Hawera High School

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Findings

The school has made significant progress in addressing areas identified for improvement following ERO’s 2015 review. It is now progressing well towards improving the equity of outcomes for learners, building teacher capability, and developing teachers' understanding of cultural competency for learners and their programmes.

ERO will maintain a liaison role with the board of trustees and principal.

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?

Hawera High School caters for students from Year 9 to 13, drawn from the town of Hawera and the rural community of South Taranaki. The roll of 748 students includes 34% who are Māori.

The May 2015 ERO evaluation identified significant areas for review and development. Trustees and leaders have responded well to these areas. This includes accessing professional learning and development (PLD), effectively setting learning improvement targets, monitoring and tracking learner progress, and establishing teaching as inquiry. A clear framework has been provided to build capacity and guide improvements in key areas.

The school is now progressing well towards improving the equity of outcomes for learners, building teacher capability, and developing teachers’ understanding of cultural competencies to support learners and their programmes.

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 identified the need to improve outcomes for at risk learners through building:

  • effective practice and use of learning information to accelerate the achievement of students
  • understanding of cultural competencies and responding to Māori learners
  • knowledge and implementation of schoolwide evaluation. 

Actions undertaken to address these areas have been to:

  • understand and implement effective assessment and analysis of data to inform teaching and learning
  • develop and embed teaching as inquiry to better understand the strategies having the most impact on raising student achievement
  • strengthen connections with parents, families and whānau, especially of Māori learners
  • implement processes and systems for accountability, consistency and improvement
  • build teachers' and leaders’ capability through internal and external support and mentoring
  • enhance effective targeting of learning and evaluation for ongoing improvement.
Progress

Reducing in-school disparity in achievement has been a significant focus for the school. Data reported highlights the success of this approach across most year levels. Achievement information is analysed well and is readily accessible to all staff. Leaders and teachers use this data effectively to:

  • support acceleration for those learners most at risk
  • inform teaching and learning programmes
  • track, monitor and respond sooner to learners
  • increase retention of learners through meaningful pathways beyond school.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data shows an improvement at Year 11 and in endorsement rates for NCEA Levels 2 and 3 over time. NCEA Level 2 continues to be in line with national figures. Improving trends in achievement data are reported by the school in Years 9 and 10. More learners are now better placed to access NCEA.

The establishment and implementation of effective targeting for achievement has been a significant driver for change. Targets are used well at trustee, leadership and teacher levels to enhance the line of sight to those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Regular, in-depth information is shared with the board and is scrutinised well to inform resourcing decisions. Learners are now at the forefront of all professional discussions across the school.

Teaching as inquiry has been implemented well and there is now a consistent schoolwide approach. Strategies and initiatives for those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration are regularly reflected on. Increased collaboration between teachers is highly evident.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

A more coherent approach to strategic planning, school operation and leading change is evident. Trustees and school leaders are focused on implementing and sustaining school processes to improve performance.

Well-considered change processes have been implemented by the school. Purposeful selection of initiatives aligned clearly to school priorities has supported improving quality in school operation. A collaborative approach to schoolwide improvement for equitable outcomes is evident.

The appraisal process for leaders and teachers has been strengthened. It is now consistently implemented across the school. PLD is actively sought to support school improvement initiatives. Clear alignment of schoolwide goals and targets is supporting improvements in teacher practice and student outcomes. Expectations for high quality teaching and learning are evident.

Through effective targeting and teaching as inquiry, evaluation and knowledge building has been strengthened to:

  • use data to appropriately identify priority learners
  • establish and embed systems and processes to better track, monitor and report on learners’ ongoing progress
  • increase communication with parents, family and whānau.

Knowing the impact of strategies, programmes, initiatives and interventions on improving outcomes for students is a key next step. It is now timely to build schoolwide understanding of effective evaluation. Implementing a robust evaluative approach should enhance leadership and appropriately inform ongoing improvements.

Key next steps

To sustain and enhance ongoing improvement Hawera High School trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • strengthen teaching as inquiry to build teacher capability and better support understanding of those strategies that have the most impact of accelerating achievement
  • build schoolwide leadership capability to provide relevant feedback that supports ongoing improvements in teaching practice.

Useful progress has been made to better respond to Māori culture, language and identity. Strategic appointments and partnerships with key stakeholders, including iwi, are modelling and promoting learning-centred, home-school connections. Continuing to strengthen and embed schoolwide responsibility for, understanding and implementation of responsive cultural competencies should be ongoing. This should include:

  • building confidence and competence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • seeking aspirations and building understanding of meaningful learning partnerships with Māori learners and their whānau
  • recognising, responding to and empowering Māori learners’ language, culture and identities.

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.

To improve current practice the board of trustees should continue to:

  • review all policies and procedures, with urgency, to ensure all guiding requirements are met and follow education and legislative requirements.

Since the onsite phase of the review the schools has actioned police vetting for all non-teaching personnel.

4 Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Conclusion

The school has made significant progress in addressing areas identified for improvement following ERO’s 2015 review. It is now progressing well towards improving the equity of outcomes for learners, building teacher capability, and developing teachers' understanding of cultural competency for learners and their programmes.

ERO will maintain a liaison role with the board of trustees and principal.

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

15 June 2017

About the School 

Location

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

182

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

748

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

34%
61%
5%

Special Features

Additonal Needs Unit

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

15 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2015
June 2012
December 2008

 

Findings

The school's curriculum offers students a broad and balanced range of pathways towards employment or further study. Respectful relationships underpin a settled tone in classrooms. Strengthening the effectiveness of the curriculum through improving the quality of teaching and self review is a priority, to raise student achievement.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

Hawera High School caters for students from Years 9 to 15, drawn from the town of Hawera and rural community of South Taranaki. The roll at the time of this review is 801. Almost a third of students identify as Māori.

The school has focused on providing a broad range of programmes designed for students’ diverse needs in preparation for further training and employment. In 2015, it became a horticulture trades academy provider.

Between 2012 and 2014, the school was involved in He Kākano professional development for culturally-responsive leadership and teacher practices. It has participated in the Ministry of Education'sPositive Behaviour for Learning initiative, and developed a schoolwide approach for restorative practices. School leaders report that these initiatives have had a positive impact on the school tone and increased student engagement.

The June 2012 ERO report recommended that the school strengthen self review, and develop teaching and learning practices to improve engagement and raise achievement for all learners. Although progress has been made, these continue to be priority areas for improvement.

2 Learning

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

Use of achievement information to promote accelerated progress for learners needs further development.

Leaders collate a useful range of data about students’ progress and achievement. Analysis successfully identifies trends and patterns, and highlights areas for improvement. It considers groupings of students in terms of gender, ethnicity, NCEA Levels, and reading and mathematics in Years 9 and 10. Data is regularly shared and discussed with the board and teachers so they are aware of students’ strengths and issues, and have a basis for their decision making.

Teachers assess and monitor student progress in reading and mathematics in Years 9 and 10. School leaders are introducing a writing assessment in 2015 to increase the range of data available.

Assessment data indicates that most students at the beginning of Year 9 are achieving below national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Some make useful progress in Years 9 and 10. However, many do not make sufficient progress to reach expected curriculum levels by the end of Year 10.

Since the 2012 ERO review, overall achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) has improved for each year. The rates for students leaving school with NCEA Level 2 have also improved. However, achievement of NCEA Levels 1 and 3, University Entrance, and NCEA merit and excellence endorsements continues to be significantly below overall national rates, particularly for Māori students, and urgent improvement is needed.

School leaders have increased monitoring and tracking of students' progress towards achieving NCEA qualifications. The school's response to students at risk of underachieving, through an endofyear call back, has increased the number of NCEA credits those students have gained.

The board and senior leaders acknowledge, through their strategic planning and annual targets, that a comprehensive response is required to significantly raise the achievement of all students. This includes accelerating the progress of Māori learners. Leaders also acknowledge that development of clear and measurable targets should assist in promoting the progress of priority groups across the school, and support the school to improve its response to students' learning needs.

Actions in the 2015 annual plan suitably reflect the need to:

  • review assessment tools
  • develop teachers’ and middle managers’ capacity to use data consistently to improve their responses to the diverse needs of individuals and groups of students
  • build effective teaching practice to better promote engagement and learning, and to accelerate achievement, particularly for priority students.

Parents receive useful written reports three times a year. These provide information about students' achievement and progress in relation to expected curriculum levels. Regular reports about senior students' accumulation of NCEA credits keep parents well informed.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum offers students a broad and balanced range of pathways towards employment or further study. Subject options suitably support academic choices and vocational pathways through industry-linked courses and trades academies in the senior school.

Improving the quality of teaching across the whole-school curriculum continues to be a priority. The Years 9 and 10 curriculum, particularly in literacy and mathematics, needs to more effectively promote successful outcomes for all students, and accelerate the progress of priority learners. This should better prepare students for improved success in the NCEAs.

The school's curriculum documents show clear alignment with The New Zealand Curriculum. The HAWERA values, a positive focus and a calm, settled tone are evident in the school environment.

There are respectful relationships between teachers, students and their peers. Student wellbeing is supported by an effective pastoral care system. Students spoken with by ERO are confident and articulate.

Teachers provided additional learning support in 2014 for a small group of students. Most of these students made progress and some made accelerated progress. The school caters well for students with high needs.

The school has extended academic mentoring to include all students in the senior school. Review of this initiative should help the school to measure the impact of mentoring on raising achievement, and provide information for future decision making.

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

There have been school-wide initiatives to increase teachers’ awareness of how to better respond to Māori learners. The school has strengthened its links to Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Ruahine. Regular hui are held for Māori parents and whānau.

The school has planned strategically to build the cultural competency of staff and the cultural responsiveness of the curriculum. In response to the 2012 ERO review, leaders have reviewed how they respond to the Ministry of Education's Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017. These steps should assist in improving outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Significant further development is required in the school's practices to sustain and improve its performance.

Trustees receive useful information about student achievement and engagement. They are improvement focused and committed to supporting the school to achieve positive outcomes for all students. The charter and annual targets focus on establishing and improving a range of conditions for promoting learning, and provide direction for the board's resourcing decisions.

Aspects of self review seek improvement to student achievement, school processes and practices. ERO and school leaders agree that improving the overall quality of self review is needed. Leaders need to further develop their use achievement information for review, and strengthen evaluation of the impacts of school practices and initiatives. This should help them to better measure the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching in accelerating progress and raising achievement for all students.

The school’s professional development programme promotes collaboration and shared learning for teachers. School leaders are considering how best to develop a culture of reflective practice, to enable teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice in addressing school priorities. Senior leaders are aware of the need to further strengthen middle managers' capacity to review and analyse their performance, and the performance of their learning areas, as part of increasing accountability for improving outcomes.

Appraisal requires strengthening to support teachers and leaders to improve their practice. Developing rigorous performance management should include:

  • a consistent and fully implemented process to promote effective leadership and teaching
  • provision of high quality feedback to improve teacher practice
  • clear alignment of appraisal goals and professional learning to the school's annual targets and priorities for improving outcomes for students
  • gathering sufficient evidence to attest to teachers' performance against the Registered Teacher Criteria
  • opportunities for teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (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 five international students attending the school, including four exchange students.

Processes are in place to monitor and support International students' pastoral care and achievement. Host families are well informed about the students’ progress and welfare.

The school is taking steps to strengthen review of provision for international students and is now reporting student outcomes to the board.

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 school has reviewed some of its policies and procedures since the 2012 ERO review. However, some existing policies and procedures do not reflect current practice, and some areas of school practice are not guided by policy and procedure.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should review all policies and procedures within the recommended three year period. The review cycle needs to ensure that:

  • existing practices are better reflected in policies and procedures
  • there are sufficient policies to meet the board’s legal obligations and provide staff with suitable guidelines for agreed best practice.
  • trustees receive regular reports about all aspects of their governance responsibilities.
  • all nonteaching staff are police vetted at the time of their appointment and every three years subsequently.

The school does not currently make provision to teach an additional language. School leaders should review the teaching of additional languages in line with the requirements of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Conclusion

The school's curriculum offers students a broad and balanced range of pathways towards employment or further study. Respectful relationships underpin a settled tone in classrooms. Strengthening the effectiveness of the curriculum through improving the quality of teaching and self review is a priority, to raise student achievement.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 May 2015

School Statistics

Location

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

182

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

801

Number of international students

5

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

32%

60%

1%

7%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

6 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Special Review

June 2012

December 2008

January 2008