McAuley High School - 09/11/2010

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

McAuley High School, in Otahuhu, is a State integrated secondary school providing a good quality Catholic education for girls from Years 9 to 13. The school has a roll of 660 students, most of whom are from Pacific cultural backgrounds. Four percent of the students are Māori.

The strong culture of respect and inclusiveness evident in the school is supported by Catholic beliefs and Mercy values and traditions, which are reflected in school operations and in everyday practices. Teachers have high expectations that each student will achieve personal excellence. The board of trustees and staff engage effectively with school communities so that the wishes and aspirations of parents for their children are addressed and parents are active partners in their children’s education.

Students achieve well at McAuley High School. They are well supported to develop their literacy and numeracy skills so that they gain the required literacy and numeracy credits for Level 1 National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, the average achievement of students at the school is well above national averages and those of schools of a similar decile. Attendance and retention rates are high and students engage well in learning. Students have rich opportunities to achieve and succeed in leadership, sports, cultural and service activities. The school has a settled, secure, learning environment focused on achievement.

Good use is made of information about student achievement and information provided by the community, to develop a school curriculum that acknowledges student talents and parent aspirations. Students are able to achieve in Samoan, Tongan and te reo Māori. Māori students report that they feel affirmed. They achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori. Well developed learning support and pastoral care systems help students to learn and to identify learning and career pathways through and beyond school.

The community, board of trustees, principal, staff and students can be justifiably proud of their school. It has a history of high performance and effective governance and leadership. These features, together with high quality processes for strategic planning, self-review and reporting, help to sustain on-going improvement and support students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

2 McAuley High School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of McAuley High School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

High expectations and high student achievement. The board of trustees, principal and staff believe that each student will achieve. This central belief is a key factor in the high levels of student engagement, progress and achievement evident in the school.

  • Students are well engaged in learning in the settled and purposeful learning environment that characterises classes.
  • Students particularly appreciate lessons in which teachers use modern teaching methods to extend students’ thinking and to engage students actively in learning.
  • Attendance rates, and rates of student retention through to Year 13, are high.
  • Students make noteworthy progress in literacy and numeracy through Years 9 and 10 so that they succeed in NCEA literacy and numeracy in Year 11.
  • Māori students achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori.
  • Student achievement in NCEA Levels 1, 2, and 3 is above national averages and well above averages for schools with a similar socio-economic rating.
  • The upward trend in the school’s academic results is reflected in the increasing proportion of students gaining merit and excellence grades in NCEA.
  • High levels of student engagement and achievement are evident in the many rich sporting, cultural, leadership and service activities that are a feature of the school’s curriculum.

Community engagement. Among the school’s many outstanding features are the strong three-way student-parent-teacher partnerships that support student learning and achievement.

  • Parents are well informed about the school’s expectations for their children’s achievement. Regular fono, which incorporate the use of Pacific languages and the languages of other ethnic groups, are well attended.
  • Respect for, and valuing of, parents’ wishes and aspirations is reflected in the introduction of Tongan into the school curriculum and in the consultation that the school undertakes with each family about the school’s strategic and annual plan.
  • Programmes such as the Adult Literacy Programme and the transition programme for students and families of a local primary school give parents the confidence to engage with the school and to be involved in supporting their children’s learning.
  • Local churches and other community groups provide valued additional resources to support students’ well-being at school.

Mutually respectful relationships. The school has a safe and inclusive culture in which the dignity of each person is respected and in which students can feel secure and nurtured.

  • Students and teachers are respectful of each other. Co-operation and goodwill typify classrooms and the school environment.
  • Māori students report that they feel valued as Māori. The diversity of students’ cultural and religious beliefs is recognised and celebrated.
  • Well developed pastoral care and learning support programmes help students to engage, learn and achieve.
  • Students receive good information and support to design their learning and careers pathways through and beyond school.
  • The pride that students have in belonging to their school is reflected in their appearance, behaviour and willingness to become leaders and help others.
  • The attractive, well maintained school environment reflects the care, respect and commitment of the board, principal and staff in supporting student learning and achievement.

Responsive school curriculum. The board of trustees, through the principal and staff, has developed a school curriculum that is responsive to student interests and talents and community aspirations.

  • A thoughtful and collaborative approach has been used to adopt the vision, principles and values of The New Zealand Curriculum into the school curriculum.
  • Well considered, strategic professional development and effective self-review programmes encourage curriculum leaders and teachers to reflect on their teaching programmes and practices so that students are helped to develop key skills for lifelong learning.
  • On-going review and consultation have resulted in the broadening of the curriculum so that all students have increased opportunities to achieve and have pathways to tertiary education and employment.
  • Trustees have strategically allocated resources, such as additional teacher assistants, to support and promote student learning and achievement.

Highly effective leadership and governance. A key element in the on-going success of McAuley High School is the commitment of the board, principal and staff to the school’s vision and values, to the Mercy tradition, and to the provision of an education that challenges students to strive for personal excellence.

  • The board of trustees, through the principal and staff, makes good use of student achievement information to set annual targets and to continually lift student achievement.
  • The principal and senior managers continue to strengthen the role of middle managers in ensuring that assessment of student work is valid and reliable and that assessment data are used to inform teaching programmes and practices.
  • Self-review practices are well developed and result in the board receiving high quality information about student learning, engagement, progress and achievement, and associated school developments. The centrality of student achievement in school operations is reflected in the aspirations of the trustees and school leaders for students to achieve at the highest levels.
  • Strategic planning processes are well developed and are responsive to change. The effectiveness of the school’s strategic planning is evident in the high levels of student achievement as well as the ongoing resourcing of information and computer technologies, and the renewal and refurbishment of buildings and classrooms.

Agreed priorities

ERO endorses the priorities for on-going development identified by the school. These priorities are to continue to embed effective teaching and learning practices throughout the school by:

  • increasing students’ ownership and management of their own learning;
  • clarifying and documenting effective practices for teaching and learning;
  • emphasising effective teaching practices in teacher performance review processes; and
  • strengthening teacher use of programme evaluations and assessment data to inform teaching programmes and practices.

3 Provision for International Students

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

McAuley High 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. At the time of this ERO review the school did not have any international students on its roll.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school meets the requirements of the Code.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of McAuley High School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5 Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

9 November 2010

About The School

School type

State integrated Catholic Secondary School for Girls (Years 9-15)

Decile

1

School roll

660

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%

Samoan 58%

Tongan 24%

other Pacific 6%

Asian 4%

other 4%

Review team on site

August 2010

Date of this report

9 November 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, June 2007

Education Review, December 2004

Accountability Review, September 2001

Community Page

9 November 2010

To the Parents and Community of McAuley High School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on McAuley High School.

McAuley High School, in Otahuhu, is a State integrated secondary school providing a good quality Catholic education for girls from Years 9 to 13. The school has a roll of 660 students, most of whom are from Pacific cultural backgrounds. Four percent of the students are Māori.

The strong culture of respect and inclusiveness evident in the school is supported by Catholic beliefs and Mercy values and traditions, which are reflected in school operations and in everyday practices. Teachers have high expectations that each student will achieve personal excellence. The board of trustees and staff engage effectively with school communities so that the wishes and aspirations of parents for their children are addressed and parents are active partners in their children’s education.

Students achieve well at McAuley High School. They are well supported to develop their literacy and numeracy skills so that they gain the required literacy and numeracy credits for Level 1 National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, the average achievement of students at the school is well above national averages and those of schools of a similar decile. Attendance and retention rates are high and students engage well in learning. Students have rich opportunities to achieve and succeed in leadership, sports, cultural and service activities. The school has a settled, secure, learning environment focused on achievement.

Good use is made of information about student achievement and information provided by the community, to develop a school curriculum that acknowledges student talents and parent aspirations. Students are able to achieve in Samoan, Tongan and te reo Māori. Māori students report that they feel affirmed. They achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori. Well developed learning support and pastoral care systems help students to learn and to identify learning and career pathways through and beyond school.

The community, board of trustees, principal, staff and students can be justifiably proud of their school. It has a history of high performance and effective governance and leadership. These features, together with high quality processes for strategic planning, self-review and reporting, help to sustain on-going improvement and support students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within four to five years.

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and self review information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.