Waimea College

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Education institution number:
296
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1205
Telephone:
Address:

60 Salisbury Road, Richmond

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School Context

Waimea College is a state, co-educational school for students from Years 9 to 13. It is located in Richmond, Nelson. It has a roll of 1,560 students, about 11% of whom are Māori.

The school’s vision and valued outcomes are ‘For students to achieve through the broad curriculum, realise their potential, and become contributing citizens with the knowledge, understanding and skills to participate in an ever-changing world’.

The school’s motto, ‘Always Strive’, is the inspiration for the mission statement, ‘To bring out the best in students and staff and to encourage life-long learning’. The school’s values are achievement, equity, honesty, innovation, leadership and respect.

The school states that its strategic priorities are achievement, communication, culture, resourcing and wellbeing.

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

  • achievement in the eight learning areas, in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), for Years 9 and 10
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), for Years 11 to 13
  • other valued outcomes, including wellbeing.

Other significant features of the school include, an international students’ programme, an onsite alternative education facility and high numbers of Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) students, who have high or very high special education needs. The school is managing significant roll growth and property development and has implemented the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme, beginning in 2019.

The school is part of the Waimea Plains Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

The school is effectively supporting most of its students to achieve the school’s broad, valued equity and excellence outcomes. A large majority of students achieve academically at or above expected NZC and NZQF levels over time.

School data shows that from 2015 to 2018:

  • most students, including Māori students, consistently achieved at or near national expectations in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 of 85% achievement

  • girls consistently exceeded the national expectation for achievement in NCEA Level 2

  • a large majority of students consistently achieved NCEA Level 3, with girls achieving more highly than other groups of students.

School data for NCEA Levels 2 and 3 from 2017 to 2018 shows improvement in attainment of endorsements by both girls and boys.

For students in Years 9 and 10 school data shows:

  • almost all Year 9 students achieved at expected curriculum levels in science, reading and speaking, and most achieved at expected levels in mathematics

  • almost all Year 10 students achieved at expected curriculum levels in science, most achieved at expected levels in reading and speaking, and a large majority achieved at expected levels in mathematics.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is positively and effectively accelerating the learning of many Māori and other students who require it.

In 2015-2016, at the time of enrolment, fewer than half of Years 9 and 10 Māori students achieved at or above expected curriculum levels in mathematics and reading. A large majority of these Māori students achieved NCEA Level 1 in 2017-2018, and most achieved NCEA Level 2 in 2018.

In 2015, of the students identified at risk of not achieving at the time of enrolment, most had achieved NCEA Level 1 in 2017 and NCEA Level 2 in 2018.

In 2018, accelerated progress was made for many of those Years 9 and 10 students at risk of not achieving in reading, science and mathematics.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

Capable, future-focused trustees serve the school and its families well. They build relational trust with school leaders, and the wider school and education communities, through open communication and respectful partnerships. As a result, their knowledge about, and scrutiny of, widely available data and reports enables them to effectively support school leaders to achieve valued student outcomes. Strategic resourcing decisions support leaders and teachers to strengthen learning and other pathways for student success.

School leaders collaboratively develop, pursue and enact the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. Their well-considered strategic approach is consultative and inclusive. The current focus on change management processes to oversee significant roll growth is coherent. Leaders are actively promoting a distributed leadership model across the school, for staff and students, which is building capability and reinforcing a shared understanding of current priorities for continuous improvement. Their high expectations for teaching, learning, achievement and wellbeing have created an evolving culture of innovation, flexibility and creativity to meet the diversity of needs across the school.

Students learn, progress and achieve in a calm, collaborative and inclusive learning community. Effective curriculum review, design and enactment processes from 2016 have led to the creation of a local curriculum that has the breadth and depth to respond to students’ needs and aspirations. Strong teacher-student relationship building is central to these outcomes. Relevant curriculum, assessment and teaching practices provide a supportive learning environment for student success. A well-run international students’ programme adds to the diversity and vibrancy of a responsive curriculum.

Significant pastoral networks and multiple learning pathways are well managed and support student wellbeing. Students are given sufficient opportunities to consolidate learning. The school has a strategic focus on priority groups of students in order to ‘close the achievement and wellbeing gaps’. The commitment of leaders and teachers to review and evaluate identified priority areas of school life informs ongoing teaching and learning practices for equity and excellence.

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

School leaders have identified and ERO’s evaluation confirms that the school needs to continue to develop culturally responsive practices, for equity and excellence. This includes increasing schoolwide understanding and knowledge of te ao Māori and deepening schoolwide understanding and use of tikanga and te reo Māori.

3 Other Matters

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 the review, the school had 74 international students, 24 of whom were long term and 50 short term.

The international students programme is well organised. Students receive appropriate care and support to successfully participate in the school’s academic and wider curriculum. Communications with, and reporting to, families are robust. The school regularly reviews the programme in order to meet the aspirations of students and their families.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Waimea College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • future-focused governance and leadership that builds relational trust, and is collaborative and inclusive
  • strategic leadership that has a ‘clear line of sight’ to priority targets and actions for equity and excellence
  • a strong relationship-building culture that promotes a calm, productive learning environment to meet all learners’ needs
  • a responsive local curriculum that recognises the school’s growing diversity
  • extensive pastoral networks that are responsive to learners’ wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to focus on developing culturally responsive practices that include an increased understanding of te ao Māori, and knowledge and use of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

12 June 2019

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

296

School type

State Secondary (Years 9-13)

School roll

1560

Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%

NZ European/Pākehā 79%

Other ethnicities 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

12 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014

Education Review October 2011

Education Review December 2008

Findings

School leaders and staff make very good use of the school’s attractive and spacious grounds to provide a calm and settled environment for students. Positive relationships across the school contribute to a warm and welcoming culture. Student achievement is continuing to improve. A broad, balanced curriculum and strong pastoral systems are school strengths. Areas for improvement mainly relate to aspects of planning and review.

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?

Waimea College is a large, well-established secondary school with a growing roll. Attractive and expansive grounds reflect high standards in caring for students and contribute to a positive, settled environment. School values are highly evident in the way students interact and respect each other’s wellbeing and property.

Students benefit from a wide range of facilities and resources that support the school’s broad curriculum. Many of these facilities are shared with the community. Very good support from the local business community is helping to expand opportunities for students.

Opportunities to participate in trades academy, job preparation and alternative education programmes provide specialist support for students’ learning and career planning.

Since the October 2011 ERO review, some new trustees have been appointed to the board and a major redevelopment of guidance facilities has been undertaken.

The strengths identified in the previous ERO report have been sustained. The school has made good progress towards addressing most of the areas for review and development identified in that report. Reporting on the progress of students in Years 9 and 10 still requires further development.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school is using achievement information increasingly effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. This is most evident in:

  • the way leaders analyse information and report to the board about learning and achievement trends over time
  • the use of a data manager to more effectively track the achievement of key groups in the school and support transitions into the school at Year 9
  • the use of more regular reporting to parents about students’ engagement and readiness for learning
  • the extensive analysis of pathways and destinations for Year 12 and 13 students who are not going on to tertiary training.

Achievement information over recent years shows a trend of continuing improvement at National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1 and 2. Subject and course NCEA merit and excellence endorsements are generally increasing. The number of scholarships being gained reflects a positive trend.

Students with special learning needs are provided with high-quality programmes based on information about students’ individual social, learning and wellbeing needs. Innovative practices in transitions and health provide strong, well-informed support for students with high needs and their parents. Teachers provide these families with helpful daily information about their children’s learning strengths, needs and other important details about how students are progressing.

Area for review and development

Leaders and teachers should continue to extend the analysis of student information to identify changes that will further support learning and raise achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students experience a broad and balanced curriculum that provides a wide range of rich learning opportunities within and beyond the school.

The curriculum is well managed and supported through an effective committee structure. The senior curriculum provides vocational and transition pathways that support students’ diverse needs and interests. Regular review and evaluation of the curriculum involve some innovative approaches. Leaders prioritise students’ interests and needs when developing the timetable.

Students spoken with by ERO said that they valued the many opportunities they had to learn and succeed both in and beyond the classroom. They spoke positively about the number of leadership roles and training available to students and the strong focus on service to others.

The school’s high-quality careers programme strongly supports students’ decision making about appropriate academic and vocational pathways across their years at the school. Provisions for gifted and talented students are generally of a high quality.

An extensive pastoral care network, including a guidance system highly regarded by students, is effectively supporting students and their wellbeing. A wide range of support programmes is helping to meet the individual needs of students. Students often have opportunities to take leadership roles that strengthen relationships between older and younger students.

Areas for review and development

The school’s well-developed curriculum would benefit from an evaluation of:

  • how well the New Zealand Curriculum principles are evident in curriculum planning and delivery across learning areas
  • the gifted and talented programme to ensure that the policy, definition and practices are sufficiently broad to include such areas as cultural giftedness.

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

Information provided by the school shows that the achievement of Māori students at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 is continuing to improve over time. Māori students spoken with by ERO identified a good range of strengths about the school, including tuakana teina relationships and the support they receive from their teachers. Some professional development for teachers about te reo and te ao Māori has included presentations by Māori students.

Leaders provide opportunities to meet and consult with whānau and use a clearly-identified process to develop an annual Māori achievement plan.

Areas for review and development

The principal and leaders responded positively during the review to student feedback and suggestions for improvement. A review of how well the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are evident at the school would provide important information for identifying priorities and planning for improvement.

ERO recommends that leaders extend the Māori achievement plan to:

  • develop a more strategic focus that, in consultation with whānau and Māori students, identifies valued outcomes regarding the achievement of all Māori students
  • set clear priorities and goals for current and future developments.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has a range of considerable strengths that make it well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Improvements to some aspects of strategic planning will further strengthen the way the school is addressing current and future priorities.

Areas of strength

The board uses clearly-defined roles, systems and processes. Trustees bring a good range of expertise and experience to their roles and have undertaken some board training. Many staff members told ERO that relationships with the board were positive, that they felt well supported by trustees and that the active involvement of the board in department reviews was valued.

The professional leadership of the principal and senior management team is a significant strength. Leaders are reflective, strongly focused on ongoing improvement and are keen to make positive changes that benefit students. Feedback from staff clearly indicated the importance of senior leadership in maintaining a positive culture of collaboration, respect and support. A large number of staff told ERO that they enjoyed working at the school.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the school’s appraisal system has been strengthened. The new process is comprehensive and is well supported by evidence, a strong emphasis on reflection and opportunities for students to provide their feedback and ideas.

Self review is focused on promoting positive outcomes for all students. Leaders are continuing to improve the way learning areas are reviewed and findings are reported to the board. A shared understanding of self review across the school is continuing to develop.

Areas for review and development

It is now timely for the board and leaders to develop:

  • a more useful strategic plan that sets clear goals and challenging targets for the development of current and future priorities
  • an annual plan that reflects priorities for improvement and provides a clear framework for the actions, responsibilities, timeframes and monitoring requirements that will lead to valued outcomes.

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

At the time of the review, there were 50 international fee-paying students attending the school. Leaders were in the process of appointing a new director of international students.

Information provided by the school shows that very good provision is made for:

  • supporting international students
  • promoting their learning and involvement in the life of the school
  • ensuring that the wellbeing of international students remains a priority.
Area for review and development

School leaders should now extend their reporting to the board to include further details about the progress, achievement, wellbeing and integration of international fee-paying students.

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.

Conclusion

School leaders and staff make very good use of the school’s attractive and spacious grounds to provide a calm and settled environment for students. Positive relationships across the school contribute to a warm and welcoming culture. Student achievement is continuing to improve. A broad, balanced curriculum and strong pastoral systems are school strengths. Areas for improvement mainly relate to aspects of planning and review.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

2 December 2014

About the School

Location

Richmond, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

296

School type

Co-educational Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1471

Number of international students

50

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other Ethnicities

78%

9%

1%

3%

9%

Special Features

Attached Special Education Needs Facility

Job Track

Attached Alternative Education Facility

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

2 December 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

December 2008

November 2005