PRIVATE SCHOOL REVIEW REPORT: WENTWORTH COLLEGE
The Chief Review Officer has the statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.
Under Section 35 A of the Education Act 1989, private schools are required to be “efficient”. The Act defines “efficient” in relation to a private school as –
- Having suitable premises, staffing, equipment, and curriculum: and
- Usually providing tuition for 9 or more students who have turned 5 but are under 16; and
- Providing suitably for the inculcation in the minds of students of sentiments of patriotism and loyalty; and
- Giving students tuition of a standard no lower than that of the tuition given to students enrolled at schools of the same class.
This report focuses on the extent to which the school meets this requirement and other statutory obligations.
This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.
About the School
|Location||Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa|
|Ministry of Education Profile number||484|
|School type||Secondary (Year 7 – 15)|
|Number of foreign fee-paying students||15|
|Ethnic composition||Pakeha 26, Korean 2, Other 20|
|Gender composition||Male 29, Female 19|
Wentworth College is an independent, co-educational school designed to cater for students from Year 7 to 15. The school began operation in January 2003 with 42 students and 13 staff. The founders are committed to providing a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that will provide high quality education in a positive, caring school environment.
The foundation principal and his staff have made a very good start to implementing the founders’ vision. Energetic and enthusiastic leadership, high calibre appointments and generous staff/student ratios have resulted in high quality teaching and pastoral care. Traditional values of respect, courtesy and consideration are clearly articulated and students respond positively to the expectations of their teachers.
Classroom programmes are based on the New Zealand curriculum and students will be able to prepare for national qualifications. The generous provision of specialist teachers and teaching facilities enables students to work to a high standard and to meet personal and academic challenges. Students are confident and articulate, and enjoy the diverse range of sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities available.
Wentworth College provides suitable premises, equipment, staffing and curriculum. The students receive a high standard of tuition and the school meets all statutory obligations. The school is deemed to be efficient under Section 35 A of the Education Act 1989. The Education Review Office accordingly recommends that Wentworth College be registered as a private school.
Wentworth College has been purpose built to provide high quality teaching facilities. The attractive buildings contain broad corridors and verandahs custom-designed to provide shelter from the rain, wind and sun and to reduce noise. Generous classroom provision and specialist facilities such as science laboratories, a technology suite and music room, are all in place. There are plans for future growth and further provision of resources for the school library.
Sport is an important element of the school programme. The school’s large and attractive gymnasium with weights room and dance studio will continue to cater for the growth of the school and is also available for community use. A feature to the student recreation area is an adventure trail specially designed for younger students to develop upper body strength.
A challenge for staff has been obtaining suitable resources for teaching while getting classes and programmes established. Prudent long-term planning has resulted in programmes that are adequately resourced and equipment that meets the developmental needs of individual programmes.
Staff commitment to meeting student needs includes the provision of extensive co-curricular activities, particularly in sport and music. Students take advantage of the attractive facilities to take part in a wide range of activities, including a golf academy.
Wentworth College has a very favourable ratio of staff to students. The principal has been able to appoint specialist teachers to ensure high quality curriculum development in the essential learning areas. In addition, many staff also have special expertise in middle school teaching from Year 7 to Year 10. An appraisal system has been established to allow staff to reflect on their performance as classroom teachers and on their contribution to the wider life of the school.
The senior managers articulate a clear vision for the school grounded in the best traditions of New Zealand education. Under the leadership of the senior managers, staff have achieved a great deal in a short time to establish the school. School documentation is based on the National Education Goals and National Administration Guidelines because the school considers that these documents provide a sound and ethical framework for meeting the needs of the all students.
Suitable curriculum / standard of tuition
High quality teaching is evident throughout the school. Teachers are well prepared for classes. Students enjoy the challenge of meeting teachers’ high expectations, and are secure in the knowledge that staff will provide any additional support needed. Relationships between staff and students are mutually respectful and courteous. Students receive useful oral and written feedback on work that identifies development points as well as acknowledging individual achievement.
Classroom programmes are based on the essential learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum and will allow students to prepare for a number of national qualifications. The documentation of schemes of work is thorough and includes good guidance on assessment and moderation of student work. Lesson planning takes account of student interest as well as curriculum requirements and teachers cater well for the diverse range of students in classes.
The school’s strong commitment to pastoral care is clearly evident in the house system, which ensures that all students have opportunities for a variety of leadership and service roles. Staff know the students well and value their partnership with parents in providing breadth of learning for students, including extensive opportunities for co-curricular activities.
4. STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS
The school meets all statutory obligations.
Staff inculcate appropriate patriotism and loyalty in students through their professional delivery of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of the New Zealand curriculum.
5. OTHER MATTERS
Provision for foreign fee-paying students
Wentworth College makes very good provision for the pastoral care of foreign fee-paying students. Systems are carefully documented and clearly spell out expectations for students and their families, and for home-stay families. Staff knowledge of the needs and interests of individual students, and their evident concern for student well-being, result in students who are confident and settled at school.
The founders of Wentworth College have made an excellent start to providing high quality education for students based on the New Zealand curriculum. Their emphasis on encouraging breadth of achievement has been supported by the generous provision of facilities for sports, music and classroom study. Staff and students share pride in the school and are working enthusiastically together to build school traditions.
Wentworth College will be reviewed again as part of the regular schedule of ERO reviews.