Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre - 08/05/2018

School Context

Wellington High School provides education for 1253 students in Years 9 to 13. Māori students comprise 11% of the roll. The roll has grown steadily since the 2014 ERO evaluation.

The school’s valued outcomes for all students are expressed through the WERO (the Challenge) with its four values of ‘Whānau, Excellence, Respect and Ora’. These have been reviewed and restated as guiding principles for the charter, strategic priorities, leadership, teaching, learning and relationships. Inclusion, wellbeing and engagement are key outcomes.

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

  • achievement of national qualifications

  • achievement across learning areas in Years 9 and 10

  • progress toward the school goals

  • engagement and wellbeing.

There have been a number of changes to leadership and teaching staff including the appointment of a new principal from term 2, 2017.

The school is part of the Capital City Kāhui Ako.

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?

School leaders systematically identify and work to address disparity to improve the equity of outcomes for all students.

The school reports that most students in Years 9 and 10, including Māori, are achieving at expectation across learning areas.

Most students gain National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Roll-based data is consistent over time. There is a level of ongoing disparity for Māori students in each cohort level. Leavers’ data shows high levels of retention and that most students, including Māori, leave with at least NCEA Level 2.

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

The school is aware of disparity in literacy and mathematics achievement for many students on entry. School leaders report that they successfully accelerate the progress of many students, including Māori, across their valued outcomes.

Students with more complex and additional needs are well supported to make sound progress against appropriately challenging goals within their individual education plans.

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?

The school’s broad curriculum provides many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities. Pathways, including tertiary programmes, Gateway, Tertiary Alignment ResourceSTAR) and Industry Training Organisation courses, provide options for senior students to receive sound career advice and guidance.TheSecondary(

Aspects of the curriculum are regularly reviewed to ensure continued relevance and reflection of the diverse cultures in the school. The curriculum focus group provides opportunities to explore, challenge and refine aspects of teaching and learning. Student voice is a significant part of curriculum review and design. There is a well-considered approach to managing change.

Strong systems and processes are in place to promote student wellbeing. Effective links with a range of external agencies are used to further support students and their families. Student voice provides important feedback on many aspects of school operation. Students benefit from the strong schoolwide focus on inclusion. The positive climate and genuine celebration of cultural diversity means that they know that their identity and values are recognised and respected. Relationships amongst students and teachers are positive and respectful.

cademic mentoring within senior classesStudents needing support to improve their achievement in national qualifications are well identified at each year level. Staff take collective responsibility for assisting them to achieve success. This includes a.

Achievement information is appropriately used to identify the focus for teaching, need for extra support, and the progress students make. Newly developed processes are well used to record and report achievement and progress across learning areas in Years 9 and 10. Progress is shared with trustees and contributes to the board’s decision making.

A strategic and coherent approach is taken to building leadership and staff professional capability and collective capacity to support the school vision and valued outcomes. Appraisal and professional learning opportunities are improvement focused. They have opportunities to be innovative and trial new approaches to improve outcomes for students.Leaders recognise and use the knowledge and skills of teachers to lead aspects of the curriculum. Teachers use current research and evidence of best practice as they collaboratively inquire into strategies and approaches for effective teaching.

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

Leaders recognise the importance of enhancing aspects of internal evaluation. There is strong understanding of, and clear evidence about, the outcomes for individual students and overall pictures of schoolwide information and achievement. Patterns of achievement and outcomes for groups and cohorts of students are recognised and shared. It is important for leaders and teachers to more deeply explore this data to identify why patterns exists, what has worked and where to next. Engaging closely with whānau and families and using their expectations and aspirations as key information should further support this evaluation.

Enhancing school leadership to better represent and support Māori aspirations, culture, language and identity should promote improved outcomes for Māori students.

3 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

  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • align school policies to ensure all requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 are being appropriately met.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (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.

At the time of this review there were 67 international students attending the school.

The school uses sound processes to monitor the provision of pastoral care, accommodation, English language learning, appropriate learning programmes, community links and achievement for internationals students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • systems and processes that support student wellbeing and promote an inclusive culture and sense of belonging for students

  • the broad curriculum that encourages student engagement, learning and achievement

  • the strategic and coherent approach to building leadership and growing staff professional capability to improve outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation to more deeply explore why identified achievement patterns exists, what has worked and where to next

  • enhancing school leadership to better represent and support Māori aspirations, culture, language and identity and promote improved outcomes for Māori students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

8 May 2018

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

273

School type

Co-educational Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1253

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%

Pākehā 58%

Other European 14%

Asian 5%

Other ethnic groups 12%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

8 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014

Education Review October 2010

Education Review April 2007