Nelson College Preparatory School ERO Report 31/5/2011
On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Nelson College (Prep.Dept.) meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.
Criteria for Registration
Suitable premises, equipment and staffing.
Nelson College Preparatory School students use the college grounds for sports and recreation and are able to access a range of other facilities. These include the library, gymnasium, science laboratories, technology suite, music and drama rooms, courts and the swimming pool and the resources associated with each area.
The school consists of two blocks covering four classrooms, an administration space, resource areas, cloakrooms and toilets. Buildings and equipment continue to be well maintained. Classroom environments are suitable and well presented.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are an integral part of learning and teaching. Students regularly use classroom computers for learning activities, research, presentation of work and enrichment. All students are involved in the Mathletics programme which is one example of the use of ICT and self-directed learning to strengthen performance in a curriculum area.
The staff provide instruction in English, mathematics and topic studies, which include science and social studies. They also teach sport and some of the visual performing arts options such as media studies and art. Students receive tuition from Nelson College teachers for languages, technology, music and drama.
The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G in respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.
Staff believe professional learning opportunities build capability and that performance management is improvement focused. Teachers set development and appraisal goals to continually strengthen practice.
The curriculum is aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum. The school’s principles and values have been reviewed in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum. Key competencies, achievement objectives and National Standards are an integral part of programme planning. The current curriculum plan could be further developed to strengthen sustainability and consistency.
Reading, writing and mathematics are timetabled every day. Topic studies incorporate reading, writing, oral language, science and thinking foci. Opportunities to develop questioning skills are integrated into the learning programme. Aspects of tikanga Maori add a bicultural perspective. French and Japanese lessons build knowledge of foreign languages and culture.
The curriculum is enhanced by a wide range of out of class activities. Involvement in school sport is actively encouraged. Outdoor education provides opportunities for students to develop self confidence, independence and an appreciation for the natural environment.
A “Response to Intervention” reading programme identifies specific learning gaps for students of concern. A variety of mainly class-based interventions are used in response to the issues identified. Data collected in 2010 indicates the programme was effective in improving the students’ reading.
Higher achieving students are challenged through a range of provisions that include a future problem solving programme.
Students value the leadership opportunities that are offered to them.
Reports to parents are regular, comprehensive and in plain language. Consequently parents are well informed about students’ achievement and learning. Strong parent involvement is enhanced by a variety of school activities. Consultation forums contribute to school self review. Regular newsletters report on school development, record student success and achievement and feature samples of their work.
A range of assessment tools, including nationally standardised tests, measure student achievement and progress. A next step is to further develop the use of achievement, and particularly progress, information for ongoing self review.
Suitable standard of tuition
Students are highly engaged. They purposefully settle to tasks and move quickly from one activity to another. High levels of self management are encouraged and apparent. Students spontaneously support each other as part of learning. They are encouraged to test their thinking and take responsibility for their learning. Students reflect on their own and each others’ progress.
Teachers contribute to the sustained levels of engagement through regular use of high interest, relevant and current contexts. They use assessment data to inform planning and teaching, effectively model learning strategies and regularly affirm student participation and progress. Frequent use of prompts and exemplars (particularly in writing) promotes achievement. Appropriate support for individual students contributes to growth in understanding and improved outcomes.
Relationships between students and teachers are positive and respectful. Students are responsible and considerate and those spoken with by ERO feel teachers are approachable and knowledgeable.
Teachers are collaborative and reflective. They are responsive to the feedback students provide. The head teacher is focused on promoting students’ progress and wellbeing.
A focus on taking measures to ensure a safe and inclusive environment enhances the opportunities for learners. The use of home rooms supports pastoral care of students and effective communication with parents. Transition into and out of the school is well considered.
Other Statutory Obligations
There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.
On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Nelson College Preparatory School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.
National Manager Review Services
31 May 2011