrastructure, and using this to enhance students’ learning. Te ao Māori is valued and evident at all levels and is woven across the curriculum in meaningful ways.

Leaders and teachers have a strong focus on developing environments that engage students in learning. This is evident in the way they:

  • adapt the curriculum

  • respond to the identified needs, strengths and interests of students

  • care for students and whānau and ensure that all are included in the life of the school

  • gather students’ ideas and opinions and encourage them to take increasing responsibility for their own learning

  • use local resources, personnel and expertise to enrich students’ learning.

There is also a commitment to strengthening the partnership with parents in children’s learning.

Leaders seek community and student voice and incorporate their ideas into developments. On-line communication, which allows teachers to regularly share children’s learning with parents, is proving successful, as are invitations to parents to discuss aspects of their child’s learning.

Teachers use effective systems for identifying, tracking and monitoring student learning and progress. Students who need extra help to succeed are provided with appropriate support through specific programmes and one-to-one support from teachers and teacher aides.

A strong professional leadership team use their collective strengths to ensure that the school is a well-structured and supportive environment, conducive to student learning and wellbeing. Through a robust appraisal process, leaders provide teachers with guidance and support to grow their teaching practice. They invest in developing teachers as middle leaders, and teachers are encouraged and supported to innovate and grow their practice in a safe learning community. Leaders are actively involved in and contribute to the wider educational community.

A high level of relational trust supports leaders and teachers as they collaboratively and critically reflect on the effectiveness of innovations to ensure positive outcomes for students. Accountability exists at all levels of the school. There is a coherent approach to capability building informed by research and professional learning. The programme of teacher-led innovation is well resourced, supports improvement and aligns well with the school’s strategic goals.

The school’s trustees bring a range of skills and expertise to the board. They make well-informed strategic decisions to achieve the school’s goals. They are mindful of the need for stability and continuity in a fast-growing organisation. Succession planning is carefully considered. The board’s strong commitment to growing the place of Māori within the school is reflected in their funding of a specialist teacher of Māori.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely to review the school’s curriculum to foster its valued outcomes and indicators of success and to respond to increasing community diversity.

Leaders and teachers should continue to strengthen internal evaluation. This will enable them to consistently show what programmes, practices and initiatives have had a positive impact and what needs to change.

The new board would benefit from the opportunity to undertake ongoing training to further develop understanding of their governance role.

3 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Pegasus Bay School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in the:

  • collaborative, and inclusive culture at all levels
  • high expectations for student achievement and high quality teaching practice
  • strong professional leadership team that supports ongoing improvements in outcomes for students and better learning partnerships with parents/whānau
  • broad, rich learning experiences provided for students to engage in and succeed.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • continuing to review and update the school’s curriculum
  • further strengthening the internal evaluation process to ensure a consistent approach across the school, including the board.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

6 August 2019

About the school

Location

Pegasus

Ministry of Education profile number

3570

School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

416

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

NZ European/Pākehā 67%

Pacific 1%

Asian 3%

Other ethnicities 17%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

6 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015