Morrinsville College - 03/07/2017

Findings

Morrinsville College is a well-established secondary college that has close links with the community including local iwi. The college is focused on raising levels of achievement, provides a positive and inclusive college culture, and a curriculum that offers a wide range of opportunities for students to experience success.  

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?

Morrinsville College is a co-educational secondary school catering for students in Years 9 to 13 from the township of Morrinsville and surrounding rural areas. The roll of 659 includes 143 students who identify as Māori. Many of these students have strong connections with Ngāti Haua and Tainui.

The college has had a positive reporting history with the Education Review Office (ERO). Since the 2014 ERO review, the college has reaffirmed its valued outcomes, and refined the curriculum and school processes to strengthen outcomes for students. Teachers continue to engage in regular professional development to enhance their practice, and new initiatives such as the services academy have been introduced to meet the diverse needs of students. Other developments include the establishment of learning coaches, kaitiaki and manukura roles to support the care, wellbeing and academic needs of students. 

The Te Ao Marama document, developed by the Māori community for all students, provides the foundation for the teaching and learning of Māori concepts: kotahitanga, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, nga moemoea, manatangata, and hauora. These values are especially evident within Te Puawaitanga, which is an initiative that provides culturally appropriate pastoral and academic support for students within a supportive Māori environment.

The college is part of a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL) involving a number of schools within the Morrinsville area. The CoL is in the establishment phase and it is intended that these schools will work collaboratively to provide meaningful learning pathways for students as they transition through education.

2 Learning

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

The college is using achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. A good range of standardised achievement information is gathered at the end of Year 8 to inform class placement and to identify students who require additional learning support.

Data from 2016 indicates that a significant proportion of Year 9 students were below or well below the National Standards on entry to the college. Appropriate targets were set for students who were below the expected curriculum levels to improve achievement in literacy and mathematics. Progress and achievement information in 2016 showed that the significant majority of these students made accelerated progress towards the expected curriculum level.

A next step for senior leaders is to set specific charter targets and implement targeted strategies for those students who enter the college well below the National Standards. Teachers should also be supported to effectively use the Learning Progressions Framework (LPF) to further accelerate the progress of students so that they are at the expected curriculum level by the end of Year 10. This process would further support the college’s current focus on the explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy strategies across the curriculum.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) roll-based data from 2016 showed that 65% of Year 11 students achieved Level 1, 79% of Year 12 students achieved Level 2, and 62% of Year 13 students achieved Level 3. Forty five percent of students gained University Entrance (UE). The roll based data also showed that at NCEA Level 1 and 3, boys achieved at significantly lower levels than girls. The college is responding to the needs of boys through programmes and vocational courses that lead to further education, training and employment.

Overall Māori students achieve at lower levels in NCEA than other students. Just under half of Year 11 Māori students achieved Level 1 NCEA in 2016. Senior leaders have effectively responded to students who were not successful through close mentoring, monitoring and support. Almost all of these students have now completed Level 1 in Term 1 2017, and most are well on track to achieve Level 2 by the end of the year. A notable success was the proportion of Māori students who achieved NCEA Level 3 in 2016, which was higher than for other students.

To further address levels of disparity between Māori and other students, it is important for the college to:

  • refine charter targets to focus more clearly on students at risk of underachieving
  • align learning area targets and develop further action plans that focus on accelerating the progress and achievement of Māori and boys who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes
  • strengthen processes that support teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their practice in relation to at risk students.

3 Curriculum

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

The college provides a broad curriculum that supports and promotes student learning. The curriculum is well designed to ensure that students are able to access a range of academic and vocational learning pathways that are appropriate to their needs. Students benefit from involvement in a wide range of sporting and cultural experiences. Initiatives such as the student council, house leaders and amokura promote and encourage students as leaders within the college and wider community.

Students’ pastoral and academic needs are well catered for through the learning hubs, learning coaches, manukura and kaitiaki. There is a strong emphasis on building positive learning relationships. Students receive good quality support and mentoring in making decisions about their learning pathways. Learning coaches, kaitiaki and manukura play a key role in supporting and nurturing the wellbeing and academic needs of students. Close tracking of individual progress towards NCEA helps ensure students are provided with appropriate guidance.

Students who require specific learning assistance are well supported to achieve success. Key personnel work closely with students, their families and specialist services to provide a meaningful curriculum that meets the differentiated needs of these students. A next step is to strengthen the quality of the individual education plans (IEPs) to include more specific goals and clearly defined actions to maximise positive learning outcomes for students.

Teachers consistently use learning intentions and success criteria to engage students in the learning process. They have established positive and supportive learning relationships that promote student engagement and motivation.

There is a clear expectation that teachers effectively:

  • use assessment information to differentiate learning
  • integrate Māori contexts and knowledge within their subject areas
  • provide opportunities for students to use digital devices to support their learning and engagement.

Developing greater consistency in the use of these strategies is an ongoing priority for senior leaders.

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

The college continues to promote educational success for Māori.

A feature of the college is Te Puawaitanga which now includes 120 students who are mostly Māori.  The close monitoring and mentoring of Māori students in this supportive environment, and the emphasis that is placed on maintaining strong relationships with whānau and iwi, have had a positive impact on advancing learning outcomes for Māori students.

The creation of a cultural advisor position, funded by the board, has been instrumental in building teacher capability and understanding of culturally responsive practice. The advisor has worked closely with teachers to integrate Māori contexts across the curriculum and with leaders to develop a restorative approach to behaviour management that reflects whānau and iwi aspirations.

There are many opportunities for Māori students to experience success. Courses such as Māori performing arts, te ao Māori, te ao wahine and te reo Māori provide culturally relevant learning opportunities. There has been significant growth in the status of the amokura leadership position as tuakana role models within Te Puawaitanga and as cultural leaders across the college. The Māori and Pacific awards evening continues to be well supported by whānau and staff. This event celebrates the academic and cultural success of students as well as showcasing their many talents. 

The principal has played a pivotal role in establishing relationships with local marae and Ngāti Haua. He actively seeks the advice, guidance and support of kaumātua and kuia to further enhance the success of Māori students. Senior leaders acknowledge there remains a need to reduce disparity of achievement between Māori students and their peers, and are actively working to achieve equitable academic outcomes for these students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • trustees provide sound governance in all aspects of board operations and are highly supportive of the principal and staff
  • a collaborative senior leadership team, with complementary skills, promote a collective responsibility and accountability for student achievement and wellbeing
  • teachers are actively engaged in professional learning and development to build their teaching capability
  • evidence-based self review is contributing to ongoing decision making, and the development of robust systems and processes that support student success and achievement
  • strong community networks and links between the college and its community provide authentic and meaningful learning for students.

The key next step is for the college to continue to focus on raising levels of achievement and reduce disparity by addressing the matters identified in this report through the college charter and learning area plans.

Provision for international students

The college 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 review there were 11 international students attending the college.

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

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the college’s self-review processes for international students are thorough. The college has effective systems and practices for the pastoral care, quality of education provision, and integration of students into the college community.

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

Morrinsville College is a well-established secondary college that has close links with the community including local iwi. The college is focused on raising levels of achievement, provides a positive and inclusive college culture, and a curriculum that offers a wide range of opportunities for students to experience success.  

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

3 July 2017

About the School 

Location

Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number

126

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

659

Number of international students

11

Gender composition

Girls       53%
Boys      47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
South East Asian
Indian
Other

62%
26%
  3%
  2%
  7%

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

3 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
November 2009
August 2006