Napier Community Activity Centre - 13/02/2013

1 Background


Napier Community High School is one of 14 activity centres in New Zealand that provide alternative schooling for students in Years 9 to 11.  Students are referred by their enrolling schools to activity centres because they are likely to benefit from a specialist programme that will meet their social and educational needs. 

Once accepted at an activity centre, students remain on the roll of the enrolling school, and attend the centre for periods that vary in length depending on students’ readiness for a successful return to schooling.

The programme of learning for students at an activity centre should improve:

  • the attendance of students
  • students’ academic achievement
  • students’ personal and social skills, through a programme that is based on the core competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum or the graduate profile in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

A key component of the programme is the successful and planned transition back into enrolling school or on to further education for activity centre students. 

The host school’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of this activity centre.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Napier Community High School in relation to the terms of reference for this review.  The terms of reference are:

  • educational and social outcomes for students, including the extent to which students’ learning has been accelerated
  • the use of information to plan and implement individual programmes for, and with, students, and to monitor their progress
  • management and governance practices including planning, self review and professional capacity-building
  • support for students to achieve improved outcomes
  • students’ experience of interagency support for them and their families
  • transitions in and out of the activity centre. 

2 Context

Napier Community High School provides education for up to 20 students who have behaviour and learning challenges that are impeding their educational progress. The Activity Centre is attached to Napier Boys High School. Students receive academic, social and personal support, guidance and mentoring. Support continues until they, their families, whānau and teachers decide they are well equipped to return to mainstream schooling or move on to further education and training.

Centre staff foster close links with parents and whānau, community groups, external agencies and the management committee. This promotes a unity of purpose, consistency of expectations and clear lines of communication.

The centre has appropriately addressed the recommendations made in the 2009 ERO report.

3 Findings

Teachers have high expectations for students' learning and behaviour. Students are well supported to become motivated and take responsibility for their own learning. Students work together in some situations, discussing ideas, reaching conclusions and teaching each other. They are engaged and enjoy learning. Students speak positively about their success.

Students make meaningful progress during their time at the high school. Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools to determine students' achievement levels and progress on entry and exit. The centre is taking up opportunities to recognise success within the National Qualifications Framework. Students' progress is documented through individual student records, regular reports to parents and whānau, and monthly reports to enrolling schools.

Students have individual education plans (IEPs) and individual behaviour plans (IBPs). IBPs have clear goals for social development that are continually revisited. Students are able to reflect on their own behaviour progress and development. Not all enrolling schools complete the literacy and numeracy data, strengths and interests sections of the referral forms. Ensuring that this information is gathered and passed on should strengthen individual planning and ongoing monitoring for each student.

Routines are well established and known by students. They learn in orderly, calm and secure surroundings where staff take all reasonable steps to provide a safe environment. Relationships are positive and affirming. Students spoken with by ERO felt well supported by centre staff and had made good progress in their learning and behaviour.

Staff know students and their whānau well. Whānau are involved in the induction and transition back to school processes. The director and the enrolling school work together in developing a transition plan for each student. Staff focus on building effective relationships with students and whānau.

The curriculum is well planned and responsive to students’ needs. Appropriate links are made to The New Zealand Curriculum. Integrating the curriculum's key competencies helps students sustain their social development. Resources are adapted to fit the needs of the students. High priority is given to achievement in literacy and mathematics. Oral language strategies are used to support students’ language development. Planning in literacy is appropriate for meeting the specific requirements of each student. Topics and themes link to situations outside the classroom context, and are relevant to students. Student voice is a part of regular review of programme content.

Good use is made of staff strengths to enhance and extend the range of opportunities available to students outside the classroom. They work collaboratively with external agencies to support the multiple needs of students. This learning and development support is highly valued by students.

Staff demonstrate the importance of social and pastoral care to support students' achievement. They are compassionate and show enthusiasm about making a difference for students. Humour is used to support the development of positive relationships among staff and students.

Student’s cultural backgrounds are understood and affirmed through staff practices and protocols. Kaupapa Māori is recognised through daily karakia mō te kai, which is led by a student and treated respectfully by other students. Te reo me ngā tikanga Maori is reflected in the centre environment. Teachers are currently involved in Te Kotahitanga, a research and professional development programme, under the guidance of the host school. Te Kotahitanga principles support teachers learning and development.

The director provides clear direction for the school. Information from a variety of sources is used to make decisions about provision for students. A shared understanding of the philosophy, roles and responsibilities drives the centre. The director builds his knowledge and capacity about activity centres by visiting others.

Relationships between the host school principal and centre staff are strong. They work together in an ongoing, collaborative and supportive partnership for the benefit of students. Priorities are identified and clear guidelines put in place to successfully achieve these. Regular monitoring and review cycles inform strategic planning and decision making.

The management committee is committed and dedicated to the school philosophy. Members value the support provided to their students. They are well informed by receiving regular information about students’ outcomes and the educational progress.

Performance appraisal processes focus on building the capacity of teachers and leaders. The school’s procedures and practices align with policies and directions. Staff regularly participate in professional learning and development (PLD) with host and enrolling schools. This PLD is appropriately targeted and responsive to improve outcomes for students.

4 Future Action

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

Joyce Gebbie
National Manager Review Services
Central Region (Acting)

13 February 2013

About the Activity Centre 



Ministry of Education profile number


Activity Centre roll


Gender composition

Female 9, Male 8

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

13 February 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review

Special Review

Accountability Review

November 2009

June 2005

January 2001