PRIVATE SCHOOL REVIEW REPORT:
WENTWORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL
The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.
Under section 35A 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||605|
|School type||Private School|
|Number of Teachers||3|
|Ethnic composition||New Zealand European/Pākehā 20, South African 1|
|Gender composition||Boys 11, Girls 10|
|Review team on site||Jul-08|
|Date of this report||12-Aug-08|
|Previous ERO report||No previous ERO reports|
Wentworth Primary School is an independent co-educational primary school managed by the Wentworth College Education Trust Board. The school opened in February 2008 with three staff and 15 students. The roll has now grown to 21 students. The trust board is also responsible for the adjacent college and is aligning its wide range of operational policies and procedures to cover both schools. The trust board is currently in the process of negotiating with the Ministry of Education to have the college and the primary school combined under one licence.
Clear documents outline the vision for the School. Soon after the opening of the school, staff consulted parents about their wishes for the long-term development of the school. The emphasis that teachers place on high academic achievement in literacy and numeracy, and student’s development of well-honed social skills, reflects the findings of this consultation. The school offers and education base on the full New Zealand curriculum and, as a result, appropriate attention is paid to all important aspects of learning. Student progress is monitored using valid assessment tools and achievement information is shared regularly with parents through written and oral reports. Achievement results in literacy and numeracy are used to inform future planning. The results show that students have made progress in their learning since the school opened four months ago.
Teachers are already exploring ways of integrating the key competencies outlined in the revised New Zealand curriculum into class programmes and the school culture. This integration should support the fostering of students’ personal and interpersonal skills. Teachers actively promote students’ independence through the use of formative assessment strategies. Individual learning profiles record the progress that students are making and identify next learning steps in literacy and numeracy. Students are becoming more aware of the purpose of their learning and are gaining increased skills in developing personal learning goals. Students are developing social awareness and have recently been engaged in fund-raising for an international child support agency.
Students are competent, capable learners who demonstrate self-confidence and a willingness to learn they will receive a good quality educational programme. The curriculum is well managed and monitored for coverage over time. Teachers have made good progress in documenting guidelines for individual learning areas and intend to develop a seamless transition in students’ learning between all class levels in both the primary school and the college. Students in the primary school regularly join with students from the college for selected activities and the staff of both schools collaborate in providing science and social science learning experiences. The primary school students benefit from access to a range of college resources and equipment that extend their learning opportunities.
School leaders are committed to maintaining small class sizes. The current teacher student ratio of 1:7 results in warm, affirming relationships. Teachers implement positive child management strategies and high levels of support are available for students with individual learning needs. The timetable is broken into four teaching sessions, with the majority of learning time appropriately spent on literacy and numeracy. Student attendance rates are high and are well monitored.
The trust employs suitable staff. The executive principal of the Wentworth schools is well experienced in his role. He has good knowledge and understanding of the school and frequently meets with the newly appointed head of the primary school, assisting her in her role. The head of primary and her staff have successfully achieved a great deal in a short time. The qualified and experienced teaching team has expertise in many important aspects of New Zealand curriculum. Teachers have begun professional development aimed at meeting school goals and systems are in place to monitor teachers’ ongoing performance. A teacher aide works successfully alongside students who receive additional support.
The school operates from suitable premises. The new purpose-built building contains large and spacious reception areas and well designed classrooms. Classrooms have good acoustics, good natural light and air flow, and are warm in winter. Rooms are lined with material that facilitates the display of teaching charts and students’ work. In addition, students have access to the adjoining astro-turf court area and the college gymnasium. Good systems are in place for the identification and elimination of any hazards on the site and regular evacuation drills are held.
The school is suitably equipped to meet the current educational needs of students. Classrooms are well resourced. The trust board has generously provided a high quality, challenging adventure playground that is well used by students. Students use the playground facilities well and are appropriately engaged during their break times.
3. STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS
Wentworth Primary School meets all statutory obligations.
Private schools are required to ensure the inculcation of appropriate patriotism and loyalty in students. In this school, staff achieve this through professional delivery of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of the New Zealand curriculum. The national anthem, in English and Maori language, features at school assemblies. Integrated studies include a strong emphasis on New Zealand contexts and on New Zealand’s bicultural heritage
This is the first review of Wentworth Primary School. The school provides suitable premises, equipment, staffing and curriculum. The students receive a good standard of tuition and the school meets all statutory obligations. The school is deemed to be efficient under section 35A of the Education Act 1989. The Education Review office accordingly recommends that Wentworth Primary School be registered as a private school.
For Chief Review Officer
12 August 2008