Tracking for success

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Evaluation indicators
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“It’s all about knowing the student and being able to co-construct with the student…looking forward and being agentic; ‘So where are we going to go together now?

The deputy principal at Kerikeri High School describes the process the school leaders went through to develop electronic systems and processes to track student academic success. The principal describes how the tracking tool alerted school leaders when students were at risk of not achieving and led them to consider ways to ensure students had further opportunities to succeed.

The multiple ways the teachers and leaders responded to students who needed extra support to gain NCEA credits is described.

Key messages:

  • The school improved their view of the junior school to better inform how students were arriving at NCEA 
  • The new tools provided a progressive and projected view of individual achievement enabling earlier and more targeted support
  • Staff, students, family and whānau responded to the improved view of progress with a focused intent to ‘make a difference’ where it was needed most

Things to think about:

  • How can we improve our responsiveness to student achievement data?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 2: Leadership for equity and excellence
    • Evaluation Indicator
      • Leadership builds collective capacity to do evaluation and inquiry for sustained improvement

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

We needed to find a better picture of what our students looked like, and so we designed and then got built by our SMS provider a longitudinal tracking tool to look at our junior students, which gave us a better way to support those students through the junior school, as well as a better picture of what those students looked like in terms of their achievement coming into Year 11. And so we had a bit of an understanding of them right from the outset of their NCEA career.


The other thing that we did is we looked more carefully at how we were dealing with our NCEA data and using that data to support those students and really start to see where and how they're tracking across the year. The tracking tool has to be quite sophisticated so that went right on the front burner.


The other thing was we need to know their names. We use the phrase, 'not failed, yet to achieve success'. And so it's not over until it's over. And so yes, it was January, and yes, we had some students who had not yet achieved NCEA level 1.


How do we get them there? And once we know them, how do we look after them to make sure that in the course of their level 2, they achieve level 1 as well? The tool enables us to look at where the student is at, as well as what opportunities are available to them remaining in that year.


All those in red.


He's still got...


He's actually got some here, yeah, yeah..


But these red ones even if they do have plenty of opportunities available to them - these are the sorts of ones that we definitely do need to be keeping an eye on as well -obviously something hasn't gone well for them during the course of the year probably, or they've got a higher reliance on external folios. There's a real balancing act there. We're not out there giving cheap credits if you like. It's not what it's about at all and that is not how it transpired. And what we had to do was look at what opportunities we might be able to create for some of those students who might be at risk of not getting over the line, whilst being ethical about that.


So it was looking at where there might be further assessment opportunities available for students, or perhaps in some subjects, what extra standards we might be able to offer with the appropriate programmes of teaching and learning that we can take them through.


You've got to be authentic and you've got to be real. And staff were terrific.


We had some stuff there that was pretty unpalatable after ten years of really hard work on raising achievement for our Māori students. And so we wanted answers. We all did some soul searching, all in our own particular ways and we led that agentic mind-set.


So we moved really quickly from: you've got to have the long hard look, to now: what's my bit in that, and what are the tools that we've been able to put in people's hands to enable them to make a difference for these students.


Teachers genuinely really cared and really wanted to make a difference for these students. And a lot of the team worked really closely with getting in touch with parents and whānau to say: hey look, we're creating these opportunities for students. We'd really like your support to get students along. And parents were excited about it. Students were excited about it. And teachers became excited about it as well because they could see the students lighting up with the opportunity to get across the line when maybe they were thinking: oh, it's over for me now.


It's all about the students, and knowing them, and knowing where they're going, and being able to co-construct with the student. So we can do that wrapping around of the care of the student to make sure that we can advise the students on their best bet from now on, because sometimes it actually isn't possible to turn the clock back. So looking forward and being agentic, where are we going to go together now.