Green Bay High School - 06/11/2014

Findings

Green Bay High School serves its local community well. Students benefit from school values that embrace diversity and inclusion. Teachers are improving learning outcomes for students through inquiry-based professional practices. Ongoing school improvement is guided by purposeful strategic planning and the collaborative leadership of the principal and board.

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?

Green Bay High School is a coeducational Year 9 to 13 secondary school serving Auckland’s western suburbs of New Lynn, Green Bay and Titirangi. The growing student roll, and increased involvement of parents, reflect the community’s support and its confidence in the leadership and direction of the school.

The school hosts an onsite satellite unit for adolescent students enrolled at Oaklyn Special School. The new purpose-built facilities for the unit are centrally placed and where possible students are integrated in mainstream learning opportunities. This collaboration complements the school’s vision and support for diversity and inclusion.

Students and staff benefit from the capable leadership of the principal and the board of trustees’ governance. Strategic staffing and resourcing decisions are enhancing the curriculum and impacting positively on students' learning and engagement. Student consultation, and school-based data, are informing recent self review concerning the learning culture and quality of teaching practice.

Significant property development and improvements to the school’s facilities and grounds have enhanced the learning environment. The revised school charter and strategic priorities are guiding ongoing improvements and supporting learning outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement overall in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is above national averages. At NCEA Level 1 achievement is close to that of similar schools. Achievement levels in NCEA have been steadily improving, although as the board of trustees acknowledges, Māori students are not achieving as well as others and boys do not perform as well as girls at Levels 2 and 3.

Currently just over 70% of all school leavers, including Māori, attain NCEA Level 2. The board has set targets to reach the Ministry of Education goal of 85% by 2017.

The school is making increasingly good use of achievement information. Recent innovations include:

  • appointing a transition dean to coordinate information about students entering the school at Year 9. Active partnerships with contributing schools are assisting the transition of students into the school
  • tracking and monitoring students, and interventions to support those most at risk of underachieving. Academic counselling is supporting individual students to make better choices of subjects and qualifications
  • encouraging teachers to inquire into their own practice. These new evidence-based inquiry strategies are helping teachers to plan and diversify their teaching approaches
  • providing better access to achievement information for parents and students. Teachers’ increased use of learning criteria and benchmarks for success help students to better understand the learning process.

Student literacy and numeracy data in Year 9 and 10 is being used to improve teachers’ planning of learning programmes. Curriculum leaders are developing and reviewing learning and assessment in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum. This data will provide very useful information that should help to improve outcomes for all students at NCEA Level 1.

Curriculum leaders are aligning their planning more closely to the school’s goals for improving student achievement. Appropriate targets are set for improving student achievement in NCEA Levels 1 to 3, for raising Māori student achievement, and for attaining Merit and Excellence endorsement.

As achievement information can now be accessed and analysed more readily, senior managers should increase the expectation for curriculum leaders to analyse data, and to report on outcomes for Māori students.

3 Curriculum

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

School leaders have initiated an in-depth review of the school curriculum. The emphasis of the review is to ensure that the curriculum is relevant and reflects students’ input and interests. New leadership appointments in areas such as technology, science, mathematics and social sciences are invigorating the curriculum and engaging students in purposeful learning.

Programmes in performance, music and the visual arts maintain popularity with students and the elite athletic programme is an innovative feature of the school curriculum. Teaching in areas including English, mathematics, media, dance and art is enabling senior students to achieve scholarship results. A review of the health education curriculum, as part of improving the coordination of student wellbeing services, is planned for 2015.

Well managed, multi-level programmes for students with special learning needs are an integral part of the school’s curriculum. Integrated and foundation studies are well designed courses to guide learning and to broaden qualification pathways for senior students. These programmes are responsive to students’ individual needs and interests. The school is continuing to strengthen student pathways through effective learning partnerships with parents.

Data on the intended destinations of school leavers is informing valuable self review. Career service staff are contributing to reviews of learning programmes in the senior school and are exploring new pathways to a wider range of qualifications. These steps are likely to broaden curriculum options, retain senior students, and support transition to employment and further learning.

Senior student contributions enrich the curriculum. Many students are involved in leadership roles, academic counselling, peer support and restorative practices. Senior students speak with pride about their school and the positive relationships they have with teachers. They enjoy the way the school embraces diversity and celebrates their achievements.

As part of the school’s commitment to strengthening bicultural practice, all curriculum leaders should report on how learning programmes reflect the board’s Treaty of Waitangi policy.

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

The board acknowledges that promoting greater success for Māori students is a key goal of the school’s strategic planning. An action plan has been recently designed in response to Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s strategy for accelerating success for Māori students.

Trustees have worked closely with the principal to resolve outstanding issues concerning the teaching of te reo and tikanga Māori. Recent staffing appointments have increased the likelihood of more students learning te reo Māori and have increased the focus on culturally responsive pedagogy. Another significant development has been the rebuilding of the school whare akoranga. Use of this attractive modern facility is likely to promote and help ensure success for Māori students.

Further steps in implementing the board’s Ka Hikitia plan should now include:

  • identifying a key leadership role for implementing and evaluating the strategic goals
  • increasing engagement and consultation with whānau Māori.

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.

The capable leadership of the long-serving principal and board chairperson promote stability and confidence in the strategic direction of the school. Planning and reporting have become more closely aligned to the school’s improvement goals and self review. Areas for improvement identified by school leaders in consultation with staff are incorporated into school plans and targets.

Lifting student achievement is central to the current school-wide review of teaching and learning. New teacher appraisal systems are focused on increasing student engagement in learning. Teachers are developing capability for analysing and reflecting on evidence, sharing good practice, and making cross-curricular connections that are relevant to learners.

The board is supportive of the principal and values the staff. Recent staffing appointments align strategically to school improvement and innovation. Professional learning and development opportunities are focused on embedding responsive practices that align to the school charter and are consistent with board policies.

Property development and a new digital infrastructure are enhancing the learning environment and plans for extending the use of e-learning are in place for 2015.

Further school development is planned, including:

  • continuing to strengthen leadership capabilities of middle and senior managers
  • improved coordination of student health, wellbeing and pastoral care services
  • prioritising community consultation and board succession planning.

Provision for international students

Green Bay High 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 25 international students, mostly from Asia, and a few from Europe and South America. Most international students reside with local home-stay families, including those on short-term visits.

Services for international students are well managed by an experienced director and staff. The school responds effectively to the interests and needs of international students.

International students are supported to improve their English language skills. They make good progress and achieve well. International students are involved in co-curricular activities and are encouraged to participate in the wider life of the school and its community.

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

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.

In order to improve practice trustees must ensure that:

  • parents are consulted about the Health Education programme every two years
  • health and safety procedures are systematically implemented and reported
  • trends in student attendance and stand-downs are examined more closely.

Conclusion

Green Bay High School serves its local community well. Students benefit from school values that embrace diversity and inclusion. Teachers are improving learning outcomes for students through inquiry-based professional practices. Ongoing school improvement is guided by purposeful strategic planning and the collaborative leadership of the principal and board.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

6 November 2014

About the School

Location

Green Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

42

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1272

Number of international students

25

Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

other European

Pacific

SE Asian

Indian

Other

68%

13%

7%

5%

2%

2%

3%

Special Features

On-site satellite unit of Oaklyn Special School

Technology provision for Year 7 and 8 students

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

6 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

November 2008

May 2006