Trident High School

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Education institution number:
143
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1044
Telephone:
Address:

76 Arawa Road, Whakatane

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Findings

Many students achieve success in academic, sporting and cultural activities. Students receive a well-rounded education that is enriched by the wide range of learning pathways that enable them to make meaningful and responsible choices about their future. A well-organised, purposeful, inclusive atmosphere for learning is provided.

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?

Trident High School is a co-educational secondary school located in Whakatane, catering for students in Years 9 to 13. The school’s roll of 1208 students includes 639 who identify as Māori and most of these students whakapapa to Ngāti Awa and Tuhoe.

Since the previous 2011 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and there have been some changes to the senior leadership and teaching teams. The roll has increased slightly and the proportion of Māori students enrolled has increased significantly. The school continues to benefit from stable governance provided by long-serving trustees. To support sustainability and reflect the community that it serves, the board has co-opted additional trustees.

Teachers have actively participated in a wide range of professional development including a school focus on further promoting student engagement and wellbeing through the Ministry of Education initiative Positive Behaviour for Learning - PB4L.

The school has reviewed its values to support the well-embedded motto – ‘Kia Manawa Nui’. ERO observed settled classes, engaged students and a culture conducive for learning.

Trident High School has a positive reporting history with ERO and has implemented new courses to address the area for development identified in the previous ERO report about improving the engagement of Māori students.

2 Learning

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

The school is implementing some effective strategies to more effectively use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement progress and achievement.

The board receives regular reports from the principal and annual reports from heads of departments that summarise student achievement and provide recommendations for resourcing. The principal has identified the need to strengthen the consistency of the analysis of achievement information in departmental reports. This should enable trustees to better identify achievement trends and patterns to support strategic decision making.

School leaders make effective use of a wide range of achievement information to review the school’s curriculum. This includes the design and implementation of responsive programmes that engage students through real-life learning contexts. School leaders have recently developed and implemented a useful system to enable them to better track and monitor student progress towards National Certificate Education Achievement (NCEA) qualification.

There are examples of teachers who make good use of achievement information to inform programme planning to respond to individual students’ needs and strengths. Teachers are increasingly gathering student feedback to reflect on their course content and delivery and use this valuable information to make changes to improve their professional practice.

The school’s data from 2014 to 2015 indicates that a significant majority of students came in at Year 9 achieving below expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. The information shows that though many students made progress, there were some students who were achieving below expected levels by the end of Year 10. Several initiatives are being implemented in 2016 to accelerate this progress.

Students have increasing access to their own achievement information particularly in Years 11 to 13. They work closely with teachers and deans to set and monitor achievement goals that support them as self-managing learners. Parents can access their child’s achievement and progress information using the parent portal, and through formal and informal contact with teachers.

The school is proud of the high proportion of students who are awarded scholarships and NCEA merit and excellence endorsements. There are also many opportunities for students to experience success in a variety of sporting and cultural pursuits in local, national and international events and competitions.

The school leavers’ achievement information for 2012 to 2014 shows significant disparities between Māori and Pākehā students at the school. The 2014 NCEA data shows that approximately 88% of Pākehā school leavers achieved at least NCEA Level 2 or equivalent compared to 66% for Māori. Similar achievement disparities occurred at Levels 1 and 3.

The school recognises the disparity between its Māori and Pākehā achievement data and is developing a number of strategies to close this gap. The school is strongly encouraged to ensure that these current strategies are extended by developing a strategic approach including:

  • refining charter targets to more specifically focus on students at risk of underachieving and regular reporting on the progress of these students to trustees
  • strengthening existing processes that support teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their professional practice in relation to raising the achievement of targeted students
  • enriching the learning partnerships with the whānau of targeted students
  • comprehensive self-review seeking the perspectives Māori students, whānau and iwi to underpin the strategic direction
  • further promoting of Māori language, identity and culture by incorporating the principles of the Ministry of Education documents Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success and Tātaiako – Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

The principal is working with the Ministry of Education to access appropriate professional development to further enhance the bicultural dimensions at the school which is likely to help raise the achievement of Māori students.

3 Curriculum

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

Trident High School’s curriculum provides many opportunities for students to experience success. The school uses innovative and flexible approaches to curriculum design. These include special programmes for gifted and talented students, a well-developed military service’s academy, a highly effective practical land skills course in forestry and farming activities, and a specific initiative to promote student leadership with a Māori contextual dimension. There are additional opportunities for students to develop leadership and citizenship skills in a wide variety of forums. Several initiatives focus on building mutually respectful tuakana-teina relationships among students that contribute to their sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Many students benefit from working partnerships with local businesses and tertiary providers that support real-life learning experiences. These opportunities are further supported by teachers working collaboratively across subject areas to provide greater depth and understanding in students’ learning. These approaches enable students to make significant contributions to the school and its community.

Students with high learning and/or health needs enjoy a safe, well-resourced, purpose-built specialist unit. The team of teachers and support staff that work in this unit are very skilled and provide high-quality care and learning for these students and their whānau. A feature of the programme is the many opportunities for these students to learn alongside and experience success with their peers in the wider school community.

Student engagement and wellbeing are effectively supported by comprehensive pastoral care processes. Committed deans carefully monitor students’ attendance, emotional safety and academic progress, and develop useful partnerships with parents and whānau. They are well supported by a range of health professionals and work closely with outside services. A feature of this process is the regular sharing of key information about students’ welfare and progress with all staff.

Teachers, under the guidance and support of enthusiastic heads of faculty, work collaboratively in the best interests of students. They establish positive, respectful relationships with students and share their enthusiasm for their subject with their classes. ERO observed examples of teachers and students making effective use of digital devices to motivate and promote individual student learning pathways. Teachers are highly committed to supporting the school’s extensive sporting, performing arts and cultural programmes.

School leaders need to continue to review the teacher appraisal process in order to meet the legislative requirements of the Education Council and more clearly show how teachers are systematically improving their professional practice.

There is a strategic intent to build productive partnerships with parents and whānau. Parents appreciate the extensive communication systems to keep them well-informed about their child’s learning and school events. Students benefit from high levels of parent and whānau involvement and active support in school events. The school continues to develop educationally powerful connections with the local intermediate and primary schools and support smooth transitions for students as they enter the school at Year 9.

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

Māori students’ language, culture and identity is fostered at the school by:

  • participation in a Year 9 course that focuses on key aspects of Māori culture
  • examples where teachers use contexts that reflect a Māori world view
  • opportunities to participate in kapa haka.

The Year 9 pōwhiri for all students to be welcomed into the school invites maximum whānau engagement by being held in the evening. This places importance on core values such as whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

The school has established a beneficial working relationship with Tuhoe to support student health and wellbeing. The foundations of a productive relationship with Ngāti Awa and other key groups are being developed with a focus on raising student achievement in literacy. Students have cultural learning opportunities through the effective links established with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

There are opportunities for students to learn te reo Māori at Year 9 as part of the half-year options programme. Students can take full-year courses in Years 10 to 13. As part of ongoing curriculum review, school leaders should consider how they provide a more coherent learning pathway in te reo Māori that support successful language acquisition.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trident High School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • trustees bring a wide range of skills to their respective roles and have strong links in the wider community
  • board members work closely with school leaders to provide effective governance
  • the principal knows the school community well and sets clear expectations for teaching and learning
  • school leaders have established high levels of trust with teachers and have a focus on continual school improvement in the best interests of students
  • there are many examples of effective internal evaluation particularly in relation to curriculum design
  • teachers are supported to further their knowledge and understanding through regular professional learning and development opportunities, including regular reflection and dialogue with their colleagues
  • there are high levels of community support for the school.

Provision for international students

The school has appropriate academic and care processes to support international students. These processes are regularly reviewed by the principal.

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

Many students achieve success in academic, sporting and cultural activities. Students receive a well-rounded education that is enriched by the wide range of learning pathways that enable them to make meaningful and responsible choices about their future. A well-organised, purposeful, inclusive atmosphere for learning is provided.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

24 May 2016

About the School

Location

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

143

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1208

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

53%

44%

3%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

May 2008

January 2005

 

1 Context

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

Trident High School is a large co-educational secondary school that caters for students in Years 9 to 13 from Whakatane and the surrounding districts. At the time of this review the school had a roll of 1176 students, 44% of whom are Māori, predominantly of Ngati Awa or Tuhoe descent. Upgrades and improvements to school facilities since the previous ERO review include the construction of a multi-purpose community auditorium and a special education centre.

The school continues to place significant emphasis on promoting values of excellence, achieving personal best and respect for others. There is a strong culture of organisational learning focused on enhancing teaching and learning and improving educational outcomes for students. The school has had an excellent reporting history with the Education Review Office which has consistently acknowledged the strong foundation the school has provided for students' learning and achievement.

2 Learning

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

Trident High School continues to provide students with a high standard of education in an environment that encourages personal excellence. The school has a clear priority on engaging students. Positive relationships, settled classrooms and a supportive learning environment contribute to most students experiencing high levels of success in their learning.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data for Levels 1, 2, and 3 over the past three years indicate that students overall continue to achieve above national averages.

Achievement data is used effectively to set strategic direction and inform decision making at whole school, department and classroom level, monitor individual progress and identify students requiring additional support.

The school's academic success rates are complemented by the many awards gained by students in extra-curricular activities. Students enjoy a wide range of opportunities to gain recognition for their sporting and cultural abilities, and for the contributions they make to the school and wider community. Encouragement of student participation and success in these areas is an integral part of the school's commitment to helping students to achieve their personal best and to develop as courageous, creative and enterprising young adults.

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

NCEA data from 2007 to 2010 indicates that a high proportion of Māori students are achieving at levels above that of Māori students nationally. Māori girls' achievement is comparable with all students nationally while Māori boys' achievement is below the average. There are some examples of individual Māori students achieving significant academic success.

Māori students are well represented in school leadership roles. Furthermore, they are fully involved in sporting and cultural activities in which they enjoy significant success. The school has identified as a strategic goal the need to continue to support Māori students to remain at school and be engaged in learning. ERO and the school agree that this goal continues to be a priority and could be enhanced through further engagement with whānau.

3 Curriculum

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

Trident High School has designed a broad based curriculum that effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students have access to an extensive range of learning pathways and opportunities that include academic and vocational programmes appropriate to their strengths and interests. The school has been innovative in establishing one of the first New Zealand Trades Academies led by a secondary school. Working in partnership with a tertiary provider, students are able to undertake work related training as part of their school programme.

Effective delivery of the curriculum is underpinned by a vibrant and well established professional learning community among staff that is based on effective professional development, collegiality and reflective practice. Clear guidelines and expectations have been established for effective teaching. These guidelines are reflected in a consistency of classroom practice and in the many examples of high quality teaching across the school.

An inclusive school culture that focuses on the holistic development of each student is a significant feature of the school. A well established pastoral care system and comprehensive student support networks and targeted programmes, effectively support the delivery of the curriculum. High quality pastoral care is contributing to positive outcomes for students and contributes to the provision of a safe emotional environment.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain ongoing improvement in the interests of students. Features of the school that contribute to this sustainability are:

  • sustained and improving levels of student achievement and success
  • high quality leadership by an experienced, knowledgeable principal who is well respected in the school community
  • effective senior managers, faculty leaders and deans who bring complementary and diverse skills to their roles and who provide strong leadership and support for teaching and learning
  • committed, well-informed trustees who provide sound governance and clear strategic direction for the school
  • a culture of reflective practice, continuous improvement and ongoing self review in all areas of school operations that has a focus on improving educational outcomes for students
  • high quality and well documented systems, practices and processes.

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.

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.

Provision for students in the school hostel

There is no school hostel at Trident High School.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' 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.

Recommendations to other agencies

Not applicable.

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

8 June 2011

About the School

Location

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

143

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

Decile

5

School roll

1176

Number of international students

3

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

New Zealand Māori

Other European

Asian

Other

50%

44%

4%

1%

1%

Review team on site

April 2011

Date of this report

8 June 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

May 2008

January 2005