Greenmeadows Intermediate - 25/08/2016

Findings

Greenmeadows Intermediate School serves its diverse community of learners well. Students benefit from teaching and learning approaches that enhance their understanding of their own progress and achievement. The inclusive culture of the school offers opportunities for all students to enjoy learning. The celebration of languages and cultural identity is increasingly guiding the school vision of student success.

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?

Greenmeadows Intermediate School serves the culturally diverse community of Manurewa, in South Auckland. Students in Years 7 and 8, from different local primary schools, enjoy their two years of intermediate education. The school’s inclusive culture and environment nurture the interests of young adolescents, and support their transition to secondary schools in the area.

Students’ home languages and cultural identities are increasingly reflected in the school’s curriculum. Māori students are 25 percent of the school roll, while Pacific students, predominantly Samoan, make up a similar percentage. Members of the school community value whānau involvement and the sharing of cultural practices and celebrations that reflect the diversity of the school community. New initiatives such as digital learning and innovative learning environments are being developed in partnership with the community to reflect community aspirations.

School improvement goals are clearly focused on raising student achievement. Since ERO’s 2011 review the senior management team has been restructured. The roles of Leader of Professional Practice and Leader of Learning Support are designed to build teacher capability to deliver the curriculum and to ensure that the needs of all learners are well met. Significant curriculum review arising from ongoing professional development and collaboration with other schools reflects the school's commitment to delivering a curriculum that is future-focussed, promotes collaborative teaching and learning and fosters student agency.

The school is proactive in building professional networks with other schools in the Manurewa area with a view to improving outcomes for all learners.  

ERO’s 2011 review identified many positive aspect of the school’s curriculum and learning programme. The school vision, Piki ki te rangi, Reach for the sky, guides ongoing improvements in teaching and learning. 

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of achievement information to make positive changes in student engagement in learning. A key goal for the school is to raise students’ literacy and numeracy levels in relation to the National Standards to enable them to access the wider curriculum. The school also aims to empower students to take an active role in assessing their own learning and progress.

The school’s achievement information shows that 66 percent of students leave the school achieving at or above the relevant National Standard in reading. Senior leaders have sought external expertise to support writing and mathematics teaching across the school. This has included the development of moderation processes within the school, and across schools, to help teachers reach robust judgements about learners' progress and achievement.

Targets were set in 2015 for all students achieving below the National Standards to reach the standard by the end of the year. Specific emphasis was placed on tracking Year 8 Māori and Pacific boys, because they are disproportionately represented in data relating to students who are below the standard. Teachers are expected to target and monitor the progress of those priority learners in their classrooms.

The school’s achievement information shows that at least half the targeted students made accelerated progress to meet the 2015 targets. Most notably, 68 percent of the targeted Pacific boys reached the applicable National Standard at the end of the year in reading, as did 73 percent in writing. These improvements suggest that the school is successfully accelerating progress through a variety of initiatives and selected teacher development strategies.

Similar targets have been set for 2016, with a focus on accelerating the achievement of all students below the National Standard. Targets have also been set to extend Year 7 girls to be above the standard in mathematics. School leaders agree that refining the targets to smaller cohorts within each year group could help them identify the most effective acceleration strategies and use of resources. This refining should also be useful to focus teachers’ inquiry into their practice more specifically on the target students who are most at risk.

Further work is planned to embed students’ active use of data for their own learning. These developments are likely to result in students having greater ownership of their own learning goals, based on shared progress and achievement information.

3 Curriculum

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

Students enjoy an expansive and enriched curriculum that promotes and supports their learning well. The school’s graduate student profile highlights key outcomes including Hauora, Diversity, Innovation, Enterprise and Sustainability, underpinned by the aim that all students will meet their academic potential and be able to make the most of all learning opportunities. Literacy and mathematics are prioritised in the timetable. In addition, students benefit from programmes delivered by specialist teachers in the visual arts, dance and music, robotics and digital technology, and food technology and bioscience. Health and careers education are included at each year level. The school provides children with a rich range of sporting opportunities and this represents an important aspect of the school's holistic curriculum. Careful consideration has also been given to catering for students' varied gifts and talents, and students benefit from a wide range of opportunities to develop these.

Curriculum leadership has been strengthened through the management restructure. Developments in the curriculum are strategic and aligned with teachers’ professional learning and development. Resources are equitably distributed to ensure that all students have opportunities to succeed. Teachers meet students’ diverse learning needs through classroom programmes.

The school’s integrated inquiry-based learning approaches include the key competencies and bicultural components of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers are focussed on making the curriculum responsive to students’ interests and drawing on authentic contexts for learning.

Students have increased opportunities to use digital learning resources and work collaboratively as a result of the introduction of "Bring Your Own Learning Devices" programme (BYOD). Teachers are developing students’ consistent language of learning and aligning the school-wide behaviour practices with their commitment to developing student agency as a learner. The board is funding and supporting ongoing professional development for teachers to enhance students’ self-efficacy as future focussed life-long learners.

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

School leaders are clearly committed to being culturally responsive, particularly in relation to bicultural practices. The school’s strategic plan and goals encompass Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017, the Ministry of Education’s plan for promoting Māori potential. Trustees support this direction by funding cultural expertise to build staff capacity in the use and understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Māori learners feel proud of their heritage, and they are supported to build their leadership capacity as young Maōri. They benefit from the increased use of te reo throughout the school and the sense that this is a valued part of school life. Kapa haka is also an option that is highly valued by children. Whānau and Māori staff are consulted through surveys and hui, and provide feedback and advice about school kawa.

Māori student achievement information is well analysed and reported. Data is used to determine goals and improvement targets. The school emphasis on inclusion and diversity provides an encouraging climate that supports Māori learners.

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 principal continues to provide effective change leadership supported by the high expectations of trustees and staff. The leadership team has been strategically strengthened with a focus on supporting improved outcomes for students. Inquiry processes are contributing to a professional teaching culture and teachers are increasingly confident in using and sharing achievement data to improve their practice.

Strategic and annual plans are coherent and well organised. They provide a clear direction for school development, and are based on current research and effective practice. Increased support for teachers is provided through mentoring and coaching. The appraisal system and professional learning programmes are aligned to school goals and to promoting the desired graduate student profile.

Senior leaders’ focus on building the collective capacity and capability of staff is inspiring innovation and improving the depth and quality of the curriculum. School leaders are supported to manage their specific roles and responsibilities effectively. They have made very good use of external educational consultants to support the review and enhancement of the curriculum.

Restorative practices are used to support student wellbeing and promote inclusion. Effective pastoral care results in a positive climate for learning.

The board is supportive of the principal and school leaders. Trustees are informed about school goals and action plans. They take a keen interest in how well students are achieving and provide additional learning resources to support teacher-led, targeted interventions in the classrooms. These interventions have included initiatives to raise boys’ self-efficacy. School leaders are continuing to engage parents in constructive learning partnerships.

ERO recommends that the school’s next steps should be informed by:

  • revisiting previous target setting and teaching as inquiry goals that are used to support the accelerated progress of students who are not currently achieving the National Standards
  • embedding teaching approaches that support students to develop greater ownership of their own learning goals, based on shared progress and achievement information.

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

Greenmeadows Intermediate School serves its diverse community of learners well. Students benefit from teaching and learning approaches that enhance their understanding of their own progress and achievement. The inclusive culture of the school offers opportunities for all students to enjoy learning. The celebration of languages and cultural identity is increasingly guiding the school vision of student success.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 August 2016

About the School 

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1300

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

370

Gender composition

Boys      57%
Girls       43%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Indian
Cook Island Māori
Tongan
Asian
Middle Eastern
other Pacific
other

25%
20%
15%
13%
  6%
  3%
  3%
  2%
  3%
10%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

25 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2011
June 2008
May 2006