Whanganui Collegiate School

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Education institution number:
192
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
349
Telephone:
Address:

132 Liverpool Street, Whanganui

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Findings

Wanganui Collegiate is founded on Christian values. Student learning and wellbeing are fostered effectively through the curriculum and pastoral care. Student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement. The school promotes success for Māori students as Māori. The school is focused on sustaining and improving its performance.

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?

Wanganui Collegiate School is a state-integrated, co-educational boarding and day school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. It is affiliated to the Anglican Diocese of Wellington and has longstanding links with local iwi. The roll of 396 includes 46 Māori students.

In July 2015 a new deputy-principal was appointed. Since ERO’s February 2015 New School Assurance Review Report some property development has progressed.

The school’s special character Christian values and traditions are part of its long history. The ‘five pillars’ of academic excellence, cultural enrichment, sporting achievement, Christian fellowship and lifelong friendships focus on equipping students with the confidence and skills needed for a challenging future. In addition to their academic studies, students are able to participate in local, national and international arts, cultural and sporting activities. Student leadership and success are fostered and celebrated.

This is the school’s first Education Review since it was integrated in 2013. All areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO report have been addressed.

2 Learning

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

The school is increasingly using data to cater for the needs of individual students. The introduction of a new student management system is enabling leaders and teachers to closely identify, track and monitor students’ learning pathways during their time at school.

Results in 2015 show that the percentages of students achieving National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exceeds national percentages and those for schools of similar type. Percentage achievement in University Entrance (UE) and merit and excellence endorsements of NCEA are similarly high. Leaders have set a target to further increase endorsements. New Zealand Scholarship results doubled from 2014, with ten being awarded. A high proportion of students stay on to complete Year 13.

The board and leaders have identified that continuing to raise boys’ and Māori boys’ achievement is a priority. EROs evaluation supports this is an appropriate goal. A range of strategies are in place and more are being introduced in 2016 to achieve this goal.

Year 9 and 10 entry assessment data is used to develop class profiles that create an academic and pastoral picture of each student.

Class teachers use assessment data to make decisions about students’ learning needs and develop strategies to engage and accelerate learners. Early identification on entry to school enables the implementation of appropriate interventions and support for students. Parents and whānau are valued as important partners in additional programmes their children participate in.

Reports to parents and whānau about their child’s progress and achievement are clear and informative. The current review of Year 9 and 10 reports should add further information about achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels.

Next steps in gathering and using Year 9 and 10 data more effectively include:

  • setting specific achievement targets for groups of students
  • collating and reporting junior achievement over time to the board.

3 Curriculum

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

The Wanganui Collegiate curriculum is very effective in its promotion and support of student learning.

Students experience a rich school curriculum within and beyond the classroom. It is closely aligned to special character, values and student leadership development. A flexible approach enables students to meet learning requirements and participate fully in the breadth of the curriculum.

Students engage in interactive learning in class. Discussions between students and teachers explore ideas and understandings. Students’ knowledge is used and valued. Positive and inclusive relationships are evident. Teachers provide students with regular and individual feedback about learning and assessments. Learning time is maximised.

Departments are increasingly using student achievement data to review and change programmes. Schemes of work for Years 9 and 10 are being adapted to ensure they all reflect the NZC key competencies, principles and values and New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Continuing with this approach should ensure all students’ individual needs are focused on.

A comprehensive course booklet provides useful information for students and their families and whānau to make decisions about subject choices. Students receive well-considered guidance and support from a diverse range of people when discussing possible career pathways. This occurs at all levels. The introduction of a vocational curriculum is broadening opportunities for senior students to gain experience and success in a wider range of career options.

An emphasis on Year 12 and 13 transitions to the workplace and beyond is responsive to students’ changing aspirations and career choices.

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

The school’s special character values and relationship with iwi are effectively promoting success for Māori as Māori. There is recognition from the school community of the growth of a bicultural ethos and te ao Māori view in the school. A commitment to promoting success for Māori students is evident in the charter. Students bring their language, culture and identities to their learning. An external facilitator works with staff to continue to build their cultural competence.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Through its strategic plan priorities the school is proactively positioning itself to sustain and improve its performance.

The College and School Boards have improved understanding of their respective roles. The use of a range of digital systems ensures all trustees are well-informed. Trustees are clear about what has been achieved since the previous ERO report and priorities for the future. They use reports and achievement data to ensure students have equitable opportunities to achieve positive academic and pastoral outcomes. The boards are strongly supportive of leadership in the school.

The charter is underpinned by the school’s special character, history and context. It identifies priorities for moving the school forward to ensure student outcomes are sustained and continue to improve. Strengthening current review practices to be more evaluative should enable trustees and leaders to better monitor the impact of programmes, initiatives and decisions on student outcomes.

A considered restructure of leadership roles is responsive to ongoing change and improvement in schoolwide systems and approaches. The principal has a key role in proactively leading and managing change. The building of a team through appointments and delegations is likely to sustain change and improvement. The executive leaders have identified that continuing to build the leadership capability of some heads of learning is an area for development. ERO's evaluation supports this direction.

A new online teacher appraisal system was introduced in 2015. Teachers reflect on and share practice with each other. Increasing the use of assessment information to inform their thinking should assist them to specifically identify actions that make a measureable difference to student progress and achievement. Developing an agreed and documented framework to guide the appraisal process is a next step.

The principal’s appraisal is robust and wide-ranging. It affirms what has been achieved. It identifies useful steps to support his professional development and strategic plan goals.

Pastoral programmes are effective in providing care and support for students. Leaders and teachers provide a wide range of opportunities for families and whānau to engage with them and be well informed about their child’s participation in school activities. A parent portal is actively used by families to keep them informed about their children’s learning.

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.

There are 54 international students attending the school. A robust self-review process ensures that students’ wellbeing remains a priority and when required, leads to improvement. Parents and families receive regular reports about their children and communication is open, supportive and tailored to need.

Pastoral care is carefully structured and highly responsive to individual students. Academic, social and emotional needs are met through the use of student leadership, house organisation and responsible adults.

An extensive ESOL programme promotes academic success and students’ ability to participate fully in the curriculum.

International students are integrated in the school community and involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including those specific to the New Zealand way of life.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Wanganui Collegiate School has six boarding houses that accommodate 302 students, 67% of the school roll. Day students are an integral part of each house. The houses are owned by the Wanganui College Board of Trustees. The owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel regulations are met.

Key features of hostel provision for students include:

  • house environments that seamlessly blend boarding and day students’ living and learning
  • strong leadership that promotes and fosters a positive emotional and physical setting for students
  • staff working closely with the school to provide integrated care for each student
  • students placing value on leadership opportunities
  • clear routines and behaviour boundaries
  • students' developing respectful relationships with each other and staff.

The manager agrees with ERO that strengthening the evaluation of systems and programmes should enable staff to know what impact these are having on students’ wellbeing.

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

Wanganui Collegiate is founded on Christian values. Student learning and wellbeing are fostered effectively through the curriculum and pastoral care. Student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement. The school promotes success for Māori students as Māori. The school is focused on sustaining and improving its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 May 2016

About the School

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

192

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

396

Number of international students

54

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

11%

81%

5%

3%

Special features

Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

10 May 2016

Most recent ERO report

New School Assurance Review

February 2015



Findings

Students are well supported to gain success in a range of areas. A high proportion of leavers gain University Entrance. Student wellbeing is promoted by comprehensive pastoral care.

Substantial progress has been made in responding to the changes and challenges of the last two years since the school became state-integrated. Trustees and managers are addressing areas still requiring development.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools.

1 Background

Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference. These reviews are undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

This New School Assurance Review was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Wanganui Collegiate School as a newly established state-integrated school.

The terms of reference for the review are to provide:

  • assurance to the board and community that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • assurance that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated as a stateintegrated school
  • an evaluation of how well placed the school is to sustain and improve its performance
  • an evaluation of the quality of provision for boarding and international students.

2 Background and Context

Wanganui Collegiate School is a state-integrated, co-educational boarding and day school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. It is affiliated to the Anglican Diocese of Wellington. Ten percent of the 420 students are Māori. The school has strong links with the Whanganui community.

For most of its history since being founded in 1854, the school was a private, single sex (male), mainly boarding institution. Since 1991, it has been co-educational and at the time of this review 38% of students were female. Within the boarding model, the school caters for a proportion of day students (32% of the roll) who share House activities with other students.

In January 2013, Wanganui Collegiate became a state-integrated school. The Integration Agreement with the Ministry of Education defines its special character as being an “Anglican 7–day residential co-educational boarding school.” Displaying care and respect for each other and striving for excellence within a framework of Christian values is the over-riding vision.

An establishment board (E-Board) guided the school through the initial stages of being stateintegrated. It dealt with significant challenges and change associated with moving from a private to a state-integrated school. Some of those challenges continue to be worked through.

The Wanganui College Board of Trustees (College Board) are the Proprietors. They are responsible for the provision of facilities, management of the boarding establishment and maintaining the special character. Modernisation of the science teaching areas is currently underway. Other significant property development is scheduled for the administration, library and technology areas.

The E-Board appointed a new headmaster, who commenced in January 2014. He is a first-time principal with considerable state-integrated and boarding school leadership experience.

Board elections in August 2014 created a new Wanganui Collegiate School Board of Trustees (School Board) that is responsible for the provision of education. It includes elected parent, staff and student members, the headmaster, a co-opted member and four representatives from the College Board.

ERO has worked with the boards and management to support their transition to operating as a state-integrated school. They continue to address the areas identified as needing development.

Findings

An increased understanding of governance within a state-integrated environment is evident within the School Board. Trustees are working in association with the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association to continue to build capability to effectively carry out the role and meet the needs of students. Board committees have been established in key areas of responsibility. There is greater clarity around finances and improved financial reporting to trustees. A number of policies and procedures have been reviewed to ensure they meet legislative requirements and current good practice guidelines. A schedule for ongoing review is in place.

The charter, initially developed by the E-Board, provides appropriate guidance and direction. It reflects both the National Education Guidelines and the designated special character. A key consideration for the newly established board is to ensure the strategic plan and 2015 charter promote future development as a state-integrated school.

The E-Board’s main focus in 2013 was on meeting compliance requirements, aligning staffing to the state-integrated model and improving financial systems. During 2014, the focus is more on strategic planning, reporting and review. Continuing to clarify and develop the respective roles and responsibilities of the School and College Board’s should ensure students are effectively supported.

Recent extension of the senior leadership team has the potential to provide support for the headmaster in further growing a teaching and learning culture responsive to all learners. It has included a clarification of roles within a more distributed leadership model and an increased management focus on achievement outcomes.

Students continue to achieve highly in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications. Eighty-five percent of school leavers in 2013 gained University Entrance.

The strategies identified early in 2014, to improve academic outcomes, included greater use of data to inform self review and improved tracking towards qualifications. Each of these continues to be a priority. The recent introduction of a new student management system and appointment of academic deans are likely to improve monitoring of progress in 2015.

In Years 9 and 10 there is limited use of data for planning and to show and analyse student progress in literacy, mathematics and other curriculum areas. The school intends to introduce standardised testing for Years 9 and 10 in 2015 to provide baseline data. This should assist teachers to meet the specific needs of students and to consider the impact of curriculum on achievement and progress.

Department documentation includes appropriate reference to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and programmes link to the NZC achievement objectives for each learning area. The curriculum is structured to enable students to be involved in all learning areas. Building a shared understanding of how the vision, principles, key competencies and effective pedagogy of the NZC are an essential part of teaching and learning is a continuing priority.

Respectful relationships and a settled tone were evident in classes observed by ERO. Teachers and students work together positively. Students are generally well motivated and engaged in learning. Planning for extending the use of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning is underway.

There have been some changes to the structure of the curriculum in 2014. NCEA is the qualification focus. Cambridge International Examinations are no longer available as an academic option. A range of curriculum choices is available in the senior school and is being extended to include vocational courses, sometimes in conjunction with outside providers.

Students are involved in a wide range of academic, sporting, arts and service experiences. Many achieve significant success in these areas. The special Anglican character is part of students’ regular learning experience. Religious study is included in the curriculum in Years 9 to 12 and participation in chapel is at least weekly.

Students are supported to monitor progress towards their goals. A planned review of careers information and guidance provision should ensure students are assisted further to make good choices in relation to their selected future pathways.

All students are linked to one of the six boarding houses. Each house provides wrap-around support for wellbeing, involvement and connectedness to the school community. Day students are well integrated into this distinctive character. Students feel supported by the pastoral care in place.

Increased involvement with local iwi contributes to the valuing and promotion of Māori culture and identity. Whānau hui have continued to take place. School leaders have identified the need to continue to build a teaching and learning environment that reflects New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and supports success for Māori students.

A process is in place for evidence-based self review of the key goals associated with the school’s vision. Review has so far focused on policy and compliance matters. Schoolwide senior achievement information is analysed and improvement areas identified. Regular formal review of the quality of student outcomes in each learning area, including Years 9 and 10, is a necessary next step.

A new appraisal process for teaching staff has been introduced. It is not fully embedded into culture and practice and therefore has yet to become an effective, robust tool to improve teaching and learning. An appropriate performance management and appraisal process for the headmaster is in place.

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 46 international students attending the school. The school’s self-review process provides reliable information about provision for international students and contributes to improvement.

Students feel well supported to be successful learners and achieve academic and personal goals. High quality pastoral care includes effective orientation, support for learning, and ongoing monitoring.

International students are well integrated into the school community. They are involved and enjoy participation in cultural, sporting and academic co-curricular activities.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel operates in six separate boarding houses and accommodates 68% of the school roll. All 46 international students are boarders. The boarding houses are owned by the Wanganui College Board of Trustees. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Students report their boarding house is family-like and supportive of them as individuals. Provision for homework through ‘prep’ is responsive to individual needs and encourages good work habits. Students state that they enjoy being busy and highly involved in the many activities available. They are regularly surveyed about key aspects of boarding life. House staff are strengthening their focus on acknowledging and celebrating individual students’ positive contributions to boarding life.

Since integration, house-staffing ratios have remained the same, with each house having a resident housemaster, matron and graduate tutor. Senior students take on significant leadership and house roles and responsibilities. Improvements in the quality of bedding, linen and laundry provision have recently occurred.

A new director of boarding will provide oversight of boarding from 2015. Progress has been made in developing policies that form part of the boarding manual. The school board and staff should complete the development of a comprehensive policy and operational framework that works seamlessly with the school policies and procedures.

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

Students are well supported to gain success in a range of areas. A high proportion of leavers gain University Entrance. Student wellbeing is promoted by comprehensive pastoral care.

Substantial progress has been made in responding to the changes and challenges of the last two years since the school became state-integrated. Trustees and managers are addressing areas still requiring development.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

5 February 2015

School Statistics

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

192

School type

State Integrated Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

420

Gender composition

Male 62%, Female 38%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

74%

10%

4%

1%

11%

Special Features

Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

5 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports