Motueka High School - 29/11/2017

School Context

Motueka High School serves the wider Motueka community. It has a roll of 699 students. The principal has been at the school for two years and the board chair is new to that position.

The school’s vision is to prepare young people to take their place in the world. The valued outcomes are centred around belonging to the community, respect, individual worth and valuing learning.

The school’s learning goals, as expressed in its charter, set targets for improving attendance, rates of literacy and numeracy, and achievement in NCEA, particularly for specific groups of learners.

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

  • progress and achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • progress and achievement for students with additional learning needs.

The school is a member of the Motueka Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for some students.

Literacy and numeracy results have been consistently high over time. Level 1 NCEA achievement shows an overall upward trend, with over 80% of students achieving at this level in 2016. The majority of students achieve Level 2, although results remain below the national expectations.

At NCEA Level 3, girls’ achievement has been trending up over time and over half achieved at this level. Boys’ achievement at Level 3, however, is considerably lower than girls’ achievement and national expectations. The achievement of Māori students remains significantly below that of other students at NCEA Level 1, and slightly below at Levels 2 and 3 and in comparison with national data. The achievement of Māori students, however, has been improving at all three levels of NCEA.

The school has identified the specific areas of concern in achievement and has put initiatives in place to address these.

In Years 9 and 10 teachers use standardised tests to effectively monitor and report student progress against curriculum levels.

Some senior students have achieved success in a range of certificates and courses that do not fall within the NCEA framework but which provide them with meaningful skills and pathways.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Māori learners’ achievement is below that of other groups. The school is responsive to this with a range of specific strategies to affirm Māori learners’ sense of identity and to improve learning outcomes for these students.

Students whose learning needs acceleration benefit from strong learning support programmes that are responsive to their needs. There is evidence that the majority of learners are making sufficient progress. All staff have a collective responsibility for learners identified as requiring additional support. Students on Individual Learning Plans (IEPs) are well supported to achieve success.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school has a strong and cohesive leadership team with a clear vision, expressed through the strategic and annual plans, for improving outcomes for all learners. This improvement-focussed, learner-centred vision is shared by staff and is clearly reflected throughout the school.

The school’s strategic goals provide a clear, purposeful, learner-centred framework for decision making around programmes, resourcing and other initiatives. Specific initiatives have been effectively implemented to:

  • improve attendance

  • strengthen the pastoral care network and partnerships with outside agencies

  • improve the use of data to inform planning

  • increase understanding and use of bicultural practices

  • establish cohesive systems for monitoring school-wide practices and ensuring accountability and alignment with school values and goals.

Students benefit from positive relationships both within the school and with the community. Students feel known, supported and valued by their teachers. Teachers work collaboratively with a strong focus on student success across a range of programmes and activities. Student success is widely celebrated. The sharing of data and information with contributing primary schools facilitates smooth transitions for students. The school actively seeks and acts on community feedback and perspectives.

The school provides a broad curriculum responsive to the diverse needs of the students. The local environment features strongly to ensure relevance and connection. Teachers adapt courses to meet individual needs. In some subjects students are able to manage aspects of their own learning. Students throughout the school benefit from thorough subject and course selection guidance. Strong reciprocal links with the wider community provide extensive opportunities for curriculum enrichment, specialist support, work experience and employment. Students transitioning to the work place or further study are very well supported.

A designated Māori teacher supports te ao Māori and the recently opened whare provides an effective connection with the wider environment, the local iwi, whānau and with the school values.

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

In order to understand the impact of programmes and initiatives on outcomes for students, trustees, leaders and staff need to develop a more evaluative approach. This should include:

  • developing a system to ensure all areas of school operations are evaluated over time
  • developing a shared understanding of what constitutes a robust evaluative process.

To improve outcomes for all students, leaders and teachers need to:

  • further develop, implement and evaluate strategies to address engagement and achievement, particularly for Māori, boys and those working at Level 3 NCEA
  • consider ways in which students can have a greater involvement in decisions about their learning.

To further improve outcomes for Māori students, leaders and teachers need to extend the existing bicultural practices so that they are more visible in classroom practices.

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.

Appraisal audit

The school needs to ensure that the appraisal system consistently meets the requirements of the Education Council. In particular there needs to be sufficiency of evidence to ensure teachers have met the attestation requirements.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (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 thirty-six international students attending the school, including no exchange students.

International students benefit from well developed and managed support systems. Their wellbeing and achievement are monitored effectively and parents receive regular reports. The students are welcomed as part of the school and the wider community and have many opportunities to experience the environment.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to policies. The school has to review all policies to meet legislative requirements. The most significant of these policies pertain to:

  • Child Protection - Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014

  • Physical restraint [Clause 11] Education (Physical Restraint ) Rules 2107 Guidelines for Registered Schools in New Zealand on the use of Physical Restraint

  • Surrender, Retention and Searches - Education Act 1989 Sections 138AAA – 139 AAH, Education Rules 2013

  • Delivery of the Health Curriculum Education Act 1898, Section 60B

The school needs to update its Health and Safety Policy in line with legislation and the school’s practices.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strategic planning and the alignment of a shared vision across the school that ensure a relentless focus on improving outcomes for students

  • strong respectful relationships within the school and with the wider community which support learners and extend opportunities

  • responsive local curriculum that enables a focus on learner needs and interests

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the collective capacity to use evaluation and inquiry as a base for improvement and innovation

  • embedding effective culturally responsive pedagogy in classroom practices to reflect the bicultural nature of New Zealand and enhance opportunities for Māori to learn as Māori

  • developing more consistent approaches to ensuring that students take an active role in decisions around what and how they learn.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

29 November 2017

About the school

Location

Motueka

Ministry of Education profile number

298

School type

Secondary, Co-educational

Years 9 - 15

School roll

699

Gender composition

Female 46%

Male 54%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%

Pākehā77%

Pacific Island 1%

Other 4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

29 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014

Education Review November 2010

Education review September 2007