Brandon Intermediate

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Summary

Brandon Intermediate is situated in Cannon’s Creek, Porirua. The roll of 142 students in Years 7 and 8, comprises of 20% Māori and 73% Pacific learners.

The acting principal and deputy principal at the time of the 2014 review were appointed fulltime. There have been significant staff changes over the last three years. The school acts as a technology hub for a number of local primary schools.

Leaders and trustees have responded positively to areas identified in the June 2014 ERO report and have made considerable progress in addressing key issues.

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

School leaders, teachers and trustees are taking appropriate steps to reduce disparity and achieve equitable outcomes for all students.

Achievement levels for all groups of learners are very low on entry at Year 7 and overall remain below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics through Year 8. Although a number of students have their progress accelerated, it is not yet consistent for all.

The school has a positive learning environment. There are respectful, supportive relationships between teachers and students. Classes are settled with students engaged in their work. Children show confidence in their identity, language and culture. This strong cultural identity provides support for many students in their learning. Children learn and achieve through culturally responsive teaching practices.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children
  • strengthen monitoring of targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is improving its response to Māori, Pacific and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Plans have been developed to accelerate the progress of those identified at risk of not achieving. School wide initiatives and professional development are supporting teachers to implement these plans. Increasingly, children have a clear idea about the purpose of their learning and levels of achievement.

School data show that outcomes for children between 2014 and 2016 have been variable. Data from 2016 shows an improvement over previous years. School leaders report that as a result of improvements in the collection and analysis of data, trustees and staff now have more reliable achievement and wellbeing information to work from. This information enables them to respond more effectively to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Many children arrive at the school with low levels of achievement in literacy and numeracy. The school’s data shows progress accelerates for a number of these learners in reading, writing and mathematics over their two years in the school.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

School processes and actions are beginning to help to achieve equity and excellence for all children.

Positive progress has been made in helping staff to focus on learners who require different and varied teaching and learning approaches to accelerate their progress. Teachers share goals with children and are more explicit in their teaching.

Processes for ensuring that teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards are increasingly more effective. Teachers are supported to link curriculum expectations to assessments and provide opportunities for children to use reading, writing and mathematics in different learning areas.

Trustees and school leaders have identified key areas for development and are making changes to support the school’s ongoing improvement. The board’s commitment to culturally responsive practice is designed to enhance partnerships with families and whānau focus on their children’s learning progress.

School leaders, trustees and teachers are supporting children’s achievement of valued outcomes by:

  • more coherent school wide planning

  • promoting digital technology as a tool to support learning. 

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

School leaders have identified and ERO’s evaluation affirms, that key areas for review and development to promote equitable outcomes for all students, are to:

  • refine target setting to include a common definition of acceleration and more clearly identify and focus on individuals and groups at risk of not achieving
  • more effectively track, monitor and report on the progress of target learners
  • review and strengthen teacher inquiry to link with appraisal and school wide targets
  • enhance children’s capability to have greater responsibility for their learning
  • thoroughly review the school’s curriculum to ensure coverage of all key aspects
  • continue strengthening relationships with families and whānau.

The school is a member of the local Community of Learning| Kāhui Ako. They support the ongoing focus on raising levels of achievement by working more closely with contributing primary schools to set agreed achievement ‘signposts’ and moderate teacher assessment judgements.

An established self-review process is in place that is reflective, informs decision making and leads to ongoing improvement. Strengthening the evaluative aspects of review should support trustees and teachers to more effectively measure the impact of systems and processes on student outcomes and identify next steps.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Appraisal audit

There is an appropriate appraisal process that affirms teacher practices and should contribute to ongoing teacher improvement. 

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • strengthen monitoring of targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children. 

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

15 August 2017

About the school 

Location

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

2814

School type

Intermediate

School roll

142

Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 20%
Samoan 34%
Tokelauan 18%
Cook Island Māori 18%
Other ethnic groups 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

15 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2012
Education Review April 2010

 

Findings

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for improvement?

Brandon Intermediate has made progress since the 2012 ERO report. While student achievement remains a concern, it has improved. The quality of teaching has improved significantly. The board has developed governance policies and procedures and is in a position where it can continue to improve and review its performance.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Brandon Intermediate is situated in Cannon’s Creek, Porirua. The roll of 133 students in Years 7 and 8 comprises 27% Māori and 72% Pacific.

In recent times there has been support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to assist the school to move forward. Variability in the quality of teaching had hindered improvement and put the school at risk of not developing and sustaining high quality practices. Students’ education was at risk. The capability of the board of trustees to develop sustainable practices has been compromised over time.

The June 2012 ERO report identified that good progress was evident in terms of the board's understanding of self review to support the school's strategic direction. Leadership, governance and student achievement required further improvement. As a result ERO has carried out a review over the past two years, focused on the recommendations of that ERO report.

There have been significant changes to the senior leadership team in 2014. The principal and one of the deputy principals left the school in term 1. The board focused on providing certainty and stability to continue to embed and grow the learning programmes in the school. It appointed the deputy principal to acting principal, and the special education needs coordinator (SENCO) and literacy leader to acting deputy principal until the end of 2014.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The school developed strategic goals and annual objectives in 2013, based on the priorities for review and development identified in the previous ERO report. These were to:

  • raise student achievement
  • improve the quality of teaching and learning in every classroom
  • strengthen relationships across the community
  • focus governance and leadership on teaching and learning.

There continues to be concern about the high number of students entering Brandon Intermediate with very low achievement. However, the school can show that strategies to improve student achievement are having a positive impact.

Sixty one percent of the school population is targeted and identified as priority students. All teachers work closely and intensely with their targeted students. Deliberate teaching strategies are designed to assist teachers to increase rates of progress for students.

School data presented at the end of 2013 indicates that Year 8 students made more accelerated progress than Year 7 students. The school has participated for two years in an MoE literacy initiative. This has had a positive impact on student achievement. Teachers are now transferring their effective practices in literacy, to mathematics.

In response to the concerns raised in the 2012 ERO report, teachers are working positively to improve their teaching. National Standards are used to report student achievement. Embedding good practice is an ongoing focus for school leadership.

Appraisal of teachers has shifted from an approach based on a compliance model, to a reflective practitioner model. Teachers share good practice and demonstrate a commitment to raising student achievement.

Strengthening relationships across the community remains a focus and challenge for the school. Planned gatherings with community groups, centre on making home school partnerships genuine and responsive.

Several initiatives over time contribute positively to making the school accessible to families. Brandon PRIDE values continue to provide a framework for everyone to support higher expectations for student achievement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Priorities identified for review and development

There is a relentless focus to address persistent underachievement. Student achievement is appropriately a high priority for teachers and trustees. Staff demonstrate a commitment to raising achievement across the school.

Trustees receive regular reports that show how teachers are working to accelerate student progress. After two years the school literacy initiative has brought about positive shifts in student outcomes.

The board is in a position where it can continue to improve and review its performance. Factors that impact on this decision include that:

  • the board has developed good governance practices. There are frameworks and systems to guide future school and board developments
  • school leadership decisions are focused on stability for the school and particularly students. The principal and deputy principal are in acting positions until the end of 2014
  • continued progress to improve teaching practices across the curriculum is evident.

Over time governance of the school has improved. The board has developed a governance framework supported by a work plan that is used to manage day-to-day school business. A review schedule for policies is in place. The acting principal reports to the strategic and annual goals and updates are recorded.

In 2012, Brandon Intermediate received assistance from the MoE through the Tailored Training and Support Services to School Boards of Trustees. It is important now that the school continues to develop and sustain its performance.

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

Brandon Intermediate has made progress since the 2012 ERO report. While student achievement remains a concern, it has improved. The quality of teaching has improved significantly. The board has developed governance policies and procedures and is in a position where it can continue to improve and review its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

27 June 2014

About the School

Location

Cannons Creek, Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

2814

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

133

Gender composition

Male 57%

Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Samoan

Māori

Tokelauan

Cook Island Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other Pacific peoples

Other ethnic groups

35%

28%

19%

15%

1%

1%

1%

Special Features

Arts and Technology Centre

Review team on site

August 2012 - May 2014

Date of this report

27 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

June 2012

April 2010

December 2008