Makoura College - 14/06/2016

Findings

Respectful and caring relationships promote belonging and wellbeing. Partnerships with parents, whānau and the community are well established. Comprehensive tracking and associated support assists most students to gain qualifications. The school successfully continues to build its capacity to improve the quality of outcomes for students. Ensuring consistently high quality teaching practice should remain a focus.

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

1 Context

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

Makoura College is a co-educational secondary school in Masterton, catering for students in Years 9 to 13. Fifty-eight percent of the 320 students on the roll identify as Māori.

The motto: Kia Manawanui - courage and compassion; and tikanga (key values) are supported by the school community. They are an integral part of guidelines for teaching and learning, support for wellbeing and acknowledgement of student success.

Many initiatives and daily practices are based around building and establishing positive relationships and high expectations for success. Academic progress, social development and belonging are key priorities. Student opinion is sought and valued.

Since the December 2012 ERO report, the school has continued to build its capacity to improve the quality of education provided for students. Processes in place should enable gains to be sustained and outcomes for students to continue to be improved.

In June 2014 the school received a Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education Award for Excellence in Leading. The principal of seven years resigned at the end of the following year and moved to another position in the education sector. A new principal began in January 2016.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is increasingly used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The school has set a challenging target for most Year 9 and 10 students to improve by at least one full curriculum level per year. Many students make considerable progress in reading and mathematics and some meet or exceed the target. Achievement in writing remains a concern and is the focus for improvement in 2016. Actions have been initiated to increase the number of students making accelerated progress.

Literacy and mathematics intervention programmes continue in Year 11, for students identified at the end of Year 10 as needing additional support. Most of these students successfully gain their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1.

In 2015, most students were successful in NCEA Levels 1 and 2 in Year 11 and 12 respectively. A higher percentage of students gain these qualifications than do so nationally. Māori and non-Māori achieve at similar levels. Since the previous ERO review, results have improved significantly for some groups. These include Level 1 students and Level 2 Māori and males.

The board has established achievement targets and associated improvement plans in 2016 to further increase the percentage of students gaining NCEA qualifications. These targets include Level 3 and certificate endorsements. A target in place to increase the proportion of all leavers with NCEA Level 2 should assist in improving both retention and NCEA success.

A focus in recent years has been to strengthen individual NCEA Level 2 qualifications by ensuring meaningful pathways for all students. The school records and analyses the leaving destinations of students and this review helps to inform improvements in school curriculum and processes.

Close tracking and monitoring assists in promoting qualification success for individual students. Teachers and leaders support students to know about progress towards qualifications and goals.

Collation and analysis of class, faculty and schoolwide achievement information identifies progress made by students. Next steps are identified to contribute to improvement in Year 9 to 13 outcomes. Faculty targets are closely aligned to board achievement targets.

Students' wellbeing is carefully considered and positively supported by other students and adults. A range of wellbeing data is analysed to identify strengths in pastoral support and areas for improvement. The board provides additional resourcing to ensure barriers to wellbeing and learning are minimised.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is inclusive, culturally responsive and aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Real life connections to students’ lives and interests are prioritised when selecting learning activities. Challenging and high expectations are set for students.

Teachers know students well. Whaia te Aroha (support and help others) and tuakana teina are very evident. Respectful and productive relationships value difference and diversity. The collaborative focus supports students to confidently participate in curriculum activities.

Expectations for supporting the development of confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners are clearly stated within the Makoura Pedagogical Model (MPM). MPM promotes a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning within the Makoura context. Teaching and school processes continue to be aligned to these guidelines.

ERO observed examples of effective teaching where the school’s pedagogical model is very evident. In these situations, teachers use a range of strategies to successfully engage students in learning. In some classes however, there is variable engagement. Leaders should continue to build high quality teaching and learning across the school. Ensuring there is well-considered planning and consistent use of a variety of purposeful activities and strategies should support more sustained engagement in the extended class times that are operating.

Learning for Years 9 and 10 students is based on a home room (Te Kura Teina) structure with one teacher for all subjects except option choices. Students describe the relationships established as assisting to ease them into secondary school and to feel positive about their learning. Teaching focuses on addressing literacy and mathematics needs.

Systems and processes are in place in the junior school to guide teachers' planning and assessment. It is timely to review the expectations for teaching and ensure consistency of good practice. As part of review, teachers and leaders should consider how to more effectively collect, analyse and report reliable data that shows students’ progress within each year level. This should enable teachers and leaders to better monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of teaching in Year 9 and 10.

Senior learning areas and Te Kura Teina regularly consider links between junior and NCEA programmes. Heads of faculty should continue to focus on ensuring the junior curriculum provides the necessary skills and knowledge to support quality outcomes in NCEA.

Processes are in place to provide early intervention and additional support for students at risk of under-achievement. Those with additional needs participate in learning opportunities that provide challenge and are matched to them as individuals. Class teachers and teacher aides share information in a systematic way to enable students to be fully included in the curriculum. Regular review of teacher aide effectiveness should help to ensure extra resourcing is suitably targeted.

Students and teachers use digital resources to promote learning and technological literacy. The ongoing development of digital device use in teaching and learning is well planned.

Meaningful and varied pathways in the senior school respond to student interests, needs and aspirations. Academic programmes support a range of further study beyond school. Strong systems and a flexible approach build awareness and assist students to make decisions that link to possible future pathways. Partnerships formed with the local business sector extend the curriculum. The school is exploring further links with the wider regional community to expand learning experiences.

Links are established with contributing schools to provide greater understanding of the learning needs of students about to enter secondary school. Well-considered, planned transition effectively supports movement into, throughout the school and onto future pathways.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. Close, early contact supports parent involvement in children’s learning and decisions contributing to future destinations. Families are supported to understand how they can help their children as they explore available options.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers effectively promote success for Māori students as Māori.

Schoolwide practices reflect a te ao Māori approach. Links to local iwi and hapu are evident. Subjects that embrace Māori knowledge and values have been introduced into the curriculum. Staff continue to build their knowledge and confidence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Māori students are successful and lead in a range of school activities.

Reciprocal and responsive relationships (whakawhanaungatanga) are prioritised and very evident. Increased involvement of parents, whānau and the community contributes to greater knowledge of what students need to do to be successful. Whānau are increasingly active partners in their child’s learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Processes contributing to effective internal evaluation are established. Elements include:

  • a schoolwide focus on continual improvement
  • systematic, planned and deliberate inquiry
  • multiple perspectives contributing to review
  • a strong focus on quality outcomes for all learners.

A wide range of professional learning opportunities and initiatives support improvement of teacher practice. This includes a focus on building understanding of approaches that support Māori learners. Senior and middle leaders should continue to build teacher capability to improve learning outcomes.

Leaders collaboratively develop and promote the school’s vision and values. A range of evidence is collected to measure the extent to which targets are met. Leaders ensure school processes and practices promote student wellbeing and engagement in learning.

Leaders value participation at every level of the school community. They actively seek the perspectives and aspirations of students, families and whānau. Collaboration and partnerships enhance learning opportunities, student achievement and wellbeing.

The appraisal process includes elements that support teachers and leaders to be reflective. The process should continue to be developed to ensure it:

  • more effectively supports the progress of priority students through reflections based on outcomes
  • robustly supports teacher improvement over time.

The board of trustees focuses on student achievement, wellbeing and improvement. Trustees are well informed and monitor student progress. Appropriate resourcing decisions are made in response to the information provided. Board members effectively review and reflect on board performance and effectiveness in improving student outcomes. They seek relevant advice. Succession plans and processes are in place to support continuity of board operation.

The charter provides clear strategic direction and a framework for sustainability and improvement. Trustees are actively involved in the school and available to the school community.

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 six exchange students attending the school. Students usually attend for approximately ten months. Regular contact is maintained with local host and overseas families through discussion and formal reports.

Students’ academic preferences are met. Their particular focus on outdoor activities includes a range of sports. Wellbeing is prioritised in welcoming and ongoing care for students.

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

Respectful and caring relationships promote belonging and wellbeing. Partnerships with parents, whānau and the community are well established. Comprehensive tracking and associated support assists most students to gain qualifications. The school successfully continues to build its capacity to improve the quality of outcomes for students. Ensuring consistently high quality teaching practice should remain a focus.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 June 2016

About the School

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

243

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

320

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

58%

34%

6%

2%

Special features

Teen Parent Unit

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

14 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

December 2012

September 2010

May 2009