Aotea College

Education institution number:
253
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1155
Telephone:
Address:

Okowai Road, Porirua

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Aotea College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Aotea College working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context

Aotea College, Te Kareti o Aotea, is a large, urban co-educational secondary school located in Porirua City. The college caters for students from year 9 to 13 and serves a growing and diverse community.

Aotea College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to further:

  • student engagement initiatives in curriculum and co-curricular programmes to personalise learning, including the use of learning partnerships beyond the school
  • curriculum development implementation of qualification changes, and Te Mana Ōrite mo te Mātauranga Māori.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Aotea College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate:

  • how effectively changes the school makes to its NCEA curriculum create conditions for learning in which the aspirations and identity of learners and whānau form the basis for a pathway to success.
  • how the Poutama Reo resource and evaluation tools can support Te Mana Ōrite mo te Mātauranga Māori.

The rationale for selecting these evaluation foci are to:

  • enable the school to keep its multicultural character and broad curriculum at the core of its response to NCEA and other external curriculum changes 
  • further support learners to gain qualifications and rich experiences reflective of who they are and who they can be
  • take the next steps as a school to ensure that students, staff and whānau can move forward in ensuring that te Ao Māori and the Māori language is a known and valued part of the shared identity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The school expects to see:

  • continued success in student engagement and achievement at all levels
  • successful implementation of NCEA changes and te Mana mo te Mātauranga Māori.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to respond collectively to change as a school and community, creating a curriculum and conditions for learning in which all learners can build on their aspirations and identity as a pathway to success:

  • an inclusive learning climate that is positive and promotes engagement through well-organised systems, effective teaching, a broad and responsive curriculum, collaborative teamwork and ownership of the progress of all learners
  • a history of responding positively and successfully to learners’ diverse needs
  • high levels of professional capability enacting the school vision, values and priorities
  • school leadership who are active in sustaining educationally powerful learning partnerships including an engaged community of whānau, hapu, iwi, parents, students and contributing schools in a Kahui Ako.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • a continued focus on culturally responsive practice within curriculum development
  • leading NCEA changes across the curriculum, the refreshed curriculum and new standards to continually improve and innovate to promote equitable achievement outcomes for all learners
  • continuing support for teacher professional learning for Te Mana Orite mo te Mātauranga Māori in curriculum and pastoral initiatives
  • development and implementation of Te Reo Māori Progressions using Poutama Reo as an evaluation tool.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools 

30 November 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Aotea College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of August 2023, the Aotea College Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact Aotea College, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools 

30 November 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Aotea College

Provision for International Students Report

Background

The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Findings

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

At the time of this review there were eleven international students attending the school, and no exchange students.

Aotea College has effective processes for reviewing its provision of pastoral care for international students, including established systems for collecting and responding to stakeholder voice. These review processes and regular consultation have resulted in thorough documentation providing informative induction and ongoing support for students, families and homestays.

International students feel their voices are listened and responded to. They appreciate the physical location of the school, close to the cities of Porirua and Wellington, which provide opportunities to participate in a broad range of school and community based extra-curricular activities. Students found staff and other students were helpful, enjoyed lessons and described being able to make friends with both international and domestic students.

The International Student department is well resourced with experienced staff to support a caring and holistic approach to student wellbeing and success. The school values the diversity international students bring to the school and local community. Activities are planned to help students learn about New Zealand and gain an understanding of aspects of Māori culture and language.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

30 November 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home 

Aotea College - 21/08/2020

School Context

Aotea College is a state, co-educational school for students from Years 9 to 13. It is located in Porirua City, Wellington. The school has a roll of 1050 students, about 35% of whom identify as Māori and 20% from a range of Pacific backgrounds.

The school’s vision focuses on a culture of respect and manaakitanga, collaboration and innovation. To achieve excellence, the school’s focus is on growth of learning partnerships with whānau and community, and realising the potential for growth, learning and development for the success of all students.

The vision statements are underpinned by the values of Excellence, Perseverance, Sauni and Manaakitanga. These values inform the school’s strategic priorities. The school states that its key strategic aims are for students to be supported:

  • and challenged by a broad and responsive curriculum to achieve success
  • to achieve a sense of belonging and care of self and others within the college and wider community
  • by a culturally and ecologically responsive, innovative environment for wellbeing and success.

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 (NZQF) for Years 11 to 13 across the eight learning areas and Tertiary Pathways
  • achievement in the eight learning areas in relation to the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) for Years 9 and 10
  • other valued outcomes, including wellbeing and attendance.

Other significant features of the school include an international students’ programme and a major redevelopment of school buildings, with Phase One having been completed.

The school is part of the Northern Porirua Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

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?

The school is effectively supporting most of its students to achieve the school’s broad, valued equity and excellence outcomes. It continues to strengthen practices and school conditions to improve outcomes for all learners. Improvement in overall levels of achievement has continued since the 2016 ERO review. There has been an ongoing priority to increase student successes in literacy, numeracy and National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) endorsements.

School learning information shows that over the past three years:

  • almost all students achieved NCEA literacy and numeracy qualifications
  • most students achieved NCEA Levels 1 and 2
  • a large majority of students achieved NCEA Level 3
  • fewer than half of students achieved university entrance
  • there has been an increase in endorsements for NCEA at Levels 2 and 3
  • disparity in NCEA achievement for Māori and Pacific students in relation to New Zealand European students, and boys in relation to girls, has been reducing over time.

In 2018 most students who completed their education at Aotea College left school with NCEA Level 2 or above.

Student achievement progress data shows that students in Year 9 increased their level of achievement in mathematics in 2018 and 2019, and in reading and science in 2018.

Assessment practices for students with additional needs are individualised and school information shows that students make good progress against their goals.

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

School data for 2018 and 2019 shows that the school positively accelerated the learning and progress of some Years 9 and 10 Māori and other students who needed this in mathematics, reading and science. In 2019, acceleration progress was more evident for priority Year 9 students than for Year 10 students.

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?

Senior leaders work collaboratively with trustees to ensure the curriculum is inclusive. Students experience a responsive and well-resourced curriculum that focuses on their needs and interests and enables them to develop a strong sense of connection with, and ownership of, their learning. The curriculum provides students with authentic local contexts which include effective community partnerships. These promote learning innovation and opportunities for students to succeed in a variety of ways.

Teachers effectively support students’ learning with a range of approaches that are agreed across the school and are responsive to the new, flexible teaching and learning classroom spaces. Students and teachers learn (ako) in settled, calm and respectful learning environments. The school has implemented improved practices and programmes that promote increased rates of progress for priority groups of students, including those with additional learning needs.

Leaders across the school prioritise and promote students’ wellbeing and confidence, including in their language, culture and identity. They are deliberately building culturally responsive practices within the school to enhance learner wellbeing and success. Well-considered and managed transitions in, through and out of the school support students to make informed decisions about their futures from an increased range of learning pathways. Significant pastoral networks and student services support the holistic needs of all students.

All school leaders prioritise and value consultation with stakeholder groups to establish the strategic priorities that guide effective stewardship and leadership decision-making. Leaders model effective relationship building with students, teachers, other staff and families/whānau. A culture of relational trust has been created that focuses on the school’s valued outcomes and supports students to progress and achieve.

Leaders are effective agents of change. They ensure strong systems and processes support the day-to-day running of the school and enhance internal evaluation practices across the school. Coherent and cohesive organisational structures and frameworks are aligned with school priorities. Professional learning that supports improvements in teacher practices, including systematic, evidence-informed inquiry, focuses on improving outcomes for students.

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

ERO’s evaluation confirms that further strengthening of the school’s curriculum should include:

  • continuing to develop capabilities and effectiveness in culturally responsive practices in order to best support all students, especially Māori and Pacific learners
  • continuing with ongoing improvement to assessment practices and support for delivering personalised, responsive teaching and learning that achieves the school’s valued outcomes
  • extending the shared understanding of evaluation to determine which programmes and initiatives are having the greatest effect on improving outcomes for groups of students, such as Māori and Pacific.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

Since the 2016 ERO review the number of international students attending the college has increased to 21. The majority are from Asia, with others from Europe.

Processes for welcoming students and their orientation to the school are well considered. Care is taken to provide courses that reflect the aspirations and interests of international students and their families.

Students’ pastoral and wellbeing needs are well supported. Students who set academic goals experience success in NCEA qualifications.

Students are encouraged to be actively involved in the life of the school and the local community.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Aotea College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a responsive, inclusive and well-resourced curriculum that enables students to have a strong sense of connection with their learning and a sense of place within the local school community
  • opportunities for students to progress and achieve through multiple, innovative and relevant pathways for success
  • a school culture of relational trust that prioritises relationship building and collaboration to achieve the school’s valued outcomes
  • cohesive schoolwide systems that are aligned with school priorities for student success.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to develop capabilities and effectiveness in culturally responsive practices in order to best support all students, especially Māori and Pacific learners
  • continuing to encourage, support and implement teaching and assessment practices to better know each learner and to achieve the school’s valued outcomes
  • extending the shared understanding of evaluation to determine the impact of those programmes that are having the greatest effect on improving outcomes for groups of students.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

21 August 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Aotea College - 11/10/2016

Findings

NCEA results show ongoing improvements in achievement. Ensuring equity for Māori and Pacific students is a strategic priority. Improving teachers' use of assessment information is an area of focus. The school is well placed to strengthen evaluation practice and continue to build student success.

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

1 Context

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

Aotea College, located in the Porirua City, caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The current roll of 929 includes 30% who identify as Māori, 12% as Samoan and 13% from other Pacific groups.

There have been a number of schoolwide professional development programmes over the past three years. These include Ministry of Education initiatives, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success.

The schools values of and expectations for Manaakitanga, Perseverance, Sauni and Excellence are integral to learning.

Planning is well advanced for the construction of new buildings and facilities over the next 18 to 24 months.

2 Learning

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

School leaders use a range of assessment tools to establish baseline data on student entry at Year 9, and show progress through to Year 10. The information gathered is used schoolwide to show trends and patterns and identify appropriate responses to students in need of targeted support. Year 9 and 10 charter targets aim to accelerate each cohort’s progress in writing.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results for 2014 and 2015 show ongoing improvement in achievement at Levels 1 to 3. Results are above schools of similar type and schools nationally. Although good progress has been made to close achievement gaps, the school is yet to achieve equitable results for Māori and Pacific students.

Improving the achievement of Māori and Pacific students and raising the proportion of merit and excellence certificate endorsements in NCEA is an ongoing focus. A strategic approach to achieving this includes:

  • setting appropriate schoolwide charter targets
  • mentoring and regular monitoring by deans and form teachers
  • establishing focus groups for Māori and Pacific students.

Sound systems support clear tracking of student performance and early identification and response to emerging trends. Regular communication with families effectively supports a growing partnership with parents.

School leaders have identified, and ERO's evaluation affirms, the need to continue to strengthen teacher capability in departmental and class use of assessment information. This should better inform planning and teaching, and assist teachers to evaluate lesson and programme effectiveness for learners at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad based curriculum provides many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities. Pathways, including the Academy, Gateway, Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) and Industry Training Organisation programmes, provide options for senior students, who receive sound careers advice and guidance.

TheNew Zealand Curriculum key competencies and values underpin department schemes, planning and reporting. There is a clear schoolwide focus on subject specific vocabulary to improve student literacy skills. Aspects of the curriculum are regularly reviewed to ensure continued relevance and reflection of the diverse cultures in the school. Student feedback is a significant part of curriculum review and design.

ERO observed classes where teachers use a range of effective strategies to support students' learning. Classes were well settled with students on task and engaged in their work. There are positive relationships among students and teachers. Digital technology is used as an effective tool to support student engagement and learning.

An effective model guides teachers' inquiry into their practice. There is an appropriate focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing development of teaching practice.

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

The school’s strong commitment to increasing success for Māori students as Māori is highly evident in daily practices, routines and interactions. Māori language, values and tikanga are well embedded. Leaders have committed to Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success, a professional development initiative to support the aspirations of the Māori community by encouraging Māori students to pursue their potential. Key practices include:

  • identifying improved learning outcomes for Māori students as a strategic priority
  • incorporating aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into the curriculum
  • recognising and celebrating Māori achievement
  • providing positive role models to encourage high aspirations
  • giving prominence to Manaaki Tauira O Aotea to foster quality engagement between the school and the Māori community
  • supporting and valuing the successful kapa haka group
  • building links with iwi
  • promoting the holistic wellbeing of students
  • building culturally responsive teaching practices.

How well does the school promote success for Pacific students?

Pacific students benefit from the strong schoolwide focus on inclusion. The positive climate and genuine celebration of cultural diversity means that Pacific students know that their identity and values are recognised and respected. They are well engaged in the life of the school, participating successfully in all activities. Many remain at school until they have completed Year 13.

Students can learn the Samoan language from Years 9 to 13. The school engages Pacific parents and aiga through the Pasifika Fono, where parents meet together regularly with teachers at the college.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to strengthen evaluation practice, to sustain its performance and continue to build student success.

The board of trustees is future focused. New members bring a useful range of experience and knowledge. Trustees are well informed and receive a range of information about student achievement, activities and school operation to support resourcing decisions. The board regularly engages with parents and whānau. They are working to raise the school’s profile with the wider community.

The principal, trustees and senior leaders have a shared vision for school development. They are student focused and work collaboratively to define and lead ongoing school development. The refined appraisal system supports the continued growth of teachers’ professional practice.

A well-considered pastoral care system promotes student wellbeing and sense of belonging. There are effective links with a range of external agencies to further support students and their families. Student voice provides important feedback on many aspects of school operations.

Sound systems are in place to transition students into the school at Year 9. School leaders are working with contributing schools to enhance the quality and relevance of achievement information shared during transitions. The developing Community of Learning involving the college and many contributing schools should further enhance these transition processes.

There is strong community support for school activities and operation. Several programmes are well supported by community organisations.

A number of new programmes and organisational changes have been trialled or introduced since the November 2013 ERO report. School leaders are reviewing these initiatives. Sound systems and processes support leaders’ internal evaluation to determine the impact of these changes on student learning and achievement.

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 seven international students attending the school, including two exchange students.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. The school has begun to align 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

NCEA results show ongoing improvements in achievement. Ensuring equity for Māori and Pacific students is a strategic priority. Improving teachers' use of assessment information is an area of focus. The school is well placed to strengthen evaluation practice and continue to build student success.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

11 October 2016

About the School

LocationPorirua
Ministry of Education profile number253
School typeSecondary (Years 9 to 15)
School roll929
Number of international students7
Gender compositionFemale 50%, Male 50%
Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Tokelauan

Asian

Cook Island Māori

Other ethnic groups

32%

30%

12%

7%

6%

5%

8%

Special FeaturesPorirua Activity Centre - attached unit
Review team on siteJuly 2016
Date of this report11 October 2016
Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

August 2012

August 2009