Kaikorai Valley College - 17/10/2016

Findings

The vision to provide ‘Opportunity and Success for All’ is evident throughout the school. Students have many opportunities to learn in relevant, authentic and innovative contexts. Students who need extra help are well supported. Students leaving school are guided well to take appropriately planned pathways to further learning, training or employment.

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?

Kaikorai Valley College is a coeducational Years 7 to 13 school with a roll of about 500 students, including over 40 international students. The school’s Brathwaite Centre provides care, support and learning opportunities for over 20 students with high health and learning needs. These students are well supported in terms of their health and wellbeing to be able to achieve goals set in a partnership between the teachers, the students and their families.

Staffing at the school is relatively stable. A new deputy principal began in the role in 2016.

The school’s vision to offer ‘Opportunity and Success for All’ is evident throughout the school. This is underpinned by values of ‘Participation, Respect, Inquiry, Diversity and Environment’. These values are promoted as part of a school-wide focus on positive behaviour that supports students’ learning.

Since the last ERO review in 2013:

  • the roll has dropped slightly and stabilised
  • the school is in a stronger financial position
  • there are increased participation rates of students in sports
  • collaborative relationships have developed with a number of contributing schools
  • the school is involved in three significant government-funded, teacher-led innovation projects
  • the school has made good progress in addressing the areas for review and development in the last ERO report.

2 Learning

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

This school is using achievement information increasingly well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Leaders and teachers need to continue to:

  • critically analyse, evaluate and report on the sufficiency of progress students in Years 7 to 10 are making individually and overall
  • respond to low levels of achievement for students in Years 9 and 10
  • closely monitor and report on the progress that targeted students and groups of students are making towards meeting the school’s 2016 targets.

The school’s recent information shows that students' achievement overall in Years 7 and 8 varies in relation to the National Standards (NS). Approximately three quarters of Years 7 and 8 students are reading at or above the NS. In writing and mathematics approximately one half to two thirds of these students are achieving at or above the NS. Less than half of the Māori students in these years are achieving at or above the NS.

Students’ achievement in Years 9 and 10 is assessed within individual departments. Departments are able to report the New Zealand Curriculum levels students are working at in aspects of their subjects. Leaders and teachers are exploring ways to make better sense of this information and report an overall summary to the board. Some of this information shows that:

  • in aspects of reading, approximately half of Year 9 students and one third of Year 10 students are achieving at or above the school’s expected levels
  • for writing, just under half of Year 9 and 10 students are achieving the school’s expected levels
  • over two thirds of Years 9 and 10 students are achieving at or above the school’s expectations in numeracy.

Senior student achievement shows that over two thirds of all students in Years 11 and 12 achieve NCEA Levels 1 and 2 respectively. Half of all Year 13 students achieve NCEA Level 3 and 40% of the Year 13 students achieve University Entrance. Almost all school leavers move successfully on to further learning, training or employment.

Positive trends in senior student achievement information include:

  • an increase in school leavers attaining at least NCEA Level 2
  • a greater increase in the proportions of students gaining NCEA
  • a significant increase in the number of students who had been at risk with their learning and have now gained an NCEA certificate.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports and promotes students’ learning. It is well based on the New Zealand Curriculum and strongly supports the school’s vision.

Students benefit from a curriculum that:

  • focuses on their all-round development
  • aims to be engaging and accessible for all students
  • is responsive to students’ interests, needs and strengths
  • effectively supports students’ learning needs through a range of programmes, specialist teaching and the use of many experienced teacher aides
  • makes learning relevant through the use of authentic and innovative contexts, and local expertise
  • tailors assessments to enable students to fairly demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

Teachers and school leaders:

  • closely monitor the achievements and progress of individual students
  • report regularly to parents about their children’s learning and/or effort
  • quickly identify students needing pastoral and/or learning support
  • support senior students well to make appropriate course choices and make links to their future
  • are reflective about their teaching practices and the impact these are having on student outcomes.

Teachers with responsibility for Pacific success have formed productive relationships with Pacific students, their parents and the wider Pacific communities to ensure positive outcomes for students.

Next steps

Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that leaders and teachers need to clarify the learning progressions expected for students as they move from Year 7 to Year 10. Such a development should:

  • provide clear direction for teaching
  • support greater consistency across the school with teacher judgements regarding students’ progress and achievement
  • provide more useful data to measure the amount of progress students have made.

Trustees and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that they need to find ways to strengthen engagement with family and whānau to improve outcomes for students.

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

Māori students experience aspects of their identity, language and culture in school life and in their learning. The school continues to place a strong emphasis on Māori succeeding as Māori. Māori students make up 12% of the school roll.

Students and teachers have many opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori and experience tikanga Māori in meaningful contexts. This includes actively participating in mihi whakatau, waiata and haka. All students in Years 7 to 9 participate in te reo Māori classes and can choose to continue this learning into Year 10.

Teaching staff are increasing their awareness and knowledge of te ao Māori, including cultural competencies as set out in Tātaiako. They are doing this through in-school professional development and attendance at Open Wānanga courses.

The board sets annual goals to increase the recognition and place of Māori in the school. To support these goals, the school has recently re-established a kaiārahi (guardian) of their Māori students and te ao Māori at the school. Mentoring programmes have been successful with a number of students increasing their engagement with school and learning, and raising their achievement levels.

School leaders and trustees recognise the need to strengthen their relationships with Māori whānau to celebrate successes, gather their views and aspirations, and work together to plan and achieve shared goals.

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.

The principal and other leaders have continued to work with staff to embed a culture of reflection and inquiry. Leaders expect teachers to know students well, adapt teaching practices and be responsive to students’ needs, abilities and interests. Teachers regularly gather and share information so that students, parents and other relevant staff members know how well students are engaging with their learning and what needs to be improved.

Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to know what is working well for students and where they can make improvements. They use a range of initiatives and innovative approaches to make learning more engaging and to improve outcomes for students.

Trustees, the principal and senior leaders have created a coherent ‘line of sight’ from the school’s long-term goals to all school operations that contribute to these strategic priorities. Factors contributing to this coherent alignment include:

  • the quality of professional leadership
  • effective communication about school priorities and what needs to be done to achieve them
  • monitoring and identifying what is contributing to improvement.

The board and ERO agree that the next steps for improved stewardship are to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation process. This should include:

  • more clearly knowing what success should look like in terms of expected student outcomes
  • more clearly showing the impact changes made have had on improving outcomes for students
  • clarifying the nature of the information trustees want in reports. 

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by December 1st 2016.

At the time of this review there were 46 international students attending the school. Staff members responsible for the pastoral care and learning of international students use sound processes to ensure that international students are:

  • welcomed to their new homestay and learning environments
  • supported in their learning to make good progress towards their learning goals
  • monitored to ensure their care and learning continue to meet the school’s high standards.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

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.

At the on-site stage of the review, ERO discussed with the board the value of being regularly assured that a suitable, well-documented process is followed for stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

Conclusion

The vision to provide ‘Opportunity and Success for All’ is evident throughout the school. Students have many opportunities to learn in relevant, authentic and innovative contexts. Students who need extra help are well supported. Students leaving school are guided well to take appropriately planned pathways to further learning, training or employment.

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

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

17 October 2016

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

381

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

509

Gender composition

Male: 53%

Female: 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other

81%

12%

4%

2%

1%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

17 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2013

June 2012

December 2006