Pakuranga College - 23/08/2010

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Students at Pakuranga College, in the eastern suburbs of Auckland, are well engaged in learning. They actively participate in classroom programmes that have a high focus on learning and a positive, encouraging tone. They thoughtfully contribute to the development of the school’s learning tone through student forums and by providing feedback, sought by teachers, on the effectiveness of lessons. This constructive involvement of students has supported the ongoing development of a student-centred approach to the school’s curriculum development and delivery.

Student engagement is also enhanced by the respectful interactions evident throughout the school and through the wide range of co-curricular activities available. Opportunities for students to participate in a variety of cultural groups and events acknowledge and value the increasing diversity of their cultural backgrounds.

The school adopted a learning charter following a review process in 2003. The development of teaching and learning aligned to this guiding document reflects a sense of commitment and continuous improvement. Senior leaders appointed since ERO’s 2007 review have actively supported the concept of a learning charter and have involved staff in the ongoing review and development of this charter. As a consequence, teaching and learning practices in classrooms have moved considerably closer to intentions outlined in the charter.

The new principal, appointed in 2009, has introduced greater opportunities for collaborative reflection on the effectiveness of teaching and learning and has increased the use of student data to inform self review and subsequent strategic planning. These processes clearly identify areas where student achievement could* be improved, and provide a sound foundation for a more focused response.

Well-led curriculum development, student support and teacher development committees assist the implementation of a school curriculum that is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), while also fostering ongoing improvements to pastoral and classroom programmes across the school. A recently developed school plan to promote increased success for Māori students reflects the positive Māori potential approach of the Ministry of Education’s Ka Hikitia strategy.

The board of trustees demonstrates a strong commitment to the student-centred school charter. Both long-serving and recently appointed trustees contribute thoughtfully to reviews of board operations. The increased reporting to the board of well analysed student data is improving the quality of board review and planning for increased student success.

Future Action

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

2 Pakuranga College’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Pakuranga College promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

Following a major review process in 2003 Pakuranga College adopted a learning charter that set out the school’s teaching and learning priorities. Although changes to school leadership have occurred, the charter has continued to guide the school’s learning values. ERO’s review in 2007, ongoing school development and the introduction of the NZC have contributed to shifts in classroom practices that align well with this charter.

During 2010 the new principal has introduced teaching and learning coaches and cross-curricular teacher professional learning groups (PLGs) to strengthen reflective practice and the sustainability of new teaching practices. The Learning Charter format is also being reviewed to provide clearer information for students, staff and the community.

Student achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) continues to compare favourably with national levels. The principal’s reports to the board identify areas where positive trends are sustained as well as areas where achievement is below the levels of schools of similar decile. The board recognises the need to improve identified areas of student achievement and its 2010 plans include strategies designed to lift the level of success of Māori and Pacific students, and to increase overall student success in national qualifications.

Areas of strength

Student engagement. Students are active contributors to the school’s learning environment. Classrooms have a positive, cooperative atmosphere with students well engaged in learning. A number of student-led councils provide leadership opportunities and forums for students to contribute to the development of the school. These contributions extend to student participation in the review of the teaching and learning values, as captured in the Learning Charter. .

Student engagement is also enhanced by the respectful interactions evident throughout the school and by the wide range of co-curricular activities available. The inclusion of student-led development objectives in the annual plan increase student ownership of improvements in learning opportunities provided by the school.

Student-centred curriculum. Ongoing development of a curriculum that supports the school’s learning values has resulted in an expanding range of programmes that are designed to cater for diverse student abilities and aspirations. Specialist learning units provide well targeted programmes for students with high learning needs and other groups of learners with special needs and talents. New initiatives this year include the introduction of digital classrooms, enabling some Year 9 students to learn through an information and communication technologies (ICT) based programme.

The school curriculum is well aligned to the NZC. Its implementation is facilitated by the school’s curriculum and assessment board (CAB), which has strong links to school and faculty leadership and other school development teams. The implementation of the curriculum is supported by a strong culture of self review in the CAB.

Collaborative culture. The school’s collaborative culture supports continuous improvement underpinned by school-wide school teaching and learning values. New board and staff members acknowledge existing school values and contribute to improvement-focused review. Senior leaders and staff work cooperatively in key school and staff development forums. The principal is lifting the quality of self review by increasing collaborative reflection on pedagogy and teacher use of student achievement and engagement data. The inclusion of student voice has also supported the ongoing development of the school’s student-centred approach to curriculum delivery.

Teaching. Classroom teaching practices have moved considerably closer to the Learning Charter intentions than at the time of the 2007 review. Teachers are open to change. They incorporate many formative and cooperative strategies to enhance student learning. Recently introduced initiatives to increase feedback to staff on their teaching practice are increasing professional learning conversations. Senior leaders work with staff to build and sustain good practice and to identify areas for further development.

Supportive environment. A strong commitment to supporting students’ engagement and well being is evident through school-wide systems and plans. The pastoral care network is well coordinated and effective. Self review aligned to the school values is increasing the use of restorative practices and making stronger links between pastoral care and student learning processes. The number of student suspensions and exclusions have decreased. Students feel safe and appreciate the support they receive.

The school acknowledges and values the diversity of students’ cultural backgrounds. Students participate in a variety of cultural groups and events. A recently developed plan to promote increased success for Māori students builds positively on students’ potential and is appropriately aligned to the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Ka Hikitia strategy. This plan is beginning to impact on school-wide plans and actions for supporting Māori students. The school has a successful partnership with the Pacific community, resulting in an increasing focus on Pacific student success. This productive community relationship provides a useful platform to help review progress against the MoE Pasifika Education Plan.

Agreed priorities.

ERO affirms the school’s development priorities, as set out in the board’s strategic plans.

3 Provision for International Students

Pakuranga College is providing its international students with high quality pastoral care that enables them to be active participants in school life and to achieve success in the wide variety of educational experiences provided. The thorough monitoring and self-review practices carried out by staff in the International student department enhance the provision for these students.

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Pakuranga College 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.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is robust and that the school complies with all sections of the Code.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Pakuranga College completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked policies, procedures and practices about compliance in the following areas because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

The checking process indicated that the school has established policies, procedures and practices to enable it to meet its legal obligations.

5 Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

23 August 2010

About The School

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

2014

Number of international students

91

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 35%,

Māori 7%,

Pacific 5%,

Chinese 17%,

other European 11%,

Indian 9%,

Southeast Asian 5%,

other Asian 3%,

other ethnicities 8%

Review team on site

June 2010

Date of this report

23 August 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, June 2007

Education Review, August 2002

Accountability Review, June 1998

23 August 2010

To the Parents and Community of Pakuranga College

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Pakuranga College.

Students at Pakuranga College, in the eastern suburbs of Auckland, are well engaged in learning. They actively participate in classroom programmes that have a high focus on learning and a positive, encouraging tone. They thoughtfully contribute to the development of the school’s learning tone through student forums and by providing feedback, sought by teachers, on the effectiveness of lessons. This constructive involvement of students has supported the ongoing development of a student-centred approach to the school’s curriculum development and delivery.

Student engagement is also enhanced by the respectful interactions evident throughout the school and through the wide range of co-curricular activities available. Opportunities for students to participate in a variety of cultural groups and events acknowledge and value the increasing diversity of their cultural backgrounds.

The school adopted a learning charter following a review process in 2003. The development of teaching and learning aligned to this guiding document reflects a sense of commitment and continuous improvement. Senior leaders appointed since ERO’s 2007 review have actively supported the concept of a learning charter and have involved staff in the ongoing review and development of this charter. As a consequence, teaching and learning practices in classrooms have moved considerably closer to intentions outlined in the charter.

The new principal, appointed in 2009, has introduced greater opportunities for collaborative reflection on the effectiveness of teaching and learning and has increased the use of student data to inform self review and subsequent strategic planning. These processes clearly identify areas where student achievement could* be improved, and provide a sound foundation for a more focused response.

Well-led curriculum development, student support and teacher development committees assist the implementation of a school curriculum that is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), while also fostering ongoing improvements to pastoral and classroom programmes across the school. A recently developed school plan to promote increased success for Māori students reflects the positive Māori potential approach of the Ministry of Education’s Ka Hikitia strategy.

The board of trustees demonstrates a strong commitment to the student-centred school charter. Both long-serving and recently appointed trustees contribute thoughtfully to reviews of board operations. The increased reporting to the board of well analysed student data is improving the quality of board review and planning for increased student success.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.