Hutt Intermediate

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Findings

Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. They are supported to succeed through a wide range of learning, cultural, sporting and leadership opportunities. Most students achieve well. The values of resilience, respect and excellence are highly evident across the school. Effective leadership supports ongoing improvement.

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?

Hutt Intermediate is situated in the Lower Hutt suburb of Woburn. At the time of this review the roll was 632 students and 15% identify as Māori. The cultural diversity of the wide range of ethnic groups is celebrated.

The collaboratively developed vision ‘to provide quality of education that encourages academic excellence and responsibility’ is enacted by students and staff across the school. The values: excellence, resilience and respect are evident in practice.

An inclusive culture enhances students' participation in the curriculum. There is a positive atmosphere and student wellbeing is suitably considered.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. Leaders have been responsive to the areas identified in the May 2013 ERO report.

This report evaluates the effectiveness of stewardship and leadership in building teacher capability and promoting positive learning outcomes for all students.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers use student achievement data well at class level and school wide. A wide range of information supports them to know students well and effectively respond to their learning and wellbeing.

In 2015, most students achieved at and above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Over time, a higher number of Māori learners are achieving at expectation. Pacific students achieve at lower levels across the school. The deliberate focus on accelerating the progress of groups of Māori and Pacific students continues.

The school identifies all Māori and Pacific students as focus cohorts. These students form the target groups in classrooms. Teachers and leaders effectively track and monitor the progress of these students over time.

In 2016, teacher inquiry is focused on reading. Teachers reflect on the impact of their practice on the learning of identified students and share strategies that make a difference. Many students have made accelerated progress during the first half of this school year.

Teachers effectively support students to have an increasing understanding of their current and future learning needs. Students are involved in self and peer assessment. They know about their achievement levels and what they need to do to progress.

Sound pastoral systems successfully support student wellbeing. Effective practices are in place to support social, emotional and any additional learning needs and to engage in class and school activities. The progress and achievement of those students with independent plans is tracked and monitored.

Students and teachers together share useful, detailed information with parents about progress and achievement in relation to National Standards and learning across the curriculum, through a range of processes.

3 Curriculum

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

The broad curriculum is flexible and responsive to student needs, strengths and interests and acknowledges the cultural diversity of the school. The school is reviewing their curriculum through professional learning and development (PLD), teacher inquiry, restorative practices and consultation with parents, students and staff.

There is a sustained focus for students on building and understanding themselves as learners. They experience opportunities to develop learning behaviours and attitudes to support the development of life-long learning.

Teachers use a wide range of effective strategies to engage students in their learning. High expectations promote a positive, responsive culture for learning. Teaching approaches are learner centred. High quality classroom environments reflect and celebrate students' work. Trusting relationships between teachers and students are evident. Use of digital devices and information technology resources effectively give access to the wider world and are used to share and present learning.

Teacher innovation is encouraged and curriculum initiatives are developed and implemented in a considered way. Thoughtful adoption of restorative practice with teachers and students using a shared language for teaching and learning is effective. This approach is supporting the school to align the school’s values and key competencies.

All students successfully experience a range of ‘specialist’ learning areas encompassing a mix of skills and project-based learning. Students have choice in Year 8 to undertake more in-depth learning in these areas.

The school celebrates the ethnic and cultural diversity of the student body. Students are able to take up a wide range of leadership opportunities across learning, cultural and sporting aspects of the school. Tuakana teina relationships are highly evident across the school.

A newly implemented education plan outlines strategies and actions to promote learning and success for Pacific students. Identified students are effectively supported in their learning through mentorship focusing on academic and life skills.

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

The principal, senior staff and teachers effectively promote educational success for Māori students, as Māori. They have considered Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners when developing the school charter, strategic and annual plans, goals and achievement targets.

Māori students are positive about school. They are confident and competent learners who are represented in a number of leadership roles. The ‘Tamariki ō ngā Tupuna’ student leadership team lead a number of initiatives for students and take an active part in whānau hui. They are empowered to make decisions and share their language, culture and identity.

A newly implemented education plan outlines strategies and actions to promote learning and success for Māori students. School leaders are continuing to develop this plan to include more deliberate and specific strategies to promote Māori students’ learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance in promoting successful outcomes for students.

The principal and school leaders are a cohesive and collaborative team. They have a reflective approach to ongoing improvement, sustainability and innovation. A clear direction for school development is based on current research and agreed, effective practice is in place. The leadership team provides a wide range of opportunities and support for teachers to develop their leadership skills, and to share their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of their colleagues and students.

Over the past three years the board has provided effective governance. Trustees support innovation and initiatives.  They recognise the importance of accessing relevant training. A number of experienced new trustees have been elected to the board this year.

A coherent, improvement-focused appraisal process supports leaders’ and teachers’ learning and practice. Development goals for teachers and the principal are clearly aligned to school priorities. Planned levels of support, scaffold provisionally certificated teachers' induction into school structures, systems and processes.

Strong collegial relationships and staff commitment to professional learning support the school’s curriculum priorities.

A wide range of strategies, programmes and initiatives support consultation, communication and the sharing of information about the school with parents and whānau. Teachers and students increasingly use digital technologies to communicate with parents about learning. 

Leaders and teachers are reflective practitioners. Student achievement data and research inform decisions about change and the school’s strategic direction. Trustees and leaders are considering how to better measure, evaluate and report the progress of initiatives, programmes and strategic and annual planning.

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

Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. They are supported to succeed through a wide range of learning, cultural, sporting and leadership opportunities. Most students achieve well. The values of resilience, respect and excellence are highly evident across the school. Effective leadership supports ongoing improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 August 2016

About the School 

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2863

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

632

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Indian
Chinese
Other Asian
Other ethnic groups

15%
57%
  6%
  6%
  5%
  6%
  5%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

24 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2013
November 2009
December 2006

1 Context

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

Hutt Intermediate is situated in the Lower Hutt suburb of Woburn. It has a growing roll of Years 7 and 8 students from a range of contributing primary schools and from increasingly diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Since the November 2009 ERO report, the senior leadership team, comprising the principal and three senior leaders, has been involved in leading significant initiatives and developments. These changes centre on the school’s vision, expectations for student achievement, leadership, organisational learning and school improvement. At the time of the ERO review, many teachers were new to the school and some of these are beginning teachers.

Communications with contributing schools and local secondary schools by senior leaders and staff support smooth transitions into Year 7 and Year 9. Expectations for learning and development are promoted through the shared values of excellence, resilience and respect in a supportive learning atmosphere. Positive relationships and pride in the school are evident.

2 Learning

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

Overall, students are well engaged in their learning.

School leaders use nationally referenced assessment data and National Standards information to review performance twice a year. This information is appropriately analysed to report schoolwide achievement in literacy and mathematics, identify priority learners and set targets for accelerating their progress and achievement.

The school's information, at the end of 2012, shows that the majority of students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. It indicates that Māori and Pacific students are over represented in the achievement bands below expectations when compared with their peers. These groups are included in the board’s improvement targets.

Teachers use information to guide teaching and learning. Parents receive two written reports on their child’s progress and achievement each year. While the mid-year report predicts how a student may be achieving in relation to the National Standards, by the end of the year, final reports do not clearly indicate progress against these Standards or how parents can help at home. Professional development is being undertaken to help teachers improve their knowledge of assessment practices, including working with the Standards.

An inclusive culture is evident. Good provision is made for students with high learning and behavioural needs. They are supported by teacher-aides and their progress is well monitored. Students who are gifted and talented participate in a range of programmes and activities to extend their learning.

Senior leaders have identified variations in progress made by priority learners and monitoring and assessment practices across the school. The school’s next steps for development include:

  • strengthening schoolwide processes for robust moderation of teacher judgements
  • continuing to support teachers to gain a shared understanding about how to form overall judgements in relation to the National Standards
  • continuing to identify targeted students within classrooms and teaching deliberately to accelerate their progress
  • clarifying expectations for an accelerated rate of progress
  • providing trustees with regular progress and achievement reports for students identified in the board’s annual targets
  • reporting student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards to parents, at least twice a year, in plain language that includes ways to help at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school provides a broad-based curriculum for students' holistic development. They experience a wide range of programmes across the eight learning areas as defined in The New Zealand Curriculum. A strong focus on raising achievement in mathematics and literacy is evident.

Teachers work and learn collaboratively. They are beginning to reflect on their practice so they can be more responsive to the needs of priority learners. Beginning teachers are well supported to develop their professional skills and knowledge.

For some students, engagement as self-managing learners is promoted through shared expectations, an inquiry approach and use of e-learning tools. Leaders have identified the need to develop the assessment policy and procedures to provide clearer guidelines for improving classroom practice and enhancing learning and achievement for all students. Leaders also need to ensure that curriculum review is carried out to determine how effectively programmes and teaching respond to students' needs and interests.

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

Students have opportunities to affirm their identity and are supported to succeed as Māori. Their iwi affiliations are known to the school. Provision and opportunities have increased for leadership development and performing arts, especially through the Tamariki O Ngā Tupuna student liaison group. Students with language abilities are encouraged to support their peers and teachers’ learning of te reo Māori.

Consultation and partnerships with whānau and community have progressed since the previous ERO report. Annual meetings, surveys and local marae visits encourage dialogue and the sharing of aspirations. It is timely that trustees and senior leaders develop an action plan to reflect the measures and strategies necessary for promoting Māori educational success and extending cultural competencies across the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Consolidation and refinement are needed in several aspects of operation for the school to be better placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The vision, values and strategic direction are evident in school planning and operation. The school is refining and developing its capacity to embed initiatives to improve leadership, professional learning and practices to improve outcomes for students. It is timely for leaders to evaluate the impact of these initiatives on staff capability and student success.

Senior leaders and teachers are promoting professional learning through planned development opportunities and initiation of individual coaching and mentoring. Teachers and leaders are developing their ability to use student information to evaluate their own practice and improve effectiveness in raising achievement, especially for priority learners. Senior leaders need to ensure that teachers are well supported and consistency is promoted.

A recent review of performance management policies and procedures has led to clearer guidelines and expectations for staff appointments, appraisal processes and links to overall school performance improvement. Procedures have recently been extended to include criteria from Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to appropriately strengthen teachers’ cultural competencies.

An experienced trustee chairs an outgoing board which is representative of the school's diverse community. In future, to improve knowledge and confidence in governance roles and responsibilities, all trustees should be equipped with up-to-date guidelines and regular training. This should include development of shared expectations and processes for self review of how well school priorities and charter goals have been met.

Next steps to improve the use of resources and maximise the impact of strategies for school improvement include:

continuing to strengthen performance development processes to give greater focus to improving students' progress and achievement.

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.

During the review it was found that reporting to parents did not meet the national requirements.

In order to meet legislative requirements the board of trustees, through the principal and staff, must:

  • report to students and their parents on the students' progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language in writing must be at least twice a year.[National Administration Guidelines 2A(a)]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

13 May 2013

Image removed.About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2863

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll

645

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

66%

16%

4%

14%

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

13 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

December 2006

October 2003