Rotorua Intermediate - 20/12/2016

Findings

Students at Rotorua Intermediate benefit from a broad, responsive curriculum and inclusive school culture that promotes their engagement and success. Students engage and progress well in carefully designed programmes. Respectful and reciprocal relationships among staff and students foster settled, purposeful classrooms where students benefit from highly effective teaching and learning practices.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Rotorua Intermediate is a large urban school that serves the local community and surrounding districts. Since the last ERO review in 2013 the roll has grown to 706 students in Years 7 and 8. Approximately 70% percent of these students are of Māori descent and a significant proportion affiliate to Te Arawa.

Students have the opportunity to learn through the medium of te reo Māori in the bilingual class. In addition, the school provides choices of specialist programmes such as the innovative learning environment, digital, boys, girls, diligence, extension classes and accelerated learning groups (ALG).

Since the last ERO review, the leadership and organisation of the school has been reviewed and restructured. The roles and responsibilities of middle leaders have been reviewed and there have been strategic appointments of new staff to these positions. The school structure is based around Whānau, Ako and Manaakitanga groups that collaborate together to achieve success for all learners.

In consultation with iwi the school has reviewed and reaffirmed the school’s traditional vision and values. Whānau groups are named after significant Te Arawa leaders Hurungaterangi, Tunohopu, Te Roro o Te Rangi, Taeotu Rangiiwaho and Pukaki and their leadership qualities are reflected in the school’s expectations for their students. New student assessment tools have been introduced and has strengthened teachers' focus on targeted professional learning and development for at risk learners.

The school is well supported by an experienced board of trustees who are committed to improving student learning outcomes. Many parents and whānau have long standing connections with the school and students benefit from positive and varied learning experiences. Recent refurbishments in many classrooms, and an increase in the use of digital technologies, are enhancing learning opportunities for students. 

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information to effectively promote student engagement, progress and achievement. In 2015, senior and middle school leaders strengthened the way data is shared, discussed and used to reflect on practice, and better meet the learning needs of students.

School leaders and teachers gather, collate and analyse good quality school-wide assessment information, including data from contributing schools. This data is used to:

  • set strategic targets, inform decision making and resourcing at board and senior leadership levels
  • analyse trends and patterns of achievement during the year
  • clearly identify and support students at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • strengthen overall teacher judgements, and reports to parents, in relation to National Standards
  • inform teacher planning for groups of students in literacy and mathematics
  • help students share their progress with parents through student-led conferences.

Moving forward the school is to focus on and monitor the rates of student progress, and use this information to assist teachers to plan to meet the identified needs of individual students, especially those at risk of poor educational outcomes.

The 2015 student achievement data shows a significant proportion of children Year 7 and 8 are below National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In both year groups there are cohorts of students that are over represented in the below category. These students generally are Māori and boys. Data gathered in June 2016 indicates that a good many of these children made better than expected progress in reading, writing and mathematics, and are on track to meet the National Standards by the end of the year. The school has responded to this achievement information by setting relevant targets, close monitoring and implementing accelerated learning groups (ALG) in literacy and mathematics. These interventions are well organised by the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who closely monitors the wellbeing and achievements of students with high needs and those at risk of poor educational outcomes.

The growing number of Pacific students group has similar achievement patterns to other groups of students in the school. This group also has opportunities to participate in cultural events and experiences. The school continues to seek more effective ways to engage these families in the life of the school.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience a rich, coherent and well-designed curriculum that provides them with meaningful choices and pathways for learning. The curriculum is underpinned by the values of manaakitanga, whānaungatanga and ako, (respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for your actions). These values are well known by teachers, students and whānau. They are integrated into student expectations for learning and behaviour and are contributing to a settled and positive school culture. Success is recognised and celebrated through the Manaakitanga system, which acknowledges student effort, participation and leadership.

School leaders are continually reviewing the school’s curriculum and working effectively with teachers to deliver a responsive curriculum that promotes:

  • strong integration of literacy teaching practices across the curriculum
  • an inquiry approach in other curriculum areas
  • increased use of computer technology and innovative learning practices
  • regular opportunities for all students to learn te reo Māori
  • student agency and ownership of their own learning.

Senior leaders have initiated comprehensive professional development using internal and external expertise and knowledge. Staff have also visited other schools, attended workshops and conferences, and engaged in ongoing professional discussions. In addition, the appraisal process has been strengthened through evidence-based observations with specific feedback to teachers. These practices have contributed to the development of shared understandings and increased consistency in the quality of teaching and learning across the school.

Respectful and reciprocal relationships between teachers and students are a feature of the school. Teachers are responsive to students and set high expectations for learning and behaviour. School leaders responsible for pastoral care effectively coordinate the school’s strategic goal to provide a positive physical, emotional and social environment. Students are encouraged to work cooperatively, be positive role models, and develop positive citizenship skills.

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

School leaders have proactively focused and strengthened the school’s partnership with Ngati Whakaue. Through these advisory groups strong partnerships have developed and meaningful consultation has resulted in significant reorganisation of school operations.

The school continues to provide a range of opportunities for Māori students to succeed and excel in their learning. The proportion of Māori students achieving at and above National Standards in 2015 in reading, writing and mathematics was below that of other students in the school. Leaders carefully track and monitor the progress and achievement of Māori students and provide appropriate intervention, extension and support. Leaders are highly committed to making a difference for Māori learners and this is evidenced by improving levels of achievement over time.

Students celebrate their learning with parents and whānau regularly. Māori student's culture and heritage is acknowledged and affirmed through activities such as pōwhiri, kapa haka and knowledge and pepeha. Māori students have a forum, Kahurangatahi, where they discuss and share their views and aspirations to leaders.

Guidance of a lead teacher and recent teacher professional development have focused on building teacher knowledge, confidence and competence in accelerating the learning of Māori students. School leaders acknowledge the need to continue to imbed a Māori dimension into classroom programmes. 

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The following aspects of school operations and practices contribute to Rotorua Intermediate being well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

School leaders continue to provide high levels of visionary and innovative leadership that promotes a strong sense of ownership of the school’s purpose and direction for ongoing improvement. They provide effective leadership for staff, students and the community with a strong focus on improving teacher practice.

The board of trustees, in collaboration with iwi and community, has developed a focused and strategic approach to accelerating the achievement of all students at risk of not achieving.

There are high levels of student engagement and acceleration of progress for students who enter the school achieving below expected levels.

There is a school-wide culture of rigorous self review and critical reflection, which contributes effectively to sustaining the school’s positive performance and continuous improvement.

The school enjoys high levels of support, commitment and endorsement from within the school community.

All reasonable steps have been taken to provide a safe and inclusive environment.

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

Students at Rotorua Intermediate benefit from a broad, responsive curriculum and inclusive school culture that promotes their engagement and success. Students engage and progress well in carefully designed programmes. Respectful and reciprocal relationships among staff and students foster settled, purposeful classrooms where students benefit from highly effective teaching and learning practices.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

20 December 2016

About the School 

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1933

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

706

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacifica

Asian

68%

22%

5%

5%

Special Features

Bilingual Unit

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

20 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

December 2009 

 

 

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Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa

The Child – the Heart of the Matter