Logan Park High School - 10/06/2013

1 Context

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

Logan Park High School is a coeducational Years 9 to 13 secondary school located in Dunedin. The board has a strong determination that every student will succeed. Teachers have high expectations for students’ learning. Students are supported to become independent learners and take responsibility for their own achievement. A high number of National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) scholarships have been gained by students over the past five years.

The school’s values of ‘Respectful, Motivated and Inclusive’ are very evident in the positive relationships among students, and students and teachers. Students are respectful and display a strong sense of belonging to the school. Students told ERO that they like the whānau grouping system which allows them to interact with students from all year levels. Teachers work together to benefit all students. They effectively reflect on their practices and use new approaches and resources to better support students’ learning. The board, senior leaders and teachers are very accepting of difference and value the diverse needs and interests of the students.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement information very well.

Findings

The school trustees regularly receive a range of learning information about students’ progress and achievement across the school. Reports to them show that the overall achievement of students in NCEA is about the same as similar schools. They have put in place some useful initiatives to lift achievement, such as the Junior Diploma, and a three-year strategy for succeeding at NCEA Level 1. The school trustees and leaders closely monitor the effectiveness of programmes for those groups of learners identified as ‘at risk’ in their learning.

Senior leaders and teachers know the students well. They work with students’ interests in mind, using the range of information gathered to identify appropriate pathways for the students. This includes making available courses and programmes for individual senior students, and creating targeted classes for lifting the literacy and numeracy achievement of identified Years 9 and 10 students.

Teachers use a good range of assessment information for Years 9 and 10 students to plan their programmes and adapt the lessons to meet students’ needs. Students get useful updates on their progress and achievement each term.

The achievement of junior students identified for additional literacy support benefits from the:

  • regular sharing of learning information between the students’ core teachers and specialist teachers
  • ongoing support and tracking of the students’ progress in achievement over time
  • extra learning support and assessment opportunities provided
  • targeted initiatives, such as the peer reading programme with incidental support and encouragement from Year 13 students.

Area for review and development

A next step for teachers of the targeted literacy classes is to review how well students’ literacy learning goals are used to motivate the students in their learning. This could be done by ensuring that each student’s literacy learning goals are specific, appropriate to the student’s level of learning, and regularly used as a focus for teachers’ conversations with the students about the progress they are making in their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

Findings

The school’s curriculum effectively supports students’ learning. The learning programmes are determined by students’ abilities, needs and interests.

The school makes a significant effort to ensure that senior students have flexibility in their programme and enjoy a range of subject options. Senior students are also provided with:

  • very open and regular access to their teachers beyond class teaching time
  • extra support to achieve NCEA qualifications through the Summer School programme
  • high quality advice and guidance about making decisions for their learning and career pathways.

ERO observed many examples of high quality teaching. In these classes teachers:

  • gave explicit feedback to students about their learning
  • differentiated learning for students
  • fostered independence and encouraged students to take responsibility for their own achievement
  • reflected on the effectiveness of their teaching practices.

Senior managers have identified, and ERO agrees with, the need to improve the consistency of best teaching practices.

Area for review and development

Although the school values are well known, there is room for students and teachers to have a greater understanding of what they look like and how they can be used in the classroom. The next step is for the school’s values and expectations for positive behaviour to be used consistently.

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

The school has a planned approach for promoting educational success for Māori students. This continues to be work-in-progress. The school has developed a range of initiatives to support the engagement of Māori students in their learning. Senior managers are taking a leading role in raising teachers’ levels of awareness about how they can better support Māori students’ attendance, engagement and achievement and keep them at school longer.

Māori students told ERO that they appreciate the opportunity to meet as a Māori leadership group and discuss issues and ideas about Māori education. Students enjoy the leadership role they have in improving their own educational success.

Māori student achievement and progress is monitored, and reported in departmental reports.

The school is taking a proactive approach to building positive partnerships with the whānau of Māori students. Senior managers have consulted with students and whānau about their general satisfaction with the school and its operations.

Area for review and development

The board and senior leaders need to gather the views and opinions of Māori students about the school’s initiatives and how these are affecting their learning. Seeking Māori student voice should further help trustees, senior managers and teachers evaluate their effectiveness in these priority areas.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A strength of the school is its desire to seek and respond to the needs of its students. It is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Findings

The curriculum review and appraisal processes help teachers to meet the school’s long-term priorities. Trustees have helped improve the learning environment for staff and students.

Student opinion is frequently sought by staff and trustees to inform school-wide self review. The school is making good use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to seek the views of the school community.

The school is ably served by its senior leaders. The principal takes a particular interest in the achievement and welfare of individual students, including those identified as ‘at risk’ in their learning. The senior leadership team works in complementary ways to support the staff and students.

Staff members are confident in the school’s leadership and the direction in which the school is moving. They are enthusiastic about the recent school-wide teacher professional development and how this is promoting positive outcomes for students and teachers.

Students benefit from the range of individual and school-wide learning initiatives. For example, weekly reporting to parents of students in a Year 10 class is having a positive effect on the students’ attitudes and achievement.

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 38 international students attending the school. They come from nine different countries in Europe and Asia.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

Since the last ERO report (2009) the school has reviewed and reorganised the international department. Administrative practices are well organised and include effective processes to ensure all home-stay requirements of the Code are met.

Students receive effective pastoral care. They are well integrated into the school community. The school celebrates the wide range of cultures that its international and domestic students come from. The majority of international students have reasonable to good English language skills. They have English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes matched to their needs, with some students reaching NCEA Level 2. Their welfare and progress is effectively monitored through the international department and the school pastoral systems.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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

10 June 2013

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

376

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

538

Number of international students

39

Gender composition

Boys: 53%

Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other

79%

11%

2%

2%

6%

Special Features

Services Academy

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

10 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

August 2006

June 2003