Fraser High School

Education institution number:
135
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1291
Telephone:
Address:

72 Ellicott Road, Dinsdale, Hamilton

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Fraser High School - 31/08/2017

Findings

Students at Fraser High School benefit from a range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. They participate and enjoy success in an affirming school culture. Relationships between teachers, students and their families are positive and support students’ engagement in learning and contributions to the life of the school.

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?

Fraser High School is a large, co-educational secondary school in Hamilton catering for students in Years 9 to 13. The roll of 1448 includes 41% Māori and 7% Pacific students.

Since ERO’s 2014 review, the school’s senior leadership and governance have remained the same. A model of wider and more distributed leadership has been introduced with the intention to build teachers’ capability to inquire into their own practice and promote effective pedagogy across the curriculum. The hub initiative that started in 2014 is designed to promote a more responsive, flexible and integrated approach to teaching and learning for students in Years 9 and 10. Professional learning and development has focused on strengthening teachers’ understanding of key principles and effective teaching approaches from The New Zealand Curriculum. The school has continued to embed Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and LEAD values of learning with purpose, engaging with pride, acting with respect and daring to succeed, to guide improvements in behaviour and learning. This is having a positive impact on students’ wellbeing and engagement.

2 Learning

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

The school is yet to use achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Key areas of development for using achievement information are:

  • setting specific and evidence-based charter targets, with planned actions for raising the achievement of all students at risk
  • addressing the persistent disparity in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for Māori, boys and Pacific students
  • developing a consistent and school-wide approach to assessment for students in Years 9 and 10, and regularly reporting on the progress and achievement of this cohort of learners
  • evaluating curriculum effectiveness in accelerating the progress and achievement of at-risk learners.

The school uses a range of information, including National Standards data from its contributing schools, to inform class placements and support positive transitions into secondary school for Year 9 students. Data shows that most Year 9 students who were at or above the expected curriculum level on entry to school in 2014, achieved well in NCEA Level 1 in 2016. This data also shows that the significant majority of Year 9 students who entered the school below expected curriculum levels in 2014, made accelerated progress in gaining their literacy and numeracy credits in 2016 with half of students gaining NCEA Level 1.

Since the previous ERO review in 2014 the school’s NCEA results have been below that of schools of a similar profile and schools nationally. This data from 2016 shows that 62% of Year 11 students achieved NCEA Level 1, 65% of Year 12 students achieved Level 2, and 39% of Year 13 students achieved Level 3. The roll based data also shows that overall Māori and Pacific students achieved at lower levels than Pākehā students, and boys achieved at significantly lower levels than girls. A notable success for the school is the high number of Māori students involved in the Hei Taniwha programme who achieved NCEA Level 1 with endorsement in 2016. 

3 Curriculum

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

The school provides a broad curriculum that promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum is well designed to ensure students are able to access a range of academic and vocational learning pathways appropriate to their needs, strengths and interests. The introduction of an integrated and differentiated curriculum at Years 9 and 10 is promoting continuity of learning and relationships with teachers and peers. Students who spoke with ERO expressed appreciation of teachers who have high expectations and support them to have ownership and understanding of their learning. Students also value opportunities to participate in a wide range of sporting, cultural, leadership and extension opportunities. The broad curriculum is contributing to high levels of student engagement in meaningful learning opportunities and pathways.

Students’ pastoral and academic needs are effectively resourced. Established systems and practices include:

  • the student health centre that provides a wide range of services that are responsive to student needs
  • the deans' network
  • the well-established PB4L initiative
  • positive engagement and information sharing with parents and whānau, particularly at transition points
  • designated unit and mainstream options for students with special needs
  • group times, where a specific teacher and students meet regularly to promote positive relationships, a sense of belonging and peer mentoring
  • recent initiatives to acknowledge, celebrate and affirm the languages, cultures and identity of Pacific students in the school, and to engage their families.

These responsive approaches contribute to students’ holistic wellbeing and success.

School leaders acknowledge the need to evaluate the effectiveness of current provision of sexuality education for students in Years 9 and 10. 

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

The school has some initiatives that effectively promote educational success for Māori students. The Hei Taniwha and Tama Tu programmes are underpinned by strong Māori values of manaakitanga, mana motuhake, whakapringatanga, wanganga, ako and kotahitanga. These values provide the foundation for high expectations, self efficacy and strong learning-centred relationships. Notable outcomes from these programmes have been student success in gaining NCEA and vocational pathway qualifications, improved engagement and attendance. A next step for the school is to consider how best to build on the success of these initiatives to benefit other Māori students in the school.

The school has an ongoing commitment to building practices and a curriculum that is responsive to Māori learners. Teachers have engaged in sustained professional learning and development with an emphasis on improving Māori student achievement. The influence of this learning for some teachers is strengthening the presence of Māori perspectives and knowledge in contexts that make learning meaningful and relevant for Māori students. School leaders and the board acknowledge that there remains a need to reduce the disparities in achievement between Māori and other students in the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The following factors contribute to school improvement and sustainability:

  • Trustees are representative of the community. They contribute a range of skills and experience, and have a strong desire to improve educational outcomes for students.
  • The principal and wider professional learning team articulate a clear vision for teaching and learning at Fraser High School.
  • An increasing number of teachers engage in opportunities to inquire into their own practice and engage in professional dialogue about effective teaching and responsive curriculum.
  • Students experience a broad curriculum that provides them with choices and pathways that support their transition on to further education and employment.
  • The school offers a range of opportunities that engage parents and whānau in the life of the school. In addition the school has developed partnerships with the community and tertiary providers to create authentic learning opportunities for students.

The following next steps are required to sustain and improve performance:

  • Review and refine the roles and responsibilities of the senior leadership team, to more specifically focus on leadership of learning. This needs to include an emphasis on learner outcomes, particularly in relation to Māori, Pacific and Year 9 and 10 students.
  • Strengthen internal evaluation by making better use of achievement information to evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives. This should enable the school to identify and replicate practices that make the biggest difference for at risk learners.
  • Review policies and practices for teacher appraisal. This needs to include increased rigour of appraisal processes and strengthening the quality and consistency of evidence gathered by teachers as the basis for the issue of practicing certificates.

The school needs to develop an action plan to address the next steps identified in this report. In addition, the school would benefit from participating in an ERO internal evaluation workshop to build its capacity to engage in robust internal evaluation and critical inquiry into school programmes and initiatives.

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.

The board of trustees must ensure that:

  • an annual performance agreement with the principal is in place.
    [State Sector Act s77]

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school participates in an ERO internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes that support equity and excellence for all students. 

Conclusion

Students at Fraser High School benefit from a range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. They participate and enjoy success in an affirming school culture. Relationships between teachers, students and their families are positive and support students’ engagement in learning and contributions to the life of the school.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

31 August 2017

About the School 

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

135

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1448

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Other Pacific
Samoan
South East Asian
Other

41%
41%
5%
4%
3%
3%
3%

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

31 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Supplementary Review Supplementary Review

December 2014
July 2013
July 2011

 

Fraser High School - 12/12/2014

Findings

Students at Fraser High School learn and achieve within a positive school culture in which teachers actively respond to their interests and strengths. They are able to access wide ranging curriculum opportunities and pursue meaningful learning pathways. School leaders and trustees are resolutely focused on school improvement and development.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Fraser High School is a large, co-educational secondary school in Hamilton catering for students in Years 9 to 13. The roll of 1463 students includes 36% who identify as Māori and 8% who are of Pacific descent.

This ERO report evaluates the school’s response and progress made in relation to areas for review and development identified in the July 2013 ERO report. These involve aspects of governance, teaching and learning, and student achievement.

Since the previous ERO report in July 2013, school leadership has remained the same. A new board of trustees was elected in May 2013 and a new chairperson appointed. School leaders have worked hard and effectively to embed and extend the school-wide Positive Behaviour for Learning initiative, LEAD, to guide improvements in behaviour and learning. A sustained and strategic approach to raising Māori student achievement is having positive results.

Teacher professional development has focused on strengthening literacy and numeracy across the curriculum and responding to the strengths and interests of students. Closer relationships have been established with parents/whānau and the wider community. There are now more rigorous systems for tracking and monitoring student progress and achievement, and developing meaningful learning pathways.

The principal continues to provide a clear strategic vision for school improvement focused on positive educational outcomes for students. Trustees are capable and supportive and are determined to raise student achievement and success. Students learn in a supportive school culture in which they have a wide range of opportunities to succeed. 

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The previous ERO report recommended that:

  • the board of trustees restore full membership of the board, review board operations, undertake board training, develop a governance manual, and continue evidence-based self review of progress against the school’s strategic and annual goals
  • school leaders focus on improving educational outcomes for students, including tracking and monitoring of individuals and groups of students, and developing purposeful learning pathways that lead to successful achievement
  • effective literacy and numeracy strategies be embedded across all subject areas
  • teachers foster greater student ownership of, and responsibility for, their learning
  • school leaders share and promote the existing examples of high-quality practice evident in many areas of the school.
Progress
Governance

The May 2013 board elections resulted in the establishment of a full board and the appointment of a new chairperson. Trustees now contribute a range of skills and expertise to the work of the board. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and Māori perspectives are well represented.

The board is supporting the work of the principal and receives regular reports on student achievement, programmes and initiatives, and school operations. Property improvements include a new technology block, refurbished classrooms, and upgrades to the school environment. The school’s finances and assets are being well managed and monitored by a board finance sub-committee.

Stand down and suspension procedures are being appropriately managed and there has been a significant reduction in numbers recorded in 2013 and 2014.

At the time of this ERO review, the present chairperson resigned and a new chairperson was elected. New members had been co-opted and the board is now ensuring that there is good succession planning, and thorough processes for the induction of new members.

Leadership

The principal, senior leaders and middle managers are providing the school with a strong sense of direction, clear goals for improvement, and ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of students and their families. Wide consultation within the school community has resulted in a draft strategic plan which now needs to be completed and ratified by the board. Communication and relationships are transparent, and there has been strategic appointment of key personnel.

The senior leadership team is effectively leading an inclusive approach to learning and teaching across the school. There is deliberate development of leadership among middle managers through targeted professional development. This has strengthened the good quality leadership of curriculum, programmes and initiatives. Leaders of literacy and numeracy have been fully established in 2014. School leaders are using evidence-based self review to inform their decision making, and are effectively managing change and improvement. The use of data, and responsiveness to the needs of students and their parents/whānau, are contributing to improvements in student engagement and achievement.

The work done in strengthening relationships with contributing schools, transition-to-school processes including interviewing students, and the tracking and monitoring of student progress, is improving the perception of the school in the community and enhancing outcomes for students.

Teaching and Learning

The positive behaviour for learning initiative (LEAD) continues to provide the mechanism and framework for school-wide culture change and improvement. Through an unrelenting focus on learning and achievement, the principal and staff have made good progress in shifting the school culture from one focused on behaviour to one that values and celebrates learning. Data from increased tracking and monitoring shows that staff are making a positive difference to student behaviour and achievement.

The LEAD initiative is also providing common values and understandings across all areas of the school. Regular reporting to parents using the LEAD dimensions (Learn with purpose, Engage with pride, Act with respect, and Dare to succeed) is proving to be an effective way to monitor students’ behaviour and readiness to learn. Respectful relationships among staff and students now underpin teaching and learning.

Other successful curriculum initiatives include:

  • the review of curriculum design and organisation in Years 9 and 10 aimed at increasing the focus on numeracy, literacy, science and technology
  • tracking and monitoring of priority learners at all levels of the school and a responsive approach to addressing the needs of students who require extra assistance
  • an increased range of strategies to strengthen the deliberate teaching and assessment of literacy and numeracy skills
  • initiatives such as hui whakawera (Māori community consultation) and Hei Taniwha (Māori succeeding as Māori), Ki Te Whai Ao, Māori boys mentoring (2014), and Māori student leadership
  • career and learning pathways implementation plans
  • the music and arts projects.

In classrooms, students are settled, co-operative and on task. Positive behaviour management strategies are resulting in students being friendly, outgoing and confident. ERO observed effective teaching strategies that included:

  • using students’ prior knowledge and the sharing of the purpose of learning with students
  • acknowledging students’ language, culture and identity
  • cooperative and self-directed learning
  • effective questioning techniques, and revisiting and recapping on learning
  • good use of ‘hands on’ learning activities including information and communication technologies (ICT).

Teachers are now engaged in ongoing personalised professional learning and development in response to their appraisal goals. They need to continue to share good practices and make better use of their classroom learning environments to enhance improved learning outcomes for students.

The school is beginning to make progress in relation to the Ministry of Education goal of 85% of school leavers achieving Level 2 in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), and is setting targets to achieve this goal. School leaders are able to show, using nationally standardised assessments, that the progress made by students in Years 9 and 10 in English and mathematics is improving. Achievement in literacy and numeracy has increased and there has been an improvement in students gaining Level 1 NCEA, including for Māori students. Leaders are also able to show improved attendance rates, and reduced numbers of stand downs and suspensions.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The board, school leaders and ERO agree that key priorities for future review and development are for:

  • the board to review and update school policies and procedures, access further board training, and take greater ownership of the strategic planning process
  • school leaders to develop an approach that raises achievement and outcomes for Pacific students
  • teachers to continue to promote and embed effective teaching strategies to further raise student achievement in literacy, and in particular, raise achievement in numeracy across the school.

While the culture for learning has improved school-wide, there is now a need to focus on further developing the ‘learning to learn’ principle of The New Zealand Curriculum (TNZC). Further raising student achievement continues to be the central focus for all in the school community.

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 Fraser High School learn and achieve within a positive school culture in which teachers actively respond to their interests and strengths. They are able to access wide ranging curriculum opportunities and pursue meaningful learning pathways. School leaders and trustees are resolutely focused on school improvement and development.

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

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

12 December 2014

About the School 

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

135

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1463

Gender composition

Boys 54%
Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Māori
Pacific
Asian
Indian
Other European
Other

43%
36%
  8%
  5%
  3%
  3%
  2%

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

12 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review
Supplementary Review
Education Review

July 2013
July 2011
August 2010