Ponsonby Intermediate

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Summary

Ponsonby Intermediate caters for Year 7 and 8 students. The school has a positive profile in its community and has a growing roll. Six percent of children are Māori and six percent have Pacific heritage.

Since ERO’s 2011 evaluation the board has successfully managed a period of leadership change. A new principal was appointed in 2016. The new principal has created a wider senior leadership team, which has had a strong focus on developing a more strategic approach to responding to students’ hauora/wellbeing.

Wide consultation with school community has resulted in the development of a new vision statement ‘articulate, energised achievers, ready for the future’. This vision is highly evident in student outcomes. Learners demonstrate high levels of social and emotional competence and are achieving very well. They are curious, enjoy intellectual engagement and confidently tackle challenging learning tasks.

The school has established a specialist subject teaching model as a framework for implementing all of the learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). This comprehensive and useful model is well embedded in the school.

Since the 2011 ERO evaluation the school has revitalised its approach to responding to all children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. This approach is well planned and coordinated across all curriculum areas and is very well supported and implemented by school leaders and teachers.

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

The school is very effectively achieving excellent educational outcomes for children, including Māori, in relation to National Standards. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices.

The school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes for Māori. In consultation with the Pacific community, school leaders and teachers are also successfully supporting Pacific children to achieve well.

School leadership is strongly ethical and professional. Leaders have a strategic focus on ensuring all children have equitable opportunities to learn. School internal evaluation is robust and used well to drive school improvement.

Children experience personalised learning pathways where teaching approaches respond very well to their particular strengths and next learning steps. High levels of student engagement in learning are evident and contribute to children achieving excellent educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are:

  • to continue monitoring the progress of all groups of students, including Pacific learners through refined target setting
  • to explore further how culturally responsive teaching practices can shape future curriculum developments.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school’s curriculum and teaching programmes very effectively support children to achieve the valued learning outcomes identified in the school’s charter and the NZC. The school’s vision statement of ‘articulate, energised achievers, ready for the future’ is highly evident in student outcomes. The vision is explicitly taught through the school values of ‘growth through learning; experiencing ourselves; making connections and showing respect for other people’.

Children demonstrate high levels of social and emotional competence. They are curious, enjoy intellectual engagement and confidently tackle challenging learning tasks. They welcome the growing number of leadership opportunities they are offered and are well supported to be ethical decision makers as they prepare to be good global citizens.

As part of shaping exciting future curriculum developments it would be worthwhile for leaders and teachers to continue exploring how to infuse students’ language, culture and identity into curriculum programmes. This has the potential to promote further learning for students by building on, and bridging from what is familiar and relevant in their lives, to new learning.

Public achievement information shows that overall the school is very effectively achieving excellent educational outcomes for children, including Māori learners, in relation to National Standards. In reading and mathematics the school consistently has more than 85 percent of children achieving at or above the National Standards by the end of their senior primary year.

Data shows that overall achievement in writing has lifted and the school continues to make good progress in this area. Improving Māori learners’ achievement in writing has been a focus. In 2015 and 2016 more than 85 percent of Māori learners were achieving at or above the National Standards.

The school has identified the need to continue improving academic outcomes for Pacific students. There has been incremental improvement in their overall achievement in reading and writing, between 2013 and 2016. However, this group’s achievement levels in mathematics have remained the same. The school has good planning in place to address these matters.

The school has robust process for ensuring overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards are robust. School leaders continue to evaluate assessment practices to ensure the school’s publicly reported data is dependable.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school’s processes and actions are very effective in helping to achieve excellence and equity for all learners. This can be attributed to the school’s leadership for equity and excellence; a responsive curriculum, effective teaching and good opportunities to learn; and internal evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation.

Very strong ethical and professional leadership is evident. A new, energised, and broader leadership team is responsive, open to new learning and improvement focused. This team is consolidating the strengths of the school and establishing more consistent expectations to support the promotion of the school’s values. Leaders are strategic in ensuring all children are given equitable opportunities to learn. They have a strong focus on developing confident professional teachers as learners, within a collaborative learning community.

Children experience a broad range of learning opportunities that build on the ‘Ponsonby Experience’ and reflect the intent of the NZC. Priority is given to English, mathematics, and science with ‘Hauora’ at the centre of all curriculum decisions. Teachers are very well supported to deliver the curriculum . Children experience personalised learning pathways through effective differentiated teaching and learning approaches. Students are highly engaged and interested in their learning.

The board shows a long-term commitment to all Māori children benefiting from quality teaching and learning programmes and experiencing curriculum opportunities to achieve as Māori. The school has a vibrant kapa haka and offers enrichment learning opportunities through the Awataha Marae. Te reo Māori is a compulsory component of the school’s languages programme. The sustainability of these initiatives is supported by strategic personnel appointments, and the board’s monitoring of progress through the school’s Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017 strategic plan.

School internal evaluation is robust and used well to drive school improvement. Multiple voices, including those of the community and students, contribute to evaluation processes. The outcomes of school review contribute to changes in thinking and behaviour and result in positive outcomes for children. High levels of trust are apparent at every level of the school, supporting collaboration, risk taking and openness to change.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has a revitalised approach to responding to all children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. The approach is:

  • well planned and coordinated across all curriculum areas

  • building learning partnership with parents and whānau

  • underpinned by Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Board of Trustees and student wellbeing
  • supported by a strong multi layered approach to student transitions

  • supported by high levels of vigilance and monitoring by school leaders and teachers.

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. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were seven international students attending the school.

The school provides its international students with a very good standard of education that includes English language tuition. Students benefit from the school’s strong pastoral care systems and enjoy many opportunities to participate in school activities. A more systematic approach to policy review to ensure that the documentation of all practices is current, should support greater coherence and sustainable systems for the provision and care of international students.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are:

  • to continue monitoring the progress of all groups of students, including Pacific learners through refined target setting
  • to explore further how culturally responsive teaching practices can shape future curriculum developments.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

3 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Ponsonby, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1445

School type

Intermediate

School roll

576

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pasifika

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

other Asian

other European

other

6%

58%

6%

4%

4%

2%

8%

8%

4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February/March 2017

Date of this report

3 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

September 2008

December 2005

 

1 Context

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

Ponsonby Intermediate, in central Auckland, is an inner city school with a history of positive ERO reports. The school has a growing roll and caters for Year 7 and 8 students from the local community as well as significant numbers from outside the school’s enrolment zone.

The school provides students with specialist teaching and values-based pastoral care. All students are supported to become articulate, life-long learners in a safe, challenging environment, in which difference is celebrated. Teachers and students learn in a culture of trust and respect.

Student learning is at the centre of school operations. Teachers acknowledge and respond to the specific interests and skills of individual students and encourage them to learn at a high level. Students benefit from positive relationships between the board of trustees and parents, whānau and the wider community. As a result, students have a strong sense of belonging in the school.

Staff and the community are justifiably proud of their school. A new multi-purpose hall, library and a stimulating learning environment support teachers to provide high quality programmes that foster student achievement.

2 Learning

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

Students are highly engaged in learning and are active participants in classroom programmes. They talk about their learning, progress and achievement with confidence and a strong sense of ownership. They have access to their achievement information and understand how to use it. They reflect on their progress and achievement and initiate new learning. Teachers value students’ opinions and ideas and empower them to manage their own learning goals and to plan their learning pathways. Their progress and achievement in all learning programmes are monitored through self, peer, and teacher evaluations.

The school’s achievement information indicates that overall levels of student achievement are well above national expectations. School data show that students make significant progress in achievement over their two years at the school. Senior leaders have set challenging targets for 2011 for student achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers make well moderated overall judgements on students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards. Curriculum co-ordinators and teachers review achievement data for their classes and subject areas. Recommendations made as a result of these reviews are used in teachers’ planning to improve professional practice and further engage students in their learning.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Nine percent of students at Ponsonby Intermediate are Māori. Māori students make very good progress during their time at school and most achieve at levels that are at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students have good opportunities to lead and to achieve success in kapa haka, sport, cultural events and the arts.

School initiatives developed since 2008 to support Māori students to progress and achieve include: extensive staff development in te reo Māori, community consultation, an enrichment te reo Māori class and school-wide targets goals aimed at further increasing students’ and teachers’ knowledge and understanding of tikanga and te reo Māori.

The board and staff take collective responsibility for the well-being and achievement of Māori students in the school and for the promotion of bi-cultural knowledge and understandings.

The board and leadership team now plan to make greater use of the Māori voice, including that of students, parents and whānau, in the school’s self-review processes to promote a stronger sense of Māori identity and belonging in the school.

3 Curriculum

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

Ponsonby Intermediate School’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

The school ‘s values, ‘Growth through learning, Making connections, Expressing ourselves and Showing respect for other people’ underpin all programmes. These values were developed consultatively, are well understood by students, and are reflected in teachers’ practice.

The well designed school curriculum is based on a specialist teaching model. Teachers encourage students to enjoy real-life and creative learning. They cultivate and nurture their aspirations, strengths and initiatives and provide them with a variety of differentiated learning pathways.

The curriculum is underpinned by effective teaching practice and is enriched by teachers’ specialist capabilities. Teachers use information and communication technologies (ICT) to encourage students' self-directed, collaborative learning. Learning centre support responds to and is inclusive of students’ diversity and strengths and helps them to realise their potential.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Ponsonby Intermediate is very well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The leadership team promotes a clear focus on innovative teaching practices that equip all students with the skills they need to become lifelong learners.

The strengths of school leadership include:

  • a strong educational vision that is well planned and is informed by student achievement information
  • a culture of high expectations for students and staff
  • an inclusive culture that seeks and values the input of students, staff and parents
  • collaborative approaches to building leadership and teaching capacity
  • an appraisal process that supports teacher development
  • innovative and effective self-review systems that are linked to the school’s values
  • good use of community skills to enhance students’ pathways into the wider world of work or further study.

The school continues to benefit from progressive and reflective professional leadership and good governance. In partnership with capable senior leaders, the principal continually seeks improvement in all areas of school operations.

Provision for international students

Ponsonby Intermediate has well managed systems that provide effective pastoral care and high quality of education and support the integration of international students into the school. Reporting to the board should be expanded to include regular information on the students’ academic achievements and progress.

The school is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 23 8F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with 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

17 November 2011

About the School

Location

Ponsonby, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1445

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

Decile

9

School roll

552

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys 57%

Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Chinese

Indian

South East Asian

other European

other Asian

other

41%

9%

13%

6%

4%

4%

14%

5%

4%

Special Features

Resource Teacher of learning and Behaviour (RTLB) host school

Review team on site

October 2011

Date of this report

17 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2008

December 2005

September 2002