Kelston Boys' High School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Education institution number:
83
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
678
Telephone:
Address:

Archibald Road, New Lynn, Auckland

View on map

Findings

Kelston Boys' High School’s goals and priorities focus on student achievement and wellbeing. An inclusive and values-based curriculum and robust self review is resulting in a climate of ongoing improvement. Students benefit from the school’s vision and clear expectations for learning. They have pride in the school and their success is enhanced by a shared ethos of whānau and unity.

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

1 Context

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

Kelston Boys' High School is a medium sized secondary school in Waitakere, West Auckland. The school is located near Kelston Girls' College and the Kelston Deaf Education Centre. School leaders are developing collaborative relationships with schools in the local community to better support student transitions and learning.

The school roll is nearly 60 percent Pacific, with 20 percent Māori, and smaller numbers of NZ European/ Pākehā, Asian, Indian, international and refugee students. The cultural composition of the student roll is reflected in the staff. The school embraces the multi-ethnic diversity of its community and responds positively to the interests, abilities and aspirations of all its students.

The principal has led well planned school developments since ERO’s 2012 review. Student achievement and wellbeing are key priorities and both have improved significantly in recent years. Teacher practice has also been a focus of development. School leadership has been restructured in order to sustain and extend these improvements.

The achievement of Māori students is central to the school’s vision and resourcing. Te Whānau o Onewherowhero is a commitment to Māori success and supports the school’s bicultural practices and values. Students are proud of their school and of the traditions and achievements of past pupils.

The board of trustees works collaboratively with the principal. Trustees support the school’s improvement-focused use of self review. Internal and external review findings are well considered and actioned. Property, personnel and finance have also been priority areas for the principal and current board members.

2 Learning

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

Students make good progress and achieve well overall. Achievement information is appropriately used to support student engagement and learning.

Since ERO’s 2012 review student achievement has continued to improve. The National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results for 2014 show that students overall are now achieving above national averages, with significant improvements at Levels 2 and 3. NCEA Level 2 results have increased from 68 to 84 percent in four years.

Pacific and Māori students are achieving well above national averages and similar types of schools for both these groups of learners. Pacific student retention is high and in 2014 93 percent of Pacific students achieved NCEA Level 2. Māori student achievement in NCEA has nearly doubled since 2011 to 66 percent at Level 1 and 80 percent at Level 2.

The school has goals to sustain and extend these positive trends, and plans to address differences in achievement, particularly between Māori and Pacific learners. The other key areas for improvement identified by the school relate to raising University Entrance levels, and increasing NCEA Excellence and Merit Endorsements, both of which are below national averages.

Teachers are making very good use of achievement data, including the use of curriculum levels for planning and assessment in Years 9 and 10. Data is collated and progress information is being regularly shared with students. Achievement expectations are more explicit and the use of exemplars is helping students manage their learning.

Learning programmes are being differentiated and Whānau teachers are helping students individually to monitor and track their achievement and progress. More parents are attending report evenings and are being encouraged to support students in their learning. Involvement in the University of Auckland Starpath initiative is assisting teachers make better use of achievement information.

The use of student achievement information is central to Ako, the school’s internal professional learning and development system. Teachers reflect on the impact of their teaching practice and share their inquiry with others. Reflection and coaching strategies are effective components of the school’s high quality teacher appraisal model.

School leaders agree that refining school wide achievement goals as discrete and measurable targets should be the focus of teacher inquiry wherever possible. This next step would more closely align improved teacher practice with the school’s achievement priorities.

3 Curriculum

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

The school‘s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. In recent years the curriculum has diversified and become more responsive to students’ interest and aspirations. Strategies including literacy and reciprocal teaching have been implemented school-wide. These developments are contributing to improved levels of student engagement and achievement.

The curriculum has been strengthened with the inclusion of the school’s Mātau concept, an increased awareness of the school's ethos and culture of ‘being one’. Mātau underpins aspects of physical and emotional wellbeing, reinforces the school’s traditional values of respect, excellence, resilience and whānau, and promotes a culture of working together.

Curriculum leadership has been strengthened and is a key focus of the school’s operational planning. Student engagement is now aligned to teachers’ professional inquiry and classroom practice. Senior leaders are providing increased support for faculty managers and monitoring department planning, evaluating and reporting.

In addition to traditional subjects, the school curriculum continues to include a successful services academy. Sport technology and construction academies have been established and an engineering academy is proposed for 2016. These new qualification pathways are expanding the curriculum and will promote retention and success for a wider range of students.

Students and staff are proud of their diverse cultures and languages. Many students speak and understand several languages, particularly Pacific languages. The school could consider further ways of supporting students’ use of their first language in social and learning contexts. Specialist English language support is available for students new to New Zealand and for those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The curriculum is inclusive of students with different learning abilities. Students with special learning needs are well supported. Teachers in appropriate home-room programmes carefully track the progress of each student with the goal of successful mainstreaming by Year 11. Two onsite satellite classes for hearing impaired students also provide beneficial specialist and mainstream services.

Curriculum review is focused on improving student transitions into and beyond the school. School leaders work closely with contributing schools in their local and West Auckland communities. They are also doing more to track student leaver destinations and considering possibilities for future vocational pathways. Further consideration could be given to extending the curriculum to include students’ strengths in the performing arts and Pacific languages.

Improved internet access is encouraging better use and understanding of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The school is planning for students to use their own electronic devices in 2016 at Year 9. This development will increase the potential for meaningful learning partnerships with parents but teachers will need continued support to develop an e-learning focus.

An emphasis on goal setting, data analysis, evaluation and reporting is increasingly evident in the work of faculty leaders. This emphasis on robust self review should now become a school-wide expectation of all curriculum managers and service leaders, including those in the academies, careers, vocational pathways and counselling roles.

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

A renewed focus on supporting Maori success is reflected in the school whakatauki: Ma te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tātou.

The appointment of Māori staff in key management, pastoral and teaching roles, as well as Maori representation on the board of trustees, is evidence of the school’s commitment to improving outcomes for Māori. Strategic and operational planning includes strategies for raising Māori student engagement, retention and achievement.

Onewherowhero is a new programme to raise expectations of success for Māori students. Membership of this class provides incentive to model the best in te reo and tikanga Māori. Students are encouraged to be leaders and achieve high personal standards of learning and engagement. This selected group has a strong voice and is mentored by capable staff.

Māori student achievement in NCEA has improved significantly. Overall, Māori students are achieving above national averages and above schools of a similar type. These trends are supported by the school’s strong focus on cultural responsiveness in teachers’ professional development and appraisal.

Māori students speak positively about the improvements they have experienced and the respect for their culture and language. They are contributing in positive ways to strengthening the school’s bicultural commitments.

The board has set challenging goals to improve Māori student retention and increase consultation with whānau Māori. These goals have been enhanced by recent improvements in the teaching of te reo, the strengthening of tikanga Maori, and strategic staffing appointments.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal is a well-respected professional leader, both in the school and the local and wider educational community. Building on the school’s traditions and successes, he has led a programme of ongoing review in recent years that has lifted the school’s overall performance.

An external review of school leadership in 2013 resulted in the restructuring of the senior management team. The skills and abilities of the new team, which now includes a capable executive officer, have energised leadership across the school, particularly in the key areas of curriculum and student wellbeing. School managers actively support and lead initiatives to improve outcomes for students.

Staff are confident in the school’s directions and have embraced changes in teaching and learning. The close alignment of school-wide teacher development, appraisal and coaching is lifting teacher performance. Policy guidelines for teachers are up to date and additional staffing resources are employed to promote and sustain improvements.

The board of trustees is supporting the school’s progress in meaningful ways. The appointment of new staff, the use of external reviews, and the stronger emphasis on biculturalism are having a positive impact. Trustees should now consider documenting a plan to guide their work and strengthen board succession planning.

Strategic goals and operational planning are well aligned and improvement focused. Action plans are used to manage strategic developments across key areas of the school. The plans are well considered and based on consultation and self review. An increased emphasis on evaluation would lift the quality of analysis and reporting.

The principal and board could also consider more strategic ways of reporting. Progress in relation to annual goals could be a useful reporting framework for informing the board. External training for trustees would strengthen school governance and help to the board to review its own practices.

Provision for international students

Kelston Boys' High 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 currently has 27 full time international students, mainly from Fiji and Tonga, with a few from Chile and Japan. Short stay visits are also arranged.

International student numbers have grown in recent years and the school more actively markets in the Pacific. Most international students seek a combined sports and academic learning programme. The international student manager, with support of a part time home-stay coordinator, administers and reviews the Code. They assist students to become involved in co-curricular activities and the wider life of the school.

The expectations of international students are well met. They are supported to improve their English language skills and achieve in other curriculum areas. Participation in rugby teams is clear priority for many of the international students. The international student manager reports regularly to the board about the outcomes of the programme.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed its required annual self review. ERO’s investigations confirm that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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

Kelston Boys' High School’s goals and priorities focus on student achievement and wellbeing. An inclusive and values-based curriculum and robust self review is resulting in a climate of ongoing improvement. Students benefit from the school’s vision and clear expectations for learning. They have pride in the school and their success is enhanced by a shared ethos of whānau and unity.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 October 2015

About the School 

Location

Kelston, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

83

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

756

Number of international students

27

Gender composition

Boys      100%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Asian
Fijian
Indian
Cook Island Māori
Middle Eastern
Niue
African
other Pacific
other

20%
  8%
37%
11%
  5%
  4%
  3%
  2%
  2%
  2%
  1%
  3%
  2%

Special Features

2 Satellite Classes for Kelston Deaf Education Centre

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

9 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012
July 2009
June 2006

1 Context

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

Kelston Boys’ High School is the only state secondary boys’ school in West Auckland. It caters for students in Years 9 to 13. In this multicultural school, fifty percent of the boys identify as Pacific and twenty percent identify as Māori.

The principal was appointed in 2011. He is strongly focused on improving student achievement. One of the many initiatives under his guidance has been the redefining of school values of resilience (tohea), respect (mana), excellence (kairangi) and whānau (family). The values are beginning to take a central role in school-wide conversations, initiatives and operations. The school is in its final year of funding for the Te Kotahitanga project. The board’s strategic plan focuses on improving student achievement.

The school prides itself on the provision of academic, sporting and cultural opportunities for boys. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main qualification pathway for senior students. The school also offers Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) in Year 11, in selected subjects, for boys who wish to gain this qualification.

2 Learning

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

Boys are engaging, progressing and achieving increasingly well. Respectful relationships and a commitment to student wellbeing contribute to the positive and purposeful tone of the school. Boys are responding well to the growing school culture of high expectations for student progress and achievement.

In 2011 there was a significant increase in NCEA achievement in Levels 1 to 3, and in Level 1 literacy. This improvement has been attributed to better monitoring and support for students to progress towards gaining NCEA credits. A marked improvement has been made in student attendance at school.

There is a greater focus on Māori student achievement as an outcome of the Te Kotahitanga project. Senior leaders and teachers are working towards embedding strategies to sustain the development of this project over time throughout the school. The school currently defines success as Māori in terms of academic success.

NCEA data for 2011 shows a significant increase in the achievement of Māori boys. However, this achievement is still below that of non-Māori students. There are significant challenges for senior leaders and staff in further raising the achievement of Māori boys, including improving attendance rates and reducing the numbers of Māori boys leaving school without qualifications.

The significant increase in student achievement includes that of Pacific students, which is now comparable to national achievement levels. Senior leaders and teachers are now focusing on increasing NCEA University Entrance (UE) qualifications and merit and excellence endorsements.

The school has not collated or analysed school-wide achievement data for students in Years 9 and 10. While class teachers are able to identify the progress and achievement of individual students over time, it is not possible to comment on overall student progress and achievement at these year levels.

The new initiative for Year 9 and 10 assessment in relation to national curriculum levels should enable the school to gather useful baseline data against which to monitor and evaluate student progress over time, and across the curriculum. Currently, overall NCEA, and NCEA Māori and Pacific student achievement is reported to the board. Improved reporting about Years 9 and 10 should enable trustees to be better informed about the achievement of students in these years, including Māori, Pacific and other priority learners. Improving the quality of reporting to the board should better inform their decision making and the school’s strategic direction.

Students are generally purposefully engaged in classroom activities. Students in Years 9 to 11 in the learning support department are well engaged with their learning. They are making good progress and achieving well. Examples of effective teaching across the school include:

  • teacher responsiveness to students’ cultures and the knowledge that learners bring to the classroom
  • the use of a variety of effective strategies to engage students in learning.

Senior leaders and teachers are working hard to provide an environment that is conducive to student participation and opportunities for students to develop high self esteem. Positive behaviour for learning strategies and the professional learning from Te Kotahitanga are supporting teachers to develop effective classroom practice and to build strong teacher-student learning relationships.

Senior leaders acknowledge the need to embed, and support teachers to consistently implement, exemplary teaching practices across the year levels, and to improve classroom environments to enrich student learning. Teachers are developing strategies to sustain these good practices throughout the school.

ERO’s 2009 report recommended that the board continue to consider how pastoral care could be extended so that it included full-time counselling to further provide for the emotional wellbeing of students. This remains an ongoing need.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is becoming increasingly effective in promoting and supporting student learning.

A variety of pathways for learning are provided, including academic and vocational alternatives and opportunities for work experience. The school timetable is flexible and responsive to student choice. Academic counselling with students is beginning to build their awareness of pathways for learning. As a result of self review, the range of pathways at Year 13 has been extended to enable students to meet NCEA University Entrance and Level 3 requirements, and to have wider choices in technology. Senior leaders continue to investigate the provision of appropriate learning pathways for all students.

The current review of the learning support department would benefit from an evaluation of the extent to which students in mainstream classes, and in Years 12 and 13, are supported in learning. Senior leaders could also consider undertaking an evaluation of the relationship between the learning support department and other learning areas of the school.

There is a growing consistency in departmental reporting and curriculum review. Senior leaders acknowledge that in order to improve the quality of the curriculum they should continue to:

  • shift the focus of curriculum programmes to student-centred learning
  • implement a responsive and rich curriculum
  • use assessment information to know about, and plan for, students’ learning.

Further use of the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum would help guide the design, practice, and evaluation of the curriculum and is likely to contribute to the realisation of a vision for young people as confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners.

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

The school is developing its effectiveness in promoting Māori educational success as Māori.

The recent appointment of a dean for Māori students has resulted in the development of a programme to monitor and provide support for at risk Māori students and their whānau. An annual plan that outlines how the school intends to support Māori boys to reach their academic potential has been developed. Elements of this plan include:

  • celebrating Māori student achievement with whānau
  • reconnecting Māori students with their heritage and identity
  • providing insights into te ao Māori, and ways of correcting and rewarding behaviour
  • empowering and developing leadership through tikanga across the school.

The head of faculty for Māori and the Māori dean work collaboratively with a team to provide leadership and guidance across the school for all students. School-wide initiatives for Māori students that contribute to their sense of self esteem and belonging, and that promote Māori language, culture and identity include:

  • a designated classroom that has become a focal point for Māori students in the school
  • the development of the wananga as a central point for Māori students
  • opportunities for Māori students to meet as a group, led by the Māori dean
  • iwi initiative meetings with iwi representatives
  • ways to address ongoing concerns about Māori student attendance at school.

Heads of faculty and teachers should review how contexts for learning and school environments promote Māori as tangata whenua. The board and staff should also review the extent to which the school charter, strategic plan and practices reflect school policies for Māori success, and the extent to which the school’s Treaty of Waitangi policy is reflected in practice and supports a partnership with Māori whānau.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is growing its capability and capacity, and is building a good foundation for sustained and improved performance. The principal leads improvement in teaching and learning well and provides effective leadership for change.

Features of the school that contribute to sustainability are:

  • the commitment that the board, principal, senior leaders and teachers are showing to support students to achieve, particularly in NCEA
  • the clear alignment between the school's strategic and departmental goals, and plans for initiatives that are focused on improving outcomes for students
  • the positive emphasis on developing middle and senior management capability
  • the revised teacher performance management system, which promotes high quality teaching and learning
  • iwi and Pacific initiatives that demonstrate the school’s commitment to developing partnerships with parents, families, whānau and aiga.

To further strengthen sustainability ERO recommends that:

  • senior leaders continue to develop their capacity as leaders of teaching and learning
  • the board, senior leaders and teachers increase their knowledge and use of self review to ensure improved outcomes for students
  • consistency in, and between, classrooms is developed so that all students experience rich learning environments in which their motivation and interest is fostered
  • learning outcomes for Māori and Pacific students are improved and that this goal is clearly articulated in the charter and strategic plan
  • the board ensure that high levels of professional support are provided for the principal.

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 28 international students attending the school, mainly from Fiji. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. However, the expiry dates of visas, and travel and medical insurance should be more closely monitored to ensure that these are current.

The school continues to monitor students’ welfare through regular contact with students, designated caregivers and homestays. A high level of English support is provided for students. Students are included in school activities and are positive about the level of care provided by the school.

Previous ERO reviews have identified that reports to the board about international students did not include specific detail about their academic achievement and progress. This continues to be the case. ERO’s 2009 review also noted that the school’s review of the provision for international student should be strengthened. While there has been some improvement in the quality of self review, further work is required. A comprehensive annual quality assurance review would enable trustees to be confident that they meet the requirements of the 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.

ERO identified several areas of non-compliance that must be addressed. The board must ensure that:

  • the principal has a signed annual performance agreement[State Sector Act 1988, 77C]
  • fees to cover the cost of materials used in the provision of the curriculum are not expected or demanded of parents[Education Act 1989, Ministry of Education Circular 1998/25].

As noted in ERO’s 2009 review, in order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review its provision for emotional safety to ensure that all students have access to appropriate counselling if required
  • approve overnight trips
  • ensure effective systems are in place to monitor current and new police vetting for all non-teaching staff.

In addition, the board of trustees should:

  • further strengthen teacher registration procedures and reporting on outcomes to the board
  • ensure that a high quality annual appraisal of all staff is completed and reported to the board
  • ensure that the school consistently uses the recently developed system for documenting and responding to complaints reported to the school.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

7 November 2012

About the School

Location

New Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

83

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

949

Number of international students

28

Gender composition

100% boys

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Indian

Fijian

Asian

Cook Island Māori

Niuean

other Pacific

other

20%

13%

29%

8%

5%

5%

4%

3%

2%

3%

8%

Special Features

Deaf unit

Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

7 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

June 2006

June 2002