Nga Tawa Diocesan School

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Education institution number:
196
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
166
Telephone:
Address:

164 Calico Line, Marton

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School Context

Nga Tawa Diocesan School is located in rural Marton and caters for 198 girls in Years 9 to 13. Most are full-time boarders and some attend as weekly boarders or day students. Short and long-term international students are regularly enrolled. Of the students enrolled, 11% are Māori.

The school community is strongly focused on reflecting and promoting its Anglican values of integrity, respect and courage, and cognisant of its historical heritage. The school’s mission is to foster ‘a dynamic, innovative and student-focused environment, where active partnerships extend every individual girl; to equip her to inspire her future with confidence, courage and passion’.

School annual targets include: embedding practices that support the achievement of Māori students; using data to inform pedagogy and promote academic outcomes for students in the junior school; and developing a restorative practice framework.

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

  • the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs)
  • achievement of Māori students and Years 9 and 10 students
  • progress in relation to achievement targets
  • student pastoral care, health and wellbeing.

Many staff, trustees and proprietors have long associations with the school. Since the December 2014 ERO report there have been significant changes to senior leadership. 

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

The school is highly successful in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. High achievement rates have been sustained over time, with NCEA results improving.  Almost all students staying through to Year 13 achieve NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance qualifications. Over half of students achieve qualifications with endorsements. Achievement for Māori students is high, with all girls achieving NCEAs at all levels in 2017. Most girls remain in the school until Year 13.

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

The school successfully supports students at risk in their learning, including those with additional learning needs, to accelerate progress and achieve success throughout their time at school. 

School data shows that many Years 9 and 10 students make accelerated progress in writing. A significant number of students who were at risk of not achieving NCEAs have done so.  Many girls continue to improve their achievement by gaining endorsements and University Entrance.

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?

Well-considered practices and processes assist teachers to know students well and provide responsive support to promote their success. These include:

  • robust systems for gathering and sharing information about students’ learning, progress and wellbeing and monitoring their engagement and achievement
  • a range of opportunities for students to access targeted teaching and support
  • fostering of caring, respectful relationships
  • adapting courses and programmes to cater for students’ emerging needs and pathways.

Pastoral care is well considered, collaborative and highly responsive to identified needs. A clear direction for student-focused pastoral care is in place. Students’ perspectives are regularly sought, analysed and responded to. They are meaningfully involved in evaluating the success of implemented actions, to inform decision-making and improvement. A restorative approach to relationship building is highly evident and promoting consistent expectations of students’ positive engagement in school. 

Leaders and trustees are improvement-focused and have high expectations for students’ success. They work strategically to align practices and processes to the established vision for successful outcomes. Trustees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and have significantly strengthened the process for review of policy and procedures, establishing comprehensive guidelines to guide practice. They demonstrate a collaborative approach and are actively involved in many aspects of school life.

Leaders provide ongoing, useful support for teachers to undertake their roles effectively. An appropriate appraisal process meets Education Council requirements and supports teacher improvement. Well-considered guidelines assist teachers to analyse assessment information and inquire into the impact of curriculum and teaching on outcomes for students. 

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

The school is committed to improving its reflection of te ao Māori and strengthening its cultural responsiveness to Māori learners. Leaders and teachers are working in productive partnership with Ngāti Apa and local iwi, external providers and a school cluster to build a more locally-based, culturally-responsive curriculum. The collaborative development of an effective teaching profile provides a useful guide for teachers. Embedding this in practice, through classroom observations and appraisal, is an appropriate, planned next step. 

School leaders continue to build the quality of evaluation to ensure it supports ongoing improvement in teaching. Staff gather a wide range of data to inform decision-making for improvement. A next step to more deeply inquire into the effectiveness of teaching and actions in maintaining and improving outcomes for learners. Establishing shared understandings and clear processes for internal evaluation across the school should help to promote and sustain success.

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. 

Provision for students in the school hostel

The Nga Tawa Diocesan School boarding houses are an integral part of the school and accommodates around 90% of the school roll.  At the time of this review it catered for 181 girls drawn from across New Zealand, along with short stay and long-term international students.

The principal and the director of boarding are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the boarding houses on behalf of the board of trustees and the proprietors’ board. The proprietors have attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The boarding houses provide suitable accommodation for full-time and weekly boarders from Years 9 to 13 in buildings integrated into the school campus. Good provision is made for girls to study individually and under supervision. Boarding practices effectively complement and support pastoral care and learning within the school.

Self-management and independence are increasingly fostered as the girls move through their years within the boarding houses. A strong focus is placed on building positive relationships. Feedback from boarders and their parents about boarding processes and relationships is regularly sought, encouraged and appropriately responded to. Increased opportunities are provided for girls at all levels to develop leadership and contribute through student groups. Routines and expectations are well understood. Students have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities and sports.

Boarding staff provide pastoral care in an environment that successfully promotes student wellbeing and upholds the school’s special character. Establishing a systematic process for review of boarding provision should support leaders to determine changes needed to further improve.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 36 international students attending the school. This includes 15 who will be attending for a term or less. All students are boarders in the boarding houses.

The self-review process for international student provision is thorough. Comprehensive procedures are in place to support students to successfully meet their varying educational and other goals.

Students’ pastoral care, learning and participation in school activities are effectively supported within the boarding houses and the school. 

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strategic and aligned leadership of the senior management team and trustees that promotes a well-defined, shared vision for students’ success and improvement
  • collaborative, supportive staff who are highly responsive to students and their needs
  • strengthened partnerships that support improved responsiveness to Māori students’ identity, language and culture.

Next steps

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

  • embedding the use of the Effective Teacher Profile to establish culturally-responsive teaching and learning across the school
  • strengthening the use of teacher inquiry to support consistent practice and identify effective strategies
  • establishing shared understandings and clear processes for internal evaluation across the school to promote and sustain improvement and success.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

3 May 2018

About the school 

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

196

School type

Integrated Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

198

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                   11%
Pākehā                                 65%
Chinese                                  6%
Other Asian                         11%
Other ethnic groups            7%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

3 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review             December 2014
Education Review             September 2010
Education Review             April 2007

Findings

Nga Tawa Diocesan School is founded on Christian values. Students' learning and wellbeing are fostered successfully through the curriculum and systems for pastoral care. Senior student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates in Educational Achievement. Collation and use of Years 9 and 10 school-wide data should continue to be developed further so there is well analysed information for setting goals and reviewing effectiveness.

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?

Nga Tawa Diocesan School is located in Marton and caters for students in Years 9 to 13. Most are boarders in the hostel on site. Since the September 2010 ERO report, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed.

The founding Christian values and traditions are part of the school's long history. Students are encouraged to have integrity, respect and courage and supported to ‘be the best they can be’. In addition to their academic studies, they are able to participate in arts, cultural, and local, national and international sporting activities. The school operates a specialist equestrian facility on site. The success of all students is fostered and celebrated.

The shared vision for education at Nga Tawa is based on a culture of empowering young women. Leaders build on to traditions to equip students with the confidence and skills needed for future challenges. The school has a positive, welcoming and family-friendly environment and continues to have a positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders use senior student assessment information to make a positive difference by setting targets for raising achievement. Information from the National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEA) shows that students continue to achieve significantly above students nationally and in schools of similar type. Merit and excellence endorsements are above national performance levels. A high proportion of students stay on to complete Year 13.

Student assessment is also used appropriately to:

  • identify needs and place students on entry at year 9
  • plan for teaching and learning
  • track and monitor students and adapt learning programmes.

Next steps in using data more effectively include improving analysis and interpretation for:

  • setting specific achievement targets for Years 9 and 10 students
  • reporting a schoolwide picture of junior student achievement to the board
  • informing evaluation and review of programmes and processes
  • informing reports to the board.

Students requiring extra learning support or extension are provided with specific programmes. The newly appointed leader in this area has identified the need to strengthen systems for tracking and monitoring the progress of these students and reviewing the effectiveness of interventions.

Leaders make good use of student voice to improve processes for promoting learning. In response to feedback, the student mentoring system has been reviewed. Leaders plan to introduce a new process that is increasingly responsive to students’ goals and aspirations, based on their academic success and wellbeing.

Students are encouraged and assisted to be self-directed learners. Flexi-time, programmed four days a week, is used by students for individual study and extra support with subjects. It is an opportunity for senior students to tutor juniors.

Parents receive regular reports that provide useful information about their daughters' progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The Nga Tawa curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The guiding document is future-focused and underpinned by the school’s mission, values and vision. It provides clear expectations that students are enabled to leave school as ‘confident and aware global citizens’. Including the key competencies, principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and local Māori and Pākehā contexts in these guidelines, should enrich curriculum design and support its aspirations.

Learning area leaders are increasingly using assessment information to evaluate and change teaching programmes. This ensures that students’ skills and knowledge are built on across year levels. A review of the Year 9 integrated programme is planned to strengthen alignment of learning across subjects.

Students receive well considered guidance and support from a diverse range of people when selecting subjects and discussing possible career pathways. This occurs at all year levels and before students leave school. Most pursue tertiary learning through university, with a small number following vocational opportunities they have engaged in during their time at school.

The school implements a well planned approach for blended e-learning. This aims to increase the use of digital technology and enhance teaching, learning and achievement.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies that effectively support student engagement in purposeful learning. These include:

  • promoting respectful and reciprocal relationships and interactions
  • building on prior learning
  • engaging in discussions that challenge students’ thinking
  • providing immediate and positive feedback
  • using technology as a tool for research and learning
  • being well prepared.

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

Fourteen students at Nga Tawa Diocesan identify as Māori. They achieve well in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Māori students have opportunities to lead and share their experiences and knowledge of te ao Māori in learning areas and cultural events. They are actively engaged in sporting, arts and performance activities.

Commitment to promoting success for Māori students is evidenced in the charter, the e-learning strategy and development of partnership with the community. The principal has made links with local iwi, Ngāti Apa. This new relationship is focused on working with iwi to increase school leaders’ and teachers’ knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Making te ao Māori more visible in curriculum documents and the environment is an area that should continue to be developed in collaboration with whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The Diocesan Board and trustees are well informed about the governance role and supportive of the principal and staff. Leaders, trustees and teachers systematically use a range of information to:

  • make decisions about resourcing to foster student success and wellbeing
  • identify what is going well and where improvements should be made.

These processes assist with sustaining and improving performance.

The charter sets goals for teaching, student learning and achievement. It has been developed through extensive consultation with the school community. The boards and leaders work collaboratively to achieve the vision. Continuous improvement would be more effectively supported with better defined expected outcomes for students and improved analysis of information gathered to evaluate success.

Teachers are sharing strategies they find successful for student engagement in learning. Increasing the use of student assessment data to inform their thinking should enable them to specifically identify which actions make a measurable difference to progress and achievement.

Pastoral programmes are effective in providing care and support for students. Transitions into and beyond the school are responsive to the needs and aspirations of students, parents and whānau.

Families and whānau have good relationships with the school and some have long-standing connections. Parents are kept well informed through regular communication, school and boarding activities and social functions.

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. At the time of this review there were 12 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Their pastoral care, social integration and learning are effectively provided for.

Provision for students in the school hostel

At the time of this ERO review, the Nga Tawa Diocesan School hostel accommodated 210 girls, including 12 international students. It is owned by the Nga Tawa Diocesan Trust Board. Boarders come from the surrounding area and further afield.

A recent review of the boarding structure has resulted in the appointment of a new Director of Boarding and other staff changes. Policies and procedures for the hostel are currently under review. Key features of hostel provision for students include:

  • clear routines and expectations for students and staff
  • well managed transition processes
  • regular and informative communication between the hostel and boarders' families and whānau
  • positive and supportive relationships amongst students
  • parents and girls having opportunities to contribute their opinions about the hostel environment and activities, including aspects affecting student wellbeing.

Hostel staff and students work positively together to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe emotional and physical environment that supports learning.

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

Nga Tawa Diocesan School is founded on Christian values. Students' learning and wellbeing are fostered successfully through the curriculum and systems for pastoral care. Senior student data shows very good performance in the National Certificates in Educational Achievement. Collation and use of Years 9 and 10 school-wide data should continue to be developed further so there is well analysed information for setting goals and reviewing effectiveness.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

9 December 2014

About the School

Location

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

196

School type

State Integrated Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

242

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

6%

94%

Special Features

School Hostel Equestrian Academy

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

9 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2010

April 2007

October 2003