Waiopehu College

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Education institution number:
237
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
580
Telephone:
Address:

Bartholomew Road, Levin

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Summary

Waiopehu College is a co-educational state secondary school located in Levin. Of the 625 learners enrolled, 40% are Māori and 11% are of Pacific heritage.

The college seeks ‘to encourage active partnership with its community to provide students with the quality of education that respects their dignity and rights and helps them to develop their full potential’. Pehu Pride encompasses the shared values of the school.

A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2015 and many trustees commenced their governance role in 2016.

The college completed the Ministry of Education initiative, Kia Eke Panuku, at the end of 2016 and commenced Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) at the beginning of 2017. The school is part of the Taitoko Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Building on the positive trajectory in achievement for Māori students, the college continues to implement curriculum and assessment changes to promote equitable outcomes for all learners.

Comprehensive processes support students’ transition into Year 9. Comparative assessment information from Year 9 to Year 11 shows many progress well, with accelerated levels of achievement evident.

Leaver data in 2016, showed most students achieved National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) at Level 1. The percentage of Maori learners leaving school with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 has increased over time. Most Pacific leavers achieved a minimum of NCEAs Level 2. Targeting improvement at NCEA Level 3, including Māori and Pacific learners, and addressing the disparity in achievement for males when compared to female students are acknowledged ongoing priorities for the college.

Extensive educational partnerships, inclusive of external services, local community, parents, families, whānau and iwi promote equity and excellence.

The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices. Agreed next steps include: continuing to raise NCEA achievement, especially at Level 3 and address disparity in the achievement of males; build the effectiveness of teacher practice to meet the diverse needs of learners; developthe collective knowledge of staff and trustees to effectively use inquiry and evaluation for improvement.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Well-considered changes to assessment practice contribute to a positive achievement trajectory for Māori learners and to strengthening the school’s response to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Improved processes for tracking student progress during the year have increased the ability of staff to better respond to the individual needs of learners.

Reported data shows many Year 9 learners require accelerated achievement to meet curriculum expectations. Comparative assessment information from Year 9 to Year 11 shows many progress well, with accelerated levels of achievement evident. Integrating English, science, mathematics and social studies for a Year 9 class shows many have accelerated their achievement.

The college has recently extended the range of assessments in Years 9 and 10. The introduction of curriculum level assessment has been undertaken to improve the breadth of information available for tracking student progress and to better identify the learning needs of individuals. Extending the data available provides the opportunity for the college to set targets for groups requiring their achievement to be accelerated. This should support improved evaluation by the school to determine what is supporting success and where there are limitations in achieving a positive achievement trajectory for all Years 9 and 10 students.

Students identified with additional and complex learning needs are well supported in an inclusive environment. Programmes and adaptations to the curriculum are personalized to individuals. Processes supporting communication and monitoring of student progress promote engagement and collaboration with parents and whānau. Extensive external agency partnerships are accessed to meet the needs of students.

Leaver data in 2016, showed most achieved NCEA Level 1. The percentage of Maori learners leaving school with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 has increased over time, slightly exceeding the achievement of Pākehā students within the school in 2016. Close to two thirds achieved a Level 2 qualification, closely matching schools of similar type. Many students achieve endorsed NCEA qualifications. Most Pacific leavers achieved a minimum of NCEAs Level 2, showing a significant increase from 2015.

Student retention to 17 years of age closely reflects similar type schools. Māori student retention is similar to Pākehā. Female students show higher retention rates than males. Many students leaving school in 2016 continued training, participated in further study or commenced employment. School leaders are seeking to strengthen their inquiry in relation to the destination of students to support their curriculum evaluation.

Achievement at Level 3, including gaining University Entrance, indicates that attainment at this level has remained static from 2014, below schools of similar type and national figures. As a priority, the school recognises the need to make significant progress in this area.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Processes clearly reflect the school’s vision and shared values. Conditions that are effective in promoting equity and excellence for students include: collaborative leadership that provides sound school management and guides improvement toward strategic priorities; appropriate curriculum options for students with clearly established future priorities; and trustees’ provision of resourcing for student participation, progress and achievement.

Specific initiatives implemented to meet the diverse needs of learners impact positively on the achievement and retention of students.

Leaders, teachers and trustees build an effective response to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity. Partnership with local iwi, Muaūpoko, provides individual mentoring of Māori learners promoting increased attendance and participation at school. Re-establishment of the Ohu Whānau Group reflects whānau aspirations as expressed in the school strategic plan.

Involvement in Kia Eke Panuku focuses teacher practice on promoting positive relationships and considering culturally appropriate contexts for learning. Students are supported in gaining NCEA credits through Māori performing arts and the introduction of Whakairo promotes contextual learning for students.

The school is purposeful in response to the learning needs of Pacific students. They have suitable access to English Language Learning. Teacher aides, of Pacific heritage, support students requiring additional support. Bilingual assessments recognise and value Pacific learners’ first language.

Te Whare Awhina learning centre provides a high quality learning environment for students requiring additional support and those identified with complex needs. Students access an extensive range of health and guidance services through the Blake House Wellness Centre. A teen parent unit, He Whare Manaaki Tangata and a kindergarten are also on-site.

Comprehensive processes effectively address the pastoral and wellbeing needs of learners. Robust organisational structures support the delivery of pastoral systems, guidance and access to health services. Development of vertical tutor groups has increased teachers’ focus on mentoring to address the pastoral and academic needs of students and fostered valuable partnerships with parents and whānau.

Key leadership positions, including monitoring by Māori and Pacific deans, ensures a focus on individual student progress and participation at school. Implementation of PB4L aligns well to the shared values of the school and strengthens the focus on restorative practice.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

To further raise achievement and promote equity and excellence for all students, the school and ERO identify the need to develop the collective knowledge of department leaders, staff and trustees to effectively inquire into practice and undertake internal evaluation for improvement.

Key next steps that require a clear strategic response include: raising achievement at Level 3 NCEA and addressing the disparity for males, particularly at this level; setting board targets for progress and achievement in Years 9 and 10, aligned to learners requiring acceleration; and building the effectiveness of teacher’s practice and use of assessment information to meet the diverse needs of learners.

The school’s appraisal process reflects the Practising Teacher Criteria and usefully links to the strategic goals. Alignment to the teaching inquiry process supports collaborative engagement of staff in professional learning groups. Further strengthening the appraisal process and ensuring its robust implementation should ensure it better monitors and guides teacher practice. Continued development of department leaders’ capability to effectively guide improvement toward the school’s achievement priorities is an area for ongoing development.

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

  • 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 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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there is one international student attending the school.

The college has appropriate systems and processes to ensure the provision for international students is achieved. Student wellbeing, academic progress and achievement are suitably monitored.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps include: continuing to raise NCEA achievement, especially at Level 3 and address disparity in the achievement of males; build the effectiveness of teacher practice to meet the diverse needs of learners; develop the collective knowledge of staff and trustees to effectively use inquiry and evaluation for improvement.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

27 September 2017

About the school

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

237

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

625

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 40%
Pākehā 44%
Pacific 10%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, October 2014
Education Review, November 2011
Education Review, November 2008

Findings

The school is increasingly using student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement and achievement. Review of the curriculum is enhancing its effectiveness to support student learning. The school is focused on continuous improvement. By strengthening self review, it should be well placed to sustain and improve performance.

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

1 Context

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

Waiopehu College is a co-educational state secondary school with a roll of 635, including 38% Māori and 11% Pacific students. The school has a strong focus on student health and wellbeing through its pastoral systems and the Blake House wellness centre. Positive relationships and inclusive practices are evident in the school.

Students have a wide range of opportunities to participate in local and national leadership, sporting, arts and cultural activities within and outside the classroom. Their success is fostered and celebrated.

Departments are well resourced to ensure equity of access to resources for all students. A strong focus on improving student attendance is having a positive impact on students who were of concern in this area.

Since the November 2011 ERO report a new teen parent unit and kindergarten have been built in the school grounds.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have responded positively to the areas identified for further development in the previous ERO report. The school 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?

The college is developing its use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. It is improving the range of assessment tools to gather student achievement information. Leaders are working with contributing schools to obtain reliable transition data for supporting students as they enter the college at Year 9.

School leaders agree with ERO that it is timely to use achievement data to:

  • set numerical targets for Years 9 and 10 that focus on improved outcomes for priority learners
  • evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and programmes in accelerating student progress.

The newly appointed academic dean regularly collates and presents data for Years 11 and 12. This practice has improved teacher tracking of students’ progress towards success in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). It has increased teachers’ early identification of students at risk of not achieving. Teachers work collaboratively to provide academic mentoring for these students. The approach is contributing to improved student achievement.

Student results in NCEA at Levels 1 and 2 have improved since the previous ERO report. Achievement at these levels is above that of similar schools and comparable to all students nationally. Student success at NCEA Level 3 has fluctuated and was below the achievement of similar schools in 2013. The overall trend is for improving outcomes at NCEA Level 3 since 2010. College leaders have identified that improving achievement at Level 3 is a priority.

Māori student achievement has improved at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 since 2012. Individual Pacific student achievement is closely tracked and monitored by teachers and leaders. However, college leaders are aware that there continues to be a significant gap between the achievement of Māori and Pacific students and their peers at the college. A reduction in the gap for Māori students so far in 2014 is an encouraging development.

Students with high and other specific learning needs are very well catered for through individual programmes in the learning support unit. Students with very high needs are well integrated into mainstream classes. Ongoing conversations with families, whānau and external specialists about students’ strengths and needs help with monitoring their progress and achievement towards their identified goals. Valuable information is gathered from contributing schools to enable considered and targeted transition plans for each student.

A junior school certificate is used to assess students in relation to the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Departments are currently working to align Years 9 and 10 assessments with NZC levels for each subject. This should create a more cohesive system for gathering, monitoring and reporting Years 9 and 10 data.

Parents receive regular and informative written reports about their children’s progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

Waiopehu College is continuously reviewing its curriculum to further develop its effectiveness in promoting student learning. Departments are exploring ways to strengthen links between the Years 9 and 10 and Years 11 to 13 programmes. ERO agrees with this direction. The review process should ensure clear links with the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum and include expectations for teaching and learning.

New courses and vocational pathways have been introduced in the senior school to provide a curriculum that is flexible and responsive to students’ interests and strengths. Student course handbooks are comprehensive. They provide students, families and whānau with information to make informed decisions about subjects and possible careers.

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

  • establishing positive and respectful relationships with students
  • making links with students’ previous learning
  • good use of questions that enable students to explore their knowledge and understanding
  • timely feedback to students
  • use of learning contexts that relate to and extend students’ experiences.

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

The school is committed to improving educational success for Māori students as Māori.

Students are involved in cultural performances and take opportunities to be leaders. The newly appointed dean for Māori students is providing links with whānau. Her work with teachers is contributing to improved attendance and engagement with learning for some Māori students whose achievement was of concern.

The board and leaders continue to strengthen their partnership with local iwi and the whānau group. Iwi provide mentors to Māori students who benefit from this individual support. Departments and teachers track, monitor and report Māori student achievement information to leaders and the board.

The board, senior leaders and ERO agree there is a need to develop, in consultation with whānau, a strategic approach to Māori students’ success as Māori. This should further strengthen the opportunities Māori students have to experience success as Māori and teachers’ culturally responsive practices.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific as Pacific?

There are 66 students who identify as Pacific. They are Samoan, Tongan, Tokelauan, Cook Island Māori and Tuvaluan. Students are involved in and have been successful in local cultural performances. A newly appointed dean for Pacific students is establishing more regular links with families. A diverse range of initiatives is in place to support Pacific students’ success and teachers’ understanding of their cultures and identity. Students achieve NCEA credits through cultural performance and access Levels 1 to 3 Samoan language as a subject choice.

The board, senior leaders and ERO agree there is also need for developing, in consultation with Pacific families, a strategy for promoting Pacific students’ success. This should further strengthen the opportunities Pacific students have to experience success based on their Pacific identity and teachers’ culturally responsive practices.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is focused on continuous improvement. Through strengthening self review it should be well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The Waiopehu College Charter clearly articulates the school's priorities and areas of focus for improvement. The identification of strategies and expected student outcomes in relation to actions and goals should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate their success and identify areas for further improvement.

A collaboratively planned and developed initiative to building teacher practice and culturally responsive relationships with Māori students involves a trial group of staff. Coaching and individualised feedback are important parts of this process. There are plans to extend the initiative to involve all teachers in 2015.

Teachers are becoming increasingly reflective through using achievement information to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Professional learning is a focus of teachers’ development needs. Teachers regularly share teaching strategies within and across learning areas to ensure they are responsive to the learning needs of their students.

Senior leaders work collaboratively and have positive relationships with staff, students and families. They are improvement focused and promote success for all students. They identify that fostering good home-and-school partnerships is an ongoing challenge. An online portal with student data enables students, families and whānau to access to assessment information and monitor progress. This initiative has the potential to develop current relationships into partnerships that support student learning and achievement.

Trustees support senior leaders and staff. They seek to ensure the school is well resourced and their decisions are student-centred. Trustees receive regular reports about school reviews, programmes and events. These reports need to include more analysed student data that shows progress and achievement. This will better inform the board’s decision-making and enable trustees to measure the impact of programmes and initiatives on improving outcomes for students.

Information from families, whānau, students and the community is gathered, considered and used to make changes to systems and school practices.

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

The school is increasingly using student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement and achievement. Review of the curriculum is enhancing its effectiveness to support student learning. The school is focused on continuous improvement. By strengthening self review, it should be well placed to sustain and improve performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

30 October 2014

About the School

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

237

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

635

Gender composition

Female 52% Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Other Pacific groups

38%

51%

8%

3%

Special features

Learning Support Unit Medical Centre (Blake House) Teen Parent Unit and Kindergarten

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

30 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

November 2008

April 2005