Gisborne Boys' High School

Education institution number:
209
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
761
Telephone:
Address:

80 Stanley Road, Gisborne

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Gisborne Boys' High School - 30/09/2016

Findings

Rates of student achievement have continued to improve at all NCEA Levels. Responsive programmes and initiatives enable Māori students to achieve high levels of success. Innovation and equity are promoted by effective governance, leadership and partnerships with parents. Continuing to build evaluation capacity should help sustain ongoing improvement.

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

1 Context

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

Gisborne Boys’ High School caters for students in Years 9 to 15. At the time of this review, 819 students are enrolled of whom 68% identify as Māori. Tongan students form the majority of the small number of Pacific students.

The school has sustained the kaupapa and processes strengthened during recent involvement in the Te Kotahitanga professional learning and development (PLD) programme. This has been done with support and additional resourcing from the board of trustees.

A range of locally developed programmes such as Tu Tane and Te Whakairo have successfully promoted and extended the engagement, culture and achievement of Māori students in particular. These programmes have received national recognition for teaching and learning in the 2015 Prime Minister’s awards.

The school culture is based on the school’s motto Toa Hinga Kore, Toa Mate Kore and values of respect, honesty, perseverance, loyalty and courage.

School leaders have collaborated with other schools in local Community of Learning (CoL) initiatives to build capacity to address shared student learning challenges and needs.

2 Learning

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

Leaders, trustees and teachers use student information very well to inform programmes and strategies that have led to improved student engagement, progress and achievement.

Since the November 2013 ERO report, rates of achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) have continued to improve at all levels. In 2015, the percentages of students who achieved Levels 1 and 2 NCEA were well above national results, with Māori students achieving at similar rates at Level 1, and above their peers and government targets at Level 2.

High percentages of students gain sufficient literacy and numeracy credits to support qualifications at Levels 1 and 2. As a result, the number of students who leave with Level 2 or better has risen steadily to over 83% in 2015. The school extends its high targets each year and identifies the ongoing need to improve numbers of certificate endorsements, and achievement at Level 3 and in University Entrance.

Increased and purposeful use by staff of information helps to raise levels of engagement and retention of students. Leaders, teachers and deans use student progress and achievement information well to closely monitor and respond to students at risk of underachievement.

Leaders have established robust processes and systems for identifying, regularly monitoring and responding to students’ wellbeing needs in order to reduce risk of poor educational outcomes.

Students have a range of opportunities to give their opinions and ideas which are used by teachers and leaders in decision making and planning.

Next steps for leaders are to continue to develop existing systems, and teacher capability, to better use Years 9 and 10 student achievement data.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is highly effective at promoting and supporting students’ learning, wellbeing and their personal and social development as young men.

Teaching programmes are responsive to the identified and emerging needs and aspirations of groups of students. Programmes are highly reflective of local contexts, different abilities and partnerships with the community. This is evident through:

  • ongoing review and adaptation of programme content, structure and delivery across levels and departments
  • the implementation of schoolwide targeted literacy programmes to improve writing and communications skills
  • use of student and whānau voice to provide feedback and ideas for improvement.

Consistent expectations and practices support students to take on challenges, learn from each other and transfer learning. Positive, respectful and caring relationships are highly evident across and between age groups in the school. Students’ identity, language and cultures are supported. They demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and pride in the school.

Students use digital devices, programmes and resources in ways that promote choices, learning and engagement. Personalised learning pathways promote high levels of motivation, engagement and success for diverse groups of students. They are well supported by the close links between the curriculum, careers and pastoral leaders.

Transition into the school is well planned and managed. A range of information is used to inform placements, programmes and interventions to cater for needs or extend and challenge learners.

A recent review of the provision for careers education has led to significant improvements in this area. The careers leader and support staff are highly visible, proactive and responsive through their programmes and services. Students’ needs and aspirations are identified, monitored and well matched to ongoing course selections, new learning opportunities and obligations relevant to their future learning pathways. They also benefit significantly from the close and productive relationships that careers staff have with curriculum leaders, the local community, training providers, parents and whānau.

To strengthen the teaching practices and programmes, leaders should continue to develop measures and processes to increase students’ agency and management of their own learning.

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

The school is highly effective at promoting educational success for Māori students. Te ao Māori is valued and evident throughout the school environment, and many aspects of school practices and programmes. This has been enhanced by the leadership, coaching and modelling of school Māori leaders, who have been actively involved in promoting this strategic priority.

Teachers continue to make very good use of culturally responsive approaches and strategies gained from participating in the Te Kotahitanga PLD programme. There are increasing opportunities for students to connect to their culture and identity through a range of programmes, approaches, learning activities and experiences. These include strengthened provision and choices for learning about te ao Māori. Provision of a kura reo course supports students transitioning from immersion programmes to extend their language learning.

Some recently introduced targeted initiatives have provided additional learning pathways for Māori students to achieve successfully in the senior school. Some curriculum areas are actively increasing the inclusion of Māori cultural concepts and perspectives. These include:

  • Te Whakairo courses in the senior school
  • Tu Tane and Te Whaiao personal and social development programmes
  • Māori student leadership opportunities and tuakana-teina mentoring.

Māori are well represented in school management, pastoral and academic leadership roles. Increased levels of whānau involvement, contributions and support continue to strengthen productive partnerships and involvement in their sons’ learning.

The school has a commitment to enabling all Māori and other students to participate in programmes to increase understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Strengthening the framework for building cultural competencies of all teachers of Māori learners should help sustain such initiatives.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board has a clear commitment to equity and excellence of educational outcomes for all learners.

The board’s vision for improvement is enacted through transparent processes for accessing and sharing a wide range of useful information. A close alignment between the school operational goals and the board’s strategic priorities enables critical ongoing scrutiny of progress in relation to valued outcomes for students.

The school has established very effective partnerships with families and whānau, and the wider community, that support students’ learning, wellbeing and success. These are demonstrated and promoted through:

  • a welcoming staff culture with approachable leaders and staff who use a variety of regular, responsive and informative ways of communicating
  • valuing and responding to parent and whānau aspirations and ideas for improvement
  • empowering parents’ leadership and providing increased opportunity to be involved in the school. This is very evident in the establishment of the Tu Whānau programme designed to raise student achievement by increased involvement of parents and whānau in their sons’ education.

Leaders champion innovation and improvement and are highly focused on ensuring students are well supported to be successful. This is enhanced by the principal leading to empower others, and reinforced by collaborative decision-making and transparent communications with leaders and trustees.

Trustees and leaders demonstrate a sustained commitment to building teachers' capacity to responds effectively to students' strengths, needs and interests to realise their potential. This is evident through an ongoing focus on high expectations and targeted resourcing to support school priorities.

A useful appraisal process supports teacher development and schoolwide consistency of practice. To sustain and embed improvement from successful initiatives, expectations for curriculum leaders should be further developed. This should assist them in their roles in leading curriculum development and capacity building.

There is a deliberate and ongoing emphasis on promoting improvement in student outcomes through continuing reflection, review and knowledge building. Internal evaluation is well supported by:

  • a clear vision and expectations for improvement
  • close alignment between strategic goals and actions with good systems for gathering, sharing and reflecting on data and progress towards goals
  • valuing multiple perspectives to inform decisions and quality of outcomes
  • improved data analysis, tracking and monitoring.

Self review and critical reflection are widespread practice. Next steps for the school are to refine a shared framework for enhanced systematic evaluation and inquiry processes across the school.

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements.

At the time of this review there were 17 international students attending the school, including two exchange students. Most students come from Asian or Pacific countries. The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

The school has used sound self review and effective leadership for identifying and responding to students’ needs and interests. Processes and programmes are in place to meet expectations for the provision of English language learning, pastoral care, community experiences and curriculum opportunities for students to learn and achieve successfully.

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

Rates of student achievement have continued to improve at all NCEA Levels. Responsive programmes and initiatives enable Māori students to achieve high levels of success. Innovation and equity are promoted by effective governance, leadership and partnerships with parents. Continuing to build evaluation capacity should help sustain ongoing improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

30 September 2016

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

209

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

824

Number of international students

14

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

65%

28%

4%

3%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

30 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

August 2010

November 2006

Gisborne Boys' High School - 07/11/2013

1 Context

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

Gisborne Boys’ High School caters for students in Years 9 to 15. At the time of this review there were 756 students enrolled, 63% of whom identify as Māori. Tongan students are the predominant group in the increasing Pacific roll. Over the 105 years it has been established, the school has become rich in traditions.

The school is in its fourth year of implementing Te Kotahitanga. This is a professional development programme based on research into best practice for making a difference to Māori students' learning and achievement. Another strong feature of the school is the Tu Tane programme aimed at “growing boys to responsible manhood”.

A range of strategies and programmes has been implemented to mitigate the relative remoteness of the region. Expertise from within the school is used for professional development. Links with central North Island schools provide sporting, cultural and academic opportunities outside the district.

The school operated a boarding hostel for students being educated away from home until this closed at the end of Term 2, 2013.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is being increasingly used to make positive changes to students’ learning. Evaluation of the effectiveness of programmes would be better supported if heads of curriculum departments set more specific and measurable goals.

There is a deliberate schoolwide focus on developing students' literacy and numeracy skills, particularly in Years 9 and 10. Senior leaders are starting to track and monitor these students' achievement using data collated from nationally standardised tests.

Information is beginning to be analysed to assist the school to decide appropriate next steps for teaching and learning. Teachers should continue to strengthen analysis of assessment information to develop specific strategies for accelerating students' progress.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) achievement results in 2012 were comparable to the national results at NCEA Level 1. Since the August 2010 ERO review, there has been significant improvement in literacy achievement, in NCEA Level 3 results and in leaver qualifications.

Many Māori students enjoy academic success. A higher proportion of Māori are leaving with at least NCEA Level 2 qualifications. The board plans to use leaver information to set targets in the 2014 annual plan to further increase the number leaving with qualifications.

3 Curriculum

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

The school offers a broad, well-considered curriculum that is effective in promoting engagement, progress and achievement for most students. It is the result of a proactive approach to respond to the need to improve outcomes for students.

Student learning is supported by a range of pathways. There has been a conscious effort to use authentic contexts, reflecting the local community, to make learning relevant and meaningful. The wide range of choice within the curriculum is supplemented by a variety of other opportunities.

Interactions between teachers and students and among students are positive. Such relationships are part of the character of the school and are reinforced through the Te Kotahitanga programme. Students respect and support one another.

Tu Tane, a successful initiative developed in the school to meet the needs of its boys, is fostering the strong, values-based curriculum that is evident schoolwide. The initiative targets Year 10 students and aims to strengthen relationships with the community, including the New Zealand Police.

There is a culture of high expectations for students and staff. A collaborative, collegial approach is strongly evident, and teachers offer each other professional support. Expectations to guide practice have been recently developed and are clear and useful. There are differing levels of understanding and engagement with these across the school. As a result, the quality of teaching varies. Leaders could use the appraisal process to increase consistency in meeting the agreed expectations for classroom teaching.

Many positive initiatives have enhanced student engagement and success. A sound careers programme has been implemented in Years 9 and 10 to assist students with deciding their learning pathways. Careers programmes for senior students are not as well considered and implemented. As part of evaluation of curriculum effectiveness, these senior programmes should be reviewed to determine how well they support students to leave with sufficient qualifications to be successful beyond secondary school.

The school has responded to the increasing Pacific roll by introducing initiatives and identifying staff to take responsibility for Pacific student wellbeing. There are also community initiatives, such as the homework centre and museum workshops for support.

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

Senior leaders, staff and trustees show a strong commitment to promoting positive education outcomes for Māori students. A wide range of culturally responsive initiatives and programmes have been developed and implemented over time. These include:

  • progressive integration of schoolwide professional development through Te Kotahitanga
  • a high number of Māori staff who are positive role models
  • the recently established Māori studies department. This consolidates three curriculum strands - te reo Māori, whakairo and Māori performing arts. It enhances the profile of te ao Māori in the school
  • development of new courses in te reo Māori. This has resulted in significant increases in the number of students learning the language and gaining qualifications
  • the Tu Tane programme, which reflects Māori cultural perspectives and helps Year 10 students to gain attitudes and life skills that underpin success and achievement
  • the appointment of a Māori academic dean to monitor students' progress, liaise with parents and whānau and facilitate appropriate support where needed.

The school's commitment to success for Māori as Māori is demonstrated by the ongoing exploration of strategies to further engage parents, whānau and iwi in the life of the school and in students' learning. Two major initiatives to strengthen links with the Māori community are underway.

Many Māori students enjoy success academically, as well as in sporting and cultural endeavours. In 2012, students achieved considerable NCEA success in Māori studies. A 2012 survey showed that most Māori students feel positive about the school.

To raise Māori student achievement to the level of non-Māori at the school, teachers should:

  • strengthen and sustain their focus on deliberate strategies to engage students in meaningful learning
  • evaluate the impact of these strategies on student progress.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Gisborne Boys’ High School is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Trustees bring a range of experience and expertise to their role and demonstrate commitment to providing sound governance.

The school charter has been collaboratively developed. Targets support student achievement overall and identify patterns of underachievement within specific groups. The next step is to make outcomes clear in planning and targets more specific and measureable. This should provide a strong basis for evaluation and self review.

The school culture and climate are positive. Values are well embedded, expectations are clear and relationships are respectful. Students show pride in their school.

Leadership and management are highly effective. The principal and senior leaders articulate and model practices that contribute to improving outcomes for students. Leadership capability is built throughout the school by delegating responsibilities and enabling staff with strengths to share these with colleagues.

Student leaders have key roles and responsibilities. They are well supported and mentored and are good role models. Senior leaders are very conscious of promoting student wellbeing and student feedback is sought and valued.

A strong local identity and close community links enable community resources to be used to improve student learning. Parents and whānau are very well informed through school reports and comprehensive newsletters.

Provision for international students

Gisborne Boys’ High 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 fee paying students attending the school. They are from China, France, Fiji, Hong Kong and Macau. Most students stay for a minimum period of one year.

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

ERO's investigations confirmed that the school's self-review process for international students is thorough.

International students achieve well throughout their time at the school. A director of international students and a specialist teacher of English language learning (ELL) have high expectations for their achievement. They work together to monitor students’ needs and use a range of strategies to support their learning. The ELL classroom provides a base for students to learn English and access support. Staff liaise well with deans, management and the home-stay supervisor to share information and communicate useful student information. School staff and management work collaboratively to provide a good level of pastoral care. They build positive and productive relationships with students. Students integrate well into school life and participate in a range of sporting and cultural events.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

7 November 2013

About the School

Location

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

209

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

756

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

63%

30%

4%

1%

2%

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

7 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

August 2010

November 2006

December 2003