Lynfield College - 23/05/2014

1 Context

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

Lynfield College is a large Auckland secondary school that has strong links with its local community. The student roll reflects the cultural diversity of the community. Currently, Māori students make up eight percent of the roll and thirteen percent have Pacific heritage. At the time of this review 82 international students were enrolled at the school.

Students at Lynfield College are confident, friendly and proud of their school. They benefit from a caring and inclusive school culture. Students' wellbeing is given very high priority. Tikanga Māori provides a framework for the school’s approach to wellbeing and is a feature of school protocols, special events and welcomes for visitors. Māori and Pacific students’ identity and sense of belonging is enhanced through the opportunity to be part of the Pounamu or Pasifika whānau-based vertical form classes.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Previous reports have commended the school’s robust self-review processes. These underpin the board’s vision of the school as a community of learners. Previous ERO reports also noted the high quality, collaborative leadership of teaching and learning. These positive features of the school have been sustained.

A shared commitment to ongoing improvement is evident across the school. Trustees ensure that students are at the centre of the school’s strategic thinking and planning. Trustees bring a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences to their role. The principal is well supported by an experienced senior leadership team with complementary leadership skills. A continual focus on wellbeing on the part of leaders supports and promotes student leadership.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very effective use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners, particularly in Years 11 to 13.

Students are actively engaged in their learning and are motivated to achieve success across a wide variety of school activities. These include kapa haka, sporting, cultural and student leadership opportunities.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results across the school at Levels 1, 2 and 3 continue to be high. Students gained increasing numbers of merit and excellence endorsements, scholarships and outstanding scholarships in 2013. Senior leaders consistently set targets higher than national expectations.

Achievement rates for Māori and Pacific students, while still lower than those of their peers, also show consistent improvement over time. Senior leaders acknowledge that raising Māori and Pacific student achievement continues to be an area of focus. School leaders and teachers prioritise strategies that support Māori and Pacific learners to make accelerated progress and be successful.

Achievement information is well used to identify students who require support. Learning assistance is well-coordinated. Personalised programmes, often using digital support, assist students to make progress towards their learning goals. Regular monitoring and review provides students and their families with ongoing information about their learning.

School leaders continue to make positive changes to learning outcomes for students who are not achieving to expectations. This is particularly notable in the senior school. Leaders agree that it is timely to adopt a more strategic emphasis on achievement at Years 9 and 10. The strategies that have proved effective at the senior school level provide a very useful model.

Senior leaders and teachers use student achievement information to set achievement targets, develop school goals and to plan and adapt teaching programmes. Teachers’ focus on teaching strategies that support students to be successful is reflected in the significant improvement in NCEA Level 2 results in 2013.

Trustees make good use of analysed achievement information to make strategic decisions. Charter targets are focused on raising the achievement of all students and accelerating the progress of those students not meeting NCEA or curriculum level expectations. Trustees make resourcing decisions based on this information. They review and evaluate programmes designed to improve outcomes for students.

School leaders agree that faculty reports to the board should now focus more closely on evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at accelerating the progress and achievement of students in Year 9 and 10, particularly those who are identified as needing extra assistance.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning.

A clear sense of shared purpose and direction is evident through the Lynfield College Learning Charter. This was developed collaboratively with students, staff and the community. The charter is at the heart of the school’s curriculum, which is very well aligned with the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Curriculum development is on-going. School leaders agree that it is timely to review the school curriculum to identify areas of strength and areas for consolidation and further refinement.

A broad and differentiated curriculum provides a wide range of courses relevant to students’ personal interests and career pathways. It provides opportunities for students to continually experience success and to make smooth transitions to tertiary courses and the work force. Students who are experiencing difficulty with literacy and mathematics have access to a range of initiatives to accelerate their progress. Effective use of ICT across the school is encouraging students to access learning anywhere and at any time.

High quality teaching practice is evident. Teaching is informed by teachers’ in-depth knowledge of students and their use of effective practices to support student learning. All teachers are involved in a systematic process of inquiry aimed at continuously improving teaching and learning programmes. Agreed goals and criteria for measuring outcomes from these inquiries drive school improvement.

Senior leaders use the school performance management system effectively to promote ongoing teacher improvement and accountability for student progress and achievement. Well-considered professional learning programmes promote the sharing of effective teaching initiatives across the school.

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

The school is promoting Māori students’ success as Māori. Trustees, school leaders and key staff are committed to improving outcomes for Māori students. This is evident in the school’s annual goals and priorities. A range of strategies and initiatives to support cultural identity are in place. Self-review practices are focused on Māori student success. This focus is demonstrated by:

  • the strategic use of staff skills and expertise to enhance Māori students’ wellbeing and cultural identity
  • a Māori Focus Group that coordinates and promotes Māori success initiatives across the school
  • staff learning about te reo and tikanga Māori
  • Māori students figuring prominently in leadership roles on the student executive
  • te reo Māori classes being offered at all year levels
  • recognising and celebrating achievement in tikanga Māori across the curriculum.

Trustees, school leaders and ERO agree that the next steps to further promote success for Māori, as Māori, are to:

  • incorporate cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners into the school’s performance management system
  • continue to strengthen engagement and partnership with whānau and iwi to support development of plans to lift Māori student success.

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

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Pacific students, as Pacific. The Pasifika Focus Group is well led and coordinates activities to promote and celebrate Pacific success across the school. Initiatives include:

  • mentoring and support for Pacific students
  • the Pacific Pride student leaders' group
  • strong support for Pacific performing arts and culture
  • strong partnerships with Pacific families, led by the Pacific liaison coordinator.
  • Pacific students benefit from the school’s high expectations for their involvement and achievement.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Lynfield College is very well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to improve its performance. This is underpinned by:

  • the board’s vision of the school as a community of learners
  • effective governance practices, together with clear alignment between the strategic plan, annual plan, learning charter and programme implementation
  • board decision making that is strategic, evidence-based and aimed at sustaining improvement and promoting innovative practices across the school
  • strong professional leadership, which includes the principal building and providing leadership opportunities for staff across the school
  • senior leaders who are active and influential in local and regional educational community networks
  • robust self review that is embedded, well used and documented, and that effectively promotes and sustains development.

Progress against goals is closely monitored by the board. Input is sought from students, staff and the school community as part of the review process. ERO sees value in the board further increasing stakeholder input into the different stages of the review process.

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.

At the time of this review there were 82 international students attending the school. The majority of these students come from China, Japan and Korea. Students experience a meaningful orientation programme upon arrival in New Zealand. They are placed into suitable programmes that are determined by their strengths and interests. International students’ progress and achievement in English and other pathways is well monitored. They are well integrated into school and community activities and have opportunities to take leadership roles in the school.

The International Department is well organised. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Effective monitoring systems help ensure an ongoing high level of care and provision for these students. Reports to the board, and management of international students’ achievement, could be enhanced by reflecting students’ goals and aspirations in the success measures used for reporting.

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

23 May 2014

About the School

Location

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

75

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1707

Number of international students

82

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

Chinese

Samoan

South East Asian

Tongan

other Asian

other Pacific

other

25%

8%

24%

16%

5%

3%

3%

5%

4%

7%

Special Features

Adult ESOL programme

Supported Learning Unit

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

23 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

September 2006

June 2003