Bayfield High School

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Findings

Bayfield High School provides well for its students in a caring, settled and inclusive environment. Its curriculum is very responsive to students’ needs and abilities. Improved student engagement and achievement can be seen throughout the school. The board, leaders and other staff are focused on achieving the best outcomes for all students.

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?

Bayfield High School is a Years 9 to 13 coeducational secondary school. There has been a recent increase in the school roll. The school hosts over 50 international students.

There is a very inclusive and caring school culture. Students ERO spoke with were positive about their school and the approachability of their teachers. Teachers have participated in school-wide professional development (PLD) for several years, to grow a positive culture for learning and behaviour. This has brought to the fore the school’s RISE values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.

There have been some significant staffing changes since 2013, including the appointment of two new assistant principals. Several property upgrades have occurred. This includes the creation of two senior-student common rooms, a music/performing arts suite and improved access for students with disabilities.

The school has made good progress since the last ERO review in 2013 in addressing areas for review and development and other school priorities.

2 Learning

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

This school is using achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Since the last ERO review, the school has changed its student-management system. Staff members are using this well to share and track student-achievement, engagement and career-profile information. Teachers effectively use students’ academic, pastoral and engagement data to identify and target priority learners. They are making very good use of this information to provide specific programmes and support for these learners. Students’ learning information is being more frequently and regularly shared with parents.

Senior student National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) data shows a trend of increasing proportions of students gaining Levels 1, 2 and 3 and University Entrance. This is particularly apparent for students in Years 12 and 13.

The school’s achievement information shows that, in 2015:

  • the majority of students in Year 9 were achieving at or above the school’s expectations in science, technology, mathematics and reading
  • for students in Year 10, a smaller proportion were achieving at the school’s expectations for reading and numeracy
  • one third of students in Year 9, who were targeted to make accelerated progress in reading, did so
  • approximately 50 senior students have gained Vocational Pathways awards in each of the past three years
  • some senior students are gaining academic scholarships.

Leaders and teachers are using student achievement information well to identify areas of common need for groups or year levels of students. Some departments are beginning to use achievement information (specific to that learning area) to scrutinise student progress over time. There are some useful examples of departments analysing data.

Next steps

Leaders and teachers should:

  • continue to use data to show the progress students are making over time, especially for students in Years 9 and 10 and priority learners, to evaluate sufficiency of progress and effectiveness of planned actions
  • extend the analysis and reporting of achievement for some groups of students, for example Māori, gender and other identified groups.

There is potential to share more learning information with students, particularly in junior literacy.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Leaders and teachers frequently create and adapt programmes to address identified individual and group needs. Recent useful initiatives include:

  • the Years 9 and 10 Junior Diploma that has led to higher levels of student participation and engagement, and broadening of learning experiences
  • greater cross-department responsibility for teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy
  • a stronger focus on providing learning that is relevant to students’ lives and builds on their previous knowledge
  • greater use of the local environment, resources and history
  • the revision of a progressive (Years 9 to 13) career-education curriculum and use of vocational pathways tools. 

Particular groups of students are very well supported in their learning. For example:

  • students with high needs are very well integrated into school life and benefit from individualised-learning programmes
  • international students are well supported in their learning and almost all longer-term international students gain University Entrance
  • students who struggle with literacy are supported pastorally and academically so that they can equitably access learning appropriate to their year level.

Leaders and teaching staff work collaboratively to best meet the needs of all students. This includes sharing information about students’ strengths, interests and needs, and appropriate resources and teaching strategies. As a result, students feel well supported, know how they can improve and are developing skills and dispositions to become life-long learners. Throughout the school, the learning environment is settled, enabling staff and students to focus on teaching and learning.

Department and senior leaders manage curriculum provision well. This includes building coherence within and between curriculum areas, and ensuring that students have sufficient opportunity to learn. They encourage staff to reflect on, adapt and improve their teaching strategies and programmes.

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

The school’s curriculum ensures Māori students experience aspects of their identity, language and culture in school life and learning. The school continues to place a strong emphasis on Māori succeeding as Māori. The proportion of Māori students on the school roll has increased to 12%.

Māori students appreciate the opportunities they have to learn through Māori contexts in many learning areas. All students can learn te reo and tikanga Māori from Year 9 to Year 13. A growing number of school events and protocols are including Māori content or influence. This includes students participating in mihi whakatau, waiata and haka.

School leaders are building meaningful relationships with their whānau Māori and local iwi. The school values the haka the local runaka gifted to the school which explains the school’s place in the area and the school's RISE values.

The board sets meaningful annual goals to increase the recognition, place and achievement levels of Māori in the school.

Teaching staff are increasing their awareness and knowledge of te ao Māori, including cultural competencies as set out in Tātaiako. These competencies have been appropriately included in the school’s performance-management expectations. This inclusion will support teachers and leaders to continue to grow their knowledge of and confidence with cultural competencies. 

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. Trustees, school leaders and teachers work within a culture of reflection and improvement. They want to continue to improve the overall school curriculum and systems to provide better outcomes for students. The board:

  • has developed a useful manual to guide its operations
  • is well informed and supported by the principal and other senior leaders.

The board has refined its charter, including targets, to make it more relevant and useful. ERO agrees with the board that trustees continue with this refinement.

School leadership is building relational trust and effective collaboration at all levels of the school. Staff members feel well supported in their various roles and responsibilities. School morale has improved. The principal is building potentially useful, educationally focused relationships with other educational institutions and forums.

School leaders have taken a strategic approach to raise NCEA achievement levels, and student engagement in Years 9 and 10. This includes coherent goals from the school charter through to department and individual goals, and related professional learning and development.

The senior leadership team is implementing robust processes to build and enhance teaching practices. These include:

  • an improved appraisal system
  • departmental reporting that focuses on what is working well and what needs to change to improve outcomes for students
  • increased focus on the use of analysed student-learning information to guide and evaluate teaching and learning
  • shared expectations for school-wide behaviour and the management of behaviour.
Next steps

Trustees and school leaders should extend their inquiry and internal-evaluation practices. This includes:

  • more deliberate and systematic processes and reasoning with a continued focus on positive outcomes for learners
  • developing a framework for evaluation that contains such things as key questions, principles and stages to guide practice.

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on 1 July 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements.

At the time of this review there were 54 international students attending the school.

The school has begun to align its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

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

Bayfield High School provides well for its students in a caring, settled and inclusive environment. Its curriculum is very responsive to students’ needs and abilities. Improved student engagement and achievement can be seen throughout the school. The board, leaders and other staff are focused on achieving the best outcomes for all students.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu Southern

22 December 2016

About the School 

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

382

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

533

Number of international students

54

Gender composition

Girls: 56% Boys: 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other

11%

73%

1%

13%

2%

Special Features

Administrative responsibility for London House Activity Centre and Dunedin/North Otago Alternative Education

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

22 December 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2013

August 2009

December 2005

 

1 Context

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

Bayfield High School provides Years 9 to 13 students with a broad range of co-educational learning opportunities. The school is very welcoming and inclusive of its diverse student population. It has a large number of students from other countries.

Students and staff describe their school as putting students first and providing an environment that is caring and family like. Senior students told ERO that they are appreciated and cared about as individuals and as learners by their teachers. They feel well supported. They particularly appreciate the many different sports, cultural and other learning opportunities created by staff to support their interests and needs.

The new principal is adding fresh energy to the school. She is building effective work relationships and communication with staff, students and the board.

2 Learning

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

The school is making increasingly better use of achievement and other information to make positive changes for learners.

Findings

The school is gathering more-useful information about student engagement and achievement to inform its decision making. For example, it is carefully analysing attendance patterns to improve engagement, and other data showing the positive impact of the Year 9 buddy-reading programme.

The school’s achievement information shows that most senior students achieve well in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). It has set appropriate targets to increase the number of students achieving merit and excellence/endorsements, and to improve the literacy and mathematics achievement of junior students.

The progress and achievement of Years 9 and 10 students’ reading is closely monitored. The school is yet to find a way to show the progress of these students in written language and mathematics.

In most classes visited by ERO students were learning in settled classroom environments.

Areas of strength

The school is developing very good systems for monitoring individual students’ progress and achievement. Examples include a ‘red alert’ system to identify senior students not meeting requirements and regular meetings of junior teachers to discuss concerns about any Year 9 or 10 students.

Senior students and parents are well informed about students’ progress and achievement towards gaining external qualifications. The introduction of mid-year reviews has helped this process. Some students have personalised programmes and their progress against these is carefully monitored.

The school is using very good processes for identifying and supporting students who need additional help with their learning. Specialist teachers plan and teach high-quality individual and small group programmes for medium and high-needs students. An intervention to lift the reading achievement of some Year 9 students led to substantial progress for most students. ERO saw very good examples of teachers adapting programmes and effectively using teacher aides to meet the needs of Year 9 and 10 priority learners.

Students benefit from very good quality pastoral support. The school has effective structures and systems that contribute to its caring culture and help students focus on their learning. These include systems to identify and communicate about students needing support. Students and teachers value the way that older students often help younger students with their learning.

The school can show that it is working closely with parents to improve student attendance, engagement and achievement. It also shares students’ successes with parents.

Areas of review and development

Teachers collect a range of suitable assessment information. The school has plans underway to ensure easier access to and better use of this information. For Years 9 and 10 there is no school-wide written language data or information on the progress these students make in writing and mathematics. In classes where there is a wide range of abilities, achievement information could be better used to inform small group and individual student planning and teaching. Teacher learning teams could place a greater focus on discussing and using specific strategies to assist priority students in their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports students’ learning.

Areas of strength

Many students benefit from authentic, high interest and current contexts for their learning. Some teachers and students are making effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support this. Students also experience a wide range of engaging out of class activities. For example, an art group, cultural and sporting opportunities and outdoor pursuits.

The school is working hard to better meet the interests, needs and abilities of senior students. Initiatives include students having greater choice, more opportunities for multi-level learning, academic conferencing; and catch-up learning and assessment opportunities.

There has been a strong school-wide focus on literacy. Several successful initiatives have been developed to promote literacy across the school. These include:

  • maintaining the daily school-wide reading programme
  • board funding of a literacy coordinator that has led to successful literacy practices, including promoting literacy teaching across the curriculum.

The school curriculum is often adapted to meet students’ interests and needs. Students have opportunities to plan and lead events and aspects of their learning. Senior students can follow a range of individual learning pathways and are well supported by a school-wide career education plan. Some students’ strengths and interests are well used. For example, a senior student designed a digital application and survey for the school.

Areas for review and development

In the sample of classes visited, ERO observed a range of satisfactory to high-quality teaching practice. It is time for the school to review:

  • how well expectations for teaching and learning are followed
  • what teachers know and are doing to help achieve the school’s charter targets for Years 9 and 10 students.

The school and ERO have identified that department reports vary greatly in quality. Some could better show trends and patterns of student achievement over time and include more detail on how future initiatives will be achieved. The reporting format for this is currently being revised.

The school needs to develop and put in place effective review of departments and school-wide initiatives. There needs to be a shared understanding of effective review. Presently there are no useful guidelines or schedule for curriculum review. Some areas that would benefit from review include, how well:

  • classroom environments support learning
  • tutor-group time meets its desired objectives
  • each curriculum area is resourced.

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

Māori students overall said that they are well supported in their learning and that their teachers care about them. Some teachers are especially good at recognising students’ cultural knowledge and experiences and encouraging them to share this with others. There have been some opportunities for students to lead Māori cultural initiatives. The students appreciate that in 2012 there has been a greater valuing of their culture. The principal and the students see this as an area for further development across the school.

It would be timely for staff, Māori students and their families to discuss what ‘Success as Māori’ might look like in this school. The school also needs to keep better records of the outcomes and actions taken as result of meetings held with Māori whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The current board is experienced and increasingly well informed about school initiatives and operations. They follow a useful strategic plan.

The board and senior leadership team will be better placed to lead future school improvement when self-review processes are strengthened.

It is time for the board to review the effectiveness of its governance structure and some of its decision-making and monitoring processes.

Areas of strength

Since her arrival, the new principal has built trusting and collaborative relationships between teachers and with senior leaders. She is leading the shift towards evidence-based decision making. She is developing more useful school-wide systems to improve outcomes for students. Teachers spoke positively about the changes underway. Some key developments include:

  • improved teacher appraisal
  • a more cohesive senior leadership team
  • better management of finances
  • better sharing of information with key stakeholders.
Areas for review and development

The school has yet to develop guidelines and a schedule for the review of all school operations. In particular reviews need to:

  • be more evaluative
  • be informed by information from all relevant sources
  • better show how next steps will be actioned and monitored.

The board should develop clear expectations about the extent and timeliness of reports and other information they should receive. The range and quality of student progress and achievement information should be a focus within these expectations. The 2012 reporting of students’ progress in reading and mid-year NCEA achievement provide good examples.

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. At the time of this review there were 89 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

The school provides well for international students. Students have their learning, pastoral and accommodation needs very well met. Students report they are happy and receive good support from the school.

It is time for the school to review and report how well:

  • the school’s education programmes are meeting each international student’s goals
  • international students are integrated into the school and local community.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

14 February 2013

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

382

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

523

Number of international students

77

Gender composition

Boys: 52%

Girls: 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other

81%

8%

1%

10%

Special Features

London House Learning Centre

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

14 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

December 2005

August 2009