Bucklands Beach Intermediate - 28/02/2019

School Context

Bucklands Beach Intermediate in East Auckland caters for learners in Years 7 and 8. The roll of approximately 800 students includes four percent Māori and two percent with Pacific heritage. Asian students make up almost half of the roll, and there are also small groups from other ethnic backgrounds. The roll includes many students who are new learners of English.

The school’s overarching vision is “to educate, guide and mentor all students to become successful, internationally minded, lifelong learners. Its motto is “Whaia te Tikitiki, Reach for the Heights”.

The school’s core valued outcomes for students focus on promoting high level thinking and learning attributes. These attributes include care, balance and collaboration, which support a focus on the holistic growth, safety and wellbeing of students and staff.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics achievement

  • progress, including accelerated progress, and outcomes for target students

  • learning programmes for students with additional needs, including gifted and talented students

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets for English and mathematics

  • student engagement and wellbeing for success

  • the wider curriculum and specialist teaching.

The school has beneficial working relationships with its nearby primary and secondary schools. These relationships help to establish useful pathways for students transitioning into the school and on to secondary 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 successfully promotes equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School achievement information from the past four years shows that most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

The majority of Māori students achieve at or above expected levels. No Māori students are well below expectations. There is increasing parity in achievement between genders in reading and mathematics. By Year 8 any disparity for Māori students in writing and mathematics, and between genders in writing, is addressed. The board and senior leaders plan to continue to keep a close watch on, and inquire deeply into, any disparity as it becomes evident.

A useful variety of national and school-based assessment tools is used to ensure the school’s achievement information is robust and reliable. Teachers moderate assessment of students’ writing across school teams. This helps them to produce dependable assessment information using the school’s rubric of expectations.

Appropriate schoolwide targets to raise achievement in English and mathematics are usefully informed by each student’s previous year’s achievement. Teachers and students work collaboratively to reach these targets.

Students have many opportunities to self-assess their progress against chosen aspects of the school’s valued outcomes and learner attributes.

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

The school is promoting accelerated learning for those Māori and other students who need this.

The school analyses mid-year and end-of-year information to identify students’ rates of learning progress and next steps for ongoing improvement. Mid-year information for 2018 shows the number of students who have achieved accelerated progress in English and mathematics. This information also shows Māori and Pacific target students’ accelerated learning. The progress for all target students is regularly monitored. All individual Māori and Pacific students’ results are carefully tracked over time.

The principal’s reports to the board include the interventions, and steps taken to accelerate student learning. The reports could be more useful for the board if senior leaders evaluated more regularly the ongoing impact that interventions have on outcomes for students.

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?

The school uses many effective processes and practices to support equity and excellence, and to accelerate students’ learning. The school’s vision, mission and values are embedded and well enacted through the school culture.

Students participate in a broad and responsive curriculum that encompasses both the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), part of the International Baccalaureate. Students have access to a variety of learning support programmes. These are successfully implemented by specialist teachers who are competently assisted by teacher aides. Students’ interests and talents are enhanced through the many rich workshops that teachers and the community offer.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. Student wellbeing and outcomes are at the centre of all decision making. Students confidently set and monitor personal goals, and are increasingly skilled at managing their own learning. Specialist teaching programmes are successfully linked to classroom programmes and to students’ learning goals. Each student’s individual progress is valued and celebrated. Student engagement is promoted through respectful and affirming relationships they share with teachers, and the good use made of digital tools.

Leaders set high standards and expectations of themselves as leaders, and of students and teachers. They challenge each other’s thinking to promote well-considered school developments. The leadership team ensures that all teachers have opportunities for leadership.

The board and leaders are committed to the ongoing improvement of teachers’ capability and collective capacity. They offer well-considered professional learning (PLD) to enhance outcomes for students. Teachers are well supported to engage collaboratively in professional inquiry about the impact that their teaching practices have on outcomes for students. Results of these inquiries are appropriately used for ongoing improvement and PLD.

Teachers work together and with students to build the school’s bicultural practices. The school’s successful kapa haka is multicultural and is supported by teachers and community expertise. Teachers are growing in their capability to incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori through their class programmes. The school demonstrates a commitment to ongoing development in this area.

The board and teachers strive to build educationally powerful connections and relationships with parents, whānau and local schools. They offer a variety of opportunities for parents and whānau to have input into the school’s curriculum. Parents and whānau willingly support the school with their expertise and knowledge.

The principal makes good use of evidence-based internal evaluation for ongoing improvement. A variety of processes and practices are used to gather a range of school community perspectives to inform leadership decisions. Outcomes from consultation are reported clearly to the board.

There is a useful mix of experienced and new trustees on the board. They are committed to their ongoing stewardship role. There are good systems to ensure the sustainability of board expertise. Trustees are very well informed and make evidence-based decisions about the school’s strategic direction and resource allocation.

The board has implemented effective organisational processes to ensure it meets its legal and regulatory obligations. An effective appraisal system helps to assure the board of the outcomes from professional learning.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers have prioritised relevant developments that include:

  • embedding a schoolwide, strengths-based coaching model
  • continuing to broaden and deepen the localised curriculum to be much more future-focused
  • implementing ways to show that students are making sufficient accelerated learning progress
  • continuing to extend teachers’ understanding of bicultural practices and increasing shared leadership in this area.

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.

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 this review there were 19 international students attending the school, with no exchange students.

The school has very well established procedures for promoting the welfare and educational progress of its international students. Students benefit from the school’s strong pastoral care systems and its inclusive, positive environment. High quality English language programmes support the students to participate successfully across the curriculum, and help them to integrate positively into all aspects of school life. As part of its ongoing internal evaluation processes, the board could now review how well the values and aims of its policy on enrolling international students, are being met.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • highly effective leadership that promotes students’ learning and wellbeing

  • a relevant and responsive curriculum that engages students in their learning

  • an inclusive school culture that values collaboration, respect and innovation.

Next steps

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

  • extending bicultural practices so that te ao Māori is integrated and an ongoing feature of the school

  • extending the internal evaluation undertaken by the board and managers to continue supporting ongoing improvement.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

Steve Tanner Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 February 2019

About the school

Location

Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1240

School type

Intermediate

School roll

796

Gender composition

Boys      53%
Girls       47%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                      4%
Pākehā                                 42%
Asian                                     48%
other ethnic groups                6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            February 2014
Education Review            June 2009
Education Review            April 2006