One Tree Hill College - 08/05/2015

Findings

One Tree Hill College successfully places high value on students becoming connected and engaged with their learning. The school roll is ethnically diverse and growing rapidly. One of the current prioritised goals is to raise the achievement levels of Māori students through a range of initiatives supported by whānau.

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

1 Context

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

One Tree Hill College is a co-educational secondary school catering for students from Year 9 to 13. It is situated near the commercial hub of Penrose in Auckland. The student population is diverse, close to 38% are Pacific students and 20% are Māori. Twenty international students currently attend the school.

The school roll has grown rapidly since the ERO review in 2012, and an enrolment scheme has been introduced from the start of 2015. This growth has resulted in a number of new staff being employed over the last three years. Roll expansion is a challenge for the board of trustees’ property plans. However, the school environment continues to be successfully developed, well managed and attractively maintained.

The college is the lead school in a Learning Change Network (LCN). It is also part of the newly established Community of Schools (COS) initiative and will work with a group of schools in the Maungakiekie area to promote educational success for students living in the surrounding areas. One Tree Hill College has developed positive and useful relationships with local primary schools. Leaders share strategies to promote best teaching practice, arrange professional learning for staff and exchange achievement information to benefit student transitions into the school. This initiative is a way of strengthening the learning confidence of junior students entering the college at Year 9.

Junior students adjust to secondary school learning systems through a strong sense of belonging to the school. When entering Year 9, students are placed in a whānau, with a permanent group of teachers assigned to each house. This smaller structure effectively supports the wellbeing of Years 9 and 10 students.

The generous support of community groups and local businesses continues to benefit successful learning initiatives in the school. The school's Māori Advisory Group is an example of a highly effective learning partnership working to lift student engagement and academic performance.

High expectations for student achievement and good quality learning programmes were strengths reported on in the school's 2012 ERO report. These strengths continue to be evident and have been advanced further at all levels in the school.

2 Learning

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

One Tree Hill College is using achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ progress and engagement.

The school’s achievement information is analysed and evaluated by senior leaders, faculty departments and by teachers at class level. Recent student achievement in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is showing a substantial lift at Year 12, Level 2 NCEA, which clearly indicates that strategies to support students’ learning are positively influencing their progress.

The college makes very good use of achievement data to improve students’ engagement and connection with their learning. Good rates of accelerated progress are evident in the robust data collection that tracks the completion and quality of students’ assessments in NCEA. This system is supported by intensive academic counselling for students.

NCEA achievement of Māori students is below that of other students in the school. Leaders and teachers continue to address this issue with robust thinking and actions. They are implementing effective strategies that should reduce this trend over time. A strategically appointed group of Māori teachers act as mentors and academic coaches for Māori students. The leader of this group contributes to the senior leadership’s strategic thinking about success-oriented goals for Māori progress.

Achievement information for Years 9 and 10 indicates that students make good progress in literacy and numeracy during the junior college years. Students now have the opportunity to achieve NCEA achievement standards in Year 10 to give them a confident start to achievement in Year 11. Data is indicating success across the whole Year 10 cohort and should boost future performance at Level 1 NCEA.

A key intervention for Years 9 and 10 students, to promote accelerated progress, is the reading enrichment programme for the Year 9 group who enter college achieving at just below the National Standards in reading. The programme promotes reading and speaking capability, and confidence in communication skills. It is an example of community engagement in learning processes within the school.

Key competencies and values education, alongside achievement, continue to be emphasised as important outcomes in the school’s learning processes. Students learn how to make informed decisions in relation to future pathways into tertiary training or employment.

The school's pathways focus is very strong and capably led so that student subject choices are relevant and purposeful. ERO and school leaders agree that the college should continue to develop teaching practices that increase students' capability to self manage their own learning progress.

3 Curriculum

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

One Tree Hill College’s curriculum supports and enables students to learn effectively. It is aligned closely to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and to Pathways opportunities for vocational awards. The school curriculum is relevant and authentic, and in keeping with NZC principles.

School leaders and faculty heads strategically drive the curriculum towards student–centred choices. The curriculum is being broadened in innovative ways that help students to select a learning pathway to suit their strengths, interests, abilities or needs.

Self review of curriculum delivery is effective and thorough within departments. Teachers, in many subject areas, use a variety of teaching approaches and strategies to engage students in their programmes. Very good quality relationships are acknowledged as the basis for effective learning. Students talk positively and meaningfully about their learning experiences.

The school has a well-managed professional learning programme for staff. Teachers are encouraged to be reflective and search out best evidence to improve their practice.

Within the high quality pastoral care systems, whānau leaders track the learning profiles of their students and offer students wider support networks if needed. The whānau teacher’s role is expanding in order to monitor student progress throughout the academic year. Good provision is made to resource and support students with additional learning needs.

Pacific students have their learning enhanced with a strong focus on Pacific pride that fosters positive connections to Pacific languages, identity and culture. Pacific parents are supporting learning partnerships initiated by the school.

Student leadership has been a major focus in the curriculum over recent years. There are extensive opportunities for students at all levels to develop their leadership skills in purposeful and meaningful ways. This provision ensures that student voice can positively impact school life.

In ERO’s discussions with school leaders, areas for future curriculum development were considered. Considerations included further development of the junior curriculum and further promoting student success in national qualifications.

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

The school is effectively promoting educational success for Māori students.

Māori students are supported through a number of school systems that are specifically designed to promote educational success. Parent and whānau involvement through the Māori Advisory Group is ensuring their aspirations are part of future thinking for school leadership and the board of trustees.

A Māori teaching group, capably led by a specialist classroom teacher, has responsibility for strategic thinking around success for Māori. A guiding document based on tikanga Māori has been developed by this team to equip all teachers in the school to improve Māori student achievement.

Students have the opportunity to study te reo me ōna tikanga Māori from Year 9 to Year 13. Māori cultural events occur regularly within the school calendar to support and strengthen Māori identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Effective self review processes are functioning at all levels of school systems and bring about appropriate, cyclical change.

The board is informed by the principal about progress being made in relation to charter goals. The board is working effectively with its community and is planning for wide consultation in the next phase of strategic planning.

Middle managers and teaching staff are effective, professional practitioners. The concept of akonga is evident in teachers’ practice and creates a work culture based on reflection and the sharing of ideas.

Pastoral care is highly effective. The school tone is supportive of all students who report high levels of connection and engagement with their learning programmes.

Agreed next steps for the board of trustees include:

  • continuing to extend strategic thinking and planning for the next phase of school development that includes more measurable and accountable annual goals for Māori success
  • setting charter targets that focus more specifically on groups of students who continue to need accelerated progress.

Provision for international students

The 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 20 international students attending the school.

The school provides high quality care systems for international students. Staff involved with international students have regular contact with home-stay families and they network with a number of other schools and agencies to keep school practices up to date.

Students have opportunities to learn through their own language as well as to become proficient with the English language. Suitable reports are prepared each term to assure the board and school leaders of international students’ academic progress, involvement in school life, and integration into the wider school 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

One Tree Hill College successfully places high value on students becoming connected and engaged with their learning. The school roll is ethnically diverse and growing rapidly. One of the current prioritised goals is to raise the achievement levels of Māori students through a range of initiatives supported by whānau.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 May 2015

School Statistics

Location

Penrose, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

85

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1009

Number of international students

20

Gender composition

Boys 56% Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Tongan

Indian

Samoan

Cook Island

Filipino

Fijian

Niue

Other

20%

11%

15%

14%

11%

5%

5%

4%

3%

12%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

8 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

May 2009

November 2005