Orewa College

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Education institution number:
25
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1875
Telephone:
Address:

76 Riverside Road, Orewa

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Findings

The highly effective leadership, and teaching and learning programmes at Orewa College engage students and promote their progress and achievement. Students achieve very well in National Standards, and in NCEA qualifications. There is also a strong focus on Manaaki where the school ensures that positive values are promoted and that students’ wellbeing needs are well met.

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?

Orewa College provides education for students from Years 7 to 13 on a large, well maintained campus. Year 7 and 8 students experience the majority of their learning in home rooms and attend specialist classes on the secondary campus at different times during the week.

A long-serving, experienced principal continues to lead the school and is supported by a senior management team that includes two new deputy principals. Many staff have worked at the school for a good number of years, and have a sound knowledge of the school and its community.

As Orewa's only secondary school, the college has a significant place in the local community. The board and staff forge connections with other schools, local businesses and tertiary institutions to enhance students’ learning experiences. Since the 2012 ERO report, the school has continued to grow its professional connections, including through its involvement with and leadership of the Orewa CoL (community of learning). The CoL and other professional partnerships are enabling the collective sharing of and accessibility to learning resources.

The school continues to operate a well-designed values system, Manaaki Orewa, in conjunction with Ako Orewa, the school’s curriculum design and delivery approach. The school’s well-established use of digital devices enhances student learning and supports the implementation of all teaching and learning programmes. In addition, students have access to increased learning opportunities through Harbournet, the virtual learning network for Auckland secondary schools.

Since the 2012 ERO report, teachers and leaders have participated in on-going professional learning to constantly improve and develop the school’s curriculum and teaching practices. 

2 Learning

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

The school uses student achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The board and senior leaders set relevant achievement targets based on close analyses of students’ achievement information. They specifically target students whose progress needs accelerating and implement learning programmes and initiatives suitable for students at different year levels. School leaders and teachers use very good monitoring and tracking systems to ensure that all students, and especially target students are making appropriate progress and are achieving well.

Teacher appraisals and professional learning groups are strategically focused on improving achievement for target learners. Using data to inform their approach, teachers regularly discuss the impact of practices and strategies within cross-curricular groups and in their departments. This personal and collective inquiry is improving teachers’ practice and making positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. In 2016, teachers are focused on accelerating the progress of Māori students, and boys generally, especially those in Years 10 and 11.

Overall, students achieve very well in National Standards and in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Māori students and Pacific students throughout the school also achieve very well in comparison to national NCEA and National Standards data. Over the past five years, NCEA results have continued to improve at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Also improved are the number of certificates endorsed with merit and excellence and the number of students achieving vocational pathway awards. These ongoing improvements include NCEA results for Māori and Pacific students.

The school also uses student achievement and other information very well to identify and promote students’ wellbeing. Leaders and teachers work with the school’s Manaaki Orewa and Ako Orewa approaches to engage students in the wider life of the school and in learning. Teachers use achievement information to differentiate learning programmes, especially for students in Years 9 and 10.

One of the school’s identified areas for development within its planned Ako 2017 framework, includes further promoting students’ understanding and use of their achievement information so that they can appropriately design their own learning programmes. School leaders will make decisions about this next step in collaboration with the CoL schools. Through the CoL, achievement approaches will be shared across the groups of schools, including opportunities for teachers to moderate assessment information, increase its validity and strengthen its use.

School leaders agree they could further strengthen the use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives currently used to accelerate progress for identified groups over time.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It provides a broad and balanced selection of learning opportunities and options that cater very well to students’ varied interests and strengths. The curriculum is strongly connected to the many pathways available for students. These include academic, and the increasing numbers of highly relevant and sought after vocational pathways. The strong emphasis placed on the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum, promote students as good citizens of Aoteaora New Zealand, and the world.

The school provides a secure and supportive learning environment for students and is inclusive of students with diverse learning needs. Students experience positive learning relationships with their teachers, support staff and each other. Most students take advantage of the school’s extensive co-curricular programme. Their successes and talents are celebrated and showcased in many ways throughout the school year. These features contribute positively to students’ experience of school and promote their engagement, motivation and self-efficacy.

The expected and accepted schoolwide use of digital devices promotes learning connections beyond the classroom and beyond New Zealand. Students’ and teachers’ use of digital technologies means that learning experiences are localised, globalised, relevant and immediate. It promotes high levels of learning engagement and gives teachers the time to provide students with individualised support.

Many teachers in the school make positive connections and integrate teaching and learning concepts and ideas. Learning leaders have worked together to develop sequential curriculum expectations for students from Years 7 to 10, especially in core curriculum areas. This approach supports Year 7 and 8 students as they move into the main campus for learning and in Years 9 and 10.

Teachers are committed and enthusiastic professionals. They design learning programmes that meet diverse student needs and that promote student collaboration. Respectful of students as capable, competent learners, teachers ensure that students experience high levels of challenge and critical thinking. They understand well Ako Orewa as a reciprocal learning concept, and are suitably challenged within their professional learning programmes.

Staff are collegial and demonstrate high levels of relational trust. They appreciate the opportunities they have to trial new initiatives and ideas. School leaders and teachers have significant input into the ongoing shaping and direction of the school’s curriculum design and delivery. They embrace change, and value the opportunities for ongoing professional learning that includes sharing of effective practices. They understand that these aspects of their professional practice help promote a highly effective curriculum and positive outcomes for students.

The school is ready to launch Ako 2017 as part of its ongoing curriculum and pedagogical redesign. This next phase is set to promote increasingly individualised and learning programmes for students that are more responsive to students’ needs, interests, strengths and talents. Alongside this curriculum redesign, leaders could also evaluate the extent to which Māori and Pacific students’ languages, cultures and identities are recognised and responded to by teachers throughout the school.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori effectively. Since the 2012 ERO report, the school has deliberately and determinedly focused on strengthening positive outcomes for Māori learners. This focus includes making connections with local iwi for advice and guidance.

Māori students are very well known by staff and are prioritised as learners in the school. They are amongst the highest achievers in the school and are well represented in student leadership teams. Students spoken to by ERO in 2016 appreciate the developments in offering te reo Māori within the school at NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3.

Leaders and teachers are working to strengthen the school-wide capacity in the use of te reo Māori and tikanga. In Years 7 and 8, teachers are integrating aspects of te reo Māori into their learning programmes with specialist options available for students from Year 9.

School leaders identify that their next steps involve improving opportunities to improve specialist te reo Māori teaching and learning within the school and the wider CoL. They also plan to strengthen ties with the local marae to further promote te reo Māori and tikanga throughout the school.

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 principal provides strong, professional leadership and is well supported by a capable senior team. She makes significant professional connections to strengthen collaborative, whole school development, and to continually promote and improve teaching and learning opportunities for students and staff at Orewa College.

At all levels, the school benefits from strategic and future-focused leadership. Change is very well led and managed with significant building of others’ leadership skills. This approach results in cohesive and connected school systems and processes, including a professional learning model and teacher appraisal system. Strategic school leadership helps to ensure that the board’s goals and achievement targets are evident throughout the school.

Trustees bring to the board varied skills and expertise. They are highly supportive of the principal, senior leaders and staff. Trustees contribute to and promote the school’s strategic vision for improved student outcomes, especially for Māori and other priority groups. The board is focused on scrutinising information it receives to promote ongoing improvement.

Internal evaluation is used at all levels of the school to identify the impact and effectiveness of programmes and initiatives, and next phases of growth and development. School leaders could consider using internal evaluation to investigate the effectiveness of practices and processes to identify the emerging needs of individuals and groups.

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 by December 1st 2016.

At the time of this review there were 63 international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code. 

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 highly effective leadership, and teaching and learning programmes at Orewa College engage students and promote their progress and achievement. Students achieve very well in National Standards, and in NCEA qualifications. There is also a strong focus on Manaaki where the school ensures that positive values are promoted and that students’ wellbeing needs are well met.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 December 2016

About the School 

Location

Orewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

1847

Number of international students

63

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

other

12%

79%

4%

3%

2%

Special Features

Managing school for Alternative Education Consortium

Managing school for Harbournet Virtual Learning Network

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

9 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

June 2009

May 2006



1 Context

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

Since ERO's 2009 review, Orewa College has made significant progress in leading exciting changes in teaching and learning. Through active involvement in the local cluster of schools, close liaison with universities, and the deliberate promotion of community engagement, Orewa College is developing a futures-focused curriculum. In 2012 personal computing devices were made compulsory for Year 9 students, an initiative well supported by parents.

School-wide, structured learning strategies (Ako Orewa) and the values-based system that guides student behaviour (Manaaki Orewa) are well embedded. Robust self-review systems that include students, parents, staff and the community underpin the culture of improvement and collaboration. The board and staff are committed to the implementation of Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education's Success for Māori Strategy, that guides the development of programmes to promote Māori student success. Along with the ongoing roll growth of the school, the Māori student roll is also increasing.

The new board of trustees has built on the difficult challenges faced by previous trustees to develop an understanding of their governance role that is supporting the school to move forward in partnership with their community.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Overall, students show high levels of engagement, and are progressing and achieving very well. The school's National Certificates for Educational Achievement (NCEA) results have continued a trend of steady improvement. This improvement compares well with the achievement of similar decile schools nationally. Specific departmental targets aimed at improving student achievement are well aligned with the school's annual goals. These targets include an emphasis on continual improvement of student achievement, from National Standards to NCEA. School leaders agree that departmental reports could now include an evaluation of the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at supporting student learning needs, and be made more consistent across all curriculum areas.

The school continues to review the use of their self-developed grade point average (GPA) system that assesses student knowledge and skills in the Middle School (Years 7 to 10.) Teachers are working closely with other schools in their cluster to develop their understanding and use of National Standards to report the achievement of students in Years 7 and 8. Review of student achievement reports to parents of Year 7 and 8 students is enabling the school to meet both the needs of parents as well as legislative requirements. School leaders could consider how to ensure that student progress over time is reported clearly.

Teachers continue to use nationally standardised assessment tools to monitor student achievement in literacy and mathematics, and to identify students requiring extension or additional learning support. Assessment results show that students maintain and improve their achievement in mathematics, and make substantial improvement in reading from Year 7 to Year 10.

The introduction of personal computing devices, and the focus on technology as a teaching tool, is promoting personalised learning, particularly for (but not restricted to) Year 9 students. These initiatives are transforming learning and engagement. Students and teachers work collaboratively. Senior leaders and teachers continue to investigate effective ways for assessment to complement the new direction of learning. ERO affirms the school's commitment to developing and refining teachers' understanding of and ability to use data effectively to guide teaching and learning.

The school ensures that no students are disadvantaged by lack of access to personal computers. The use of personal computing devices in class is being extended for Year 8 and 10 students in 2013. Students are able to access virtual learning networks with expert practitioners to support their learning. This access enables them to learn anywhere and at any time. Many students at different year levels bring their own devices. Teachers are adapting their practice to provide for students' preferred learning styles. Students speak very positively about this direction in the school curriculum.

Students are highly engaged in learning programmes and the wide variety of school activities, such as kapa haka, sports, culture and student leadership opportunities including those linked to environmental and social action groups.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school is becoming increasingly effective in promoting Māori student success and in providing opportunities for them to succeed as Māori. Māori students number 191, ten per cent of the school roll. This is an increase of four per cent since ERO's 2009 review.

Māori student achievement in NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 shows a general trend of improvement over time, often exceeding national percentages for Māori. However, it is not yet as high as the school's non-Māori academic achievement. Senior leaders state that the achievement of Māori students in the Middle School is similar to that of non-Māori students. They agree that they can now build on the good collation of Māori student achievement data in Years 7 and 8 to track the progress of Māori students across the school to determine where interventions may be necessary.

Māori students fill prominent school leadership roles, including those on the student council and prefect team. Considerable, ongoing consultation with Māori students and their whānau is increasing Māori student engagement in learning programmes and school activities. Work is being done to improve Māori student retention to Year 13.

Significant progress has been made to implement the principles of Ka Hikitia. The school is working closely with the cluster to improve outcomes for Māori students. Teachers are developing their understanding about the Taitaiako cultural competencies. Increases in the numbers of whānau attending hui have been attributed to the more personal approach and communication school leaders and form teachers have adopted. School leaders are responding appropriately to whānau aspirations shared at these hui.

The board, school leaders and key staff are committed to realising the potential of Māori students. This commitment is evident in the board's annual goals. They could now further enhance Māori students' learning experiences by developing a Māori student achievement plan that ensures Māori student and whānau needs continue to be identified and met.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. There is a clear sense of shared purpose and direction.

Leaders and teachers can be justifiably proud of the way they are transforming and reconceptualising the school curriculum. Students experience a broad, enriching curriculum that is responsive to their strengths and interests, and to community expectations. Good use is made of data to inform teaching programmes. Ako and Manaaki Orewa underpin the school curriculum that is very well aligned with the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Year 7 and 8 students are taught in a home room. Year 10 students graduate to the senior school through a graduation ceremony. Senior leaders and teachers continue to investigate ways to further develop a more integrated curriculum between Years 7 and 10. They agree that teachers could better support students to increase their own knowledge and understanding of achievement data. This understanding would enable students to take greater responsibility for their learning.

Students generally study seven subjects up to Year 12 to provide breadth of experience and increase their choice in future learning directions.

Significant progress has been made in developing the curriculum to help ensure continuity in Te Reo Māori programmes from Year 7. Good use is made of the virtual learning network in Northland to offer students ongoing access to te reo. The school has set up a virtual learning network in the Auckland region to further enhance access to Te Reo Māori across the region. With the increase in interest in Year 10 Te Reo Māori, and in response to whānau hui, the school is likely to have sufficient students to run an NCEA Level 1 Te Reo course in 2013.

High quality teaching practice is evident in many instances. Senior leaders use the performance management system effectively to promote ongoing improvement and accountability for student progress and achievement. There are many examples of teachers expertly facilitating learning, and there are robust discussions between teachers and students. Teachers are reflective about their practice and enjoy positive, supportive relationships with their students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Self review is a natural and integral part of the way the school functions. Self review is complemented by a readiness to lead change, investigate and adapt new ideas from research, professional sharing and external evaluation.

The school is capably led at all levels, by the board, the principal, senior and middle managers, teachers, support staff and students. They are building a solid and sustainable foundation of growth and development. Positive and supportive relationships, teamwork and a shared commitment to the school's vision, values and goals provide a firm foundation for sustaining school improvement. Increased understanding of the value of hui and fono are strengthening relationships with Māori and Pacific parents, whānau and aiga.

The senior leadership team is very well led. Change is well managed and implemented with student wellbeing at the centre of decision making. Senior leaders, teachers and the board continue to consider ways to improve facilities, structures and systems that will help students to meet the demands of future learning with confidence and enthusiasm.

The school has effective governance. The board maintain a strong focus on student progress and achievement, and are very supportive of the principal and staff. They are kept well informed through the school's self review and reporting processes. This information is used effectively to allocate and develop school resources and facilities. The board is now developing their self-review system to better enable them to determine their effectiveness as trustees.

The inclusive student-centred culture and positive respectful relationships support the board of trustees, school leaders and staff to continue the school's growth and development.

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 92 international students attending the school. The majority of these students come from Europe, mainly Germany, and South America. Students experience a meaningful orientation programme upon arrival in New Zealand. They are thoughtfully placed into suitable programmes that are determined by their needs and interests. International students make good progress in English and other pathways as appropriate. They are well integrated into school and community activities.

The International department is well organised. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Effective monitoring systems help ensure an ongoing high level of care and provision for these students.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

The board regularly reviews its policies. Since the 2009 ERO review, trustees have reviewed their complaints policy. They agree that it would further improve the policy to include a negotiated method of monitoring a situation after the school has received a complaint.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

1 October 2012

About the School

Location

Orewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

1901

Number of international students

92

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

other European

Asian

other

68%

10%

2%

15%

1%

4%

Special Features

Lead school for North Shore Alternative Education consortium

Lead school for HarbourNet (Virtual Learning Network)

Review team on site

July 2012

Date of this report

1 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

May 2006

August 2002