Te Aroha College

Education institution number:
116
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
408
Telephone:
Address:

106 Stanley Avenue, Te Aroha

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Te Aroha College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within eight months of the Education Review Office and Te Aroha College working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

Te Aroha College is located in the Waikato. It caters for learners from Years 9 to 13. A new principal was appointed in Term 2 2023.

Te Aroha College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • valuing a supportive and inclusive learning environment

  • providing accessible, authentic and relevant learning opportunities through quality teaching and learning

  • through relational practice and high-quality education, make Te Aroha College a place where learners flourish, enjoy and choose to be.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Te Aroha College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively a focus on improving attendance, engagement and pastoral systems improves student outcomes.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • to improve student achievement in NCEA, across all levels

     

  • to improve the retention rate, particularly for Māori students

  • to reduce the disparity in achievement and attendance for Māori learners.

The school expects to see improved attendance and engagement of all students. Leaders and teachers will understand which interventions are effective in promoting equitable outcomes for all learners.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support it in its goal to improve student attendance, engagement and outcomes:

  • the collaborative review and development of a new strategic and annual plan

  • established tracking and monitoring of student achievement for NCEA students

  • a refined and improved system to monitor student attendance.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • developing responsive interventions to improve attendance and engagement

  • offering targeted, personalised learning programmes to build student confidence in their ability to learn and achieve national qualifications.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools                                                                                                                 

6 September 2023

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Te Aroha College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of March 2023, the Te Aroha College School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact Te Aroha College, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

6 September 2023

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Te Aroha College

Provision for International Students Report

Background

The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Findings

Te Aroha College has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

At the time of this review there were six short stay international students and one long term international student.

Te Aroha College is re-establishing the international programme following the Covid period.

The self-review process is providing information about the provision for international students. The information about student welfare, academic success and the student experience should be more formally reported to senior leaders and the School Board to enable a more informed strategic approach to the international programme.

Students spoken to, shared a range of positive experiences from their time at the school and felt well-supported in class and in the school community by their buddies and teachers.                                                                               

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

6 September 2023

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Te Aroha College - 24/09/2019

School Context

Te Aroha College is located in Te Aroha. It is a coeducational, secondary school, catering for students in Years 9 to 13. The student roll has declined since the 2016 ERO report. The current roll of 320 includes 90 students who identify as Māori. A majority of Māori students whakapapa to various hapū within the Hauraki iwi. The school hosts an international student programme catering for long-term and short-term stays. Currently the school has three long-term international students and a large number of short-term groups. The school also hosts several exchange students from a range of countries.

Since the last ERO review, a number of new teachers have joined the staff. At the time of the 2019 ERO review, a new board of trustees had been elected.

The school’s vision of success for all is supported by the guiding values represented by GREAT – Globally connected, Respectful and Responsible, Effective communicators, Active achievers and Thoughtful leaders. These are underpinned by Whakaara – build excellence through motivation, Kia Kaha – build resilience, Manaakitanga – build positive relationships.

The school states that its current goal for improving student learning is to enhance innovative teaching practice, power sharing and quality relationships and the facilitation of relevant and personalised learning experiences.

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

  • National Certificate in Educational Achievement NCEA (NCEA) information.
  • Student leaver’s destination data.
  • Senior school wellbeing and engagement.
  • Junior school wellbeing, engagement and achievement.

Te Aroha College is part of the Te Aroha Community of Learning I 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?

Te Aroha College is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of it students.

The school’s 2018 enrolment-based data shows that the majority of students achieved NCEA Level 1 and Level 3. At Level 2, most students achieve NCEA. Less than half of the Level 3 students gain University Entrance (UE).

Enrolment based data shows significant disparity in the achievement of Māori students at Levels 1 and 3 compared with their New Zealand European/Pākehā peers. At Level 2, Māori students achieved at comparable levels. The 2018 NCEA achievement data also shows significant disparity for males’ achievement when compared to that of females in Levels 1 and 3.

Patterns of achievement in NCEA over the last three years indicate increased levels of overall achievement at Level 1 and 2, and consistent at Level 3. Rates of achievement in UE have improved.

The school’s leavers’ data shows that almost all students who left the school in 2018 went on to employment or further education.

Year 9 and 10 literacy and numeracy student achievement data is reported to the Board of Trustees. This data is analysed to show trends and patterns over time.

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

The school is able to show accelerated progress for some students. The school’s data for students in Years 9 and 10 indicates that a large majority of Māori and other at-risk students made accelerated progress in literacy. A small number of Māori and other at-risk students made accelerated progress in numeracy.

The school’s data for 2018 shows that the large majority of those at-risk students who entered the school below curriculum expectations at Year 9 and remained at the school for four years made accelerated progress and gained Level 2 NCEA.

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 implements a responsive approach to accelerating student achievement. Leaders effectively track and monitor student achievement, progress and outcomes. In the senior school, this includes regular tracking checkpoints that involve parents, careers guidance and academic mentoring to support students achieving their personal goals. Leaders have collated data of students that have left the school to better inform future programmes. A specific focus at Year 9 and 10 supports the accelerated progress of students in literacy through co-constructed learning activities and greater consistency of teaching practice. Dedicated meetings with core subject teachers focus on sharing and building effective teaching practice that supports priority students.

Students benefit from high-quality transitions into the school. These processes are underpinned by the sharing of relevant achievement and pastoral care information with contributing schools across the Kāhui Ako. Year 7 and 8 students are introduced to the school through their participation in the technology programme. The school uses a wide range of tools to gather information about Year 9 student’s entering the school to be more responsive to their learning and pastoral care needs.

Students with additional learning needs are well catered for. Teachers’ early identification of these students supports them to implement appropriate learning programmes. A highly responsive specialist class provides many opportunities for students to succeed through flexible and individual learning plans. The school accesses external expertise to work with staff and families to provide a consistent approach to student wellbeing and academic achievement.

A localised curriculum provides students with a meaningful context for their learning. Teachers encourage students to participate in a wide variety of learning experiences in the local and wider community. They use a range of effective teaching practices to engage students in their learning. Students benefit from productive relationships with teachers that value difference and diversity.

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

Whilst leaders undertake extensive review of school initiatives and programmes, these processes could be further strengthened to support equity for all students. Consideration should be given to:

  • continuing to embed the use of restorative practices to support student wellbeing and engagement
  • embedding and expanding the junior curriculum framework to support equitable outcomes for all students in the junior school
  • embedding and further developing senior curriculum programmes that support equitable outcomes for all students in the senior school
  • trustees and leaders continuing to incorporate the views and aspirations of the wider community, parents, whanau, teachers and students as part of its ongoing internal evaluation.

3 Other Matters

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 11 international students attending the school, including three exchange students.

The schools’ international student programme is led and managed well. International students experience an inclusive learning environment and they are integrated throughout the school community.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Te Aroha College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 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 supports cohesive tracking and monitoring to support at risk students
  • an inclusive approach that responds to students with additional learning needs
  • transition programmes that support student wellbeing
  • a local curriculum that responds to students interests.

Next step

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation to better inform decision making.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

24 September 2019

About the school

Location

Te Aroha

Ministry of Education profile number

116

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

320

Gender composition

Females 53% Males 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 28%
NZ European/Pākehā 61%
Other 11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

24 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2016
Education Review May 2013
Education Review April 2010

Te Aroha College - 08/04/2016

Findings

Students at Te Aroha College benefit from the welcoming and inclusive culture. There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities, especially sporting, available to them. The new principal, senior leaders and trustees are promoting a strong focus on student learning and all forms of success and achievement.

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?

Te Aroha College is located on an extensive and attractive site in the country town of Te Aroha. The student roll has remained steady since the 2013 ERO report, and is currently 376, and of these students 76 identify as Māori. A majority of students whakapapa to various hapū within the Hauraki iwi.

The principal was appointed at the start of 2015, and she has brought a strategic focus on student learning and intended outcomes. She is well supported by an experienced, capable and cohesive team of senior leaders. Together they have worked collaboratively with staff, trustees and the wider community to establish an agreed graduate profile as a positive point of reference for the systematic review of planning and college operations. The current board chairperson took up his role in late 2015. Trustees have continued to provide effective governance for the college through a period of change and challenge.

The college has a positive reporting history with ERO. Teachers have undertaken significant professional development related to recommendations in the 2013 ERO report in the use of digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning, and the revised performance management systems to promote a shared understanding of good practice.

2 Learning

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

The school is making increasingly effective use of student achievement. School self review and evaluation of programmes inform planning and determine how positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement are implemented.

School leaders and members of the pastoral care team work with their contributing primary schools to strengthen the purposeful sharing of achievement information concerning students entering the college. Students at risk of not achieving their educational potential should benefit particularly by initiatives to ensure compatible digital communication systems and coherent approaches to literacy learning between the college and its contributing schools. 

At Years 9 and 10, teachers use achievement information gathered from a range of sources, including standardised assessment tools, to plan programmes to meet students' diverse learning needs. Students who would benefit from additional support or extension have appropriate access to programmes both within, and beyond, the classroom. Teachers are strengthening the use of school data as part of their inquiry to monitor students in these two years. School leaders recognise that an important next step is to develop a shared understanding of the annual expected progress for students. This is likely to enhance programme evaluation and reporting processes to parents and board of trustees.

Students in Years 11 to 13 have their progress towards national qualifications carefully tracked and reported. National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data for the past three years shows that the proportion of students completing the Level 1, 2 and 3 qualification continues to be comparable to, or slightly above, national averages. Māori and Pacific student’s achievement levels are comparable to other students in the college. The proportion of school leavers with the NCEA Level 2 qualification exceeds the government’s priority goal of 85%. 

Trustees receive regular reports on student achievement and progress. They set and monitor appropriate progress targets, and make resource decisions to support programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

Throughout 2015, school leaders and teachers successfully initiated strategies of review and development to design a curriculum that supports students to develop the attributes, knowledge and skills to be life-long learners. The collaborative and inclusive processes involved in the initiation of innovative strategies are focused on ‘learner-centred learning'. This approach strengthens the high quality of positive relationships evident among students, staff and parents at the college. 

This year the college moved to 100 minute learning periods and all students in Year 9 were provided with board-funded laptop computers. The effective use of digital technologies for learning and teaching is a focus for teacher professional development. Plans are in progress to introduce an ‘interest day’ once a week, when students at any year level are able to follow a course of study and activity directly related to their strength or interest. The college has successfully extended the number of community-based trade training courses available to senior students.

School leaders have successfully coordinated a systematic review of systems and processes to raise the professional capability and collective capacity of staff, in line with the school vision and purpose. The roles and expectations of staff, including those with additional responsibilities, have been clarified and integrated into a strengthened appraisal process. There is an increased expectation that good practice and relevant achievement information will be effectively shared among staff to support student engagement and progress. School leaders recognise that teachers need ongoing professional development and support to realise the full benefit to student educational outcomes of recent curriculum changes.

Students benefit from an effective holistic pastoral care system that is coordinated through experienced deans, guidance and career staff, and senior students themselves. The relatively small college roll and well-established community links, ensures teachers know students and their families well. Restorative practices are well integrated into the management of relationships. Parents are kept well informed through strengthened digital communication systems. A feature of the college is the high proportion of students and staff who are involved in extra-curriculum activities. Students participate with pride and considerable success in a wide range of sports. 

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

The school is demonstrating a strengthened commitment to ensuring equitable outcomes for Māori students, who continue to experience success in academic, sporting, cultural and leadership areas.

A Māori advisory group has been established with a particular role of developing authentic partnerships with local iwi and marae. The Year 13 leadership camp at the start of 2016 was marae based and increased the confidence and competence of these senior students to take greater responsibility for tikanga practices, such as school welcomes for new students and important visitors.

Te reo Māori is taught to all Year 9 students and is available as an academic option at Years 10 and 11. School leaders intend to extend the availability of te reo Māori learning to all year levels.  Curriculum leaders have department goals to increase the integration of local and cultural relevant contexts in all courses of learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors that support this are:

  • trustees who are focused on building positive partnerships with school leaders, staff and the wider community. They make resource and policy decisions that support equitable outcomes for all students
  • the effective and collaborative leadership approach by the principal, which is positively transforming the culture for learning
  • the shared ownership and united support of the senior leadership team, which is supporting the strategic direction of the college
  • teachers feeling valued,  respected and supported through consultation and feedback processes
  • students who experience an inclusive and caring culture and share the positive sense of purpose and direction
  • parents who contribute as partners in their child’s education
  • an effective self-review process that makes use of internal consultation and external sources  and is focused on improving outcomes for students.

It is important for the college to continue to carefully monitor and evaluate the outcomes for students from the revised curriculum. This evaluation is particularly important for individual and groups of priority students at risk of not achieving their full potential.

Provision for international students

Te Aroha College 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 of 1989. The college has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this ERO review there were nine international students attending the college.

International students benefit from the holistic pastoral care systems already well established in the college. They are encouraged to become involved in the wide range of sporting and extra-curricular activities. School leaders recognise that areas for strengthening in relation to the support of their international students are:

  • evidence-based review of current systems and processes
  • monitoring classroom support
  • reporting to trustees on the effectiveness of their academic and pastoral support.

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 at Te Aroha College benefit from the welcoming and inclusive culture. There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities, especially sporting, available to them. The new principal, senior leaders and trustees are promoting a strong focus on student learning and all forms of success and achievement.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

8 April 2016

School Statistics

Location

Te Aroha, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

116

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

376

Number of international students

9

Gender composition

Girls       55%
Boys      45%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
South East Asian
Tongan
Other European
Other Asian
Other

66%
20%
  2%
  2%
  4%
  3%
  3%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

8 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2013
April 2010
April 2007