Long Bay College - 14/06/2013

1 Context

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

Students at Long Bay College benefit from the school’s caring and inclusive culture and have many opportunities to participate in a wide variety of academic, cultural, arts and sporting activities.

Since ERO’s 2010 review, the college has made significant changes in the school curriculum. In response to needs of students and the community, curriculum developments are based on research- and are future-focused. The school’s curriculum prepares students to make well informed decisions about their learning pathways and future opportunities.

The school continues to plan carefully for ongoing roll growth and the future educational needs of students. Approaches to the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) as teaching and learning tools, are well considered. The recent provision of a wharenui, and ongoing planning for the development of the school environment, reflects the board’s commitment to valuing and respecting New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The college is well governed and well led. The board of trustees is highly supportive of the principal and staff, and has a sound understanding of its governance role. Trustees and school leaders have responded positively to the suggestions for improvement made in ERO’s 2010 report.

2 Learning

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

The board of trustees and school leaders set meaningful annual academic targets based on reliable information. The school culture is one of shared, whole-school responsibility for improving outcomes for students.

The school uses student achievement information effectively, particularly at Years 11 to 13, to make positive changes in learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers are continuing to develop their skills in gathering meaningful achievement information at Years 9 and 10. The school actively helps parents to understand and contribute to their child’s progress, achievement and next learning steps. School data indicates increased levels of student engagement through participation in co-curricular activities, and high retention of students to Years 12 and 13.

School leaders, teachers and trustees are justifiably proud of the high levels of NCEA student achievement, including scholarships. School NCEA achievement information indicates that students, including Māori and Pacific students, are continuing to progress and achieve well. Since the last ERO review, significant improvements have been made in overall NCEA merit and excellence endorsements.

Students receive high quality learning support. The progress of all students is closely monitored. Data is well used to develop programmes specific to individual student needs. There are good indications that these interventions are successful in supporting students to make accelerated progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It continues to be well aligned with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and places good emphasis on students as capable and confident learners.

The school has redesigned its curriculum in response to current research on adolescent development. Students benefit from a wide variety of carefully considered pathways for learning suited to their interests, strengths and needs. The curriculum structure and flexible course timetabling enable students to follow their preferences. The provision of pastoral care has been reviewed to help ensure that it supports students more effectively to make informed choices about their future learning and careers.

Teachers and leaders are encouraged to be innovative and challenge each others’ thinking. As a result, students enjoy high levels of academic success across the curriculum. Students in vocational pathways achieve national recognition for their outstanding achievement in competitions. In addition, many students are involved in a variety of community events, demonstrating their commitment to service and evolving citizenship.

High quality teaching practice is evident in many classrooms. The school’s 'Success Guide', launched in 2012, clearly articulates expectations for effective teaching and learning that is based on how students develop and learn. Teachers are reflective about their practice and enjoy positive, supportive relationships with their students.

School leaders should continue to:

  • investigate the impact of the school’s restructured curriculum, including its alignment with The New Zealand Curriculum
  • consider more ways to increase students’ knowledge and ownership of their learning, progress and achievement
  • further integrate Māori contexts, content and language into teaching and learning across the curriculum.

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

The school has a genuine commitment and a growing capacity to promote educational success for Māori as Māori.

The Years 9 to 13 te reo Māori programmes affirm and support Māori students’ identity, language and culture. These programmes, and the recently opened wharenui, encourage Māori learners to connect with each other in a way that affirms their identity and supports success as Maōri.

Many classroom programmes enable Māori students to share their knowledge and to express themselves as Māori. Teachers are increasingly monitoring and tracking the progress and achievement of their Māori students. Māori students have good access to information, advice and support relevant to their abilities and aspirations. Their success is celebrated and they enjoy leadership roles.

Next steps for development are to:

  • encourage Māori students to value their heritage, identify with each other, and celebrate being Māori
  • further enhance teaching practices and teachers’ capacity to engage with learners and their whānau
  • find further ways to consult and engage effectively with whānau of Māori children and with the wider Māori community.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A culture of self review for improvement prevails. School trustees, leaders and teachers have shown that they are very well placed to sustain and improve their performance. The school’s readiness to investigate and adapt new ideas from research, manage change, and develop professional practice in teaching and learning is noteworthy.

Teacher professional learning and development is well aligned to the school’s clear mission statement, vision and strategic plan. The senior leadership and pastoral roles have been restructured to better manage and support students’ learning, progress and achievement.

The following features reflect the school’s capacity to sustain and improve its performance:

  • strong alignment between the school’s mission and vision statements, strategic and annual planning, professional development, performance management systems, and high expectations of staff and students
  • effective leadership by the principal and the supportive senior leadership team
  • transparent communication with parents and the school community
  • thoughtfully considered provision of buildings and a learning environment that meets changing needs in student learning
  • an experienced board that is supportive of school direction and clearly understands its governance responsibilities.

The inclusive student-centred culture, and positive, respectful relationships, support the board of trustees, school leaders and staff to advance student learning and achievement. School leaders and the board continue to define meaningful ways of using student information to guide decision making. More in-depth evaluative self-review reports to the board would help to inform the board about the effectiveness of initiatives, and would help guide decision making.

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. 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.

At the time of this review, 99 international students were attending the school. The school actively seeks to diversify the international student presence by including students from Asian countries, as well as from Europe and South America.

High levels of self review have led to significant changes in the provision and care for international students. International students are thoughtfully placed in programmes that enable them to achieve their goals. Their English language needs are very well supported. Ongoing monitoring helps to ensure that students are well integrated into the life of the school and have leadership opportunities.

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 four-to-five years. 

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

14 June 2013

About the School

Location

Long Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

27

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1657

Number of international students

99

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

South African

British/Irish

Chinese

Pacific

Other Asian

Other European

Other

52%

4%

17%

14%

2%

1%

5%

2%

3%

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

14 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

November 2006

August 2003