Liston College

Education institution number:
46
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
813
Telephone:
Address:

69 Rathgar Road, Henderson, Auckland

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Liston College - 14/05/2018

School Context

Liston College is a Catholic boys’ school located in Henderson, West Auckland. The school roll reflects the multi-cultural community, with the majority of students being Pākehā or of Pacific and South East Asian descent. Twelve percent of students have Māori heritage.

The school was founded by the Christian Brothers using the principles of Edmund Rice, which challenges staff and students to ‘act justly, love tenderly and to walk humbly with their God’. The school’s vision is ‘to educate, inspire and empower learners to become young men of Catholic character who will influence and contribute positively to their families, their communities and their nation’. The valued outcomes for students in developing the ‘Liston Man’ are to build men of respect, dignity, compassion, faith, excellence and social justice.

The school’s strategic goals for improving student outcomes focus on the following key areas:

  • nurturing and upholding the gospel values in the Catholic tradition and the Edmund Rice Charism
  • sustaining effective teaching and learning practices, particularly in literacy and mathematics, to raise student achievement
  • promoting innovation in teaching and learning, including the provision of an effective digital infrastructure to enhance students’ learning
  • building learning-focused partnerships with parents, whānau and local and global communities
  • enhancing student safety and wellbeing to support a positive learning environment.

The school targets for improving student achievement are focused on:

  • learning outcomes for literacy, mathematics, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and University Entrance (UE)
  • success for Māori and Pacific students.

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

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications framework and in literacy and mathematics for Year 7 to 10 students

  • pathway outcomes for senior students

  • achievement progress for Māori and Pacific students

  • programmes and interventions designed to support students with additional learning needs

  • student engagement, wellbeing and attendance

  • student learning in the school’s departments.

The senior leadership team has been restructured and expanded to distribute leadership and develop capacity. High expectations for student achievement, engagement and valued outcomes, noted in previous ERO reports, continue to be evident.

Extensive and meaningful consultation with parents, community, students and staff has helped to build a shared understanding and ownership of the school’s vision and values. The school’s values of respect, faith, and compassion are highly evident in classrooms and the wider school environment.

The school is a member of the Waitakere Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (COL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Achievement information from 2015 to 2017 shows that the high proportion of students achieving NCEA has been sustained at all levels. In 2017, data show that students achieved well above national and similar type school averages in NCEA. Almost all students achieved NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. The majority of students gained UE.

Data over time show that Māori student achievement in NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 is similar to that of other students in the school. Pacific students achieve at similar levels to other students in the school in Level 1 and 2, with the majority achieving Level 3. One of the key charter targets is to consistently increase the numbers of Māori and Pacific students who achieve UE. Currently, there is some disparity between Māori and Pacific achievement and other students in UE results.

Year 7 to 10 data in 2017 show that the majority of students achieve at expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Year 7 and 8 Māori students achieved well in mathematics, as do Year 7 Pacific students. There is disparity for Māori achievement in reading comprehension, writing, and Year 9 and 10 mathematics results. Disparity is also evident for Pacific students in reading comprehension, writing and Year 8 to 10 mathematics.

Data show also that while there is some disparity in achievement outcomes for Māori and Pacific students in Years 7 to 10, most make sufficient progress to achieve at least NCEA Level 2. They are able to determine and participate in coherent pathways to further education, training and employment. A newly appointed careers advisor will contribute to support for students’ future focus.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly responsive to Māori, Pacific and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

School leaders have improved systems for monitoring student achievement and progress in Year 7 to 10. Students who enter the school and are below expected levels of achievement are supported with initiatives to build their confidence and capabilities to make progress.

Junior and senior school assessment information is used to track student progress, and to respond effectively to at risk learners. Students’ progress is celebrated and rewarded.

Those Māori and Pacific students requiring additional support are quickly identified, and their learning requirements are well catered for in classroom programmes. Mentoring support and supplementary programmes also help these learners. Leaders are now collating long-term information to inform strategic goals and achievement targets for Māori and Pacific students.

Strategies to support acceleration include:

  • individualised learning support for all students who need to make accelerated progress
  • positive learning partnerships developed with each student and their families
  • culturally responsive practices that focus on what works well for Māori and Pacific students
  • processes evaluating the achievement and progress of Year 7 to 10 students.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

School leadership, a responsive curriculum, building professional capacity and internal evaluation are highly effective school conditions that enable achievement of equity and excellence.

Leaders have a deliberate focus on equity and excellence through personalised learning approaches. Providing individualised curriculum opportunities, particularly for students with additional learning needs or abilities, is a key objective in the school’s strategic plan. Leaders at all levels promote a positive learning culture that is characterised by respect and collaboration. Students participate in a caring, collaborative and inclusive learning community that supports holistic success.

Recent evaluation of the school’s curriculum has resulted in more student-centred approaches to curriculum design, and teaching and learning. Increasingly adaptable learning programmes and assessment opportunities respond well to students’ individual interests, strengths and needs. Culturally responsive and relational teaching practices are increasingly evident across the school. Students are provided with a range of sporting, cultural and outdoor education learning opportunities to cater for their diverse interests and capabilities.

The school has a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability and collective capacity. Teachers are supported by professional learning that meets their individual needs. Teachers have a shared set of high expectations for student achievement and wellbeing. They access relevant expertise that builds capability for ongoing reflection, and improvement and innovation.

The school has well-established internal evaluation. At the strategic level, leaders and trustees evaluate the school’s progress towards realising the vision, goals and targets. Together with teachers, they recognise the value of student and community voice, and include these perspectives when deciding on school improvement priorities. Comprehensive evaluation of the curriculum, Year 7 to 10 assessment systems, and Māori and Pacific student success promote improvement outcomes and innovation.

School goals are well aligned to those of the COL. Leaders and teachers appreciate the mutual trust that has been established between the schools and are positive about the overall COL direction to benefit students’ learning and pathways.

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

To sustain and further support equity and excellence, the school plans to adapt and refine:

  • systems to monitor students’ progress over time
  • internal evaluation to support decision making for improved outcomes for students who have additional needs or are at risk of not achieving
  • effective teaching and learning practices across the school
  • student-led learning and agency in determining their educational pathways.

3 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 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 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 24 international students attending the school. Students are provided with a very good standard of pastoral care and education that includes English language support and wide-ranging opportunities to participate in school activities. The school has thorough review processes for determining the quality of education and wellbeing for international students. The board receives useful reports about their achievement and pastoral care.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective leadership with an unrelenting focus on equitable outcomes for all students

  • a culture of high expectations, positive relationships and shared values of the ‘Liston Man’

  • the strategic approach to building professional capability and collective capacity

  • the flexible and responsive curriculum that is increasingly individualised

  • holistic achievement approaches that promote student wellbeing and learning success.

Next steps

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

  • refining the use of data from a range of sources, for internal evaluation that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvement is needed

  • seeking relevant advice and resources to maximise the board’s effectiveness.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

14 May 2018

About the school

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46

School type

Year 7 to 13

School roll

795

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
Pākehā 31%
Samoan 11%
Indian 10%
Tongan 4%
African 4%
South East Asian 13%
other 18%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

14 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2015
Education Review, May 2012
Education Review, September 2008

Liston College - 25/05/2015

Findings

The school provides a broad, effective curriculum with students maintaining high levels of achievement in NCEA. Students appreciate the sporting, cultural, pastoral and academic learning experiences that are offered to them. The school charism of service and care, well embedded restorative practices and students’ strong sense of belonging, promotes a positive school tone.

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?

Liston College is a state-integrated Catholic school for Year 7 to 13 boys in Henderson, West Auckland. The school will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. The school’s special character is well reflected throughout the school. Students express pride in their school.

Students come from various ethnic backgrounds and nine percent are Māori. Many of the staff reflect the cultural backgrounds and languages of the students.

School events and co-curricular activities continue to be well supported by students, their families and the wider community. Parents welcome hui and fono to share aspirations for their son’s future. Anticipated roll growth and outdated classrooms continue to be challenges for managers and the board.

The 2012 ERO report noted the school’s strong commitment to student wellbeing and high expectations for behaviour and academic success. These positive features continue to be evident in the school. The 2012 report also recommended that teachers could further promote students’ thinking skills and offer more relevant learning contexts. The school is still developing these areas.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well. The school is justifiably proud of high levels of student achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Well-presented data collation informs the board of progress relating to school targets to raise achievement. Teachers’ commitment to supporting students to succeed, results in the school continuing to achieve better than other schools, both locally and nationally.

Most students engage, progress and achieve well. Respectful relationships contribute to the positive and purposeful school tone. Boys talk proudly of the care and support they get from their teachers and the past and present brotherhood of boys. Parents told ERO that teachers regularly share information with them about their son’s progress through the year.

Over the past three years, there has been significant improvement in the achievement of Pacific boys at all NCEA levels. This good progress has been supported by the school’s regular review of the effectiveness of initiatives to support student achievement. As part of this review, senior leaders could evaluate the progress of other student groups, particularly European boys.

Students at risk of not achieving receive good support for their learning, especially in literacy. This has had a positive impact on their achievement. School leaders could now investigate how to include these effective strategies in everyday classroom practice.

Senior leaders need to develop procedures to ensure that achievement data in Years 7 to 10 are collated and evaluated more clearly and consistently. Clear reporting against departmental targets would help to identify implications for teaching and learning development. Year 7 to 10 teachers could also investigate student achievement in literacy and mathematics across the curriculum.

Senior leaders agreed that other next steps include:

  • further sharing assessment data with students
  • strengthening learning partnerships with parents of Year 7 and 8 boys
  • reporting to parents in plain language about their son’s progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting student learning. There is an appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy as the foundation for academic success. Students appreciate the sporting, cultural, pastoral and academic learning experiences they are offered to them. They have opportunities to develop their leadership skills at different levels.

Positive, trusting relationships support students to have a sense of connection and belonging in the school. This has improved the retention of students with more boys at school until the end of Year 13 to make good use of learning opportunities. Teachers are developing students’ use of digital devices and to help their learning across the curriculum.

Assistant heads of departments are leading changes in teaching and learning practices. They are using specific, measurable targets to raise the achievement of students at risk of not achieving. They plan to extend these changes to practice in all classrooms and across all learning areas.

Teachers participate in targeted professional learning. They work collaboratively with professionals to improve their teaching skills and subject knowledge. The school’s robust appraisal process links well with professional learning programmes and promotes teachers’ reflective practice. Teachers could include student feedback as part of their evaluation of teaching programmes and practices.

The school curriculum is currently being reviewed. This review should focus on and could include:

  • developing student-centred learning approaches
  • aligning the Liston values with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) principles, key competencies and values
  • determining how well the NZC principles ‘coherence’ and ‘learning to learn’ are integrated in each learning area
  • valuing the languages, cultures and identities of Māori and Pacific students
  • promoting additional vocational pathways.

Improved consistency in learning approaches throughout the school, especially across Years 7 to 10, would help to engage all students in active learning. This could also help to develop students’ ownership of learning.

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

The school is still at a developmental stage of promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. Senior leaders are responsive to the principles of the Ministry of Education (MoE) Māori education strategy, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017. Together with staff they have participated in professional learning to gain deeper understanding about Māori student’s educational success as Māori.

Students are keen to grow their knowledge of tikanga Māori. They participate in waiata, himene and karakia and follow tikanga to welcome manuhiri. The school has combined with St Dominic’s to use an external provider to prepare the boys to enter a kapa haka into the Auckland Secondary School’s annual Festival. Te reo Māori is taught at Year 7 and 8.

Leaders are developing an action plan to promote improved educational outcomes for Māori students. Significant in this plan, is the ongoing engagement with the wider Māori community, particularly with kaumātua who have links to the Catholic faith.

Leaders and teachers could also make further use of the MoE resource Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The principal's leadership is future-focused, collaborative and inclusive. Senior leaders’ commitment to improving outcomes for students is well supported by teaching staff, the board and the community.

The board is representative of the school community. Trustees acknowledge the benefit of accessing training to guide their governance roles and responsibilities. The board has plans to use external expertise to help review the allocation of leadership roles and responsibilities. As part of this review, consideration could be given to evaluating the effectiveness of senior management roles in leading and sustaining school development.

Initiatives introduced over recent years have resulted in improved student achievement. Senior leaders recognise the need to sustain improvements and carefully manage further required changes. Senior leaders agree that development priorities could include:

  • developing a new strategic plan in consultation with the school’s community
  • reviewing the effectiveness of teaching and learning practices to promote student engagement and achievement
  • comprehensive review of policies, processes and procedures
  • evaluative reporting to the board in relation to the school’s strategic 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 34 international students attending the school with no exchange students.

International students at Liston College are well supported in their learning and pastoral care. There are comprehensive systems to track, monitor and support students. Learning programmes are adapted to students’ needs and to help them achieve their personal goals. Students are involved in the co-curricular life of the school and are well-integrated into the wider school 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.

The board must ensure all non-teaching employees are Police vetted every three years.[Education Act 1989, s78CC]

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • every two years consult with the school’s community about learning programmes in the health curriculum
  • review stand-down and suspension policies and procedures.

Conclusion

The school provides a broad, effective curriculum with students maintaining high levels of achievement in NCEA. Students appreciate the sporting, cultural, pastoral and academic learning experiences that are offered to them. The school charism of service and care, well embedded restorative practices and students’ strong sense of belonging, promotes a positive school tone.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 May 2015

School Statistics

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

779

Number of international students

34

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākeha

Filipino

Samoan

Indian

African

Chinese

Tongan

Fijian

Korean

other European

other

9%

34%

12%

11%

8%

5%

4%

4%

2%

2%

4%

5%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

25 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

September 2008

November 2005