Wellington East Girls' College - 24/07/2012

1 Context

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

Wellington East Girls’ College reflects the diversity of its community. The school values and celebrates its multicultural roll and enthusiastically includes the culture and language of all groups in many facets of school life. The roll, currently 1005 students, comprises 45 different ethnic groupings with Māori, Pacific (mostly Samoan), Asian, African, Middle Eastern and New Zealand European/Pākehā the largest groups.

The school actively involves parents and whānau, improving its connection with its community.

Students support and encourage each other. Excellence is valued and students strive to achieve in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits. Leadership is aspired to and girls appreciate the opportunity to take responsibility for leading peers in a wide variety of activities. Students strongly express their pride in the school and their enjoyment of its collegial spirit.

2 Learning

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

Students are highly motivated and engaged in learning. They expect to be successful and their achievements are acknowledged and celebrated.

Overall achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is high and has steadily improved for all students since the November 2008 ERO review. The school generally exceeds its targets for achievement compared with that of girls in other decile 8 schools, with some results approaching the extended target of achievement comparable with decile 8 to 10 girls' schools. Retention to Year 13 is high. The percentage of students leaving with qualifications is improving and has risen significantly for Māori students. The level of NCEA endorsements and University Entrance is above the school’s appropriate target.

The school is knowledgeable about groups of students in Years 11 to 13 at risk of underachieving. The board receives useful information about the achievement of all students, and groups, particularly Māori, Pacific and new migrants. Individuals and groups needing support or extension are well identified and strategies are established to promote their achievement. Inquiry into data leads to positive plans for improvement.

The achievement of Year 9 and 10 students is assessed using a variety of tools. Senior leaders are working to use this information more effectively to provide a clearer picture of progress and to evaluate teaching programmes. Year 9 and 10 teachers collaborate to use information about literacy achievement to understand student needs and to decide appropriate strategies. This structured, reflective process contributes positively to teaching at this level.

Students with special learning needs are effectively provided with learning activities that are relevant, authentic and carefully sequenced to build on strengths. Teachers continually improve the way they measure and respond to student achievement information.

An annual departmental review cycle is well established. Data is used to demonstrate achievement, progress and next steps within curriculum areas. Useful analysis leads to identification and implementation of effective teaching strategies and appropriate programmes. Senior leaders are working to strengthen the consistency of the quality of this information.

3 Curriculum

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

Robust and reflective curriculum design and review contributes to the implementation of programmes that meet the needs, interests, gifts, talents and cultural diversity of students. The curriculum is intentional, purposeful and flexible. Responding to the broad range of identified groups, the school’s curriculum is based on the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum, and gives priority to:

  • information and communication technology as a support for learning
  • provision of a range of subjects that support flexible pathways to success
  • reflecting the diverse cultural needs of students
  • a focus on literacy, numeracy and scientific knowledge.

A pedagogical framework that blends effective, inclusive and digital teaching approaches underpins the curriculum. Professional learning and development for teachers focuses on building capability to use agreed teaching principles.

The curriculum is successfully enacted in classrooms and the school’s expectations for teaching are strongly evident in practice. Students develop meaningful, collaborative relationships with teachers and their peers, characterised by in-depth learning conversations. They study in authentic, culturally responsive contexts and take responsibility for their own learning. Classrooms are positive, settled and supportive environments.

Parents and whānau are well informed and included in decisions about the curriculum overall and their child’s learning pathway. Clear information on programme choices, useful advice and guidance and tracking of progress, ensures appropriate class placement to support achievement in senior levels.

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

A clear vision for success is defined in collaboration with whānau and school personnel and focuses on cultural, academic and sporting achievements and students’ contributions to leadership. Cultural leadership is highly respected and aspired to by students. They recognise that their identity is important and valued within the school and their successes are celebrated.

The school undertakes a thoughtful, deliberate approach to curriculum development and teaching strategies that support success for Māori, as Maori. Positive relationships and whanaungatanga are fostered. High expectations for achievement, appreciation of success and strong support from teachers results in high levels of engagement in learning and school activities.

The school is building awareness of the need for, and capacity to use, culturally inclusive practices. Ongoing individual and school-wide inquiry and curriculum review, promotes continuous improvement.

The school values its relationship with parents of Māori students and is committed to developing a genuine and meaningful partnership with whānau. Contribution to decision making is facilitated through consultation, representation on the board and regular meetings and reports from Te Whānau Tutahi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders successfully articulate a vision, values, direction and high expectations for learning and achievement. High quality professional leadership ensures ongoing development of the curriculum and teacher effectiveness. Leadership is accessible and responsive to the community.

Trustees appropriately focus on achieving strategic goals. They suitably allocate resources to realize the strategic direction and have well-established systems to govern the school.

A coherent approach to school improvement is evident in a well-targeted, collaboratively designed strategic and operational framework. Multiple opinions and forms of evidence are used to decide and review goals and annual actions. The school vision and direction are well communicated and collectively owned.

An effective professional learning and development culture supports the strategic direction in learning and teaching. This well resourced and cohesive approach to improving capability is thoughtfully led and monitored for effectiveness. High levels of engagement from teachers, and collective commitment to the learning process improves outcomes for students.

Information that includes opinion and aspirations of families, whānau and the community is systematically gathered, analysed and used to contribute to school decision making. Parents actively support the school through:

  • participation, leadership and representation on the board of Māori, Pacific, New Migrant and Parents’ groups
  • involvement in a range of opportunities to communicate and share achievement
  • celebrations of success.

Self-review processes are well understood and embedded. Inquiry into information supports a deeper understanding of the complexity of issues identified by data and assists school personnel to identify further opportunities for improvement.

The school climate, tone, relationships and community engagement successfully support ongoing development. The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Provision for international students

Wellington East Girls’ College provides high quality care and education for its international students. Their individual progress and achievement is tracked and support for learning is provided in a variety of ways. Students are well integrated into the school and community.

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 12 international students attending the school.

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

The provision of care and education for International Students is currently under review. A recently appointed director has begun to investigate the curriculum for International Students. ERO’s evaluation confirmed that the school’s self review process for international students should be more systematic and include the views of students and improved use of student achievement information.

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
  • 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.

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Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

24 July 2012

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

274

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

Decile

8

School roll

1005

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Māori

Samoan

Other Pacific

Other ethnic groups

54%

16%

12%

10%

3%

5%

Special features

Special Needs Unit Teen Parent Unit: He Huarahi Tamariki

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

24 July 2012

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2008
November 2005 October 2002