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

Findings

1. Context

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

The Middle 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 Years 1 to 6, the Middle School for Years 7 and 8, and the Senior School for students from Years 9 to 15.

Students across the collegiate are predominantly Pacific. Significant groups of Samoan, Cook Island Maōri and Tongan students reflect the Pacific diversity of the local community. The Samoan enrichment class in the Middle School affirms Samoan language, culture and identity. Māori students comprise nearly twenty percent of the collegiate roll, and twenty-seven percent of the Middle School roll.

The collegiate curriculum extends from the new entrant programme to the National Qualifications Framework. The Middle School benefits from longstanding and capable curriculum leadership and management. Tikanga and te reo Māori are incorporated into the Middle School curriculum. 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 trustee appointed by the Ministry of Education 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 Middle School enjoy learning. Teachers engage with them in positive and respectful ways, and provide classroom environments that are settled and focussed on learning. School leaders and staff have high expectations for student success in learning.

Although school information shows that most students are achieving below National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, it also shows that many students make considerable progress in their learning, especially in reading. School leaders and teachers make very good use of achievement information to respond to student learning needs. They identify target groups of students and develop appropriate interventions to support and extend students’ learning.

Teachers use effective practices to support student engagement. Achievement information is shared with students and displayed in classrooms. Students are increasing their confidence to talk about their learning and understand their achievement levels and their next learning steps. These good practices help to ensure that students are motivated to learning.

Teachers are well supported to improve their teaching practice. Senior leaders plan purposeful professional development and have developed highly effective processes to support the implementation of National Standards. They provide well-analysed information to the board, and clearly worded reports to parents about student progress and achievement.

High quality teaching practices evident in the Middle School include:

  • shared values and well-used behaviour management strategies
  • reflective practices that help teacher to improve student engagement and learning
  • effective strategies to raise student achievement in literacy and numeracy.

School leaders agree that continuing to build students’ confidence as independent learners is an area for continued development. Building students’ ability to question and think critically will support independent learning and increase student ownership of learning.

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

Middle School leaders plan strategically to meet the needs of Māori learners. They use the goals of Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s plan for promoting success for Maori students. High quality plans and initiatives are in place to promote Maori student engagement and involve Māori parents and whānau.

Twenty-seven percent of students in the Middle School are Māori. Achievement information indicates that Māori students achieve as well as other students in the school.

The school provides good opportunities for students to succeed as Māori, including teachers using te reo Māori in class. School leaders acknowledge the importance of continuing to raise the profile of Māori students across the collegiate.

3. Curriculum

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

The Middle School curriculum very effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum is focused on strengthening literacy and numeracy, using contexts for learning that are relevant to learners. Learning activities are well designed and inclusive of all students. Students are supported to develop thinking skills, and to develop competence in seeking out and using information effectively to increase their understanding.

Strengths of the curriculum include the emphasis placed on Pacific culture and language in all classrooms and programmes. This focus affirms the Pacific identify of students.

A well-embedded philosophy, Middle School Mana, incorporates values of whanaungatanga, respect and excellence. These values are well-understood and provide a positive foundation for teaching and learning.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Good systems are being developed 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 Middle School has capable leadership and an experienced 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. National Standards are being used to report to parents in the Junior and Middle Schools.

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, English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) programmes, 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 include a purposeful action plan based on Ka Hikitia, and support for kapa haka and pōwhiri. With collegiate-wide management, these initiatives could raise the profile of Māori student s 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 help alleviate this, principals should make their self review and reporting strategies more manageable for the board. A reporting schedule, aligned with collegiate 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

1217

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

226

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other

27%

28%

26%

14%

3%

2%

Special Features

Member school of the Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate

Satellite class Mt Richmond School

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