Gisborne Intermediate - 10/06/2020

School Context

Gisborne Intermediate School caters for students in Years 7 and 8. At the time of this ERO evaluation the roll was 612, with 49% identifying as Māori.

The school’s overarching vision states – ‘te whakatipu iwi nui - growing great people’. The valued outcomes for students are expressed in the school ‘RISE’ values – ‘Respect, Integrity, Self-management, and Excellence’. Strategic priorities are student learning, powerful partnerships, personnel development and student wellbeing.

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

  • reading

  • writing

  • mathematics and

  • wellbeing.

Gisborne Intermediate is a member of Taha Whānau (Gisborne) Kāhui Ako. The school principal is the lead principal of the Kāhui Ako.

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 on a positive trajectory in achieving equity and excellence for all its students.

End of 2018 data, provided by the school, showed the majority of students achieved at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students had significantly lower achievement in all areas than their peers, with less than half reaching expectation in writing and mathematics.

School-provided data for midyear and end of year 2019 reflects a positive trajectory of improvement in achievement and wellbeing. There is an increase in outcomes for most students across reading, writing and mathematics. Māori student achievement has improved and the disparity with their peers has reduced. The 2019 end of year data shows that disparity between girls and boys in literacy has reduced. Writing achievement for all groups remains an area of focus for the school.

Pacific students are appropriately identified, tracked and monitored. Overall achievement is low and there is more to be done to achieve equitable outcomes for Pacific students.

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

The school has focused on continuing to strengthen its capability to accelerate learning for those who need it. Teachers identified groups of students to be part of class-targeted interventions and programmes. At the time of the onsite stage of this ERO evaluation, the school did not have the data to show acceleration for those students who need this. Ongoing information shows that acceleration is happening for the majority of 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 proactively identifies and draws on iwi, hapū and whānau resources and expertise to enhance students’ achievement and wellbeing. A wide range of initiatives to engage with parents, whānau and community are undertaken. These connections provide enrichment and authentic, experiences for students, including those with additional learning needs.

Students learn in settled, inclusive classes. Contexts for learning are engaging and used to respond to students' interests and build on their knowledge. Digital tools and resources are used appropriately to support teaching and learning.

Student leadership is well developed and reflects the school’s values. Student voice is deliberately gathered, and their contributions are respected. Older students demonstrate positive support for younger students. The RISE values are clearly evident across the school.

Students benefit from leaders and teachers genuine and deliberate connections with contributing primary schools and secondary schools. Transitions in to and out of Gisborne Intermediate are well managed to maximise and enhance student learning opportunities, success and wellbeing.

Leadership has established clear and consistent expectations that promote a supportive environment conducive to learning and wellbeing. The documented curriculum is specific in its guidance for teachers. Staff engage in a range of professional learning opportunities to build capability. Processes and practices strengthen and sustain professional learning and collaboration to improve teaching and learning.

Assessment systems and practices have been developed and implemented to build reliability and consistency across the school. Leaders and teachers participate in regular discussions focused on student outcomes. Teachers and leaders continue to strengthen how they use achievement information to improve student learning, achievement and progress. They engage in regular reflection and consideration of ways to improve outcomes for students.

Students identified with additional learning needs are well catered for throughout the school. The learning support hub provides them with the facility to transition into the school before placement in mainstream classes if needed. Ongoing monitoring and reporting achievement assists leaders, teachers and trustees to provide suitable learning environments for these students.

Trustees demonstrate a shared understanding of their stewardship role and responsibilities. They identify and use each other’s knowledge, expertise and experience to benefit students. They review and reflect on their effectiveness as a board in supporting the school to realise its vision, values, strategic direction, goals and targets. School strategic priorities and initiatives guide trustees to make well grounded decisions about student achievement and wellbeing.

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

The school has considered and refined the student achievement targets. These identify those students whose achievement needs acceleration. This should contribute to a more focused approach to achieving equity of achievement for individuals and groups of students.

The school implements a range of initiatives and practices designed to improve student outcomes. Teachers, leaders and trustees should continue to evaluate the impact of these and make clear the links to student achievement data and outcomes.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Gisborne Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • clear strategic priorities that are focused on putting student wellbeing and learning at the centre of all decisions
  • continued ongoing involvement with the Kāhui Ako to strengthen the school’s processes and practices and promote learning that makes a positive difference for all students
  • leadership across the school that acknowledges and works in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for students, to achieve equity for all groups in the school and raise levels of achievement overall with a focus on students whose learning needs accelerating.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

10 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.