Mission Heights Junior College

Education institution number:
553
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-10)
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Restricted Composite (Year 7-10)
Total roll:
949
Telephone:
Address:

Jeffs Road, Flat Bush, Auckland

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Mission Heights Junior College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within 14 months of the Education Review Office and Mission Heights Junior College working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

Mission Heights Junior College in Flatbush, Auckland is a middle school and provides education for students in Years 7 to 10. The culturally diverse school operates as four schools within a school: Takutai|Coast, Ngahere|Forest, Wai|Water, and Maunga|Mountains.

Mission Heights Junior College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • growing greatness through innovative, constantly evolving personalised learning

  • supporting and guiding students to discover their authentic selves, passion, and purpose

  • providing a curriculum set in integrated contexts developed through co-construction and collaboration.

  • learners actively participating in the learning process, knowing how to learn, how to assess their progress and identify what support they need.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Mission Heights Junior College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the schools’ change process on the values is impacting outcomes for learners' overtime.

This evaluation will track a cohort of 2022 Year 7 students through to Year 10, with a focus on enhancing student agency, voice, choice, and self-management to monitor the impact overtime.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to: 

  • evaluate how well the new values are embedded schoolwide

  • know how effectively the school is making a difference with student engagement and learning to learn strategies

  • provide students with increased opportunities to show how they are living and documenting the school values in their holistic reports.

The school expects to see:

  • teachers supporting students taking greater ownership of their learning journey and using ‘learning to learn strategies’ that enable them to continue to progress in their learning over their four years at school

  • students being empowered to understand and live the values in all areas of school life

  • students provided with opportunities to see the connections between their learning and school experiences

  • clear communication to the community about the school’s holistic approach to reporting on student’s learning to promote their understanding and appreciation.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how effectively the schools’ change process on the values is impacting outcomes for learners' overtime.

  • Learner agency is well promoted across the four whānau schools.

  • The whānau structure allows for flexibility and agility to implement new programmes and initiatives.

  • A leadership structure that drives innovation and ensures consistency of practice.

  • Digital systems that support students learning.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • building and strengthening student recognition systems to enable students to better gather and document evidence for their holistic report

  • making the school values links more explicit in teachers’ planning and assessment

  • continuing to build learning partnerships by educating the community about holistic reporting and ensuring the language used is well understood.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Filivaifale Jason Swann
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

31 October 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Mission Heights Junior College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2024

As of March 2022, the Mission Heights Junior College School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact Mission Heights Junior College School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Filivaifale Jason Swann
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

31 October 2022 

About the School                                                                                               

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Mission Heights Junior College

Provision for International Students Report

Background

The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Findings 

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. 

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

The principal and executive officer are responsible for the annual review of the school’s compliance with the code of practice. International students’ progress and achievement is monitored and reported regularly to parents. These reports have considerable student input.

Filivaifale Jason Swann
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

31 October 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Mission Heights Junior College - 01/12/2016

Findings

Mission Heights Junior College operates as four whānau (schools within a school). Students are well engaged and supported to develop high self-efficacy as learners. They learn through a rich and integrated curriculum that prioritises problem solving. Effective governance and widely shared leadership promote educational experiences that draw on middle years’ teaching and learning research.

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?

Mission Heights Junior College in Flat Bush, Auckland provides education for students in Years 7 to 10. Most students live in the newly developed housing areas nearby to the school. The multicultural makeup of the school roll reflects the local community with the largest groups of students being Indian, Chinese and South East Asian.Many students also speak other languages in addition to English.

School leaders and teachers embrace the middle school model of education. They draw on the strengths of both primary and secondary education to inform school operations. The school operates as four schools (whānau) within a school. Classes of students from each year group are in each whānau. The four whānau - Coast, Forest, Water and Mountain – work in modern learning spaces that encourage students to collaborate and teachers to share their practice.

The school’s vision of “growing greatness through innovative, constantly evolving, personalised learning” was established prior to its opening seven years ago. This vision gives priority to learning that is globally focused, relevant, engaging, authentic and applicable to the 21st century. This has provided clear guidance for the alignment and embedding of middle school teaching and learning approaches. The curriculum is designed to foster students to be good citizens who are resilient, enterprising and aspirational thinkers.

An affirming 2013 ERO report noted several areas of strength including leadership, the curriculum and student engagement. These positive features have been sustained. Areas identified for development included the use of student achievement information, and self review. Good progress has been made in these areas. The new principal appointed in 2015 has continued to build on the existing school culture and priorities.

2 Learning

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

Mission Heights Junior College uses achievement information well within each whānau to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students have high levels of self belief as learners and are well engaged in their learning. They are confident and articulate. Students have good opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations with their teachers about their learning, progress and achievement. Learning advisers appropriately support and challenge students to manage and direct their individual learning pathway. The school-wide use of coaching and mentoring programmes for teachers and students is a strength.

Robust and comprehensive systems are in place to manage and use student achievement information to support decision making. These good systems help to ensure that strategic and annual targets for student achievement are a focus for whānau leaders and teachers.

The progress of all students is monitored and tracked effectively. Information from appropriate assessment tools is used to make decisions about individual student’s placement, participation in and graduation from specific support programmes. Teacher conversations based on these data are the foundation for whānau-based professional-learning communities.

School data show that students’ achievement in Years 7 and 8 in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics is similar to other schools in the region. Trends and patterns evident in the data are not yet showing a consistent trajectory of improvement for some groups of students in reading, writing and mathematics. While Māori students are achieving, and some achieving well, this is not consistent over time. Pacific achievement in reading and writing is at a higher level to data for Pacific students across the region, while in mathematics it is similar.

Students at all year levels use rubrics to self evaluate their progress and achievement in relation to assessment tasks. These rubrics are aligned to the assessment benchmarks of NCEA. The college has Consent to Assess National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Year 10 students are offered an NCEA Level 1 course in each learning area. Many students in Year 10 successfully achieve NCEA Level 1 credits.

Parents receive comprehensive, personalised reports that detail the student’s achievement. Parents of students in Years 7 and 8 also receive additional written reports about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Students with special needs are well supported by experienced leaders. Teachers assume collective responsibility for the wellbeing and learning of these students. Cultural beliefs that impact on the diagnosis of and provision for students’ learning needs are well understood. Leaders are proactive in sourcing external expertise and support for students. Teachers develop personalised online programmes to guide the work learning assistants undertake with students.

While the school has a considerable amount of information about student achievement, school leaders and teachers could also evaluate the effectiveness of specific initiatives and programmes in supporting improved outcomes for students. While some of these initiatives are relatively new, the potential exists for internal evaluation to provide useful insights into the impact and effectiveness of programmes in addressing disparity in achievement between groups of students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum promotes the vision and values of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) very well. It provides effectively for the middle school learning years and supports students’ ownership of their learning very well.

The curriculum is delivered through each whanau’s termly context for learning. Teachers and students develop rich and authentic learning experiences and opportunities based around the terms’ context. Teachers integrate the teaching of literacy and numeracy into other learning areas. Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC) is an integral component of the curriculum.

Students from four year groups learn within each whānau learning environment. Years 7 and 8 students sample all learning areas while at Years 9 and 10 students select from a range of options. At these times students work across the whānau and learn within specialised learning spaces.

The daily DEEP (Discovery, Essentials, Enrichment, Passions) programme allows for further personalisation of learning across the curriculum. This programme provides for students who need extra support through Essentials modules and for those with special abilities, through Enrichment.

Digital technologies extend learning opportunities for all students. Teachers and students use online platforms and forums to collaborate, share information and respond to tasks and projects submitted by students. Parents and whānau have access to online course information and teachers’ planning so they can support their children’s learning and achievement.

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

The college supports Māori students to be proud of their heritage and positive about their future. Recent appointments and initiatives mean the college is increasingly better placed to promote educational success for Māori, as Māori. Good outcomes are already apparent for Māori students.

Leaders and teachers are committed to growing partnerships with Māori whānau. Goals to strengthen leadership, teaching and learning, connections with parents, families and communities help build aspects of te ao Māori within the college. A recent teacher appointment will further strengthen and support the college’s initiatives to build leaders’ and teachers’ capacity, across the school, to embed culturally responsive practices. Teachers have identified that they want to become more confident in using te reo Māori in their practice.

A whānau hui provided an opportunity for whānau and families to share their aspirations for the learning of their children. The board, senior leaders and ERO agree that an ongoing next step is to embed and extend practices across the school that promote te ao Māori and New Zealand’s bicultural partnership with tangata whenua.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The college is very well placed to sustain and maintain its performance.

The board is made up of experienced trustees. Some trustees also serve or have served on the boards of neighbouring schools that students transition to or from. They share clear understandings of the role of governance within the school. Trustees are strongly committed to the school’s curriculum and teaching and learning focus. They receive good information about strategic directions for the school.

A distributed approach to leadership has been a feature of the college over a number of years. Leadership is evident at a variety of levels within the school. Roles and responsibilities, while being clearly defined, are also complementary and collaborative. Teachers are provided with wide ranging opportunities to experience and develop their leadership.

Student leadership is also a feature of the school. Many opportunities are provided for student leaders to represent their peers and influence decision-making within the school.

Students and teachers plan collaboratively for programmes and initiatives that will enact the school’s vision and support learning contexts. They contribute their ideas and opinions to a range of initiatives.

Senior leaders are actively involved in coaching and mentoring students and other leaders. This process contributes to teachers’ appraisal. School leaders could ensure the appraisal process better meets current requirements by linking it to Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. Recent improvements to the school's appraisal system have resulted in greater alignment with the school's strategic direction and the inclusion of Māori and Pacific perspectives.

A culture of ongoing improvement is evident in the school. Parents and whānau, teachers and students all contribute to information that is gathered to influence school direction. The rich diversity of the college’s multicultural community provides a strong sense of belonging for staff, students and their families. Trustees are considering how they can better reflect the college’s diversity at a board level. Trustees and ERO agree that strengthening partnerships with ethnic groups within the school community would enable them to better contribute to the decision making within the college.

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

Mission Heights Junior College operates as four whānau (schools within a school). Students are well engaged and supported to develop high self-efficacy as learners. They learn through a rich and integrated curriculum that prioritises problem solving. Effective governance and widely shared leadership promote educational experiences that draw on middle years’ teaching and learning research.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

1 December 2016

About the School

Location

Flat Bush, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

553

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 10)

School roll

848

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

South East Asian

Samoan

African

Fijian

other Asian

other European

other Pacific

other

6%

11%

33%

18%

10%

3%

2%

2%

4%

4%

2%

5%

Special Features

Satellite Class of Kelston Deaf Education Centre

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

1 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

 

October 201

3 October 2010