Kaikorai Valley College - 09/09/2013

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Kaikorai Valley College is a coeducational secondary school for students from Years 7-13. The school caters for students from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The school aims to provide "Opportunity and Success for All."

There is a very positive and supportive culture throughout the school. Students enjoy good relationships with their teachers and school peers, and describe their school as ‘family-like’. Staff work well together and share ideas to benefit the students’ learning and care. The school continues to provide high-quality learning and support for high-needs students.

Since the last ERO review, the school has experienced a number of changes. These include:

  • a new principal
  • a range of new initiatives that are strengthening school improvements
  • further development of the school values - PRIDE-participation, respect, inquiry, diversity, environment.

2 Learning

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

The school continues to use achievement and other learning information effectively to benefit students’ learning. This is evident in the following ways.

Students

  • set useful goals for learning
  • report to their parents about their progress
  • monitor, affirm and motivate themselves, particularly in the senior school.

Teachers

  • identify students who require extra support
  • plan effectively for priority learners
  • meet the needs of students as individuals, groups and classes
  • increasingly reflect on their teaching practice
  • actively involve parents in discussions about their child’s learning.

Heads of department

  • analyse and report on students’ achievement
  • evaluate how well units of work support students’ achievement
  • liaise with other leaders to provide support for individual students.

Senior leaders

  • analyse and interpret information well for cohorts and groups of students
  • report patterns of school-wide achievement to the board
  • share information with key staff to guide planning and pathways for individual students
  • inform department reviews
  • increasingly recognize and celebrate academic success.

The board

  • identifies strategic goals and priorities for school development
  • sets useful targets for raising student achievement across all year levels
  • makes informed resourcing decisions to support students’ learning.

The school’s achievement results show improved levels of NCEA achievement for students over time. The progress in achievement of Years 9 and 10 students for literacy and mathematics is closely monitored. Teachers of Year 7 and 8 students are working well with the National Standards. There is a useful balance between classroom observations and formal testing to support teachers’ decisions about students’ achievement. Teachers are continuing to develop their processes for ensuring their judgements about students’ achievement are reliable.

Area for review and development

The school’s curriculum reviews identify best assessment practices within subject departments and learning areas in the school. ERO agrees with the recommendations made in these, and also the need to extend these practices so that all teachers:

  • share assessment information with students to identify specific learning goals
  • ensure students can talk about and understand their own learning, their progress, achievement and next steps for learning
  • identify with students what is needed to be done to be successful in the intended learning
  • provide explicit feedback to students about their progress in meeting their specific learning goals
  • plan to meet the differing levels of abilities and needs of students in the classroom.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

The school’s values underpin decisions made for school improvement. This focus on values is demonstrated in the ways in which:

  • students’ opinions are sought, valued and contribute to decision making
  • the board, senior leaders, teachers and form teachers respond positively to students’ behaviour
  • senior students provide leadership and mentoring for juniors
  • the school values are explicitly taught.

The school has maintained a breadth of programmes and courses for students. These provide many opportunities for students to follow academic or vocational pathways of interest. Many students experience success in obtaining employment or apprenticeships by the end of Year 12. Senior student course selection is well catered for through a flexible timetable.

The school curriculum strongly reflects students’ learning needs, interests and abilities. For example, students have rich opportunities for extension mathematics programmes, junior literacy support, education outside the classroom, and travel and tourism for international students. Teachers adapt courses to better meet students’ requirements. A sports context approach for the teaching of mathematics and English is having a positive influence on students’ learning. This is resulting in high levels of participation and engagement for the targeted Year 9 cohort, more opportunities for older students to coach younger students, and extended interactions with contributing schools.

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

Since the last ERO review in 2010, the school has placed a strong emphasis on Māori succeeding as Māori. There is greater visibility and valuing of Māori language and culture at school events. The school’s kapa haka group has developed significantly and takes a lead role in welcoming visitors to the school. There are several key initiatives in place that are helping to nurture the well being of Māori students. Māori students are positive about the initiatives and how these are supporting them and their learning. The Māori and Pacific leadership group is effectively leading these initiatives and developments.

Trustees have consulted with whānau individually about the expectations and aspirations they have for their child’s learning. As a result, a comprehensive action plan that identifies academic success and success as Māori has been developed. The board regularly monitors this plan to ensure that the goals are being actioned and are met.

The board has set challenging targets for raising the achievement of Māori students. Māori and Pacific student learning, achievement and progress are well tracked and monitored.

The next step is for senior leaders to consider how best to use the Ministry of Education document Tātaiako (cultural competencies) to grow staff confidence and competence in using te reo and tikanga Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board has made a number of strategic decisions and developments to ensure the school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. This can be seen through:

  • increased development of self review at all levels in the school
  • strategic decision-making informed by wide consultation and surveys
  • strategic goal identification and development, with a focus on raising student achievement
  • strengthening reflective practice for improving teaching and learning
  • careful management and monitoring of the school’s key priorities.

School development is progressing well because:

  • the principal has high expectations for student learning and for teachers as professionals
  • a very capable senior leadership team works in complementary ways to meet the school’s goals
  • school staff support the new developments and feel well informed about future directions.

There has been significant development of self review across the school. This has been effectively promoted by the principal and school leaders so that:

  • self-review findings inform school decision-making
  • teachers reflect on their teaching of every class on a weekly basis
  • the comprehensive department reviews are helping increase staff performance and capability
  • the board and school leaders have useful systems for monitoring school operations, such as using evidence-based indicators to measure school performance and progress toward meeting the annual plan goals.

The school has identified and ERO agrees that the board and senior leaders need to:

  • link relevant school goals to staff appraisal
  • review the timeliness of reports of student achievement to support responsive decision making
  • ensure that the recent changes continue to be manageable and sustainable for staff.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were 43 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Students benefit from the school’s well-established international student programme. International students’ welfare is well monitored and responded to by international student staff. All students live in home-stays. International staff work effectively to ensure students’ programmes are suitable. Students’ English language learning (ELL) is closely monitored as part of high quality ELL programmes. The board is regularly informed about the school’s international student programme.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

9 September 2013

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

381

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

508

Number of international students

43

Gender composition

Boys: 53% Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other

71%

13%

5%

11%

Special features

Special Needs Unit

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

9 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

December 2006

August 2003