St Kentigern College (Pakuranga) 10/11/2009


Saint Kentigern College (Pakuranga) is an independent, Presbyterian college that continues to provide students with a high quality education in an aesthetically pleasing and purposeful learning environment. The expansive site has spacious and well laid out indoor and outdoor facilities. Single-gender education is provided in the Middle School (Years 7 to 10) and the Senior School, for Years 11 to 13, has co-educational classes. Since ERO's 2006 report, the number of girls at the college has increased from 28% to 34% of the roll. The overall college roll and staffing numbers have remained stable.

Students are focused on their learning and report that they appreciate the wide range of academic, sporting and cultural experiences available to them. They enjoy positive relationships with the staff. Learning contexts provide students with opportunities to broaden their thinking and involvement with local and global communities. Staff and students are proud of the high levels of achievement in academic, sporting and cultural endeavours.

Suitable curriculum

Students receive a high quality, holistic Christian education. Emphasis is placed on the pursuit of excellence in the wide range of academic, sports and cultural activities available. Students respond well to the value the college places on service to society. This commitment to service is expressed in the mission statement and reflects the Presbyterian values that underpin the college philosophy. Effective pastoral care systems help to provide students with a nurturing and supportive environment.

Since the 2006 ERO review, senior managers, in consultation with staff, have developed a teaching charter that documents expectations of Saint Kentigern College for teaching and learning. The charter has been complemented by the development of Independent Learning Profiles for students. Embedding the implementation of ILPs should help to develop student ownership of, and independence in, their learning. The alignment of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board mission and values statements, the teaching charter, and ILPs with The New Zealand Curriculum should support
college-wide formative teaching practices and help to promote the development of students as inquiring learners.

Students in the Middle School, Years 7 to 10, continue to learn in appropriate and challenging contexts. Students interviewed during the course of this review indicated that they enjoy the gradual integration into co-educational classes in the Senior School. The proposal to use standardised assessment tools in the Middle School to inform teaching and learning should help to provide a clearer overall picture of Middle School student progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy. Assessment data are currently used for class placement and for the identification of and provision for individual students who need support, extension or acceleration in their learning. It could be useful to ascertain how well students in the Middle School are achieving in comparison with national expectations for achievement.

Senior students are offered a choice between two qualifications that both provide sound foundations for future academic studies, career development and lifelong learning. Courses leading to National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1 to 3 are provided for students in the Senior School, and for accelerated students at Years 9 and 10. In 2009, the two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma was offered for the first time to students in Year 12.

NCEA student achievement data are analysed by the NCEA coordinator and are shared with heads of departments. At Levels 1 to 3 the data indicate impressive student achievement that is significantly above national and decile levels. High levels of achievement are further evidenced through the high number of NCEA Scholarships achieved. The numbers of merit and excellence endorsements achieved by students have increased over the years, and are well above the average numbers of endorsements achieved by students at other schools across the country.

Further learning opportunities for students include:

· participation in sporting activities for physical and social development, and involvement in regional, national and international competitions;

· leadership opportunities in the Middle and Senior Schools;

· the development of service and sustainability awareness within the college and wider community;

· participation in musical and drama productions; and

· celebrations of cultural diversity.

Standard of tuition

Learning is based on respectful teacher/student relationships. Students appreciate the college's culture of excellence and independence in learning. Teachers and students share high expectations that students will take responsibility for their learning. A focus on developing higher level thinking skills is evident in teachers' good use of questioning techniques and their openness to students' ideas and prior learning.

Good examples of high quality teaching and learning practices are evident in many classrooms. These practices include:

· individualised learning support for students of various ability levels;

· the provision of challenging learning contexts that are relevant to students' interests, experience and cultural knowledge;

· good use of learning exemplars; and

· print-rich environments in the Middle School to celebrate and promote student achievement.

The teaching charter and ILPs are raising awareness of good teaching practice and individualised learning for students. These factors contribute to on-task and focused student learning.

Suitable staffing

A new principal has been appointed very recently. Two further strategic developments in 2009 have included the refocusing of senior mangers' roles as heads of teaching and learning in both the Middle School and Senior School. These roles are designed to increase opportunities for:

· specific and differentiated approaches in teaching and learning in both schools; and

· improved assessment practices and use of student achievement data in the Middle School.

To promote the college's mission statement, a sustainability coordinator and a services coordinator have been appointed. These appointments are intended to raise students' awareness of the value of service in the local community and further afield, as well as to broaden students' experiences and their awareness of social and environmental issues.

Performance appraisal systems are complemented by the Trust Board's generous funding for staff professional development. Teaching staff are well supported by non-teaching and administrative staff. Students speak highly of teachers' support for their academic, sporting and cultural learning activities.

Suitable premises and equipment

The Trust Board continues to provide a high quality learning environment for students. Aesthetically pleasing and purposeful environments are conducive to student and teacher learning and comfort. Since ERO's 2006 review, property developments have included provision for teaching and learning in sport, science, student safety and boarding staff accommodation. The board provides appropriate high quality equipment for teaching and non-teaching staff to do their work effectively and safely. Resourcing provision contributes significantly to teaching and learning in the college.

The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is an integral part of education at Saint Kentigern College. The college provides students with challenging, technology-rich learning. Students, in partnership with their teachers, make the most of the opportunities presented in lessons. ICT is used as a tool to enhance and enrich learning experiences and to provide extension in students' learning. Parents have immediate access to information about their children's progress and achievement, and are able to access information about the college. Peer assisted learning (PAL) tutors support fellow students in ICT. Staff and students are well supported by the ICT department to use equipment effectively. Staff continue to explore ways to incorporate and use ICT as a teaching and communication tool.

The Trust Board continues to support worthwhile teaching and learning initiatives. The newly appointed principal will continue to develop the annual and strategic plans in order to meet the Trust Board's objectives for 2009 and beyond.

Patriotism and loyalty.

The college's values, and adherence to Presbyterian beliefs and principles, encourage students to contribute positively to New Zealand society and the wider global community. Examples of students' service to, and involvement in, the wider community include:

· support for some local schools in the form of resourcing and reading to children;

· contributing to overseas projects to help support poorer communities;

· involvement in the Motutapu Restoration Trust;

· participation in ANZAC day events; and

· service to and support of local communities.

College programmes are well aligned with the values of The New Zealand Curriculum.

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