Paraparaumu College

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School Context

Paraparaumu College is a co-educational secondary school for Years 9 to 13 students, on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington. Te tiawa ki Whakarongotai are recognised as mana whenua. The roll has continued to increase since the July 2015 ERO report. Currently 1190 students attend, with 15% identifying as Māori and 3% as of Pacific heritage.

The school’s vision is to be a caring community of great learners. Desired outcomes are that students aspire to be: Collaborative and Active learners, Respectful in relationships with each other and Effective in self-management (CARE). The principles of the PC Way guide practices within the school. These are: Collaboration, Relationships of Care and Connectedness, Personal Excellence, Active Learning and personalisation of Learning.

The annual plan prioritises the improvement of school-leaver achievement for boys, Māori and Pacific learners. A range of schoolwide curriculum developments and initiatives, including increased personalisation of learning, is identified to contribute to achieving the desired target outcomes.

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

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

  • school leaver qualifications.

In 2018, significant change in the senior leadership team includes the appointment of a new principal and deputy principal. A modified leadership structure is being introduced. Some middle leaders have taken on senior roles as the transition to the current leadership structure has evolved.

The recently opened Te Manawa area has seen an extensive renovation of the administration block and is intended to grow as the ‘heart of school’, where a range of information and support is easily accessible to students, parents and whānau.

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?

Students successfully gain national qualifications at levels similar to comparative schools. Most students gain the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) associated with their year level. The majority of Year 13 students gain University Entrance (UE). Most school leavers have achieved at least NCEA Level 2 and the majority NCEA Level 3.

The achievement of Māori students as a group in NCEA Level 1, Level 3 and UE has significantly improved since the previous ERO report and is at least similar to that of other students in the school. Māori achievement in NCEA Level 2 and leaver data continues to be below that of their peers. Pacific students achieve well in NCEA. Male students as a group achieve below female in NCEA and leaver measures. Board targets appropriately recognise the disparities in senior student achievement.

A majority of the learners successful in NCEA gain merit or excellence endorsements. Over the past three years, senior students have gained New Zealand Scholarships. These have been achieved across the majority of senior subjects. Many have been gained in physical education.

A range of assessment tools is used to show achievement and progress in Year 9 and 10 in specific curriculum areas and in reading. The school is reviewing assessment practice in the junior school to improve consistency between subjects and year levels.

Learning plans for students with complex needs are collaboratively developed in association with parents and external agencies. Their needs and strengths are identified and responded to through the use of relevant interventions and a range of internal and external supports. Progress is closely monitored.

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

School information indicates almost all students move on to a meaningful pathway in either further education, training or employment. A range of processes and practices in Years 9 to 13 respond to the individual learning needs of students and support successful outcomes.

A majority of students below curriculum expectation in reading make more than one year’s progress in Year 9 and 10. The percentage of boys and Māori who accelerate their learning is similar to that of girls and other students. A lower percentage of those below expectation in mathematics, accelerate their progress while in the junior school.

Tracking of the progress of Years 11 to 13 students identifies those at risk of not gaining NCEA each year. Interventions are put in place and assist students at risk of not achieving to have a greater chance of success. The school is continuing to develop the existing tracking and monitoring systems to assist with reducing the gender and ethnicity disparities currently evident.

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 systems and processes effectively contribute to sustainability and improvement, and support positive outcomes for learners.

Purposeful relationships are an integral part of school culture, pastoral and curriculum practices. Positive, reciprocal connections are established between students and staff, and with families, whānau, iwi, other schools and the wider community. Culturally responsive and relational teacher practices support effective learning relationships. Comprehensive transition-to-school processes and informative real time reporting to parents and whānau strengthen partnerships that assist learning.

Well-established pastoral and guidance processes and a willingness to be flexible to individual situations successfully assist students to maintain engagement in learning and support their wellbeing. Access to a wide range of sporting, cultural, performing arts and student leadership activities promotes belonging and connection to school.

Students have a curriculum that effectively responds to their variable interests and diverse needs. It incorporates future-focused skills and knowledge and supports students to access a variety of pathways within and beyond school. A whole school approach to career education and guidance is responding more effectively to the situation of individual students.

Classrooms reflect the CARE values and incorporate quality teaching practices. High teacher expectations and purposeful learning tasks support students to become self-managing decision makers. Regular opportunities are provided to develop their capability with digital technologies and e-learning environments.

Senior leadership effectively encourages and promotes collaboration across the school and wider community to promote improved student outcomes. The school vision and goals are clearly stated and shared. Leaders ensure a positive and inclusive environment is supported. They are committed to ongoing development and improvement. Opportunities are provided for teachers to take on leadership roles.

Building staff professional capability is valued and positively supported by leaders and trustees. Teacher, student and parent voice is actively sought and contributes to review and improvement. Plans to increase collective capability through inquiry, professional learning and innovation are aligned to strategic goals.

Trustees are committed to ongoing improvement in outcomes for students. Effective processes and practices enable them to effectively carry out their responsibilities. Student data and curriculum information are used appropriately to determine what is going well, where improvement is necessary and to identify priorities and targets.

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

Leaders have identified the need to continue to refine internal evaluation. This should include strengthening the use of current achievement and other data to better understand the impact of developments, initiatives and innovations.

Annual achievement targets are set for NCEA and leaver outcomes. Trustees should also set targets linked to learners in Years 9 and 10 who are below curriculum expectation in literacy and mathematics. This action should promote a stronger focus on the effectiveness of curriculum and teaching in accelerating the progress of identified individuals and groups.

Leaders should increase the extent of monitoring and reporting of students’ progress towards annual targets. This should support greater responsiveness and better evaluation of the impact of initiatives used to reduce disparities.

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 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 were eight international students attending the school.

The school uses the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s self-review template effectively to ensure it meets the requirements of the Code.

Sound processes and practices guide provision for international students. Orientation into school is well planned. Access to appropriate accommodation, learning programmes and experiences is provided. Ongoing support for wellbeing is prioritised. Close tracking of achievement enables staff to monitor students’ progress towards their goals.

ERO and leaders agree that reporting international student outcomes to the board of trustees is a next step.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • establishing purposeful relationships that contribute to a collective approach to supporting student wellbeing and achievement outcomes

  • provision of a future-focused curriculum that successfully supports students to access a variety of pathways within and beyond school

  • senior leadership that is committed to ongoing improvement linked to a clearly stated vision promoting a positive and inclusive environment

  • systems and processes that effectively build teacher and leader professional capability to improve outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • setting Year 9 and 10 achievement targets to support an increased focus on accelerating literacy and mathematics progress

  • increased monitoring of the progress of target students to support a reduction in gender and ethnicity disparities

  • continuing to refine internal evaluation to better understand the impact of developments, initiatives, innovations on learner outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

12 December 2018

About the school

Location

Paraparaumu

Ministry of Education profile number

248

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

1190

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%
Pākehā 72%
Pacific 3%
Asian 7%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

12 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review June 2012
Education Review February 2010

1 Context

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

Paraparaumu College is a co-educational secondary school on the Kāpiti Coast, north of Wellington. At the time of this review of the 1144 students, 13% were Māori. Student learning opportunities are well supported by the extensive facilities that are available. A respectful and inclusive tone amongst students and adults is evident.

A new principal was appointed in 2013. Soon after he arrived, extensive community-wide consultation about future learning priorities for students took place. Good learner attributes were identified that are now a focus for teaching and learning.

Since 2013, three key initiatives to improve outcomes for students, have built on past developments. These involve:

  • enhancing relationships to promote learning
  • extending the cultural competency of teachers to respond more effectively to Māori learners
  • linking current e-Learning initiatives, to better support future learner needs.

Students are engaged in a wide range of cultural, sporting, leadership and service activities. These activities successfully contribute to a sense of belonging and achievement. A recently introduced house system provides further impetus to this. Students’ involvement in meaningful leadership roles is supported and valued.

2 Learning

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

Teachers and senior managers have continued to increase their use of achievement information to make positive changes to student learning.

In Years 9 and 10, literacy, mathematics and other data is used to identify learning needs, show achievement in relation to curriculum levels and in some cases consider progress. Senior leaders identify the need to more consistently respond to achievement information across the junior curriculum.

Each year, approximately 80% of students leaving school achieve at least National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2. This is similar to national rates for comparable schools. As a group, Māori students in the school achieve at a lower level than their peers.

Since the June 2012 ERO report there has been a significant improvement in NCEA Level 1 achievement. In 2014, it was well above similar schools. Achievement at Levels 2 and 3 has remained relatively stable. At all NCEA levels there has been a significant increase in the proportion of certificates gained with merit and excellence endorsements. Twelve students gained New Zealand Scholarships across nine subjects in 2014.

Female and male students now achieve NCEA Level 1 at similar levels. In Levels 2 and 3, females continue to achieve at a higher level than males.

Individual student achievement in NCEA is closely tracked throughout the year and additional support is provided for some students. In 2015, the tracking process is increasing the robustness of follow-up to support those students at risk of not achieving.

Since the previous ERO report, raising overall Māori engagement and achievement has been a priority. A schoolwide focus is evident. In 2014, there were gains in junior literacy achievement for Māori and there was an improvement in Māori achievement at NCEA Level 1. The focus is now on building on these gains and raising achievement at Levels 2 and 3.

A revised process for reporting to parents provides more timely and meaningful information on student achievement and next steps. It contributes to parents being better informed and able to actively support their child’s learning.

Next steps for the board, principal and staff are to:

  • continue to build the extent to which data for Years 9 and 10 is used to monitor student progress, particularly for those students needing to accelerate their learning
  • ensure board, department and teacher targeting is focused on identified students across the school who are unlikely to achieve at expected levels.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum caters well for the strengths, interests and needs of most students.

The Good Learner Profile identifies the attributes necessary to prepare learners for the future. The aim of being resilient, collaborative, curious, self-managing, focused and a critical thinker guides learning, teaching and relationships with each other. Further unpacking of the profile should assist learning experiences to be more clearly linked to the desired outcomes for students.

In Years 9 and 10, programmes are guided by The New Zealand Curriculum and from Year 11, predominantly by the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. A range of subjects is offered to meet students’ interests and needs. Multi-level courses, use of external providers and learning support initiatives cater for students at risk of leaving without achieving NCEA Level 2. Available advice and guidance contributes to clarifying possible pathways to future education and career aspirations.

Current curriculum developments include:

  • consideration of ways to make vocational pathways more explicit for all students as they move through the school
  • review of the timetable to be more responsive to all students’ strengths and needs.

As part of these developments, careers education and guidance should continue to be extended to ensure it effectively prepares all students to successfully transition between year levels and to further learning and work.

Students see teachers as very supportive of them as learners. In classrooms, ERO observed positive relationships between teachers and students contributing to purposeful learning. Teachers use a range of approaches to effectively promote engagement and reinforce learning. In many situations, students work collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes. Student success is regularly affirmed and steps for improvement appropriately shared.

Students use information and communication technologies (ICT) in ways that promote learning and digital literacy. A range of professional learning opportunities for staff focus on building understanding of the use of ICT to better prepare learners for the future.

Programmes customised to the varying requirements of students with more complex needs effectively promote academic and social development. Individual learning plans are developed and reviewed in partnership with parents.

A new approach to challenging and extending students identified as being gifted and talented in a range of areas was introduced in 2014. Students are successfully supported in cross-curricular and collaborative inquiry. The programme, that also includes mentoring, has been extended in 2015.

Processes supporting the transition of students and their families into the school have been extended. Increased responsiveness to individual student strengths and needs, and positive relationships with families and whānau have resulted.

Promoting and sustaining student wellbeing remains a whole-school priority. A range of practices and support networks effectively respond to students’ academic, pastoral and social needs. The focus on communication and early intervention is a significant contributor to the positive and caring tone. Strong connections are maintained with agencies working with young people in Kāpiti and the wider region.

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

The school has significantly improved its capability to promote educational success for Māori.

Senior leaders and trustees are committed to developing meaningful relationships with whānau and iwi, and to a school environment that reflects a genuine partnership with Māori. School surveys of groups of Māori students and whānau indicate they feel the school is supportive of them, as Māori.

Te Ako Patuia (The Good Learner) is a well-considered strategy for raising Māori student engagement and achievement. It involves ongoing consultation with whānau. Current initiatives build shared understandings and have the potential to accelerate progress.

Relationships with Whakarongotai Marae and Te Ati Awa ki Kāpiti continue to be strengthened. Student marae visits and consultation hui are regular activities.

Students’ language and culture are reflected in the curriculum and everyday school practice. The names of houses introduced in 2014 are based on iwi history of the rohe. A number of staff are enrolled in te reo Māori courses. Whole-staff professional learning is building understanding of tikanga and te ao Māori.

School analysis indicates good examples of relational and culturally responsive teaching based on manaakitanga and ako. Te Ako Patuia is supporting these practices to be more consistently reflected across the staff.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Self review continues to develop schoolwide. A focus on improvement is evident. In some situations, expected outcomes of programmes and initiatives should be more clearly articulated. Extending the level of evaluation within reviews should assist programmes and initiatives to have greater impact.

Good systems and processes are in place to support and grow teaching practice. Teachers increasingly collect evidence from a range of sources to reflect on their impact on student progress. Professional learning is aligned with school priorities and builds shared understandings about improving outcomes for students.

The board of trustees has worked with the school community to refresh the school’s vision and strategic direction. Decision-making, as expected, gives priority to improving student outcomes. The varied skills and experience of board members are effectively used.

Trustees receive a range of useful information from the principal, school leaders, students and community. Senior achievement information is regularly shared and critically discussed. The board’s ability to respond to students most at risk of underachieving would be improved through:

  • greater use of Years 9 and 10 achievement information
  • regular reporting of the progress of target students.

Trustees are focused on promoting engagement and achievement of Māori students. They support initiatives to promote Māori educational success. Board practices are respectful of and value te ao Māori, whānau, hapū and iwi.

Recent comprehensive review and reframing of policies and procedures ensures they reflect identified best practice and recent school initiatives.

Leadership ensures school processes and practices effectively promote and support student engagement and wellbeing. Senior leaders’ roles are appropriately focused on portfolios critical to achieving school goals. They actively participate in and lead teacher learning and development.

The principal effectively drives improvement. He is student-focused and highly visible in the school community.

Community collaboration and partnerships are promoted to enhance learning opportunities and outcomes for students. A range of appropriate and effective strategies are used to communicate with and engage parents, whānau and the community.

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 curriculum caters well for the needs, interests and strengths of most students. Positive relationships and a wide range of activities contribute to students’ sense of belonging, wellbeing and achievement. Leavers achieve at levels similar to comparable schools. The school is increasing its focus on accelerating the progress of students needing additional support to successfully achieve.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School

Location

Paraparaumu

Ministry of Education profile number

248

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

1144

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Asian
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

78%
13%
  5%
  3%
  1%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

29 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
February 2010
November 2006