Te Puke High School - 27/07/2015

Findings

Te Puke High School continues to provide a broad curriculum that effectively supports student learning. The school’s well-known values promote a calm and settled environment for learning. Achievement data shows that at Years 11 to 13 students are achieving at similar levels to national comparisons.

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

1 Context

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

Te Puke High School provides education for students in Years 9 to 13 from the town of Te Puke and neighbouring rural areas. The school’s roll of 915 includes 335 students who are of Māori descent. There continues to be an increase in the multi-cultural nature of the roll and the numbers of Indian students has increased. Of the 43 Pacific students enrolled at the school 23 are of Kiribati descent.

Since the previous ERO review in 2012 there has only been one change in the school’s leadership team. A new acting deputy principal was appointed in 2014. Although there has been a slight decrease in the school roll there has been a significant increase in the number of students, including Māori, who stay at the school until they reach seventeen years of age.

There have been major changes to the school’s facilities with the completion of a redevelopment of classroom buildings. These new open area learning spaces support the school’s vision of providing a learner focused curriculum.

The principal has led a review of the structure of the senior leadership team to support the implementation of this vision. Teachers have continued to participate in professional learning and development to support student engagement in learning and to promote success for Māori students.

The principal and school leaders have played a key role in the establishment of the innovative, Hua Pai Maota (Te Puke Learning Network) initiative, that involves the four schools in the Te Puke township. This collaborative initiative is focussed on providing coherent learning pathways for students within the town. It has involved extensive consultation with the wider community including local iwi.

The school’s values of mana tangata (respect), mana motuhake (responsibility), whanaungatanga (relationships) and whaia te matauranga tikitike (reaching potential) underpin the school’s positive and supportive culture for learning.

Te Puke High School has a positive ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school makes good use of student achievement information, particularly at Years 11 to 13.

School leaders effectively use achievement information to place students in classes and courses appropriate to their abilities and learning needs. A useful process has been developed that guides teachers to use achievement data to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching practices. Some teachers were making particularly good use of this process to support the achievement of students at risk of not achieving positive outcomes.

In some learning areas there are good examples of the use of learning progressions that support students to identify their learning achievement and next steps. Well-developed processes are used to assist students to monitor their progress and achievement in relation to National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications. Recently appointed academic advisors provide ongoing mentoring and guidance for senior students.

NCEA data from 2012 to 2014 indicates that students achieved at similar levels to other students nationally. This information shows Māori students achieved at similar levels to their non-Māori peers at the school and at higher levels than Māori students nationally. The school is well placed to meet the 2017 Ministry of Education (MOE) target of having 85% of 18 year old students achieve NCEA Level 2 or higher.

Students use data to talk about their learning and progress with their parents at student-led conferences. Parents also receive relevant information about their children’s progress and achievement through detailed written reports and teacher-led parent interviews.

School leaders acknowledge that there is a need to strengthen school-wide systems for the collection, analysis and reporting of student achievement at Years 9 and 10. As part of this process, consideration should be given to setting and monitoring achievement targets particularly for students at risk of not achieving.

3 Curriculum

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

Te Puke High School has a broad curriculum that provides many opportunities for students to experience success.

At the time of this ERO review, school leaders and teachers were undertaking a major development of the junior school curriculum. The aim of this development is to integrate the core subject areas to focus more on students’ interests, learning needs and to improve student engagement. It is the intention of school leaders to implement this initiative at the beginning of 2016. To support the successful implementation of this initiative, the board and school leaders are committed to implementing a robust process to assist them to evaluate the effectiveness of this development, and its impact on teaching practice and student learning.

Particular features of the school’s curriculum are the:

  • many opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills
  • use of authentic and meaningful learning contexts
  • ready access to computer technologies
  • extensive opportunities for students to experience success in a wide range of academic, sporting and cultural competitions and events
  • high-quality academic support and guidance for students.

Teachers have established positive and respectful relationships with students. They are continuing to reflect and refine on their approach to teaching and learning within the open learning areas and environments. Teachers are well supported by leaders of learning who provide ongoing curriculum leadership and guidance. To support the school’s commitment to building further teacher professional capability, priority should be given to ensuring that the school’s process for teacher appraisal is fully implemented.

A strength of the school’s curriculum is the pastoral care system. The small group time promotes students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing. These cross year-level groups led by a staff member, foster reciprocal long-term relationships among students, parents and whānau. A collaborative approach by school personnel and external expertise supports the care and wellbeing of students.

The school’s senior curriculum provides a broad range of learning pathways that supports future education and employment opportunities. Students have access to comprehensive careers advice and guidance, and opportunities to participate in work experience through the Gateway programme.

High priority is placed on an inclusive curriculum. A special education unit provides individualised learning programmes for students with high health and learning needs. Students who have English as a second language benefit from individualised programmes and specialist classes. The culture and identity of Māori, Pacific, Indian and other ethnic groups of students is well celebrated at special events and activities.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

There is a wide range of initiatives that effectively promote success for Māori as Māori in the school. A respected Māori mentor provides strong support and guidance for Māori students. She has close links and meaningful relationships with whānau that support student engagement and learning.

The board of trustees show their support for Māori student success by funding the Te Kotahitanga professional learning programme for teachers. Trustees and school leaders recognise the importance of building and maintaining partnerships with whānau and iwi. Consultation about the refurbishment and resiting of the school’s wharenui and the Hua Pai Maota initiative are recent examples of the growing partnership.

Trustees and school leaders should now develop a strategic approach to build on existing successes by:

  • strengthening learning pathways for students wishing to learn te reo Māori especially in Years 9 and 10
  • ensuring the inclusion of Māori knowledge, history and tikanga as part of the integrated curriculum
  • maintaining a strategic focus on the progress and achievement of identified groups of Māori students at risk of not achieving positive outcomes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Te Puke High School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance:

  • The board of trustees provide effective governance for the school. Experienced trustees are knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities. They are supportive of school leaders and ongoing school development.
  • The principal and senior leaders continue to provide focused professional leadership and direction for school development.
  • A wide range of self-review practices contribute to ongoing school development and improvement.
  • The school continues to provide a collaborative and inclusive school culture.

Provision for international students

The school 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’s self-review process for international learners is thorough.

At the time of this ERO review there were 31 international fee-paying students in the school. These students are well supported by an experienced Director of International Students, an Administration Officer and Home-stay Manager. Policies and procedures are clearly documented and regularly reviewed.

Students have access to good-quality education programmes that includes English language support based on their individual needs. Student progress is well monitored and appropriate support in planning their learning pathways is provided. There is a strong focus on ensuring students’ wellbeing and pastoral care needs are met. Students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular school activities.

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

Te Puke High School continues to provide a broad curriculum that effectively supports student learning. The school’s well-known values promote a calm and settled environment for learning. Achievement data shows that at Years 11 to 13 students are achieving at similar levels to national comparisons.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

27 July 2015

School Statistics

Location

Te Puke

Ministry of Education profile number

123

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

915

Number of international students

31

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

Other European

Kiribati

Other Pacific

South East Asian

Other Asian

Other

45%

37%

5%

4%

3%

2%

2%

1%

1%

Special Features

One Special Education Unit

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

27 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

May 2009

June 2006