Waiopehu College - 27/09/2017

Summary

Waiopehu College is a co-educational state secondary school located in Levin. Of the 625 learners enrolled, 40% are Māori and 11% are of Pacific heritage.

The college seeks ‘to encourage active partnership with its community to provide students with the quality of education that respects their dignity and rights and helps them to develop their full potential’. Pehu Pride encompasses the shared values of the school.

A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2015 and many trustees commenced their governance role in 2016.

The college completed the Ministry of Education initiative, Kia Eke Panuku, at the end of 2016 and commenced Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) at the beginning of 2017. The school is part of the Taitoko Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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

Building on the positive trajectory in achievement for Māori students, the college continues to implement curriculum and assessment changes to promote equitable outcomes for all learners.

Comprehensive processes support students’ transition into Year 9. Comparative assessment information from Year 9 to Year 11 shows many progress well, with accelerated levels of achievement evident.

Leaver data in 2016, showed most students achieved National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) at Level 1. The percentage of Maori learners leaving school with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 has increased over time. Most Pacific leavers achieved a minimum of NCEAs Level 2. Targeting improvement at NCEA Level 3, including Māori and Pacific learners, and addressing the disparity in achievement for males when compared to female students are acknowledged ongoing priorities for the college.

Extensive educational partnerships, inclusive of external services, local community, parents, families, whānau and iwi promote equity and excellence.

The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices. Agreed next steps include: continuing to raise NCEA achievement, especially at Level 3 and address disparity in the achievement of males; build the effectiveness of teacher practice to meet the diverse needs of learners; developthe collective knowledge of staff and trustees to effectively use inquiry and evaluation for improvement.

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?

Well-considered changes to assessment practice contribute to a positive achievement trajectory for Māori learners and to strengthening the school’s response to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Improved processes for tracking student progress during the year have increased the ability of staff to better respond to the individual needs of learners.

Reported data shows many Year 9 learners require accelerated achievement to meet curriculum expectations. Comparative assessment information from Year 9 to Year 11 shows many progress well, with accelerated levels of achievement evident. Integrating English, science, mathematics and social studies for a Year 9 class shows many have accelerated their achievement.

The college has recently extended the range of assessments in Years 9 and 10. The introduction of curriculum level assessment has been undertaken to improve the breadth of information available for tracking student progress and to better identify the learning needs of individuals. Extending the data available provides the opportunity for the college to set targets for groups requiring their achievement to be accelerated. This should support improved evaluation by the school to determine what is supporting success and where there are limitations in achieving a positive achievement trajectory for all Years 9 and 10 students.

Students identified with additional and complex learning needs are well supported in an inclusive environment. Programmes and adaptations to the curriculum are personalized to individuals. Processes supporting communication and monitoring of student progress promote engagement and collaboration with parents and whānau. Extensive external agency partnerships are accessed to meet the needs of students.

Leaver data in 2016, showed most achieved NCEA Level 1. The percentage of Maori learners leaving school with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 has increased over time, slightly exceeding the achievement of Pākehā students within the school in 2016. Close to two thirds achieved a Level 2 qualification, closely matching schools of similar type. Many students achieve endorsed NCEA qualifications. Most Pacific leavers achieved a minimum of NCEAs Level 2, showing a significant increase from 2015.

Student retention to 17 years of age closely reflects similar type schools. Māori student retention is similar to Pākehā. Female students show higher retention rates than males. Many students leaving school in 2016 continued training, participated in further study or commenced employment. School leaders are seeking to strengthen their inquiry in relation to the destination of students to support their curriculum evaluation.

Achievement at Level 3, including gaining University Entrance, indicates that attainment at this level has remained static from 2014, below schools of similar type and national figures. As a priority, the school recognises the need to make significant progress in this area.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Processes clearly reflect the school’s vision and shared values. Conditions that are effective in promoting equity and excellence for students include: collaborative leadership that provides sound school management and guides improvement toward strategic priorities; appropriate curriculum options for students with clearly established future priorities; and trustees’ provision of resourcing for student participation, progress and achievement.

Specific initiatives implemented to meet the diverse needs of learners impact positively on the achievement and retention of students.

Leaders, teachers and trustees build an effective response to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity. Partnership with local iwi, Muaūpoko, provides individual mentoring of Māori learners promoting increased attendance and participation at school. Re-establishment of the Ohu Whānau Group reflects whānau aspirations as expressed in the school strategic plan.

Involvement in Kia Eke Panuku focuses teacher practice on promoting positive relationships and considering culturally appropriate contexts for learning. Students are supported in gaining NCEA credits through Māori performing arts and the introduction of Whakairo promotes contextual learning for students.

The school is purposeful in response to the learning needs of Pacific students. They have suitable access to English Language Learning. Teacher aides, of Pacific heritage, support students requiring additional support. Bilingual assessments recognise and value Pacific learners’ first language.

Te Whare Awhina learning centre provides a high quality learning environment for students requiring additional support and those identified with complex needs. Students access an extensive range of health and guidance services through the Blake House Wellness Centre. A teen parent unit, He Whare Manaaki Tangata and a kindergarten are also on-site.

Comprehensive processes effectively address the pastoral and wellbeing needs of learners. Robust organisational structures support the delivery of pastoral systems, guidance and access to health services. Development of vertical tutor groups has increased teachers’ focus on mentoring to address the pastoral and academic needs of students and fostered valuable partnerships with parents and whānau.

Key leadership positions, including monitoring by Māori and Pacific deans, ensures a focus on individual student progress and participation at school. Implementation of PB4L aligns well to the shared values of the school and strengthens the focus on restorative practice.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

To further raise achievement and promote equity and excellence for all students, the school and ERO identify the need to develop the collective knowledge of department leaders, staff and trustees to effectively inquire into practice and undertake internal evaluation for improvement.

Key next steps that require a clear strategic response include: raising achievement at Level 3 NCEA and addressing the disparity for males, particularly at this level; setting board targets for progress and achievement in Years 9 and 10, aligned to learners requiring acceleration; and building the effectiveness of teacher’s practice and use of assessment information to meet the diverse needs of learners.

The school’s appraisal process reflects the Practising Teacher Criteria and usefully links to the strategic goals. Alignment to the teaching inquiry process supports collaborative engagement of staff in professional learning groups. Further strengthening the appraisal process and ensuring its robust implementation should ensure it better monitors and guides teacher practice. Continued development of department leaders’ capability to effectively guide improvement toward the school’s achievement priorities is an area for ongoing development.

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 Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (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 is one international student attending the school.

The college has appropriate systems and processes to ensure the provision for international students is achieved. Student wellbeing, academic progress and achievement are suitably monitored.

Going forward

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

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

Agreed next steps include: continuing to raise NCEA achievement, especially at Level 3 and address disparity in the achievement of males; build the effectiveness of teacher practice to meet the diverse needs of learners; develop the collective knowledge of staff and trustees to effectively use inquiry and evaluation for improvement.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

27 September 2017

About the school

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

237

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

625

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 40%
Pākehā 44%
Pacific 10%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, October 2014
Education Review, November 2011
Education Review, November 2008