Hillmorton High School

Education institution number:
339
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
1076
Telephone:
Address:

Tankerville Road, Barrington, Christchurch

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Hillmorton High School - 14/11/2017

Summary

There were 730 students at Hillmorton High School at the time of this review. This included 132 Māori, 99 Pacific and 84 Asian learners. There were 39 learners with high and very high needs in the Upland Unit, and 10 students in a satellite van Asch class.

Since the last ERO review in 2014, there have been several leadership changes at the middle and senior levels. Significant progress has been made in some of the areas identified for improvement in the 2014 report, in particular improving attendance levels. Other areas are part of ongoing developments, including clearer planning and monitoring, and completing the Years 7 to 10 curriculum.

Hillmorton High School collaborates with a cluster of local schools.

Achievement is beginning to improve for some groups of learners. However, there continues to be disparity for some Māori learners, and overall there is lower achievement in mathematics.

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

This school is sharpening its focus on those Māori children and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration. It has some effective processes that are supporting equity for its learners. The school has shown that it can plan very effectively to make a difference for children. Trustees and leaders need to ensure all key priorities are effectively planned for.

A key strength of the school is its inclusive caring culture. This is the fourth year of having Years 7 and 8 at the school. Leaders and teachers continue to establish a Years 7 to 10 curriculum that is integrated, collaborative and progressive, to provide engaging and authentic learning.

At the time of this review, 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 need to continue to:

  • develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner
  • improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement
  • build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO. 

ERO will:

  • provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning
  • provide an internal workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support 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?

This school is sharpening its focus on those Māori and other learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s achievement information for all learners in Years 7 and 8 over the last three years in relation to the National Standards shows:

  • that three-quarters of learners are reading at or above the standard
  • an increase in 2016 in the writing achievement to three-quarters of the learners achieving at or above
  • a decrease in mathematics achievement, with half of the children at or above the standard.

Years 7 and 8 teachers need to implement robust systems to assure the school and parent community of the consistency of practices and judgements in relation to the National Standards (NS).

The school has been collecting more information to monitor the progress and achievement of learners in Years 9 and 10 across learning areas. This information shows that in social sciences, English and science, approximately three-quarters of learners are achieving at the school’s expected levels. Just over half of these learners are achieving at this level in mathematics.

Achievement for senior learners (Years 11 to 13) over the last 5 years shows increased levels of achievement of NCEA Level 1, especially for Māori and Pacific learners. Overall learners’ achievement of NCEA Level 2 has also increased in the last 2 years, however this trend is not evident for Māori and Pacific achievement. Over two-thirds of school leavers achieve NCEA Level 2. Fewer learners, overall, are attaining NCEA Level 3. The school has considerably improved its systems for managing senior learner assessment.

The proportion of learners staying at school until the age of 17 increased in 2016, and significantly so for Māori learners. Over the last three years retention has been consistently high for Pacific learners. Most school leavers go on to further education, training or employment.

Learners receiving specialist teaching and services make good progress against their individual goals and go onto meaningful employment and future training. English language learners make good progress.

Trustees and school leaders are aware that reducing the significant disparity for Māori learners across the school is a key ongoing priority. 

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has some effective processes to support equity for its learners.

A key feature of the school is the way in which the rich diversity of the learners is respected and celebrated. All learners are well supported to belong to their school. There are strong pastoral care systems to nurture and support student wellbeing. The school’s values of whanaungatanga/positive relationships, mana/self-worth and ako/teaching and learning relationships are highly evident.

Improved and new systems for staff and student accountability have significantly improved student presence, engagement and orderliness at the school.

Some teachers are using a range of approaches to make learning more authentic and engaging to learners.  In Years 7 to 10 these teachers are purposefully linking learning across several subject areas to give meaningful learning contexts. These contexts often include activities out in the community.

Teachers, leaders and trustees are making better use of achievement information to inform their teaching and planning decisions for better outcomes for learners. These include:

  • specific adaptations to courses and programmes to better suit the needs and interests of individual and groups of learners
  • a school-wide focus on literacy.

There is effective communication and collaboration to ensure learners are well supported to have relevant learning pathways between:

  • staff responsible for pastoral care
  • careers and transition staff
  • teachers.

Useful relationships with the community are providing further education opportunities and meaningful transitions for learners beyond school.

Learners in the Upland unit are welcomed and able to take part in many aspects of school life. Effective school-wide systems and teaching practices support the inclusion of these learners and celebrate their successes.

There are many and varied opportunities for Māori and Pacific learners to explore, see and hear their cultures and languages as part of their learning and life at the school. For example, the school:

  • has established a strong kapahaka group for learners in Years 7 to 10 and the Upland unit
  • offers language classes in Māori and Samoan.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has shown that it can plan very effectively to make a difference, for example by improving the rates of attendance at school. Trustees and leaders need to ensure all key priorities are effectively planned for.

Trustees and senior leaders need to develop more explicit and visible plans that clearly set out how priority developments will be progressed by trustees, leaders and all staff. They need to effectively monitor and evaluate the progress against the set priorities and respond appropriately.

School leaders and teachers need to extend the use of learning information to know about the sufficiency of progress for all learners, individually and collectively.

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 to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 21 international students attending the school, along with two exchange students.

An efficiently organised international student programme provides effective support for students’ wellbeing and learning. Their English language learning and progress is suitably supported and closely monitored. International students are well included and involved in a broad range of activities at school and in the local community.

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 learners. However, disparity in achievement for some Māori and other learners remains. 

Leaders and teachers need to continue to:

  • develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner
  • improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement
  • build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement
  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will:

  • provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning
  • provide an internal workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all learners.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

14 November 2017

About the school 

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

339

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

730

Gender composition

Boys: 53%
Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 18%
Pākehā: 52%
Pacific: 14%
Asian: 12%
Other: 4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

14 November 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review:    June 2014
Education Review:    August 2010
Education Review:    December 2007

Hillmorton High School - 23/06/2014

Findings

The culturally diverse and inclusive school provides all students with wide-ranging opportunities to succeed in their learning. The board, school leaders and teachers are focused on improving students’ enjoyment of learning, attendance and achievement. School leaders have high expectations for teachers as professionals. Well-developed self-review practices are used to make continuous improvements to all aspects of the school’s performance.

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?

Students with diverse backgrounds and experiences are provided with extensive opportunities to achieve success in all aspects of their learning.

Inclusive practice is valued and continues to be a strong feature of the school. Students with significant learning and behavioural needs are well supported to learn alongside their peers and join in all school activities.

The board, school leaders and staff are committed to providing bicultural learning experiences for students. The concepts of ako and tuakana teina, where students of all ages learn from, and support each other, are regularly promoted.

An active partnership with Pacific parents is having a positive influence on the attitudes and achievement of Pacific students.

Since the beginning of 2014, the roll has increased to include students in Years 7 and 8. These students have their own purposefully-designed spaces for learning. Their interests are explored further in programmes planned and taught by teachers from Years 9 to 13.

The Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have affected the make-up of the student population. The achievement, wellbeing and behaviour of some groups of students have been identified as ongoing concerns.

Almost all areas for review and development in the 2010 ERO report have been addressed. The poor attendance of some students remains a challenge for leaders and teachers.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to support students’ learning.

A comprehensive analysis of the achievement of groups of students and comparisons over time, particularly at National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) levels is reported fully to the board.

This information shows that:

  • achievement has steadily risen for some groups in Years 11 to 13 over time
  • good progress was made at Level 1 (NCEA) between 2012/2013 with students now achieving at the same level as students in similar schools
  • while progress has been made, achievement at Levels 2 and 3 NCEA is below similar schools nationally
  • many Māori and Pacific students are not yet achieving as well as their peers in NCEA
  • Māori students in Years 7 and 8 on entering the school at the beginning of 2014 were achieving at similar levels to other students in this age group
  • many students in Years 7 and 8 on entry to the school in 2014 were achieving at the expected National Standards. Achievement overall in Year 7 was higher than in Year 8.

School leaders and teachers:

  • identify students at risk of not achieving and those students achieving at higher levels, and take specific actions to improve outcomes for them
  • make increasing use of achievement information to plan programmes and have conversations with students about their progress
  • include an analysis of achievement and progress for all year levels and implications for teaching practice and course content in department reviews.

The board and school leaders:

  • set annual and long-term targets and goals to improve outcomes for students
  • make explicit links between attendance and how this affects achievement
  • have developed a planned and deliberate approach to improve attendance across the school.

In the ongoing development of assessment practices in Years 7 to 10, school leaders need to ensure that teachers consistently:

  • assess students at their level of learning so that they can show what they know and can do
  • share achievement information, next steps in learning and help students understand what they need to do to make suitable progress.

The process for setting and monitoring targets is currently under review. The board and school leaders recognise that these targets need to more clearly focus on the students who are not achieving at the expected levels (priority learners).

Working with students and whānau to improve the attendance and achievement of the school’s priority learners, and increase the number of merit and excellence endorsements at NCEA continue to be important school priorities.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well designed to take account of students’ strengths, needs and interests.

The school’s values and characteristics of successful learners (key competencies) are key features of the curriculum and are regularly reinforced. Curriculum developments for Years 7 and 8 students are well advanced.

Improving student engagement is a priority and is well supported in the following ways.

Relevant contexts for learning are carefully chosen to motivate and engage students.

An initiative focuses on some Year 10 students learning through the context of sport.

Literacy programmes are given prominence across the school.

Teachers value students’ views and use this information to make changes to their programmes and practices.

Teachers provide good support for students in making choices about training and employment opportunities beyond school.

Student leadership and involvement in decision making is extensive and appreciated by students.

Well-established systems exist for supporting the most vulnerable students. Student behaviour is closely monitored. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own actions and recognise the effect their behaviour has on others. Fewer students have been stood down or suspended since the school adopted this approach.

The school has identified, and ERO agrees with, the following areas for further development.

Continuing to develop the curriculum for Years 7 and 8 students.

Strengthening teachers’ understanding and use of teaching practices that are most appropriate for the new approach to learning, particularly in Years 7 to 10.

Extending the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to further enhance student engagement and learning across the school.

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

The school has taken a number of positive steps to promote success for Māori as Māori.

This includes:

  • Māori staff providing good leadership and support for students and other staff
  • teachers having had considerable professional development to extend their use of the most effective practices for supporting Māori learners
  • te reo and tikanga Māori being taught to all Years 7 to 9 students
  • Māori students having good opportunities to participate in and understand the significance of cultural protocols and practices
  • creating an environment that encourages students to have pride in their cultural identity.

Senior Māori students, in particular, achieve very well and make a worthwhile contribution to student leadership and school decision making.

The school recognises that more could be done to support Māori students to achieve success in all areas of their learning.

While Māori student views are gained in a variety of ways, this process could be strengthened by being more regular and involving more students.

Consultation with whānau has occurred, but has not yet successfully captured the views of the majority of the parents of Māori students so that a meaningful partnership in learning can be established.

Teachers need to continue to build on and consistently use practices that support the learning of Māori students, including the regular use of te reo Māori.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific students?

Pacific students are increasingly experiencing success in their learning.

Factors contributing to this success are that:

  • good support is provided by the Pacific parent group, school leaders and Pacific staff
  • students’ different Pacific languages and cultures are valued
  • an education plan has been developed to promote success for Pacific students
  • students’ views and those of families are sought and acted upon
  • good opportunities exist for students to succeed, particularly in the visual and performing arts, sport and the Samoan language
  • community involvement enhances learning opportunities for students
  • student success is regularly celebrated in assemblies and newsletters.

More senior Pacific students are leaving school with qualifications and moving on to higher learning. However, a continuing focus for the school is to increase the numbers of students achieving at Levels 2 and 3 of NCEA.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal and other school leaders provide strong ethical direction for the importance of meeting the needs of diverse groups of students.

The principal recognises and makes good use of staff strengths and expertise for the benefit of students’ learning.

High expectations for teaching and learning and teachers as professionals, developed with the staff, are made explicit in school documentation. These expectations are closely monitored in a thorough appraisal process.

Extensive professional development has focused on achieving the school’s vision and goals. Teachers make ongoing use of reflection to extend their use of effective practices.

Well-developed self-review practices are used effectively to identify what’s going well and where improvements can be made at all levels of the school.

The board has set some challenging targets to lift student achievement. Trustees have clear expectations for the extent and timeliness of reports from school leaders about student achievement, and progress towards the annual targets and goals.

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

International students benefit from good quality support for their wellbeing, learning and integration into the life of the school.

The school has made good use of external expertise to review its processes for supporting international students. The board and senior leaders are in the process of making changes to the management structure to reflect the increasing numbers of international students attending the school.

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

The culturally diverse and inclusive school provides all students with wide-ranging opportunities to succeed in their learning. The board, school leaders and teachers are focused on improving students’ enjoyment of learning, attendance and achievement. School leaders have high expectations for teachers as professionals. Well-developed self-review practices are used to make continuous improvements to all aspects of the school’s performance.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

23 June 2014

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

339

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

761

Number of international students

11

Gender composition

Girls 47%; Boys 53%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Maori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

50%

21%

14%

7%

8%

Special Features

Special Needs Unit

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

23 June 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2010
December 2007
June 2004