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ERO REPORT FOR HASTINGS BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL 2016 

 

Education Review Office
Report Hastings Boys' High School

The purpose of ERO's reviews is to give parents and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education that schools provide and their children receive. An ERO school report answers the question "How effectively is this school's curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?" Under that overarching question ERO reports on the quality of education and learning outcomes for children and for specific groups of children including Maori students, Pacific students and students with special needs. ERO also reports on the quality of the school's systems for sustaining and continuing improvements. The report answers four key questions about the school.

Findings

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

Hastings Boys' High School, for Years 9 to 13, has a roll of 771 students, with 47% who identify as Maori and 15% as Pacific. The valued outcomes defined by the school are reflected in the vision 'young men united by respect'. The mission is to give priority to achievement and personal excellence. The mix of traditional and modern values seek to support students leaving as successful life-long learners, with a variety of vocational pathways. A strong pastoral system and culture of high expectations supports the holistic development of each student. Positive relationships support student wellbeing and promote a sense of belonging and pride.

The board of trustees, senior leaders and teachers have strengthened their use of evidence-based self review to inform resourcing and decision-making and to reflect on school programmes and operation. The school has responded well to the next steps identified in the June 2013 ERO report and continues to have a positive reporting history with ERO.

 

2 Learning - How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement?

Highly effective use of achievement information supports positive outcomes for student engagement, progress and achievement. Comprehensive achievement information is collected when students arrive at school. This data is very well analysed and used to support the specific needs of students and their integration into school life. Improved use of this data and other information contributes to closer tracking and monitoring against expected outcomes for student engagement and progress. Year 9 entry data for literacy and mathematics indicates that a high proportion of students are below expectations. After two years, school data shows that most of these students make accelerated progress against curriculum levels. Sound systems and processes are in place to identify students who require extra support and extension. Through a wide range of interventions and programmes they are supported to have successful learning outcomes. The inclusion of students with special education needs is well managed and responsive to individuals and families. Since the previous ERO review, rates of achievement have improved significantly at all levels of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Recent results show that boys, including Maori and Pacific students, perform well above schools of similar type and schools nationally. Maori and Pacific learners have made steady improvements in their achievement at NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. Trustees and leaders have identified raising Maori and Pacific achievement at University Entrance level and increasing certificate endorsements as ongoing school priorities.

High expectations, supportive practices and new initiatives across the school promote student confidence in their language, culture and identity. As a result Maori and Pacific students' engagement and retention has increased from 2015, with more students staying to Year 13.

 

3 Curriculum - How effectively does this school's curriculum promote and support student learning?

An increasingly responsive curriculum provides students with a wide range of opportunities to experience success. Student learning is focused on individual interests, needs and aspirations. Contributing factors include:

•             a shared school understanding of effective and responsive teaching

•             students more involved in and taking responsibility for their learning

•             a strong focus on literacy and numeracy

•             increased range of choice, pathways and customised programmes

•             differentiation of programmes and courses to better cater for the diversity of students' needs.

Students at all levels have extensive opportunities to participate and celebrate success in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers and peers. Transitions into and beyond school are well planned and supported by positive relationships with students and their parents, schools and external agencies.

Effective teaching promotes student engagement, progress and achievement. The senior leadership team and board of trustees focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing development of teaching practice. A formal process for teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice has been newly implemented. Senior leaders acknowledge the need to continue to build teacher capability to use this process as a part of their teaching practice. Regular formal and informal review promotes ongoing development and enhances the school's curriculum. Student voice is an important part of this process. How effectively does the school promote educational success for Maori, as Maori? Key Maori staff continue to work effectively in the school to promote Maori student success as Maori. The school has a number of initiatives to positively support learners. These include:

•             promoting inclusion and reinforcing beliefs and values to support Maori students' language, culture and identity

•             effective partnership with local iwi and their initiatives

•             increased engagement and learning-focused discussions with whanau.

Students experience success in a wide range of cultural, artistic and sporting pursuits.

4 Sustainable Performance - How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

Hastings Boys' High School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Trustees are well-informed by the headmaster, leaders and staff. Resourcing and decision making is well aligned to school priorities. Trustees should consider accessing training to support their improvement­oriented stewardship. New and long-standing board members should consider use of the resource from New Zealand School Trustees Association, Hautu - Maori cultural responsiveness self review tool for boards of trustees as part of ongoing training.

Senior leaders work collaboratively as a team, with staff and the community, to develop innovative solutions to promote equity and excellence across the school. Teachers are supported to grow their leadership skills based on their strengths and interests. There is a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability and collective capacity to drive school improvement. Systems and processes that contribute to this are:

•             collaborative planning and decision making at senior and middle management level

•             alignment of school, department and individual teacher goals and professional leaning and development

•             high levels of trust to support teacher innovation and openness to change and improvement.

Leaders understand the importance of having strong connections and relationships with parents, families, whanau and the wider community to support student learning. Community and student voice is important

and used to inform decisions and actions. The school is continuing to build connections and relationships with its community.

Since the previous ERO review, leaders and teachers have increased the use of review, evaluation and inquiry. Factors influencing this include:

•             strengthened reflection, analysis and response to data

•             departments reporting on the impact of improved practices on student outcomes

Senior leaders have identified a next step is to continue to build evaluation capacity across the school. This should include further work on internal inquiry into the effectiveness of programmes, initiatives and actions on improving outcomes for students. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Provision for international students

The college 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 and meets all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were four international students attending the school, mainly from Pacific nations.

ERO's investigations confirmed that the school uses the annual self-review process for international students to improve practices, monitor provision for students and inform strategic decisions. As a result, continued focus on provision for students from the Pacific region is an ongoing priority.

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

Hastings Boys' High School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance for students. A broad curriculum focuses on students' interests, needs and aspirations. The school works collaboratively with its community to develop innovative solutions to promote equity and excellence of student outcome. Continuing to build evaluation capacity across the school will support ongoing improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy. Chief Review Officer Central