Central Southland College

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Education institution number:
399
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
536
Telephone:
Address:

174 MacKenzie Street, Winton

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School Context

Central Southland College is a rural Years 9 to 13, state co-educational secondary school located in Winton. The roll has grown since ERO’s 2015 review with 588 students currently enrolled. The school has a Ministry of Education approved enrolment scheme in place.

The school’s mission is to provide a range of dynamic, academic, cultural, sporting and personalised learning experiences for all students so they are well equipped for life beyond school with skills that can lead to success. The vision is to develop educated, connected and confident young people. Core values are honesty/pono, effort/manawanuitanga, responsibility/takohanga, and empathy/awhinatia.

To support these outcomes, the board’s current strategic goals are to:

  • raise student aspirations and achievement at all levels
  • accelerate progress for all students below expectations
  • develop and enhance teaching and learning
  • develop young people with positive attitudes and strong values
  • maintain community confidence and provide the best possible learning environment.

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

  • achievement in relation to levels of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • attendance, wellbeing and engagement.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. The rural context has a significant impact on the number of senior students, boys in particular, who gain employment or enrol into industry training organisation-based courses. This results in lower rates of endorsements in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 2 and 3.

School information for the last three years shows:

  • most school leavers achieved NCEA Level 2
  • a similar proportion of students achieved NCEA Levels 1 and 2
  • an improved proportion of students achieved NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance (UE) in 2018
  • the proportion of boys achieving NCEA Levels 1, 2, 3 and UE is lower than girls
  • a similar proportion of Māori and non-Māori students achieved NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 while a lower proportion of Māori students gained UE
  • an increasing proportion of senior students gained endorsements in Levels 2 and 3
  • boys and Māori students are less likely to gain endorsements
  • students with English as a second language (ESOL) are achieving as well as, or better than, their peers.

Junior school information shows that in two of the last three years, less than half of Year 10 students were achieving at the expected curriculum level in English. This proportion improved to nearly 70% in 2018. Most students achieve at the expected curriculum level in mathematics by the end of Year 10.

Students are well supported to achieve other valued outcomes such as:

  • being positive contributors to society (leadership and community service)
  • active involvement and participation (high levels of participation in extra-curricular activities)
  • personal wellbeing
  • respectful relationships
  • positive, purposeful transitions to work and further learning.

Students with additional needs are valued, included and well supported to achieve to prepare for their future. External and internal assistance is well considered and accessed as required.

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for some targeted students who need this.

School information shows:

  • students are identified and supported to succeed
  • differentiated learning pathways support students to achieve success in NCEA and UE
  • all Year 12 students identified as at risk of not achieving are successfully supported to achieve NCEA Level 2
  • students identified in a Year 11 target group are well supported to achieve a range of positive outcomes (including NCEA Level 1, improved engagement, positive transition to work and further learning).

While some Māori students achieve at lower levels, teachers are actively addressing this through a variety of targeted interventions for each individual student. Leaders regularly monitor and track students’ progress, achievement and attendance.

Leaders acknowledge that there is a need for further refinement in the analysis of achievement data to clarify the picture of acceleration and rates of progress for groups at risk of not achieving curriculum expectations.

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 rich and broad curriculum provides meaningful learning opportunities for all students. This includes differentiated pathways and localised learning opportunities that respond to individual student interests, strengths and needs. The purposeful integration of digital technologies has enhanced teaching and learning across all levels of the school. Increased opportunities to learn te reo Māori are prioritised for students in Years 9 to 12. A range of authentic opportunities is provided to demonstrate leadership. Seniors are involved in supporting the learning and wellbeing of juniors in sporting, cultural and academic programmes.

A well-established pastoral system effectively supports students’ wellbeing, engagement and learning. Consideration of the needs of diverse groups, including Māori and ESOL, is evident. Transitions into, through and beyond school are well managed and supported. Leaders and teachers have implemented well-considered strategies to support students to engage and experience success. An appropriate range of approaches is used to provide learning support for those students who need it. Shared school values are effectively enacted and promoted, supporting calm and respectful learning environments.

Existing connections with the wider community and external organisations support and enrich learning opportunities for students. Parents’ and whānau views are valued and increasingly sought to inform strategic and curriculum decisions. There is improved, regular and timely reporting and contact with families.

There is an appropriate focus on building teacher capability to improve outcomes for students. Professional learning opportunities are well planned and aligned to strategic priorities. Teachers are collaborative and regularly engage in shared dialogue and learning experiences and contribute to decision making. High levels of relational trust supports new and beginning teachers to develop shared understandings of school expectations.

An experienced board have identified clear priorities to inform the strategic direction. Trustees work collaboratively with the principal to progress goals and targets. They are well informed about school operation and systems. Reports to the board are detailed and used well to inform decision making. Trustees and leaders are responsive and supportive of staff and students’ wellbeing.

The leadership team is improvement focused and works cohesively to strengthen school systems and processes. An open-door policy supports positive and professional relationships across all levels. Well-established evaluation practices, schoolwide and department level, draw on multiple perspectives to support teachers’ to inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice.

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

Good progress has been made with strengthening bicultural practices at all levels of the school. Leaders and teachers should continue to build on current progress by continuing to strengthen teacher capability, and deepening consultation processes with Māori whānau, and school tikanga and kawa.

Targets for achieving within school equity for boys and Māori students should be reviewed and strengthened. Deeper analysis of achievement data for students in Years 9 and 10 should give leaders a clearer picture of their progress and achievement. This is likely to improve the identification, tracking and reporting of outcomes, particularly for those students identified at risk of not achieving.

The new appraisal process requires embedding into practice to strengthen teacher understanding and inquiry.

3 Other Matters

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 nine international students attending the school.

Students’ pastoral and wellbeing needs are well-considered and catered for. They are encouraged and supported to be involved in the life of the school, participating in a range of sporting, cultural and social activities. Students have opportunities to contribute to the wider community and share and celebrate their cultures.

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 Central Southland College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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 rich and inclusive curriculum that offers a broad range of opportunities, choices and pathways responsive to students’ interests, needs and strengths and that values and promotes their language, culture and identity
  • pastoral care systems and practices that support students’ wellbeing
  • school leadership that encourages respectful relationships and collaboration between staff, students, trustees and the wider school community
  • growing staff professional capability through a strategic and coherent approach that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • the use of achievement data to promote acceleration, monitor rates of progress and address disparity for boys and Māori students
  • continuing to build on schoolwide bicultural practices, tikanga and kawa to enable Māori students to be confident in their cultural identity
  • further embedding the appraisal system to build teacher capability.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

21 August 2019

About the school

Location

Winton

Ministry of Education profile number

399

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

588

Gender composition

Female 48%, Male 52%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%

NZ European/Pākehā 75%

Asian 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

21 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2015

Education Review December 2011

Findings

Students at Central Southland College enjoy their varied and rich curriculum. Most students participate in a range of activities. The school is welcoming and friendly. The board and community actively support their vision for a ‘well rounded student’. Students value the way in which their teachers help them to learn. There is an increased focus on supporting students to achieve success.

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?

Central Southland College educates students from Years 9 to 13 from Winton and the wider rural area. The majority of students travel to school by bus.

The school roll has increased since the last ERO review in 2011. This includes an increasing number of students from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. New students are welcomed and well supported in a variety of ways. This includes their access to English language support. A new principal was appointed in 2013. Some specialist learning areas have been redeveloped to better support students in their learning. This adds to the attractive existing learning spaces.

The large number of students ERO spoke with were very positive about:

  • their relationships with their teachers
  • their dean's interest in their wellbeing and learning
  • teachers’ responsiveness to their learning needs
  • the wide range of leadership opportunities they take
  • the vocational support and guidance they get.

Students learn in a positive environment. There are effective systems for promoting student wellbeing and achievement. Deans know their students well as learners and individuals. The extent of students’ involvement in school activities is considerable. ERO noted students were very busy participating in a wide range of events/activities.

Members of the wider community are very supportive of the school and its students. Students benefit from local organisations and clubs contributing actively to their learning programmes. This includes the local Trades Academy and Salvation Army.

Since the last ERO review in 2011, the following progress is noted:

  • there is improved reporting on student achievement to the board within redesigned departmental reports
  • issues related to international students have been fully addressed
  • the school has yet to develop current guidelines describing what the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) key competencies, values, modern teaching and learning practices and principles will look like in this school.

2 Learning

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

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

School achievement information shows:

  • that overall, senior students achieve at similar levels in NCEA compared with national comparative groups
  • 72% of school leavers in 2014 achieved NCEA Level 2
  • senior students’ achievement in literacy in NCEA Level 1 to 3 has increased significantly in the last five years
  • the proportion of students gaining excellence and merit endorsements has improved for NCEA Levels 1 and 2 since 2012, but is still lower than national comparatives
  • that overall girls are achieving better than boys, as are non-Māori students when compared to Māori students at the school.

Most students feel well informed about their achievement and progress. They appreciate the useful opportunities they have to assess their own learning and that of their peers. Students and teachers’ reflect on students’ learning each week when they complete students’ learning journals.

Leaders, deans and form teachers use effective systems to identify, monitor and support students at risk of not achieving. These students benefit from useful ongoing support to ensure they are aware of their progress towards meeting their goals.

Teachers use student achievement information effectively to plan and deliver programmes at appropriate levels of challenge for students. Many students ERO spoke with reported that their level of leaning was “just right” for them.

Senior leaders are well informed about student achievement, progress and wellbeing through the ongoing work of the deans.

Department reports include useful information for the senior leadership team and board. This includes progress against school and departmental goals.

Areas for review and development

The school’s charter targets should specifically focus on accelerating the progress of groups of students who are underachieving or have low achievement. Progress towards meeting these targets should be reported in an ongoing way to the senior leadership team and the board.

There is scope to better analyse student achievement information for specific groups, such as migrant students, Māori boys and students who are new to the school. This should help to inform school self review.

Leaders should continue to develop departmental reports to:

  • be more evaluative with respect to how well the department is performing and meeting its own and school-wide annual goals
  • include more detail as to how the department will improve student achievement, and implement relevant school targets.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning.

Students benefit from a broad and rich curriculum. They appreciate the many sports, cultural and beyond the classroom learning experiences. There is a focus on ensuring that students grow to be well-rounded adults. This aligns with parents’ aspirations.

Students benefit from a progressive career education programme throughout the school. This culminates in high quality vocational and career support for senior students. There has been careful matching of senior courses to the vocational pathways that students may take beyond the school. Teachers make ongoing adaptations to the curriculum to better meet students’ needs, such as Trades Academy options and some Level 2 courses.

There have been significant developments in the use of ICT for teaching and learning throughout the school. This has increased students’ communication with teachers and their access to learning resources.

Areas for review and development

It is timely for leaders to:

  • clarify and document how the principles, values and key competencies of the NZC and modern teaching and learning practices and principles will look like in this school
  • review the success of recent ICT developments for students and teachers
  • review how well the school’s bicultural curriculum is evident in action.

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

Māori students experience some aspects of their identity, language and culture in learning and school life. Students told ERO that they recognise and appreciate the increased valuing of Māori culture throughout the school.

Some recent school developments to better reflect New Zealand’s bicultural heritage include a:

  • popular kapa haka group
  • te reo Māori introductory course for all Year 9 students
  • whānau group that provides a variety of relevant experiences for Years 11 and 12 students.

Māori students report that “there is something for everyone “ at this school and that “everyone has a go at everything”.

Areas for review and development

The next steps for the school are to:

  • further support Māori students by setting goals that will lead to raised achievement and closely monitor this
  • continue to strengthen the visibility of Māori culture in the school
  • continue to explore ways to seek the views/opinions of Māori students and their families.

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. This is evident in the:

  • expectations for reflection and ongoing improvement modelled by the board and leadership team
  • useful range of self-review practices, including surveys/student voice and reports that gather useful information that leads to change.

ERO found some high quality examples of teachers/departments inquiring into their practices with a focus on what would improve outcomes for students. The next step is for these good practices to be spread more widely.

The new senior leadership team:

  • provides effective professional leadership
  • carefully considers and manages changes within the school
  • is strengthening a positive and collaborative staff culture.

Teachers reported to ERO that they felt well supported by the leadership team.

The trustees:

  • are well informed and understanding their roles and responsibilities well
  • use the information that comes to them effectively, asking useful questions about student achievement information
  • have thorough processes for reviewing policies and procedures.

Leaders are focused on developing teachers’ professional practice and improving the quality of teaching and learning. This can be seen in the:

  • restructured appraisal process that encourages staff to reflect on, gather evidence about their professional practice and share their practices to better support their professional growth
  • focus on professional reflection and development within staff meetings and the establishment of a teaching and learning committee.

The current strategic plan has identified four key strategic priorities. These are included in each department’s goals and reported against.

Areas for review and development

The board and school leaders should clarify, document and implement an agreed process for effectively reviewing aspects of school performance.

The board and senior leadership team have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely to review the current strategic plan.

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. School self-review practices related to International Students have been enhanced since the 2011 ERO review and are now fully compliant with the Code.

At the time of this review there were 13 international students attending the school, including 6 exchange students.

The school has clear, well documented systems to promote good quality education, welfare and pastoral care for international students. Senior managers, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers, deans and form teachers all contribute to the school’s processes for monitoring students’ academic and other achievements. An extra ESOL class is proving beneficial for both international and migrant students.

Students are especially positive about the role the Welcoming Committee plays in introducing them to the school and to other students. The school’s International Friendship Club is most effective in linking international students and Kiwi students in a mutually enjoyable and beneficial way. Students are very well integrated into the school and participate in a wide range of school activities.

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 at Central Southland College enjoy their varied and rich curriculum. Most students participate in a range of activities. The school is welcoming and friendly. The board and community actively support their vision for a ‘well rounded student’. Students value the way in which their teachers help them to learn. There is an increased focus on supporting students to achieve success.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

17 June 2015

About the School

Location

Winton

Ministry of Education profile number

399

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

520

Number of international students

13

Gender composition

Boys 54%

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European

Māori

Filipino

Other

70%

14%

6%

10%

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

17 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

October 2008

August 2005