Pukekohe High School - 02/02/2021

Findings

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Pukekohe High School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Pukekohe High School is a coeducational secondary school catering for students in Years 9 to 15 from Pukekohe and its surrounding areas. At the time of the review the school roll of 1708, includes 23% of students who are of Māori descent.

The school’s vision is to provide a positive place of learning where students are challenged, become equipped to fulfill their potential and achieve their aspirationshe wāhi whaimana ki te rapu mātauranga. The strategic goals of the school are to:

  • accelerate student achievement
  • extend community partnerships
  • strengthen engaging teaching
  • enhance student wellbeing.

Since September 2018, the school has been part of a longitudinal evaluation process with ERO to support building capability for school operation. In addition, the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association have provided targeted support to address the areas identified in the 2018 ERO report.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The 2018 ERO report identified key areas for improvement as:

  • developing a robust targeted response to raise and accelerate achievement, particularly for Māori, Pacific and males school-wide
  • embedding high-quality culturally responsive practice
  • building understanding for the effective use of data to inform appropriate decision-making at all levels
  • extending stewardship and leadership capacity and capability
  • strengthening internal evaluation practices.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the endorsement of teachers’ practising certificates, analysis of variance completion and submission, and staff appointment procedures.

Progress

Positive progress is evident in all areas.

A recently established collaborative and cohesive leadership team is effectively guiding schoolwide improvement. Leadership capability across the school is being recognised and successfully built to support the strategic direction of the school. More collaborative and inclusive ways of working are evident schoolwide.

Leaders and teachers are regularly monitoring and tracking achievement information. Strengthened systems and improved processes are ensuring students’ progress and wellbeing is at the forefront of decision-making. Target students are clearly identified and known. Middle leaders and teachers are making better use of student achievement data to inform practice and meet the learning needs of targeted students.

Responsive programmes and initiatives are being introduced to better meet the needs of those students most at risk of underachievement. Strong connections with tertiary providers and local businesses are increasing the diversity of the senior curriculum for both vocational and university pathways for students. The school has identified that developing an authentic localised curriculum to guide high-quality teaching, learning and wellbeing is a priority for improvement. This needs to include:

  • deepening knowledge of effective teaching practices for equitable and excellent outcomes
  • recognising and responding to learners’ cultures, languages and identities
  • ensuring Mātauranga Māori and authentic connections to local whānau, hapū and iwi are evident throughout learning programmes
  • building students’ knowledge and confidence in their learning pathways.

Māori and Pacific cultures are increasingly valued throughout the school and are more visible in the learning environment. Increasing visibility of te reo and tikanga Māori are evident across the school and are supporting an improving response to, and recognition of, students’ languages, cultures and identities. Through more effective communication, leaders and teachers are increasing connections with the community to strengthen responsive practices for Māori and Pacific learners.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to build their confidence and competence in te reo and tikanga Māori. Ongoing engagement with professional development to understand high-quality culturally responsive practice is evident. This is having a positive impact on strenthening relationships with students. Significant growth is evident in the number of students engaging in Te Wahanga Whakaako to learn and extend knowledge of te ao Māori. Further development of culturally responsive and relational pedagogies for schoolwide improvement is an ongoing priority. This needs to include:

  • further exploration of how educationally powerful partnerships for learning are enacted
  • trustees growing their understanding of culturally responsive practice through Te Tiriti ō Waitangi partnership
  • knowing the impact teaching practice has on accelerating student progress and achievement
  • normalising te reo and tikanga Māori.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has the capability to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Trustees are extending their knowledge of effective governance. Roles and responsibilities have been established to action change and improvement.

Evaluative capacity is developing through improved analysis of student achievement information. Growing positive outcomes for Māori, Pacific and males are at the forefront of faculty inquiry for equitable outcomes. Improved use of the student management system is enabling senior leaders, curriculum leaders and classroom teachers to better inquire into effective interventions and strategies for learning.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to extend their understanding and implementation of effective evaluation to inform ongoing and sustainable improvement. This needs to include:

  • clarifying indicators of success across initiatives to better inform progress towards intended strategic outcomes
  • consolidating the changes made to systems and processes to build shared understanding schoolwide for consistency
  • embedding expectations for high quality practice schoolwide.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

International Students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 18 international students attending the school.

Well considered and caring support for international students’ wellbeing is highly evident. Learners are encouraged and empowered to be active participants in the life of the school and community. Meaningful self-review informs ongoing improvements to best meet the needs of students.

Conclusion

Pukekohe High School has made positive progress in all areas identified in the September 2018 ERO report. More effective use of student achievement information is ensuring students’ progress and well being is at the forefront of decision making. A more collaborative leadership and teaching team, focused on improving practice to better meet the needs of learners, is contributing to an improving school culture.

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Pukekohe High School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

2 February 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.