Rangitoto College - 28/10/2010

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Rangitoto College provides a comprehensive curriculum for students from Year 9 to 13. Challenging academic courses are complemented by an extensive co-curricular programme. Students benefit from teachers’ expertise and commitment. They continue to achieve well in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and enjoy high levels of success in the performing arts and sport. Students appreciate the well resourced learning environment and the many opportunities that the school provides them to develop leadership skills.

Raising student achievement is a clear focus of the board of trustees and school managers. The performance of students in NCEA is analysed and variance against the board’s high achievement expectations and strategic goals is reported. Areas that curriculum managers identify need further improvement are targeted for development. Since ERO’s 2007 review, curriculum pathways have become more diversified, and programmes for students with identified learning needs and special abilities have been reviewed and improved.

Classroom teaching is purposeful and focused, and students enjoy positive relationships with teachers and with one another. Heads of Department have prioritised aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum, and recent school-wide professional development has focused on strengthening students’ thinking and self-management skills. Student retention levels are high and the majority of school leavers are well qualified and prepared for further education.

A flexible strategy for long-term planning, developed by the board, is providing a useful framework for self review and for monitoring the implementation and sustainability of new initiatives. Resourcing to improve outcomes for Māori students has been enhanced. School managers and trustees agree that next developments in teaching and learning should focus on the use of achievement data to enable students to be better informed and more active participants in the learning process.

Future Action

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

2 Rangitoto College’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Rangitoto College promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

Rangitoto College is New Zealand’s largest secondary school. The coeducational college is highly regarded by its community and parents are actively involved in the school’s well organised activities and events. The school roll now exceeds 3000, including well over 200 international students. Despite the large size of the college, students are well known to their teachers and learning pathways have expanded their opportunities for success. A wide variety of academic, cultural, sporting and leadership opportunities enable students to achieve life-long learning skills.

The principal, senior management team and the board provide the school with stable and supportive leadership and work collaboratively to achieve the community’s high aspirations. Financial management is sound and long-term property plans are being well managed. Since ERO’s 2007 review, the board has reviewed the school’s vision and charter and school operations have become more strategically focused. The board has high expectations of student achievement and has implemented systematic and responsive self-review procedures to ensure ongoing improvements in the operation of the school.

In response to trends in Māori student achievement, the board has made improved outcomes for Māori students one of its strategic objectives, and has increased resourcing to help staff to achieve this objective. Senior managers would find it helpful to formalise a plan of action that includes all Māori students and sets out strategies, timeframes and reporting expectations. The board should investigate ways to consult Māori parents/whānau about their aspirations for their children’s success.

The board and senior managers have conducted in-depth self review, including reviews of selected learning areas, pastoral care and discipline procedures, planning, reporting, and health and safety systems. The board values feedback from external sources and trustees made good use of ERO’s 2007 report to make significant improvements in the ways in which the learning needs of students are resourced. Trustees have identified board training needs, increased community representation, and continued policy review, as priorities to further improve the governance of the school.

Areas of strength

Collaborative management. Members of the senior management team work collaboratively, while undertaking clear individual responsibilities. Their complementary roles encompass curriculum development, professional learning and development, and curriculum resourcing. Curriculum reporting has become a reflective and evaluative process, and the principal’s reports to the board are aligned with the board’s strategic plan for the development of the school. Middle managers’ reports are comprehensive and analytical. Building the leadership capability of school managers has been a recent focus of learning and development.

Student achievement. Student achievement in the senior school is monitored closely and areas for improvement are identified and targeted. Students achieve consistently above national averages on the National Qualification Framework (NQF). The school’s levels of Merit and Excellence Endorsements in NCEA Levels 1 to 3, and of attainment of Level 1 literacy and numeracy credits, are above those of schools of the same decile. Targets have been set to raise University Entrance qualification levels, strengthen overall achievement at NCEA Level 3, and lift achievement levels of Māori and Pacific students.

Student engagement and progress. Teacher-student relationships are positive and teachers’ high expectations of students support their engagement in learning. Students are motivated to learn and have good support to reach their learning potential. The expertise and enthusiasm of teachers ensures that students participate in well prepared lessons and that their progress is assessed regularly. High quality teaching is most evident in classrooms where teachers share their expectations of success, cater for students’ individual learning needs, and create a supportive learning environment.

Engaging the community. Significant development of information and communication technologies (ICT) is enabling students and parents to access information about the school through the school website. Further scheduled ICT developments are likely to have a positive impact on teaching and learning in the classroom. Regular written reports are providing parents with frequent information about student progress and achievement. Community confidence in the school is supported by an active Parent and Teacher Association, and is evident in celebrations of student achievement and well attended cultural and sporting events.

Pastoral care and student management. Student management systems support engagement and learning. A well resourced pastoral care and guidance network operates effectively to address students’ wellbeing and social needs. Trustees have established clear expectations for student behaviour, and systems for managing student discipline have been recently reviewed and documented. The school makes appropriate use of the Auckland Secondary School Centre (Alternative Education) to help students who have experienced difficulties to re-engage in learning.

Whole school professional learning and development. The school has taken steps to implement aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum since 2007. The school’s emphasis on the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum is evident in strategies that support the development of students’ thinking, self-management and relationship skills. These strategies have been the focus of whole-school teacher development, departmental planning, and teacher support. The board’s vision and goals align with many of the values and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum, and trustees agree that making The New Zealand Curriculum a more integral part of the school’s planning and self-review processes would be a useful next step.

Areas for development and review

Student engagement in learning. ERO affirms school management plans for making better use of student achievement data at Years 9 and 10. The school is investigating the use of new assessment tools in 2011 toimprove formative teaching and learning practices. Accurate assessment information that is based on The New Zealand Curriculum levels, and that can be shared with students, would assist teachers to:

  • differentiate planning in response to students’ identified learning needs;
  • personalise learning approaches so that students are better informed and can participate in determining their learning steps; and
  • increase students’ ownership of their learning, and their development of independent learning skills and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Developing and sustaining initiatives. The planned establishment of a new professional learning and development team for 2011 has the potential to generate shared understandings about teaching and learning that would further advance school-wide approaches to teaching and learning. To support these developments, senior managers could explore ways to:

  • increase opportunities for heads of department to contribute to the development of school priorities and targets;
  • strengthen alignment between performance management and expectations for differentiated teaching and learning; and
  • encourage teachers’ use of student achievement information to evaluate their own teaching practice, as recommended in The New Zealand Curriculum document.

3 Provision for International Students

Rangitoto College is providing its 256 international students with high quality educational opportunities. The college attracts a large number of international students from a wide range of countries. Systems and practices to support the learning and wellbeing of international students, including their home-stay arrangements, are well documented and implemented.

Strong leadership is provided by the director of international students. She and her team are well organised and knowledgeable about their roles. They work closely with the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) staff to ensure that the English language learning needs of international students are addressed and closely monitored.

International students are well integrated into the school and participate in school events, sports and cultural activities. Regular surveys indicate that students feel safe, make friends, and enjoy their time in the school.

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Rangitoto College 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.

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

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school meets the requirements of the Code.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Rangitoto College completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5 Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

28 October 2010

About The School

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

Decile

10

School roll

2871

Number of international students

195

Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 53%,

Māori 5%,

Chinese 9%,

Korean 9%,

African 7%,

SE Asian 4%,

Indian 3%,

Japanese 1%,

Pacific 1%,

other Asian 1%,

other 7%

Review team on site

September 2010

Date of this report

28 October 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, August 2007

Supplementary Review, April 2004

Education Review, December 2002

28 October 2010

To the Parents and Community of Rangitoto College

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Rangitoto College.

Rangitoto College provides a comprehensive curriculum for students from Year 9 to 13. Challenging academic courses are complemented by an extensive co-curricular programme. Students benefit from teachers’ expertise and commitment. They continue to achieve well in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and enjoy high levels of success in the performing arts and sport. Students appreciate the well resourced learning environment and the many opportunities that the school provides them to develop leadership skills.

Raising student achievement is a clear focus of the board of trustees and school managers. The performance of students in NCEA is analysed and variance against the board’s high achievement expectations and strategic goals is reported. Areas that curriculum managers identify need further improvement are targeted for development. Since ERO’s 2007 review, curriculum pathways have become more diversified, and programmes for students with identified learning needs and special abilities have been reviewed and improved.

Classroom teaching is purposeful and focused, and students enjoy positive relationships with teachers and with one another. Heads of Department have prioritised aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum, and recent school-wide professional development has focused on strengthening students’ thinking and self-management skills. Student retention levels are high and the majority of school leavers are well qualified and prepared for further education.

A flexible strategy for long-term planning, developed by the board, is providing a useful framework for self review and for monitoring the implementation and sustainability of new initiatives. Resourcing to improve outcomes for Māori students has been enhanced. School managers and trustees agree that next developments in teaching and learning should focus on the use of achievement data to enable students to be better informed and more active participants in the learning process.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

28 October 2010

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.