Whanganui Intermediate - 29/06/2018

School Context

Whanganui Intermediate caters for students in Years 7 and 8 who come from across the city. Of the roll of 594, over a third of students identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is reflected in its motto of inspiring and enabling every learner to have a successful, creative, confident future. The valued outcomes expressed in its charter are: manaakitanga, respect, responsibility, resilience and whanaungatanga.

Current school charter goals and targets prioritise increasing the number of students achieving at or above The New Zealand Curriculum level for their age in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the curriculum expectations
  • progress and achievement in relation to student outcome goals, school and national targets
  • engagement and wellbeing for learner success.

Teachers have been involved in professional learning and development (PLD) in accelerating learning in mathematics in 2015, and through a mathematics specialist teacher in 2016. PLD continues in this area in 2018. A Teacher Lead Innovation Programme involving a local cluster of schools, began in 2016. This inquiry project focused on building partnerships with local iwi, hapū and whānau. Enhancing relationship-based teaching practices, and a greater focus on including local place based learning contexts are priorities.

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 achievement information shows the majority of students achieve at or above expectations for their year levels in mathematics and most achieve at expectations in reading and writing.

The school achievement information continues to show a disparity for Māori students. As a group they achieve less well than their peers within the school, particularly in mathematics. Boys achieve less well than girls, especially in literacy.

In the last three years overall achievement has improved slightly in literacy and mathematics, with students achieving best in reading. The small number of Pacific students achieve at higher levels than other groups within the school in reading and writing and at similar rates in mathematics.

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

The school does not have a clear overall picture of acceleration of learning over time for groups of students who need it. School information from 2016 and 2017 shows that some groups of targeted students make accelerated progress.

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?

Students experience a varied curriculum that provides opportunities for learning and success. Curriculum statements provide clear expectations and strategies for responding to students’ interests and needs. Many students have experiences that extend their interests and learning, including a wide range of creative arts, performances and scientific and technological challenges.

Clear expectations for student engagement, participation and behaviour are closely aligned to the school values. These are well known and enacted by students and teachers and are visible throughout the school environment. Students have opportunities to take ownership of their learning. This includes regular goal setting, tracking of their progress, and discussing their assessment and areas to improve with teachers, parents and whānau.

ERO observed good levels of engagement in classes and students interacting in positive ways. Careful class placements, knowledge of individual students and sourcing appropriate support assists with this. Pastoral care strategies resourcing and close relationships internally and with community agencies enables wrap around support for those at risk of poor educational outcomes.,

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

Trustees are committed to the wellbeing of students and the development of an engaged community. In order to grow their stewardship capacity there is a need to receive better data that identifies, targets and monitors those students whose progress and achievement need acceleration. Increased scrutiny of data and outcomes for all students should help leaders’ and the board’s evaluation of the school’s performance in achieving equity and excellence.

ERO affirms the board’s initiative to strengthen the use of internal evaluation at the strategic level. Further development of trustees’ and leaders’ understanding and use of evaluation should improve planning and resourcing decisions. Teachers should continue to extend their use of inquiry and deeper evaluation to better measure the impact of strategies on accelerating the progress of all priority groups of students.

Leaders accept there is a pressing need for increasing the acceleration of the achievement, especially for those Māori and boys who need it. They should ensure that the annual raising achievement action plans include the numbers and needs of all students who need acceleration. These plans should be adjusted during the year in response to ongoing evaluation and inquiries into the impact of strategies to accelerate progress for those that need it.

The school identifies a large number of students with additional learning needs. Some of these students make steady progress against their individual goals. A greater focus on evaluation of the effectiveness of all interventions and the impact of these for students should be given high priority

Performance management appraisal procedures have expectations and processes that need to be implemented with more rigour and consistency. This should include:

  • improved understanding and application of the Standards for the Teaching Profession
  • appraisal goals that are explicitly linked to strategic priorities and improving outcomes for priority learners
  • more timely feedback and feedforward from regular observations to support improvement
  • more specific judgements and agreed future development areas identified in the annual summary statements.

Teachers and leaders have begun to strengthen their ability to respond to the culture, language and identity of Māori students. ERO affirms the importance of continuing to develop learning partnerships with whānau and iwi. Strengthening the inclusion of te ao Māori through a curriculum that better reflects its local context, should support Māori students to be confident and successful in their identity as Māori learners.

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.

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 no international students attending the school.

To improve compliance practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that appraisal of teaching staff is robust and based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession for the issue and renewal of practising certificates; and there are clear procedures for dealing with matters related to reporting to the Education Council [Education Act 1989, Part 31]
  • strengthen procedures related to the management and reporting of restraint practices that are consistent with the guidelines
  • ensure the implementation of comprehensive procedures for police vetting are in place.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collaborative practices that are increasingly focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning programmes
  • students involvement in their own learning and the provision of a broad curriculum that promotes a wide range of opportunities
  • pastoral systems and processes for promoting positive relationships.

Next steps

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

  • processes to assist teachers and leaders to better identify, monitor and report accelerated achievement
  • strengthening culturally responsive practices that better respond to Māori students language, culture and identities
  • consistent implementation of the appraisal processes to support teachers and leaders to improve their practice
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning for individual learners and achieve equity for all groups in the school [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]
  • strengthening evidence-based internal evaluation to show the impact of planned actions on improving equity and excellence for all learners.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

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

29 June 2018

About the school

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

2477

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

594

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 54%

Māori 36%

Pacific 4%

Asian 3%

Other ethnic groups 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2015

Education Review, July 2010

Education Review, October 2006