Waiuku College

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Summary

Waiuku College is a co-educational secondary school located in Waiuku, catering for students from Years 9 to 13. At the time of this ERO review there were 801 students enrolled, 182 of whom identify as Māori, and 19 international students.

A positive, student-centred tone contributes to the strong sense of belonging and pride that reflects the Waiuku Way. Students are empowered to accept responsibility, support their peers and actively participate in learning.

Students engage successfully in a range of cultural and sporting activities, both within school and as part of the community. Student leadership opportunities are widely promoted and supported.

Waiuku College has participated in the Kia Eke Panuku initiative in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, leaders and teachers are engaging in externally provided professional learning about culturally responsive practice and teaching as inquiry.

The school has a good reporting history with ERO and has responded positively to the findings of the 2014 ERO review.

The school is an active member of the Waiuku Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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

The school responds well to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Clear strategic direction supported by a well-considered change-management approach is improving equity and excellence schoolwide.

The school has identified embedding culturally responsive pedagogy, extending the effective use of data, and implementing the enhanced appraisal process as priority areas for development to achieve equity and excellence.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

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

  • 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, improve teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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?

The school responds well to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Overall, students are achieving well in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The 2016 roll-based data shows that the proportion of students who achieved Levels 1, 2, and 3 were above national averages. Levels of disparity have remained overtime between Māori learners and their peers.

School leaver’s data shows that the proportion of Māori learners leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2 shows significant improvement overtime and is comparable with their peers. The school provides a range of learning programmes to support meaningful pathways beyond school. A newly developed analysis tool is enabling further information to be gathered about leavers’ destinations. This should better support a responsive curriculum to continue to improve learner outcomes.

A wide range of information is collected, collated and analysed for students in Year 9 and 10. Data is used well to identify students’ levels of learning and achievement ability. Teachers regularly discuss students’ learning needs to design meaningful programmes that support engagement. This is fostering higher levels of collaboration to identify effective strategies that support those learners who require acceleration.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Clear strategic direction supported by a well-considered change-management approach is improving equity and excellence schoolwide.

The board is strongly focussed on improvement and positive outcomes for learners. Trustees are well informed through a wide range of information about student achievement and wellbeing. They seek and participate in professional learning opportunities to build their understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Trustees actively support and contribute well to improving the strategic direction of the school.

Leaders are resolute in promoting and achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The improvement-focused leadership team regularly engages in professional learning to extend effective leadership knowledge and practice. Purposeful appointments have strengthened leadership capability and capacity. Opportunities for leadership development are fostered, explored and promoted schoolwide. Raising students’ learning and wellbeing outcomes are at the forefront of strategic planning and ongoing improvement.

The authentic use of te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the school is increasingly evident. Strengthening partnerships with Ngāti Te Ata is deepening understanding of the local history and environment and enriching the curriculum. A strategic, well-considered plan is in place to build culturally responsive practice, further supporting the raising of Māori achievement.

Learners with additional needs are well supported. An inclusive approach to involving parents and whanau as partners in their children’s learning is highly evident. A well-considered transition process for learners into the school promotes a strong sense of belonging and confidence in their new environment. A flexible approach to supporting students ensures they experience personalised learning programmes that best meet their needs and aspirations.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Further development is needed in processes to:

  • develop a school-wide understanding of culturally responsive practice to ensure a more consistent approach

  • extend the use and understanding of data to inform teaching and learning programmes to better respond to students’ needs.

The school has recently reviewed and refined the appraisal process to focus on enhancing leadership and teacher practice. Trustees and leaders need to ensure this new process is well understood by all staff and is fully embedded.

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 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 19 international students attending the school, including one exchange student.

Students are well supported to participate, learn and thrive in the life of the school community. Highly-effective systems and practices are in place to encourage them to maximise the opportunities offered and engage in the wide range of rich learning and cultural experiences available.

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 Māori remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

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

  • 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, improve teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

1 November 2017

About the school

Location

Waiuku

Ministry of Education profile number

105

School type

Co-educational Secondary School (Year 9-15)

School roll

801

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
Pākehā 61%
Other 16%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

1 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2014
Education Review August 2011
Supplementary Review May 2009

Findings

Students benefit from a broad, relevant curriculum that supports their learning and achievement and fosters their wellbeing. The school engages positively with its community to promote and celebrate student success. School leaders continue to seek new approaches and opportunities to improve outcomes for students.

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?

Waiuku College, a co-educational secondary school on the southern rural fringe of Auckland, caters for students from Years 9 to 13. Since ERO’s 2011 report the school has continued to experience steady roll growth. The Māori roll has risen from 18 to 23 percent and the number of students with Pacific heritage has grown to four percent. Increasing numbers of international students are attending the school, attracted by the opportunity to live and learn in a semi-rural environment.

A positive culture, based on the college’s values of respect, pride and safety, continues to be evident across the school. Students are friendly, secure in their environment, and positive about their learning. The establishment of the school whare, Whare ma Toro, with the support of local hapū Ngāti Te Ata reflects the school’s intent to acknowledge and respect Māori culture, language and identity.

Over the past three years the inclusive, collaborative school leadership has maintained its focus on strategic development. Leaders and trustees are focused on modernising existing learning spaces to allow for 21st Century teaching and learning approaches. Since the 2011 ERO report the school has continued to develop relevant future pathways for students, including establishing a primary industries academy and an externally funded services academy.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners, particularly in Years 11 to 13. Students are actively engaged in their learning and are motivated to achieve personal success across a wide variety of school activities. They have opportunities to participate in and contribute to student leadership, kapa haka, cultural events and sports. A steady improvement in the number of students continuing to Year 13 reflects the school’s increasingly strong learning culture.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results across the school at Levels 1, 2 and 3 continue to improve. The proportion of students leaving school with NCEA Level 2 or better and the numbers of merit and excellence endorsements in 2013 are increasing.

Achievement rates for Māori students also show improvement over time and raising these rates continues to be an area of focus. School leaders and teachers prioritise strategies that support Māori and Pacific learners to make accelerated progress and to be successful.

The school’s academic counselling programme provides opportunities for students to set goals and plan future pathways to achieve success. Students in Years 11 to 13 receive regular updates on their progress and achievement and are increasingly monitoring their own learning. Students in Year 10 have the opportunity to achieve a Junior Diploma based on their progress and achievement across learning areas.

Teachers are increasingly confident in monitoring student progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics at Years 9 and 10. Assessment results show that students maintain and improve their achievement in mathematics and in reading from Year 9 to Year 10. The school continues to develop their grade point average (GPA) system to assess student knowledge and skills across the curriculum in Year 10.

Achievement information is well used to identify those students who require ongoing support. Learning assistance is well coordinated. Personalised programmes assist students to make progress towards their learning goals. Regular monitoring and review provides students and their families with ongoing information about their learning. Student learning success is regularly celebrated with whānau.

School leaders continue to make positive changes to learning outcomes for students who are not achieving to expectations, especially in the senior school. Leaders agree that it is timely to adopt a more strategic emphasis on accelerating progress and achievement at Years 9 and 10, using many of the strategies that have proved effective at senior school level.

Senior leaders and teachers use student achievement information to set achievement targets and school goals and to plan and adapt teaching programmes. The significant improvement in the percentage of school leavers with NCEA Level 2 reflects teachers’ focus on teaching strategies that support students to be successful.

Trustees make good use of analysed achievement information to make strategic decisions. Charter targets are focused on raising the achievement of all students, and accelerating the progress of those students not meeting NCEA or curriculum level expectations. Senior leaders evaluate programmes designed to improve outcomes for students, and trustees make resourcing decisions based on this information.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s increasingly broad curriculum is very effective in engaging students in learning. It provides a range of options for Years 9 and 10 students, and relevant academic and vocational programmes at senior level.

High expectations for learning are evident across the school. Students respect and appreciate teachers’ skills and subject knowledge. Coordinated, creative and strategic approaches to e-learning, digital competencies and modern learning environments are supporting students and preparing them for future learning. Teachers are increasingly using digital technologies as effective teaching and learning tools.

The school’s strong commitment to students’ personal learning pathways is reflected in programmes of learning across curriculum areas. These programmes enable students to plan their learning at school and prepare for their future education, training and employment.

Relationships between students and teachers are mutually respectful. Teachers are increasingly focused on individual student’s strengths and learning needs. Most teachers are highly committed to improving outcomes for students. A coordinated approach to ongoing improvement in teaching and learning is having a positive impact on classroom programmes. Sharing, exploring and promoting innovation are seen as key elements in further developing teacher potential.

School leaders identify key next steps for further improving the curriculum as:

  • reviewing the long term vision for curriculum and assessment to better align with e-learning principles
  • continuing to use targeted professional learning opportunities to strengthen bicultural practices in the school.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers strongly promote educational success for Māori students, as Maori.

The school’s commitment to Māori success is demonstrated through:

  • student and whānau pride in their language, culture and identity, with opportunities for Māori students to study te reo Māori to Level 3 NCEA
  • strong leadership support for Māori learners to be successful, including the appointment of Māori staff throughout the school
  • fostering close partnerships with whānau and supportive relationships with local hapū, Ngāti Te Ata.

The Te Kotahitanga professional learning and development programme has had a significant positive impact. An improved school culture has been sustained and continues to underpin school initiatives. School leaders and trustees agree that it is now timely to ensure that the intent of Te Kotahitanga is reflected across all levels of the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to enhance its performance.

The school’s strong vision is highly visible and shared by all members of the school community.

There is strong professional leadership in the school. The capable experienced principal and cohesive senior leadership team are influential in building school-wide capacity.

Board decision making is strategic, evidence-based, and aimed at sustaining improvement and promoting innovative practices across the school.

Self review as a school-wide mechanism for ongoing improvement is well understood and used to promote and sustain development. Internal and external reviews and the perspectives of external agencies are valued.

Relationships with parents, whānau and the wider school community are constructive and positive. The school continues to strengthen these relationships, benefiting students in their learning and future pathways.

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. At the time of this review there were 33 international students attending the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough and effective.

The school has well documented systems to guide its education and care of international students. The international department monitors the progress and achievement of individual students. Students are encouraged to participate fully in the wider life of the school. Staff regularly review practices and identify areas where additional support and guidance would benefit students.

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

Students benefit from a broad, relevant curriculum that supports their learning and achievement and fosters their wellbeing. The school engages positively with its community to promote and celebrate student success. School leaders continue to seek new approaches and opportunities to improve outcomes for students.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

8 October 2014

About the School

Location

Waiuku, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

105

School type

Co-educational Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

908

Number of international students

33

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

British/Irish

African

Other

65%

23%

4%

3%

2%

3%

Special Features

HighWire Trust Services Academy

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

8 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary

Review Education Review

August 2011

May 2009

February 2008