Hobsonville Point Secondary School - 01/06/2016

Findings

Students at Hobsonville Point Secondary School are highly engaged in learning and appreciate the broad range of opportunities they have to grow personally and academically. Leaders and teachers work in partnership with students and their families to provoke thinking and inquiry, and to support personal excellence and growth.    

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?

Hobsonville Point Secondary School opened in 2014 to serve the newly developed Hobsonville Point community. It currently has 348 students in Years 9 to 11 and is designed to cater for 1350 students at full capacity.

An elected board of trustees has replaced the initial establishment board, and serves as the governance board for both the Hobsonville Point Primary School and Hobsonville Point Secondary School. The two schools share a coherent vision and values that are clearly articulated in board documentation and reflect the vision, values and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

The school is the first secondary school in New Zealand where the buildings are owned and operated as a Public Private Partnership.

The school includes a satellite unit for secondary-aged students enrolled with Arohanui Special School.

2 Learning

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

This school makes good use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. There are very good systems in place to monitor individual student’s academic progress and personal growth.

Learning partnerships with students, parents and whānau lie at the heart of the curriculum model. Senior leaders and teachers use many different ways of reporting on student achievement, but all are characterised by high quality information that is shared and discussed with the student, the learning coach and families, as well as other teachers.

Reporting in subject areas is against the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers have done extensive work to develop shared understandings of learning progressions in regard to the curriculum. The school has comprehensive information about what students have achieved academically and also in the development of their dispositions as learners. The challenge that school leaders identify is building data that is valid, manageable, useful and accessible to a range of users.

School leaders have consulted with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority about how to best provide external assessment for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement. The school model is designed to provide personal challenge, recognise excellence and minimise unnecessary assessment points. By the end of this year all Year 11 students will have had the opportunity to gain some entry level credits, but the main focus of external assessment will begin at Level 2.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. It is designed to be inclusive and culturally responsive, while challenging students to continue to develop and grow academically and personally.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. Students are very proud of the school and its learning model. They report that they value the opportunities they have to make meaningful choices about their learning and to know about themselves as learners. Their sense that their teachers are engaged with them in reciprocal learning, and teachers’ evident pleasure in exploring ideas and new ways of learning, underpin the respectful learning relationships evident throughout the school.

The school’s innovative curriculum model is designed to enable students to explore the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum while also ensuring that students receive a strong foundation in core subjects and the key competencies. The integrated curriculum supports student inquiry across subject areas and encourages exploration and connections. Projects allow students to deepen their inquiry and to develop complexity to a degree that is unusual in students at this age.

Students value the personalised support they receive from their learning coaches. Coaches monitor student academic and personal progress, provide encouragement and ensure that students are making sensible decisions about courses. Students are encouraged to reflect on themselves as learners and work with their learning coaches to set goals that challenge them to develop their dispositions and competencies as learners. Additional numeracy and literacy support is available where needed.

Younger students in their foundation years are guided to make learning choices across the whole of The New Zealand Curriculum. The challenge is to develop graduate pathways in the curriculum that enable increasingly responsive and personalised learning as students move through the school.

Teachers make good use of the diverse learning spaces to provide whole class, small group and individual learning opportunities. The small classes in the learning hubs help students form bonds with older and younger students and are an important element in the comprehensive pastoral care in the school.

The learning environment throughout the school is focused and purposeful. Digital technologies are well used to support learning. Students enjoy the high quality facilities available to promote physical activity and provide for the performing arts. A high proportion of students are involved in a wide range of sporting and cultural activities that help to build a sense of belonging to the school community.

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

The school is steadily developing its capacity to promote educational success for Māori as Māori.

Consultation with iwi in the establishment of the school, and the ongoing development of school kawa and tikanga, reflect school leaders’ commitment to building bi-cultural understanding in the school community. All students and staff sing the specially written school waiata and are developing understanding of events such as powhiri.

The dual cultural heritage of the area is featured throughout the school and forms a meaningful element in the school curriculum. This is helping to develop students’ understanding of how the past can inform the future and deepens their understanding of where they live.

Ongoing training and internal evaluation for staff and trustees will be beneficial to develop bicultural understanding building on good beginnings.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. This new school has made a very good start to providing an innovative model of teaching and learning that is proving highly engaging for students.

Leadership in the school is highly effective. It is underpinned by a culture of rigorous inquiry and personal challenge, informed by ongoing research into best practice. The clearly articulated vision and values are shared throughout the school community.

The board’s commitment is to a model of education that promotes equity and excellence, and that develops students who are able to take responsibility for themselves while making a worthwhile contribution to the larger world. The importance of global citizenship is reflected in the nature of student inquiries and project work.

School leaders recognise that the school model of teaching and learning can be demanding on staff. Careful recruitment and induction processes are in place, and are supported by high quality appraisal processes and ongoing professional learning and development. Teachers value the specific and useful information they receive to help them to continue improving their teaching practice.

The board funds a specialist teaching position to ensure that teachers and students are well supported to make effective and efficient use of the widespread digital technologies that are integral to the teaching and learning model. The board also makes space available within the school for some small start-up businesses. Their role is to serve as ‘pollinators’, helping students to explore thinking in applied science and technology. Students benefit from these opportunities to consider the practical applications of research.

Trustees have established a sound platform of internal evaluation to guide the ongoing growth of the school. They are able to focus as a board on stewardship, the implementation of the vision and considering how best to serve the school community. The public private partnership model takes care of most property matters.

Trustees have considered the implications of the Maori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017, for their planning, and will use NZSTA’s self review tool, Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees, as a new board. The next step is to consult with Māori whānau as a group about their aspirations for their children. Consulting with whānau to guide growth would help the school to set more specific goals and feed into the ongoing development of the strategic plan.

School leaders, trustees and ERO agree that the development points for the ongoing growth of this new school are: 

  • increasing partnership opportunities for Māori akonga, whānau and iwi
  • continuing to develop a graduate pathways curriculum programme that enables increasingly responsive and personalised learning as students move through the school
  • continuing to refine processes for capturing, sharing and responding to information about students learning progressions 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. 

Conclusion

Students at Hobsonville Point Secondary School are highly engaged in learning and appreciate the broad range of opportunities they have to grow personally and academically. Leaders and teachers work in partnership with students and their families to provoke thinking and inquiry, and to support personal excellence and growth.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

1 June 2016

About the School

Location

Hobsonville Point, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

6977

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

348

Gender composition

Girls 47%, Boys 53%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

other

65%

12%

12%

4%

7%

Special Features

Satellite class Arohanui Special School.

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

1 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

New Schools Assurance 

September 2014