Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Junior School - 23/05/2012

Findings

1. Context

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

The Junior School is one of three schools that make up the Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. The collegiate is located on a single campus in Otara, in South Auckland. The Junior School caters for students from Years1 to 6, the Middle School for Years 7 and 8, and the Senior School for students from Years 9 to 15.

Students at the collegiate are predominantly Pacific. Significant groups of Samoan, Cook Island Maōri and Tongan students reflect the Pacific diversity of the local community. The seven classroom Samoan bilingual unit for students in Years 1 to 6 affirms Samoan language, culture and identity. Māori students comprise eighteen percent of the Junior School roll.

The collegiate curriculum caters for students from new entrants to programmes aligned to the National Qualifications Framework. Preschool units onsite prepare students for school and assist with transition to Year 1 classes. The Junior School benefits from longstanding and capable leadership and management. Teachers across the collegiate are committed to the board’s vision and goals.

ERO’s 2008 review identified serious concerns about the governance and management of the collegiate. In 2009 the Secretary for Education replaced the board of trustees with an appointed commissioner. The work of the commissioner from 2009 to mid-2011 significantly strengthened collegiate operations. ERO’s subsequent review in 2010 noted improvements in personnel and financial management and increased levels of safety for students and staff.

In mid-2011 a new board of trustees was established. New trustees have sought appropriate training and support. The new chairperson provides leadership to the board, and a Ministry of Education appointed trustee assists the board to manage financial resources. The collaborative relationship developing between the three principals is strengthening collegiate-wide planning and self-review.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students in the Junior School are well supported and engaged in learning. Teachers have respectful and positive relationships with students and high expectations of their success. They manage learning effectively. Achievement and progress information is visually displayed in colourful and culturally relevant classroom. The learning charter expectations are displayed throughout the school and students use exemplars to understand their achievement and determine their progress. The clear focus on learning is evident through explicit good quality teaching.

The school’s achievement information show that the majority of students are making good progress in reading but are below national expectations in writing and mathematics. Parents receive reports in relation to the National Standards and are welcome to discuss their children’s goals, progress and achievement.

The school’s assessment procedures provide teachers with good quality information about students’ strengths and learning needs. Year level data on target cohorts show accelerated progress, with some students making more than one year’s progress in reading and mathematics. Assessment results in the Samoan bilingual unit, Lumanai, show accelerated progress being made by students within a year.

The school aspires to provide high quality learning that is appropriate to each child’s social and cultural understanding and to their different levels of ability. Support for students with English as a second language (ESOL) and for those who have special learning needs is well managed. Teaching strategies focus on accelerating student progress. Senior classes have displays in the writing area that shows students how they compare with the National Standards. Senior managers agree the next steps in using achievement information include continuing to involve students more in knowing about their learning and about what they need to do to achieve the next level.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

School data show that Māori students are progressing and achieving well in reading, writing and mathematics. Recent analysis of National Standards data shows that Māori students are performing as well as or better than Pacific students in writing and mathematics. The Māori enrichment class provides students and whanau the choice of learning within a culturally appropriate setting and supports students in their use of te reo.

The school’s initiatives to raise the achievement for Māori students are providing ongoing support for the well being of Māori and their whānau. Māori students with poor attendance are supported by close monitoring and whānau support. The next step is to develop a collegiate wide approach to raising the profile of Māori and to strengthening Māori language, culture and identity.

3. Curriculum

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

The Junior School’s curriculum is well developed and promotes and supports student learning effectively. Students are offered a broad school curriculum, consistent with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. The school Learning Charter includes the school’s vision and values statement aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. The charter is visible throughout the school, and its values are demonstrated in the delivery and implementation of a culturally responsive programme.

Teachers use a variety of strategies that focus on improving children’s reading, writing and numeracy. Students are aware of the high expectations that teachers have of them and respond positively to these. They participate enthusiastically in learning activities and are proud to share their successes.

Targeted professional development has informed teacher planning and the delivery of learning programmes. Teachers in the Samoan bilingual classes demonstrate high expectations that engage students well in appropriate cultural contexts for learning. Pacific and Māori students benefit from good quality focused teaching that promotes successful learning. As a result, students are able to articulate their progress and achievement and discuss their goals with their parents and whānau.

Outcomes for students could be further strengthened by a more explicit focus on inquiry learning, questioning and self management skills. The school could also consider developing whānau hui/fono further to strengthen parent partnerships in learning.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Good systems are developing for sustaining and improving the performance of the collegiate. The principals and board have strengthened self review and are continuing to make good use of external expertise.

The collegiate vision and long-term charter goals support effective operational planning. The Junior and Middle Schools have capable leadership and experienced management teams. The new principal in the Senior School has the confidence of staff and is rebuilding the capability of the senior management team.

Strategic and operational planning is well aligned. Ongoing teacher development is supported by planned professional learning that is focused on raising student achievement. Student achievement targets are based on reliable assessment information and self review is informed by data about student progress, participation and engagement.

Pastoral care systems have improved and are well managed. Expectations for learning and behaviour are aligned to the values of the collegiate and to restorative practices. The tone in the schools is purposeful and relationships are respectful. Students are proud of their school and opportunities for older and younger students to interact and support one another are increasing. The collegiate is exploring ways to further engage parents in supporting students’ learning.

The three collegiate principals are working in a more cooperative and collaborative manner. They are supported by a new policy framework and are exploring ways to implement and review collegiate-wide initiatives. Systems that support students’ transition between the schools would benefit from greater collegiate-wide leadership and coordination. These include the coordination of support for students with special learning needs, programmes of English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL), and literacy across the curriculum.

The board’s goal for increasing success for Māori students should also be given greater priority and leadership. The position of tangata whenua should be more evident and leadership for Māori success should be coordinated across the collegiate. Strategies for promoting success for Māori in the Junior School include the Maōri enrichment class and support for kapa haka and pōwhiri. With collegiate-wide management, these initiatives could raise the profile of Māori students and whānau at all levels.

The governance structure for the three-school collegiate is problematic. Responsibility for managing the performance of all three principals and making decisions about resourcing in each school is complex and time consuming for new trustees. To alleviate this situation the principals should make their reporting and self-review strategies more manageable for the board. A reporting schedule, aligned with collegiate strategic goals, could be used to make the governance role of trustees more efficient.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

23 May 2012

About the School

Location

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1251

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

434

Gender composition

Girls 218 Boys 216

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Maōri

Niue

Filipino

18%

45%

20%

12%

13%

1%

Special Features

Member school of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

23 May 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

November 2008

June 2005