Takapuna Normal Intermediate - 31/08/2017

Summary

Takapuna Normal Intermediate caters for Year 7 and 8 students. There are currently 585 children enrolled at the school. The roll includes five percent Māori, 16 percent Chinese, nine percent Korean and smaller groups of children from a wide variety of other ethnic backgrounds.

Following the principal’s resignation at the end of Term 1 2017, senior leaders have been working collaboratively to manage the school effectively. The board of trustees has appointed a new principal to begin in Term 4. Trustees bring capability and expertise to their stewardship role.

The school’s 2013 ERO report identified the need for more evaluative reporting based on a deeper analysis of data. Leaders acknowledge the importance of continuing to develop effective internal evaluation to help achieve greater equity and excellence for all children.

The school is a member of the Pupuke (Westlake) Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako, which is in the establishment phase.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

School leaders need to respond more effectively for Māori, Pacific and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school has some processes and practices in place that are resulting in achievement gains. However, more focus needs to be placed on deliberate approaches and actions that make a key difference for each learner to be able to accelerate towards achievement.

The most positive features that have a significant impact on enabling equity and excellence include:

  • the school’s responsive curriculum

  • the building of professional capability and collective capacity

  • distributed leadership across the school for teachers and children.

The school has a holistic approach to raising student achievement and developing lifelong learners. Teachers are very effective in engaging children in their learning. Positive learning outcomes have been fostered by initiatives such as effective professional development for teachers. This has helped to raise student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and to increase the inclusion of parents and whānau in children’s learning.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress towards achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

School leaders need to respond more effectively to Māori, Pacific and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Some school processes and practices are resulting in achievement gains. However, more focus needs to be placed on deliberate approaches and actions that make a key difference to accelerating individual children’s learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that overall, most children achieve very well in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2016, approximately 74 percent of children achieved at or above the standard in writing and over 80 percent in mathematics and reading. There is a disparity in writing and mathematics for some Māori and other children. There is also gender disparity for girls in mathematics and boys in writing.

School leaders agree that a deeper scrutiny of results for the 2015/2016 group of children shows that some have not moved out of the below and well below categories. Despite some change for small numbers of students, there has been little progress for most who are below the Standard and the disparity pattern remains the same. To improve the focus on those children not meeting the Standards, leaders need to refine charter targets, and monitor and evaluate the strategies and approaches that make the difference.

National Standards information is collated for each individual child and discussed at team meetings. Leaders and teachers carefully consider what is best for children whose learning needs acceleration. They monitor and track children and respond with a range of interventions and programmes to ensure they are supported to improve their learning. These approaches are not consistently effective in making a difference in achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

Specialist subject teachers identify innovative practices that are successful in accelerating children’s learning, and they collaboratively monitor strategies that are making a difference. This information could be used as part of the school’s internal evaluation to influence new approaches and actions for responding to children whose learning needs acceleration.

Children who speak languages in addition to English, receive good learning opportunities that enable them to progress in their learning.

Self review undertaken by lead teachers of literacy and mathematics continues to identify the need to more successfully support accelerated learning. Teachers should regularly monitor the effectiveness of responses and initiatives and evaluate outcomes of their actions.

Sound processes and systems have been developed in the school to ensure that teacher judgements against the National Standards are reliable. Moderation processes could be improved by including multiple sources of evidence and assessment from across the curriculum.

The school promotes student attributes of being an inquirer, knowledgeable, communicator, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-taker, balanced and reflective through purposeful leadership and teaching. 

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

There is evidence that some school processes and practices have been effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

The school’s responsive curriculum includes the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The PYP curriculum blends with the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) around competencies and attributes for lifelong learning. Learning to learn is a NZC principle that is strongly evident in classroom programmes. Innovation is highly reflected in the specialist and technology curriculum. Children are extensively involved in extra-curricular opportunities.

Inquiry learning models based on teaching frameworks provide the opportunity for children to lead and direct their inquiries. There is evidence of integration across the curriculum that allows children to connect their new understandings in a range of learning contexts. Collaborative learning approaches, with the combination of children in Year 7 and 8 classrooms, is reflecting a positive change in the school’s learning culture. Children’s leadership is a natural consequence of this collaborative learning culture. Leaders and teachers could now explore the extent to which their rich curriculum and innovative learning opportunities could play a role in accelerating learning progress for children at risk of not achieving their potential.

School-wide professional learning and development is motivating teachers to build their subject and pedagogical knowledge. The integration of reading and writing in a range of contexts across the curriculum is providing more meaningful and authentic learning opportunities for children. These meaningful approaches are being transferred to other learning areas by both staff and students.

Literacy and numeracy leadership and mentoring approaches are strengthening staff capacity and capability. Digital fluency is enhancing learning for children in some contexts and providing them with new skills. The use of a digital strategy is gaining good levels of response from parents and whānau.

The current leadership team works collaboratively in a supportive environment. Leaders have adjusted their roles and responsibilities to accommodate the current period of transition. There are opportunities for teachers to take up leadership roles. A recent refinement of the performance appraisal model includes a focus on improving learning outcomes for target children through teachers’ inquiry into the effectiveness of their practices.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School leaders acknowledge that internal evaluation processes need to be developed in the school’s drive to achieve equity and excellence for all children. Areas to be explored and evaluated to address disparity include:

  • widening the scope for deliberate teacher actions to accelerate learning progress

  • creating charter targets that focus on specific disparity areas and regularly monitoring what makes a difference.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 17 international students attending the school.

The school provides international students with a good standard of education. Students benefit from the school’s inclusive school culture and opportunities to participate in school activities. The school’s monitoring systems are effective.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • widen the scope for deliberate teacher actions

  • develop targets that focus on specific disparity areas and to regularly track and monitor what makes a difference

  • develop internal evaluation processes to drive the achievement of equity and excellence for all children 

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 August 2017

About the school 

Location

Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1524

School type

Intermediate

School roll

585

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 5%
Pākehā 43%
Chinese 19%
Korean 9%
Indian 4%
British/Irish 2%
Fillipino 2%
Japanese 2%
Middle Eastern 2%
Pacific 2%
other European 4%
other South East Asian 3%
other 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

31 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2013
Education Review November 2009 Education Review September 2006