Kaiapoi High School - 17/12/2009

1. About the School

Location

Kaiapoi, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

314

School type

Secondary (Years 9-15)

Teaching staff:

Roll generated entitlement

Other

Number of teachers

 

50.17

1.35

51

School roll

634

Number of international students

19

Gender composition

Girls 54%; Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 70%; Māori 16%; Asian 4%; Other 10%

Special features

TeenParent Unit

Review team on site

October 2009

Date of this report

17 December 2009

Previous ERO reports

Supplementary Review November 2007 Education Review November 2006 Education Review November 2003 Discretionary Review May 2000 Accountability Review August 1999 Assurance Review April 1996 Effectiveness Review July 1993

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kaiapoi High School provides education for Years 9 to 13 students who come from Kaiapoi and the surrounding districts. This review took place in October 2009. The school’s roll has remained steady since the 2007 ERO review. Māori students make up 16% of the roll.

Since the 2006 ERO review, the board, senior leaders and teachers, with the help of external support, have established a clear strategic direction for the school. A new principal was appointed in Term 4, 2007. He has worked effectively with the board, the senior management team and community towards their goals to improve outcomes for students. Following consultation with the students and community, the board has initiated property developments. It has renovated the entrance area and refurbished some of the school buildings and grounds. The auditorium provides a focus for the school and community. The school is now able to show significant improvement in student achievement and engagement, school culture and environment, and the perception of the school in the community.

Students told ERO that the school is now a safer place for them. Their improved achievement and successes are being more widely celebrated. Students in the building and design courses are contributing to improvements in the school’s physical environment.

 Senior students continued to improve their achievement in national qualifications in 2007 and 2008. They are now achieving as well as students in similar schools in Levels1 and 2, and in 2008 at Level 3, of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The percentage of students leaving school with little or no formal attainment has decreased.

A wide range ofsubjects is offered at all levels with a good balance of unit and achievement standards. Students also gain success through transition to work and vocational programmes such as hospitality and building, and outdoor education and leadership. Student retention to Year 13 has improved but is still lower than that of students in similar schools.

In Years 9 and 10, teachers use nationally benchmarked assessments and other information to show students’ progress against curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. Teachers told ERO that students make good progress. Achievement is also shown in all other subjects and reported to parents. Numeracy and literacy results at Level 1 NCEA are at or above the national average.

Self-review processes are well embedded at all levels of the school’s operations. The board has an overall self-review action plan focused on raising student achievement, extending high quality teaching, supporting professional leadership, and maintaining effective governance and management. The board’s 2008 analysis of variance shows that although not all targets were achieved, there was marked improvement in most aspects.

The next step is to strengthen self-review processes at the faculty and teacher levels through fostering deeper understandings about self-review processes, and using external expertise to support in-school review.

The quality of teaching varies. ERO observed classes where students were purposefully engaged and enjoying their learning. In these classes, teachers had established positive relationships, set clear expectations and were using a range of effective teaching strategies. In other classes, especially in Years 9 and 10, not all students were experiencing teaching practices that were effectively engaging them in the learning. The challenge for the senior leaders and teachers is to extend and share current good teaching practices to improve learning outcomes for all students.

Students are benefitting from the school’s commitment to building positive relationships through good quality pastoral care approaches and guidelines. Effective communication between school and home contributes positively to school culture. Restorative practices are a special feature of the pastoral care programme. The school’s values underpin these processes. There are now stronger relationships between the school and its contributing schools. Students with special learning needs receive good quality support. International students are well catered for.

The board is well led by the chairperson. Trustees contribute a range of skills and expertise and are committed to ongoing improvement. The board has effectively addressed the financial concerns raised in the 2007 ERO review. Trustees spoken with by ERO said that they are now more confident in their governance role and in the capability of the school’s leadership. The principal, senior leaders and teachers are now more united and effective in bringing about improved outcomes for students.

ori representation on the board, and the work of the teacher who is Māori, senior leaders and other teachers are helping to improve outcomes for Māori students. The next step for the trustees, senior leaders and teachers is to extend their commitment to bicultural perspectives in all school operations, and establish a strategic direction to further improve the achievement, success and wellbeing of Māori students.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

3. The Focus of the Review

Student Achievement Overall

ERO’s education reviews focus on student achievement. What follows is a statement about what the school knows about student achievement overall.

Senior students continued to improve their achievement in national qualifications in 2007 and 2008. They are now achieving as well as students in similar schools in Levels 1 and 2 of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In 2008, Year 12 students achieved slightly below students in similar schools for Level 2 NCEA. Year 13 students who entered the University Entrance award in 2008 achieved as well as students in similar schools. One student gained a Scholarship award in 2008 and fifteen students entered for Scholarship awards. This is a significantly higher participation than in past years. Teachers have identified that the numbers of merit and excellence endorsements are still an area for improvement.

Some groups of students are not achieving as well as others. Girls perform increasingly better than boys in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. In 2008, their achievement was 13% higher at Level 1, 24% at Level 2 and 38% at Level 3. Māori students generally did not achieve as well as New Zealand European students particularly at Years 11 and 12. However, 75% of Māori students gained Level 3 NCEA which was a higher percentage than for other Year 13 students.

The percentage of students leaving with little or no formal attainment has decreased but in 2007 the figure was still higher than that for students in similar schools particularly for Māori students. A wide range of subjects is offered at all levels with a good balance of unit and achievement standards. Students also gain success through transition to work and vocational programmes such as hospitality and building, and outdoor education and leadership.

Student retention to Year 13 has improved but is still lower (7%) than that of students in similar schools.

In Years 9 and 10, teachers use nationally benchmarked assessments and other information to show students’ progress against curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics from entry at Year 9 to the end of Year 10. Achievement is also shown in all other subjects and reported to parents. Teachers told ERO that students make good progress. Numeracy and literacy results at Level 1 NCEA are at or above the national average.

Raising student achievement continues to be one of the board’s three strategic goals. Challenging targets are set around improving achievement in NCEA, outcomes for Māori students, literacy and numeracy, sporting and cultural involvements, University and Scholarship awards, and achievement in Years 9 and 10. The board’s 2008 analysis of variance shows that although not all targets were achieved, there was marked improvement from the baseline 2007 data in most aspects.

School Specific Priorities

Kaiapoi High SchoolBefore the review, the board ofwas invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the school to contribute to the scope of the review.

Kaiapoi High SchoolThe detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the board of trustees. This discussion focused on existing information held by the school (including student achievement and self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to the achievement of the students at.

ERO and the board have agreed on the following focus areas for the review:

  • the quality of learning and teaching in Years 9 and 10; and
  • the achievement of students in Years 11 to 13.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • how the school is managing change.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Learning and Teaching in Years 9 and 10

Background

The 2007 ERO review acknowledged improvements in student engagement and relationships between students and teachers. The next steps for teachers were to improve the learning environments, give students more constructive written feedback about their learning, and use student achievement information to plan lessons that better catered for the needs of individuals and groups in their classes. Teachers have had school-wide professional development to increase their range of effective teaching strategies.

Areas of good performance

Pastoral care. Students are benefitting from the school’s commitment to building positive relationships. There are good quality pastoral care systems and guidelines for teachers and students. The school’s values underpin these processes. Restorative practices are a special feature of the pastoral care programme. Teachers have had professional development to help them use restorative strategies in a range of situations. Students also learn strategies to handle conflict situations. The school uses a range of outside agencies to provide additional support for students. Information on stand downs and suspensions shows that the numbers of these have decreased. Students and teachers told ERO that the school culture has improved.

Teaching practices. ERO observed many examples of good quality teaching practices that effectively engaged students in their learning. In these classes, students:

  • were benefitting from clear instructions, known routines, well-planned lessons, and respectful relationships;
  • knew and understood the purpose of the learning;
  • were revisiting prior learning and recapping on learning at the end of the lesson;
  • were making connections with meaningful learning contexts;
  • helped develop indicators of success; and
  • were learning in a variety of ways including group work, the use of ICT, practical activities and helping their peers.

The next step for teachers is to further share and embed these good practices so that students experience more consistency in teaching practices.

Monitoring students’ progress. Teachers are extending the ways they are monitoring and tracking the achievement of students across all curriculum areas and against national expectations. They are using a range of assessments and their own professional judgements to make conclusions about students’ progress. This allows them to analyse data for individual classes and across cohorts. Some teachers are working with colleagues in other schools to moderate examples of students’ work. The new electronic student management system is making it easier for teachers to gather, sort and analyse achievement information. Teachers use the results to report to parents and the principal and board twice a year. The next step for teachers is to use the information to plan programmes that better cater for the variety of abilities in their classes and to reflect on their own practice.

Links with contributing schools. Students are benefitting from stronger relationships between the school and its contributing schools. The principal meets with a group of contributing school principals to discuss ways to improve outcomes for students. Teachers exchange information about students and encourage attendance at cultural events. They have visited contributing schools to observe teaching practices and share ideas. For example, science teachers are meeting with other teachers and an adviser to discuss and share ideas on curriculum and resources. Restorative practices are shared between schools. Senior students visit and speak with Year 8 students. Some senior students assist in sporting activities and in the peer support programme at the beginning of the year. Year 8 students visit and then engage in an orientation programme at the beginning of Year 9. Teachers acknowledge that there is still more that could be done to help Year 9 students settle more quickly into secondary school.

Learning support. Students who need learning support are catered for in an inclusive culture. Students are identified early and provided with in-class support. Teacher aides are well supported and managed by the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The board finances a large proportion of their work. They work collaboratively to support students and their time is used effectively. The next step for the SENCO and teacher aides is to gather and analyse achievement data to evaluate the impact of the learning support initiatives.

Learning opportunities. Students’ abilities, interests and needs are well met through a range of learning contexts across the New Zealand Curriculum. Students said that they particularly enjoyed the range of subjects in physical education and the arts including music, drama, art and productions. They appreciated the variety of sports offered and opportunities to participate in events such as Cantamaths and science fairs. All Year 9 students have outdoor education experiences at camp. Other interest groups, for example, environmental groups, create opportunities to engage with the local community. Students are also provided with good quality health and careers education. They can choose from a number of languages, experience a range of technology subjects and can participate in kapa haka. The broad range of subjects provides students with the knowledge and skills required for further study in NCEA Level 1 in Year 11.

Areas for improvement

Extending good quality teaching practices. While ERO observed many examples of good quality teaching practice, these were not consistent across all classrooms. Students affirmed ERO’s observations that there was variability in the range of effective strategies used by teachers. Teachers are engaging in ongoing, timetabled professional development to develop teaching practices that reflect current good practice. However, not all teachers are using these strategies to effectively engage students. The principal and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that this is an area for further development in order to make progress towards the school’s strategic goals relating to student achievement and engagement. Teachers now need to clarify and extend school-wide shared understandings about what constitutes high quality teaching and learning in line with the New Zealand Curriculum. [Recommendation 6.1]

Teachers’ use of student achievement information. The information that teachers are gathering about student achievement and the students’ evaluations, now needs to be used more effectively to:

  • plan class programmes that meet the range of learning needs of individuals and groups of students within classes;
  • evaluate and monitor students’ learning and establish their next learning steps;
  • inform students of their success and what they need to learn next; and
  • better reflect on the impact of their own practice and programmes on students’ learning. [Recommendation 6.2]

Fostering student confidence and leadership. Senior leaders and teacherscould extend opportunities for students to experience leadership and confidently participate in decisions that affect them. They need to review leadership roles and responsibilities that will actively involve junior students as well as seniors. Training for students in leadership and encouraging them to participate in decision-making will help them feel listened to and valued. In some classrooms, teachers could involve students more in choices about their learning, contributing ideas, self and peer assessment and developing criteria for success.[Recommendation 6.3]

The Achievement of Students in Years 11 to 13

Background

The school has been focused on raising student achievement since the time of the 2006 ERO review. Results are showing that the efforts of senior leaders and teachers are proving to be effective in improving outcomes for students. The school asked ERO to evaluate the successes to date and the next steps for the school.

Areas of good performance

Relationships. ERO observed positive and respectful relationships between teachers and students, and among students. Teachers take a real interest in students’ progress and wellbeing. They set clear expectations for learning and behaviour and encourage students to achieve their best. Students’ achievement and successes in a wide range of activities are celebrated within the school and in the wider community. Students told ERO that they appreciated the ways that teachers support them in such activities as coaching, mentoring, leadership training and community involvement.

Focus on improving student achievement. The board, senior leaders and teachers continue to work cooperatively and effectively to improve students’ achievement. The board is setting challenging targets that are monitored and reported on throughout the year by senior leaders. Teachers provide summaries of each class’s progress against the targets at regular intervals. They also share this information with individual students and encourage them to reach their goals. All senior students have learning plans in place. Teachers provide additional support through such initiatives as ‘the breakfast club’ for English students, scholarship camp for classics, the science club and weekend and holiday time for practical work in technology and the arts. Teachers told ERO that these initiatives were making a difference to students’ engagement and attitudes to their learning. They appreciated the support that senior leaders gave to these activities.

Curriculum design. Students are provided with a good range of learning opportunities that meet their interests, needs and abilities across all curriculum areas. These opportunities include academic subjects, vocational, sporting and outdoor programmes, cultural events and practical courses such as building and hospitality. Students learn in contexts that are meaningful and useful. Some courses, for example building and hospitality, link with industrial training organisations and contribute to the school’s environment and activities. Students receive good quality advice and guidance through a well-planned careers programme. Some students learn through correspondence courses and are well supported by their teachers. Students spoken with by ERO were enthusiastic about the opportunities that the school provides for them.

Student leaders. Senior students have opportunities to develop leadership skills through a variety of roles. These include head and deputy head students, house captains, peer leaders, Māori mentors, outdoor leadership courses and sports leaders. Students represent the school on formal occasions, promote the school in the community, organise fun events and visit contributing primary schools. The next step for the school is to review leadership training and extend opportunities to include a wider range of defined leadership roles.

Managing Change

Since the time of the 2006 ERO review, the school has been focused on improving outcomes for students. The 2007 ERO review acknowledged the progress that the school had made and provided recommendations for further improvement. The principal, appointed in Term 4 2007, has worked with the board and staff in responding to these recommendations. ERO decided to add a third focus area to acknowledge the way that the board, senior leaders and teachers have managed and sustained this period of change.

Areas of good performance

Strategic leadership. The board has established a clear strategic direction and is focused on achieving the school’s goals. The board is well led. Trustees work effectively with staff and advisers to improve outcomes for the school and the students. They contribute a range of skills and expertise and demonstrate their commitment to ongoing improvement. The principal works closely with the board and has been instrumental in helping it achieve the school’s goals. He gives priority to developing effective relationships with staff, students and the community. The board has effectively addressed the financial concerns raised in the 2007 ERO review. Together with the principal and staff, trustees have improved student achievement, wellbeing and safety, consulted with the school community as to the school’s values and beliefs, improved the school’s physical environment, and improved the perception of the school in the local community. Trustees ERO spoke with said that they are now more confident in their governance role and in the capability of the school’s leaders.

Self review.Self-review processes are well-embedded at all levels of the school’s operations. The board has an overall self-review action plan focused on raising student achievement, extending high quality teaching, supporting professional leadership, and effective governance and management. In each of these areas there is a range of good quality review processes that informs the board about progress and successes, and the next steps in achieving its goals. The challenge now is to strengthen self-review processes through the faculty and teacher levels. This could involve deeper understandings about self-review processes and the use of external expertise to support in-school review.

4. Areas of National Interest

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole to Government to be used as the basis for long-term and systemic educational improvement. ERO also provides information about the education sector for schools, parents and the community through its national reports.

To do this ERO decides on topics and investigates them for a specific period in all applicable schools nationally.

Kaiapoi High School,During the review ofERO investigated and reported on the following areas of national interest. The findings are included in this report so that information about the school is transparent and widely available.

Success for Māori Students: Progress

In this review, ERO evaluated the extent to which the school was familiar with theMāori Education Strategy – Ka Hikitia: Managing forSuccessand progress made since the last review in promoting success at school for Māori students.

The school reports it has consideredKa Hikitiaand made changes to some of its practices as a result. Māori students make up 16% of the school roll.

Areas of progress

Improved opportunities for students. At the time of this review, there were initiatives and programmes that were having a positive impact on students’ wellbeing and achievement. Some of these were:

  • the appointment of a new kaiako (teacher of Māori) and the support of senior leaders through weekly meetings;
  • te reo and tikanga Māori programmes that offer unit standards and achievement standards for senior students;
  • the re-establishment of the kapa haka group with the help of an outside tutor;
  • review and writing of a whānau resource pack for the whānau classes, and professional development for staff by the kaiako to encourage understandings of te reo and tikanga Māori;
  • meetings with students, parents and whānau to inform them about subject choices and to celebrate successes; and
  • clear goals and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students and the encouragement of bicultural themes and topics in new curriculum planning documents.

Students and teachers told ERO that these developments had resulted in improved outcomes for students.

ori student achievement and wellbeing. Raising student achievement has been a sustained school-wide goal for the past few years. Targets are set for Māori students, and teachers are asked to analyse and report on the progress of groups of students including Māori students. There have been improvements in achievement since the 2006 ERO review, and the percentage of Māori students leaving school without any qualifications has reduced considerably. In Levels 1 and 2 of NCEA, Māori students have yet to perform as well as their non-Māori peers. However, in 2008, in Level 3 NCEA, six out of the eight students gained their NCEA qualification. Students spoken with by ERO said that they appreciated opportunities to choose from a variety of subjects that offered qualifications in vocational as well as academic subjects. The peer-mentoring programme was helping younger students to learn useful self-management strategies to focus them on their learning. In addition, students spoke positively about opportunities to learn te reo and tikanga Māori and participate in the kapa haka group. Participation at cultural events gives students further opportunities to practice their skills and enjoy recognition and success.

Areaof further progress

Strategic plan. During the review, ERO discussed with the board and senior leaders the benefit of developing a strategic plan to guide further improvements in the achievement and wellbeing of Māori students. This would build greater capability and sustainability for the school in terms of provision for Māori students and give more effective support for the teacher of Māori. It would involve consultation with parents and whānau and with local iwi. The plan could also include provisions for increasing bicultural perspectives in the environment of the school and in the school’s operations. After the onsite stage of the review, the deputy principal prepared an action plan that is likely to form a useful basis for this consultation. [Recommendation 6.4]

Preparing toGive Effect to the New Zealand Curriculum

Schools are currently working towards implementing The New Zealand Curriculumby February 2010. During this review, ERO investigated the progressKaiapoi High School is making towards giving full effect to the curriculum as part of its planning, organisation and teaching practice.

ERO found that the principal andteachers at Kaiapoi High School are making good progress towards giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculum in their planning, organisation and teaching.

The school has identified that its next steps are:

  • deciding on the best use of the key competencies;
  • developing the pedagogy of the new curriculum; and
  • building ICT capability to support the pedagogy and curriculum developments.

Including Students withHigh Needs

During this review, ERO investigated the extent to which the board and school leaders of Kaiapoi High School provide an inclusive education for students with high needs. This included collecting evidence about the school’s policies, processes and practices to support the enrolment and induction of students with high needs and to support their participation and achievement at school. The information collected during this review will contribute to information that will be reported in a national education evaluation report.

Prior to a review, a board of trustees and principal attest in the Board Assurance Statement that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal requirements including those detailed in Ministry of Education circulars and other documents.

The board of Kaiapoi High School was asked to attest to whether it had ‘ensured that teachers of students with disabilities, and other contact staff, have a sound understanding of the learning needs of students with disabilities and, where necessary, have put in place support systems centred on each individual with disabilities’. The board was also asked to attest that ‘policies and procedures that relate to students who have special education needs are implemented without discrimination’.

ERO’s findings confirm these attestations.

Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Studentsand the Provision of English Language Support

Kaiapoi High School is a signatory to theCode of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students(the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. This is a requirement of all schools that enrol international students in terms of the Act. Schools are also required to provide English language support for their international students.

The school attests that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is robust and the school complies with all sections of the Code

Areas of good performance

Pastoral care. Students receive a high level of care. They are provided with a comprehensive orientation programme on arrival. The international dean meets with students frequently and surveys them to monitor their wellbeing both at the school and in their home stays. He liaises with students, class teachers and year level tutors informally, but on a regular basis to monitor students’ academic progress. Caregivers are given clear guidelines for their role. Students spoken with by ERO said they felt safe and well cared for. Most were actively involved in co curricular activities. Caregivers ERO spoke with appreciated the regular contact with the international dean and the ongoing support he provides.

English language support. Students receive effective support for language learning. Entry tests establish each students’ English language skills. Teaching is tailored to meet the individual needs of students. The English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teacher focuses on English language acquisition but also helps students to achieve success in their mainstream classes, particularly with literacy qualifications. A teacher aide provides some in-class support for some students in their mainstream classes. Students are supported to achieve qualifications needed for them to attend overseas universities. Students spoken with by ERO were appreciative of the ESOL programme and the support provided by ESOL staff.

Areas for improvement

Reporting to the board. Reports to the board about international students do not focus sufficiently on the quality of care and education. The international student dean now needs to report on the progress and achievement of students, their safety and wellbeing and the extent of their involvement in all aspects of school life.

Management.Documentation that records actions taken to ensure high quality pastoral care and education for students, needs to be better managed. In some areas these actions need to be better documented. The international student dean and senior leaders need to ensure a system is developed so that all such documentation is complete, organised, readily accessible and well maintained. This will enable the school to show more clearly that it is monitoring the quality of its provision for students.

Group student visits.The school does not have formal agreements with the agencies organising group student visits. The school is meeting the expected standards for the welfare of these students. Senior leaders and the international student dean now need to establish formal agreements with these agencies to make clear the responsibilities of the school and the agency for the programme, pastoral care and homestay provision of the students.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the international student dean further improve the quality of provision for international students by:

  • establishing a better system for managing documentation;
  • establishing formal agreements with agencies for group student visits; and
  • providing reports to the board that evaluate student achievement and wellbeing.

5. Board Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Kaiapoi High School Before the review, the board of trustees and principal ofcompleted an EROBoard Assurance StatementandSelf-Audit Checklist. 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; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

Compliance

During the course of the review, ERO identified one area of non-compliance.

Teachers participate in an appraisal programme. However, the programme does not appraise all teachers against the professional standards for teachers.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • comply with the Ministry of Education requirements for teachers to be appraised against professional standards. [s77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette No 180: Dec 1996]

The board is currently reviewing its policy and procedures framework. This work is well underway. However, there are still policies in need of review. The board has yet to establish a timetable of future policy review.

In order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • complete the development of policies and procedures and establish a programme of review so that it can meet its legal requirements.

6. Recommendations

ERO and the board of trustees agree that in order to improve outcomes for students:

  • senior leaders and teachers share and extend good quality teaching practices in line with the New Zealand Curriculum;
  • teachers use student achievement information to plan programmes of learning that cater more effectively for the range of interests, needs and abilities of their students;
  • senior leaders and teachers review and extend opportunities for students to be leaders and participate more actively in decisions that affect them and their learning; and
  • the school community and whānau develop a strategic plan to ensure that outcomes for Māori students continue to improve.

7. Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees cangovern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

 

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

17 December 2009

To the Parents and Community of Kaiapoi High School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kaiapoi High School.

Kaiapoi High School provides education for Years 9 to 13 students who come from Kaiapoi and the surrounding districts. This review took place in October 2009. The school’s roll has remained steady since the 2007 ERO review. Māori students make up 16% of the roll.

Since the 2006 ERO review, the board, senior leaders and teachers, with the help of external support, have established a clear strategic direction for the school. A new principal was appointed in Term 4, 2007. He has worked effectively with the board, the senior management team and community towards their goals to improve outcomes for students. Following consultation with the students and community, the board has initiated property developments. It has renovated the entrance area and refurbished some of the school buildings and grounds. The auditorium provides a focus for the school and community. The school is now able to show significant improvement in student achievement and engagement, school culture and environment, and the perception of the school in the community.

Students told ERO that the school is now a safer place for them. Their improved achievement and successes are being more widely celebrated. Students in the building and design courses are contributing to improvements in the school’s physical environment.

 Senior students continued to improve their achievement in national qualifications in 2007 and 2008. They are now achieving as well as students in similar schools in Levels1 and 2, and in 2008 at Level 3, of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The percentage of students leaving school with little or no formal attainment has decreased.

A wide range of subjects is offered at all levels with a good balance of unit and achievement standards. Students also gain success through transition to work and vocational programmes such as hospitality and building, and outdoor education and leadership. Student retention to Year 13 has improved but is still lower than that of students in similar schools.

In Years 9 and 10, teachers use nationally benchmarked assessments and other information to show students’ progress against curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. Teachers told ERO that students make good progress. Achievement is also shown in all other subjects and reported to parents. Numeracy and literacy results at Level 1 NCEA are at or above the national average.

Self-review processes are well embedded at all levels of the school’s operations. The board has an overall self-review action plan focused on raising student achievement, extending high quality teaching, supporting professional leadership, and maintaining effective governance and management. The board’s 2008 analysis of variance shows that although not all targets were achieved, there was marked improvement in most aspects.

The next step is to strengthen self-review processes at the faculty and teacher levels through fostering deeper understandings about self-review processes, and using external expertise to support in-school review.

The quality of teaching varies. ERO observed classes where students were purposefully engaged and enjoying their learning. In these classes, teachers had established positive relationships, set clear expectations and were using a range of effective teaching strategies. In other classes, especially in Years 9 and 10, not all students were experiencing teaching practices that were effectively engaging them in the learning. The challenge for the senior leaders and teachers is to extend and share current good teaching practices to improve learning outcomes for all students.

Students are benefitting from the school’s commitment to building positive relationships through good quality pastoral care approaches and guidelines. Effective communication between school and home contributes positively to school culture. Restorative practices are a special feature of the pastoral care programme. The school’s values underpin these processes. There are now stronger relationships between the school and its contributing schools. Students with special learning needs receive good quality support. International students are well catered for.

The board is well led by the chairperson. Trustees contribute a range of skills and expertise and are committed to ongoing improvement. The board has effectively addressed the financial concerns raised in the 2007 ERO review. Trustees spoken with by ERO said that they are now more confident in their governance role and in the capability of the school’s leadership. The principal, senior leaders and teachers are now more united and effective in bringing about improved outcomes for students.

Māori representation on the board, and the work of the teacher who is Māori, senior leaders and other teachers are helping to improve outcomes for Māori students. The next step for the trustees, senior leaders and teachers is to extend their commitment to bicultural perspectives in all school operations, and establish a strategic direction to further improve the achievement, success and wellbeing of Māori students.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

 

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on three review strands.

School Specific Priorities– the quality of education and the impact of school policies and practices on student achievement.

Areas of National Interest– information about how Government policies are working in schools.

Compliance with Legal Requirements– assurance that this school has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a school is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this school.