Lytton High School - 27/07/2018

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on raising student achievement. Specific teaching and learning initiatives, including professional development for staff and increasing student voice, have the potential for continuing improvement. Ongoing evaluation of the impact of approaches and strategies is a key next step.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Lytton High School is located in Gisborne and caters for students in Years 9 to 15. At the time of this ERO review, 77% of students on the roll are Māori.

The June 2016 ERO report identified concerns relating to the curriculum, student achievement and use of achievement information. Also identified for improvement were policies, procedures and practices, including internal evaluation, to promote ongoing school improvement.

ERO, trustees, leaders and staff developed an improvement plan that aligned to the school’s strategic and annual plans. Over the past two years, leaders and trustees have worked with ERO to report on and evaluate progress towards meeting the identified goals.

In 2016 and 2017, the school led its own professional development on Positive Behaviours for Learning (PB4L), restorative practices and effective teaching strategies. In 2018, the school is participating in professional development led by an external facilitator focused on continuing to build teacher capability to improve student outcomes.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

In June 2016, the following development priorities were agreed:

  • a curriculum that accelerates achievement, built on effective evaluation
  • a systematic approach to the use of quality data and analysis to inform practice, leading to improved targeted outcomes
  • the development of practices, policies and procedures that promote ongoing school improvement by trustees and school leaders.

Good progress has been made in relation to these priorities.

Progress

Roll-based overall National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results have increased significantly in Levels 2 and 3 between 2016 and 2017. Level 1 results decreased and in 2018 the school has increased academic tracking of those students at risk of not achieving at level 1. The curriculum has been adapted to increase the potential for student success. In 2017 at Levels 2 and 3, students at this school achieved at and above those in similar schools nationally. Approximately half of target students in Years 9 and 10 made accelerated progress in literacy in 2017.

Since June 2016, a number of curriculum developments have had a positive impact on student engagement and achievement.

Learning Advisories were strengthened at the end of 2016. These:

  • provide for timetabled, twice - weekly meetings of the adviser and groups of students
  • enable increased tracking of students’ academic progress through the use of newly-developed individual student tracking booklets
  • support students to make choices and be well informed about their courses
  • give opportunities for students to work collaboratively to support one another as tuakana teina.

The school’s focus on student wellbeing has been enhanced through the PB4L programme and emphasis on the school’s three values: Ako, Aroha and Aspire. Wellbeing lessons have been introduced as part of Learning Advisories.

Teachers and leaders have increased contact with whānau in a range of ways. The use of a portal provides parents and students an online platform to share updated information about student effort and academic progress.

A deliberate, increased emphasis on seeking student voice has resulted in students having increased knowledge about their own learning, and more opportunities to make choices. Teachers adapt courses to meet students’ interests and needs.

Observations of teaching and learning show that students are well engaged within relevant, authentic contexts. Teachers share the purpose of lessons and support students to understand what they need to do to be successful. Learning conversations are evident.

Student attendance is closely tracked, monitored and scrutinised. This was a schoolwide target for 2017. In 2018, there is an increased emphasis on attendance in Year 12.

Students at risk of not achieving are identified and their learning is targeted. A number of specific interventions have been implemented to raise student achievement. These include literacy programmes for Year 9 students and a closer focus on tracking students’ progress towards achieving NCEA. This information is reported at each board meeting. Teachers have begun to increase their analysis of achievement information. This is an identified, ongoing next step.

The introduction of semesters has increased the variety and choice of educational opportunities for students. A positive result of this initiative is increased NCEA credit acquisition. Other new developments include the introduction of faculty plans that focus on raising student achievement.

Teachers follow a well-structured process to inquire into their practice. This should enable them to increase the impact of their teaching on improved outcomes for students. Next steps are for teachers to:

  • be clear about the new strategies and changes they are introducing to their practice
  • use research and shared expertise to inform their decision making
  • fully document the process.

Leaders should increase monitoring of the quality and consistency of the inquiry process.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

To sustain and continue to improve the school’s performance, leaders have identified that embedding new practices is a priority. ERO's external evaluation supports this direction.

Since 2016, trustees have undertaken governance training. They regularly discuss progress towards the school’s strategic and annual goals. The principal reports on student achievement, including for groups of students, and reports on staffing and health and safety matters.

Trustees and leaders should place increased emphasis on meeting deadlines for sending key information at specified times to meet board obligations.

The appraisal process requires development. This should include:

  • ensuring that all aspects of the school’s appraisal policy are fully implemented and documented
  • introducing a revised summary evidence sheet to give a clear overview as a record of endorsement.

Trustees and leaders have taken part in an internal evaluation workshop and have begun to use a suitable framework to evaluate the effectiveness of new initiatives. A next step is to develop a shared understanding across the school to inform decision making as teachers, leaders and trustees continue to focus on raising student achievement.

The school’s initiatives and programmes have the potential for further improving student outcomes. Trustees, leaders and teachers should evaluate the impact of approaches and strategies to ascertain their impact and effectiveness.

Key next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

the use of well analysed data from a range of sources, for internal evaluation that identifies what is working well for students' learning and where improvements are needed.

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.

Conclusion

Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on raising student achievement. Specific teaching and learning initiatives, including professional development for staff and increasing student voice, have the potential for continuing improvement. Ongoing evaluation of the impact of approaches and strategies is a key next step.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 July 2018

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

208

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

690

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

77%
20%
1%
2%

Special Features

Te Whare Whai Hua – Teen Parent Unit Te Wheako – Attached Unit: Special Needs Alternative Education

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

27 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2016
December 2012
May 2011