Glendowie College - 10/06/2015

1 Context

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

Glendowie College is a well-established co-educational school in Auckland that provides education for students in Years 9 to 13. The school draws students from an increasingly diverse community. Since the 2011 ERO review, the roll has increased by almost 100 students. There are high levels of community confidence in the quality of education in the school, the holistic wellbeing and success of students, and the efforts that are made to provide a broad curriculum.

A focus on excellence and high expectations for student achievement and broad educational opportunities guide the school’s vision. A culture of care and respectful relationships remains a strong feature of the school. Students continue to benefit from the school’s commitment to self-review and school improvement.

A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2015. Sound school governance, leadership and systems, as well as staff continuity provide stability and a strong foundation for school direction.

The board of trustees is completing a long-term property plan and continues to provide resources and facilities that support student learning.

The 2011 ERO report noted that governance and financial management of the school was effective, and that high quality leadership was a key factor in the school’s success. The report also noted that senior leaders actively responded to needs identified through good self-review processes. These features are still evident in the school.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information. Teachers use this information to make positive changes for learners as they progress through Years 9 to 13. Strategic goals, targets and self-review are well aligned and the principal consults with staff to develop specific, relevant achievement targets. School leaders continue to review how well they monitor student engagement and achievement.

Students engage well in learning and are motivated to be successful. They respond well to teachers’ high expectations for student achievement and learning. The respectful relationships between students and teachers are focused on learning. Students demonstrate a strong sense of pride in their school and in themselves as capable learners.

Overall student achievement in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is well above national averages and comparative to achievement levels in similar schools. Achievement levels in NCEA have been consistently high since 2011. There has been a steady increase in merit and excellence endorsements. From 2013 to 2014, NCEA scholarships increased from 10 to 23 as a result of targeted strategies.

The majority of Māori and Pacific students achieve success in NCEA. The school achieved its 2014 target that 85% of Year 12 and 13 Māori and Pasifika students would achieve at least NCEA Level 2. The school’s Pasifika plan to support Pacific student success is having a positive impact.

Literacy and numeracy data in Year 9 and 10 are used well. Senior managers are reviewing Year 9 and 10 assessment practices, and plan to set meaningful targets for these students. They plan to review the reporting of achievement and progress to parents to further support student success. Senior managers also recognise the value of more formally reporting Year 9 and 10 achievement to the board.

School leaders evaluate student progress and achievement well. They analyse achievement data comprehensively and monitor how well students progress over time. Effective practices include:

  • closely monitoring student engagement and progress through the academic counselling
  • teachers engaging students in learning-focused conversations
  • teachers using data to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of teaching and programmes to cater for students’ diverse learning abilities and needs
  • using a range of targeted actions to support students who are not yet achieving to expectation.

Trustees make very good use of analysed achievement information to make strategic decisions. Charter goals are focused on raising the achievement of all students, improving the quality of achievement, and accelerating the progress of those students who may be at risk of not achieving. Trustees make targeted resourcing decisions based on this information and regularly review and evaluate programmes designed to improve outcomes for students.

3 Curriculum

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

The college provides a broad, largely academic curriculum in response to parent and student aspirations. Teaching programmes clearly reflect The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), and actively promote and support learning. The school curriculum includes key competencies such as self management and thinking skills that encourage students to take greater ownership for their learning.

School leaver data shows that the majority of students gain qualifications that provide pathways to tertiary education. Student retention rates are very high and students are seeking alternative learning pathways within the school. The senior curriculum provides a diverse range of traditional and newer pathways including dance, fashion, hospitality, te reo Māori, computer programming, languages and health education. Increased student leadership opportunities are provided through school productions, sports teams, kapa haka, and education outside the classroom experiences.

A recent review of the school curriculum has provided opportunities to further investigate vocational pathways and qualifications. Career and Gateway programmes are used effectively to expand the curriculum. Student success in programmes such as hospitality, electronics and building construction could be further promoted.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. Teaching assistants work alongside teachers in junior classrooms adapting curriculum resources to meet learners’ needs. Learner support staff liaise effectively with contributing schools including the local Sommerville Special School. They are well positioned to support the establishment of a satellite class for secondary students with high learning needs that is planned for 2016.

Teachers are increasingly using information and communication technologies in learning programmes. Students’ use of personal devices is strongly emphasised in Year 9 classes and is aligned to the board’s strategic goals. Professional learning is guiding the use of e-learning in class programmes, and in teachers’ reflective inquiry about the effectiveness of their teaching practice.

School leaders are exploring opportunities for improving student transition into the school at Year 9. They are collaborating with local contributing schools and communities, and aligning aspects of the school’s curriculum with the Year 7 and 8 curriculums from these schools. These are innovative and relevant initiatives to support students in their educational pathways across schools.

The college could further review the curriculum design in Year 9 and 10. School leaders acknowledge the value of developing greater alignment of teaching practice, assessment and evidence-based reporting in Years 9 to 10. The curriculum for these year levels could give greater emphasis to the NZC key competency “learning to learn” which is a goal of the college charter.

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

The board’s encouragement of the language, culture and identity of tangata whenua supports Māori students at the college to succeed as Māori.

School leaders participate in targeted professional learning to help them lead developments that build on the board’s goals for Māori students. These initiatives include the planned review of the school’s Treaty of Waitangi policy, and the development of action planning to further promote Māori student success.

Students are proud of their ability to pōwhiri visitors and perform the recently composed school haka. They have opportunities to learn te reo Māori at junior and senior levels. The college is now collaborating more with the Ruapōtaka Marae and giving increased recognition of the Māori history of the Taurere area where the college is located.

Taurere whānau support the board to determine the school’s strategic priorities and to develop stronger connections with the Māori community. Hui Mātua provide opportunities for whānau to contribute to school goals.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The college is very well placed to sustain and further improve its performance. The board’s strategic planning provides a good framework for school operations and self review. The board acts responsibly in its undertaking to meet governance requirements. Trustees welcome external review and engage professional expertise to support school development.

Board and management decision-making is supported by analysis of related evidence. Reports presented to the board align well with the school’s strategic goals and the board’s work plan. The 2015 strategic goals have specific and measurable targets and action plans. Teachers contribute to target setting to promote school wide commitment to achieving these goals.

The long-serving former principal provided high quality leadership and she left the school with a legacy of high expectations of professional practice, self review and student outcomes. The board followed effective processes to appoint the new principal. The new principal brings expertise and thinking to enhance the school’s long-established and effective systems and practices.

The board highly values the work of teachers and support staff. School wide professional learning is relevant and well planned and managed. Expertise from within the school provides a supportive network to strengthening teacher capability and classroom practice. Teachers are active learners, and express considerable good will to collegial sharing. New appraisal systems designed to encourage reflective practice are likely to deepen teachers’ professional inquiry.

The board and senior managers have development priorities that include a major building programme, and management of the significant roll growth. The board could also consider:

  • rationalising and re-organising the school’s policies
  • reviewing the need for separate committees in the board
  • strengthening board succession planning.

Provision for international students

Glendowie College 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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

At the time of this review there were 68 international students enrolled from China, Korea, Japan and Europe. The college contracts external agencies to manage appropriate home-stay accommodation.

International students’ interests and needs are well provided for. They are encouraged to involve themselves in the wider life of the school. Students are supported to improve their English language skills and to gain academic qualifications. An experienced director reports to the principal and the board about the students’ experiences and achievements, including academic achievement.

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

Glendowie College provides high quality education for students in Years 9 to 13. Students demonstrate a strong sense of pride in their school and in themselves as capable learners. This is a successful school with a well-designed and delivered curriculum that promotes high levels of student achievement.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 June 2015

School Statistics

Location

Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

65

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

1034

Number of international students

68

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

South East Asian

Samoan

Indian

Cook Island Māori

other European

other Pacific

other

5%

56%

11%

4%

3%

2%

1%

8%

2%

8%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

10 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2011

May 2008

September 2005

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa

The Child – the Heart of the Matter