Naenae Intermediate - 21/06/2016

Findings

Naenae Intermediate has made well-considered improvements since the 2014 ERO report. Student achievement is gradually improving. School culture is positive and inclusive. The school is better positioned to further develop leadership and strengthen the capability of teachers to ensure that achievement in relation to the National Standards continues to lift.

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?

Naenae Intermediate caters for Years 7 and 8 students and is situated in the northern part of Lower Hutt. In 2016, there are 296 students, 38% are Māori and 20% Pacific students.

The March 2014 ERO report identified areas for improvement to urgently address student underachievement. Development was needed in assessment practice, curriculum development, leadership and governance.

A change team of internal and external personnel was established to guide improvement. The Ministry of Education (Ministry) provided a Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner, with further external support to develop teaching practice, build leadership and strengthen governance. ERO undertook an ongoing process of evaluation to support development over the two years from 2014.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

These were to:

  • review assessment tools in mathematics and increase moderation of data to ensure the reliability and validity of National Standards' judgements
  • revise achievement targets aligned with relevant actions for specific groups requiring accelerated achievement
  • redevelop curriculum guidelines to inform shared best practice teaching expectations in literacy and mathematics
  • implement a robust appraisal process and strengthen the consistency of teachers' inquiry into their practice
  • build leadership to better support teaching and guide curriculum development
  • extend whānau engagement to inform shared expectations in relation to success for Māori as Māori
  • develop governance capability, ensuring policies and procedures are updated and improved reporting of student achievement informs decision making.

Progress

School leaders and teachers, in conjunction with Ministry support, have implemented well-considered changes to strengthen assessment practice and better meet the learning needs of students. Positive changes include:

  • extending the range and use of assessment tools in reading, writing and mathematics
  • increased moderation of assessments to promote the reliability of National Standards' judgments, including the recent implementation of the Progress and Consistency Tool across the school
  • greater collaboration by leaders and teachers in analysing and inquiring into achievement results
  • implementation of student achievement action plans to target individual learning needs in the classroom
  • revision of achievement targets specifically identifying students requiring acceleration in their achievement
  • improved tracking, monitoring and inquiry into individual students’ progress and achievement
  • leadership restructure and relevant involvement in professional learning to increase capability to lead learning and guide teacher practice
  • involvement of technology staff in professional learning to focus their teaching so that it reflects student learning priorities.

Improved school processes and practices are gradually increasing levels of student achievement. Many students show accelerated achievement. There is a noticeable shift in the number of students achieving in relation to the National Standards, especially in writing and mathematics. Continuing to embed changed practice should ensure the upward trend continues.

Key next steps

To improve student achievement, leaders and teachers should:

  • continue to develop the effective use of assessment information to meet the diverse learning needs of students and consistently accelerate their progress
  • increase the capability of teachers to effectively plan, monitor and evaluate strategies identified in student achievement action plans
  • further seek to address the disparity in achievement outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is better placed to sustain improvement, continue to build on changes and increase student achievement. Staff have developed a cohesive, inclusive culture. This is helping to build on current initiatives and strengthen practice to further improve outcomes for students. Involvement in Positive Behaviour for Learning is promoting enactment of shared values and expectations between teachers, students, families and whānau. The involvement in a Community of Learning with other local schools is in the early stages and likely to establish a shared achievement challenge to promote collective improvement.

Teachers have revisited curriculum expectations. As a next step they plan to review learning statements in reading, writing and mathematics. ERO agrees that streamlining expectations for teachers should promote a shared understanding of effective practice.

The process for teacher appraisal has been strengthened. Consistent implementation of this process is required to effectively monitor and build practice. To further improve the appraisal process, leaders and teachers have planned to:

  • develop the collective knowledge of staff in relation to sufficient evidence in meeting the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • increase observations of teachers' practice by kete leaders
  • include Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners as part of the appraisal process.

A useful process has been implemented to guide teaching as inquiry. As part of this, students who need their achievement to be accelerated are suitably identified and strategies designed to raise achievement are documented. To build evaluation of this process, teachers should establish and document the learning progressions needed for targeted learners. Clearly showing teaching objectives specific to individuals, should increase opportunities to evaluate the impact of teaching and learning strategies.

Leaders and teachers have developed a purposeful range of strategies encouraging whānau involvement at school. Regular whānau hui make useful connections to curriculum experiences and provide the opportunity to share information in relation to Māori student achievement. Leaders are seeking to extend the benefits of this process to strengthen engagement with Pacific families.

Leaders are focused on improving outcomes for students. Changes to the leadership structure are well considered and align with improving guidance for teachers. Ministry support is purposefully facilitating development of leaders' practice and promoting improved performance.

Governance practice is improved. Reported information supports trustees’ knowledge of student progress and achievement. As a result, resourcing is better aligned to meet the school's strategic priorities. Leaders and the Ministry have identified the need for ongoing professional development for trustees to continue to build their knowledge of effective governance and support those new to the role. As part of this external support and as a priority, trustees should ensure the board's policies and operational procedures are reviewed and remain up to date.

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.

To order to improve current practice the board of trustees should:

  • ensure senior leaders receive robust annual appraisal linked to school priorities and student achievement outcomes
  • fully document procedures for school operation, including for staff appointment, taking account of legislative changes in relation to the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014. 

Conclusion

Naenae Intermediate has made well-considered improvements since the 2014 ERO report. Student achievement is gradually improving. School culture is positive and inclusive. The school is better positioned to further develop leadership and strengthen the capability of teachers to ensure that achievement in relation to the National Standards continues to lift.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 June 2016

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2921

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

296

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

38%

28%

23%

11%

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

21 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2014

November 2010

July 2007