Newlands Intermediate - 25/09/2018

School Context

Newlands Intermediate in Wellington caters for students in Years 7 and 8. At the time of this review, the roll was 466, with 17% of students identifying as Māori, and 6% as of Pacific heritage. There has been significant roll growth since the September 2015 ERO report.

Recent review has renewed the school’s vision and values.The new logo represents the tree, ti kouka – the cabbage tree, that has been growing in the courtyard since the school was built in 1977. This tree is a symbol of resilience, growth, strong heart and national identity.

Key strategic goals include: r There is a charter target on accelerating achievement in writing and a schoolwide goal on increasing student responsibility and control over their learning.aising the achievement levels of priority learners including Māori, Pacific and those with more complex learning needs; providing a safe and inclusive learning environment; and developing a professional staff learning community.

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

  • trends in reading, writing and mathematics

  • learning support for those with additional needs

  • wellbeing and engagement.

The school shares a boundary with Newlands College. It is a member of the Newlands Kāhui Ako.

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?

Most students achieve at or above expectation in reading and mathematics with a large majority achieving at or above expectation in writing. Boys achieve less well in writing. Girls and Māori students’ achievement in mathematics overall is lower than their peers. Pacific students overall achieve at lower levels in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school has yet to develop a shared definition of acceleration. Systems are not yet sufficiently developed to enable leaders and teachers to judge, analyse and report the rate of progress of target students.

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?

Students benefit from a purposeful, schoolwide learning environment. They are on task and engaged in their learning. Relationships among students and with teachers are positive and respectful. The school is inclusive, with culture, language and identity recognised and valued. Students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging are strongly promoted. Learners’ voice and interests are acknowledged.

There are a significant number of students with more complex learning needs. They are well supported with appropriate programmes and interventions. Individual progress is monitored against collaboratively developed specific individual education plans.

Trustees and school leaders work in a systematic way to promote the school vision and establish a culture of ongoing improvement. Leaders recognise and use the knowledge and skills of teachers to lead aspects of the curriculum. There is a coherent alignment of school systems and processes to support positive outcomes for students.

Teachers are well supported to develop and extend their skills and expertise. Extensive professional development is appropriately aimed at introducing new methodologies and growing teachers’ professional capability. Appraisal processes are improvement focused with individual goals linked to school targets. There is a well-considered induction programme for new staff. Beginning teachers are appropriately mentored and guided.

Leaders and teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools to gather baseline data, effectively identify students at risk of not achieving and establish suitable annual school targets. Individual student achievement is well monitored. Teachers use this data to identify and respond to students’ interests and learning needs. Syndicates plan collaboratively and collectively consider key judgements on individual student achievement.

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

Leaders recognise the importance of enhancing systems and processes to more effectively track and respond to students’ rates of progress. Key developments should include:

  • adopting a clear, shared definition and understanding of expected and accelerated progress
  • analysing and reporting on the acceleration of those students whose progress and achievement need this
  • using this information to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and interventions.

The school’s broad curriculum provides extensive opportunities for students to engage in a wide range of cultural, sporting, artistic, academic or leadership activities. However, aspects of the curriculum, while evident in action, are not explicitly recorded in an overall curriculum document. It is timely to review and document expectations for key aspects that include the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. Specific guidelines for teacher inquiry, effective classroom practice and expected student outcomes should also be included.

An established self-review process is in place that is reflective, informs decision making and leads to ongoing improvement. Enhancing this process to strengthen the evaluative aspects of review should support trustees and teachers to more effectively measure the impact of systems and processes on student outcomes and identify next steps.

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 six international students attending the school.

The school uses sound processes to monitor the provision of pastoral care, accommodation, English language learning and appropriate learning programmes for their international students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the positive and respectful learning environment that, supports students’ engagement and learning

  • a collaborative approach and high expectations from trustees, leaders and teachers that promotes improved outcomes for students

  • the school’s broad curriculum that provides extensive opportunities for students to engage in a wide range of cultural, sporting, artistic, academic and leadership activities.

Next steps

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

  • monitoring, tracking and responding to the rate of progress for students at risk of not achieving to support improved use of data to make decisions about students’ learning

  • reviewing and documenting expectations of the curriculum including principles, values and key competencies to better align documented intent with the experienced curriculum

  • enhancing internal evaluation to better measure the impact of programmes and initiatives on improving student outcomes.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 September 2018

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2924

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 and 8)

School roll

466

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%

Pākehā 41%

Indian 10%

Chinese 6%

Pacific 6%

Other ethnic groups 20%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

25 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015

Education Review October 2012

Education Review July 2009