Waiheke High School - 19/10/2017

Summary

Waiheke High School is a co-educational secondary school, catering for students from Year 7 to 15. The student roll has remained stable over the past three years. Approximately 17 percent of learners are Māori.

Since ERO’s evaluation in 2014 the school has continued to lift student achievement in the National Certificates for Educational Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3. This success is shared equitably by all student groups, including Maōri and Pacific learners.

Senior and middle leaders have continued to emphasise the analysis of NCEA achievement information to improve student success. Feedback from analysed achievement information has also contributed to additional curriculum provision. A continuing focus is placed on relevant, purposeful pathways that lead to tertiary courses, further training or employment, particularly for students at risk of not achieving.

Over the last three years, school leaders have prioritised more subject development within the curriculum to support learners’ preferences. In this regard the principal and board have recruited well to extend staff capacity and capability.

Waiheke High School is a member of the Waiheke Kahui Ako/Community of Learning (CoL) which includes the two primary schools on the island. Achievement challenges have been set for the CoL and are part of the strategic thinking for Waiheke High School’s future. The schools in the CoL are supported by Piritahi Marae, the local community marae.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school has developed a more positive culture to support and improve student outcomes. Classrooms generally are settled with productive learning environments. Affirmingrelationships between students and their teachers support learner engagement.

The school responds in various ways to Māori, Pacific and other learners whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. At senior level, teachers and deans focus on the tracking and monitoring of NCEA credit performance and respond appropriately when additional support for learners is needed.

More acceleration focus is required by teachers and students at Year 7 and 8 to ensure that all learners have the skills to access the expected curriculum level in the eight learning areas when they enter Year 9. Literacy and mathematics is tested regularly in the middle school, but further assessment evidence needs to be gathered by teachers from all subjects across the middle school’s curriculum. This additional information would help teachers form more reliable judgements and support students to learn more confidently in all learning areas.

Processes that are likely to improve equitable outcomes for all students in the next phase of school development include:

  • urgent evaluation and revision of the school’s current strategic planning

  • collaborating productively with Māori whānau and the wider parent community

  • ensuring decision-making processes are informed by multiple voices during the school’s evaluation processes

  • continuing to increase the levels of student voice within the curriculum and democratic school processes

  • strengthening assessment practices in National Standards at Year 7 and 8.

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, variable disparity in achievement remains for boys compared to girls in Year 7 and Year 8.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

In a variety of ways the school responds to Māori and other young people whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. However some disparities have persisted over the past three years.

Publicly reported school data for National Standards show that students, including Māori learners, are achieving at or above the standard in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders should develop assessment and moderation practices at Year 7 and 8 to ensure the school’s publicly reported data is dependable and gathered from multiple evidence across the curriculum.

The National Standards results overall have remained static for a three year period and there have been no significant shifts in writing achievement for three years. Girls continue to outperform boys in writing during this period of time. At NCEA Level 1 there is continuing gender disparity where girls outperform boys.

Generally NCEA achievement is above the national average and above percentages for similar schools. Endorsement levels for NCEA show that Level 1 students are achieving above national percentages for Merit Endorsement, and at NCEA Level 2 and 3 students are achieving Excellence endorsement in numbers that are above national results. Approximately 85 percent of students are leaving school with NCEA Level 2 or above.

Some students are counselled to pathway into university, tertiary training, or employment on the island which is well supported by local businesses and stake-holders. The local economy provides some good opportunities to engage learners in contextualised learning, project work and enterprising creative ideas.

A stronger focus for all students having access to pathways is now necessary to ensure subject provision and subject choice is aligned with student and family aspirations. Development of pathways exploration fosters student commitment and motivation for future decision-making. Ongoing discussion in regard to pathways is already a documented focus for the Waiheke CoL.

The community, board of trustees and school leaders could consider deepening their focus on valued student outcomes to further strengthen the attributes and dispositions required for 21stcentury learning and entry into tertiary training and/or the workplace.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Waiheke High School has a small secondary roll and constantly re-evaluates how the curriculum structure can provide subject preferences for students. On-line learning is supporting senior subject choices. It may be timely for more consideration to be given to an innovative timetable structure that accommodates other learning opportunities. Some departments are offering a range of authentic experiences and contexts outside the classroom that offer further NCEA credits to support students’ engagement with learning.

The school has a relationships-based learning culture. A wrap-around approach to pastoral care and the use of restorative practices promote student wellbeing and achievement. Students with additional learning needs are supported in flexible ways to learn through personalised opportunities.

Teachers participate in professional development to build their capacity. Some departments promote problem solving and collaborative inquiry processes well, and all departments should aim to provide this to improve learning outcomes for students. Teachers’ use of digital technology is increasing. A digital vision for all learners that provides equitable inclusion is a planned outcome of the school’s current internal evaluation programme.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Some of Waiheke High School’s systems and processes need to be more effective to enable the achievement of valued student outcomes, equity and excellence.

A key item underpinning change should be the evaluation and revision of the current strategic plan to include:

  • board and senior leaders working with a reduced set of strategic goals that are accountable and measurable
  • enactment of the school’s Treaty of Waitangi policy for Māori learners and shared bicultural understandings for all learners
  • a strategic goal to ensure the choice of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori as an essential senior school pathway
  • a productive partnership with Māori whānau and community
  • continuing development of school-wide leadership of curriculum and pedagogy
  • more powerful connections and relationships with parent community
  • continuing development of student agency within the curriculum and school decision-making.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

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 it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of the review there were 27 international students attending the school.

Waiheke High School has good systems to maintain the quality of both education and pastoral care for international students. Their progress towards achievement is well monitored and student course selections continue to be considered and personalised. Students are well integrated into the school’s educational community and cultural experiences. Evaluation processes are in place to ensure systems continue to develop and improve.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for boys compared to girls remains within Year 7 and Year 8. The following are areas for continued development.

Leaders and teachers:

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • should improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will:

  • provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning

  • provide an internal workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all learners.

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

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board of trustees and principal develop a revised, well considered and targeted strategic plan to work towards school improvement.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand School Trustees Association provide support for the school in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • strategic planning for measurable and accountable goals
  • a revised Māori Education Plan based on the school’s Treaty of Waitangi policy
  • a continuing improvement in powerful school relationships with both the Māori community and the parent community
  • acceleration approaches that will focus on improving achievement for Year 7 and Year 8 students.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 October 2017

About the school

Location

Waiheke Island, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

530

School type

Secondary Years 7-15

School roll

518

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Pacific
Asian

75%
17%
3%
5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

19 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Education Review

2014
2011
2008