Henderson High School

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Education institution number:
45
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
766
Telephone:
Address:

Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, Auckland

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Summary

Henderson High School is a co-educational school, catering for students from Years 9 to 15. Twenty-four percent of learners are Māori, seventeen percent are Pacific and forty-seven percent are Pākehā.

Since ERO’s 2014 evaluation, the school has continued lifting student achievement and has responded very effectively to students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school has a highly focused and coordinated approach to raising student achievement and developing lifelong learners. This approach is well planned and is supported by the board, school leaders, staff and the community.

The board and school leaders are justifiably proud of the ongoing substantial gains made in the school’s overall National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) achievement levels. The school’s overall NCEA achievement exceeds national and regional levels of achievement. This success is shared by all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific who achieved higher than any other group for NCEA levels 2 and 3.

Henderson High School is a proactive member of the Henderson Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL) which includes one intermediate and other contributing schools from the local area. The CoL has set achievement challenges for future improvement and expert teachers and leaders have been selected to work across the CoL schools. A long-term programme of professional learning is planned for teachers to work as a collective group in the interests of students.

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

The school responds very effectively to Māori, Pacific and other learners whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The school’s processes and actions are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence. Features that have a significant impact on enabling equity and excellence include the school’s:

  • responsive curriculum

  • leadership for equity and excellence

  • capacity and capability building

  • developing powerful connections and relationships

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

An agreed next step is to:

  • continue to strengthen the school’s evaluation processes to drive future improvement.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school responds very effectively to Maori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Achievement information shows high levels of student success in the National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3 with a very positive upward trend inclusive of Māori and Pacific since 2012. Level 1, 2 and 3 results show that achievement is above the national average and well above percentages for other similar schools.

Māori and Pacific students enjoy the same levels of academic success as others in the school. In 2016 they achieved at a higher levels in NCEA Level 2 and 3 than other cohorts. There is some gender disparity at Level 3 with girls achieving higher than males. An increase in the number of endorsements at Level 2 is significant as well as an emerging picture of success in Scholarship.

The opportunity for students to follow diverse pathways with plans for relevant, purposeful and meaningful opportunities is motivating them to lift their achievement.

There is a school-wide focus on individual and personalised approaches for ‘knowing the learner.’ This is contributing to responsive and positive learning relationships that support students and their engagement in learning. The principal initiates positive relationships at enrolment with each student and their family. The collation of end of Year 8 transition information, school testing and the identification of each student’s strengths, capabilities and identified needs, helps support teachers to develop relevant class programmes.

School targets focus on the continuous improvement of student success rates in NCEA and UE and the achievement of quality credits in Merit and Excellence. Year 9 and 10 literacy and numeracy targets aim to ensure students reach curriculum level 5 by Year 11. Academic conferencing and pathways counselling support teachers to have a clear understanding of the academic progress of every student and to encourage students’ commitment to their future aspirations.

Student achievement is carefully tracked, monitored and mapped by teachers and Deans. They maintain an up-to-date knowledge of individual student’s achievement progress, engagement and attendance. This information is promptly reported back to students and parents. An improved analysis of Year 9 and 10 achievement and the introduction of predictive grades continues to help improve student performance. The longitudinal achievement information from 2012 shows a group of students who were achieving below their expected curriculum levels went on to accelerate their learning and achieve NCEA Level 3 in 2016.

Highly effective learning support provides a multi layered approach for students to access a range of personalised and flexible learning opportunities that support their learning pathway. The Special Education Needs Co-ordinator works with teachers across departments and with outside agencies to respond more effectively to students whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. Teachers and learning assistants share a commitment to, and responsibility for students’ learning and progress.

School leaders continue to carefully moderate assessment practices to ensure the school’s publicly reported data is dependable.

The school’s culture promotes student qualities of self-belief, respect and trustworthiness through having a sense of being valued, cared about and recognised as individuals. These values and qualities are reflected in students’ sporting capabilities, community participation and consideration for others.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school’s processes are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

This is most attributable to the school’s:

  • responsive curriculum

  • leadership for equity and excellence

  • capacity and capability building

  • educationally powerful connections and relationships.

Students are highly connected and engaged in their learning within an inclusive school culture. A holistic, wrap-around approach to pastoral care and the use of restorative practices sets the conditions for student wellbeing and achievement. A range of authentic and relevant learning contexts in and outside the school community allows students to engage in many different opportunities to support their future learning pathways.

The provision of digital technology is extending opportunities for students to experience the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and to enhance their levels of literacy and numeracy. The integrated curriculum focus of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is promoting collaborative learning for some students through problem solving and critical thinking opportunities in real world contexts.

School leadership has a deliberate focus on equity and excellence through its strategic approach and alignment with school goals. Leadership is very effective at building relational trust and collaboration at every level of the school community to support the achievement of these goals. A relentless focus on achievement outcomes is evident and positively influencing students’ progress towards achievement. Explicitly sharing data-based evidence with parents and students supports the motivation of students to learn and attend. Strategic recruitment of new leaders and growing expert leaders within the school is supporting improvements in teaching and learning that promote equity and excellence.

All teachers participate in the school’s professional development groups to build their professional capacity. They focus on implementing school improvement initiatives which align with the school’s strategic goals. Individual departments promote collaborative inquiry processes to improve outcomes for students. Teachers are increasingly successful in finding new and innovative ways to raise student achievement. Their use of digital technologies is steadily enhancing students’ digital literacy. Teachers are valued for their energy, active participation, curriculum knowledge and their ability to lift student achievement.

Henderson High School’s learning culture is underpinned by positive relationships. The school has many effective ways of communicating, consulting and building partnerships with its community. Family and whānau are becoming increasingly involved in student learning through digital and social platforms.

The school benefits from the considerable support and involvement of community groups, business and tertiary partners. Initiatives from these partnerships target student care and emotional needs, curriculum opportunities and support a range of student learning pathways. The co-option of a Māori trustee is helping develop positive relationships with the Māori community.

The Henderson CoL is working towards strengthening its relationship with local iwi to support community and school initiatives.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has highly effective processes in place to promote equity and excellence for Maori, Pacific and other learners.

Continuing to extend the school’s evaluation practices will help to further drive future improvement. For example, it would be worthwhile to evaluate the range of learning pathways and students’ curriculum and pathway preferences. This could provide information that helps teachers to ensure that the curriculum continues to make deeper and more deliberate connections to learners’ lives, out of school experiences, and changing real-world contexts. In addition, an evaluation of the school’s pedagogy could also help teachers to increase collaborative learning practices planned for the new open learning spaces and grow more inclusive learning communities.

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 it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of the review there were ten international students attending the school.

Henderson High School has good systems to maintain the quality of both education and pastoral care for international students. Progress towards achievement is well monitored and student course selections continue to be considered and personalised. Students are well integrated into the school’s educational community and cultural experiences. Self-review processes are in place to ensure systems continue to develop and improve.

Going forward

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

The school has highly effective processes in place to promote equity and excellence for Māori, Pacific and other learners.

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

An agreed next step is to continue extending the scope of the school’s evaluation processes to drive future improvement.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

22 September 2017

About the school

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

769

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Maori
Pākehā
Pasifika
Asian
other

24%
47%
17%
7%
4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

22 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
October 2011
August 2008

1 Background and Context

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

Henderson High School in West Auckland is a small secondary school catering for students in Years 9 to 13. In recent years, under new leadership, the school has made significant improvements in the quality of governance and management, community consultation, student engagement and the quality of teaching and learning.

The board appointed an experienced principal shortly before the 2011 ERO review. At that time, ERO identified a number of significant concerns, many of which the new principal had begun to identify.

ERO subsequently recommended that the Ministry of Education (MoE) support the board and new principal to improve school governance, leadership, student achievement and community consultation. To this end a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed to provide assistance to the principal and board in these areas. Support to improve the quality of middle leadership was also provided.

Since the 2011 review, ERO has worked closely with the school and evaluated its ongoing progress. Over the past two years careful, strategic decision-making by the principal and board has resulted in a number of key changes to personnel and school organisation. These include:

  • the significant restructure and appointment of a new senior leadership team
  • the election and co-option of several new trustees to more appropriately represent the diverse school community
  • the appointment of new department leaders and several other key teaching staff
  • a restructure of the support staff structure.

Other significant improvements include:

  • the modernised classroom environments including the library and outdoor teaching spaces
  • the removal of school property which posed health and safety risks
  • a redesign of pastoral care approaches and the provision of careers education to improve student services
  • a significant investment in information and communication technologies (ICT) and commitment to providing digital learning programmes.

The school's roll is representative of the diversity of the local community and is growing steadily. The curriculum includes academic, sporting and cultural programmes that cater for a variety of student interests and pathways. The school hosts a unit for Teen parents and provides specialist programmes for students with high and moderate learning needs.

2 Review and Development

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

The school has effectively addressed the areas for review and development identified in the 2011 ERO report. The board, principal and senior leaders have worked hard to improve the quality of student achievement and have significantly improved outcomes for students overall.

School leaders have received very good support from the Ministry of Education. Trustees have benefited appreciably from the ongoing support and expertise of the Limited Statutory Manager (LSM).

Priorities identified for review and development

ERO and the school agreed on the following priorities for this ongoing review:

to improve the quality of governance and management and document effective self review

to establish regular consultation with the school community

to review the school curriculum and develop teaching practices that promote effective student engagement and learning.

School Governance, Leadership and Community Consultation

Very good progress is evident in school governance. The MOE intervention has been particularly successful. The board now has improved capacity and operates effectively in accordance with a newly adopted governance manual. Trustees are focused on continuing to raise student achievement and promote better outcomes for students.

The principal is an effective change manager. He has made some brave decisions to affect positive change and models respectful, professional leadership to achieve this. The school is well managed. The senior leadership team is collaborative, complementary and thoughtful. Leaders are student focussed and set high expectations for student success.

Reporting to the board has improved. Principal reports are more aligned to strategic goals. Senior leaders report regularly against their portfolios and provide very good information to help the board make effective financial and resourcing decisions. Students are benefitting from these decisions.

Community consultation is effective. Whānau aspirations are used to inform school plans, policies and targets. Hui and fono are increasingly well attended. Links with local iwi have been re-established and trustees are taking an active role to connect the school with the community. Regular reports inform parents about their child’s engagement and progress.

Strategic planning is better understood and the new strategic plan shows a clearer progression of developmental steps for the next three years that should sustain improvements. External support is being used to guide strategic planning improvements.

The board is well positioned to:

  • plan for succession and embed sustainable governance practices
  • refine target setting for groups of priority learners
  • set more specific and measurable targets for Year 9 and 10 students
  • implement and evaluate the school’s new Success as Māori plan.

The Teen Parent unit (TPU) is an area of ongoing focus as school leaders respond to the 2013 ERO report on the unit. A senior leader now has responsibility for the unit and is working collaboratively with key staff to make positive changes. The use of external advice has contributed to the development of a draft action plan. Additional staff have been appointed. Further enhancements should include developing quality indicators of success and adding the TPU more explicitly to the school strategic plan to increase the board’s review of progress and outcomes for students.

Student engagement and learning

Overall levels of student achievement have improved. In some areas, targeted students are making good, accelerated progress. In National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA), students at Level 1 and 2 have made substantial gains. Data shows that students have both met and exceeded national and regional levels of achievement.

There is a noticeable increase in the number of students achieving merit and excellence endorsements and more students are achieving at higher levels in the curriculum. NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance remain key areas for strengthening. School leaders have useful strategies in place to promote improvements at this level.

Māori and Pacific student achievement has significantly improved. Better monitoring and more frequent communication with whānau has had a positive impact. The school is better positioned to focus on closing the equity gap between groups of learners. To further increase student success, teachers and leaders could now develop more personalised learning programmes and environments that connect to the language, culture and identity of Māori and Pacific students.

Staff know the students very well and promote their wellbeing effectively. Improvements to the pastoral care structure and restorative approaches are ensuring students are supported by caring teachers who develop long term connections with them and their families. Academic conferencing approaches are new and are being embedded to support career planning. A reduction in stand downs and suspensions and an increase in attendance are a result of deliberate and more inclusive approaches. Improved levels of student engagement are evident.

Curriculum management

The principal and his leadership team have high expectations for teaching and learning. They have transformed the climate for learning in the school. More effective teaching is clearly evident. Classrooms are settled learning environments where lessons are planned and purposeful. Teachers model a calm and professional manner and are actively supporting student learning.

To enhance the school curriculum for students, school leaders have appropriately prioritised e-learning and the development of curriculum pathways. These initiatives are having a significant, positive impact on student achievement and success.

A new student management system to collect and analyse student achievement information has been successfully implemented. Better monitoring of student progress in the senior school is evident and is providing useful evidence to inform school and department self review. Professional development has been well used by leaders to improve the management of student achievement information.

New department review and reporting approaches provide more alignment and accountability between school and department goals. School leaders have worked closely with professional development providers and heads of department to successfully manage new processes and support the pace of change. More evaluative approaches to reflecting and reporting on the effectiveness of teaching and learning approaches would help strengthen heads' of department's curriculum reports.

Good progress has been made to improve assessment tools and the tracking of student achievement in Years 9 and 10. Teachers are sharing innovative approaches to assessment across departments. More reliable and robust information is available to teachers to inform their planning and curriculum programmes. School leaders are better placed to evaluate student progress over time and to maximise the use of enrolment information from contributing schools.

Performance management has been strengthened. More inquiry and self review approaches are expected of teachers. Student feedback informs teacher reflection and is used well by school leaders to make positive changes.

To continue to enhance the quality of the performance management process, senior leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • ensuring performance management is aligned clearly to all of the registered teacher criteria
  • improving the evaluative nature of teachers’ reflections on successful teaching practice
  • using evaluation to identify and guide the development of school-wide and department expectations of high quality teaching practice.

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. Effective school leadership and management underpin school operations.

Effective systems to promote self review are in place and are used well. School leaders are continuing to improve the quality of self review and evaluative reporting. Promoting equitable outcomes for groups of students continue to be a school priority and are developing through school planning.

Sound leadership and governance, and high expectations for on-going improvement are notable features of school development in recent years. The positive tone and inclusive school environment promotes and supports student learning and achievement.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

3 June 2014

About the School

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

622

Number of international students

18

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European

Samoan

Indian

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Middle Eastern

South East Asian

Tongan

Tokelau

other

23%

45%

11%

3%

2%

2%

2%

2%

1%

1%

8%

Special Features

Parekura Unit

Teen Parent Unit

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

3 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

October 2011

August 2008

June 2006