Edgecumbe College - 29/11/2016

Findings

The Edgecumbe College community is positive about the increased opportunities for students and staff that should arise from the imminent major upgrade of property and resources. Trustees, college leaders and staff have a shared commitment to continuing the improvements to educational provision and levels of students' success.

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?

Edgecumbe College is a co-educational secondary school providing education for students in Years 9 to 13 from the township of Edgecumbe and surrounding rural and coastal areas. The roll has remained stable since the 2013 ERO review and is currently 233 students. The majority of students identify as Māori and a significant proportion whakapapa to Ngāti Awa.

The principal and senior managers continue to provide strong, coherent and positive educational leadership for the college community. The board benefits from the continuity provided by the chairperson. The 2016 board elections resulted in several new trustees being elected. They bring considerable prior experience in school governance and an appropriate range of expertise to their roles. The board is actively considering its membership of a Community of Learners (CoL) with a group of contributing schools in the area. Substantial property upgrades are to begin in 2017, and these have the potential to positively impact on the quality of education that students, staff and the community can experience.

The college charter mission statement is to provide quality education that meets the needs and aspirations of students, staff, whānau and community. The core values are expressed as the acronym WIRED, which stands for whanaungatanga, integrity, respect, excellence and determination.

The college has made positive progress in response to the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. Professional development has had a sustained focus on teaching and learning, and is well supported by a strengthened performance management process, which promotes teacher reflection on practice.

2 Learning

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

The college is continuing to strengthen its use of achievement information in the senior area to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. While there have been positive changes to the management of assessment at Years 9 and 10, further review and development in this area is needed to improve learning outcomes for these students.

Senior managers gather background information from contributing schools on students entering Year 9, to group them in teaching classes. This information is well used by the pastoral team to identify and support students who need additional help to make a successful transition to secondary education. Senior managers recognise that strengthening the two-way exchange of achievement information and curriculum expertise between contributing schools and the college has significant potential for improving education outcomes for students.

Achievement information is gathered from standardised testing of Years 9 and 10 students early in Term 1. The pastoral team make effective use of this data to identify students requiring additional support or extension in their learning. Curriculum leaders and teachers have undertaken professional development to strengthen their use of achievement information to respond effectively to the diverse learning needs of students in their classes. The sharing of achievement information with students and their families and whānau to support effective learning partnerships is an area for further development.

In 2015, senior leaders introduced a Junior Certificate of Educational Achievement (JCEA) to foster a positive culture of student learning and achievement in Years 9 and 10. Students gain credits for this award through assessments and work samples in each curriculum area. A next step is to strengthen the use of JCEA credits to track student progress against curriculum levels, which would allow senior managers to evaluate the effectiveness of learning programmes, and ensure improved levels of achievement. In addition, the board should set annual progress targets for priority students in Years 9 and 10.

The pastoral team and senior managers carefully track students at Years 11 to 13 as they achieve credits towards completing the appropriate level of the National Certificate of Education (NCEA). This information is shared with students and their whānau, and reported to the board. Trustees set appropriate targets for raising overall levels of student success.

NCEA data for 2015 shows progress in Level 1 literacy and numeracy, where the proportion of students gaining these compulsory credits is comparable to, or above, similar schools. The proportion of students gaining the Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications has remained steady, but is below similar schools. While the college reports a high proportion of students take additional time to gain the Level 1 and 2 NCEA qualification, the proportion of students leaving with the national priority of Level 2 remains well below national targets. Māori students represent the majority of students in the college, and their achievement in 2015 was below other students in the school.

Student engagement in learning is supported by the careful monitoring, encouragement and support for attendance. The pastoral care team consistently emphasise the link between regular attendance and sustained academic progress and educational success for students. While rates of student attendance have been steadily improving since the 2013 ERO review, this area remains a priority area for ongoing attention.

3 Curriculum

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

The college’s curriculum is strongly focused on extending student opportunities for learning experiences and educational success. Senior managers and curriculum leaders report that continuing to increase the number of students retained to Years 11 to 13 is a priority, as a significant proportion of students take an additional year to complete their formal qualifications. Partnerships with Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) have seen additional courses offered, such as Agriculture and Horticulture. The Centre for Enhanced Learning (CEL) has strengthened access to, and the provision of, learning support programmes, Gifted and Talented Education, and Career Guidance. Sporting and cultural opportunities have been extended, and well supported by extensive help from staff and community members.

The experienced pastoral care team is strongly focused on ensuring appropriate support, internal or external, to ensure students can access educational opportunities is sourced. Partnerships with families and whānau to foster improved student attendance, and educational progress are being strengthened through home visits, and regular formal and informal communications. The college reports that the positive behaviour for learning programme has had a very positive impact on the school culture, which is welcoming and inclusive.

Classrooms are settled learning environments and relationships among students and teachers are mutually respectful. Expectations for learning and behaviour are steadily being raised and success is affirmed. Curriculum leaders have been involved in sustained professional development with external facilitators. The board and staff recognise that the imminent property upgrades provide an important opportunity to develop the effective use of digital technologies to support student learning and delivery of teaching programmes.

The principal is well supported by the senior management team. Together they have successfully raised the positive profile of the college, raised expectations for success for both staff and students, and strengthened community partnerships. There is a positive sense of direction and optimism for the future within the college community.

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

Continuing to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori, remains the strategic priority for the college. Initiatives and developments have included:

  • promoting cultural responsive practice for staff
  • liaison with Ngāti Awa regarding support for education
  • opportunities for kapa haka
  • te reo Māori available at all levels.

Next steps are for trustees to engage with Te Hautū workshops on culturally responsive governance practices, and school leaders to reaffirm the principles of Ka Hikitia. These developments have the potential to strengthen partnerships with the Māori community, to better meet the needs and aspirations of all students and their whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Positive factors include:

  • trustees who understand their governance roles, and have a focus on improving educational outcomes for all students
  • the principal who empowers and inspires the college community to work together for student success in all its forms
  • senior managers, curriculum leaders and pastoral team members who reflect a belief in the positive potential of staff and students
  • the increased focus on teaching as inquiry to support teacher reflection on improved academic outcomes for all students
  • a school culture that increasingly focuses on the core values, mutual respect and responsibility.

The board and college leaders recognise that:

  • a strategic and well-considered approach is needed during the major property and facility upgrade planned in 2017 and beyond. Community aspirations and student voice will play an important role in successfully bringing about the positive developments intended
  • raising student achievement levels, particularly for Māori, at all levels remains the priority focus for teaching and learning
  • greater collaboration with their contributing schools is likely to improve education outcomes for all 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

The Edgecumbe College community is positive about the increased opportunities for students and staff that should arise from the imminent major upgrade of property and resources. Trustees, college leaders and staff have a shared commitment to continuing the improvements to educational provision and levels of students' success.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

29 November 2016

About the School

Location

Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

145

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

233

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other Asian

Other

67%

29%

3%

1%

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

29 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2013

July 2011

May 2009