Tamaki College - 30/06/2017

Findings

Tamaki College provides a caring and respectful learning environment. Classrooms are settled places for students’ learning. The curriculum provides different learning pathways that support students to make successful transition on to further education, training and employment. Developing more systematic evaluative inquiry, to determine what strategies and programmes are having the most positive impact on outcomes for students, will assist the college to continue sharpening its focus on lifting student achievement.

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?

Tamaki College caters for students from Years 9 to 13. For many students, generational connections promote a strong sense of family and belonging in the school. Most students have Māori or Pacific heritage. The board is presently working with the Ministry of Education to plan necessary property developments to accommodate a growing roll.

Tamaki College is a part of the Manaiakalani Community of LearningIKāhui Ako (CoL), comprising 12 schools in the Auckland suburbs of Glen Innes, Panmure and Pt England. The overall goal of the CoL is to change teaching and learning practice through the use of e-learning strategies that empower learners and their whānau, and to accelerate student achievement.

Since the 2014 ERO report, the priority for the college has been sharpening its focus on student achievement. This focus has resulted in changes to the way achievement information is used, along with changes to curriculum management and teaching practices. In addition, the senior leadership team has newly defined roles and responsibilities to target school improvement.

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 increasingly well to support its focus on raising student achievement. This information is being used to inform and underpin a range of new and worthwhile approaches and actions.

Senior leaders are placing greater shared responsibility on heads of department and teachers to improve student achievement. These expectations are reflected in recent changes to school systems and structures to support closer monitoring and scrutiny of student progress data.

Organisational structures have been introduced to increase the focus on students who are at risk of not achieving to their potential. Plans have been developed at department level identifying strategies to accelerate the achievement of these students. Achievement information is being used regularly by senior leaders to gauge the effectiveness of teaching practices and to identify relevant professional learning requirements.

Teachers use the school’s digital platform to share achievement information with students, and to promote students’ ownership of their learning. This gives students opportunities to make decisions about their learning and plan learning pathways. Through the digital platform teachers provide timely feedback to students which, in many cases, is supporting their learning well.

Leaders and teachers have also improved the ways they use achievement information to engage parents in learning conversations. Parents have easier access to relevant data and increased opportunities to discuss, in depth, their children’s progress. This is helping parents to participate in decision making at important transition points on their children’s educational journey.

The challenge for the school is to increase levels of student success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3, and increase the number of endorsements. A rise in literacy and numeracy achievement by students in Years 11 to 13 is encouraging. Greater urgency is required at Years 9 and 10 to build literacy and numeracy levels so that students are ready to gain success in NCEA at Years 11 and 12.

School information shows that student retention is increasing, with students staying longer and higher numbers of them gaining successful career training and meaningful employment. The school is working on different approaches to increase attendance rates across all year levels, as part of lifting achievement.

Tamaki College is a caring and respectful learning community. The school values of respect, integrity, success and responsibility, known as ‘RISE- The Tamaki Way’, are well embedded in the school. This is supporting good levels of student engagement in learning across the school. Classrooms are settled places for learning. The school’s strong pastoral care networks promote student wellbeing and provide a good foundation for learning.

ERO recommends that leaders and teachers continue to build their data literacy capability, and that of students, to support the school’s focus on raising achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The Tamaki College curriculum is effective in engaging and promoting successful outcomes for all students.

As a result of effective ongoing review, the curriculum is responsive to student strengths, interests and aspirations. Students are provided with a variety of different learning pathways. In addition, they are offered relevant choices to support their successful transitioning through the school and on to further education, training and employment. School leaders respond to changing employment and tertiary study requirements by introducing new courses.

The school’s vocational pathways programme is a curriculum strength. It empowers students to seek qualifications and employment opportunities. Fifty percent of Year 12 students are involved in vocational learning opportunities, including those linked to Service and Trades Academies. Strong community involvement supports meaningful curriculum opportunities and vocational pathways for students. Subject departments are adapting learning opportunities to accommodate vocational pathways and support the school’s increased academic focus.

Since the 2014 ERO report the board sought an external review of the Year 9 and 10 curriculum. As a result, senior leaders introduced initiatives to support student transitions into the school so that they are well engaged, early in their college life. Initiatives include an integrated curriculum approach in Year 9 that supports students to transfer skills to new learning situations. Also in 2017, the school moved away from streaming classes at Year 9 and introduced mixed ability classes. Senior staff and teachers are seeing an immediate, positive impact on learning for all students.

Learning experiences that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand are valued and increasingly visible in the curriculum. Te reo Māori is compulsory in Years 9 and 10.

The school’s inclusive and responsive practices support students with special learning needs well. The Whare Mānaaki unit is well resourced and caters for students with high learning needs. Teachers and learning assistants share a commitment to, and responsibility for all students’ progress. This coordinated approach helps students with special learning needs participate fully in appropriate learning programmes and school life.

Strongly ethical governance supports the curriculum. Financial decisions made by the board ensure all students have equitable opportunities to access all learning opportunities offered by the school.

ERO recommends school leaders establish a set of agreed school-wide expectations for teaching practices that accelerate learning progress for students as they transition through the school. These expectations would help teachers plan their programmes and evaluate the impact of their practices on student achievement outcomes.

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

Tamaki College effectively promotes success for Māori. The school welcomes all new students and staff and their families with pōwhiri on the school marae. Māori students are supported to be confident in their cultural identity. Māori representation on the board and guidance from kaumatua helps to ensure tikanga Māori is respected and sustained.

Raising Māori achievement is a priority for the board and school leaders. Several recent initiatives are supporting a stronger school focus on addressing the disparity in achievement for Māori. These initiatives include:

  • the Tama Tu Tama Ora mentoring programme for identified Māori students at risk of not achieving
  • Te Whānau Miro Year 10 tutor class, a culturally responsive and relationships' model used to engage with students and their whānau
  • school improvement targets for Māori achievement.

It is too early for ERO to evaluate the impact of these initiatives. However, school leaders have put in place good systems for tracking, monitoring and evaluating the effect of these initiatives on raising Māori achievement levels. Senior leaders have also set an expectation that all departments will contribute to achieving the school’s improvement targets for Māori. 

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees provide sound governance. Board decision making is strategic and has a focus on improving outcomes for all students. Trustees are well informed about curriculum developments and student achievement. Very good relationships between trustees, school management and the community support the work of the board. The board makes good use of external advice. This helps trustees keep current and confident in their board role of stewarding the school’s focus on improving outcomes for all students.

The principal and senior leaders have increased the momentum for change to lift achievement. They have also established a clearer line of sight over the achievement of all groups of students. The range of approaches they are using to help lift achievement include:

  • providing greater clarity of expectations for staff
  • building collaborative approaches to improving outcomes for students through structures, such as the ‘change team’ and professional learning groups
  • improving systems for staff appraisal and regular department reporting
  • accessing appropriate professional learning and development and external support.

Trustees and school leaders make very good use of external review to evaluate the school performance and build internal evaluation capability. The outcomes of these reviews have provided clear rationales for improvement in curriculum design and teaching practice, and are helping to shape the school’s future direction.

ERO and school leaders have identified the following priorities to support the school’s journey in raising achievement for all students:

  • strengthening the rigour and regularity of monitoring and reporting systems to ensure expectations are met
  • developing a culture of systematic evaluative inquiry for improvement at all levels of the school.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) 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 two international students attending the school.

The school provides international students with a good standard of education. Students benefit from the school’s strong pastoral care systems and enjoy many opportunities to participate in school activities. 

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.

To improve practice the board should ensure procedures are followed for confirming police vets so that all staff vets are current.

Conclusion

Tamaki College provides a caring and respectful learning environment. Classrooms are settled places for students’ learning. The curriculum provides different learning pathways that support students to make successful transition on to further education, training and employment. Developing more systematic evaluative inquiry, to determine what strategies and programmes are having the most positive impact on outcomes for students, will assist the college to continue sharpening its focus on lifting student achievement.

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

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

30 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Glen Innes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

57

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

631

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tongan
Samoan
Cook Islands Māori
Niue
other

33%
1%
32%
15%
10%
5%
4%

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
May 2010
December 2006