Rangitikei College

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School Context

Rangitikei College is a co-educational secondary school that provides for students from Marton and the surrounding rural area. Ngāti Apa is recognised as mana whenua. The roll is 302, and 33% identify as Māori with 8% as Samoan. The roll has grown by 40 students since the September 2015 ERO report.

The vision defined by the school is that through building relationships and personalising learning great futures can be created for all students. Key values to support the vision are based on REP – Respect (Whakaute), Excellence (Eke Panuku) and Participation (Whakaruru).

The board of trustees’ 2018 annual plan gives priority to raising ‘the active engagement and achievement of all students to attain their personal best and develop personal pathways beyond school’.

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

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • progress and achievement in reading and mathematics in Years 9 and 10
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets for Years 9 and 10 reading and mathematics, National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)Level 3
  • for school leavers.

Since the previous ERO report, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed. The recently revised charter gives priority to school improvement based on growing links with the community and a more relevant curriculum for students. Close liaison with and support from the community enabled the opening of an extensive artificial turf multi-sport area in November 2017. Both the school and community make extensive use of this facility. 

The school is part of the South Rangitikei 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?

Although some students achieve well, senior data needs to trend more positively to consistently align with at least national figures. Preliminary data for 2018, indicates improvement in overall NCEA achievement as a result of a range of actions.

Levels of success in NCEAs have fluctuated since 2014 and need to consistently improve at each level. There has been improvement in overall NCEA Level 2 data. Females continue to achieve more highly than males at NCEA Level 3 and Pākehā higher than Māori at NCEA Level 2.

The number of certificate endorsements gained is below national comparisons. Students in physical education regularly gain NZ Scholarships. In 2017, two students were successful in gaining this qualification, with one gaining an Outstanding Scholarship.

The percentage of students remaining to the senior school has continued to increase and is now similar to national figures. In 2017, 75% of school leavers had achieved at least NCEA Level 2. Māori leaver data shows attainment remains below their Pākehā peers.

Data is collated to show the achievement of Samoan students. Qualification success is variable. Many of these students are English language learners (ELL) and enrol at the school at senior levels. The recent introduction of Samoan as an NCEA subject has provided pathways for increased success for these students.

To increase the opportunities for individual learners to gain NCEA, target students are identified in Years 11 to 13. In 2017, less than half of these students achieved the NCEA level hoped for. Most of these students returned to school in 2018 to give themselves the opportunity to gain at least NCEA Level 2.

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

The school has mixed success in accelerating learning in Years 9 and 10 and increasing the likelihood of gaining senior qualifications for individual students at risk of not gaining these.

Reading and mathematics data collected for incoming Year 9 students indicates most learners require significant acceleration in their progress to meet curriculum expectation by the end of Year 10. School analysis of 2017 reading data indicates the majority of students below expectation accelerated their progress over the year. Māori and Samoan students are accelerated at similar levels to their peers. Leaders are building the use of mathematics data to show progress in the junior school.

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?

Leaders have made significant strategic changes to systems and programmes to better support equity and opportunity for learner success. The revised school charter, appropriately informed by consultation with the community, provides a future-focused vision for students. The strategic plan identifies relevant annual targets linked to improving student outcomes.

Strengthened processes and practices improve support for students to accelerate progress, be involved in meaningful pathways and gain relevant qualifications. There is a schoolwide focus on literacy to improve learning success across all curriculum areas. The implementation of the improvement plan is responsive to ongoing review and inquiry.

The ‘No Limits’ curriculum development provides greater opportunities for personalising learning. Choice and flexibility are linked to students’ changing interests and aspirations, particularly at senior level. All students have opportunities to work on self-led, meaningful learning projects. Learners are able to pursue greater understanding of and skills related to their areas of interest. Some Māori and Samoan students successfully use cultural knowledge as a vehicle for learning.

Curriculum development provides increased opportunity for learner success. A range of programmes and interventions is in place to more effectively promote success for specific groups of students. Student leadership of a range of activities is successfully promoted.Greater access to a range of part-time involvement in tertiary education or industry training and long distance learning extends pathways available for students.

More effective, learning-based relationships with parents, whānau and the community supports greater responsiveness to the variable and changing needs of learners. Fono contribute to initiatives that promote learning and engagement of Samoan learners and their aiga. Academic mentors build connections with students and families to promote learners’ wellbeing and success. Mentors appropriately identify students at risk in their learning, provide support and monitor progress.

Building teacher capability through collaborative practice promotes shared responsibility for improved student wellbeing, progress and achievement. Professional learning and appraisal of teachers is suitably aligned to student outcome priorities identified by trustees and leaders. Increased links with contributing schools enables greater knowledge and understanding of the learning strengths and needs of transitioning students.

An improved system for tracking senior student progress has been implemented. Years 9 and 10 assessment information is increasingly used to show individual progress over time. Curriculum and school leaders review of student outcomes is more focused. Student voice is a valued component of review. The principal leads internal evaluation that effectively contributes to improvement.

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

Strengthening the implementation of the recent developments in processes and practices that contribute to valued outcomes for learners is a continuing priority.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should more consistently make use of achievement information to:

  • effectively identify, track and respond to students requiring acceleration
  • more rigorously target, during the year, students at risk of not achieving qualifications
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching practice and programmes.

A significant number of students across Years 9 to 13 are identified as having additional learning needs. Appropriate individual learning plans support learners with the most complex needs. Systems being developed to share information with teachers should assist greater progress in learning. Progress for additional needs students, including ELL learners, should be reported to trustees to assist decision making about resourcing.

Leaders and teachers should collaboratively develop clear expectations and guidelines for effective teaching practice aligned to the recently revised vision for learning. The resulting indicators should also reflect culturally responsive practice linked to the local setting and the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Some Māori students have demonstrated effective leadership and gained high levels of achievement and success. The board of trustees has committed to greater involvement of Te reo o Ngā Rangatahi (whānau) and iwi representation to extend the opportunity for genuine Māori voice in decision making. To improve outcomes for all Māori learners the school should, in collaboration with whānau and iwi, continue to promote the more meaningful inclusion of te ao Māori in teaching and across the curriculum.

As identified by the school, it is appropriate to further extend the focus on Years 9 and 10 literacy and mathematics development to ensure there is a base of foundation skills in place for all students. This should more effectively enable access to a range of learning pathways and better outcomes in the senior school.

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:

  • developments in curriculum that support greater personalisation and relevance of learning for individual students

  • learning-based connections and relationships that support learner wellbeing and progress

  • building teacher capability through collaborative practices that promote shared responsibility for improving student outcomes.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring more rigorous tracking and monitoring of senior students learning and progress to improve outcomes in national qualifications

  • developing clear expectations for teaching to promote the recently redefined vision for student learning

  • further extending the focus on Year 9 and 10 literacy and mathematics learning to improve their access to a range of pathways in the senior school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 October 2018

About the school

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

195

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

302

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 33%
Pākehā 57%
Samoan 8%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

25 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review January 2013
Education Review August 2009

1 Context

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

Rangitikei College is a co-educational secondary school that provides for students from Marton and the surrounding rural area. The roll is 261, of which 38% identify as Māori.

The principal, who was appointed in 2012, will leave the college at the end of Term 3 2015, and a new principal will begin at the start of Term 4. A new deputy principal began in 2013.

Since the January 2013 ERO report, the college has been involved in several Ministry of Education (MoE) programmes to improve conditions for learning and support student wellbeing for success. These include: He Kākano, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), restorative practices, Secondary Student Achievement, and Te Kākahu – Building on Success.

The college has worked in a deliberate and strategic way to address areas for improvement identified in the previous ERO report, and has made good progress towards achieving better outcomes for students. There has been ongoing improvement in overall levels of achievement across the college.

2 Learning

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

The college has improved its use of data to make positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement.

A greater focus on collection and analysis of data has led to a better understanding of how it can be used to promote learning. Teachers more frequently monitor and reflect on the progress and achievement of all students.

Senior leaders and trustees set goals and targets to accelerate the learning of students at risk of underachievement. They are regularly provided with achievement information to track progress towards their goals and guide decision-making.

Teachers have increased their knowledge and understanding of the individual needs of students as they enter the college. Assessment information from primary schools is gathered at transition into Year 9. Teachers identify gaps in learning and make decisions about how to respond through teaching. Additional support is provided for students identified as at risk of underachieving.

Data indicates improved achievement and progress for many Year 9 and 10 students in literacy and numeracy. Some students show accelerated progress. The college's Junior Certificate of Attainment recognises and rewards students who show positive attitudes to learning and gain academic success.

There have been good increases in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results, with a significant improvement at Level 1. The numbers of students leaving school with NCEA Level 2 are close to the national figure for all schools and the MoE's 85% target. More students are gaining NCEA merit and excellence endorsements. Several students have gained New Zealand Scholarship awards over the last three years.

The achievement for Māori students has improved over recent years at a rate that matches their peers in the school. At NCEA Level 2, Māori student achievement is similar to levels for non-Māori. However school leaders are aware that, for some Māori students, the significant gap remains between their achievement and that of their peers.

Leaders acknowledge the need to further strengthen their use of data to support ongoing improvement by ensuring:

  • clearer identification of student needs and next steps for learning
  • that teaching strategies match student needs
  • there is consistent monitoring and deeper analysis of students' learning and progress to support evaluation.

3 Curriculum

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

The Rangitikei College curriculum is increasingly responsive to individual student needs and is developing its effectiveness to further promote successful outcomes.

A sustained focus on developing a positive environment for learning has led to an enhanced school culture and values that support success. Implementation of restorative practices has improved classroom tone and students' engagement. Students enthusiastically participate in classroom activities and in the life of the school.

Teachers know students well. They have focussed on developing supportive relationships with students and their families. Teachers prioritise student wellbeing and meet the holistic needs of individual students.

Students with additional needs are well catered for through a collaborative and intentional approach. The college has developed good relationships with external agencies and effectively responds to students with complex needs.

An alternative education unit successfully provides learning for a small group of students with a view to their reintegration into mainstream classes. Systems and processes for sharing information and monitoring progress to support these students with additional needs should continue to be strengthened.

Teachers collaborate effectively to develop subject options that reflect students’ strengths and interests. Students are able to follow traditional curriculum pathways through core subjects, with vocational and practical courses offered for NCEA Level 2. Smooth transition from school into further training, education or employment is well supported.

A mentoring programme is strengthening students' participation in making decisions about their learning. Increased guidance for goal setting is in place. Three-way conferences with parents, students and teachers promote family and whānau involvement in partnerships that enhance students’ progress and achievement. Provision supports students to reflect on their subject options, pathways and career choices. Leaders have well-considered plans for further development in this area.

Teachers are building students’ literacy skills across all learning areas. Authentic and relevant contexts for learning are increasingly integrated into teaching. Recent improvements in the provision and use of digital technologies have enhanced engagement.

Leaders agree that is timely to review how well the Rangitikei College curriculum aligns with and reflects The New Zealand Curriculum, with particular reference to the principles of: learning to learn; the Treaty of Waitangi; cultural diversity; and, future focus.

This should strengthen the college's understanding of how effective its curriculum is in promoting outcomes for all students, and provide direction for future curriculum development.

Higher expectations for teachers’ professional practice are in place. Teachers are well supported to reflect on and improve their practice. They are collaborative and collegial. An appropriate performance management and appraisal process has been implemented. All teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their practice and what makes the biggest difference to students' learning.

Reviewing and enhancing the college's effective teacher profile should strengthen:

  • expectations for differentiated teaching
  • the use of formative assessment strategies to further, meaningfully include students in the learning process.

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

Reflection of te ao Māori across the college curriculum and environment continues to be an area for development. Additional courses for students' curriculum choices include aspects of tikanga Māori.

Professional learning and development is providing a platform for staff to increase how effectively they respond to Māori students’ learning needs. The school seeks to continue to build positive partnerships with whānau and iwi.

To further promote Māori students’ success as Māori, teachers and leaders should:

  • develop clear expectations for how the curriculum promotes language, culture and identity
  • continue to build teachers’ cultural competencies.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Rangitikei College has developed systems, processes and practices and is well placed to continue to promote improvement for all students.

Leadership has provided a clear direction and articulated high expectations. A culture of professional support and development has been fostered. Teachers are collaborative and collegial. Systems and processes that support teachers to improve their practice have been strengthened. Leaders have successfully managed changes needed to build teachers’ capacity and improved their practice.

Board of trustees' processes for setting strategic direction and planning have improved. Trustees are better informed through more detailed reports on student achievement and the curriculum. Systems for board operations and decision-making have been strengthened.

Trustees are now able to monitor progress towards school priorities and goals. They seek to consult and involve all members of the school community in decision-making, identifying college priorities and developing a strategic direction.

Trustees are strong advocates for student wellbeing, safety and engagement. They acknowledge the need to further develop partnerships with whānau, aiga and the wider community. In appointing the new principal, trustees were aware of the need to sustain and build on improvements.

School leaders, teachers and trustees agree with ERO that they should continue to build their evaluative capacity and processes to better understand the effectiveness of their actions and the curriculum in improving outcomes for all students.

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

Rangitikei College has developed a positive environment for learning that has led to improved levels of engagement, achievement and progress for all students. The curriculum is increasingly responsive to individual learning needs. Strengthened systems, processes and practices mean the school is well placed to continue to promote ongoing improvement for all students.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

195

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

261

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnic groups

38%
50%
  6%
  3%
  3%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

24 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

January 2013
August 2009
June 2006