Bayfield High School - 22/12/2016

Findings

Bayfield High School provides well for its students in a caring, settled and inclusive environment. Its curriculum is very responsive to students’ needs and abilities. Improved student engagement and achievement can be seen throughout the school. The board, leaders and other staff are focused on achieving the best outcomes for all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1 Context

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

Bayfield High School is a Years 9 to 13 coeducational secondary school. There has been a recent increase in the school roll. The school hosts over 50 international students.

There is a very inclusive and caring school culture. Students ERO spoke with were positive about their school and the approachability of their teachers. Teachers have participated in school-wide professional development (PLD) for several years, to grow a positive culture for learning and behaviour. This has brought to the fore the school’s RISE values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.

There have been some significant staffing changes since 2013, including the appointment of two new assistant principals. Several property upgrades have occurred. This includes the creation of two senior-student common rooms, a music/performing arts suite and improved access for students with disabilities.

The school has made good progress since the last ERO review in 2013 in addressing areas for review and development and other school priorities.

2 Learning

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

This school is using achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Since the last ERO review, the school has changed its student-management system. Staff members are using this well to share and track student-achievement, engagement and career-profile information. Teachers effectively use students’ academic, pastoral and engagement data to identify and target priority learners. They are making very good use of this information to provide specific programmes and support for these learners. Students’ learning information is being more frequently and regularly shared with parents.

Senior student National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) data shows a trend of increasing proportions of students gaining Levels 1, 2 and 3 and University Entrance. This is particularly apparent for students in Years 12 and 13.

The school’s achievement information shows that, in 2015:

  • the majority of students in Year 9 were achieving at or above the school’s expectations in science, technology, mathematics and reading
  • for students in Year 10, a smaller proportion were achieving at the school’s expectations for reading and numeracy
  • one third of students in Year 9, who were targeted to make accelerated progress in reading, did so
  • approximately 50 senior students have gained Vocational Pathways awards in each of the past three years
  • some senior students are gaining academic scholarships.

Leaders and teachers are using student achievement information well to identify areas of common need for groups or year levels of students. Some departments are beginning to use achievement information (specific to that learning area) to scrutinise student progress over time. There are some useful examples of departments analysing data.

Next steps

Leaders and teachers should:

  • continue to use data to show the progress students are making over time, especially for students in Years 9 and 10 and priority learners, to evaluate sufficiency of progress and effectiveness of planned actions
  • extend the analysis and reporting of achievement for some groups of students, for example Māori, gender and other identified groups.

There is potential to share more learning information with students, particularly in junior literacy.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Leaders and teachers frequently create and adapt programmes to address identified individual and group needs. Recent useful initiatives include:

  • the Years 9 and 10 Junior Diploma that has led to higher levels of student participation and engagement, and broadening of learning experiences
  • greater cross-department responsibility for teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy
  • a stronger focus on providing learning that is relevant to students’ lives and builds on their previous knowledge
  • greater use of the local environment, resources and history
  • the revision of a progressive (Years 9 to 13) career-education curriculum and use of vocational pathways tools. 

Particular groups of students are very well supported in their learning. For example:

  • students with high needs are very well integrated into school life and benefit from individualised-learning programmes
  • international students are well supported in their learning and almost all longer-term international students gain University Entrance
  • students who struggle with literacy are supported pastorally and academically so that they can equitably access learning appropriate to their year level.

Leaders and teaching staff work collaboratively to best meet the needs of all students. This includes sharing information about students’ strengths, interests and needs, and appropriate resources and teaching strategies. As a result, students feel well supported, know how they can improve and are developing skills and dispositions to become life-long learners. Throughout the school, the learning environment is settled, enabling staff and students to focus on teaching and learning.

Department and senior leaders manage curriculum provision well. This includes building coherence within and between curriculum areas, and ensuring that students have sufficient opportunity to learn. They encourage staff to reflect on, adapt and improve their teaching strategies and programmes.

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

The school’s curriculum ensures Māori students experience aspects of their identity, language and culture in school life and learning. The school continues to place a strong emphasis on Māori succeeding as Māori. The proportion of Māori students on the school roll has increased to 12%.

Māori students appreciate the opportunities they have to learn through Māori contexts in many learning areas. All students can learn te reo and tikanga Māori from Year 9 to Year 13. A growing number of school events and protocols are including Māori content or influence. This includes students participating in mihi whakatau, waiata and haka.

School leaders are building meaningful relationships with their whānau Māori and local iwi. The school values the haka the local runaka gifted to the school which explains the school’s place in the area and the school's RISE values.

The board sets meaningful annual goals to increase the recognition, place and achievement levels of Māori in the school.

Teaching staff are increasing their awareness and knowledge of te ao Māori, including cultural competencies as set out in Tātaiako. These competencies have been appropriately included in the school’s performance-management expectations. This inclusion will support teachers and leaders to continue to grow their knowledge of and confidence with cultural competencies. 

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees, school leaders and teachers work within a culture of reflection and improvement. They want to continue to improve the overall school curriculum and systems to provide better outcomes for students. The board:

  • has developed a useful manual to guide its operations
  • is well informed and supported by the principal and other senior leaders.

The board has refined its charter, including targets, to make it more relevant and useful. ERO agrees with the board that trustees continue with this refinement.

School leadership is building relational trust and effective collaboration at all levels of the school. Staff members feel well supported in their various roles and responsibilities. School morale has improved. The principal is building potentially useful, educationally focused relationships with other educational institutions and forums.

School leaders have taken a strategic approach to raise NCEA achievement levels, and student engagement in Years 9 and 10. This includes coherent goals from the school charter through to department and individual goals, and related professional learning and development.

The senior leadership team is implementing robust processes to build and enhance teaching practices. These include:

  • an improved appraisal system
  • departmental reporting that focuses on what is working well and what needs to change to improve outcomes for students
  • increased focus on the use of analysed student-learning information to guide and evaluate teaching and learning
  • shared expectations for school-wide behaviour and the management of behaviour.

Next steps

Trustees and school leaders should extend their inquiry and internal-evaluation practices. This includes:

  • more deliberate and systematic processes and reasoning with a continued focus on positive outcomes for learners
  • developing a framework for evaluation that contains such things as key questions, principles and stages to guide practice.

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on 1 July 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements.

At the time of this review there were 54 international students attending the school.

The school has begun to align its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

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

Bayfield High School provides well for its students in a caring, settled and inclusive environment. Its curriculum is very responsive to students’ needs and abilities. Improved student engagement and achievement can be seen throughout the school. The board, leaders and other staff are focused on achieving the best outcomes for all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu Southern

22 December 2016

About the School 

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

382

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

533

Number of international students

54

Gender composition

Girls: 56% Boys: 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other

11%

73%

1%

13%

2%

Special Features

Administrative responsibility for London House Activity Centre and Dunedin/North Otago Alternative Education

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

22 December 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

August 2009

December 2005