Rotorua Intermediate

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Findings

Students at Rotorua Intermediate benefit from a broad, responsive curriculum and inclusive school culture that promotes their engagement and success. Students engage and progress well in carefully designed programmes. Respectful and reciprocal relationships among staff and students foster settled, purposeful classrooms where students benefit from highly effective teaching and learning practices.

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?

Rotorua Intermediate is a large urban school that serves the local community and surrounding districts. Since the last ERO review in 2013 the roll has grown to 706 students in Years 7 and 8. Approximately 70% percent of these students are of Māori descent and a significant proportion affiliate to Te Arawa.

Students have the opportunity to learn through the medium of te reo Māori in the bilingual class. In addition, the school provides choices of specialist programmes such as the innovative learning environment, digital, boys, girls, diligence, extension classes and accelerated learning groups (ALG).

Since the last ERO review, the leadership and organisation of the school has been reviewed and restructured. The roles and responsibilities of middle leaders have been reviewed and there have been strategic appointments of new staff to these positions. The school structure is based around Whānau, Ako and Manaakitanga groups that collaborate together to achieve success for all learners.

In consultation with iwi the school has reviewed and reaffirmed the school’s traditional vision and values. Whānau groups are named after significant Te Arawa leaders Hurungaterangi, Tunohopu, Te Roro o Te Rangi, Taeotu Rangiiwaho and Pukaki and their leadership qualities are reflected in the school’s expectations for their students. New student assessment tools have been introduced and has strengthened teachers' focus on targeted professional learning and development for at risk learners.

The school is well supported by an experienced board of trustees who are committed to improving student learning outcomes. Many parents and whānau have long standing connections with the school and students benefit from positive and varied learning experiences. Recent refurbishments in many classrooms, and an increase in the use of digital technologies, are enhancing learning opportunities for students. 

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information to effectively promote student engagement, progress and achievement. In 2015, senior and middle school leaders strengthened the way data is shared, discussed and used to reflect on practice, and better meet the learning needs of students.

School leaders and teachers gather, collate and analyse good quality school-wide assessment information, including data from contributing schools. This data is used to:

  • set strategic targets, inform decision making and resourcing at board and senior leadership levels
  • analyse trends and patterns of achievement during the year
  • clearly identify and support students at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • strengthen overall teacher judgements, and reports to parents, in relation to National Standards
  • inform teacher planning for groups of students in literacy and mathematics
  • help students share their progress with parents through student-led conferences.

Moving forward the school is to focus on and monitor the rates of student progress, and use this information to assist teachers to plan to meet the identified needs of individual students, especially those at risk of poor educational outcomes.

The 2015 student achievement data shows a significant proportion of children Year 7 and 8 are below National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. In both year groups there are cohorts of students that are over represented in the below category. These students generally are Māori and boys. Data gathered in June 2016 indicates that a good many of these children made better than expected progress in reading, writing and mathematics, and are on track to meet the National Standards by the end of the year. The school has responded to this achievement information by setting relevant targets, close monitoring and implementing accelerated learning groups (ALG) in literacy and mathematics. These interventions are well organised by the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who closely monitors the wellbeing and achievements of students with high needs and those at risk of poor educational outcomes.

The growing number of Pacific students group has similar achievement patterns to other groups of students in the school. This group also has opportunities to participate in cultural events and experiences. The school continues to seek more effective ways to engage these families in the life of the school.

3 Curriculum

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

Students experience a rich, coherent and well-designed curriculum that provides them with meaningful choices and pathways for learning. The curriculum is underpinned by the values of manaakitanga, whānaungatanga and ako, (respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for your actions). These values are well known by teachers, students and whānau. They are integrated into student expectations for learning and behaviour and are contributing to a settled and positive school culture. Success is recognised and celebrated through the Manaakitanga system, which acknowledges student effort, participation and leadership.

School leaders are continually reviewing the school’s curriculum and working effectively with teachers to deliver a responsive curriculum that promotes:

  • strong integration of literacy teaching practices across the curriculum
  • an inquiry approach in other curriculum areas
  • increased use of computer technology and innovative learning practices
  • regular opportunities for all students to learn te reo Māori
  • student agency and ownership of their own learning.

Senior leaders have initiated comprehensive professional development using internal and external expertise and knowledge. Staff have also visited other schools, attended workshops and conferences, and engaged in ongoing professional discussions. In addition, the appraisal process has been strengthened through evidence-based observations with specific feedback to teachers. These practices have contributed to the development of shared understandings and increased consistency in the quality of teaching and learning across the school.

Respectful and reciprocal relationships between teachers and students are a feature of the school. Teachers are responsive to students and set high expectations for learning and behaviour. School leaders responsible for pastoral care effectively coordinate the school’s strategic goal to provide a positive physical, emotional and social environment. Students are encouraged to work cooperatively, be positive role models, and develop positive citizenship skills.

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

School leaders have proactively focused and strengthened the school’s partnership with Ngati Whakaue. Through these advisory groups strong partnerships have developed and meaningful consultation has resulted in significant reorganisation of school operations.

The school continues to provide a range of opportunities for Māori students to succeed and excel in their learning. The proportion of Māori students achieving at and above National Standards in 2015 in reading, writing and mathematics was below that of other students in the school. Leaders carefully track and monitor the progress and achievement of Māori students and provide appropriate intervention, extension and support. Leaders are highly committed to making a difference for Māori learners and this is evidenced by improving levels of achievement over time.

Students celebrate their learning with parents and whānau regularly. Māori student's culture and heritage is acknowledged and affirmed through activities such as pōwhiri, kapa haka and knowledge and pepeha. Māori students have a forum, Kahurangatahi, where they discuss and share their views and aspirations to leaders.

Guidance of a lead teacher and recent teacher professional development have focused on building teacher knowledge, confidence and competence in accelerating the learning of Māori students. School leaders acknowledge the need to continue to imbed a Māori dimension into classroom programmes. 

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The following aspects of school operations and practices contribute to Rotorua Intermediate being well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

School leaders continue to provide high levels of visionary and innovative leadership that promotes a strong sense of ownership of the school’s purpose and direction for ongoing improvement. They provide effective leadership for staff, students and the community with a strong focus on improving teacher practice.

The board of trustees, in collaboration with iwi and community, has developed a focused and strategic approach to accelerating the achievement of all students at risk of not achieving.

There are high levels of student engagement and acceleration of progress for students who enter the school achieving below expected levels.

There is a school-wide culture of rigorous self review and critical reflection, which contributes effectively to sustaining the school’s positive performance and continuous improvement.

The school enjoys high levels of support, commitment and endorsement from within the school community.

All reasonable steps have been taken to provide a safe and inclusive environment.

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 at Rotorua Intermediate benefit from a broad, responsive curriculum and inclusive school culture that promotes their engagement and success. Students engage and progress well in carefully designed programmes. Respectful and reciprocal relationships among staff and students foster settled, purposeful classrooms where students benefit from highly effective teaching and learning practices.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

20 December 2016

About the School 

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1933

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

706

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacifica

Asian

68%

22%

5%

5%

Special Features

Bilingual Unit

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

20 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

December 2009 

 

 

Image removed.

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa

The Child – the Heart of the Matter

1 Context

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

Rotorua Intermediate School is situated near the centre of Rotorua and caters for students in Years 7 and 8. Māori students comprise 59% of the roll. There is also an increasing number of students from Pacific and other heritages. Flags for each country are prominently displayed and cultural ambassadors have been appointed for each of the 31 countries represented at the school. Students demonstrate pride in their school and assist in maintaining attractive gardens and grounds. The school values of ‘respect for others, respect for self, and responsibility for managing oneself’ are explicitly promoted and continually reflected in the attitudes and behaviour of many students throughout the school. School leaders and teachers regularly celebrate student success in a wide range of academic, sports and cultural experiences.

The school offers classes that focus on bilingual education, e-learning, academic extension, single gender education or learning support. About half the students at the school achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. All students participate in specialist classes, such as culinary arts, hard and soft materials technology, music, graphic arts, single gender sexuality and science. There are many opportunities for students to develop leadership skills including the organisation of school-wide sports activities during three 'student engagement' times each week. The board employs two school counsellors who support students and families and assist teachers in providing a safe emotional environment for learning. Teachers are engaging in professional development about strengthening a school-wide approach to positive behaviour for learning.

The 2009 ERO review found that some teachers needed to improve practices for guiding students’ individual learning and progress. There was a need to strengthen expertise in integrating te reo Māori in all class programmes and to establish closer liaison with Pacific parents and families. Since that review, senior leaders have made progress in training teachers in the use of assessment information to address learning needs. A Pacific liaison officer has been recently appointed to increase communication and consultation with Pacific families.

2 Learning

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

Teachers consistently use nationally standardised assessment information to group students for instruction in reading, writing and mathematics. In all classes, teachers and senior leaders have identified groups of students needing to make accelerated progress in order to reach National Standards by the end of the year. Curriculum leaders regularly observe teaching practice for these groups and provide teachers with helpful approaches to improve progress. Student achievement is regularly monitored to ensure that progress for these students is sustained through the year. Progress and achievement is effectively reported to parents through structured student-led conferences and informative written reports.

School-wide achievement against National Standards is reported to the board and used to inform annual targets and resourcing for improvement. The board provides funding for additional teachers and teacher aides to support students who require targeted learning assistance. Reports about overall progress for students in intervention programmes show that a number of students have made significant gains. The school’s achievement records demonstrate that many students make considerable progress as they move through the school.

ERO and school leaders agree that next steps are to:

  • prioritise and accelerate the progress of boys and of Māori and Pacific students who are over represented in groups that are at risk of underachieving
  • ensure teachers consistently involve students in self-assessment and planning their next learning steps
  • ensure teachers consistently make effective use of regular feedback from curriculum leaders about strategies for accelerating learning and achievement
  • continue to develop indicators for determining overall teacher judgements about achievement in relation to the National Standards
  • review and further develop school-wide guidelines for identifying and extending students who are gifted and talented.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum promotes an appropriate emphasis on literacy, mathematics, inquiry learning, thinking skills and education outside the classroom. Recent staff consultation has led to adopting the principles of collaboration, personalised learning, innovation, and global connection. These are already reflected in aspects of learning programmes and school organisation. Teachers are also expected to provide programmes that are ‘rich, real and relevant’ to engage students’ interest and challenge their thinking.

Examples of high-quality teaching observed by ERO include maintaining positive relationships with students, using e-learning tools to promote independent learning, and providing students with strategies to monitor their own progress and achievement. In some classes, teachers use assessment information to specifically guide teaching and learning, and to provide students with specific and meaningful next steps for learning.

There is now a need for senior leaders and teachers to continue developing the school’s local response to The New Zealand Curriculum in order to provide expectations for consistent curriculum content in all teaching teams. This process should also incorporate expectations for the inclusion of local Māori heritage and multicultural perspectives.

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

The school promotes success for Māori as Māori through a school-wide approach to pōwhiri, waiata, pepeha and karakia. Senior leaders have high expectations for Māori students to succeed and many achieve at and above National Standards for their year levels. Those who require learning assistance benefit from accelerated learning groups and intervention programmes targeted to their needs. Some parents attend regular whānau meetings that provide opportunities to partner with the school in assisting Māori students to achieve success. Next steps are to:

  • provide a school-wide programme of te reo and tikanga Māori
  • ensure the principles of Tātaiako, Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, are included in the revised appraisal process
  • fully document policies, expectations and a rationale for bilingual teaching and learning
  • find ways to engage all parents and whānau as partners in their students’ learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because of the following positive features:

  • Governance is effective. Trustees and senior leaders have developed a high-quality strategic plan. There is strong financial management and succession planning is evident. The board receives a comprehensive appraisal of the principal’s performance from an external consultant.
  • Professional leadership is reflective and collegial. The experienced senior leadership team makes good use of complementary strengths and expertise to develop curriculum leaders’ skills in modelling and monitoring expected teaching practices, especially in literacy and mathematics. Self review of these learning areas includes meaningful feedback from staff and students.
  • A collaborative staff culture is fostered through professional development provided by external advisers and by sharing models of best teaching practice within the school.
  • Parent partnerships are strengthened by regular opportunities to respond to surveys about the curriculum and students’ well being. The Friends of the School fund raising group actively supports a range of school initiatives.

ERO, trustees and school leaders agree that next steps are to:

  • develop a streamlined approach to self-review that gives direction for both planned and spontaneous reviews
  • continue to strengthen staff appraisal processes
  • document a planned approach to equitable resource provision across the school, including information and communication technologies as tools for learning.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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.

In order to improve practice, school leaders should maintain records of educational support provided by the school for students who have been stood down or suspended from school.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

10 June 2013

About the School

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1933

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

642

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Other Pacific

Asian

Cook Island Māori

Indian

59%

29%

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

Special Features

Bilingual class

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

10 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

October 2006

August 2002