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

Findings

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?

The Senior 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. Māori students comprise nearly 20% of the collegiate roll.

The collegiate curriculum extends from new entrant classes to programmes aligned with the National Qualification Framework. Tikanga and te reo Māori are promoted through this 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.

A new principal has been recently appointed to lead the Senior School. The collaborative relationship developing between principals of the three schools is strengthening collegiate-wide planning and self review.

2 Learning

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

Most students in the Senior School are keen to learn. They are supported to do so in settled and purposeful learning environments. Teachers work with students in respectful ways to further their understanding of learning. Teachers and managers share good practices and supporting students to manage their own learning. New initiatives are improving the quality of teaching and learning in the Senior School.

Student achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) has improved overall in the past two years. Most students as they leave have attained a formal qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Student achievement in NCEA at Level 2 is above national averages and at Levels 1 and 3 the achievement is close to national averages. Greater numbers of students are achieving University Entrance than in the past. The progress and achievement of Year 9 and 10 students in reading and writing indicates that many students are making accelerated progress.

School leaders have developed achievement targets that are focused on student progress and achievement. Transition practices from Year 8 to Year 9 have been strengthened. Teachers should continue to develop effective practices to support learners to sustain and improve their literacy and numeracy achievement from Year 8 to Year 9.

Good practices in the senior school that support student engagement in learning include the:

  • affirmation of Pacific culture, language and identity in classrooms and programmes
  • consistent use of restorative practices to support learning behaviour
  • use of agreed practices for effective classroom teaching and learning.

School leaders agree that continuing to strengthen the use of student achievement information will help teachers to better meet the learning needs of students. Evaluating student outcomes will also help teachers to develop greater capacity for reflecting on the effectiveness of their teaching practice. Developing students’ ability to question, and think more critically, will support them to become more independent learners and understand their own learning progress.

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

Māori students comprise 21% of the student population in the Senior School. The school is involved in He Kākano, a programme designed to improve outcomes for Māori students. Teachers have identified that many Māori students leave school before completing qualifications. School leaders are taking positive steps to engage with Māori students and their whānau to address this trend. It is apparent that Māori students who remain at the school are achieving NCEA at levels above national and decile 1 to 3 averages.

School leaders and teachers across the collegiate should now explore ways to more explicitly affirm Māori students’ cultural identity. They agree that there is more to be done to build effective learning partnerships with the school’s whānau and parent communities.

3 Curriculum

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

Many aspects of the Senior School curriculum promote and support student learning effectively. In addition to the core academic programme, the Senior School has expanded learning opportunities in 2012 with the addition of new automotive engineering and outdoor education programmes. Some curriculum areas, including information technology, have formalised links with the local tertiary provider to make ongoing learning pathways more relevant.

School leaders and teachers have reviewed the provision of literacy across the school and have developed a planned approach to raising literacy levels. The many students for whom English is an additional language are well supported. The Senior School’s provision for students with special learning needs has recently been reviewed and new initiatives have been introduced for 2012. It will be important to review of the impact of these initiatives on outcomes for these students in the future.

The school charter includes vision and values statements that are closely aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum. The priorities signalled in the school charter are reflected in the programmes and practices throughout the school. The recent external review of all curriculum areas has enabled departments to more effectively set targets and improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The board is well positioned to explore options for strengthening curriculum leadership. Curriculum leaders in the future should be encouraged to extend learning pathways to better meet student learning needs and aspirations. The board and senior leaders are also aware of the need to resource the senior school classrooms better to support effective 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 and consequently, the Senior School. 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 new principal in the Senior School has the confidence of staff and is rebuilding the capability of the senior management team. A curriculum management role, with overall responsible for teaching and learning, is now a priority in the Senior School.

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 Senior School 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 in the Senior School include support for kapa haka and pōwhiri and a management plan, He Kākano. 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 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.

In order to improve current practice, the principal should ensure that the process for ensuring that all teachers hold a current practicing certificate is closely monitored and outcomes reported to the board.

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

97

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

574

Gender composition

Boys 292 Girls 282

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other

21%

39%

19%

17%

2%

2%

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