Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School

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Education institution number:
1215
School type:
Intermediate
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
98
Telephone:
Address:

Court Town Close, Mangere, Auckland

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School Context

Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School in Mangere caters for students in Year 7 and 8. The school roll of 186 is comprised of 75 percent Pacific students and 20 percent Māori students. There has been steady roll growth over time. Two satellite classes of Sir Keith Park Special School are on site.

Since the 2015 ERO review the school has transitioned from working with a Ministry of Education appointed commissioner to an elected board of trustees. Several new staff have been appointed including a new deputy principal. Senior leaders have managed ongoing improvements to many aspects of school operations.

The school’s vision of ‘Where everyday is an opportunity to be better than the day before’ and its values of ‘Whanaungatanga – working with others, Manaakitanga – warmth and kindness, Kotahitanga – sharing and understanding in humanity, and Kaitiakitanga – guardians and protectors of our environment’, underpin the culture of the school. Valued outcomes for students are for learners to: ‘know who they are, know what they can give and offer, and know that they do not give up’.

The principal and deputy principal lead school improvements. Current aims, goals and targets for learner success are focused on supporting children to achieve success in a conducive environment where all learners can grow, and where diversity and inclusiveness is cherished and celebrated. Key school targets have focused on raising the learning outcomes for students in writing and to increase the number of students achieving at curriculum expectation.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement and analysis of the progress of target and priority students

  • student wellbeing surveys.

The school is part of the Mangere North Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is striving to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. The school’s achievement information shows that less than half of students are achieving expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 8.

There is significant disparity between boys and girls in literacy and mathematics. Overall, students achieve better in literacy. They make significant progress in reading and writing during their time at the school.

Inclusive and responsive approaches are effective in supporting children with additional learning needs. Leaders and teachers closely monitor the progress of these students both academically and holistically. They work with individuals, with withdrawal groups of target students, and in classrooms to support these students.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes that include:

  • honouring and celebrating cultural diversity

  • students’ use of strategies to support their own learning

  • respectful relationships and concern for others

  • a sense of team and responsibility towards each other.

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

The school continues to adapt practices to better respond to those Māori, Pacific and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Processes for students’ transition to school have strengthened. School targets are focused on accelerating the progress of all learners. Progress towards these targets is monitored by school leaders. The tracking of students who are below expected curriculum levels shows positive shifts in achievement for the majority of students, particularly in reading and writing.

Sound planning and assessment practices, including personalised approaches to student learning, are lifting student achievement. The regular use of teacher forums is positively impacting on student progress and individual student achievement. Teachers use flexible, targeted approaches to accelerate learning. The school successfully accelerates the progress of individual students, especially of those targeted learners, by the time they complete two years at the school.

The disparity between the achievement of boys and girls, and low achievement in general continues to be addressed. Leaders and teachers trial approaches to make learning more meaningful for boys.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The highly capable leadership team are actively involved in establishing the culture of the school. They seek the best conditions, opportunities and outcomes for their students. The principal leads with a strong moral purpose, and directs the school with well-founded values and the Bader Way learners’ model.

The strong vision promotes a supportive and inclusive learning culture. Guiding documents are well aligned to the vision. Considerable work has been done to ensure the beliefs and values are enacted on a daily basis to create an environment in which all learners can grow. As a result there is a strong sense of ownership and acceptance of diversity by students. Staff and students are proud of their school.

The school’s curriculum has recently been reviewed to become more responsive to the needs of the students. It aims to integrate all learning areas into the connected curriculum. Teachers are adaptive to the learning needs of students and support them to be confident, connected, actively involved learners. Authentic events are planned into the life of the school so that students receive opportunities to expand their knowledge and share experiences. Students help develop relevant and purposeful inquiry-focused opportunities to learn, and the school provides increased access to digital technologies.

Bicultural practices are integrated into the school programme. Teachers build on culturally responsive practices in classroom programmes. Cultural diversity is celebrated and honoured through student performances in song, dance and actions. Leaders take opportunities to reinforce the inclusive values and community expectations.

Trustees provide highly effective governance. The very capable and strategically appointed board of trustees govern the school with a considered approach. They understand their role and have a clear mandate for what needs prioritising. Trustees are thoughtful and passionate about the wellbeing and outcomes of teachers and students.

Trustees are very aware of looking after staff wellbeing and teacher retention. They see equity for students as highly important and emphasise that all students deserve the best opportunity and education. Much focus has been placed on the upgrading of learning environments and the resourcing of functional digital devices.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence?

Leaders and teachers revised the school curriculum in 2017. A further development is to seek student and parent/whānau feedback that will help with embedding this curriculum. Continuing to strengthen the implementation of the curriculum throughout the school is a priority for leaders.

As new teachers join the staff it is important to establish shared understandings of the school’s high expectations for teaching and learning. Leaders acknowledge the importance of ensuring consistent teacher practices that support better student achievement and improve student ownership of learning over time.

While achievement levels of students in general have significantly improved, leaders identify that ongoing attention is needed in this area. A continued focus on accelerating the levels of literacy and mathematics is needed so that students are well prepared for success as they move into secondary schooling.

A strategic goal of the school identifies the need to strengthen parent and whānau learning partnerships to further promote students’ engagement and achievement. Trustees recognise that this is an important area for development. Strengthening these relationships so that positive outcomes for students are fully realised is a priority for the board and school leaders.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

ERO considers that the school has the leadership capability and collective capacity to sustain and build on current good practices to support equity and excellence in students’ learning.

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a highly capable leadership team that leads ongoing development and improvement

  • a strong vision that promotes a supportive and inclusive learning culture for students and staff

  • a responsive and relevant curriculum that aims to integrate all learning areas

  • capable trustees that prioritise the success and wellbeing of teachers and students.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • consolidating and sustaining recent improvements in the school’s curriculum, teaching and learning, to support the school’s vision

  • continuing to review and develop strategies to accelerate student achievement, especially for those students most at risk of not achieving

  • building parent learning partnerships to support children’s engagement, progress and achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 May 2018

About the school

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1215

School type

Intermediate

School roll

186

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Cook Islands Māori
Niuean
other Pacific
other

20%
1%
25%
24%
18%
5%
3%
4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

31 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2015
November 2013
October 2011

Findings

Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School has made significant progress over the past two years. Improvements in leadership, curriculum, teaching practices and school tone are impacting positively on student engagement in learning. School leaders and teachers continue to review and refine improvement initiatives as they work strategically to improve student learning outcomes.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School is located in Mangere, South Auckland, and caters for Year 7 and 8 students. Students are mainly of Pacific and Māori descent. The school’s 2010 ERO report identified a number of areas that required urgent attention. Concerns included those relating to the quality of teaching, school-community relationships and the leadership of school development.

Since 2011 the school has been involved in two consecutive 1-2 year ERO review cycles. The first of these commenced in December 2011 and focused on bringing about improvement in teaching and learning, student achievement, and matters relating to school leadership and governance. This review concluded in December 2013 and a second such review commenced in 2014 due to the limited progress made by the school in addressing the concerns identified.

Over the time of this second review a number of significant changes have occurred. The school’s board of trustees was replaced by a commissioner to guide and support the school to develop effective governance and management.

The school has also experienced significant staff turnover in the past two years. An acting principal managed the school during Term 2, 2014, and a new principal was appointed to lead the school from Term 3, 2014. A new senior leadership team is now in place and has been restructured to provide a more focused leadership model. The current principal and commissioner have been instrumental in promoting effective change management and in bringing about improvements on many levels to promote better outcomes for students.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO’s 2013 report identified the need to improve students’ learning and achievement. Particular areas for review and development were identified to improve the quality of:

  • curriculum design and review
  • teaching practice and student achievement
  • the analysis and use of achievement data
  • management and leadership
  • financial management
  • school self-review.
Progress

The school has made good progress in relation to the priorities for review and development. Senior leaders and teachers have worked together well to develop a more responsive, engaging and challenging curriculum for students. Links between the school’s curriculum and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) have been strengthened, and there is greater clarity about and collaboration between staff in curriculum planning.

Curriculum review is also a collaborative process. It is well-planned and documented, and includes the views of the community, teachers and students. As a result, the curriculum is becoming increasingly more aligned to students’ interest and aspirations, and makes better use of local contexts for learning. School and Māori values are closely aligned and actively promoted within the school. Deliberate promotion of student leadership is helping to engage students in their learning. Students are also benefiting from learning te reo and tikanga Māori.

Teachers are participating in professional learning to improve the teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. They show commitment to improving teaching practices and are well supported by senior leaders and an external facilitator to achieve this. An effective performance management system has been introduced. This developmentally oriented process includes clear expectations for effective teaching. Work to improve teaching practice and performance appraisal is having a beneficial impact, and teacher use of focused and effective teaching methods continues to increase.

Professional learning is also helping teachers to develop their skills in analysing achievement data and in using this information to identify students who require additional learning support. Their confidence in making judgements about student progress and achievement continues to grow. They closely monitor student progress and use targeted teaching strategies to help raise levels of student achievement.

Senior leaders and teachers acknowledge the ongoing challenge of improving student achievement, and continue to reflect on teaching practices to address this.

Key next steps

Senior leaders and teachers should continue to progress work aimed at improving learning outcomes for students. This includes work on strengthening curriculum design and review, and on integrating the NZC values, principles and key competencies into the school’s curriculum to further enable students to experience an engaging and challenging curriculum.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

Findings

The principal, commissioner and staff have developed effective processes to promote ongoing school improvement. Sound systems for managing and monitoring progress against strategic priorities and for guiding financial decision making are evident and set clear direction for the school. Appropriate policies and procedures are in place to guide governance and management, and the principal is continuing to rationalise the policy framework for improved manageability and coherence.

Improved clarity in communications with parents and whānau promotes transparency and confidence, and is helping to build stronger community engagement.

The promotion of values of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are fostering a more positive school culture. Well considered and strategic leadership has had a significant impact in achieving the settled and productive tone that now characterises the school.

Effective change management by the commissioner, principal and leadership team is leading to positive and sustainable improvements. The principal has accessed significant funding to resource school improvements and to improve learning environments for students and staff.

Self review processes continue to develop and include the use of indicators of effective practice that help leaders and staff identify priorities for school improvement. The principal closely monitors progress towards student achievement targets and strategic goals. Performance appraisal processes have been reviewed and improved, resulting in increased expectations for teachers’ practice.

The appointment of a commissioner by the Ministry of Education to manage school governance has been very effective. This intervention has served the school well, providing the principal with sound advice and guidance and positioning the school well for return to self-governance. Planning for the transition to an elected board of trustees is underway, with a group of parents now serving as a reference group and becoming involved in the school’s planning processes. Training for prospective trustees is a next planned step in the transition process to familiarise them with the school governance role. The return to an elected board is anticipated towards the end of the 2015 school year.

Key next steps

Senior leaders and teachers should continue work to improve school performance, giving priority to:

  • embedding school improvement initiatives to bring about sustainable and positive changes in student outcomes
  • further engaging the school’s community to support students’ learning
  • evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for improving student progress and achievement
  • continuing to develop effective consultation with whānau.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the school as it transitions to self-governance and to ensure teaching and learning programmes are appropriately resourced.

Conclusion

Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School has made significant progress over the past two years. Improvements in leadership, curriculum, teaching practices and school tone are impacting positively on student engagement in learning. School leaders and teachers continue to review and refine improvement initiatives as they work strategically to improve student learning outcomes.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 2015

About the School

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1215

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

163

Gender composition

Boys 56%

Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

other

22%

1%

26%

20%

18%

13%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

October 2011

November 2008