EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE

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Nayland College 23/06/2008

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Nayland College is a well-established, co-educational secondary school, located in the suburban area of Stoke, Nelson. A large roll of year 9 to 13 students is drawn from the local area and further afield. The college hosts a significant number of international and exchange students.

A broad range of curriculum, cultural, sporting, leadership and service opportunities is offered, leading to various qualifications pathways, both academic and vocational. Students at all year levels are given appropriate career support and guidance. Extensive, high quality provision is made for those with special educational needs. Notable features of the college include its well-regarded student produced newspaper and biennial musical productions. Participation in stage challenge competitions has resulted in three consecutive regional wins.

Students benefit from well-resourced and maintained facilities. The library and information centre supports classroom programmes and students' independent study, research and recreational interests. Information and communication technologies are widely used for operational systems, specialist curriculum studies and access by students and teachers to on-line course related materials through the college intranet. Upgrading has included refurbishment of classrooms, extension of facilities for visual arts teaching and the opening in 2008 of a new 'superloo' toilet block. The grounds are well planted and tended.

Collection and use of a range of information about students' pastoral care and perceptions assist in identification and monitoring of those at risk of underachieving and of broader issues for consideration. This includes a project as part of an Extending High Standards Across Schools initiative in which the college is working in conjunction with personnel from the New Zealand Council of Educational Research and Otago University to gather the views of junior students and information about their levels of engagement with learning. Students also have opportunities to evaluate their courses and teaching, and surveys to gather the views of the community have been conducted.

Since the 2005 ERO review, changes have included: new members joining those with experience in governance roles on the Board of Trustees; restructuring and some new appointments to the senior management team; reorganisation of the school day; and, from the beginning of 2008, a change of the school decile from 7 to 6. The board, principal and senior managers demonstrate a high level of commitment to their leadership roles, the ongoing development and efficient running of the college, and the well-being of its students.

This review considers how effectively teacher actions as part of the college's approaches to intentional classrooms promote student learning and achievement. This includes investigation of the use made of information about student achievement and actual student achievement, both in years 9 and 10 and within the National Qualifications Framework. Progress with the achievement of Māori students; how well the professional learning and development of teachers is managed; and provision for international students are also evaluated. The college's thinking about the future is noted. Verification of the board's compliance with its legislative obligations, particularly those for the safety of students, was undertaken.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority data show areas of strength in student achievement. High success is gained by some senior students in the New Zealand Scholarship examinations. In externally assessed achievement standards for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) overall performance in 2007 was comparable with or above that nationally and clearly above that for schools of the same or similar decile. At Levels 2 and 3 students were particularly successful in gaining merit grades. High percentages of students gain the Level 1 literacy and numeracy requirements. Literacy figures are consistently at or above national comparisons and those for numeracy well above. Some students gain certificates in advance of their year and others continue to accumulate credits and succeed in fulfilling the requirements for the certificates over their two or three years in the senior school.

School-wide year 9 and 10 assessment information is still in the very early stages of development. It does not yet give a clear or comprehensive picture of how well students overall are progressing and achieving across the curriculum during their two years in the junior school.

In addition, NCEA data indicate the need for a continuing and sharpened focus on raising achievement. In the three years from 2005 to 2007, the overall achievement of Nayland College year 11 to 13 students in the NCEAs Levels 1 to 3 has remained about the same or declined. While the percentages of students gaining the certificates at all Levels were at or above national and decile comparisons in 2005, and for Levels 1 and 3 remained so in 2006, they are below them for 2007.

Since the 2005 ERO review there has been a range of initiatives and professional development opportunities exploring ideas and approaches for identifying and responding to students' differing needs. This has led to the focus for the next three years on developing intentional classroom strategies.

Guiding documents include a draft statement about deliberate teacher actions to promote student learning, that outlines strategies for use in classrooms and lessons. The ideas have been shared in staff meetings. Teachers are aware of them and acknowledge the principal's leadership in their promulgation.

Positive and respectful learning environments and relationships between teachers and students, and amongst students are well established and a strong feature of classrooms across the college. Teachers' management of routines and expectations for behaviour foster settled classrooms and a clear focus on learning activities. They know their students well and students interact confidently with them.

In the sample of lessons observed, examples of good and high quality practices reflecting the approach to intentional classrooms, are evident. Where teachers effectively communicate their knowledge of and passion for their subject, students are responsive and engage in learning conversations that have depth, are of high quality and give useful feedback. Students express their appreciation of the efforts that many teachers make to provide extra tuition outside regular class times.

Implementation of intentional classrooms is at an early stage. Documentation of a whole-school action plan for the initiative, together with aligned departmental planning, teachers' professional development and appraisal processes should set the basis for future work. Further development is also needed in school self review, analysis and use of achievement information to inform decision making, and strategies to promote students' understanding of, and involvement in, their own learning.

ERO and the board of trustees have developed recommendations to assist the college's continuous improvement and its strategic focus on "lifting learning for all".

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can manage the school in the interests of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report.

ERO is likely to review the school again as part of the regular review cycle.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Lennane Kent

Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

improve educational achievement in schools; and

provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school's self review.

Review Focus

ERO's framework for reviewing and reporting is based on three review strands.

School Specific Priorities - the quality of education and the impact of school policies and practices on student achievement.

Areas of National Interest - information about how Government policies are working in schools.

Compliance with Legal Requirements - assurance that this school has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a school is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this school.

Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage,
Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage.

Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO Corporate Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, http://www.ero.govt.nz, for ERO office addresses.

This report has been prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

For more information on Nayland College, visit their website. ERO does not endorse or claim any responsibility for the content of Nayland College's website.

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