Linwood College

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School Context

Linwood College is a co-educational secondary school located in east Christchurch. The roll of 767 students has steadily increased, and includes 31% Māori, 8% Pacific and 16% Asian.

The overarching vision for the school is ‘Mauri Ora through ako: progressive, inclusive, safe and engaging education for flourishing wellbeing and personal excellence.’ This is underpinned by the ‘SEaRCH’ values of Service, Excellence, Respect, Curiosity and Honesty: Manaakitanga, Hiranga, Whakaute, Manawa reka and Whakapono.

The school states that its strategic priorities are to develop: culturally responsive and relational teaching and learning; mauri ora - valuing the spirit and wellbeing for all; the strengthening of learning through commitment to the Kāhui Ako; sustained achievement and wellbeing throughout Linwood College’s building redevelopments.

In Term 2 2019 the school relocated to a temporary site, formerly occupied by Avonside Girls’ High School, while new buildings are being constructed on the original Linwood College site. This is planned to be completed by 2022 and will include a technology centre for intermediate aged students and a teen parent unit. The move is intended to minimise the disruption to students’ learning during the rebuild phase. The school is referring to itself as Linwood College at Ōtākarofor the duration of the stay on the Avonside site.

A new leadership team has been established since the 2017 ERO review, with two deputy principals and an assistant principal being appointed. One deputy principal and the assistant principal began in 2019.

Teachers have participated in Ministry of Education (MoE) funded professional learning to strengthen Māori student success through Kia Eke Panuku - Building on Success, and, more recently, Poutama Pounamu – Equity, excellence and belonging.

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

  • National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications
  • literacy and mathematics
  • attendance and engagement.

The college is a member of two Kāhui Ako|Community of learning: Tamai and Aupaki. The school has recently introduced an enrolment zone.

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 continuing to develop practices and conditions to promote equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Overall NCEA achievement levels have generally remained similar, with small variations, to those at the time of the 2017 ERO review. In 2019 the majority of students successfully gained qualifications in NCEA at Levels 1 and 2. Less than half achieved Level 3, and a small proportion gained the University Entrance (UE) qualification.

The 2019 results show disparity in achievement for Māori students when compared to their New Zealand European peers. Achievement levels have improved at Level 3 and differences are being reduced, whereas the disparity at Level 2 has increased since 2017.

Most Pacific students succeeded in achieving Level 1 NCEA in 2019, but in all other areas their overall level of achievement as a group shows a downward trend. Around half gained Level 2, with a small proportion gaining Level 3 and UE.

Girls achieve slightly better at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 when compared with boys.

A small majority of students who finish their education leave the school having gained NCEA Level 2 or above. This number has declined since 2017.

The school-wide picture of equitable and excellent outcomes for students in Years 7 to 10 is unclear. While teachers assess and monitor individual children, school-wide learning information is not curated and analysed to show overall achievement and progress outcomes for all students, groups of students and those at risk of underachievement.

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

Leaders have identified that the school does not currently gather enough evidence to show the impact of strategies and interventions on the rates of progress for students whose learning requires acceleration. This is now a priority for development.

Some of the achievement information provided when students join the school is used to identify and group those who are at risk of underachievement. Interventions are put in place to respond to their learning needs.

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?

The school is inclusive and values diversity. A deliberate focus on building a culturally responsive learning environment is evident. Developing respectful and productive relationships that promote success for all, and particularly for Māori students, has been a strategic priority.

The school is effective in catering for students’ wellbeing needs. Pastoral systems and processes are responsive and well considered in the ways students are supported to be successful learners. An effective guidance and support network successfully utilises school expertise and external support agencies, when necessary, in consultation with whānau. Whole-school programmes and individualised interventions to improve engagement in learning are increasingly successful.

Leaders have introduced systems, processes and practices intended to promote a learning environment conducive to improved outcomes. The new senior leadership team has clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Leaders have effectively managed the school through significant events and challenging changes to conditions and context. Trustees, teachers and students report a markedly improved school culture and tone. Routines and expectations are well understood.

There is a cohesive approach to professional learning and meaningful appraisal processes which are aligned to whole-school priorities and goals. This supports teachers to grow their capability and promotes the building of collective capacity.

The school has developed purposeful relationships with families, whānau and the community. As a result, there is increased engagement, and families and whānau feel welcome in the school environment. Community voice is valued. Collaboration and consultation contribute to decision making about priorities for further improvement. Leaders are committed to continuing to develop partnerships that promote student learning.

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

Leaders have identified, and ERO confirms, that reviewing and further developing the curriculum is an ongoing priority. This is likely to better promote equity and excellence and enable the successful delivery of the school’s priorities for improvement.

The reviewed curriculum needs to clearly articulate expectations for:

  • improving engagement and retention
  • raising achievement and accelerating progress for those students who need it
  • strengthening the response to Māori and Pacific students’ learning and cultural needs
  • enabling personalised, differentiated and responsive teaching and learning
  • the provision of coherent pathways through and beyond the school
  • incorporating the school’s local history, context, culture and places of significance.

The school acknowledges, and ERO confirms, that continuing to build teacher effectiveness and leadership capability across the school to enact the strengthened curriculum is a priority. This will support staff to respond more successfully to students’ diverse learning and cultural needs.

The school agrees that developing internal evaluation is a priority. There is not yet a clear understanding of which programmes and initiatives are making the biggest difference to learning for groups of learners, and in particular, those at risk of underachievement. In order to determine the impact of strategies and decisions on improving outcomes for all learners, trustees, leaders and teachers need to develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation.

Strengthening evidence-based evaluation capability and processes should include:

  • establishing success criteria and desired outcomes for planned actions
  • reviewing the range of assessment tools used to show student achievement, progress and acceleration over time, particularly across Years 7-10
  • analysing data to show trends, patterns and the impact of improvement actions on outcomes for learners
  • frequent and purposeful reporting of student progress and achievement information, across all levels of the school, to the board of trustees
  • regularly using analysed achievement information to inform strategic decision making and to address the school’s priorities for development
  • reframing annual targets to focus on rates of acceleration for identified groups of priority learners.

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.

At the time of this review there were three international students. Processes for orientation to the school are well considered. Care is taken to provide courses that reflect the aspirations and interests of students and their families.

Students’ pastoral and wellbeing needs are well supported, as is goalsetting for academic achievement that promotes success in NCEA qualifications. Students are encouraged to be actively involved in the life of the school, including opportunities to share and celebrate their cultures with other students.

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 Linwood College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a welcoming, inclusive school that values and celebrates diversity
  • pastoral systems that cater for students’ wellbeing needs
  • systems, processes and practices that are focused on promoting a positive learning environment, supporting teaching and learning and improving student outcomes.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the curriculum to be more responsive to students’ individual and collective learning and cultural needs
  • continuing to increase the effectiveness and impact of teaching and learning practices, especially in regard to improving learning outcomes for Māori and Pacific students
  • increasing data capability, use and reporting, especially at Years 7-10
  • establishing robust internal evaluation to determine which teaching and learning programmes, interventions and practices make the biggest difference to improving outcomes for all students.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 June 2020

About the school

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

Summary

There were 647 students at Linwood College at the time of this review. This included 191 Māori students, 64 Pacific students and 100 Asian students. The school roll fluctuates within the year, reflecting changes in the local area and the wider city. Overall, the roll is gradually increasing.

Linwood College has experienced an extended period of significant challenge, including the Christchurch earthquakes. Planning for a newly rebuilt school is underway, to be operational in 2021. This is a significant school focus and has involved extensive community consultation. The school is a member of two Kāhui Ako | Communities of Learning, Tamai and Aupaki.

A new principal took up the position at the beginning of 2016 following a relieving principal in 2015. Members of the senior leadership team are largely new to their positions, as are some middle leaders and other staff.

Since the last ERO review in 2015, the school has continued to move forward positively. It has developed systems to better focus on outcomes for students. There is evidence that overall student achievement is increasing at level 1 NCEA. However, there continues to be in-school disparity in achievement for Māori learners, and for boys in some areas.

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

The school is improving its systems and focus to respond better to those Māori and other learners for whom there is disparity in achievement.

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. The clarity and coherence of the school’s systems and plans, the leadership and management of change and inquiry, and the professional collaborations within and beyond the school are increasingly effective in supporting learners to achieve equity and excellence.

The school should continue to improve processes to effectively support the engagement, achievement and progress for all learners. In particular the use of learner information throughout the school, reviewing the quality of provision for learners in Years 7 and 8, and further strengthening internal evaluation practices.

At the time of this review, teachers were being more deliberate in providing students with more guidance and support in planning learning pathways. It is too soon to evaluate the effectiveness of this in supporting equity and excellence for all learners.

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 learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is improving its systems and focus to respond to those Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The proportion of Linwood College leavers with qualifications increased at a faster rate than for students nationally in 2016. Over the last five years, approximately three-quarters of school leavers have attained at least NCEA Level 1. Learners’ achievement at this level significantly increased in 2016. One-third of students are leaving having not attained NCEA Level 2. Ongoing disparity exists for some Māori learners in leaver qualifications and the achievement of NCEA at all levels. Greater proportions of Pacific learners have NCEA qualifications when they leave the school. Not achieving Level 1 literacy and numeracy continues to be a limitation for some learners’ NCEA attainment, despite significant gains made overall in this in 2016.

School information for students in Years 9 and 10 indicates that significant proportions of students at this level are not yet reading and producing writing at expected levels based on New Zealand Curriculum guidelines.

Achievement for children in Years 7 and 8 in relation to the National Standards (NS) for reading, writing and mathematics is low, with fewer than half of the children achieving at or above the standards. Māori and Pacific children overall, are achieving at lower levels than other groups in reading, writing and mathematics. School information shows that levels of achievement were not as high in 2016 than the previous year for these children.

The school is making good use of external support to improve teachers’ understanding and use of achievement information for Years 7 and 8 learners. However, there is still more work to be done to ensure that teachers’ assessment judgements are reliable and robust. They would benefit from having specific guidelines to support their overall teacher judgements (OTJ’s) and opportunities to moderate their judgements with other teachers from neighbouring schools. The school is improving its systems to support moderation of senior assessment.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

School processes are increasingly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

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

The board and leaders have set a clear direction for the school. This is well-supported by coherent systems and strategic change management. Professional collaborations, trust, and positive relationships amongst the staff are being restored and promoted. Teachers are being well supported to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practice. Processes and frameworks for inquiry and knowledge building are ably supporting school improvement and positive outcomes for learners.

School leaders are intentionally strengthening school-wide systems and expectations for teachers to scrutinise (including gathering data), monitor and manage learners’ engagement, achievement and wellbeing. The school has identified engagement, behaviour and achievement as key focus areas for improvement. Staff members have responded with a range of flexible approaches to support students’ learning and increased opportunity for students to learn in a positive learning environment. This has included strengthening culturally responsive teaching and learning approaches and whanaungatanga. An inclusive culture and useful links with families and whānau are being built. Overall, students’ engagement in their schooling has improved in the last year.

The board and leaders are making very good use of educationally powerful partnerships. Students’, parents’ and community views are sought, considered and responded to. Leaders are deliberately strengthening partnership networks to support school transitions. Good use is being made of external expertise to support school improvement. Effective collaborations are improving outcomes for learners, and building staff capacity and capability.

The board is yet to receive information to maintain current data about the progress and achievement of learners who receive specialist services, including learning support.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school should continue to improve processes that support the engagement, achievement and progress for all learners.

The school has identified, and ERO agrees, that further developments are needed to extend school processes to achieve equity and excellence, including:

  • better analysis and use of learner information, including target setting, engagement and achievement
  • comprehensive analysis and reporting of the sufficiency of progress of students, particularly for those in Years 7 to 10
  • giving high priority to improving outcomes for students in Years 7 and 8, through systematically reviewing teaching and learning, target setting, assessment and reporting practices
  • strengthening and embedding internal evaluation practices
  • reporting the impact of the curriculum in meeting desired student learning outcomes, including students receiving additional learning support.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory of 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.

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

The school provides good quality education and pastoral care for international students. They are fully involved in the life of the school. Their achievement is regularly monitored and additional support provided as required.

Going forward

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

The school is better placed to accelerate the achievement of all learners who need it.

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to continue to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner and evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches
  • need to continue to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement and evaluate the effectiveness of these conditions
  • need to continue to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement and evaluate the effectiveness of this.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners
  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress
  • continue to discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop in response to a request by the school.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

10 November 2017

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

337

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

647

Gender composition

Boys: 54% Girls: 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 30%
Pacific: 10%
Asian: 15%
Other: 8%
Pākehā: 37%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

10 November 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: August 2015
Education Review: October 2012
Education Review: September 2008