ERO Report

ERO External Evaluation
Burnside Primary School, Burnside, Christchurch

The purpose of ERO’s external evaluations is to give parents, whānau and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education children and young people receive. ERO reports on the equity and excellence of learning outcomes for all students and for specific groups including Māori students, Pacific students and students with additional learning needs. This includes a focus on accelerating learning for students. ERO also reports on the quality and effectiveness of the school’s processes and practices for continuing and sustaining improvement. The report gives evaluation findings that answer four key questions about the school’s performance.

School Context

Burnside Primary School provides education for 302 students from Years 1 to 6. It is located in the Burnside suburb of Christchurch.

The school’s vision is for learners to aspire to excellence, with students being confident, respectful, creative, resilient and collaborative and displaying a love of learning.

The school’s values are respect, integrity, tolerance, excellence and compassion.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • students with additional learning needs
  • students at risk of not achieving the school’s expectations
  • gifted and talented
  • other curriculum areas.

Since the 2017 ERO review, the school has made good progress in addressing the areas identified for improvement. Staffing has remained stable, the roll has increased, and the proposed rebuild is progressing.

Over the past two years teachers and leaders have taken part in professional learning and development (PLD) programmes to improve teaching and learning in mathematics and oral language.

The school is a member of the Waimairi-iri Kāhui Ako l 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?

Leaders and teachers are working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. The school is achieving good outcomes for its students.
School reported achievement information show that over the past three years:
  • the majority of students achieved at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics
    the achievement of Māori students is improving but has not yet caught up with the achievement of other students
  • girls achieve better than boys, although this disparity has decreased over time.

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

 The school has had considerable success at accelerating the achievement of students whose learning needs to progress at a faster rate.

Most students identified as needing accelerating in reading and maths made good progress 2018.

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?

Students learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environment. Teachers respond well to the diverse cultures and learning needs of students. They design the curriculum in recognition of the strengths, needs and interests of students. Students have a wide range of opportunities to be successful. They participate in interesting and challenging learning experiences within the classroom and beyond. Teachers make good use of the local environment and community resources to ensure that students engage in rich and authentic learning.

Community collaborations enrich opportunities for students to become confident, creative lifelong learners. Parents and whānau receive information and participate in learning opportunities that enable them to support their children’s learning. School leaders and teachers actively participate in community events. They access useful support from community and education groups. School staff provide leadership within the wider education community, including neighbouring early childhood services and schools.

A distributed leadership model builds relational trust and effective collaboration. Leadership effectively uses the strengths of staff to promote positive outcomes for students. Teachers lead developments to progress the school’s strategic goals. Leaders are building capability through targeted PLD to improve teaching and learning. The principal is effectively leading the implementation of a culturally responsive curriculum. Leaders and teachers have a continuous improvement focus.

The board actively represents and serves the school and education community. Student learning and wellbeing is the board’s focus. Trustees bring a useful range of knowledge and skills to the board. They commit considerable time and energy to the school. The board maximises its effectiveness through induction, ongoing training, and succession planning. Trustees seek and use relevant external advice and resources where needed to ensure better learning outcomes for students.

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

The next step for school leaders is to strengthen the evaluation process to determine the impact of recent initiatives. Teachers are developing a useful framework for teaching and assessing oral language. This will be a helpful tool to assist in measuring their success in this aspect of the curriculum. School leaders also need to consider how they will evaluate the impact of initiatives to improve the teaching of mathematics, and the implementation of a programme to promote positive learning behaviour.

The school has developed comprehensive guidelines for the management and appraisal of teacher appraisal gaols. Leaders now need to ensure that these guidelines are consistently implemented. In particular, appraisers need to provide written feedback of their observations of teaching practice, and document their appraisal conversations. A more structured process to documenting the progress towards, and achievement of, teacher appraisal goals needs to be put in place.

To get an overall view of the achievement and progress of all children, the school needs to consider the increasingly significant group of students who are English Language Learners. This will better inform the board, principal and staff on how to continue to support their learning effectively and promote strategic resourcing decisions that support improved outcomes for these learners.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016) (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 14 international students attending the school, including 8 short-stay students.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s processes for reviewing compliance against the Code are robust, documented and lead to change where needed.

 4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

Well placed

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the provision of a relevant, inclusive curriculum that responds to student interests and needs
  • collaboration with community groups that enhances learning
  • effective leadership and governance that is focused on continuous improvement of outcomes for all learners.

Next steps

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

  • evaluating the impact of the school’s key initiatives on improving outcomes for students
  • improving the rigour of the school’s performance management system to better support teachers to improve practice
  • analysing and reporting on achievement and progress information for students who are English Language Learners to better inform decision making.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern Southern Region
26 September 2019