Long Bay College - 08/08/2018

School Context

Long Bay College is a large, co-educational secondary school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. It is located in Long Bay, on Auckland’s North Shore. The student roll includes six percent Māori and two percent Pacific learners. At the time of this report, 154 international students attended the college.

A new principal was appointed in 2017, and new positions have become available on the senior management team. The board of trustees works positively with the leadership group. A highly valued, local kaumatua is closely involved in the school’s bicultural development.

The college states that its overarching vision for students is to promote ‘personal excellence for global success’. The mission statement supports the school values that acknowledge respect, resilience, inclusion, confidence and pride. The school culture increasingly values student voice and places a high priority on student wellbeing for learning.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications framework

  • pathways and destination outcomes for senior students

  • achievement data for Years 9 and 10

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • pastoral and wellbeing information about student groups and cohorts

  • participation, contribution and engagement information across a number of sporting, arts and cultural areas

  • retention, stand down, suspension and attendance information.

The school environment offers students a range of good quality learning spaces and facilities. The Māori language classroom is well established and positions te reo me ngā tikanga Māori at the centre of the school.

The high expectations for student achievement noted in the 2013 ERO report continue to be evident.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The college is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

The board of trustees and school leaders continue to prioritise high levels of success for all students in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The school’s roll-based data show that most students are achieving very well in NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. Year level groups have sustained these positive results since the 2013 ERO review. The school’s outcomes for NCEA and University Entrance are consistently above national averages and above percentages for similar schools.

Approximately 85 percent of students achieved NCEA Level 1 and 2 in 2017, including Māori learners. Parity is evident for Māori students in University Entrance and at NCEA Levels 2 and 3. Generally, girls achieve better than boys in NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance. However, college leaders continue to be strongly focused on boys’ engagement, and are planning other vocational opportunities within the curriculum derived from senior students’ pathways preferences.

Overall, there has been a significant increase in NCEA merit endorsements at Level 3 and good scholarship results are evident across a range of subjects.

For Year 9 and 10 students, leaders and teachers use nationally normed assessment tools to gather achievement information as students enter Year 9. This is used in conjunction with transition information from teachers in contributing schools as students leave Year 8. Particularly useful is the strengthening relationship with the other six schools in the Oneroa Kahui-Ako Community of Learning cluster (COL). This is helping the exchange of knowledge about learners as they move from one school to another.

Priority students are identified at Year 9 if they are at risk of not achieving. Class teachers, department leaders and senior management track and monitor them to regularly gauge their accelerated progress. This means students, families and whānau get ongoing information about their progress through junior learning programmes and curriculum levels. Current school achievement information shows that after two years, most junior students reach New Zealand Curriculum Level 6, the standard required to learn successfully at NCEA Level 1.

In the event that senior students continue to need additional support and strategies to help with their learning at Year 11, 12 and 13, the college’s extensive monitoring and tracking systems continue to offer that opportunity.

Other valued student outcomes evident in the college’s learning culture are young people who:

  • gain a holistic view of learning

  • have confidence to engage in and contribute to learning

  • are inclusive of diversity and difference.

Valued student outcomes are explicitly promoted and developed as an intrinsic part of the college’s curriculum.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Long Bay College leaders and teachers have the capacity to accelerate learning for all students. The school is successfully addressing small parity issues for some groups of learners. Staff have worked relentlessly and effectively to strengthen parity for Māori, Pacific and other students whose first language is not English.

School information shows that, since 2013, most learners who have made good levels of progress or accelerated progress over a two-year period in the junior school go on to achieve senior NCEA qualifications at Level 2 or above.

Māori students, at NCEA Level 2 and 3, have made small accelerated shifts in their achievement over the last three years. Eighty-seven percent of Māori students gained NCEA Level 2 in 2017. In University Entrance qualifications, there are some disparities for Pacific learners, which are being strategically addressed.

Learning support for students with additional needs is well-coordinated. There is effective liaison between classroom teachers, deans and specialist agencies. The school’s highly inclusive learning culture helps all students participate in a breadth of learning experiences.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The principal’s leadership, the board’s stewardship, and the learning culture for students are effective school conditions that enable learners to achieve equity and excellence.

The board of trustees is strategically focused on a college ethos where excellence is defined as students striving for their personal best. The principal is effectively managing high quality change leadership based on evaluative thinking and researched evidence. This is promoting the continuing development of a collaborative school culture that is student-driven and future-focused.

Senior and middle leaders deliberately plan for equity and excellence through personalising approaches and systems for learning. The opportunity for individualised programmes is a key driver in the school’s strategic planning.

Teachers continue to grow their capability in trialling ways to support students who need to make accelerated shifts in their learning. There is a strong focus on tracking and monitoring students’ progress using several ‘numbers, names and needs’ approaches. Subject teachers plan different actions when additional learning strategies are needed to ensure successful outcomes. Learner support systems work effectively for students who have different or additional needs.

There is a school-wide curriculum focus on building ‘self-managed’ learning behaviour. Year 9 students have a well-considered “learning to learn” programme that focuses on such themes as building resilience and growth mind-sets and the science of the adolescent brain. Parent groups are invited into the school to learn about teenage developmental psychology and management.

Students and staff work with digital platforms that can extend learning time for students, groups of students and teachers. This allows more personalised learning contact and helps to widen the breadth and scope of self-directed learning.

The recently introduced teacher appraisal process is of high quality and reflects the Education Council’s professional standards. Performance management aligns with strategic school priorities and learning initiatives.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

ERO and school leaders agreed on areas for further school improvement including:

  • extending and enriching the junior curriculum to further engage students with learning in creative and innovative ways

  • external expertise to complement the school’s development of culturally responsive teaching and learning

  • the formation of an internal leadership group to support te reo me ngā tikanga Māori development school-wide

  • strengthening parity of achievement for boys at NCEA Level 3 and UE

  • a significant mentor teacher system to carry the long-term learning profile of each student.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • finance

  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (The Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 154 international students attending the school. International students are well cared for and experience programmes that are suited to their learning and promote their wellbeing. The school’s monitoring system for international students is well administered. The board receives reports about the quality of education provided for international students, their care and how well they are progressing and achieving.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • senior leadership capability

  • a learning culture that is student-focused for all round success

  • a strong focus on personalised excellence for all.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • junior curriculum review and design

  • external expertise to enhance culturally responsive learning

  • enhanced pathway design for male students at NCEA Level 3.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 August 2018

About the school

Location

Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

27

School type

Secondary (Year 9-13)

School roll

1408

Gender composition

Girls 49% Boys 51%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
Pākehā 53%
Chinese 4%
other European 28%
other Asian 4%
other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

8 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2013
Education Review February 2010
Education Review November 2006