Mana College

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Education institution number:
254
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
389
Telephone:
Address:

Awarua Street, Takapuwahia, Porirua

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School Context

Mana College in western Porirua provides education for students in Years 9 to 13. The roll of 387 at the time of this review includes 63% Māori and 19% Pacific students. Enrolments rates have increased in the last two years.

The college vision is that: We come curious and leave inspired, we expect success every day and success together; success for our futures. This is supported by the values of: manaakitanga, a’o, ngākau and aspire.

School goals for student achievement in 2018 relate to:

  • all students having positive learning pathways
  • increased numbers of students achieving at expected levels in literacy and mathematics
  • increased student connection and engagement.

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

  • achievement overall and for groups of students in national qualifications
  • end of year and progress in achievement against expected levels in all curriculum areas
  • literacy and mathematics achievement at Years 9 and 10
  • learner competencies and skills
  • student engagement and wellbeing.

Since the September 2014 ERO review, there have been significant changes in governance, leadership and staffing. The principal was appointed in 2016, followed by further appointments of new assistant principals, heads of department and teaching staff. Several new trustees have joined the board.

The college includes a marae, a services academy, special needs unit Te Whare Ako and the E tipu e rea centre. Trustees and leaders are planning for replacement and redesign of buildings.

The school belongs to the Western Porirua Kāhui Ako | Te Puna Matauranga Kāhui Ako.

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 has made good progress in improving outcomes for different groups of learners, particularly at senior levels.

Achievement overall has significantly improved since 2014, with most students gaining National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) Level 1 and Level 2.

In 2017, fewer than half gained Level 3. Nearly all Māori students gained Level 2 and most achieved Level 1. They achieve at similar levels or above their peers within the college. Pacific students achieve well overall, with all achieving NCEA Level 2 and most achieving Level 1. Percentages of Māori and Pacific student leavers with NCEA Level 2 have steadily improved.

Of the students who have identified additional learning needs, most gain NCEA Level 1 or 2 over time.

Disparity of achievement between groups of learners at junior levels is decreasing.

Ongoing priorities are to continue to increase success in numeracy and literacy schoolwide, NCEA Level 3, University Entrance and endorsements of NCEAs at all Levels.

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

The school is developing its picture of acceleration of learning and achievement over time for those Māori and other students who need this.

School information from 2016 and 2017 shows that some targeted students made accelerated progress in literacy and numeracy in Years 9 and 10 and that this had yet to match the improvement the school seeks. Some students with additional learning needs make accelerated progress with targeted support.

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?

Collaborative approaches are taken to improving student learning and achievement. Leaders and trustees work together on strategic priorities and actions for schoolwide improvement and innovation. Well-defined high expectations from senior leaders and teamwork promote a collaborative schoolwide culture. Systems and processes support all staff to participate in and adapt to change that is focused on improving student outcomes. Well-planned opportunities and support are provided for teachers to further develop their knowledge and practice. Regular and targeted professional learning and development is closely aligned to the school’s strategic focus.

Students participate and learn in a caring and collaborative environment that is focused on wellbeing for success. They demonstrate positive and respectful relationships with their peers and teachers. Many are provided with opportunities to take responsibility for aspects of the curriculum and improve their leadership skills. Recently established Learning Advisory programmes support students to develop skills and competencies for successful lifelong learning. This approach is beginning to empower students to better manage their own learning. Regular interactions of small groups of students with their learning advisors strengthen relationships, care and communications between teachers and students.

The school curriculum has been reviewed and developed to better cater for the needs and interests of diverse learners. Increased involvement of parents and whānau and strengthened learning partnerships across the local community support student engagement and success. In Years 9 and 10, placed-based learning programmes respond to the aspirations of iwi, whānau, parents and students. These integrate the local history, environment and places of significance to Ngāti Toa. Senior students have increasing opportunities to successfully gain qualifications and access learning pathways beyond school. Students with additional learning needs are well identified. Their progress is monitored and reported on individually.

Evaluation, inquiry and ongoing review are becoming embedded in the school programmes and practices. These processes build school capacity and provide useful information for leaders and trustees about the effectiveness and impact of initiatives and innovations. Leaders and teachers make good use of student voice and feedback to inform evaluation and improvement initiatives.

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

In the 2018 school annual plans, trustees have identified target groups with the numbers of students at each year level whose learning needs acceleration. A key next step is for leaders to promote increased schoolwide understanding of acceleration, so that all teachers and departments include an explicit focus on the acceleration of those Māori and other students who need it in their programme planning for better alignment with the annual plan targets.

ERO’s evaluation confirms the need to strengthen the appraisal process, as identified by the school, to better support teachers to develop their practice. This should enable them to more explicitly meet the school expectations and standards for teaching. Areas to improve include:

  • setting teacher appraisal goals that more closely align to school targets for acceleration and achievement of equity and excellence
  • strengthening teachers’ use of evaluation to review the impact of their inquiries on improving student outcomes
  • increasing consistency in the quality of evaluative feedback and feed forward to teachers
  • formalising an induction and mentoring framework for supporting teachers to move to full certification.

Leaders are developing programmes and tools for implementation of the integrated curriculum and learning advisory programmes by all teachers. This includes further developing clear frameworks of programme expectations and criteria for good practice and success, in particular, for improving progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics. This should provide a better basis for evaluating, and informing leaders and trustees about, the impact of school initiatives and programmes on increasing student engagement, accelerating learning and achieving equity and excellence for all.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review and update policies and procedures related to the promotion of healthy food, physical restraint guidelines, severe behaviour responses and post disaster relief to ensure they meet good practice or current legislative requirements.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership across the school that initiates and supports innovation and knowledge building

  • a collaborative professional culture that promotes learning partnerships between staff, students and the community

  • programmes, systems and structures that are responsive to students’ cultures, wellbeing and learning needs

  • ongoing inquiry and review to gather data and feedback and measure how effectively programmes are improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening components of the appraisal process so it better supports improvements in teaching and learning

  • establishing shared schoolwide measures of how well new approaches are improving outcomes for learners and accelerating progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

31 July 2018

About the school

Location

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

254

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

387

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 63%
Pacific 19%
Pākehā 10%
Asian 5%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

31 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014

Education Review August 2011

Supplementary Review July 2008

Findings

Success, whānau and hauora are strategic priorities. Relationships are positive and respectful. Sound systems support students’ wellbeing. Te Whare Ako promotes progress for students with high needs. E Tipu E Rea provides relevant marae-based learning. Student achievement remains below expectations. The school must strengthen systems and processes to promote improvement.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

Mana College provides education for approximately 380 students in Years 9 to 13. Students come to the college from 16 contributing schools in the Porirua basin. Māori students comprise 65% of the roll, and Pacific students 18%.

The school charter is underpinned by three key focus areas: success; whānau; and hauora. Continued improvement in students’ attendance, engagement and achievement is recognised as the major strategic priority.

The school has a marae and a services academy. In 2014, the roll increased significantly, with greater numbers in Year 9 and the special needs unit, Te Whare Ako.

Senior managers are highly experienced, with specialist skills and strengths that complement each other. They know students, their families and the community well.

A feature of the school culture is the strong focus on building and fostering positive relationships among staff, students, parents and whānau. Leaders are currently introducing the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) project. This initiative involves professional development for staff, to identify clear expectations of students’ learning and behaviour and implement consistent, schoolwide strategies to improve outcomes for students.

Areas identified for development in the August 2011 ERO report have been responded to by school managers and trustees. Progress with the analysis and use of student achievement information is ongoing.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers continue to strengthen and refine processes to guide the use of achievement information and make positive changes to students’ engagement and progress. Information about the achievement of Māori and Pacific learners is collated, analysed and reported separately.

Teachers have begun to inquire into the impact of strategies they use to accelerate learning. Students needing targeted support are identified. Classroom programmes are expected to include the specific teaching of skills needed to promote the progress of individuals and groups. Once fully established schoolwide, teacher inquiry is likely to contribute to improved student achievement.

  • The next step for leaders is to ensure that the good models are shared and lead to more rigorous inquiry across the curriculum.

Academic counselling focuses on developing home-school partnerships and tracking and monitoring student learning. Parents receive regular reports on students’ progress, work habits and engagement.

The learning and progress of students in Te Whare Ako are well monitored and reported. Teachers in the unit regularly reflect on the effectiveness of programmes. They review their teaching approaches in response to what they know about the impact on learning.

Years 11 to 13

Overall achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) has not improved since ERO’s 2011 review. Participation rates remain low. In 2013, results were below those of comparable schools in most categories. The percentage of students gaining NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance (UE) was well below similar schools nationally.

There was a marked drop in 2012, which leaders attribute to changes in the way standards were assessed. In 2013, with appropriate adjustments having been made to assessment practices, students’ achievement rose to levels similar to 2011.

Māori students’ achievement shows improvement, especially at NCEA Level 1, although it is still below national percentages for Māori students. The small numbers of Pacific students mean that judgements about their overall achievement are difficult. In 2013, however, the percentage of Pacific students who gained NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance qualifications was above national figures.

The proportion of 17 year old Māori and Pacific students who remain at school is above national levels. This suggests that they see the benefit of continuing their education at school and gaining further qualifications to help them on their employment and career pathways.

The percentage of leavers with Level 2 or better has improved every year since 2009. In 2012, 56% of leavers had this qualification. The board’s annual target is to raise this percentage.

Faculty and department leaders analyse NCEA achievement to inform course modifications and provide appropriate support for students to succeed.

Senior leaders should closely monitor the quality and depth of analysis, to be assured of consistency across the curriculum.

Years 9 and 10

The school uses nationally-normed tests of literacy and mathematics to establish baseline information about junior students’ achievement and learning needs. These show that over half of the students in Years 9 and 10 achieve below expectations.

Some teachers use assessment data and their knowledge of students to provide differentiated resources and teaching strategies.

  • An important next step for all teachers of junior classes is to gather sufficient reliable information to develop specific strategies that address students’ individual learning needs and strengths.

A teacher aide provides additional learning support for students who require accelerated progress in literacy.

A points system is used to monitor and recognises students’ positive growth and development of key competencies such as self-management skills.

3 Curriculum

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

Aspects of the school’s curriculum support learning. Structure and timetabling are reviewed and modified to provide effective pathways for students. Positive relationships are generally evident.

ERO observed some good quality teaching, with students well engaged in meaningful learning. In these classes, teachers had high expectations for students’ learning and behaviour. They expressed these expectations clearly and insisted on students taking responsibility for their own progress.

  • Consistent application of high expectations in all classes is likely to raise achievement, including more merit and excellence endorsements in the NCEAs.

A wide range of course options is available in the senior school, enabling students to follow academic, trade or other vocational interests. Opportunities are offered to gain work and life skills, and qualifications in building and construction, hospitality, information technologies, and tourism. The services academy seeks to re-engage students in learning and prepare some for careers in the armed forces.

Some teachers integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into classroom programmes and respectfully reflect te ao Māori in the curriculum. In the E Tipu E Rea unit, students learn about Māori language and culture in an authentic marae context.

  • Professional learning and development is needed to build mainstream teachers’ capability and confidence in implementing a bicultural curriculum.

Literacy and learning support lacks cohesion. Many students at the college have complex needs, and often these are not being addressed adequately to accelerate progress.

  • Senior leaders recognise the need for a coordinated, specialist approach that results in consistent improvement in student outcomes.

In Te Whare Ako, students participate in programmes that effectively support and promote their holistic development.

  • It is timely for staff to collate the achievement information gathered about high needs learners, and report progress to the board.

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

The school has a range of significant strategies to promote educational success for Māori students, as Māori.

  • Approximately a third of the staff are Māori. They provide a Māori perspective on decisionmaking and planning, and are role models for success.
  • The college values and fosters reciprocal links with Ngāti Toa.
  • E Tipu E Rea enables students to learn te reo Māori, tikanga-a-iwi and ngā toi on the school marae.
  • In Years 9 and 10, students opt to be in the combined whānau class, which has been shown to have a positive effect on attendance, engagement and progress.
  • The te reo Māori curriculum is suitably flexible, to allow students to succeed and gain qualifications at their own level.
  • Parent and whānau involvement is encouraged and nurtured.

These initiatives have brought some improvement in education outcomes, particularly in the E Tipu E Rea unit.

  • School leaders recognise that a deliberate, strategic commitment is needed schoolwide to increase success for all Māori students, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Good levels of parent, whānau and community engagement in the school provide a solid foundation for school operations and positive student outcomes.

Students learn in an inclusive environment. Pastoral care and guidance systems are well coordinated and embedded. Students’ learning and wellbeing are carefully monitored through a broad-based team approach and partnership with community groups and whānau. Mentoring and restorative practices further support students’ learning, engagement and success.

However, the school is not sufficiently well placed to ensure the necessary improvement in student achievement. Effective implementation of teacher inquiry and PB4L is likely to contribute to progress, but both strategies are in the early stages of development.

The principal and trustees must address the need to develop and strengthen:

  • leadership for managing implementation of curriculum, raising student achievement and conducting systematic self review
  • governance, including target-setting and related action planning, to set future direction, monitor progress and review for ongoing improvement
  • property management systems for ensuring all learning environments meet acceptable standards.

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.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the school and Ministry of Education together consider the provision of support needed for the board and principal in order to bring about the improvements outlined in the Sustainability section of this report.

Conclusion

Success, whānau and hauora are strategic priorities. Relationships are positive and respectful. Sound systems support students’ wellbeing. Te Whare Ako promotes progress for students with high needs. E Tipu E Rea provides relevant marae-based learning. Student achievement remains below expectations. The school must strengthen systems and processes to promote improvement.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

3 September 2014

About the School

Location

Porirua City, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

254

School type

State Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

379

Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Other Pacific groups

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

65%

9%

9%

9%

8%

Special Features

Special Needs Unit

Services Academy

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

3 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

August 2011

July 2008

May 2007