Papakura Intermediate

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Summary

Papakura Intermediate has 105 children enrolled in Years 7 and 8. Seventy-four percent of learners are of Māori descent and 22 percent identify as Pacific. Since the2014 ERO review the school has a new principal and senior leadership team and new teachers and members of the board of trustees. The current principal was appointed late in 2014.

The school has low overall levels of achievement. Accelerating students’ progress and lifting achievement is a key priority for the board, leaders and teachers. For this reason, between 2014 and 2016 teachers have undertaken professional learning and development designed to help them accelerate students’ progress and lift achievement. This has included support through a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function Practitioner.

Staff turnover through 2016 had adversely affected the sustainability of some of the teacher professional learning and development. However, recent appointments, greater stability in staffing and an enhanced leadership structure are likely to enable leaders and teachers to re-embed this professional learning. This will assist leaders and teachers to continue building the quality and consistency of teachers’ approaches to lifting achievement.

Over the past two years the board and leaders have had a focus on improving school culture, student attendance and student wellbeing. They have also worked together to create better and well-resourced learning environments. This is helping students to develop a sense of ownership and pride in their learning. The theme of ‘pride’ is also reflected in the school’s values which have had a beneficial effect on students’ engagement with learning and helped to nurture a positive, responsive school culture.

The school is a member of the Papakura Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

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

The majority of the school’s roll is Maori. The school’s challenge is low overall levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. While there is no significant disparity in achievement across the school’s different cultural groups, there is some minor disparity in achievement for boys in reading and writing.

Despite the low levels of achievement, it is notable that during 2015 and 2016 students made some significant acceleration gains particularly in reading and mathematics. Some targeted students made good progress towards reaching expected levels of attainment and a small proportion reached the expected level.

School leaders selected mathematics as a key focus of recent staff professional learning. Teachers’ positive response to this is evident in the school’s mathematics achievement data which shows an improvement over the last two years. This saw an increased proportion of Year 8 students achieving at the expected level in mathematics.

Processes and systems have been developed to ensure that teachers’ assessment judgements are robust and reliable. The school’s moderation processes are sound.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is developing the capacity and capability to be increasingly effective in responding to Māoriand other children whose progress and achievement need acceleration.

Leaders and teachers have identified the students whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated. They are building teacher capability to implement approaches to effectively meet the needs of each learner.

A number of important developments underpin the school’s response to learners who require acceleration. These include strengthening connections to the Papakura community and involving parents and more in the school whānau. For example, the school charter has been reviewed and adaptedin consultation with the school community. Parents are also being given better information about their children’s classroom learning.

Te reo me ōna tikanga programmes are promoting a greater sense of belonging, identity and increased engagement on the part of Māori children and their whānau in particular. Forging stronger connections with whānau, parents and the community will support children’s learning and help teachers to build an increasingly responsive curriculum.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Because students are only in the school for two years, school leaders are focussed on responding rapidly to lift individual and overall achievement levels and to achieve equity and excellence.

The board’s strategic priority is for leaders and teachers to promote learners’ well-being, accelerate their progress and lift achievement. For this reason, the board plans for, and actively scrutinises developments to build the collective teaching and leadership capability and capacity of staff. Recruiting teachers with relevant experience and high potential to implement a responsive curriculum for young Papakura learners, has been a key and successful component of the board and principal’s planning.

The new teaching team demonstrates the commitment and capacity to address the school’s achievement challenges. Staff professional development, has a learning community structure and strong student centred focus. It is appropriately geared for the school’s new, and more experienced teachers to share and build on key understandings for effective teaching and learning.

Teachers are continuing to learn about approaches and strategies to accelerate student progress and lift achievement. Ensuring that these deliberate approaches and strategies are used consistently well by teachers will be an important responsibility for the newly formed leadership team. Their work to achieve consistency will add to, and benefit from, the good appraisal processes that the school has in place for the issue and renewal of teacher practising certificates.

Students are experiencing a more responsive, engaging and effective curriculum. The principal has used her broad knowledge and experience across the educational sector to lead the development and implementation of an inquiry focused curriculum that is student lead. This curriculum incorporates an innovative and integrated approach to the area of technology learning. The approach engages and is interesting to learners. It is also attracting the attention of local primary schools which send their children to Papakura Intermediate for technology programmes.

The school is providing learners with settled and positive environments in which to learn. Teachers and students are establishing productive working relationships. They are also building trust through mutual respect and good communication. Students have good opportunities to collaborate and support each other’s learning and to learn valuable social skills.

The school demonstrates some good practices in relation to sexual diversity within the school community. Leaders are using the information from community consultation to strengthen the responsiveness of the school’s sexuality and health programmes. There are good systems in place for making referrals to social agencies and community resources to promote and support the physical and emotional wellbeing of children, families and whānau.

Sustainable developments for equity and excellence

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

Many useful systems, processes and practices introduced into the school since the previous ERO report have not been in place long enough to result in significantly improved student achievement. It will be necessary to continue to embed and refine these systems and practices. Using a systematic evaluation and inquiry cycle should help the school’s new and established teachers to sustain and build on the improvements that they have made to their practice.

The school’s strategic plan has successfully prioritised school culture and pastoral care as critical objectives for stabilising the school through 2015 and 2016. It is now timely to further prioritise accelerating students’ progress and lifting achievement in the strategic and annual plans. This would help trustees, school leaders and teachers to more accurately map and gauge their progress towards addressing the challenge of low levels of achievement.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, low achievement for Māori and/or other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

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

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

  • need to continue building teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

9 March 2018

About the school

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1422

School type

Intermediate

School roll

105

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Islands Māori
Tongan
Samoan

74%
4%
8%
8%
6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

9 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review 
Education Review

February 2014
November 2011
October 2008

1 Background and Context

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

Mansell Senior School is a small Year 7 and 8 intermediate school located in Papakura, South Auckland. The majority of students identify as Māori with most others identifying as Pacific. Students’ culture, language and heritage are recognised and valued by school leaders.

The school has maintained a range of technology and arts choices for students despite a decrease in the school roll since the last review. Technology programmes are also provided for a number of other local schools.

ERO’s November 2011 report noted that students had good opportunities to succeed in leadership and cultural activities. Many students had made progress during their time at the school. However, to meet National Standards students needed to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. ERO recommended that the Ministry of Education (MOE) provide external assistance to support the school. ERO has monitored the school’s progress.

Following the 2011 report, the school worked closely with ERO and the MOE personnel. The school received help from a MOE student achievement facilitator (SAF) who brokered targeted professional development for all staff. Other significant changes have occurred to improve outcomes for students. These include:

  • new leadership and membership of the board of trustees
  • new teachers and senior leaders working within a distributed leadership structure
  • upgrades to classroom environments and resourcing, including the addition of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and a significant upgrade to the library
  • refinements to technology programmes and the introduction of second language learning.

2 Review and Development

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

The school is effectively addressing the areas for review and development identified in the 2011 ERO report. These areas relate to the quality of governance, leadership and teaching and learning.

Assertive leadership from the principal, working collaboratively with a range of external providers and staff has focussed the school on student achievement and the effective use of self review.

Priorities identified for review and development

Build an effective board of trustees to strengthen governance and support school improvement

The school now has an effective charter and strategic plan that is future focussed to provide a useful basis for ongoing improvement. Good quality self-review systems are in place to identify school goals that are closely linked to student abilities, strengths and needs. Regular reporting systems are in place and are used well to monitor progress against annual plans.

The board is now more involved in using student achievement information to make decisions which best support students. Trustees are better placed to engage in further consultation with the Māori community and to develop partnerships with the community to further inform school decision making.

Governance processes are sound. New trustees are progressing in their understanding of their roles. The new board chair is effectively distributing governance responsibility and building the capacity of trustees. The board is now ready to:

  • seek further external training as a group to develop their skills across key portfolios
  • develop a self review tool to ensure they can evaluate their effectiveness
  • develop a governance manual to sustain effective governance practices and manage the succession of trustees over time.
Build leadership and management capacity and use self review effectively

School leaders have made very good progress in building leadership capacity within the school. They have used MOE external professional development very well. School leaders have improved the monitoring of teacher planning and ensured better quality and more consistent teacher practices. Health and safety systems are better managed and reported.

School leaders have re-established a more professional and results-orientated culture within the school. They have higher expectations that teachers will be more effective in the classroom. As a result, students now more consistently articulate high expectations and aspirations for themselves.

Through effective self review, leaders have continued to improve how well students transition to Mansell. The school provides high quality care that supports student wellbeing. The school makes very good use of pastoral and academic information to support students to settle at school, make friends, progress and achieve. Students could further benefit if:

  • school leaders developed stronger partnerships with the adjacent high school and reviewed how well their students succeeded over time in a number of curriculum areas, including technology
  • teachers expanded career education and used the Career Benchmarks with students to explore curriculum pathways.

Leaders are now highly engaged in professional learning. Performance management is aligned to the registered teacher’s criteria and is more robust and rigorous. It is now closely linked to the school's focus on increasing how well teachers analyse and use student achievement information to improve teaching and learning.

Leaders have significantly improved the management of student achievement information. It is systematically gathered, evaluated and reported. It is increasingly well used by school leaders to improve student outcomes. Assessment tools and processes have been expanded and are embedded in more effective teacher practices.

Develop teaching practices that accelerate student progress and achievement

Teachers now make more robust and reliable judgements on how well students are achieving and where to target their teaching. More students are making accelerated progress and teachers have increased confidence in themselves as agents of positive change.

Teachers also identify target groups of learners for additional support and use regular review to improve their own performance and support student learning. MOE targeted professional development for 2014 will include a focus on accelerating the progress of students in mathematics and writing. This should provide a useful opportunity for teachers to extend their teaching practices.

Lessons are more collaborative and engaging for students. Students are more active participants in learning. As teachers share information with students, students are gradually making informed decisions and choices about their learning, in order to reach their goals. Teachers can further increase the complexity and challenge in learning tasks to extend students.

Students are generally more positive about their learning experiences. Their opinions and preferences are gathered by school leaders and teachers to inform curriculum decisions. Some teachers show a very high level of cultural responsiveness and serve as role models for others.

School leaders and teachers are now well positioned to:

  • document effective school-wide teaching practices that best support Māori and Pacific students to make accelerated progress
  • develop an even more culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum across the learning areas to enable students to make connections in their learning.
Promote success as Māori

The school is enhancing opportunities for Māori students to succeed as Māori. Kapa haka and classroom whānau groupings promote a sense of wairua and belonging for many Māori students. Students also appreciate more frequent opportunities to celebrate and share their culture and language.

School leaders are working towards implementing a planned progression for te reo Māori me ona tikanga as a key part of the school plan for implementing their Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success as Māori. This should assist all teachers to more consistently support Māori students’ language, culture and identity. Continuing to consult with the Māori community in meaningful ways continues to be a high priority for trustees and school leaders.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is much better placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Effective systems for self review are in place and there is a focus on increasing the evaluative depth of self review. High expectations underpin school leadership, management and performance.

Strategic decision making is evident and used well to improve student outcomes. The board and senior leadership team work well together. They engage in good quality questioning and self review. Effective governance practices are evident. Useful links with the wider business community are improving and helping to support school sustainability.

School leaders have engaged well with external evaluation. They have increased their understanding and use of self review. Leaders and teachers now identify next learning steps for the school, the students and themselves.

There is a stronger sense of whanaungatanga and manaakiatanga to support student learning. These values are visible, practiced and reciprocal with the school community. The school focus on positive behaviour for learning has contributed to a more settled school tone which supports all students.

Students are engaged in learning and progressing well. While many students still need to make accelerated process, the school now has the strategies and approaches to support this. The focus is now on empowering students and providing more meaningful teaching and learning experiences.

Ongoing improvement is clearly gaining momentum. New processes and systems are embedded and being refined to increase student success. The school strategic goal of ‘on the right track’ is now evident and highly appropriate.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 February 2014

About the School

Location

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1422

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

147

Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island

other

75%

7%

5%

7%

6%

Special Features

Provision of technology programmes for 6 other schools

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

October 2008

December 2005