Hastings Boys' High School

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Findings

Hastings Boys’ High School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance for students. A broad curriculum focuses on students’ interests, needs and aspirations. The school works collaboratively with its community to develop innovative solutions to promote equity and excellence of student outcome. Continuing to build evaluation capacity across the school will support 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?

Hastings Boys’ High School, for Years 9 to 13, has a roll of 771 students, with 47% who identify as Māori and 15% as Pacific. The valued outcomes defined by the school are reflected in the vision ‘young men united by respect’. The mission is to give priority to achievement and personal excellence. The mix of traditional and modern values seek to support students leaving as successful life-long learners, with a variety of vocational pathways. A strong pastoral system and culture of high expectations supports the holistic development of each student. Positive relationships support student wellbeing and promote a sense of belonging and pride.

The board of trustees, senior leaders and teachers have strengthened their use of evidence-based self review to inform resourcing and decision-making and to reflect on school programmes and operation. The school has responded well to the next steps identified in the June 2013 ERO report 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?

Highly effective use of achievement information supports positive outcomes for student engagement, progress and achievement.

Comprehensive achievement information is collected when students arrive at school. This data is very well analysed and used to support the specific needs of students and their integration into school life. Improved use of this data and other information contributes to closer tracking and monitoring against expected outcomes for student engagement and progress. Year 9 entry data for literacy and mathematics indicates that a high proportion of students are below expectations. After two years, school data shows that most of these students make accelerated progress against curriculum levels.

Sound systems and processes are in place to identify students who require extra support and extension. Through a wide range of interventions and programmes they are supported to have successful learning outcomes. The inclusion of students with special education needs is well managed and responsive to individuals and families.

Since the previous ERO review, rates of achievement have improved significantly at all levels of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Recent results show that boys, including Māori and Pacific students, perform well above schools of similar type and schools nationally. Māori and Pacific learners have made steady improvements in their achievement at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Trustees and leaders have identified raising Māori and Pacific achievement at University Entrance level and increasing certificate endorsements as ongoing school priorities.

High expectations, supportive practices and new initiatives across the school promote student confidence in their language, culture and identity. As a result Māori and Pacific students’ engagement and retention has increased from 2015, with more students staying to Year 13.

3 Curriculum

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

An increasingly responsive curriculum provides students with a wide range of opportunities to experience success. Student learning is focused on individual interests, needs and aspirations. Contributing factors include:

  • a shared school understanding of effective and responsive teaching
  • students more involved in and taking responsibility for their learning
  • a strong focus on literacy and numeracy
  • increased range of choice, pathways and customised programmes
  • differentiation of programmes and courses to better cater for the diversity of students' needs.

Students at all levels have extensive opportunities to participate and celebrate success in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers and peers.

Transitions into and beyond school are well planned and supported by positive relationships with students and their parents, schools and external agencies.

Effective teaching promotes student engagement, progress and achievement. The senior leadership team and board of trustees focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing development of teaching practice. A formal process for teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice has been newly implemented. Senior leaders acknowledge the need to continue to build teacher capability to use this process as a part of their teaching practice.

Regular formal and informal review promotes ongoing development and enhances the school’s curriculum. Student voice is an important part of this process.

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

Key Māori staff continue to work effectively in the school to promote Māori student success as Māori. The school has a number of initiatives to positively support learners. These include:

  • promoting inclusion and reinforcing beliefs and values to support Māori students' language, culture and identity
  • effective partnership with local iwi and their initiatives
  • increased engagement and learning-focused discussions with whānau.

Students experience success in a wide range of cultural, artistic and sporting pursuits.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Hastings Boys’ High School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Trustees are well-informed by the headmaster, leaders and staff. Resourcing and decision making is well aligned to school priorities. Trustees should consider accessing training to support their improvement-oriented stewardship. New and long-standing board members should consider use of the resource from New Zealand School Trustees Association, Hautū - Māori cultural responsiveness self review tool for boards of trustees as part of ongoing training.

Senior leaders work collaboratively as a team, with staff and the community, to develop innovative solutions to promote equity and excellence across the school. Teachers are supported to grow their leadership skills based on their strengths and interests.

There is a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability and collective capacity to drive school improvement. Systems and processes that contribute to this are:

  • collaborative planning and decision making at senior and middle management level
  • alignment of school, department and individual teacher goals and professional learning and development
  • high levels of trust to support teacher innovation and openness to change and improvement.

Leaders understand the importance of having strong connections and relationships with parents, families, whānau and the wider community to support student learning. Community and student voice is important and used to inform decisions and actions. The school continues to build connections and relationships with its community.

Since the previous ERO review, leaders and teachers have increased the use of review, evaluation and inquiry. Factors influencing this include:

  • strengthened reflection, analysis and response to data
  • departments reporting on the impact of improved practices on student outcomes.

Senior leaders have identified a next step is to continue to build evaluation capacity across the school. This should include further work on internal inquiry into the effectiveness of programmes, initiatives and actions on improving outcomes for students. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Provision for international students

The college is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with and meets all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were four international students attending the school, mainly from Pacific nations.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school uses the annual self-review process for international students to improve practices, monitor provision for students and inform strategic decisions. As a result, continued focus on provision for students from the Pacific region is an ongoing priority.

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

Hastings Boys’ High School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance for students. A broad curriculum focuses on students’ interests, needs and aspirations. The school works collaboratively with its community to develop innovative solutions to promote equity and excellence of student outcome. Continuing to build evaluation capacity across the school will support ongoing improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 June 2016

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

227

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

771

Number of international students

4

Gender composition

Male 771

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

47%

30%

15%

8%

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

May 2010

September 2006

1 Context

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

Hastings Boys’ High School caters well for boys in Years 9 to 13, from Hastings and surrounding areas. Since the May 2010 ERO report, leadership and governance have remained stable. At the time of this review the roll was 771 students and 48% identify as Māori and 12% as Pacific.

The school’s whakatauki, ‘Young Men United by Respect’, underpins all aspects of school life and the curriculum. Strong pastoral systems and a culture of high expectations support the holistic development of each student. The school continues to maintain strong and supportive links with local iwi and wider community.

The board of trustees, headmaster and senior leaders increasingly use evidence-based self review to inform resourcing and decision-making, and to reflect on school programmes and operations. Teachers have continued to maintain their strong focus on improving literacy across the school and on developing a professional learning culture of shared expertise and reflection on their practice.

The areas for development and review documented in the previous ERO report have been thoughtfully considered and implemented. The school has strengthened its systems to promote and support students in gaining higher levels of achievement.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers have made considerable progress in analysing and using student achievement information. Junior school data, particularly in numeracy and literacy, is now more robust than at the time of ERO's previous review. It is increasingly used by teachers in planning, delivery and evaluation. Students are starting to use this data to set, and measure progress against, meaningful learning goals.

This achievement information is also used to identify students at risk of underachieving or in need of extension. Specific programmes are designed meet these learners' needs. Progress is monitored by teachers and through the recently introduced special needs register. Nationally referenced testing in reading shows that many of these students make accelerated progress in their first two years in the school.

The school’s 2012 participation data shows that in the National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3 achievement, including Pacific, is above that of students in similar boys' schools and against national comparisons. Achievement levels for all students and groups at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 have risen steadily in recent years.

Senior leaders use a range of information to evaluate the school's provision for Māori students. Māori students demonstrate high levels of engagement and participation.

The school’s culture is one where success is acknowledged and widely celebrated. Student interactions show mutually respectful and caring relationships. Students are on task, cooperative and generally engaged in learning.

School leaders have identified the need to continue to strengthen teacher capability in the analysis and use of assessment information to inform planning and teaching, and to evaluate lesson and programme effectiveness.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum effectively supports student learning. Overarching documentation clearly states the school’s high expectations of teachers and students. It provides a framework for assessment and formal review of programme effectiveness. The Akina Way draws re-established and developing practice into a common framework for teaching and learning. The curriculum emphasises the overall development of each student and provides for an extensive range of academic, cultural, sporting, leadership and service opportunities. It integrates The New Zealand Curriculum with the local context and values and is closely linked with the school’s strategic plan. Ongoing review and evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the curriculum’s goals and implementation is evident.

Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. PACE, (pastoral, academic and careers education) an effective mentoring and careers programme from Year 9, supports students in their decisions and choices about subjects and careers. This careful monitoring and support of career and learning pathways, reinforced by termly meetings with whānau, is contributing to improved retention rates and academic achievement for all students.

Senior leaders and staff focus groups continue to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and assessment practice that enhances students' ability to take greater ownership and responsibility for their learning.

Managers recognise the importance of aligning student achievement information, teacher inquiry, professional learning and goals with the new appraisal process. The robust implementation of the appraisal process should help to promote and extend teaching practice.

Leaders have identified that a key priority is the continued development of personalised learning pathways to cater for each student’s goals and aspirations.

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

The school has specific goals and annual targets to improve Māori student achievement. The strategic goal of ‘Māori succeeding as Māori, in a high achievement environment’ is evident in school practices. Māori students display a sense of pride in their school and have a highly visible, positive profile.

Key Māori staff work effectively in the school to promote Māori student success as Māori. They report strong support from the headmaster. He has worked alongside teachers in Te Kotahitanga, a long term professional learning programme developing teachers' cultural responsiveness in their work with students.

A whānau advisory group provides formal links with marae and the wider Māori community. Regular consultation, both formal and informal, aims to ensure whānau aspirations are heard and school operations adjusted as needed. School leaders recognise the importance of enhancing these links and growing them into a true home and school partnership.

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. Features that contribute to this sustainability are:

  • effective governance
  • reflective leadership by the head master, who is well supported by an effective senior team and capable middle managers
  • deliberate, structured and effective school wide self review
  • an ambitious, aspirational and challenging strategic plan with clear goals and expected outcomes
  • teachers and support staff who work as a collegial and cohesive team
  • a culture of high expectations and mutual respect amongst students, staff and parents
  • strong community support for school events and programmes.

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 five international students attending the school.

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.

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)

5 June 2013

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

227

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

771

Number of international students

5

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ European

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

48%

38%

12%

2%

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

5 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

September 2006

November 2003