Tauranga Boys' College - 14/06/2011

1 Context

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

Tauranga Boys' College is a large urban boys' school with a roll of approximately 1850 students, of whom 25% identify as Māori and 2% Pacific. Since the last ERO review a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. As a result of continued student roll increase and a management structure review, an additional position of associate principal was created and filled from within the school.

At the time of this review, significant remedial property programmes were being undertaken by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to address the major water damage problems in the Science block and Gymnasium. As a consequence, a considerable number of teachers and students were teaching and learning in re-arranged rooms and spaces.

The house system and vertical form structures have been re-introduced to build school spirit by providing additional opportunities for competition and student leadership.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Academically able students are fully engaged and extended by accelerated learning programmes designed to realise their potential. These students progress and achieve to high levels, and this is reflected in the achievement of 57 national scholarships in the 2010 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) examinations.

In comparison to boys in boys' schools, NCEA results in 2010 indicate that the proportion of students achieving Level 1 is below, Level 2 is comparable, and Level 3 and University Entrance are above. The proportion of students gaining the required literacy credits at Level 1 has increased over time, but remains below the national average. The proportion of students gaining the required numeracy credits has increased in the last two years and the school's average is above the national average. Reflecting the academic emphasis promoted by the College, student assessment at NCEA includes a significant proportion of externally assessed achievement standards. The proportion of students that achieve these standards at NCEA Level 1 is above national averages and similar schools.

Students with additional learning and behaviour needs in Years 9 to 13 are well supported to achieve and develop their skills by an extensive range of effective programmes, focused on meeting identified individual goals. Skilful and dedicated staff deliver these learning opportunities in areas of the school, including the learning centre, academy and offsite activity centre. In addition, community and senior student mentors assist these students with reading and academic work.

In 2010, school-wide literacy and numeracy data was gathered at Year 9 and 10 to monitor student achievement and progress using standardised assessment tools. While this information indicates that students make expected progress in literacy and numeracy at Years 9 and 10, the college has made raising overall levels of student achievement in literacy a strategic priority. Greater sharing of this standardised assessment information with students and their parents/whānau has the potential to strengthen student responsibility for their own learning, and to inform more measureable and relevant goal setting.

The school has recognised the benefits of increased rates of student attendance for promoting student engagement in learning. It is participating in the MOE funded student engagement initiative (SEI), as well as Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and He Kakano initiatives. Continued development and full implementation of these initiatives is necessary in order to increase the consistency of teaching strategies to further engage students in their learning.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Approximately thirty selected Māori students at Years 9 and 10 are successfully provided with bilingual learning opportunities in many core curriculum areas in the Aronui department. All students in Years 11 to 13 are able to continue learning options in te reo Māori and whakairo, and provide mentoring for younger students. These culturally responsive approaches encourage students to be engaged and experience success in academic, cultural and extra-curricular activities.

Most Māori students are educated in the mainstream areas of the school, where they can interact with positive staff role models who identify as Māori. Literacy and numeracy achievement information in Years 9 and 10, and NCEA Level 1 data in 2010, shows that Māori achieve significantly below non-Māori students in the school. NCEA Levels 2 and 3 achievement information shows Māori students who stay at school make good progress and achieve similarly to their peers. The school recognises that retaining Māori students to Years 12 and 13 is an issue, and its significance related to Māori student engagement and achievement. It has introduced a MOE programme, He Kakano, which promotes culturally responsive leadership, and other initiatives with the potential to support improved outcomes for all students, including Māori.

3 Curriculum

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

The college strongly promotes traditional values of respect and sense of pride for students and staff by emphasising their proud history of success in academic and sporting areas and the arts. Staff and parents make significant contributions of time and skills to provide an extensive range of co-curricular activities for students. Relationships among students and staff are predominantly respectful and affirming.

At all levels of the college an orderly and supportive learning environment is strongly promoted. The pastoral care team of staff work effectively with students, parents and external agencies to respond to personal and behavioural concerns by developing strategies to assist boys to maintain their focus on learning. Pacific students have access to additional support from a designated tutor. A recent initiative has been the school-wide strategy to require students to complete all their assignments and set work. In 2010, senior leaders surveyed students about their classroom engagement and attitudes to school. This survey provides important information to guide future surveys and initiatives related to the positive management of behaviour (in and out-of-the classroom) and strengthen engagement in learning.

Curriculum design remains a strength and feature of the college. Students at all year levels have access to an extensive range of core curriculum and optional programmes. Particular features include multi-level and accelerated programmes, university level courses, philosophy, integrated sports health and outdoor education, elite sports, technologies, performing and visual arts, inquiry learning and languages. A team of academic tutors provides course selection and careers advice to assist students to identify their learning pathways.

Teachers work collegially and feel well supported by support staff, curriculum leaders and senior management. Professional learning for teachers continues to be related to current educational initiatives. Priorities in 2010 and 2011 are strengthening the use of achievement information to inform teaching, literacy strategies and extending the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a tool for e-learning. Examples of the use of high quality teaching strategies were observed across curriculum areas. Further development and full implementation of the above initiatives is necessary in order to increase the consistency of teaching strategies to engage students in their learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

There is strong professional leadership by the principal and his senior managers. The board of trustees is led by an experienced chairperson, and trustees who bring a broad range of expertise to their governance roles. The college continues to enjoy a positive reputation, and involvement and contribution from its parents, whānau and wider community. Senior leadership, staff and the board have reviewed aspects of the charter and identified strategic and operational priorities. It is now important that the board and school leadership consult with their community to hear aspirations for students and the college, and to incorporate their ideas into the draft strategic plan.

Since the last ERO review, evidence-based self review and the management of assessment data have been considerably strengthened. The college recognises that its strategic priorities are to implement the intent of He Kakano for culturally responsive leadership for all staff and students, and to raise overall levels of student achievement, especially Māori.

The college is well placed to sustain and continue to improve educational outcomes for students, including Māori and Pacific.

Provision for international students

Tauranga Boys College is a signatory to the Code of Practice for International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the education Act 1989. The college has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO's investigations confirm that the college's self-review process for international students is thorough.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school does not have a school hostel.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school 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 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 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
  • attendance.

Recommendations to other agencies

Not applicable.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

14 June 2011

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

121

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1854

Number of international students

32

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

New Zealand Māori

Other Asian

Other European

Pacific

63%

25%

5%

5%

2%

Review team on site

March 2011

Date of this report

14 June 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

June 2008

November 2004

Semptember 2000