Te Puke Intermediate - 16/05/2014

1 Context

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

Te Puke Intermediate provides education for Years 7 and 8 students and has a current roll of 307. Students who are of Māori descent make up 39% of the roll and predominantly identify with Te Arawa. The board reports that the student population is becoming increasingly multicultural, with more students from Indian and Pacific families attending the school. The roll is now stabilising, following the establishment of a composite school for Years 7 to 13 students at nearby Papamoa.

Since the 2011 ERO review, a new board and chairperson have been elected. Some trustees have had previous board experience and all are committed to ongoing training to further strengthen the board’s governance roles. There continues to be Māori representation on the board of trustees. Staff turnover has been minimal, and the experienced principal is well supported by the two deputy principals who each have designated roles in the management of curriculum and school operations. The board and senior leaders have sought input from students, staff and parents about their aspirations and values for the school. As a result of this consultation, a profile for the graduate student has been developed and the school’s mission statement has been revised. Other developments since 2011 are:

  • increased analysis, sharing and use of student achievement information
  • significant re-design of classrooms into four collaborative spaces for learning and teaching
  • strategies to engage whānau, and strengthen te ao Māori have been documented in the charter and a development plan
  • strong networking with local schools has strengthened the sharing of data and resources, and students transitioning into/out of the school at the start of Year 7 and again at the end of Year 8.

2 Learning

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

School leaders have developed sound systems for the school-wide management and use of achievement information. There is an assessment schedule which provides clear direction for teachers, and also provides guidelines for regular and ongoing reporting. In consultation with teachers and contributing schools, leaders have rationalised the use of assessment tools and this has improved the usefulness of data, especially for Year 7 cohorts on entry. The moderation process draws on multiple sources of information. This process enables teachers to make informed judgements about individual student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards, and is continuing to be refined.

The board is making effective use of the reported achievement information about gender, ethnic and year level groups of students, to inform decision making. In consultation with the principal, trustees allocate resourcing to support curriculum goals and broad achievement targets for students who have been identified as ‘at risk’ of not achieving the expected standard (priority learners).

Students requiring learning support are identified and additional assistance is provided, mostly in the classroom setting and with teacher aide support. Teachers develop individual action plans for priority learners which are monitored and shared with the principal at key points during the year. The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) maintains oversight of support for students with special needs. The learning and development needs of these students are well met.

Senior leaders and specialist teachers, such as the Resource Teacher of Literacy, are continuing to develop teacher capability in the interpretation and use of assessment information to inform the planning and teaching process. Syndicate leaders are increasingly embedding this practice in their teams. Senior leaders recognise the importance of teachers inquiring into the effectiveness of their practice, using achievement information as evidence.

Teachers are continuing to develop teaching strategies that assist students to understand and have ownership of their personal achievement information. Students are being given guidance to understand the gaps in their learning, and develop goals. When consistently implemented across the syndicates, these practices should enable students to become better self-managing learners.

Parents are kept well informed about their children’s progress, achievement and engagement, in a range of ways. Student-led conferences provide valuable opportunities for them to share and discuss their achievements with parents and whānau. Electronic portfolios are in the early stages of development and have the potential to be useful tools for engaging parents in their child’s education.

The school’s student achievement data reported to the board at the end of 2012 indicated that the proportion of the roll achieving the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics was comparable with national expectations. The pattern for Māori student achievement in the school, in relation to Māori nationally, was also comparable. However, achievement data over successive years indicates that Māori students overall do not achieve as well as their non-Māori peers in the school.

National Standards data reported to the board at the end of 2013 (and it needs to be noted that this includes a new Year 7 cohort), indicates that overall, in reading the proportion of the roll achieving the National Standard is better than the national expectation. This reflects the professional development focus for teachers in this curriculum area. In both writing and mathematics however, the overall proportion of Te Puke Intermediate students achieving the National Standard is below the national expectation, but continues to be comparable for Māori.

The board should now give careful consideration to the development of more specific targets and action plans in its charter, designed to accelerate the progress for Māori and boys, in response to the 2013 data. This data indicates lower levels of achievement for both of these groups in the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school continues to provide an extensive range of educational experiences for its students. Its curriculum has traditionally been broad and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the school community. Students experience extensive academic, social, pastoral, cultural and leadership opportunities in a well-resourced learning environment. In consultation with its community, health, physical and emotional wellbeing has been identified as a key focus area. The board continues to fund a director of sport to support this priority. Literacy and mathematics are integral to the curriculum. Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) is an ongoing focus for students, parents and staff, and there is convincing evidence that this initiative is impacting positively on school tone, values and behaviour. Considerable development of the school’s infrastructure for computer technologies to support learning and teaching has occurred. As well as additional learning support, students with special abilities have access to extension programmes in literacy and mathematics.

In response to ongoing patterns of achievement (approximately 20-25% of successive cohorts not achieving the expected standard), the principal is leading a process of significant curriculum change. The school’s revised vision is to create a more learner-centred curriculum, alongside a collaborative approach to learning and teaching. Currently, teachers are being encouraged to trial ways of working alongside teaching colleagues, with flexible groupings of students. In addition, an integrated approach to planning and delivering the curriculum is being introduced.

In ERO’s view, and senior leaders agree, it is now appropriate for the school to formalise the design and documentation of this curriculum so that it is sufficiently explicit to guide this collaborative approach, as it evolves. Through a shared and consultative process, leaders and teachers need to agree on:

  • the rationale
  • guiding principles
  • agreed best practice
  • expectations of teachers
  • expected outcomes for students.

This work is likely to bring about:

  • clarity and alignment with professional learning and appraisal
  • greater consistency of teaching practice
  • coherency and continuity of programmes between syndicates, and from year to year.

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

A strategic plan for Māori achievement was adopted in 2013, to grow the capability of staff, and recognise the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua across the school. A range of board initiatives stem from this plan. The Ministry of Education plan for raising the achievement of Māori, Ka hikitia has been introduced and is influencing school documentation, including the graduate profile for Māori learners at Te Puke Intermediate. Cultural competencies for teaching practice have been included in the performance appraisal process for all teachers. All staff and students participate in an annual noho marae experience and there is a vibrant kapahaka group.

The school’s whānau support class continues to be integral to the culture of the school. The programme offered in this class reflects local tikanga customs, rituals, waiata, kapahaka, and supports students to become confident speakers of te reo Māori. The kaiako, with support from the principal, has begun a consultation process with iwi and whānau, in preparation for the implementation of Marautanga in 2014.

There are many opportunities for Māori students to experience success. They are well represented in sports teams, arts programmes and student leadership activities.

Areas for Review and Development

Continue to strengthen the culture, language and identity of Māori students, especially those in the mainstream classes, through the curriculum.

In consultation with the Ministry of Education, iwi and whānau, develop and implement Marautanga (Māori medium curriculum) and Ngā Whanaketanga, in order to fulfil Level 2 Māori immersion requirements.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • the board is committed to effective school governance
  • the principal is visionary and continues to provide strong leadership for the community
  • the school provides a modern and well-resourced educational environment for staff and students
  • self-review systems provide useful feedback and information to the board and school leaders
  • there is a high level of cooperation and collegiality amongst staff
  • the curriculum and environment support the values of excellence and respect
  • the board and school leaders are committed to the provision of a safe and inclusive culture for students, staff and parents.

Leading and Managing Change: Establishing an action plan for curriculum change and development that is currently underway is necessary to provide greater clarity and alignment. The inclusion of clear goals, timeframes and measurable outcomes would:

  • provide a common reference point for staff, board, parents and whānau
  • enable senior leaders to monitor and report on progress
  • enable the board to be assured that the school’s curriculum continues to meet the requirements of National Administration Guidelines 1 and 2.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

16 May 2014

About the School

Location

Te Puke

Ministry of Education profile number

2015

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

307

Gender composition

Girls 50% Boys 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ Pākehā/European

Māori

Indian

Pacific

Other

44%

39%

5%

4%

8%

Special Features

Level 2 Bilingual Class

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

16 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

April 2008

November 2004