Tauranga Girls' College

Education institution number:
122
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1358
Telephone:
Address:

930 Cameron Road, Gate Pa, Tauranga

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Tauranga Girls' College - 17/12/2018

School Context

Tauranga Girls’ College is a single sex school catering for girls in Years 9 to 13. At the time of this ERO review 1263 students were enrolled of whom 54% are Pākehā, 33% are Māori, 4% are of Pacific heritage, and others come from a range of nationalities.

The school’s vision is ‘Empowering tomorrow’s women for a different tomorrow’. The mission is ‘to create a safe, stimulating and exciting learning environment that allows each student to develop her academic, cultural and sporting potential’. The vision and mission is underpinned by the school values of respect – manaakitanga, participation – mahi tahi, and pride – mana motuhake. Students are encouraged to take individual responsibility, demonstrate integrity and show respect for the rights of others.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been some changes to the senior leadership team. The previously long-standing principal retired at the end of 2017, and a new principal was subsequently appointed. One of the deputy principals has recently won a principal’s position at another school which will create a further change to the team. The other three senior leaders have been in their positions for several years.

The long-serving board chair is knowledgeable in her role and there is a mix of new and experienced trustees. Māori are proportionally represented on the board. Board members have undertaken training in their roles as trustees.

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

  • Achievement in all curriculum areas in Years 9 and 10, through the school’s junior diploma

  • National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Teachers have participated in a range of professional learning and development (PLD) programmes focused on effective pedagogy and classroom practice. This includes Kia Eke Panuku, Poutama Pounamu, positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) restorative practice, leadership as inquiry and effective use of information and communications technologies.

Tauranga Girls’ College is a member of the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning | 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?

The school is working towards more equitable outcomes for all students.

Overall 2017 NCEA roll-based achievement information shows that most students have achieved NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Approximately half of the Year 13 cohort achieved University Entrance (UE). Fifty percent of students gained NCEA with merit or excellence endorsement. Eight students gained scholarship in a variety of subjects.

Achievement rates for Māori students in NCEA and UE have been improving over the last three years. However, there is ongoing significant disparity between the achievement of Māori when compared to Pākehā students. Comparative analysis shows the disparity gap has decreased over time at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 but increased at Level 3. There is ongoing significant disparity at UE.

Pākehā achievement has remained consistently high over time for NCEA Levels 1, 2, and 3, and is decreasing for UE.

School leavers’ data for students leaving school with NCEA Level 2 or above, shows a similar disparity picture between Māori and Pākehā students. However, this gap has been closing between these groups of students over the last three years.

The school collates and analyses a wide range of achievement, engagement and participation information at Years 9 and 10 through the Junior Diploma. This information is used to track progress in these areas. The achievement data from 2016 and 2017 shows significant disparity between Māori and non-Māori in Year 9 in almost all curriculum areas. Cohort tracking from 2016 and 2017 shows that by the end of Year 10 the disparity has been significantly reduced and Māori are achieving at similar levels to their peers across the curriculum.

A new ‘Inclusive Learning Leader’ who has assumed the role of the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), has been appointed to collate, analyse and report achievement and progress for students with special or additional needs.

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

The school is able to show acceleration for some Māori and other students who need this.

Cohort tracking over a four year period shows that over half of Māori students who began school at Year 9 below expected curriculum levels, and stayed until Year 12 and 13, made accelerated progress to achieve NCEA Level 2 or above.

The school has a range of intervention and support programmes for students achieving below expected curriculum levels. It is still to develop systems, and monitor the extent, pace and sufficiency of progress. Some teachers can show acceleration for individual students, but this is not inclusive of all at-risk learners. The school has begun to develop a consistent approach to collating, analysing and reporting acceleration information for Māori and other students who are underachieving.

Initiatives to support and accelerate at-risk learners in Years 9 and 10 included literacy and mathematics programmes. Recent analysis show these approaches are more successful in mathematics where there has been effective acceleration of Māori and other students who have previously been underachieving.

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 newly formed leadership team has implemented and promotes a positive learning culture. This is underpinned by a strong focus on relational trust and a culture of building teacher professional growth and development. A timely review of roles and responsibilities of senior leaders through a process of evaluation and inquiry has been initiated to strengthen their focus on acceleration of learning. A comprehensive consultation process to gather parent aims and aspirations has been completed, contributing to a high level of shared staff ownership and accountability. These positive leadership practices have led to a more clearly defined focus on providing equitable and accelerated outcomes for students.

Productive partnerships for learning and effective collaboration across the school community are evident. Strong pastoral care teams work effectively with outside agencies and community organisations to provide wrap-around, individualised support for students and whānau. Staff regularly participate in evidence-based achievement meetings to discuss effective teaching strategies across curriculum areas for engaging students in the junior school. This is having a significant impact on improving learning and achievement. Teachers actively encourage and support, Pacific students and their families to attend community groups that provide academic support in a cultural context. The school works collaboratively with local iwi Ngai te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui to provide students and whānau with a range of cultural, social and wellbeing initiatives. These support processes and practices provide students more equitable opportunities for learning.

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

In-school processes and practices need to be further refined to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to collaboratively develop and implement a targeted action plan to accelerate the learning of at-risk students. This includes setting annual targets to address disparity, and which include all at-risk learners needing to make accelerated progress. Regular reporting to the board on the progress of target students is a priority.

Leaders and teachers need to build the collective capacity for the effective management and use of achievement data. Developing a school-wide understanding of acceleration and how to achieve it, and systems to effectively track students achieving below expectations, are areas for further development.

Leaders and teachers need to develop effective systems and processes for evidence-based internal evaluation. Evaluating the effectiveness of school-wide interventions and support programmes for accelerating the progress of at-risk learners, and reporting this to the board to inform resourcing decisions, is an important consideration. Ongoing critical analysis of curriculum programme effectiveness, and the development of action plans that specifically address disparity, are urgent priorities.

The school needs to further develop its understanding and implementation of culturally responsive and relational practices. Priority should be given to developing a cohesive strategic approach to improving outcomes for Māori. This needs to encapsulate improving language, culture and identity school wide, including consistent planning, implementation and integration of Māori contexts across the curriculum. This is needed to better reflect the cultural aspirations and perspectives of Māori students and whānau.

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.

Appraisal audit

To improve current practise, the board of trustees should ensure that all components of the appraisal process are met. There is evidence that this has begun.

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

Effective systems are in place for the provision of pastoral care and quality of education. International students are fully involved in a wide range of activities and are well integrated into the school community. The school’s monitoring and support mechanisms ensure their wellbeing.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the newly formed leadership team that is implementing processes and practices to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students

  • productive partnerships with parents, whanau, iwi and community that support student achievement and wellbeing

  • teachers working collaboratively that is improving student achievement.

Next steps

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

  • effective use of achievement information to track, monitor and report on acceleration for at-risk students

  • a strategic approach to building cultural responsiveness to effectively respond to Māori student and whanau aspirations

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

17 December 2018

About the school

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

122

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1243

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 54%
Māori 33%
Other 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

17 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review November 2009

Tauranga Girls' College - 23/10/2015

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Tauranga Girl’s College is a large girls’ school in central Tauranga that caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The current roll is 1381, 31% of whom identify as Māori. Students are drawn from a number of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and there are 50 Pacific and 42 international students on the roll.

Since the 2012 ERO review there have been very few changes to the membership of the senior leadership team and the board of trustees. Property developments have included ongoing upgrades to the school’s buildings, and the information and computer technologies (ICT) capability has been significantly improved. The school is now in a strong and sustainable financial position.

Teachers have been involved in a range of professional development initiatives including Ministry of Education funded programmes such as Kia Eke Panuku, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), and Achievement, Retention and Transition (ART) strategies. These initiatives are to address the areas for review and development mentioned in the 2012 ERO report, especially relating to raising the achievement and engagement of Māori learners.

Leaders and teachers have revisited and reviewed the school’s vision and values. The school motto is Pergo et Perago -Strive and Achieve and the whakataukī - ma te kaha a taea ai - expresses the vision of empowering tomorrow’s women. These values are clearly stated in English and te reo Māori. They reflect competencies and behaviours which guide students and staff in upholding the positive culture of the school.

Most students experience success in a wide range of academic, cultural and sporting activities and events. In 2014, consultation was undertaken by the board of trustees to seek feedback from the school’s community. This information was used to develop strategic priorities for ongoing school improvement.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers make good use of a variety of systems and processes to gather appropriate information and data about student engagement, progress and achievement. This data is well collated and analysed within departments and school wide, to identify levels of student achievement and progress across the school.

The school collates contributing school data and entrance assessment information to plan transitions into the school and inform student class placements in Year 9. A particular strength is the way in which nationally referenced and school-based assessments are used to track and monitor the achievement and progress of students in relation to levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) in Years 9 and 10. This information shows that a large proportion of students are achieving at national expectations.

Most teachers are using assessment data to help them plan lessons that cater for the diverse needs of their students. They also use student achievement information to inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice. Achievement information is shared with students in a variety of ways, and reported to parents twice yearly.

Students at risk of underachievement are clearly identified and provided with a wide range of support from dedicated and experienced pastoral care and learning support staff. Students with special learning needs are able to learn in mainstream classes with the support of teacher aides.

The principal regularly reports to the board on school-wide student achievement information and other student success in sporting and cultural activities. This information is used by the board to make resourcing decisions and inform strategic direction and planning.

In 2014, students participating in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1 achieved at comparable rates to their peers nationally and in schools of a similar type. In NCEA Levels 2 and 3, students achieved above national comparisons for girls in similar schools. Nineteen students were awarded scholarships, including five who gained outstanding awards. In addition, students achieved a significant number of excellence awards, including being recognised for outstanding achievement.

As identified in previous ERO reports, the roll-based assessment information and other school data continues to show a disparity between the achievement of Māori and non-Māori students within the school. However, Māori students who participated in NCEA achieved at or above their Māori peers nationally. At Level 2 the school has closed the gap, with Māori students achieving at similar levels to non-Māori students.

3 Curriculum

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

A broad-based curriculum offers students a wide range of subject choices, learning opportunities and vocational pathways. There are many ways that students can experience and celebrate success. They are well supported to make appropriate subject choices from programmes designed to cater for different learning levels and interests. Students with particular strengths and abilities participate in extension classes and programmes.

Teachers and leaders have reviewed and revised a wide range of programmes, in addition to the academic mentoring programme, to further support student learning choices and provide information for parents.

Special features of the curriculum include:

  • a strong focus on English, mathematics and science especially in Years 9 to 11
  • an emphasis placed on creative and performing arts, textiles, business studies and sporting achievement
  • the use of digital technology to enhance student engagement
  • increased learning opportunities in the local community and environment including involvement in work placements, and training through Gateway and Trades Academy initiatives.

Pastoral care provisions include involvement in peer support, tuakana-teina relationships, and tutor groups that remain together as students' progress through school. These effectively promote student wellbeing and belonging. Pacific students benefit from the establishment of a Pacific Island Trust in order to better engage students and families.

A well-resourced careers room and experienced careers advisor are easily accessible to all students and their parents/whanau. Students benefit from many opportunities to be involved in meaningful leadership roles including student councils, committees, and a range of senior student responsibilities.

In classrooms, there are positive and caring relationships among teachers and students and with their peers. Students are confident to express their ideas and opinions during class discussions with teachers. Examples of effective teaching practice include:

  • teachers giving students written, formative feedback
  • collaborative, hands-on learning in groups
  • teachers seeking student information about different learning styles and needs
  • interactive activities, simulation games, competitions and real-life scenarios
  • use of peers to support and evaluate each other's work.

Teachers would benefit from further opportunities to observe and share these good practices across all learning areas.

Teachers meet regularly and engage in professional learning opportunities and discussion aligned to strategic aims and student needs. A comprehensive appraisal cycle is in place to promote teacher reflection and development. Ensuring that the quality of this process is consistently implemented is a next step for rigorous and ongoing teacher development.

The school has identified that delivering learning through digital citizenship technology in a modern learning environment is a future priority. This includes continuing to build authentic and personalised programmes and opportunities where students take responsibility for leading their own learning.

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

The school is engaged in ongoing professional development and other initiatives to promote educational success for Māori as Māori. By working with students and whānau, school leaders now need to develop high expectations and goals to further raise Māori student achievement, engagement and wellbeing.

The school has responded to this challenge by introducing recent initiatives such as:

  • involvement in a Ministry of Education(MOE) initiative, Kia Eke Panuku, to raise Māori achievement
  • a review of strategic aims and priorities to enhance Māori student achievement levels
  • a Māori student achievement ceremony and celebration
  • strengthening relationships with local iwi and visits to nearby marae
  • strengthening transitions from Year 8 to Year 9 for Māori girls-Wharekura o Mauao
  • plans to build a new wharenui on school grounds to better cater for Māori students and whānau.

School leaders are supporting teachers to provide culturally responsive classroom environments and contexts for learning. It is important to continue to explore effective strategies to inform and engage parents and whānau in becoming respected and valued partners in their daughter’s learning and education. This should enable the school to fully enact its own values and strategic aims, as well as government priorities.

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 contributing to this are:

  • well-informed, knowledgeable and experienced trustees who are committed to ongoing development and improvement over a sustained period of time. They work in a close and positive partnership with the principal
  • a principal, supported by a skilled and committed senior leadership team, who provides effective professional leadership and fosters a collegial staff culture
  • middle managers, including deans and curriculum leaders, who play an important role in fulfilling the school’s vision, values and strategic aims
  • the collation of a wide range of student information that is contributing to a growing understanding of self review
  • a safe, inclusive and well-resourced school learning environment for students
  • meaningful partnerships with parents/whānau and the wider community.

School development and improvement could be further enhanced by:

  • evaluating and giving clarity to the effectiveness of self review and planned actions that are clearly aligned to student learning outcomes
  • continuing to strengthen trustee governance skills and prepare for succession in order to fully realise the school's strategic priorities.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this ERO review there were 42 international students attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code.

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

The director and other staff involved in supporting international students are highly experienced and have developed comprehensive procedures for monitoring the pastoral care of students. International students are receiving a quality education similar to other students, and their achievement and progress are carefully monitored. They benefit from a new purpose-built facility that supports their learning and wellbeing.

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

Tauranga Girls’ College provides students with many academic, cultural, sporting and vocational opportunities within a safe, well-resourced and attractive school environment. Knowledgeable leaders and teachers encourage students to strive for success. Student leadership is fostered across the school. The school is increasing its responsiveness to Māori students and whānau.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

School Statistics

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

122

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1381

Number of international students

42

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Other European
Asian
Pacific
Indian
Other

49%
31%
  7%
  5%
  4%
  3%
  1%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

23 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2012
November 2009
December 2006