Auckland Normal Intermediate - 19/08/2016

Findings

Students experience a rich curriculum that prepares them well to be global lifelong learners.
Their enjoyment and engagement in the learning process is highly evident, with high levels of achievement. A sense of collective responsibility and collaboration allows the school to work on meaningful change and supports the sustainability of successful initiatives that support student learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Auckland Normal Intermediate in Mt Eden caters for Year 7 and 8 students. The school is designated as a school where trainee teachers are given practical experience. It continues its reciprocal relationship with the Faculty of Education at University of Auckland, and has a positive profile in its community. Five percent of students are Māori and three percent have Pacific heritage.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The 2011 ERO report noted that the majority of students achieved well. A focus for the school since the 2011 review has been to develop a more strategic approach to responding to the potential of Māori students. The board of trustees continues to oversee the upgrading of teaching spaces to create more innovative learning environments (ILEs).

The school offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. The school uses IB as a framework to implement The New Zealand Curriculum and to create a profile of the Auckland Normal Intermediate learner.

The school’s promotion of and response to students’ wellbeing is extensive. A positive tone supports the learning of all students. Students have pride and a sense of ownership and belonging in their school.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Achievement information is used very well at many levels in the school. The school has a holistic approach to assessment. There is a richness to the school’s assessment information that gives senior leaders, teachers and parents a good understanding of the student as a learner.

Achievement information shows that the school has high levels of achievement in reading and mathematics. At present there is a school focus on accelerating achievement in writing. Māori students are achieving at higher levels than the general school population. The school is aware of the need to focus on raising Pacific student achievement. In 2016 the board adopted a school Pasifika plan as a strategic approach, to raise achievement for this cohort. Very good systems support teachers to make valid judgements about progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

The board, school leaders, and class teachers use achievement information to set school priorities and achievement targets, design curriculum programmes and closely monitor progress. Very effective school monitoring systems for tracking all students’ progress allows class teachers to continually evaluate and give immediate and different responsive approaches to student learning needs. Achievement information is also used to inquire into the effectiveness of teaching practices, and to support students’ successful transitions into and out of school.

There are multiple opportunities for students to engage with achievement information. Student groups work with the board and senior leaders to identify and lead initiatives to support school achievement improvement plans. Students are taught strategies to use their own achievement information so they can be actively involved in decisions about how to make progress in their leaning. Students also play a role in reporting their progress and achievement to their parents and whānau. The impact of these school practices is that students’ engagement is heightened through an increased awareness of themselves as a learner.

Strong community relationships are now focused on supporting students’ learning. The school is continuing to explore ways to extend and enrich opportunities that create learning partnerships with whānau. The focus is on providing whānau with the knowledge and skills to support their children’s successful learning.

Students’ enjoyment and engagement in the learning process is highly evident. They talk about their learning with confidence and support the learning of their peers. Student engagement in learning is very well supported by the school’s culture of celebrating learning and respectful learning relationships. Teachers share a belief that they can make a difference for all students. Coaching between teachers, among students, and from students to teacher is becoming common practice in the school.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very effectively. Students experience a rich curriculum that is preparing them to be global lifelong learners.

The curriculum is well designed and documented. A cohesive curriculum framework that combines The New Zealand Curriculum and IB provides clear guidelines for students and teachers. Significant characteristics of the school curriculum include:

  • high focus on student agency
  • recognition of the collaborative nature of learning for future focused learners
  • effective use of innovative learning environments to promote student engagement and achievement
  • equitable learning opportunities for all students.

The school is committed to ensuring that students have positive learning experiences. Students are taught the skills to use prior knowledge to support new learning and be successful and independent learners. The curriculum promotes a learning approach that is co-constructed with students. Opportunities for students to have a say in selecting meaningful contexts for learning, and to share their knowledge as teachers of other students, contribute to ongoing expansion and change in the curriculum. Teachers maintain a focus on learning programmes for literacy and mathematics.

The curriculum caters well for individuals and diverse groups. It builds on students’ interests and strengths, and fosters innovation, creation and responsible risk taking in the learning process. The school’s focus on learning how to learn and encouraging all students to reflect on their own learning process is highly evident. Students who need learning support or extension are well catered for, as are students with varied interests. There is strong inclusive practice to support the social engagement and learning of students with special learning needs.

Classroom and specialist subject teachers use an integrated and collaborative approach to delivering the curriculum. As a result, learning activities and content are cross curricula, relevant, authentic and engaging for students. The curriculum provides individual learning pathways and supports a personalised learning programme for students.

Planned learning experiences that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand are given an increasingly important place in the curriculum. Cultural diversity is acknowledged and celebrated, enriching learning opportunities for students. School leaders and teachers value the students’ different languages and cultures and what each child brings to the learning process. Students who are speakers of other languages are given opportunities to use their first languages to support the learning of others.

Teachers are well supported to deliver the curriculum successfully. Teachers plan well and skilfully scaffold learning for students. They are flexible in their teaching role as they respond to the diverse needs of the modern learner. Teachers are supported in their ongoing professional growth by effective programmes that personalise their learning and provide access to further study and research. Performance management systems are comprehensive. These systems align with school priorities and reinforce expectations of a professional learning culture.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school is effective in promoting education success for Māori, as Māori. The school has 30 students who identify as Māori. Māori students have positive attitudes to school and learning, and enjoy the opportunities they have to succeed as Māori and be leaders in the school.

School data show very high levels of academic achievement for Māori students. They are achieving above the general school population in reading and writing and at the same levels as in mathematics. Māori students’ learning is supported by the school’s holistic approach to raising student achievement. Teachers know them well, value their student’s strengths and have high expectations for them as learners. A recent initiative, where every Māori student has an individual learning plan and map that they contribute to, has the potential to impact positively on their learning.

Promoting success for Māori is a strategic priority for the board and is supported by a recent documented action plan that guides school initiatives to develop the potential of all Māori students. This action plan is a result of effective consultation with whānau.

The school has increased opportunities that promote Māori students’ cultural identity since the last 2011 ERO review. These include kapa haka, pōwhiri, festival performances, recognition of
Te Ao Māori and tikanga in learning programmes and compulsory te reo Māori language programme. Māori are acknowledged as tangata whenua and Māori kawa is observed at school events.

Māori students play a significant role in leading the school strategies that enable students to be successful as Māori. Students feel a sense of responsibility and learn more about their cultural heritage as a result of these leadership opportunities.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to enhance its performance.

The board, staff, students and community share ownership of the school’s vision and values. There is cohesion and alignment across all school operations. The work of the board and senior leaders is well coordinated through the school’s strategic and operational planning process. A sense of collective responsibility and collaboration allows the school to work on meaningful change and supports the sustainability of successful initiatives.

The board provides effective governance. Decision-making is well informed and inclusive with a focus on improving outcomes for all students. The board has a strong oversight of care for all adults and students in the school. There are good systems in place to ensure school accountabilities are met.

Leadership in the school is highly effective and strategic. Strategies for nurturing leadership capacity across the school are effective at all levels. The principal and senior leaders clearly articulate the school’s teaching and learning model, ensuring that it is evident in practice. Team leaders, middle leaders, Community of Learning leaders, classroom teachers and support staff all lead the ongoing improvement of programmes. A spirit of leadership is strongly nurtured in students through many meaningful leadership opportunities. Students are involved in supporting strategic goals and see themselves as leaders. They are very active participants in school decision-making.

Internal evaluation is used very well to support ongoing improvements. A robust set of processes for implementing and documenting review is well embedded. Input is sought from a variety of people, including students. School leaders use review findings appropriately to evaluate effectiveness and set future school priorities.

School leaders, teachers, and students contributing to and working with the wider education community is a strength of the school. The board and school leaders build networks with other schools. They make good use of external advice and sound education research to support improved outcomes for students. The principal leads the Ministry of Education Community of Learning project that is focused on raising student achievement in Central Auckland.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (The Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were 19 international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s internal review process for international students is very thorough. The school has coherent and sustainable systems in place to support good provision and care for international students. 

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Students experience a rich curriculum that prepares them well to be global lifelong learners.
Their enjoyment and engagement in the learning process is highly evident, with high levels of achievement. A sense of collective responsibility and collaboration allows the school to work on meaningful change and supports the sustainability of successful initiatives that support student learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 August 2016

About the School 

Location

Mt Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1211

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

680

Number of international students

19

Gender composition

Boys      52%
Girls       48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
Korean
Pacific
other ethnicities

  5%
45%
27%
12%
  3%
  3%
  5%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

19 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

October 2011
June 2008
April 2006