Lincoln High School - 27/06/2017

Findings

Lincoln High School is a strong part of its local community. The wide and varied curriculum ensures students’ needs, interests and abilities can be well met. Levels of student achievement remain high.  School leaders and teachers provide for student learning and wellbeing through coherent and comprehensive systems that support the student as a whole.

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?

Lincoln High School is the local secondary school for students in the township of Lincoln and its surrounding area. The roll has continued to grow in past years.

A new principal was appointed in Term 4 2013. The senior leadership team has expanded to seven and now includes a business manager. The roles and responsibilities of all team members are well documented and understood by staff.

The school has made good progress in addressing the areas for review and development from the 2012 ERO review. This is particularly so for improving the consistency of assessment at Years 9 and 10, and teachers reflecting on their practice to focus more on the needs of the students.

Students learn in a collaborative and inclusive environment. Teachers work with others across departments to make learning experiences more meaningful. They collaborate with other staff to reflect on and inquire into their teaching practice. Students and teachers are proud of and celebrate diversity within the school.

There has been increasing collaboration between the high school, local primary schools and an early learning centre as a result of the school's participation in a Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning. The school is working with the primary schools to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school.

2 Learning

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers use achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

A deliberate school-wide focus on raising achievement rates of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) has led to improvements. The data indicates high levels of attainment in Level 1, 2 and 3 NCEA results. Strong NCEA literacy and numeracy achievement has been sustained over recent years.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have high expectations for students’ engagement and academic excellence. Trustees set annual improvement targets to raise student achievement. These targets focus on students achieving their personal best with their academic results. Leaders, teachers and heads of learning areas regularly analyse achievement data and report annually to the board.

There are effective systems and processes in place to support students’ learning and wellbeing. Pastoral and learning teams discuss groups of students to identify learning and wellbeing needs. Information from contributing schools is collected to support student transition into the school. The links between pastoral and academic approaches are supporting students to realise their potential.

Students are actively encouraged to identify their own learning needs, set goals and monitor their progress. They have opportunities each week to discuss their goals with a designated teacher. An App is available to students, teachers and parents to monitor the credits gained towards NCEA qualifications. These initiatives are strengthening teacher and student awareness of the importance of tracking progress.

Next step

Since the last review, good progress has been made on assessment at Years 9 and 10. School leaders now need to develop a coherent approach to the use of this achievement data to gain an overview of student progress and achievement over these years. This will help the board to better determine where support will make the biggest difference to improving outcomes for students.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is very effective in supporting students’ learning.

The student-centred curriculum is responsive to students’ needs and interests. Teachers have developed individualised courses to provide students with increased choice. Heads of learning areas use data to consider what is working well and what needs to be improved. Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve their best. These initiatives are supporting greater engagement and retention of students.

Students are provided with meaningful and motivating opportunities to learn. Teachers regularly reflect on their teaching and work collaboratively to find contexts that engage and interest students. Effective use is made of the local environment to extend learning, engagement and employment pathways. The school continues to initiate links with the community and tertiary institutions to increase curriculum opportunities available to students.

Students’ views are valued and used. Students have regular opportunities to provide their views on aspects of the school through surveys. The school council and its sub-councils provide opportunities for students to have a say on a variety of issues. Teachers use student feedback to reflect on and make positive changes to their teaching. 

School leaders have a strong focus on professional learning and development that supports the school’s strategic goal of students achieving their personal best. There is a reflective and inquiring culture in the school. Teachers work individually and collaboratively to systematically inquire into their teaching practices and make and monitor improvements for students.

The school identifies and draws on community resources to enhance learning. Leaders and teachers work with other schools and community groups to support students’ transitions into, through and onto further education, training or employment.

Next step

Senior leaders have established a process for giving all students the opportunity for individual assistance and encouragement of their learning. The next step for the school is to ensure greater consistency of their approach to academic mentoring and coaching of students.

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

The school continues to develop practices to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Māori students share knowledge, leadership and culture through participation in a range of Māori student initiatives such as Manu Kōrero, Pō Whakangāhau, He Puna Pūtaiao and kapa haka.

The school has built a strong relationship with Te Taumutu Rūnanga. The board has acknowledged that there is a need for a greater understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, and has undergone training to extend trustees’ knowledge.

Leaders and staff are committed to valuing and promoting te ao Māori and the rūnanga has been involved in making biculturalism more prominent in the school.

A strong focus on monitoring and tracking Māori students has resulted in maintaining high levels of attainment in NCEA over time.  

Next steps

Leaders and teachers now need to:

  • continue to actively develop and implement its bicultural practices
  • evaluate the effectiveness of programmes for Māori students.

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.

Senior leaders provide effective leadership of the school. They have clearly identified roles and responsibilities and are actively involved in all aspects of the school. Senior leaders lead by example.

Leaders ensure that there is alignment between student learning needs, teachers' professional learning goals, and teacher appraisal processes. The inquiry process is specifically linked to the learning needs of a group or class of students. The principal effectively leads internal professional learning and development (PLD) sessions and the appraisal process. The PLD focus on the use of digital devices ensures that teachers have the skills to assist students to make the best use of these within and beyond the classroom.

School leaders effectively drive change to improve outcomes for students. Rigorous attendance processes are in place to make sure that students are present in their classes. The review of the timetable has resulted in longer periods that give students the opportunity for more in-depth engagement in learning. The combined approach to monitoring achievement and wellbeing includes senior leaders, deans, counsellors and class teachers. This ensures that the holistic needs of the student are considered and that teachers have a shared approach to getting the best out of every student.

Trustees have a good understandings of their governance role and have a wide range of skills and experience. Trustees allocate resources to support improved outcomes for students. They have been very supportive in the development of modern learning initiatives, such as the design of the new building and the “bring your own device” policy.

Next steps

A number of new strategies have recently been put in place as a result of internal evaluations. It would be timely to evaluate these to determine whether they have been effective in improving outcomes for students.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were 64 international students attending the school.

The school is highly effective in providing pastoral care and quality education for its international students. Students are encouraged and well supported to integrate into the school and local community. The school has a rigorous process of annual review, the results of which are reported to the board of trustees.

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.

The school seeks views of students, staff and parents on a range of topics. However, there has not been a recent anonymous survey of staff about their wellbeing. The board of trustees should undertake an anonymous survey of staff wellbeing.

Conclusion

Lincoln High School is a strong part of its local community. The wide and varied curriculum ensures students’ needs, interests and abilities can be well met. Levels of student achievement remain high.  School leaders and teachers provide for student learning and wellbeing through coherent and comprehensive systems that support the student as a whole.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

27 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

347

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1609

Number of international students

64

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Pacific
Other ethnicities

82%
10%
  1%
  7%

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

27 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2012
February 2008
June 2004