Forest View High School

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School Context

Forest View High School provides education for students in Years 9 to 13. Students come from Tokoroa and surrounding rural and forestry areas.

The school’s charter and annual plan have been developed from the overarching mission statement “a caring, inclusive, values-based school where all strive for personal excellence and young people are prepared for the challenge of the 21st century”. The school values of whanaungatanga, striving for personal excellence, resilience and innovative learning underpin the curriculum and the personal goals of students.

In 2016 a new board chair was appointed, along with several new trustees. Most trustees have undertaken governance training since being elected. Currently the experienced deputy principal is acting principal and the board has started the new principal appointment process.

The current roll of 323 includes 170 students of Māori descent who whakapapa to a number of iwi. The roll has declined since the last ERO review in 2015, resulting in reduced staffing.

The school has developed a number of strategies to ensure students have clear pathways in the senior school to prepare them for further study or employment. There are close relationships between local employers and tertiary providers.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA)

  • school leavers’ data

  • attendance information

  • students with additional learning needs.

The school is part of the Tokoroa Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is yet to achieve equitable outcomes for all of its students. Year 9 entry level data shows students are arriving at significantly lower levels in reading and writing when compared to national expectations. Teachers use a range of standardised literacy assessment tools to identify at-risk learners at Years 9 and 10, and to show progress over time. The school is yet to collate and analyse trends and patterns of achievement and report on these.

Overall, the school’s 2017 NCEA roll-based achievement data shows that most students gained NCEA Level 1 and 2, with less than half gaining Level 3. A small number of students gained University Entrance in 2017. NCEA endorsement results for 2017 have seen improvements at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Endorsements with excellence have also improved over time in Level 1 and 3.

Māori achievement at NCEA Level 1 and 2 has improved over time. Since 2015 the significant disparity between Māori and Pākehā achievement has reduced, with Māori now achieving comparably or above their Pākehā peers at NCEA Level 2 and Level 3.

There is ongoing disparity between the achievement of boys and girls. Girls significantly outperformed boys at NCEA Level 2 and 3 and University Entrance from 2015 to 2017. However, in 2015 and 2016, at Level 1 boys achieved at higher levels compared with girls.

The school has collated detailed school leaver data for 2017 for those students who left without NCEA Level 2. It is able to show that almost all students accessed further education or employment.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is able to show accelerated progress for Māori and other students who needs this.

There are a number of strategies in place to support at-risk learners at Years 9 and 10 and the school has information to show many of these students are making accelerated progress in reading and writing. However, the school is yet analyse data to clearly identify rates of acceleration for Māori and other groups of students in mathematics.

Cohort achievement data over time shows that in 2014 the Year 9 Māori students and others that were below curriculum expectations in reading and writing made accelerated progress. Of this cohort, those students who remained at the school to Year 12 and 13, all gained Level 2 NCEA in 2017.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has modified the curriculum to respond better to the needs of students. Individualised pathways and learning programmes in Years 11 to 13 allow students to access a wide range of curriculum areas. Online learning, video conferencing, multi-level courses and access to trades academies allow students to follow their interests and strengths. These programmes provide multiple opportunities for students to achieve. The use of local and national contexts in learning activities contributes to student engagement in their learning and strengthens connections with the local community. Responsive learning programmes in Years 9 and 10 are in place for students who most need their learning accelerated. Well-constructed, differentiated programmes where progress and achievement is tracked and monitored are contributing to the acceleration of their learning.

Students benefit from a caring and inclusive learning community. ERO observed calm and settled learning environments that are reflective of the positive and respectful relationships between leaders, teachers and students. There are effective pastoral and academic mentoring programmes throughout the school. A strong learning support team, identifies and monitors those students whose learning is at risk. Students with identified additional learning needs are well supported with individualised learning programmes and support from a range of external agencies and community groups. Effective communication strategies between whānau, parents and the school ensure positive relationships.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Management and use of achievement information needs strengthening. Leaders and teachers need to:

  • develop annual targets that focus on accelerating progress for all students, including those whose learning is at risk

  • report regularly to trustees about rates of progress in relation to these targets

  • build capability of teachers to more consistently track and monitor the progress of at-risk students

  • further develop a consistent approach to differentiated teaching strategies informed by well-considered data analysis.

Targeted achievement processes to raise and accelerate progress need development as follows:

  • the alignment of school processes and practices with a focus on accelerating progress of at-risk students

  • the teaching as inquiry approach focused on the progress of targeted students.

Continue to strengthen the culturally responsive pedagogy through greater visibility of te aō Māori and the use of te reo Māori across the school.

There needs to be a continued focus on improving the school’s financial sustainability in order to effectively enact the school’s charter and annual plan.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a responsive curriculum and educational partnerships with tertiary and trade institutes that provides students with meaningful qualifications and pathways

  • an inclusive and positive environment that enables students to be supported in their learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • the effective use of achievement information to inform teaching practice

  • strengthening culturally responsive pedagogies to foster the language culture and identity of students

  • using achievement information to make informed resourcing decisions

  • internal evaluation processes and practices

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.].

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

3 October 2018

About the school

Location

Tokoroa

Ministry of Education profile number

159

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

323

Gender composition

Girls 56% Boys 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 53%
Pākehā 35%
Pacific 7%
Other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

3 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015
Education Review July 2012
Education Review November 2008

Findings

Forest View High School provides students with a range of academic, cultural, sporting opportunities within a safe, well-resourced school environment. Academic and vocational courses provide meaningful learning pathways for students who wish to transition to work and tertiary study.

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?

Forest View High School provides education for students  in Years 9 to 13 for the town of Tokoroa and surrounding rural and forestry areas. The current roll is 383, which includes 59% Māori, who whakapapa to a number of iwi.

The principal continues his genuine personal and professional commitment to leading the school in the best interests of students, staff and the wider community. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2013. Since the July 2012 ERO review, the student roll has decreased. This has resulted in a significant reduction in overall staffing levels through the curriculum and pastoral needs analysis (CAPNA) process.

In 2014 a new board chair was appointed and was joined by several new trustees co-opted and elected to the board. They have completed a review of the school charter, which reflects the aspirations of their community. Working closely with the principal, they have developed strategic and annual plans. The school has a positive reporting history with ERO and responded to recommendations in the 2012 ERO report about strengthening their policy and procedure framework.

Curriculum leaders and senior staff have been involved with ongoing externally facilitated, professional development to promote a school-wide focus on literacy.

2 Learning

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

The pastoral care and learning support staff gather extensive achievement and personal information on students entering Year 9. This information is well used to place students in appropriate learning groups, provide teachers with class profiles, and identify students for additional support or extension.

In Years 9 and 10, teachers are increasing their use of achievement information to inform planning and meet the different literacy needs of students. They assess and report student achievement against curriculum levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

At all levels of the school, achievement information is available to students, parents and whānau through an online parent portal and effectively shared at three-way conferences. The pastoral care team makes a sustained effort to strengthen the tracking of student progress through their National Certificate in Education Achievement (NCEA) courses as they accumulate credits. Time is allocated to promote mentoring and guidance for students at Year 9 and through the Learning Advisory, vertical, year-level classes for Years 10 to 13.

The board and senior leaders set achievement targets for students at risk of not achieving their potential. Information on these students is shared with staff at regular intervals. School leaders recognise that the following processes need strengthening:

  • using roll-based and leavers data to set appropriate targets to improve the achievement of Māori students
  • tracking students’ progress to be more consistent and effective
  • evidence-based reporting to the board on progress towards achieving targets.

NCEA data for 2014 indicates that the proportion of students gaining Levels 1, 2 and 3 is comparable to similar schools, and has increased at Levels 1 and 2. The proportion of students gaining the compulsory literacy and numeracy credits at Level 1, is comparable to similar schools. A comparison between Māori students and their peers indicates the need to significantly raise the priority on improving levels of achievement student to that of their peers. Particular attention should be made to improving boys' achievement at NCEA Levels 1 and 2.

Integrated studies at Years 9 and 10 and literacy for life courses in the senior school provide targeted support for students with specific learning needs. These courses are delivered by a strong learning support teaching team, that includes dedicated teacher aides. The committed special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) coordinates these programmes and provides effective guidelines for good practice.

3 Curriculum

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

Students benefit from access to a broad range of educational opportunities including academic, sporting, cultural and social. A feature of the school is the strong sense of belonging, inclusion and pride fostered through student and staff involvement in the Lake’s House system. Students have opportunities to participate and experience success in a wide range of school and community activities. Another strength of the school is the performing arts and school production.

The curriculum available to students is continually being reviewed and adapted to suit the interests of students. The school has actively and successfully, developed an extensive range of educationally powerful connections to enhance the opportunities and experiences for students. This is reflected in:

  • ongoing links with Raukawa iwi and Pasifika community groups
  • student placements and courses with local businesses and Industry Trade Organisations (ITOs)
  • tertiary providers such as Waiariki Polytech, Waikato University and the Bay of Plenty Trades Academy
  • community organisations such as the Foundation for Youth Development and Perry Outdoor Education Trust
  • the increasing use of digital technology to extend student educational opportunities through online learning and video conferencing.

ERO observed settled, positive classroom learning environments and respectful relationships among students and with staff. Teachers are positively responding to professional development initiatives such as the school-wide planning format and a focus on a coherent literacy strategy. Many teachers offer additional help to support students in their learning, including the homework club, lunchtime tutorials, and additional opportunities to resubmit their work.

Senior leaders acknowledge that the areas that need to be reviewed and strengthened are:

  • the developmental and accountability aspects of performance management
  • processes for monitoring, sharing and reporting student progress
  • evaluating the effectiveness of programmes.

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

Aspects of the school operation and curriculum contribute to acknowledging Māori identity, language and culture. Students are able to study te reo and tikanga Māori with an experienced, skilled teacher. Many staff continue to incorporate the teaching principles of the Te Kotahitanga programme that supports culturally responsive teaching and learning to improve outcomes for students. This programme ran for three years until the end of 2013.

Māori are well represented on the board of trustees, within the school staff, and in student leadership roles. The board and principal are making increasing use of local kaumātua for advising te ao Māori. Whakairo and raranga is promoted in the school by experienced staff and local iwi, and the rich meaning behind the craft imparted to students. Māori art is highly visible around the school creating a sense of belonging. There is a strong, active kapa haka roopu, well supported by whānau and key Māori staff. This promotes a strong sense of belonging and cultural identity.

The next step is for the board, senior leaders and staff to consult and work with students, whānau and iwi to ensure their aspirations and the positive intent of the annual plan for Māori success is realised.

How effective does the school promote educational success for Pacific students?

Pasifika students are well supported by key members of staff that provide pastoral care and positive guidance and support. They have a strong Polynesian cultural group, Polinetia Fa’atasi and work in collaboration with local community groups. This group promotes the language and cultural identity of Cook Island Māori and Samoan students. Achievement levels of Pasifika students is comparable to their peers at NCEA Levels 1 and 3. Senior leaders will need to ensure the actions in the Pasifika Achievement Plan are effectively implemented.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Positive factors contributing to sustainability include:

  • trustees working collectively in the best interests of students and the school community
  • the reflective principal contributing to educational networks
  • the senior leadership team embracing and promoting worthwhile educational initiatives.
  • the pastoral care team working collaboratively and focussing on the well being of students
  • teachers building positive relationships with students and whānau and giving freely of their time to facilitate additional learning opportunities and school activities
  • students benefiting from an inclusive and supportive culture
  • parents and whānau appreciating the approachability of senior leaders and staff.

Areas for review and development

The board of trustees needs to effectively manage important aspects in the performance of the principal, including clear evidence-based reporting of student achievement and programme effectiveness.

The senior leadership team, working collaboratively with curriculum leaders, needs to ensure robust quality assurance of curriculum, teaching and learning outcomes for students. This includes:

  • ensuring agreed and shared expectations for learning programmes and practice
  • monitoring and regularly providing constructive feedback and feed forward for staff and students
  • evidence-based evaluation and reporting about student achievement and programme effectiveness.

These next steps are likely to ensure the board is able to effectively scrutinise the work of the school and lead to informed decision making for ongoing school improvement.

Recommendation

ERO recommends and the board agrees, that effective ongoing external support and guidance is necessary for the trustees and school leaders to address the issues identified in this report.

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.

During the course of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance. In order to meet legislative requirements the board must ensure that:

  • the principal is annually assessed against all the professional standards for principals and all policies and procedures for employment and appraisal are implemented[s 77C State Sector Act 1988]
  • police vetting of non-teaching staff is updated within each three year cycle.[Education Act 1989 Sections 78C to 78CD]

Conclusion

Forest View High School provides students with a range of academic, cultural, sporting opportunities within a safe, well-resourced school environment. Academic and vocational courses provide meaningful learning pathways for students who wish to transition to work and tertiary study.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 November 2015

School Statistics

Location

Tokoroa

Ministry of Education profile number

159

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

383

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Other

59%

33%

5%

3%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

16 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2012

November 2008

November 2005