Kowhai Intermediate

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Education institution number:
1337
School type:
Intermediate
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
586
Telephone:
Address:

26 Onslow Road, Kingsland, Auckland

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Findings

The board of trustees, school leaders and staff share a strategic vision of education that promotes learners who are confident, self-directed and responsive to challenge and change. Students respond positively to an innovative learning culture that emphasises thinking skills. Parents comment on the confidence these learning approaches instil in their children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Kowhai Intermediate, in the Auckland suburb of Kingsland, has a long history of providing education for Year 7 and 8 students. Nearly half of the students are Pākehā, and 18 percent are Māori and 17 percent of Pacific Island background. The school has a strong commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and an inclusive culture that celebrates the increasing diversity of families in the local community.

The school is divided into six whānau groups, each with three classes. Three Rumaki Māori classes are immersed in Te Reo Māori for most of their learning in team Pounamu. A Samoan bilingual class, Gafoa le Ata is attached to another whānau team. This class enables children to learn in a Samoan language setting. Parents and children are proud that their language, culture and identity are strongly recognised at this school. Each whānau team has a mix of Year 7 and 8 classes.

The appointment of a new principal in 2015 has continued the positive transformation in the school acknowledged in previous ERO reports. The principal is supported by a collaborative management team. They maintain the persistent focus on children’s learning and achievement begun by the previous principal with well selected initiatives that impact positively on student engagement and achievement.

The board’s strategic plan guides school operations, and school leaders monitor progress towards their annual goals and targets. Students are encouraged to become independent lifelong learners. School leaders have a high regard for educational research and local networking. These are contributing aspects to ongoing refinement of the learning programme for students.

The school is an asset in the local community. There are very strong partnerships with local sports and community organisations who make good use of the attractive grounds and facilities to engage the wider community. Parents and whānau are made welcome and work together with teachers to support learners.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. School leaders responded well to recommendations in the 2012 ERO report. Leaders led the professional development of teachers in inquiring rigorously into the impact of their teaching practices on student learning and achievement, in order to help students develop a wider a sense of themselves as learners and critical thinkers.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to support learners' engagement, progress and achievement. Students are highly engaged in their learning. They make good progress and generally achieve very well. Students work collaboratively with teachers and their parents to understand their own learning and are able to establish and review personal learning goals.

Teachers are very skilled in the use of achievement information. They collect reliable information about student achievement and meet regularly to monitor and consider students’ progress in depth. Data indicates that most students, including Māori and Pacific, achieve very well in relation to the National Standards in mathematics, reading and writing. Some groups of students are selected for additional targeted learning to accelerate their learning progress.

The principal oversees student progress and achievement across the school. She and the senior leaders examine achievement information critically and work with teachers to help ensure students’ learning needs are met. Teachers are implementing successful approaches to bring about accelerated learning. Analysis is well used to inform programme overviews and daily learning intentions.

Parents receive very good information about their children’s learning, progress and achievement. Teachers encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. As they gain confidence as learners, they can share their progress with each other and their parents. Conferences and written reports clearly express how students are achieving in relation to each National Standard. Students’ reports also outline meaningful ways that families can support their children’s learning at home.

Whānau leaders work collaboratively with their teams to plan programmes. The school is part of a cluster of schools with a focus on improving the teaching of writing. Initiatives like this continue to help teachers to make reliable and confident judgements about student progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum at Kowhai Intermediate is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. Good alignment has been established between the school’s curriculum andThe New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The key competencies and school values are an integral part of the curriculum framework. They are expressed through the school’s philosophy to underpin the curriculum. Students are cooperative, respectful and confident. Leadership opportunities allow students to take up responsibilities within the wider school.

The curriculum is varied and fun. Art, music and cultural experiences such as pōwhiri are regular and planned events. Students achieve well in sports, including swimming and team games where they participate with enthusiasm.

Curriculum review has been purposeful and responsive to students’ identified learning needs and interests. Learning programmes are designed to foster literacy and numeracy in a framework of inquiry-based learning. Students contribute to the selection of topics and explore learning through questioning, reading, writing, sharing and presenting information.

The school’s culture and values promote success for all students. Well managed programmes and in-class support for children with special learning and behaviour needs are a feature of the school. The school-wide programme for positive behaviour supports students’ engagement in learning. Positive relationships and restorative practices enhance students’ wellbeing, self-worth and sense of belonging.

Consistent teaching practice has been achieved through the skills and shared expertise of curriculum leaders, who support teachers in classrooms and collaborate with the special needs coordinator and team leaders. Teachers respond positively to the cultural needs of children and include their home languages and cultural symbols in a variety of ways.

Senior leaders are now considering how the curriculum could become more future focused and how they can broaden students’ learning experiences. They are also exploring appropriate options for extending e-learning. These are appropriate next steps in supporting students to become lifelong learners.

The growth of personal responsibility and team-building skills are the result of many learning experiences. Students are taught these skills as part of their wider investigative topics. There are high levels of cognitive engagement in classrooms. Students regularly work in groups and teams on complex activities that are both challenging and stimulating.

There are deliberate prioritised approaches to building staffing capability. Staff receive effective and regular professional development in order to keep up with curriculum developments. There are multiple forums for professional dialogue. A strong feature is the collaboration by teachers across the school to improve teaching, and a strong sense of accountability by all staff. School leaders could now consider how to continue to increase rigour in the teacher appraisal system.

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

Rumaki Māori classes are successfully catering for an increasingly large number of Maōri students. They are becoming more fluent in te reo Māori and increasingly knowledgeable about tikanga. A large kapa haka has been established and is achieving recognition in competitions. Students are also involved in leading powhiri and waiata for formal occasions.

At this school, tikanga Māori is very important and is guided by mana whenua. School leaders consult regularly with whānau Māori and the wider Māori community. In the rumaki, students lead daily mihimihi, karakia and himene. Leaders are developing a strategic goal for students who are assessed under Ngā Whanaketanga.

Māori students in mainstream classes are progressing and achieving well. Where necessary, Māori students are receiving well planned, targeted support in reading, writing and mathematics to ensure that they are making accelerated progress towards the relevant National Standard. School practices and procedures are based on the values of mana, manaaki and mahi tahi. Teachers use Ministry of Education resource documents to develop a deeper understanding of how to make a positive difference for Māori students.

Te Reo Māori and children’s home languages are proudly used throughout the school. As a result, there is increased engagement with whānau and students are achieving well. The school has a strategic goal to continue to promote the learning of te reo Māori.

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. The school is capably led at all levels by the board of trustees, senior and whānau leaders, teachers, support staff and students. A positive school culture based on collaboration and strong relationships is supporting the learning of all students.

The board reflects the diverse Kowhai community and each trustee brings different expertise to their governance role. Trustees work well together and have demonstrated their ability to function effectively when faced with challenge.

Overall the quality of internal evaluation is high. Different perspectives sought from students and the school community are often part of the evaluation processes. Trustees use the information they receive from school leaders to set positive directions for the school. The board values the views and involvement of its community in strategic planning.

Senior leaders are keen to further develop adaptability and resilience in their learners, exposing them to a menu of learning experiences and teaching methodologies. They want to position them confidently as learners who are self-directed and responsive to any learning environment or opportunity presented to them in their future.

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

The board of trustees, school leaders and staff share a strategic vision of education that promotes learners who are confident, self-directed and responsive to challenge and change. Students respond positively to an innovative learning culture that emphasises thinking skills. Parents comment on the confidence these learning approaches instil in their children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

6 May 2016

About the School

Location

Kingsland, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1337

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

516

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Indian

African

Chinese

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other Asian

other European

other Pacific

other

18%

47%

11%

5%

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

Special Features

Te Whānau Pounamu: 3 Rumaki Māori Classes Gafoa le Ata: 1 Samoan Medium Education Class

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

6 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2011

October 2008

August 2005

1 Context

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

Kowhai Intermediate School is a large multi cultural school that caters for students in Years 7 and 8. Situated in the Auckland inner city suburb of Kingsland, the school roll draws from an increasingly diverse community. Twenty two percent of students identify as Māori.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history and has maintained its core values of caring, pride, inclusion and high expectations for all students. A strong bicultural partnership continues to be reflected across the school. Te Whānau Pounamu, the Māori medium education unit, continues to be an integral part of the school.

The experienced and reflective principal, along with his capable leadership team, works with the staff and the board of trustees to prioritise the strengths and learning of all students in the school’s programmes and developments.

The well maintained and spacious environment supports students’ well-being, safety and learning. Staff and the community are proud of their school and the wide range of opportunities that it continues to provide for students.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well engaged in learning and are progressing and achieving well. The majority of students make very good progress over time. The school has information to show that overall students continue to make good overall progress towards meeting National Standards in writing, reading and mathematics.

Quality student achievement information in literacy and mathematics is collated and analysed, and provides a rich source of data for the board, senior leaders and teachers. Senior leaders identify and prioritise student learning. Several initiatives are in place to monitor the progress and achievement of individual students, year levels and other targeted groups of students. Teachers are using student achievement data as a basis for planning, grouping, and supporting students with their learning. Student progress and achievement is celebrated and shared regularly with whānau/parents.

Teacher and student relationships are mutually respectful and focused on learning. Students are positive about their learning and their engagement is fostered through supportive and inclusive learning environments. Teachers have high expectations of students as capable learners.

Students with identified learning needs are appropriately supported through well lead and coordinated programmes. Strong transition processes and links with local schools provide effective support for students as they enter the school at Year 7 and later as they move on to secondary school.

Pacific students represent twenty two percent of the school roll and are well engaged in their learning. Their progress is monitored and reported against the school’s Pasifika goals for literacy and mathematics. Increasing numbers of Pacific students are making good progress against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The board has responded to fanau aspirations. The establishment of a Samoan bilingual class is engaging students effectively in their learning.

How well does the school promote Māori student success?

Māori students have a range of opportunities that are effective in promoting their success as Māori. The board, senior leaders and staff have a clear understanding that success for Māori impacts on the positive engagement, progress and achievement of all students at Kowhai Intermediate School. School leaders are committed to programmes that ensure that the school meets both the educational and aspirational needs of Māori.

The school’s guiding principles are based on the bicultural responsibilities of the Treaty of Waitangi. They are clearly evident in strategic planning and in the schools ongoing commitment to the promotion of te ao Māori. Regular consultation with Māori whānau responds to and reflects their aspirations for their children. Senior leaders have maintained an inclusive environment that is responsive to the aims and principles of Ka Hikitia- Managing for Success, the Ministry of Education Māori Education Strategy.

Eighty seven students identify as Māori, with the majority enrolled in the three classes that make up Te Whānau Pounamu. School information shows Māori students are making very good progress towards achieving National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics in both English and Te Reo Māori. Māori students progress and achieve at and above levels attained by their non-Māori peers.

Māori students feel positive about the many opportunities they have to engage in school life and to celebrate their successes as Māori. Programmes and opportunities that acknowledge and affirm Maori students' interests include:

  • Māori medium education that is delivered effectively through Te Whānau Pounamu
  • the student leadership and committee roles and top achievement awards
  • the active participation of Māori in sporting, music and cultural activities
  • Te Whānau Pounamu kapa haka group that excels at local and national competitions
  • the meaningful learning contexts that reflect Māori perspectives
  • Te ao Māori dimension that is reflected in the school environment and operations.

These factors promote positive Māori student engagement by recognising and responding to their strengths, interests and needs.

Senior leaders have identified further areas for development and review. These include:

  • continued support for the implementation of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, the Ministry of Education Māori assessment standards for Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
  • strengthening opportunities for students in the rest of the school to learn te reo Māori.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides a variety of effective educational opportunities that promote student engagement, progress and achievement for all. There is a strong focus on students’ strengths, high expectations for their learning and on providing meaningful and relevant learning contexts.

Student’s engagement in learning is supported by an inclusive school culture which is underpinned by a set of shared core values. Trustees, school leaders and teachers promote a holistic view that the whole child is integral in the learning process. Importance is placed on maximising student learning in their two years at Kowhai Intermediate School.

Students are confident, capable and enthusiastic learners who benefit from an extensive range of academic, cultural, extra-curricular activities and leadership opportunities.

Senior leaders are currently reviewing the school’s curriculum documentation and their processes for implementing The New Zealand Curriculum. They have used consultative review processes and student achievement data as the basis for designing a curriculum that is meaningful to students and reflects the aspirations parents/whānau have for their children. The Kowhai curriculum aims to support students to become lifelong learners.

Senior leaders and teachers have developed curriculum expectations and clear quality assurance systems to monitor the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Teachers are collegial and are well supported through internal and external professional development.

The senior leadership team have identified that reflective teaching practices and teaching as inquiry are areas for continued development and review. ERO agrees that the continued development of effective teaching and learning would be enhanced by teachers sharing their good practice and expertise across syndicates and the school. These aspects of review and development should strengthen teachers’ reflection on their own practice and in turn enable students to take greater ownership of their 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 through effective school-wide self-review practices. The board, principal and senior leaders have initiated good quality school-wide self review in strategic planning, school operations and curriculum development.

The board is well informed and knowledgeable about student learning, achievement and progress. Trustees continue to use a consultative approach in their engagement with the community. They continue to provide effective governance. Trustees receive useful information that allows them to make informed and strategic decisions. The learning environment and staff development programmes are well resourced to reflect the child-centred focus of the school. Trustees are clear about their obligations as governors and have responded appropriately to the aspirations of a diverse community. Whānau/families continue to provide support for and are involved in the school.

The senior leadership team consists of strong professional leaders who are reflective and work as a cohesive team to strategically improve student outcomes. Senior leaders regularly share school information and celebrate student successes with the school community in a variety of ways.

School leaders and ERO agree that to further support self-review practices trustees should continue to receive improvement-focused and evaluative reports to support the board’s strategic resourcing decisions.

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. At the time of this review there were no 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.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

30 September 2011

About the School

Location

Kingsland, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1337

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

Decile

6

School roll

402

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 57%

Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

African

Chinese

Niuean

Indian

Cook Island

Other

41%

22%

12%

5%

4%

4%

3%

3%

3%

3%

Special Features

Te Whānau Pounamu: three Māori Medium Education classes.

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

30 September 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2008

August 2005

May 2002