Takapuna Normal Intermediate - 07/02/2013

1. Context

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

Takapuna Normal Intermediate School on Auckland’s North Shore provides education for students in Years 7 and 8. The board and school leaders show commitment to ongoing improvement, high quality practice and innovation. The school has responded positively to recommendations made in the 2009 ERO report.

In 2009 the school was in the early stages of implementing the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This programme is now well embedded in teaching and learning in the school.

The long standing principal and two new deputy principals are an effective leadership team. They are responsive to current educational research and developments. A collaborative and critically reflective teaching and learning culture is evident across the school and results in benefits for students.

Positive relationships foster students’ sense of belonging and pride in the school. Students participate in a rich variety of learning opportunities. Leaders and teachers have high expectations for students’ learning and achievement.

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 very well to make positive changes to promote learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students are highly engaged in learning. They are keen to learn and work well independently and co-operatively. Students are supported by settled learning environments, effective teaching strategies and opportunities to follow their interests. High levels of monitoring and reflection help ensure that the curriculum and classroom programmes continue to engage students.

The school’s student achievement data indicate that students achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards. Good work has been done within the school, and with local schools, to develop effective moderation processes to enhance the reliability of assessments. Reports to parents provide good information about how students are achieving and progressing in relation to the National Standards. Learning partnerships with parents are also fostered through student-led conferences.

Students are knowledgeable about their progress and demonstrate a sense of responsibility for their own learning. This could be further enhanced by increasing students’ understanding about their achievement in relation to National Standards.

Valid and reliable assessment and data are used to track students’ progress during the year. This information is used in planning classroom programmes. It is also used to identify students needing additional support and to set targets to raise achievement. Teachers use data well to develop teaching practices and programmes in response to students’ interests and learning needs.

As a result of self review, senior leaders have begun to set more specific targets to further progress the achievement of Māori students. Leaders and the board agree that they should also set targets to improve achievement outcomes for Pacific students.

The board is well informed about student achievement. More evaluative reporting based on deeper analysis of some data and comparisons of cohorts would enable the board to determine the impact of specific initiatives more clearly.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The school curriculum is based on an inquiry learning model. This model incorporates the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) and is strongly aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). As a result of significant development by senior leaders and teachers over recent years the IB is now well embedded in practice across the school.

The holistic, inquiry-based curriculum model promotes effective integration of learning areas, including specialist technologies, literacy and mathematics. This enables students to make coherent, conceptual links in their learning. Key competencies, thinking skills and reflection strategies are developed to equip students with transferable skills for future learning. Significant commitment to information and communication technologies (ICT) helps develop students as capable and responsible digital learners.

The school offers an extensive range of cultural, music, sporting, outdoor education and academic opportunities. Students appreciate opportunities to pursue learning topics that interest them and many achieve high levels of success in their chosen areas. School leaders are considering ways this approach could further extend gifted and talented students.

High quality teaching practices are consistent across the school. Research informs curriculum design and delivery. Internal and external expertise is used well to support ongoing development. School structures and processes foster shared teacher understanding and consistency in practice.

The school has a culture of professional inquiry into practice. School systems promote teacher dialogue and reflection and leaders provide effective support and guidance. School documentation gives clear direction for teachers. Well considered professional learning and development, induction programmes and robust performance management processes enhance teaching practice.

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

The school promotes educational success well. School leaders have developed a number of innovative strategies to promote success for students. They have established links with a variety of community groups, personnel and other schools to strengthen relationships and access appropriate programmes, support and opportunities for Māori students. Ongoing tracking of Maori students after they have moved to secondary school provides useful information to determine how well this school serves Maōri students.

Māori students are actively engaged in learning and school activities. The school’s kapa haka group, powhiri and marae visits provide leadership opportunities for Māori students, and encourage all students to understand and value New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage.

Leaders and staff have used the Ministry of Education’s Māori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success to develop strategies to further promote success for Māori students. Teachers are supported to incorporate these strategies into their practice. Building teacher capability in te reo and tikanga Māori is ongoing. Bicultural perspectives are included in curriculum programmes.

The board and school leaders have defined success as Maōri in their school context as ‘students standing proud as Māori with the confidence to assume leadership in many fields’. They could now evaluate the extent to which this aspiration is achieved.

ERO affirms the commitment of the board and senior leaders to continuing to develop teacher capability to promote educational success for Māori students.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school is led by an innovative and respected principal. The senior leadership team demonstrates purposeful and collaborative leadership. They have shared understandings and complementary strengths and skills. They are strategic and skilled change managers.

Staff expertise is well used and valued. A commitment to building leadership is evident throughout the school. Leadership structures and roles are clearly defined. Team leaders provide an effective middle management tier of leadership.

Reflection and review is promoted at all levels. Effective communication systems ensure transparency and collaboration in decision making.

The board of trustees work well with the principal and senior leadership team. Trustees are committed to ongoing improvement and high quality performance. Trustees have a combination of experience and skills to represent the community and govern effectively. They are proactive in increasing the diversity of board members and in considering succession planning. The board has refined strategic planning and systems are in place for ongoing review against strategic goals.

Information from parents, whānau, staff and students is gathered through formal consultation and informal communication, and used to inform board decisions. Trustees are currently looking at ways to collect even more specific information to gain deeper insight into community perspectives.

Trustees could now review the ways in which they gain assurance about school effectiveness at the operational level. This could include developing more formal processes to evaluate the board’s effectiveness.

Provision for international students

The school 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. At the time of this review there were 26 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for International Students is thorough.

International students are well catered for at Takapuna Normal Intermediate School. They participate in recreational pursuits such as sports, music and other school activities. Comprehensive pastoral and academic care systems support students.

International students are carefully assessed on entry to support their placement in classes. They receive ESOL (English as Second or Other Language) support as appropriate. The board of trustees receives regular reports on international students’ achievement and welfare.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 February 2013

About the School

Location

Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1524

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

597

Number of international students

26

Gender composition

Girls 55% Boys 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Korean

Filipino

Indian

British/Irish

other Asian

other

44%

4%

15%

12%

4%

4%

3%

2%

12%

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

7 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

September 2006

June 2003