Trident High School - 08/06/2011

1 Context

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

Trident High School is a large co-educational secondary school that caters for students in Years 9 to 13 from Whakatane and the surrounding districts. At the time of this review the school had a roll of 1176 students, 44% of whom are Māori, predominantly of Ngati Awa or Tuhoe descent. Upgrades and improvements to school facilities since the previous ERO review include the construction of a multi-purpose community auditorium and a special education centre.

The school continues to place significant emphasis on promoting values of excellence, achieving personal best and respect for others. There is a strong culture of organisational learning focused on enhancing teaching and learning and improving educational outcomes for students. The school has had an excellent reporting history with the Education Review Office which has consistently acknowledged the strong foundation the school has provided for students' learning and achievement.

2 Learning

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

Trident High School continues to provide students with a high standard of education in an environment that encourages personal excellence. The school has a clear priority on engaging students. Positive relationships, settled classrooms and a supportive learning environment contribute to most students experiencing high levels of success in their learning.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data for Levels 1, 2, and 3 over the past three years indicate that students overall continue to achieve above national averages.

Achievement data is used effectively to set strategic direction and inform decision making at whole school, department and classroom level, monitor individual progress and identify students requiring additional support.

The school's academic success rates are complemented by the many awards gained by students in extra-curricular activities. Students enjoy a wide range of opportunities to gain recognition for their sporting and cultural abilities, and for the contributions they make to the school and wider community. Encouragement of student participation and success in these areas is an integral part of the school's commitment to helping students to achieve their personal best and to develop as courageous, creative and enterprising young adults.

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

NCEA data from 2007 to 2010 indicates that a high proportion of Māori students are achieving at levels above that of Māori students nationally. Māori girls' achievement is comparable with all students nationally while Māori boys' achievement is below the average. There are some examples of individual Māori students achieving significant academic success.

Māori students are well represented in school leadership roles. Furthermore, they are fully involved in sporting and cultural activities in which they enjoy significant success. The school has identified as a strategic goal the need to continue to support Māori students to remain at school and be engaged in learning. ERO and the school agree that this goal continues to be a priority and could be enhanced through further engagement with whānau.

3 Curriculum

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

Trident High School has designed a broad based curriculum that effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students have access to an extensive range of learning pathways and opportunities that include academic and vocational programmes appropriate to their strengths and interests. The school has been innovative in establishing one of the first New Zealand Trades Academies led by a secondary school. Working in partnership with a tertiary provider, students are able to undertake work related training as part of their school programme.

Effective delivery of the curriculum is underpinned by a vibrant and well established professional learning community among staff that is based on effective professional development, collegiality and reflective practice. Clear guidelines and expectations have been established for effective teaching. These guidelines are reflected in a consistency of classroom practice and in the many examples of high quality teaching across the school.

An inclusive school culture that focuses on the holistic development of each student is a significant feature of the school. A well established pastoral care system and comprehensive student support networks and targeted programmes, effectively support the delivery of the curriculum. High quality pastoral care is contributing to positive outcomes for students and contributes to the provision of a safe emotional environment.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain ongoing improvement in the interests of students. Features of the school that contribute to this sustainability are:

  • sustained and improving levels of student achievement and success
  • high quality leadership by an experienced, knowledgeable principal who is well respected in the school community
  • effective senior managers, faculty leaders and deans who bring complementary and diverse skills to their roles and who provide strong leadership and support for teaching and learning
  • committed, well-informed trustees who provide sound governance and clear strategic direction for the school
  • a culture of reflective practice, continuous improvement and ongoing self review in all areas of school operations that has a focus on improving educational outcomes for students
  • high quality and well documented systems, practices and processes.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

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.

Provision for students in the school hostel

There is no school hostel at Trident High School.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' 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.

Recommendations to other agencies

Not applicable.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

8 June 2011

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)



School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

New Zealand Māori

Other European








Review team on site

April 2011

Date of this report

8 June 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

May 2008

January 2005