Lynfield College - 06/12/2018

School Context

Lynfield College is a large co-educational secondary school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. This includes international and adult ESOL students. Eight percent of the students are Māori and 13 percent have Pacific heritages. Indian students comprise 27 percent, and New Zealand/Pākehā make up a further 21 percent of the school roll.

The school’s mission is to inspire students to achieve educational excellence through a rich learning and social environment. Key values underpinning learning are wairua kaha, hinengaro wawata, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. These values were determined in consultation with students, staff and whānau through a review of the school’s Learning Charter in 2017.

The board’s strategic goals are to:

  • increase student agency
  • improve student achievement through effective teaching and learning
  • enhance students’ skill development and wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in relation to New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZCA) framework
  • progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics in Years 9 and 10
  • student wellbeing for success
  • outcomes from teacher inquiries.

Since the 2014 ERO review, a new principal, four new deputy principals and a senior leader have been appointed to the senior leadership team.

The school is part of the Lynfield Community of Learning [Kāhui Ako] (CoL), comprising nine schools. The goals of the CoL are to:

  • encourage greater collaboration between schools
  • recognise, support and use professional expertise from across the education system where it is needed most
  • enhance opportunities for teacher-led innovation and inquiry into new and agreed best teaching practice.

Evaluation Findings

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?

The school is co-ordinating a variety of strategies to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

The school’s overall achievement levels are comparable to those of other schools of a similar type. Most students gain National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) across Levels 1, 2 and 3. The number of merit and excellent endorsements gained are above national averages. The school is proud that students achieved 34 scholarships in 2017.

School data shows gender disparity in achievement in NCEA and University Entrance. However, there are positive trends emerging that indicate increasing parity for males, particularly at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 in 2017. NCEA data also shows ongoing disparity for Pacific learners across all three levels of achievement and for University Entrance (UE). The 2017 NCEA data shows that Māori students at Level 3 are gaining greater parity in achievement with other learners in the school.

Overall achievement levels for University Entrance have remained relatively stable over the past four years. This, to some extent, reflects the fact that senior students may be deciding on alternative pathways focused on achieving other tertiary education or vocational qualifications.

The reading and mathematical knowledge and skills of Year 9 students are tested on entry to the school. The majority of students make good accelerated progress by the end of Year 10. The data also shows that groups of Māori and Pacific students have improved their achievement over time.

Students are confident and thoughtful young people and have high levels of participation in co-curricular activities. They benefit from opportunities to realise their potential and develop new interests through experiences in varied sporting events, the performing arts, debating and cultural performances. Student voice increasingly contributes to school decision making. Students’ sense of compassion is reflected in the way in which many are involved in service to the school and to the wider community. Student leaders also support their peers through a wide variety of different initiatives.

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

Teachers work purposefully to improve parity for the groups identified as needing this. The school can demonstrate evidence of successful acceleration for some groups of learners. For example, the school has achievement data that shows a group of Māori and Pacific students, who were achieving below their expected curriculum levels in 2014, going on to achieve NCEA Level 2 in 2017.

The school is actively working to improve parity for specific groups of students. Teachers use collaborative cross-curricular inquiry to focus on strategies and initiatives to address disparity in relation to a range of student outcomes. Students are being positioned to achieve well in national qualifications. This is particularly evident in Years 11 to 13 where there is a range of evidence of students experiencing accelerated success.

Learning support for students with additional needs is well coordinated. A multi-layered approach is used to ensure students access personalised programmes and have some flexible learning opportunities. This gives students the opportunity to plan their learning pathway and goals in collaboration with their parents and whānau. Students, teachers, deans and outside agencies provide programmes and resources for students. An evaluation of the outcomes and effectiveness of learning support programmes, that includes student feedback, would help to guide curriculum improvements in these areas.

Learning programmes, including those for English language learning (ESOL), ensure good levels of progress and achievement. Many of these ESOL students achieve well in their studies for NCEA and participate widely across all aspects of school life.

School leaders are planning a more consistent school-wide assessment approach for the Year 9 and Year 10 curriculum. They are also working to develop a shared understanding of acceleration in the school community.

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?

School leaders have begun to align the school’s strategic goals to enable the achievement of equity and excellence.

The newly established leadership team have an extensive range of complementary skills. They are building trusting relationships and collaboration across the school community. Their professional leadership supports a well-considered process of change management. Leaders are focused on promoting student agency, effective teaching practices to improve student achievement, and establishing a culture of collaborative inquiry.

The long-established, highly supportive board of trustees is proud of the school. Trustees are committed to their community and bring professional expertise and knowledge to their stewardship role. They are actively involved in the life of the school. Their responsive, strategic thinking and resourcing supports leaders and staff in their work to improve outcomes for students.

The school’s settled and inclusive environment creates a good foundation for students’ learning. Respectful relationships between staff and students underpin the culture of the school. This promotes positive, purposeful expectations for teaching and learning. Students have opportunities in their learning to make links and connections to authentic and real world contexts.

Comprehensive pastoral care systems and collaborative work among students and staff provides students with high levels of support. This helps to reduce barriers to students’ learning and promotes their wellbeing. Well established relationships with agencies, networks and community groups enhance opportunities for students to access meaningful learning pathways within and beyond the school.

Teachers’ ongoing professional learning opportunities are aligned with the school’s strategic direction. Increasingly, teachers are using inquiry processes to help them share effective strategies and innovative ways to raise achievement and improve outcomes for students.

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

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners.

Developments to build and sustain equity and excellence for all learners agreed by ERO and the leadership team include continuing to:

  • improve the quality of processes and practices that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement in Years 9 and 10
  • strengthen initiatives designed to promote greater parity for all students in relation to NCEA achievement
  • deepen evaluation practices to sustain school improvement and achieve valued student outcomes.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014

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 the Code.

At the time of the review there were 87 international students attending the school.

Lynfield College has very good systems to maintain the quality of both education and pastoral care for its international students. Students integrate well into the school’s community and cultural experiences. Learning programmes, including those for English language learning, are tailored for their individual needs. Reports to the board specify how well international students are progressing and achieving as well as their participation in school life.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the capability of its leadership to support a well-considered process of change management
  • respectful relationships between staff and students that underpin the culture of the school and promote positive, purposeful expectations for learning
  • a comprehensive system of pastoral care and support that responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school’s priorities for further development are in:

  • enhancing systems and processes to strengthen teachers’ use of data, student achievement tracking and academic mentoring
  • strengthening learning partnerships between students, family/whānau and teachers to ensure common understandings about how the qualification system is structured and used to create successful achievement pathways
  • designing and implementing a responsive and challenging curriculum for all students that reflects NZC principles and promotes equity of outcomes, particularly for students who are at risk of not achieving.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education works with school leaders to find a prompt solution to the building issues that are currently impacting negatively on staff and student wellbeing and school decision making.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Director Review and Improvement Services
Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 December 2018

About the school 

Location

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

75

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1800

Gender composition

Boys      52%
Girls       48%

Ethnic composition

Māori                               8%
Pākehā                           21%
Indian                            27%
Pacific Nations                 13%
Chinese                          12%
Southeast Asian               4%
other Asian                      6%
other ethnic groups          9%

Other Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

6 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            May 2014
Education Review            August 2009
Education Review            September 2006