Reporoa College - 22/05/2015

Findings

Students are now benefitting from a positive school culture in which teachers are increasingly responsive to their strengths and interests. The school’s curriculum enables students to make choices and pursue meaningful learning pathways. School leaders and trustees have established effective systems and processes for ongoing development and improvement.

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

1 Background and Context

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

Reporoa College is a co-educational secondary school in Reporoa catering for students in Years 7 to 13. The roll is 313 students, and of the 46% who are identified as Māori, many are of Ngāti Whaoa and Ngāti Tahu iwi.

This ERO report evaluates the response and progress made by the school in relation to areas for review and development identified in the November 2012 ERO report. These relate to aspects of leadership, student achievement, consultation with the Māori community, performance management and the school’s learning environment and culture.

A new chairperson was elected in 2013. A new principal was appointed, taking up his position at the beginning of 2014. A strategic approach has been taken to the appointment of key personnel. School leaders have worked positively and effectively to:

  • set and sustain a clear strategic direction
  • review the school’s curriculum
  • establish a model of shared leadership
  • strengthen teaching practice
  • implement the school-wide Positive Behaviour for Learning, (PB4L) a Ministry of Education (MOE) initiative
  • provide regular and accurate reports about student achievement information to the board of trustees and the community.

The experienced principal is providing sound and visionary leadership for school improvement that is focused on positive educational outcomes for students. Trustees place priority on raising student achievement and the profile of the school in the community. Teacher professional development has focused on integrating literacy across the curriculum, and accelerating learning and achievement for Māori students. Improved teaching practices are enhancing learning outcomes for all students. Students benefit from a supportive school culture in which they have increasing opportunities for success through meaningful learning pathways.

The school has benefitted from the ongoing involvement of MOE in providing expertise and support for improving many aspects of school operations.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The November 2012 ERO report recommended that:

  • senior leaders establish a school culture that promotes positive, professional relationships for staff in line with the school’s mission statement
  • the school develop expectations for teaching and learning particularly for Years 7 to 10
  • consultation with the Māori community be undertaken to establish the aims and aspirations that they have for Māori students
  • the appraisal of the principal and teachers be monitored and improved
  • student achievement in relation to National Standards be reported to parents and the community
  • school maintenance systems and processes be improved to provide a safe, healthy and attractive learning environment for students and staff.

Progress

The principal is resolute in promoting a culture of reflection and evidence-based review across all school operations. He is well supported by the senior leadership team, the strategic change team, and curriculum team leaders in setting clear and high expectations for school development and improvement. Wide consultation with iwi and the community has resulted in a deeper understanding of the aims and aspirations of families and whānau. These are clearly evident in the strategic goals of the school’s charter and the action plan developed to implement Kia Eke Panuku, an approach to monitoring teacher practice, during 2015. Local iwi contribute a valued and authentic Māori voice in decision making at a leadership level.

Open and transparent communication is promoted. Leaders and teachers regularly engage in dialogue, coaching, mentoring and sharing their ideas and practice. This is contributing to a positive, collegial and professional culture school wide.

Targeted professional development has strengthened the quality of leadership for curriculum, programmes and initiatives. The effective use of data to identify, track and respond to student needs is contributing to steady improvements in their engagement and achievement.

The principal has worked effectively to strengthen relationships with contributing schools and early childhood centres. This is promoting positive experiences for students and their families as they transition into the school.

The PB4L initiative continues to provide the mechanism and framework for improving the school’s culture for teaching and learning. School values, expressed in te reo Māori and English, have been documented. These are shared, agreed and understood by staff and students. It is timely for trustees to participate in this process and identify how these values should be evident at the governance level. Leaders report that establishing the school’s values has been a unifying experience, and is contributing to a positive and respectful culture amongst staff and students.

Other curriculum initiatives that promote student engagement and success are:

  • the review of the curriculum and timetable to provide a greater number of students with a wider range of learning choices
  • effective support for students requiring assistance to succeed at expected levels
  • strengthening the teaching of literacy across all curriculum areas
  • valuing student voice and building their leadership potential
  • reviewing and strengthening pastoral care of students to further enhance their wellbeing and belonging
  • promoting the arts to enrich the school and its community.

ERO observed students who were settled, positive and enjoying their learning. There are models of good teaching practice in the school. These teachers effectively engage students in learning by:

  • valuing their prior knowledge and contribution
  • sharing the purpose of learning and criteria for success
  • providing opportunities for them to make choices and direct their own learning
  • responding to their individual strengths and levels of learning
  • promoting positive and affirming relationships that enhance learning.

School leaders and teachers are engaging in a personalised and reflective approach to realising their appraisal goals. This approach is leading to a greater sense of shared responsibility and accountability amongst staff for student achievement and success.

There is a good alignment of appraisal goals with the school’s strategic aims, targets and professional development. School leaders are focused on coaching and mentoring teachers in order to embed and consolidate good teaching practice across all classrooms. It is important for teachers and leaders to identify, document and reflect on specific teaching strategies that provide culturally responsive and engaging contexts for learning, particularly for Māori.

The school’s student achievement data for 2014 shows significant improvement in the numbers of students gaining NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, including for Māori students. The engagement and achievement of Māori boys at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 has significantly improved since 2012. NCEA Level 2 results for Māori and non-Māori are comparable, and similar to regional and national comparisons. Leaders are able to show retention rates for students in Years 11 to 13 and attendance rates overall have improved. The numbers of stand downs and suspensions has reduced.

End of year school data for 2014 shows that half of Year 8 students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These results are significantly higher than those for students in Year 7. Entry level data for Year 7 shows a number of students entering with low levels of achievement. Many of these students make accelerated progress over time.

In addition, 2014 data for Year 9 shows that a significant majority of students are achieving at or above national curriculum levels in reading. The school attributes this positive result to effective interventions and support provided for students in 2013. Half of Year 9 students are achieving at or above national curriculum levels in writing and mathematics. In Year 10 half of the students achieve at or above national curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has identified that Māori achievement is a priority area. Appropriate charter targets and actions to be taken are clearly identified. Robust systems are in place for identifying, tracking and monitoring the progress of students identified as requiring support. As a result of the effective intervention provided in 2014, many of these identified students in Years 7 to 10 made accelerated progress.

School leaders report that internal moderation of National Standards information is leading to greater consistency in the overall teacher judgements being made about achievement. Steps are being taken to moderate data with other regional primary schools.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Factors that contribute to school sustainability are:

  • highly effective management and shared leadership modelled by the principal
  • a culture of high expectations for students and staff
  • the school-wide emphasis on Māori learners making good progress and succeeding as Māori
  • rigorous and robust systems and processes for self review that promote ongoing school improvement and development
  • increasing engagement and involvement of iwi and the local community in the life of the school
  • teachers who are committed to professional learning and development to raise student engagement and achievement
  • trustees working in positive partnership with school leaders to provide clear strategic direction for school improvement and development.

To strengthen sustainability and promote ongoing development and improvement of governance and management systems, trustees should:

  • develop and implement a documented process for the induction and ongoing training of trustees for their governance roles and responsibilities
  • continue to improve the maintenance and presentation of the environment to reflect the school’s values.

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

Students are now benefitting from a positive school culture in which teachers are increasingly responsive to their strengths and interests. The school’s curriculum enables students to make choices and pursue meaningful learning pathways. School leaders and trustees have established effective systems and processes for ongoing development and improvement.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 May 2015

School Statistics

Location

Reporoa

Ministry of Education profile number

164

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

313

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

46%

41%

13%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

22 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

December 2009

December 2006