Napier Boys' High School - 12/11/2013

1. Context

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

Napier Boys’ High School is located in Hawke's Bay and caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The school has a positive, welcoming and purposeful tone. Traditions are valued. Expectations based on honesty, respect, self discipline and integrity prepare boys to be ‘good men’. These aspects are evident in the interactions between students and teachers. Scinde House students have a strong identity with the hostel. It is an integral part of the school.

Students take advantage of the opportunities to thrive and achieve inside and outside the classroom. Their success in academic, sporting, arts and cultural endeavours is celebrated. Senior boys and leaders are seen as role models. School trustees and leaders have high expectations for students’ learning and achievement and these are clearly communicated. Families and whānau are seen as important partners, and are actively involved, in the school.

Considerable refurbishment of the school’s facilities has occurred since the August 2010 ERO report.

2. Learning

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

Assessment information is collated and analysed school-wide. At Years 9 and 10 level there has been considerable progress since the August 2010 ERO report in the collection, use and reporting of data in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum. As a result of extensive review, parents and whānau receive clear and timely reports on their sons' progress and achievement in relation to national curriculum levels and the gaining of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) credits.

Students in Years 11 to 13 continue to achieve NCEA qualifications at levels higher than students nationally and those in similar schools. The percentage of school leavers with at least NCEA Level 2 has increased and in 2012 was similar to that for students nationally.

Since 2010, increasing NCEA Level 1 achievement has been a focus for the school. This has resulted in more Year 11 students gaining Level 1 in 2012. The school considers that there is a connection between this result and the increased professional learning and development emphasis for staff, on effective classroom teaching. Students are successful in gaining New Zealand Scholarships in a range of subjects. A growing proportion of NCEAs are achieved at merit and excellence level compared with previous years. Increasing the number of endorsed certificates, to further improve the quality of leaver qualifications, should continue to be a priority for departments.

Māori students' NCEA Level 1 achievement has improved significantly since the previous ERO review. Trustees, managers and teachers are committed to ensuring raising Māori student achievement continues to be a priority. ERO's evaluation affirms this priority.

Senior leaders and teachers analyse NCEA data and identify improvements required to lift achievement. Senior managers ensure that department reviews are meaningful and focused on improving all students’ achievement. Department leaders receive high quality feedback on reviews of their learning area. Senior managers are building subject leaders’ capacity to analyse student data as part of their review process and to identify strategies to progress students and improve teaching and learning.

There is early identification of students most at risk with their learning. Programmes are responsive to students’ needs and interests. Achievement information collated by the school indicates that, in 2012, most of these students made good progress.

Teacher conversations make good use of achievement information to share and influence strategies they use that promote success. Such communication is related to Te Kotahitanga, a professional learning and research programme, that supports school leaders and teachers improve Māori students' learning and achievement. Year 9 and 10 teachers and subject departments should continue to strengthen their reviews through the analysis of assessment data to:

  • show individual student progress over time
  • evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programmes
  • identify next steps to enable success for all students.

Pacific students at the school are mainly Samoan and Tongan. Year 9 and 10 Pacific students in targeted programmes make good progress. Continuing to respond to these students’ individual strengths and needs should lead to improved achievement. Students appreciate the work done by their teachers to value their culture and keep them focused on achieving. Pacific learners are actively engaged in a wide range of activities outside the classroom. Leaders amongst the Pacific students are accessible and regularly offer guidance to the junior students. Pacific parents are involved in the school through their children’s activities.

The board receive useful data for Year 9 to 13 Pacific students in department reports.

3. Curriculum

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

A clear rationale is used by leaders in designing the curriculum and emphases for learning. Senior managers and teachers are responsive to the increased retention of students since the previous ERO report, and have broadened pathways in the senior school curriculum. Adjusting learning and teaching according to students' needs and abilities is evident in curriculum areas.

Teachers effectively use a wide range of strategies that support student engagement in purposeful learning. These include:

  • respectful and reciprocal relationships and interactions
  • opportunities for students to bring and use their own experiences in authentic learning contexts
  • affirming learner contributions
  • students feeling confident to seek clarification and share their ideas.

Information and communication technologies are used effectively as an integral tool to enhance teaching and learning.

Advice and guidance about possible learning pathways is responsive to students’ interests and strengths. Families and whānau are included in these conversations. Students have a clear understanding of future options and choices they need to make for careers. Strong links to tertiary institutions, local businesses and the wider community help students develop knowledge, skills and plans for their future.

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

Professional learning and development through Te Kotahitanga has focused on teachers further developing their practices to support Māori learners. This includes building learning relationships and adapting their practice to increase Māori student engagement in learning and achievement. There is a focus on responding to the experiences Māori students bring with them and using their prior learning. Teachers have high expectations of Māori students as learners. They use Māori student data to inform discussions about student progress and identify teaching strategies to enable success for Māori students.

Māori students take advantage of the opportunities to be leaders. They are successfully involved in a wide range of sport, cultural, performance and arts activities.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Napier Boys’ High School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance and continue to do ‘the best for all boys’. School leaders have responded positively to areas for development in the previous ERO report. The school is highly focused on ongoing improvement.

Effective self review is promoted by school leaders. A cycle of review identifies priorities for improvement. Outcomes are used to inform decision-making and improvement. Multiple sources of information are used and there is some good analysis of information. Further development of a shared understanding of review is recognised as a next step by senior managers.

Trustees are well informed and use student achievement information to consider the impact of initiatives and resourcing decisions. They are focused on improving outcomes for students and monitoring progress towards goals.

Targeted professional learning is a strong feature of the school. It supports teachers to develop a sense that they can make a difference for all students. Teachers are a community of learners who regularly reflect on their practice. Their appraisal goals and comprehensive observations are aligned with professional learning priorities.

Senior managers expect and lead high expectations for students’ learning and achievement, and teacher practice. They are very accessible to parents and whānau. The headmaster is enabling leadership to grow amongst staff through delegation across the school.

Established and effective systems support students’ emotional well-being and sense of self. Senior managers, trustees and teachers take all possible steps to make the school a safe and inclusive environment for students.

Information from families, whānau, students and the wider community is often gathered, considered and included in school reviews.

Provision for international students

Napier Boys’ High School continues to provide its international students with high quality pastoral care supported by well-documented systems. The orientation programme for new students is well managed and ensures they settle readily into the school. Students receive good individualised English language support to assist them with their learning. Careful consideration is given to the placement of students in subject classes. Students’ progress and achievement are closely monitored by the international dean and their tutor teacher.

The school has effective processes for communicating with parents when students enrol. Students are well supported to help them integrate into life at the school. They have every opportunity to participate and succeed in activities inside and outside the classroom.

Napier Boys' 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 review there were 17 international students attending the school.

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

ERO’s investigation confirms that the school’s self-review process for the international students is thorough.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Scinde House, accommodates 185 students, 15% of the school roll. It is owned by the board of trustees of Napier Boys’ High School. Boarders are mainly from Hawke's Bay and nearby provinces. Hostel staff and students work positively together to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe emotional and physical environment that supports learning.

Communication between the hostel and boarders' families and whānau is regular and informative. Planned activities provide challenge and interest and support across year level interactions. Supportive and positive relationships are very evident. Accommodation and other facilities are fit for purpose, comfortable and well maintained. Homework sessions are well supervised and provide access to teaching staff who are able to support boarders' learning. Parents and boys have the opportunity to contribute their opinion about the hostel environment and activities, including aspects affecting student well-being.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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


Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

12 November 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Review team on site

July 2013

Date of this report

12 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2010

June 2007

May 2004