Te Atatu Intermediate - 29/06/2020

School Context

Te Atatū Intermediate School, Auckland caters for students in Years 7 and 8. There are currently 470 students enrolled at the school, of whom 26 percent are Māori and seven percent are of Pacific heritage.

The school’s mission statement is ‘Equipping our students to stand tall’. The key values of W.A.K.A.; Whanaungatanga, Atawhai, Kaitiakitanga and Ako, underpin the vision of developing students to achieve their own personal best.

The board’s strategic goals include raising academic achievement, catering more effectively for students who are at risk of not achieving, and improving home and school partnerships.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to national curriculum levels
  • progress and achievement of priority learners in literacy and mathematics.

Since the 2015 ERO review, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed from within the school. Schoolwide professional development has focused on biculturalism and teaching mathematics.

The school is a member of the Te Atatū Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

School information shows that most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. This pattern of achievement has been consistent over time.

However, this achievement information also shows persistent in-school disparity for Māori and Pacific students in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls and boys achieve at similar levels in mathematics, however achievement data show disparity for boys in literacy.

Students achieve well in relation to the school values which are specifically taught as an integral feature of the school’s curriculum.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Students whose learning requires acceleration are identified by the school. The school uses a standardised assessment tool to track and monitor students who make acceleration. There is evidence of acceleration for many students.

The school is working towards increasing parity for Māori and boys through targeted initiatives including tikanga Māori classes, te reo Māori classes and targeted teaching. At the time of this review it was too early for ERO to evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students benefit from an increasingly authentic curriculum and learning opportunities that connect to their own needs and interests. They are well supported to take ownership of their learning through programmes that explicitly teach leadership, problem solving, resilience and the school's W.A.K.A. values. A range of tikanga Māori practices are developing in the school and this is contributing to a sense of belonging for Māori students. These initiatives enable students to develop a strong sense of self, ownership in the school and experience success.

Pastoral care systems provide students with high levels of support aimed at reducing barriers to learning. Learning support for students with additional learning needs is well coordinated. Students are supported to participate, progress and achieve their individual goals. Teachers have high expectations for student achievement and wellbeing.

The newly established leadership team is improvement focused. They are building capability through professional learning based on the school’s strategic goals. This is supported by a robust and collaborative appraisal process that has a continuous improvement component focused on teaching and student learning.

The school’s wider community relationships enrich opportunities for students to become confident, actively involved, lifelong learners. This is seen in local sustainability projects with community organisations. Parents and whānau have good opportunities to contribute to the curriculum and school direction through learning partnerships, including career pathways. Active involvement with the Kāhui Ako has improved transitions for the students between schools.

Trustees work collaboratively with school leaders. They are well informed about student achievement and school priorities. This information supports the board’s decision-making processes. They strategically fund initiatives to support the developing cultural practices at the school. Funding is also provided for extra personnel and staff professional development to enable students to access the curriculum.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders, teachers and trustees recognise the positive impact that integrating te reo and tikanga Māori has on all students’ success. They are committed to improving the extent to which te ao Māori is woven throughout the curriculum and school environment. Leaders could now evaluate the impact that current tikanga and te reo Māori initiatives are having on improving student achievement.

Leaders should strengthen internal evaluation processes across all levels of the school. More in-depth evaluation should include greater use of data-based evidence to gauge the effectiveness of strategies and programmes, and their impact on accelerated learning. This would provide more specific information for strategic decision making about reducing disparity for Māori and Pacific learners.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation(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.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed theERO 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 the following:

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

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Te Atatū Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that promotes connections and relationships that actively support equity and excellence for all learners
  • a strategic focus on building professional capability that promotes collaboration across the curriculum to raise achievement
  • comprehensive pastoral care systems that support wellbeing and respond to students’ needs.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in continuing to:

  • reduce the disparity of achievement for Māori and Pacific learners
  • review and enhance schoolwide bicultural practices to ensure greater success for Māori learners as Māori
  • to strengthen schoolwide capability for inquiry, and internal evaluation that focuses on improving achievement outcomes for students most at risk.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

29 June 2020

About the school

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