Wanganui Collegiate School - 10/05/2016

Findings

Wanganui Collegiate is founded on Christian values. Student learning and wellbeing are fostered effectively through the curriculum and pastoral care. Student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement. The school promotes success for Māori students as Māori. The school is focused on sustaining and improving its performance.

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?

Wanganui Collegiate School is a state-integrated, co-educational boarding and day school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. It is affiliated to the Anglican Diocese of Wellington and has longstanding links with local iwi. The roll of 396 includes 46 Māori students.

In July 2015 a new deputy-principal was appointed. Since ERO’s February 2015 New School Assurance Review Report some property development has progressed.

The school’s special character Christian values and traditions are part of its long history. The ‘five pillars’ of academic excellence, cultural enrichment, sporting achievement, Christian fellowship and lifelong friendships focus on equipping students with the confidence and skills needed for a challenging future. In addition to their academic studies, students are able to participate in local, national and international arts, cultural and sporting activities. Student leadership and success are fostered and celebrated.

This is the school’s first Education Review since it was integrated in 2013. All areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO report have been addressed.

2 Learning

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

The school is increasingly using data to cater for the needs of individual students. The introduction of a new student management system is enabling leaders and teachers to closely identify, track and monitor students’ learning pathways during their time at school.

Results in 2015 show that the percentages of students achieving National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exceeds national percentages and those for schools of similar type. Percentage achievement in University Entrance (UE) and merit and excellence endorsements of NCEA are similarly high. Leaders have set a target to further increase endorsements. New Zealand Scholarship results doubled from 2014, with ten being awarded. A high proportion of students stay on to complete Year 13.

The board and leaders have identified that continuing to raise boys’ and Māori boys’ achievement is a priority. EROs evaluation supports this is an appropriate goal. A range of strategies are in place and more are being introduced in 2016 to achieve this goal.

Year 9 and 10 entry assessment data is used to develop class profiles that create an academic and pastoral picture of each student.

Class teachers use assessment data to make decisions about students’ learning needs and develop strategies to engage and accelerate learners. Early identification on entry to school enables the implementation of appropriate interventions and support for students. Parents and whānau are valued as important partners in additional programmes their children participate in.

Reports to parents and whānau about their child’s progress and achievement are clear and informative. The current review of Year 9 and 10 reports should add further information about achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels.

Next steps in gathering and using Year 9 and 10 data more effectively include:

  • setting specific achievement targets for groups of students
  • collating and reporting junior achievement over time to the board.

3 Curriculum

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

The Wanganui Collegiate curriculum is very effective in its promotion and support of student learning.

Students experience a rich school curriculum within and beyond the classroom. It is closely aligned to special character, values and student leadership development. A flexible approach enables students to meet learning requirements and participate fully in the breadth of the curriculum.

Students engage in interactive learning in class. Discussions between students and teachers explore ideas and understandings. Students’ knowledge is used and valued. Positive and inclusive relationships are evident. Teachers provide students with regular and individual feedback about learning and assessments. Learning time is maximised.

Departments are increasingly using student achievement data to review and change programmes. Schemes of work for Years 9 and 10 are being adapted to ensure they all reflect the NZC key competencies, principles and values and New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Continuing with this approach should ensure all students’ individual needs are focused on.

A comprehensive course booklet provides useful information for students and their families and whānau to make decisions about subject choices. Students receive well-considered guidance and support from a diverse range of people when discussing possible career pathways. This occurs at all levels. The introduction of a vocational curriculum is broadening opportunities for senior students to gain experience and success in a wider range of career options.

An emphasis on Year 12 and 13 transitions to the workplace and beyond is responsive to students’ changing aspirations and career choices.

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

The school’s special character values and relationship with iwi are effectively promoting success for Māori as Māori. There is recognition from the school community of the growth of a bicultural ethos and te ao Māori view in the school. A commitment to promoting success for Māori students is evident in the charter. Students bring their language, culture and identities to their learning. An external facilitator works with staff to continue to build their cultural competence.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Through its strategic plan priorities the school is proactively positioning itself to sustain and improve its performance.

The College and School Boards have improved understanding of their respective roles. The use of a range of digital systems ensures all trustees are well-informed. Trustees are clear about what has been achieved since the previous ERO report and priorities for the future. They use reports and achievement data to ensure students have equitable opportunities to achieve positive academic and pastoral outcomes. The boards are strongly supportive of leadership in the school.

The charter is underpinned by the school’s special character, history and context. It identifies priorities for moving the school forward to ensure student outcomes are sustained and continue to improve. Strengthening current review practices to be more evaluative should enable trustees and leaders to better monitor the impact of programmes, initiatives and decisions on student outcomes.

A considered restructure of leadership roles is responsive to ongoing change and improvement in schoolwide systems and approaches. The principal has a key role in proactively leading and managing change. The building of a team through appointments and delegations is likely to sustain change and improvement. The executive leaders have identified that continuing to build the leadership capability of some heads of learning is an area for development. ERO's evaluation supports this direction.

A new online teacher appraisal system was introduced in 2015. Teachers reflect on and share practice with each other. Increasing the use of assessment information to inform their thinking should assist them to specifically identify actions that make a measureable difference to student progress and achievement. Developing an agreed and documented framework to guide the appraisal process is a next step.

The principal’s appraisal is robust and wide-ranging. It affirms what has been achieved. It identifies useful steps to support his professional development and strategic plan goals.

Pastoral programmes are effective in providing care and support for students. Leaders and teachers provide a wide range of opportunities for families and whānau to engage with them and be well informed about their child’s participation in school activities. A parent portal is actively used by families to keep them informed about their children’s learning.

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.

There are 54 international students attending the school. A robust self-review process ensures that students’ wellbeing remains a priority and when required, leads to improvement. Parents and families receive regular reports about their children and communication is open, supportive and tailored to need.

Pastoral care is carefully structured and highly responsive to individual students. Academic, social and emotional needs are met through the use of student leadership, house organisation and responsible adults.

An extensive ESOL programme promotes academic success and students’ ability to participate fully in the curriculum.

International students are integrated in the school community and involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including those specific to the New Zealand way of life.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Wanganui Collegiate School has six boarding houses that accommodate 302 students, 67% of the school roll. Day students are an integral part of each house. The houses are owned by the Wanganui College Board of Trustees. The owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel regulations are met.

Key features of hostel provision for students include:

  • house environments that seamlessly blend boarding and day students’ living and learning
  • strong leadership that promotes and fosters a positive emotional and physical setting for students
  • staff working closely with the school to provide integrated care for each student
  • students placing value on leadership opportunities
  • clear routines and behaviour boundaries
  • students' developing respectful relationships with each other and staff.

The manager agrees with ERO that strengthening the evaluation of systems and programmes should enable staff to know what impact these are having on students’ wellbeing.

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

Wanganui Collegiate is founded on Christian values. Student learning and wellbeing are fostered effectively through the curriculum and pastoral care. Student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement. The school promotes success for Māori students as Māori. The school is focused on sustaining and improving its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 May 2016

About the School

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

192

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

396

Number of international students

54

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

11%

81%

5%

3%

Special features

Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

10 May 2016

Most recent ERO report

New School Assurance Review

February 2015