Levin Intermediate - 19/11/2019

School Context

Levin Intermediate is located on the western side of the town and is the only intermediate school in the area. The roll has grown over recent years to 272 students, of whom 52% are Māori, 35% are New Zealand European/Pākehā and 9% are of Pacific heritage.

The school’s vision for students is to “have high expectations for themselves and for their futures, to be strong in their individual, family and cultural identity, and to be successful, respectful and contributing members of the community”. This is underpinned by the recently developed values: ‘Respect, Responsible, Resilient’.

The school is a member of the Taitoko Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

There have been significant changes to staffing and leadership since the 2016 education review. The principal joined the school in 2017, and an assistant principal has recently been appointed. Most of the teachers and staff have changed in the last 3 years.

Soon after the appointment of the principal a commissioner was appointed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to act in place of the board of trustees that was disestablished in 2017. The commissioner continues in that role.

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?

School-reported achievement information data for 2018 shows that the majority of students were achieving at or above school expectations in reading and mathematics, and about half of all students in writing.

Mid-year overall teacher judgments for 2019 show that to date there are fewer students than in 2018 meeting school expectations for achievement in all areas.

There is increasing disparity for Māori students when compared to their New Zealand European/Pākehā peers in all three core learning areas, and a difference for boys when compared to girls in literacy.

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

The school is not yet using assessment tools and analysing achievement information in such a way that will show rates of accelerated progress over time, particularly for priority students.

Learning information presented to ERO suggests that an initiative to raise achievement for a group of Māori students had a positive impact on some students’ progress and increased rates of attendance.

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?

There is a clear focus on building positive and respectful relationships. Classrooms are calm and purposeful environments. Students show good levels of engagement in classroom activities. Children benefit from opportunities to participate in a wide range of cultural and sporting activities.

There are increased opportunities for Māori students to participate in cultural practices. A class has been introduced in 2019 that has an emphasis on strengthening students’ understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The school has employed a range of strategies to increase the engagement of parents and whānau in the life of the school. A strong partnership with local iwi, Muaūpoko, has been developed. This values and promotes success as Māori and has the potential to enhance student learning. It supports the school to develop its shared understanding of te ao Māori and further enables Māori learners to experience successful outcomes.

The school is beginning to develop its capacity to formulate an overall picture of student achievement and progress. Assessment practices have been introduced that better support teachers to make more accurate overall judgements of student achievement in literacy and mathematics in relation to New Zealand Curriculum levels. Students at risk of underachievement are clearly identified, and increased systems to track and monitor their achievement have been introduced. These have the potential to show progress over time.

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

Leaders and teachers need to strengthen the use and analysis of data to show an accurate view of achievement and progress for all, and particularly accelerated progress for at risk students. This should include:

  • reviewing the use, purpose and accuracy of assessment tools
  • increasing the dependability of overall teacher judgements in relation to curriculum levels.

Reframing and sharpening annual targets to focus on rates of progress and accelerated progress for individuals and groups at risk of underachievement is required. This should assist the school to understand more about how well it is progressing towards achieving improved outcomes for those who need it the most.

Leaders have begun the process to review, develop and document a localised curriculum to strengthen the school’s response to individual needs and make learning more meaningful and relevant to all students. ERO’s evaluation supports this direction. The strengthened curriculum should:

  • respond effectively to culture, language and identity
  • clearly articulate effective teacher practices
  • reflect parent aspirations
  • be future focused
  • respond to the needs of students whose learning requires acceleration.

The recently-introduced appraisal process includes a suitable range of components for the renewal of practising certificates and has the potential to support teachers to improve their practice. Fully and consistently implementing and embedding this should better promote improvements in teacher practice and effectiveness to raise achievement.

Internal evaluation requires development to assist the school to:

  • establish a shared understanding of effective evidence-based evaluation
  • use this to establish what has the biggest impact on improving learning and engagement
  • inform strategic decision making and resourcing
  • strengthen teacher inquiry into the effectiveness of their practices on improving student outcomes.

Leaders need to:

  • strengthen their shared and strategic approach to ensuring systems and processes that promote improvement are consistently and collectively implemented
  • review and evaluate current strategies to promote the wellbeing and safety of all students. Developing a shared understanding and consistent approach to management of behaviour is a key next step
  • further develop a strategic and systematic approach to improvement for students. These should be consistently and cohesively implemented.

Establishing a fully functioning and effective board of trustees that is representative of the school community is a next step in building effective governance and stewardship.

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 Levin Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • a focus on building positive relationships
  • increased opportunities for Māori students to develop language and participate in cultural practices
  • a strengthening partnership with local iwi Muaūpoko that values and promotes success as Māori.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the use, analysis and reporting of data to accurately show achievement and progress for all
  • reviewing, developing and documenting a localised curriculum to strengthen the school’s response to individual needs, and make learning more meaningful and relevant to all students
  • fully and consistently implementing and embedding a process that better promotes improvements in teacher practice and effectiveness to raise achievement
  • developing a shared understanding of evidence-based evaluation and using it to determine what practices have the most impact on improving outcomes
  • consistently implementing systems and processes to better manage and promote positive behaviour, safety and wellbeing
  • establishing a board of trustees reflective of the community to effectively govern the school.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • consistently, fully complete the documentation of health and safety and regularly report to the board.

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the improvement in:

  • establishing an effective board of trustees.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

19 November 2019

About the school

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

2887

School type

Intermediate School (Years 7 and 8)

School roll

272

Gender composition

Males 52%, Females 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 52%
NZ European/Pākehā 35%
Pacific 9%
Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

19 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016
Education Review May 2013